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Expect long waits at Michigan hospitals as COVID-19 cases continue to surge

Posted at 9:58 AM, Dec 30, 2021

(WXYZ) — Emergency rooms are usually a busy part of a hospital, but with COVID-19 surging across Michigan state, and hospitals being short of staff, doctors are having a difficult time keeping up with patient intake.

"You have to realize there may be a wait and there's a reason for it," Emergency Room Physician at Beaumont Troy Dr. Gjon Dushaj said.

And waiting, especially when you’re sitting in the emergency room, can be frustrating.

7 Action News viewer Sherri Warner knows it all too well. She says her mother waited in the ER for 6 hours, and during a 4-day hospital stay never got her own room.

It’s not a new problem, but doctors like Gjon Dusha say the balancing act is getting tricky. Helping patients who are infected and also those coming to ERs seeking non-covid related care.

"All of it is taking a toll and then when the workforce is stretched thinner it takes other people to work harder with less,” Dr. Dushak said.

It’s not just Beaumont Health System feeling this burden, it’s statewide.

Four Michigan hospitals, including Beaumont Dearborn, are getting extra staffing help from the federal government.

The state health department airing on the side of caution right now saying, for now, it will maintain current quarantine and isolation standards despite the CDC cutting that time down from 10 days to 5 days.

Health experts at Henry Ford Hospital are bracing for a tough January. In just the past week their covid test positivity rate jumped 15%.

"If we cannot control the spread of COVID-19 infections in our communities, and we don't know yet what Omicron is going to bring us. Our communities' access to safe and quality healthcare is at risk," Chair of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital System Dr. John Deledda said.

At the same time, Doctors don’t want people to delay care or avoid coming to an ER if they need help.

“We do things the way we do for a reason. You may not understand, but just be patient with everyone," Dr. Gjon Dushaj said.