Data shows low hospital occupancy numbers across Michigan; COVID-19 hospitalizations drastically declining

Michigan has 145 hospitals that are owned by 45 different hospital systems or networks.  These hospitals have 23,462 beds, of which 2,924 are ICU beds.

The Michigan Hospital Association provided a one-day snapshot publicly for the first time on April 23.   No trend data over time has ever been presented in regards to hospitalization rates as part of the Governor’s science and data presentation.   The term “cases” refers to those testing positive.  As testing increases outside of the hospital situation, the number of cases will increase due to identifying more asymptomatic individuals in the general population, even though hospitalization rates may actually be going down (new data from Grand Rapids confirms this challenge of using cases instead of hospitalization rates).  Michigan has seen cases dramatically increase even though the increase in deaths has not paralleled the increase in cases, remaining flatter over time.  With a population of nearly 10 million people, Michigan has had 4,674 deaths as of May 12.

On April 23, Michigan had 2,974 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with 1,037 of those COVID-19 patients in ICU units.  On May 11, Michigan had 1,685 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with 667of those COVID-19 patients in ICU, down 43% and 36% respectively from April 23.    Of the 45 hospital systems, 51% had no COVID-19 patients in ICU while another 20% had 1-5 COVID-19 patients in ICU.  One third of the hospital systems have no COVID-19 patients hospitalized, while another 28% have 1-10 COVID-19 patients.    Nearly 77% of all COVID-19 patients were concentrated in six hospital systems. The overall bed occupancy rates in these six hospital systems range from 58-79%.  Many counties and regions in the state have no or relatively few COVID-19 deaths.

On May 11, only 61% of the beds available statewide are occupied with patients, including both COVID-19 and non COVID-19.  Of the 45 hospital systems, 42% of those hospital systems had less than 25% bed occupancy (three quarters of the hospital beds empty).  Another 15% of the hospital systems had a bed occupancy of 25-50%. No COVID-19 patients were ever housed in the temporary 1,000 bed hospital unit that was to be built in the TCF Convention Center downtown Detroit.

Meanwhile, hospital systems are losing millions each day and thousands of medical professionals across the Michigan are facing furloughs, pay-cuts, and layoffs with positions being eliminated. Governor Whitmer still has banned all non-emergency or elective procedures in her executive orders.

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