Michigan, Minnesota hospitals face capacity constraints amid COVID-19 surge

Some hospitals in Michigan and Minnesota are nearing capacity as the states experience another COVID-19 surge. 

As of April 5, state data cited by MLive shows four of Michigan's hospitals were at 100 percent capacity, and five were at 99 percent. At Beaumont Hospital in Wayne, COO Carolyn Wilson, RN, told Click on Detroit the hospital has opened additional beds amid the strain.

In Kalamazoo, Bronson Methodist Hospital recently reached 99 percent capacity for COVID-19 patients. Currently, the Bronson Healthcare system has 71 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with 48 patients at Bronson Methodist. Comparatively, in early March, the system had 15 COVID-19 patients. 

"If we reach temporary capacity in certain areas, we may temporarily close to regional patient transfers or go on diversion to ambulance traffic until our capacity opens back up," Bronson spokesperson Carolyn Wyllie told MLive.

Some hospitals have already started changing transfers due to capacity. Mark Hamed, MD, medical director of the Departments of Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine at McKenzie Health System in Sandusky, told ABC News affiliate WJRT on April 6 two hospitals that transfers are normally sent to are at full capacity. 

Urban Minnesota hospitals are also facing capacity pressure as COVID-19 cases rise in the state. Though COVID-19 patients are making up a lower percentage of patients than they were last fall, "they are definitely the tipping point," John Hick, MD, a physician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, told the Star Tribune. He said hospitals in the city "are as tight on beds as we were in late fall at our peak," and include more patients who may have postponed care during the pandemic.

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