You thought we were out of the woods regarding COVID19, didn't you? Think again. West Michigan, and the state of Michigan for that matter, seem to be leading the country now in new COVID19 infections. That is not a good thing!

The health care systems within Region 6, and that's us, are at a tipping point Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and University of Michigan Health West say. They all say that our individual and collective resources are being overwhelmed, and we need our communities’ help to get back on track.

The hospitals and EMS systems in our region are operating at extremely high capacity - and have been for weeks. While other areas of the country have seen the number of patients with COVID-19 decline, our numbers are on the rise. We are also seeing more patients with other serious health issues that cannot be further delayed or ignored.

You're wondering, How does that affect me?

• Wait times for emergency, urgent or primary care may be much longer than usual
• Ambulance transfers may be delayed
• Surgeries or procedures may be deferred to a later date
• Visitor restrictions remain in effect
• You may have a prolonged stay in the emergency department waiting for a bed in the hospital

Couple that with staffing shortages and it's beginning to seem as if we have a medical tsunami happening here.

The medical community says only If more people were vaccinated, that would help reduce the number of COVID-19 patients, as most of the COVID-19 patients in the ED
and admitted remain unvaccinated. The hospitals say this is impacting their ability to care for those who are seriously injured in a car accident, suffer a heart attack, stroke, or experience another medical emergency or issue. They are concerned there will be a surge of influenza along with the current COVID-19 surge
adding to the capacity issues. So, they strongly urge people to get the influenza vaccine as well.

Everyone can pitch in to help. They are pleading with community members to do everything they can

to avoid COVID-19 and lead a healthy lifestyle:
• Get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster if you are eligible
• Get children 5-18 a Covid-19 vaccination
• Wash your hands frequently
• Wear a mask when in indoor public spaces or outdoors when unable to socially distance
• Practice healthy behaviors such as socially distancing, getting good sleep, eating well and exercising.

We know that together we can get through this safely, but our hospitals need your help.

 

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: