COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan hit a new peak Monday.
The state reported 4,580 inpatient hospitalizations for adults with confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus, up from the previous record of 4,518 on Dec. 10 ahead of the holiday season.
Metro Detroit, defined by the state as the city of Detroit as well as Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties, accounts for nearly 59 percent of the cases, despite only being about 46 percent of the state’s population, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data.
The totals don’t include 94 pediatric hospitalizations throughout the state.
Of the adults hospitalized with COVID-19, 833 are in intensive-care units and 539 of those are on ventilators.
The rise of the omicron variant, while a milder virus than the previous alpha and delta variants, has infected record numbers of people across the state and nation, pushing hospitals to the brink. Of all hospitals in the state, 41 are above 85 percent occupancy. A hospital is considered at capacity above that threshold.
The problem is exacerbated by the number of health care workers currently quarantining with confirmed COVID-19, thus making them unable to care for the rising number of inpatients.
Last week, thousands of health care workers across metro Detroit were in quarantine. At Trinity Health Michigan, more than 4 percent of its workforce, or more than 1,300 employees, were in out with the virus.
Beaumont Health announced it was at a “breaking point,” and its administrators were seeking to curb elective procedures and imaging to free up staff.
“The omicron variant is one of the most contagious viruses we have seen in our lifetime,” Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, said in a release. “It’s more important than ever for the community to help contain the spread of this illness. Our health care systems are overwhelmed. If you have ignored our pleas for help before, now is the time to take action. We need everyone’s help to get through this fourth surge. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Get boosted.”
On Friday, the 7-day rolling average of positive COVID-19 tests hit 98,269 — a more than 83 percent increase over the previous 7-day average record on Nov. 19.
Despite hospitalizations and cases reaching new records, deaths remain below the surges in April and December 2020. The 7-day average death rate was 656 on Jan. 7, down from the peak of 966 in April 2020 before vaccines were developed.