On the heals of the CDC announcing Michigan leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases, the Region 6 Healthcare Coalition sent out a letter Wednesday morning stating area hospitals and EMS systems in their region are at a 'tipping point'.
The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition represents area counties like, Clare, Isabella, Lake, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola.
According to the letter from the coalition' Medical Director Jerry Evans, “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.”
How does that 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
In the letter to community members, Evans also noted “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. This is impacting our 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.”
Along with COVID-19, the Region 6 Coalition is also concerned about the flu season approaching.
“We are concerned there will be a surge of influenza along with the current COVID-19 surge adding to the capacity issues. We strongly urge people to get the influenza vaccine as well.” Evans added in the letter.
The group says community members can do the following things to help reduce COVID-19 numbers:
• 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.