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Russ McNamara,

Dorothy Hernandez

Worst-case modeling results in Michigan hospitalizations peaking at nearly 8,000. Currently, nearly 5,000 people are hospitalized for the disease.

Fueled by the omicron variant, infections during Michigan’s fourth sustained wave of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Elizabeth Hertel said she expects the number of new infections to decline quickly after a sharp spike.

We’re heading into what will likely be a very strong peak in this wave of cases, while still seeing our hospitalizations increase. —Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

“With the continued transmission of the delta variant and the exponential spread of the omicron variant even more contagious, we are heading towards what will likely be a very sharp peak in this wave of cases, while seeing our hospitalizations increase,” Hertel said.

Hertel says adults in their twenties experience the most infections. Worst-case modeling results in Michigan hospitalizations peaking at nearly 8,000. Currently, nearly 5,000 people are hospitalized for the disease.

Michigan hospitals are already inundated with COVID-19 patients. At the end of last week, Beaumont hospitals warned they were approaching a “breaking point.” Most Michigan hospital systems have suspended routine and elective procedures due to staff shortages.

Michigan medical director Dr Natasha Bagdasarian said the highly transmissible variant of omicron is likely to increase the state’s pandemic death toll. According to the state, more than 27,000 people have died from COVID-19.

“The most pessimistic [model] shows a very large increase in deaths, and what concerns us, and what seems to be perhaps the most predictive, are these most pessimistic models, ”Bagdasarian said.

“So we have a choice to make. Do we want to work to lower this peak? Or do we just want to let this micron surge explode? ” she says.

Hertel says the tests are important and the state will distribute free home coronavirus tests to libraries in Michigan, including Detroit, Frankenmuth and Taylor.

State issues new school guidelines

Teachers and students infected or exposed to COVID-19 will be able to return to class sooner after new guidelines released by the state’s health department on Monday.

The recommendations for isolation and quarantine have been cut in half from 10 days to five days. The new suggestion brings schools into line with CDC advice.

When they return to the classroom, teachers and students will be required to wear a properly fitted mask for several more days.

Hertel says schools should be able to stay open if they follow guidelines on vaccinations and wearing masks.

“If we can continue to make sure that these children are vaccinated as well as the teachers, that they mask and follow the protocols that have been established, then I think schools should stay safe in person if they can,” Hertel said.

Children as young as 5 are now eligible for coronavirus vaccinations. The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan hits a pandemic high with 107 children requiring advanced care.

Dr. Lauren Yagiela is a Pediatric Critical Care Specialist at Michigan Children’s Hospital. She says vaccinations are the best way to keep children in school and prevent them from getting very sick.

“My greatest wish is that a child or a family would never need the medical care I provide in the pediatric ICU. Immunizing children 5 years and older will help us achieve this.

Yagiela says treatments – like breathing tubes and catheters – can be traumatic for children and their parents.

For some children, COVID-19 is just the beginning of their problems, Yagiela says.

“Additionally, many children have developed a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome,” Yagiela said. “This syndrome could occur in children about four weeks after their initial infection with COVID. It is important to note that the previous COVID infection may be mild. Many of these children suffer from serious heart failure.

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  • Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, bringing local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He has been an avid WDET listener since moving to the Detroit subway in 2002.

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  • Dorothy Hernandez is a digital editor for 101.9 WDET, creating digital editorial content. Her love of radio started when she had a college radio show as she and her roommate played 80s music in the middle of the night.

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