Virus is ‘runaway train’ at Michigan hospital system

Michigan’s largest hospital system is turning to tents to handle the flow of people seeking emergency care as it deals with a crush of COVID-19 patients in suburban Detroit.

Beaumont Health said it had more than 800 patients being treated for COVID-19 on Thursday, up from about 500 two weeks ago and just 128 at the end of February.

Dr. Nick Gilpin likened it to a “runaway train.”

Beaumont officials said tents have been set up at some hospitals to evaluate people who show up for emergency care. The crush isn’t limited to Beaumont: COVID-19 patients statewide are near record highs. Four hospitals this week reported they were at 100% capacity.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has refused to order new restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, relying instead on vaccinations and expanded drug regimens, and urging people to wear masks, keep a safe distance and follow rules on large gatherings.

“Our COVID-19 numbers are climbing higher and faster and it’s very troubling and alarming to see this. … We cannot do this alone. We need everyone’s help immediately,” said John Fox, Beaumont chief executive.


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