GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — During a press update, Dr. Liam Sullivan, an infectious disease expert with Spectrum Health, said they are seeing a "steep increase" in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past few weeks.
At Spectrum Hospitals, there are 112 people with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital. Of that, 20 are vaccinated against the virus.
However, Dr. Sullivan said that needs to be put into perspective. Many of those vaccinated patients have underlying conditions or medication that creates an inappropriate response to the vaccines.
He said "about half of our vaccinated patients" are incidental discoveries. Meaning, they came into the hospital for something else, like trauma or a broken leg.
"And then you get a screening spot for COVID-19, and it's positive," said Sullivan, "but they're not having fevers, not having any respiratory symptoms at all. So they're completely asymptomatic."
Also, 91.5% of inpatient deaths since vaccines became available have been unvaccinated.
"This really shows that vaccines are definitely saving lives," said Sullivan, "and have been overwhelmingly successful since they have come become available."
Across the state, there are 1,108 adult confirmed COVID-19 cases in hospitals, and 15 children. Updated state data as of Monday, Aug. 13, shows Mercy Health Saint Mary's and Metro Health each have 17 COVID-19 patients.
At Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, there are currently two children in the hospital with COVID-19, both in the Intensive Care Unit. A MIS-C patient was released Tuesday. Dr. Rosey Olivero with Helen DeVos said pediatric hospitalizations are rare, but when they do happen, they often need a great deal of care and treatment.
"And so, we do have concern that as many children have started school within the past week," said Olivero. "And there is variable mandates for mitigation strategies for COVID-19 in the schooling environments, that we could see, especially our unvaccinated young children less than five years of age, we could see far more cases of COVID-19."
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