I live in Oakland County, MI, which has the second highest number of cases and deaths in the state. The population of the county is about 1.2 million. We have 2,785 positive cases, and 142 deaths, as of this afternoon. In my zip code there are 22,761 people, and 58 total cases.
I live within a few blocks of Wayne County, which has the most cases and deaths in the state: 6,762/252.
Michigan has a total of 14,225 confirmed cases and 479 deaths (death toll also reported as 540.) The population of Michigan is about 10 million. Three of the deaths have been nurses.
The three nurses were employed by 3 different medical institutions: Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the Detroit VA Medical Center and Omni Continuing Care (nursing home), also in Detroit.
Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director for infection prevention at Beaumont Health (my hospital system) says he’s “not sure any level of preparedness would have been enough” to respond to the pandemic.
“I think it’s fair to say that Detroit is getting crushed right now. … We were watching China and trying to anticipate how this would play out, but under the circumstances, this has been so fast and heavy.”
Beaumont Health hospitals are 70% to 80% occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Staffing shortages, Gilpin said, will likely become the biggest challenge over the next few weeks if the surge in cases carries on. He offered one strategy to remediate this potential issue, which he called “load balancing.”
“We have a significant amount of COVID concentrated in metro Detroit,” he said. “But if you drive 30 minutes away, you see considerably less COVID in that part of the state. So we could take some of our existing patients and potentially move them to other facilities for care, or perhaps we could take some ventilators or resources from areas less affected and fairly balance the load between us.”
I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I use a grocery delivery service. It has become increasingly difficult to schedule a delivery due to the demand caused by population lock-down and fear of person-to-person contact in the supermarket. I made a shopping list yesterday at about 5:00 pm, but have not been able yet to obtain a delivery time slot. Believe me, I tried, all the way up to 5:30 am today, and periodically since. Fortunately, I am not in dire need of anything, but have been attempting to keep a stocked pantry as well as is possible. My neighbor has also volunteered to get groceries for me when she shops, if I need anything.
I chatted with the customer service rep on line. They couldn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know: they have more requests than they are able to fulfill in a timely manner.