COVID-19 surge tests local hospitals

Over 750 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed over the past weekend in St. Clair County. The St. Clair County Health Department announcing the new cases as well as 5 new deaths yesterday. That puts the number of cases in the county since the start of the pandemic to over 13,000 people, 275 of which have died from COIVD-19.

Local hospitals are reporting a sharp increase in the number of people requiring hospitalization for COIVD-19. Dr. John Brooks is the Chief Medical Officer at McLaren Port Huron Hospital and tells WPHM the hospital is currently seeing an approximately 16-percent positivity rate among their patients. “The good part of what we are seeing is that the people who are coming through, although a lot are coming through the ER, a lot of people do not need to be admitted,” said Brooks. He says there are procedures, such as a monoclonal antibodies or B.A.M, which can be administered outpatient and helps prevent hospitalization.

Some healthcare providers are once again placing restrictions on who can visit patients in the hospital. Elizabeth Reason is the Patient Access Director at Lake Huron Medical Center in Port Huron. She tells our Paul Miller that the hospital is nearing capacity and that in person visits are once again being restricted. “We’re asking all of our loved ones, family members with patients, to utilize technology… to see their loved one here at the hospital.” Across town, McLaren Port Huron says they will only be allowing one visitor per patient per day between noon and 6pm.

According to the St. Clair County Health Department, about 91% of inpatient beds are currently occupied, and 41% of those beds are being used by COIVD-19 patients.