Munson Healthcare Addresses Staff Shortages, Rising Cases, Flu Season

Munson Healthcare says northern Michigan is seeing 5% more positive COVID-19 cases than the state average.

Munson Presser Pkg6 101200 01 52 28still004“I think people are hearing a lot from national news that this surge is over and that the numbers are going down,” said Munson Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Nefcy. “That is absolutely not what we are experiencing in Michigan, and definitely not what we’re experiencing here in Northern Michigan.”

Along with the state average, Munson says their COVID-positive patients in their hospitals jumped from 53 on Sept. 28 to 74 on Oct. 12.

“That is on top of already very, very busy hospitals for non-covid related issues,” said Dr. Nefcy. “High surges of RSV in our pediatric population, added number of patients, that does require a lot of extra care.”

That extra care is weighing on the healthcare industry, who is also struggling with a staffing shortage — leading to longer wait times in the ER.

“Along with a surge in pandemic numbers, along with very busy case load anyway, it’s sort of the perfect storm,” said Dr. Nefcy. “A lot of us are struggling and having to manage beds on a case-by-case basis.”

District Health Department #10 say they’re also already seeing the start of flu season in their hospitals.

“Last year, our flu season was pretty nonexistent, and I think most of us would agree it’s because the measures we took to prevent COVID prevented other respiratory illnesses as well,” said DHD #10 Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Morse. “This year those measures really aren’t in place, and we’re already seeing the RSV season in full force. I worry that we’re going to see Influenza with gusto this year making up for its absence last year.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus Cases, Coronavirus Support