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87% Of Michigan's COVID ICU Patients Unvaccinated, Hospital Association Says

(CBS Detroit) -- About 87% of COVID intensive care unit patients are unvaccinated, according to newly released data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

Additionally, officials said three out of four (76%) COVID patients are unvaccinated and 88% of COVID ventilator patients are unvaccinated.

"The data is clear: if you are unvaccinated, you are risking hospitalization or death," said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). "We have a safe and effective vaccine that is quite literally saving lives. Michigan residents absolutely need to get vaccinated to keep their loved ones safe this holiday."

About 87% of COVID intensive care unit patients are unvaccinated, according to newly released data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. (credit: Michigan Health & Hospital Association)

This comes after officials say the number of hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in Michigan has reached a new pandemic high this week. The total of 4,181 surpassed the previous record of 4,158, which was set seven months ago during Michigan's third wave.

"Michigan's health care systems are stretched beyond their limits – so much so that the U.S. Department of Defense is providing clinical staffing support to hospitals throughout the state that are operating at capacity, delaying non-emergency medical procedures and placing their emergency departments on diversion," said Brian Peters, CEO of MHA. "This data confirms what the situation in our hospitals is already telling us: get vaccinated, whether it is your first dose, vaccination for your children or a booster dose."

State health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and to wear masks in public settings to limit the spread of the coronavirus amid the fourth surge.

The federal government has deployed military medical staffers to help Michigan hospitals cope.

On Tuesday, 22 federal workers arrived at Beaumont Dearborn, which has more than 100 COVID patients. Another group went to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request for additional staffing from the federal government was granted for a third Michigan hospital amid the COVID-19 surge. MDHHS announced that a 22-person medical team to Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw under the agreement.

They will begin working in Saginaw on Dec. 12 and assist for the next 30 days.

MDHHS said it is monitoring for the omicron variant, which has not been detected in the state.

In addition to getting vaccinated and wearing masks, health officials provided the following health tips:

  • Get tested for COVID-19, especially before gatherings.
  • Physically distancing from others and avoiding crowds
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water and cleaning hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Self-isolating until you recover if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. 

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