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Beaumont Health System facing strain of latest COVID surge

beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest health system is straining under the weight of the state’s third COVID-19 surge.

Beaumont Health System CEO John Fox says it currently has around 800 COVID-19 patients in its eight hospitals.

Fox was a guest on Stateside on Tuesday. He says this COVID surge puts Beaumont and other Michigan hospitals in an incredibly difficult situation.Fox says the B.1.1.7 COVID variant appears to be driving spread in Michigan, and it’s touching more younger people. He says there is one small silver lining.

“I think that the mortality rate is substantially less, here and across America, than it was in the first surge," he said. "But it is not zero.”

Fox says Beaumont has had to set up outdoor emergency room triage centers at some hospitals. And it’s had to delay some elective surgeries.

But Fox says that so far, no patients seeking care have been turned away.

“We worry about it. We have not had to do that. Our staff has responded, they’ve improvised," he said. "Our nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, have just all been extraordinary.”

But Fox says this latest wave has been incredibly stressful for exhausted frontline health care workers.

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Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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