News Story

Scary Headlines Aside, COVID-19 Is Not Overwhelming Michigan Hospitals

The Detroit Free Press published an op-ed written by Dr. Thomas Lew of Stanford Health Care under the headline: “Doctor: Unvaccinated patients fill up hospital beds I need for others.”

Lew wrote: “All across the nation, hospitals are reaching capacity and at times, exceeding it. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the delta variant in particular, are sweeping through the unvaccinated, leading to significant increases in cases and subsequent dramatic increases in hospitalizations. Intensive care units and medical wards are stretched thin or overflowing.”

This is not the case in Michigan, where the increase of COVID cases has not overwhelmed hospital systems. That’s according to an ongoing survey of hospitals here by the state of Michigan.

A Michigan patient census for Aug. 30 showed that 1,246 hospitalized people tested positive for COVID-19. It also showed a bed occupancy rate of 77%. Statewide, 79% of 3,071 ICU beds were filled.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital bed occupancy rates in Michigan averaged 78% in 1980, 66% in 1990, 65% in 2000 and 66% in 2010.

Correction: This story inaccurately stated that 79% of ICU beds were filled with COVID patients. The 79% was all patients.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.