Hospitals in the Detroit metro area are at or near capacity, with most units 75% -100% full, Beaumont Health said, citing the State Department of Health and Human Services.
And in the Beaumont system, the number of Covid-19 patients rose from 129 at the end of February to more than 800 patients, surpassing the volume last fall, Beaumont Health said.
“Our Covid-19 numbers are climbing faster and faster and it’s very disturbing and alarming to see that,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said in a press release Thursday.
“We need everyone’s help immediately,” he said.
Beaumont Heath is just the latest entity to sound the alarm over the rise of Covid-19 in Michigan, even as vaccinations increase.
Officials said the state has seen a high proportion of more contagious variants and that the variants are fueling spikes in cases.
Michigan cities are behind 9 of the 10 worst Covid-19 outbreaks in metropolitan areas nationwide, according to latest Covid-19 community profile report released by US Department of Health and Services social networks and the White House.
The state has recorded an average of 7,870 new Covid-19 cases per day over the past week – well above the winter low average of 1,044 on February 20. Data from Johns Hopkins University.
Statewide hospitalizations are also on the rise. More than 4,230 Covid-19 patients were in Michigan hospitals on Tuesday – well above the winter low of 825 on February 22 and near the high of 4,305 on November 30, according to HHS data.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan pleaded with people on Wednesday to get vaccinated to fight the outbreak of the virus.
“The infection rate in Detroit continues to climb, and we know exactly why it continues to climb. And we are the only ones who can stop it, ”Duggan said on Wednesday, urging residents to follow security measures but also to encourage their friends and relatives. those to get vaccinated.
The calls from Michigan officials come as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country has increased slightly, mostly among young people who have yet to be vaccinated.
Fauci says J&J vaccine hiatus is not a cancellation
Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, said the recommended break on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is just that: a break – not a cancellation – and will likely last for days, if not weeks.
“I seriously doubt if we are talking about weeks or even months,” he told CNN on Wednesday.
This break, he added, should help underscore and confirm “how seriously we take security.”
“If anyone has any doubts that ‘Oh, maybe they don’t take safety very seriously,’ I think it’s a statement that safety is a primary consideration when it comes to ( Food and Drug Administration) and the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That’s why it was done, ”added Fauci.
The two agencies recommended Tuesday that the country suspend use of the J&J vaccine at one in six reported U.S. cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot among more than 6.8 million Americans who have had it. vaccinate. A day later, CDC advisers postponed any decision on recommendations for the vaccine, with group members saying they needed more information.
“I don’t think there is enough information to make an evidence-based decision,” Dr. Beth Bell, clinical professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, said at the meeting. “We won’t have all the information, but I think there are some things that we can pull together relatively quickly, all of which have to do with the benefit / risk ratio. “
“We need to better understand the risk, which we know will be very rare, very low, but we really don’t know exactly how much and how to characterize it properly,” Bell added.
The hiatus will allow researchers to study a potential link to serious blood events, and in particular whether certain populations may be more susceptible, National Institutes of Health director Dr Francis Collins said on Wednesday.
J & J’s break may cause delays, officials say
As scientists continue to focus on adverse events, heads of state and federal officials struggle to adapt to the change.
The federal government is helping to install Americans who were to receive the J&J vaccine with another Covid-19 vaccine instead, and these changes could lead to a drop in the number of daily vaccinations, the Covid-19 response coordinator said on Wednesday. of the White House, Jeff Zients.
“However, I want to be clear that we have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supplies to continue working to accelerate the current pace of vaccination,” he said.
Federal allowances for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for next week are about 7% higher than they were this week, according to federal data.
And while heads of state have said they have enough supplies to stay on track with their vaccination operations, some have expressed concern over the impact.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called the break a “surprising setback” for the state “at a time when our immunization efforts are showing great progress, and states were not informed at the time. In advance of the announcement, we had to develop contingency plans at the time of the scheduled immunization clinics yesterday and throughout the week. “
“Putting even one vaccine on hold is disappointing,” she added. “But ensuring a safe vaccination process that everyone can trust will remain a top priority. “
Other U.S. officials said the disruption could have a major impact on students, who were key targets for getting the single-dose vaccine before leaving school at the end of the spring semester.
Break is key to vaccine confidence, expert says
But the decision to recommend a break is important for confidence in vaccines, experts said.
“When you look at what our biggest obstacles are in the coming months, it’s really around demand for vaccines, reluctance or confidence,” epidemiologist Dr Celine Gounder told the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday. of the US Congress.
“And one of the main drivers, especially among those who are most… resistant to vaccination, it really boils down to either a lack of trust in health systems or a lack of trust in government.
“So it’s absolutely essential that the CDC and the FDA behave in a transparent, honest, irreproachable manner, where they show they are doing their due diligence, because that’s really what’s going to predict, in the longer term, whether the people feel comfortable getting vaccinated, ”Gounder added.
Yet others fear the break may exacerbate reluctance to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I think it has a chilling effect,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, told CNN. “I think people might be thinking, ‘Well, if that’s true with this J&J vaccine, maybe it’s true with all vaccines.’ “
The other two Covid-19 vaccines approved for the United States – Pfizer and Moderna – are not involved in the hiatus, officials said.
CNN’s Miguel Marquez, Naomi Thomas, Anjali Huynh, Taylor Romine, Deidre McPhillips, Virginia Langmaid, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jacqueline Howard and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.