(CBS DETROIT)- Healthcare staff at Beaumont putting out a community call for action as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals near capacity.
"We have over 800 patients with Coronavirus in our 8 hospital systems." Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont's medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, said.
Dr. Gilpin says these numbers are alarming, and taxing on hospital staff and resources at Beaumont.
Beaumont officials say this past February 28th the hospital system had just under 130 patients, but that number increasing dramatically.
"Our COVID-19 numbers are climbing higher and faster and it's very troubling and alarming to see this," said Beaumont Health CEO John Fox.
Dr. Gilpin says the over 800 hospitalizations are high, but not the highest Beaumont has seen. At its peek there were 1200 hospitalized COVID patients. He says hospitals are now at 95 percent capacity and ER's are filling up, and the major difference now, patients are younger.
"The new COVID-19 variants are more contagious. The patients we are seeing are younger and some are sicker and in need of intense medical attention. Some younger patients also seem to be waiting longer to get care, thinking they can beat the virus. By the time they come to the hospital, we're seeing intense illness with pneumonia, blood clots and severe lung injury. This trend does not seem to be slowing down." Dr. Gilpin Said
He says many older people were in the first group to be vaccinated and younger people still not receiving the shot, as well not taking the virus seriously and still engaging in risky behavior. He's pleading with the public to do their part in helping get the virus under control. He says healthcare staff have been in this battle over a year, and they're exhausted.
"They appreciate even more than the show of support in the community is they just want this to be over" Said Dr. Gilpin
"If you see a health care worker – a family member, neighbor or friend – please share a kind word and thank them," Fox said. "They are doing a heroic job compassionately caring for patients. They are truly extraordinary."
Health officials recommend the continued use of masks wear, avoiding large crowds and getting vaccinated as ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
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