Michigan Medicine tightens visitor restrictions as hospitalizations continue to rise

ANN ARBOR, MI – No visitors will be allowed with adult patients in Michigan Medicine hospitals, except when medically necessary, as the health system tries to minimize COVID-19 spread.

Michigan Medicine announced the changes that will go into effect on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Information on exceptions, including end-of-life care, labor and delivery and other situations, can be found here.

“COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb in the community. Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff, and to minimize the spread of disease, we need to take this additional step,” said Laraine Washer, M.D., Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, in a news release.

“We know this is difficult for our patients and their families and friends. But we need to continue to keep our Michigan Medicine facilities safe for all of our patients.”

The latest visitor limitations come in addition to restrictions the health system previously announced, including not allowing visitors with adult emergency department patients; a two-visitor limit for pediatric patients and mask requirement at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital; and no visitor rule for adult patients at Michigan Medicine clinics, unless the patient has a cognitive or physical impairment that requires assistance.

As of Nov. 23, Michigan Medicine reported 103 patients currently admitted that tested positive for COVID-19 – the highest number since late April.

Washer encouraged people to stay home this Thanksgiving and avoid gatherings with those outside your household.

“The best advice to limit risk is to continue to avoid gathering with people outside your household even if it is Thanksgiving. If you are reporting to work, don’t have potlucks or share meals in close proximity with your co-workers: you can’t eat without taking off your mask, and that brief period of not wearing a mask could be enough to open the door to disease spread,” Washer said.

READ MORE:

Wear masks, Michigan Medicine leaders tell public as hospitalizations surge

Michigan coronavirus outbreaks increase 45% in 2 weeks

Exhausted in a ‘nightmare’: A look inside a Michigan hospital COVID unit

Source Article

Read more

Wear masks, Michigan Medicine leaders tell public as hospitalizations surge

ANN ARBOR, MI — Michigan Medicine leaders are calling on the public to not let its guard down as hospitals across the state experience rapid surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

It’s imperative Michigan caregivers stay healthy so they can take care of an expected surge in cases this winter, Marschall Runge, Michigan Medicine CEO and dean of the University of Michigan’s medical school, said in a Thursday, Nov. 18 news conference that also announced a joint nationwide campaign to encourage mask wearing.

Michigan Medicine has joined around 100 of the nation’s top health care systems in the #MaskUp campaign, which urges all Americans to mask up, in an effort to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Runge said.

A large surge in cases requiring hospitalizations for COVID-19 due to the lack of adherence to mitigation strategies has the potential to overwhelm health systems, said Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology.

“I’m very glad that we at Michigan Medicine are joining with healthcare systems nationwide to encourage the simple behaviors that are proven to work: Mask up, socially distance, wash your hands,” Washer said.

Like many other hospitals across the state, Michigan Medicine is facing short staffing, Runge said, adding the healthcare system is developing a plan to make sure it can provide necessary care.

“Given the widespread community transmission, hospitals are also managing staffing limitations due to employee illness, absences and responsibilities for childcare,” Washer said.

During the past three weeks, Michigan Medicine has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients, Runge said. This week alone, Michigan Medicine had as many as 75 COVID-19 positive patients at one time, with up to 20 of them being critically ill and requiring ICU care, officials said.

“Following the spring and early summer COVID surge — the first wave, so to speak — we resumed care of many non-COVID patients that need hospitalization, and our hospitals are about 90% full as a result,” Runge said. “With that high occupancy, which we did manage pre-COVID, that puts additional strain on our response to the pandemic.”

The health system’s testing capacity is approximately 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, while its laboratories continue to develop new strategies to implement different types of COVID tests, officials said.

Michigan Medicine’s testing results recently showed about 14% of those tested are testing positive for COVID, well above the 5% mark reported for most of the summer months, Runge said.

“At Michigan Medicine, and all of Michigan’s healthcare providers, we need your help,” Runge said. “To combat a pandemic we need supplies, we need space and most importantly staff.”

The increased hospital capacity is putting a burden on the number of beds, as well as staff and healthcare providers, Runge said. A large surge of cases also carries a risk of challenging the amount of personal protective equipment required to keep healthcare workers safe, health officials said.

The number of confirmed cases in Michigan reached more than 277,800 this week, including 8,190 deaths.

Read more

Virus Hospitalizations Are Up in N.Y.C. But This Time, It’s Different.

At one New York City hospital, coronavirus patients began arriving a few weeks ago from Brooklyn neighborhoods and nearby suburbs that have seen a resurgence of the virus.

But in contrast to March and April — when so many seriously ill New Yorkers flooded into the hospital, Mount Sinai, that a field hospital was erected nearby in Central Park — patients were showing up in smaller numbers and were often less sick. After treatment, they were going home.

“There is a much lower recent mortality rate,” said Dr. David Reich, the president of the hospital, despite the fact that the number of people being treated for Covid-19 had grown from the single digits in August to 56 on a given day last week.

As virus cases surge nationwide, hospitals around the country, particularly in rural areas of the Midwest, are seeing their largest uptick yet of critically ill patients. Some have begun to fill to capacity — an autumn wave of the pandemic that appears to get worse each day.

In New York City, hospitalizations have been slowly but steadily rising, eliciting painful memories of the surge of infections in the spring that killed more than 20,000 people. But the terrifying inundation of patients that overwhelmed hospitals then has yet to materialize again in New York City, even as cases rise.

Broad acceptance of face masks and social distancing has helped curb the spread of the virus, public health experts said. Fewer cases means fewer patients, allowing hospitals to better care for those who do come through the door.

And while there is no cure for Covid-19, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel in New York City have used their experiences during the spring surge to make significant improvements in hospital care.

Across the city’s public and private hospitals, patients with an illness serious enough to need treatment are given a diagnosis and cared for more quickly, spend less time on average in the hospital and are less likely to end up on mechanical ventilation, doctors and hospital executives said.

Fewer are dying: 139 people in the four weeks ending last Saturday. On the worst day during the spring, New York City recorded over 800 confirmed and probable deaths.

That trend has been mirrored in other parts of the country and world, as studies have begun to show lower death rates.

“You would expect there would be a lot more in the way of hospitalizations and deaths and, happily, there are not,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, head of New York City’s public hospital system. He noted that at the peak in April the city’s public hospital system had more than 900 critically-ill Covid-19 patients on ventilators. On a recent day there were nine.

“How can I call that a second wave?”

Public health officials and epidemiologists had expected a resurgence of the virus in New York as the weather cooled, but many believed its impact would likely be less devastating than in the spring. Now, about 460 people are hospitalized

Read more

First, coronavirus infections increased. Then, hospitalizations. Now, deaths are on the rise.

Coronavirus infections soared this week to record levels, hospitalizations are up in almost every state, and now — predictably, but slowly — deaths are rising, too.



a building lit up at night: South Dakota is among states setting records for coronavirus cases in recent days. For rural facilities such as Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, the pandemic presents particular challenges.


© Bing Guan/Reuters
South Dakota is among states setting records for coronavirus cases in recent days. For rural facilities such as Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, the pandemic presents particular challenges.

The nation passed another milestone Friday with 9 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, including more than 98,000 new cases, a daily record. More than 1,000 deaths in the United States from the novel coronavirus were reported each day Wednesday and Thursday, according to health data analyzed by The Washington Post, continuing an upward trend that began two weeks ago.

Loading...

Load Error

All signs indicate that this isn’t a blip but rather a reflection of a massive surge in infections that, without a dramatic effort to reverse the trend, will drive up the death toll for weeks to come. At least 229,000 people in the United States have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

But the mortality numbers have become political fodder on the campaign trail. Depending on whom you listen to, the coronavirus just isn’t that deadly anymore. Or it’s killing people in droves.

The truth is that mortality rates have improved, but the accelerating spread of the virus is driving up the absolute numbers of deaths.

Doctors have reported better outcomes thanks to improved techniques for treating patients and the use of the steroid dexamethasone and the antiviral remdesivir. In a widely reported study, researchers at NYU Langone Health found that the death rate among more than 5,000 patients in the system’s three hospitals dropped from 25.6 percent in March to 7.6 percent in August.

Still, this remains a potentially deadly disease, and a large proportion of the population is still vulnerable to infection. With the number of infections hitting daily records, there is reason to expect that deaths will keeping rising until the spread of the virus is contained.

Deaths lag infections by many weeks. In hard-hit North Dakota, daily infections have doubled since the end of September, while the average number of deaths from covid-19 is up 50 percent. In Indiana, cases are up 150 percent in that time, and deaths are up 93 percent.

In Wisconsin, cases began spiking in early September, and deaths began to rise sharply at the end of the month. Of the 2,029 deaths there from the pandemic, more than half have occurred since Sept. 25.

President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. have in recent days said there has been an excessive focus on infections rather than deaths, which have not risen as quickly and remain lower than in the early days of the pandemic.



a man looking at the camera: President Trump has said there is too much attention trained on infections.


© Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post
President Trump has said there is too much attention trained on infections.

“Do you ever notice, they don’t use the word ‘death’? They use the word ‘cases,’ ” the president said Tuesday in

Read more

Hospitalizations Surge in Upper Midwest

The number of people now hospitalized for Covid-19 in the U.S. has jumped 46% since the beginning of October, with a 12% rise in the last week alone, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

Some 45,045 people are hospitalized across the U.S., a high not seen since mid-August. Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 28, hospitalizations have more than doubled in North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. For the same time period, hospitalizations are up 77% in both Texas and New York.

A number of factors are fueling the virus’s spread across the U.S.

More rural communities that evaded surges in cases in the early months of the pandemic have been hit this fall.

The U.S. reported nearly 79,000 new coronavirus cases for Wednesday, the second day in a row the total has come in over 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In total, the nation has recorded more than 8.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Illinois reported more than 6,100 new cases for Wednesday, just below a record set Saturday. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia also reported totals that were the second-highest since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The peaks in hospitalizations for earlier surges across the U.S. was about 58,000 people. The U.S. had a record number of reported cases on Wednesday, and typically Thursday through Saturday are peak days of the week, said Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“This is the fall surge we have been worried about—we’ve had record high numbers of cases reported, and hospitalizations are beginning to climb,” said Dr. Shaman. “As the weather gets colder, drier and with less sunlight, people spend more time indoors and the virus may remain viable longer once expelled from an infectious host.”

“I think this could be a very rough fall through winter,” he said.

The increases in cases and hospitalizations are pushing some states and cities to step up restrictions on business, social and schooling activities.

Nearly the entire state of Illinois has reintroduced mitigation efforts to stop the resurgence, with eight of the state’s 11 regions enforcing increased limitations for business, dining and social gatherings. Starting on Friday and in response to a growing positivity rate, Chicago restaurants will suspend indoor dining at the city’s restaurants and limit the size of gatherings to 25 people.

In Denver, where the positivity rate is now over 7%, local officials said this week that restaurants and places of worship will be limited to 25% capacity, with similar limitations on workplaces and retail establishments. Denver public schools are also rolling back in-person learning for some elementary-age students.

This week, Idaho’s Gov. Brad Little signed an order limiting the size of gatherings and mandating the use of facial coverings in long-term care facilities. And new restrictions are expected to be announced on Friday for Rhode Island, according to Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Thursday the rate of spread of Covid-19 is out

Read more

Albany County sees most COVID-19 hospitalizations since June 1

ALBANY – Eight more Albany County residents were hospitalized overnight after testing positive for the coronavirus, the county said on Thursday.

That brings the county’s total to 24, the highest since June 1, with two patients in intensive care.

County Executive Dan McCoy said the county also saw 19 new cases, for a total of 3,526 since the pandemic began. There are 157 active cases in the county.

“If this isn’t a warning sign, then I don’t know what is,” McCoy said in a statement. “For a long time, we saw spikes in positive cases without it having a serious effect on our hospital data, but that is clearly not the case. And the sad truth is that as you start to see hospitalizations rise, you are likely to see more people losing their lives to the virus.”

The county has seen 140 deaths from the virus. For the Capital Region, COVID-19-related deaths now top 360.


Of the new cases in Albany County, seven had close contact with other positive cases, three reported out of state travel, three are healthcare workers or live in congregate settings and six did not have a clear source of transmission.

The rising number of cases in the region and state is sign that the so-called second wave of the coronavirus is upon us.

‘The next wave has started.’ Capital Region braces as COVID-19 numbers grow

The increase is also fueling Vermont’s insistence that residents of Capital Region counties – and most other counties in the state – quarantine before or after arriving in the Green Mountain state.

Surging cases in Capital Region mean quarantine in Vermont

Washington County is the only county on the state border with Vermont that is not required to quarantine. Under Vermont’s rules, visitors from New York must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the state though a quarantine there can be avoided if New Yorker’s quarantine for seven days at home and then immediately arrive in Vermont with proof of a recent negative test for the virus.

Source Article

Read more

Coronavirus US: More than 40 states are reporting an increase in Covid-19 cases and many in the Midwest are seeing record hospitalizations

The seven-day average is part of a fall surge that has brought the national case count to more than 8.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the last seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday. And 41 states are reporting at least 10% more cases compared to the week before.

When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is “not in a good place,” director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up “a bad recipe for a tough time ahead,” Fauci said.

In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.

Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

“Each one of these Kansans was someone’s child, parent, or grandparent,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a release. “They were part of a community.”

On Wednesday, 13 states reported more hospitalization records, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Mask mandates lower hospitalizations, study says

Mask mandates may be a key strategy to lowering rates of hospitalization, according to the findings of a study from Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

In hospitals where more than 75% of the patients came from counties that required masks, rates of hospitalizations did not rise between July and October, while hospitals with fewer than 25% of patients from those counties saw an increase over 200%.

Fact check: Trump falsely claims California requires people to wear 'special' and 'complex' mask at all times

Other mitigation factors likely came into play, as areas with mask requirements are more likely to have residents who follow other mitigation strategies, the authors wrote.

“The good news is that we have learned a great deal since the beginning of the pandemic,” they said. “An important takeaway from this analysis is that areas with virus mitigation strategies … have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months; hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patients.”

As the weather continues to grow colder, Fauci said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday that he supports a national mask mandate.

“We’re going to have many more hospitalizations and that will inevitably lead to more deaths. So, this is an untenable situation. That’s the reason why I say we have got to do these things,” Fauci said.

While he is in support of a mask mandate, Fauci said he doesn’t think it will happen nationally “because it might not come from the White House to do it.”

States concerned over alarming hospitalization rates

Many state leaders are putting measures

Read more

Coronavirus-Related Hospitalizations Keep Rising – WSJ.com

The number of people hospitalized in the U.S. with Covid-19 climbed to 44,212 Tuesday, the highest number of patients since Aug. 15, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

The increasing number of patients poses a challenge for some hospitals struggling with staffing shortages and increased capacity. Rising hospitalizations in places such as Idaho, Utah, Montana and El Paso, Texas, and other indicators of the virus’s spread have prompted officials to implement stricter restrictions in recent days.

More than 1,000 people were hospitalized in New Jersey on Tuesday, the highest number since early July. Officials in Newark this week imposed new restrictions on bars and restaurants, as well as other businesses, as the testing positivity rate there climbs.

Hard-hit Wisconsin set another record Tuesday with 1,385 people with Covid-19 in hospitals, 339 of whom were being treated in intensive-care units, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Officials there opened a field hospital earlier this month to accommodate the growing number of patients.

Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of the virus’ spread, epidemiologists say.

In Montana, the soaring numbers of Covid-19 cases have pushed the state’s largest hospitals to capacity as officials there grapple with uneven enforcement of the state’s mask mandate, said Jim Murphy, administrator of the state’s Communicable Disease and Laboratory Services Division.

“We have a limited number of tools to try to control the spread of this,” Mr. Murphy said. “Some were more aggressive than others and we do think that has made an impact.”

The state in mid-July required masks indoors at businesses, government offices and large outdoor activities without social distancing. The state last week went to court to enforce the July directives at five businesses where investigations found repeated violations, said Raph Graybill, chief legal council for the Montana governor.

Counties with younger populations have not seen the same rise in hospitalizations as those with older residents, who are at greater risk from the new virus, Mr. Murphy said. In Yellowstone County, home to Billings, Mont., the median age of Covid-19 cases in early October was nearly a decade older than Gallatin County, home to Montana State University, he said.

The Billings Clinic’s flagship hospital, located in Yellowstone County, is transferring patients to smaller, rural hospitals to create more room as Covid-19 hospitalizations increase.

Across Montana, 350 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 Tuesday, Covid Tracking Project data show. The seven-day average for hospitalizations is up more than 120% since the start of the month.

Hospitals are better positioned now to manage surges than earlier in the pandemic, said health-care workers and executives.

Utah’s latest Covid-19 surge is its largest in the pandemic, but doctors have the advantage of experience gained in prior waves as hospitalizations again climb, said Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious disease doctor with Intermountain Healthcare, the state’s largest hospital system.

Doctors employ new strategies to delay or avoid placing some critically ill patients on ventilators, he said. Some drugs to treat Covid-19 drugs are also now available, which was not the case

Read more

South Dakota sees record virus hospitalizations, cases

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in South Dakota reached new heights for the fourth straight day on Wednesday.

The number of daily new cases also set a record, with 1,270 people testing positive for the virus. The virus has surged in the state and region, sending South Dakota to the nation’s second-worst ranking in new cases per capita over the last two weeks. Johns Hopkins researchers report that one out of roughly every 77 people in the state has tested positive in the last two weeks.

The wave of cases has resulted in 412 people who are currently hospitalized with the virus. Health officials also reported nine new deaths. October has become the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with 189 deaths so far.


The outbreak has been particularly severe in the state’s prisons, where one out of roughly every three people incarcerated statewide has an active coronavirus infection.

Gov. Kristi Noem has made it clear she will not issue any requirements to wear masks in public. She has cast her approach to the pandemic — foregoing government restrictions to keep economic activity humming — as an example of Republican leadership. She spent the day at several Trump campaign events in Maine and New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, South Dakota health officials attempted to offer some hope to the state’s virus outlook, saying they will be ready by the middle of next month to distribute coronavirus vaccinations. But it is not clear when coronavirus vaccinations will receive regulatory approval and actually arrive in the state.

Health experts are hoping that several candidates for vaccines could be ready for distribution by year’s end, maybe sooner. President Donald Trump has pushed for a faster timeline.

South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said she is following federal instructions to have a vaccine distribution system in place by Nov. 15.

“If the vaccine shows up at our doorstep on that day, it will be getting out to folks immediately,” she said.

South Dakota’s plan prioritizes health care workers and people who are vulnerable to the virus before vaccines are made widely available to the public.

The Food and Drug Administration has pledged that any vaccine it approves will meet clear standards for its safety and effectiveness.

Source Article

Read more

CT Coronavirus: 17 More Hospitalizations

CONNECTICUT —The state Department of Public Health reported 490 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 69,127 since the pandemic began. There were another nine coronavirus-associated deaths, increasing the state’s fatality toll to4,604. Seventeen additional hospitalizations were reported.

The regional spike in coronavirus cases has added a new wrinkle to the state’s ongoing mitigation-through-travel-restrictions strategy. Both neighboring Rhode Island and Massachusetts exceed the minimum metric needed to stay off the list.

“We’re going to work something out with Massachusetts,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during a news conference Wednesday. He acknowledged that it’s impossible to enforce travel restrictions between Connecticut and its immediate cartographic neighbors as “people ride across the border to get milk.”

States are put on the advisory list if they have a daily positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 cases per 100,000 residents, or a 10 percent or higher positive rate over a seven-day rolling average.

Last week, Lamont and the governors of New York and New Jersey came to an arrangement in which each state’s travel quarantine restrictions would not be applied to each other’s residents. Lamont said that all the regional governors continued to confer on the matter, and teased a “7-state consortium.”

Using the experiences of schools in Europe as his north star, Lamont predicted that grades K through 8th in Connecticut would likely remain open. “They have been experiencing a very low infection rate in those classrooms,” the governor said. “High schools are more likely to stay hybrid.”

Lamont said that although the positivity rates in some local university towns were climbing, it was the sports and social activity, not the learning, that was turning them into “red zones.”.

“In a classroom, with a mask on, following the social protocols, is one of the safest places you can be right now,” Lamont said.

Testing for the coronavirus continues at a rapid pace, with 14,305 performed in the past 24-hour reporting period. A total of 2,232,603 tests have been performed.

See Also: Dramatic Spike In Virus Concentration In New Haven Wastewater

Darien Man Among Suspects Arrested In NJ Child Predator Sting

3 More Cases Of Coronavirus Reported At Greenwich Schools

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

Source Article

Read more