Community action more critical than ever
Beaumont Health is currently caring for more than 750 COVID-19 patients in its eight hospitals. 62% are unvaccinated. The omicron variant is spreading rapidly throughout the community. Over the past week, there has been a 40% increase in the number of COVID patients being treated at Beaumont. More than 430 Beaumont employees are also out with COVID symptoms.
“The omicron variant is one of the most contagious viruses we have seen in our lifetime. It’s more important than ever for the community to help contain the spread of this illness. Our health care systems are overwhelmed. If you have ignored our pleas for help before, now is the time to take action. We need everyone’s help to get through this fourth surge. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Get boosted,” Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology, said.
This week, Beaumont leadership requested each hospital strongly consider reducing elective surgical procedures, outpatient imaging and testing. By limiting elective medical care, the health system will be able to dedicate more staff to caring for patients that require care in the hospital. This includes COVID patients, trauma, oncology and acute medical issues.
The omicron variant is one of the most contagious viruses we have seen in our lifetime. It's more important than ever for the community to help contain the spread of this illness.Dr. Gilpin
Rising COVID positivity rates recently prompted Beaumont to take additional steps to proactively protect inpatients, staff and visitors at all eight of its hospitals.
“Support from family and friends is important, but so is protecting our patients and health care workers. Our goal is to help everybody get through this latest surge. To accomplish that, your compassion and understanding will go a long way. Please be kind to our staff. They are also struggling. They are doing their best to follow steps to protect the health and safety of all patients,” Dr. Gilpin added.
Dr. Gilpin also stressed that the vaccine is still working and remains effective, particularly to help prevent COVID from progressing to more serious or even fatal consequences. However, he also added that more people need to get booster shots. Right now, only 8% of patients in the hospital have received a booster shot. That percentage is low, Dr. Gilpin said, because booster shots are helping to keep people out of the hospital.
Department of Defense team extends stay at Beaumont, Dearborn
To assist Beaumont staff during the ongoing fourth surge, the U.S. Department of Defense medical team will now spend an additional 30 days at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn. The original 30-day medical mission was scheduled to end on Jan. 2. With the current ongoing COVID surge, the mission was extended to help patients in Southeast Michigan.
“They’ve done phenomenal work alongside our amazing staff at Dearborn,” Beaumont, Dearborn Chief Operating Officer Tom Lanni said. “We were able to open additional beds in critical care, and our patients and staff have truly benefited from the expertise the DOD team has brought to our hospital. We feel fortunate to be able to work with DOD team members for an additional month.”
With some staffing changes, the DOD team consists of six registered nurses assigned to the Emergency Center, eight registered nurses assigned to the ICUs, two respiratory therapists, two advanced practice providers, plus DOD leaders. This month, the DOD team will have more presence in the Dearborn Emergency Center, which has continued to experience a large volume of COVID and non-COVID patients.
Ad planned for Sunday newspapers
To further emphasize the need for the community’s help and support during this challenging time, for the first time, Beaumont purchased full-page ads in local papers asking community members to help stop the spread of the virus.
Beaumont Health CEO John Fox added, “For the health care system to keep functioning, we must have the community’s support. We all need to work together on the critical preventive steps to control this new phase of the pandemic.”
The message titled, “We’re at a breaking point,” is designed to both show support for our staff and further emphasize to the community that this fourth surge is putting a severe strain on health care.
What the community can do to help
- Get vaccinated.
- Get boosted.
- Wear a mask.
- Practice social distancing / limit gatherings.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
- Talk to friends and family and encourage them to take action/get vaccinated/pay attention.