As Michigan is in the midst of yet another COVID-19 surge, much of West Michigan is feeling the strain more than other regions. Most West Michigan counties fall into "Region 6" of the Healthcare Coalition that was setup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition in cooperation with Region 6 Hospitals and EMS agencies has released a letter to residents warning that the healthcare system is being overwhelmed.

Hospitals and EMS services in our region are operating at high-capacity and have been for weeks. COVID-19 numbers have been rising in the region for several weeks and that, combined with patients with other serious health issues that cannot be further delayed or ignored, are beginning to put a strain on hospitals in the region.

Emergency rooms and urgent care centers are experiencing additional wait times due to the surging COVID-19 numbers and that can affect your health care needs.

How does this impact you?

  • 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

The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition is asking residents to help reduce the strain on the healthcare system by following a few guidelines:

  • 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.

Region 6 contains the following counties: Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa.

You can get more information about COVID-19 in our region and read the full press release at MIRegion6.org.

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