GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Recent growth in coronavirus cases is hospitalizing young people compared to last year’s decline.
According to Daryl Elmochi, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan, the average age of COVID-19 patients admitted to Spectrum Health Hospitals has now dropped below 73 during the last boom of November.
Elmochi and other Spectrum health leaders spoke during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday, March 30, about their coronavirus concerns, as well as expanding the viability of the vaccine.
Organizers at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic announced Tuesday that they were immediately increasing the eligibility of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and over, not long after the discussion.
“We’re seeing young people being hospitalized, we’re recognizing the state. The more vaccines we get into young people, the sooner we get them,” Elmochis said.
He also said that health leaders just want to simplify the process and rules.
Elmochi and other health officials say they are concerned that the recent surge in Covid-1 cases will trigger another wave, especially the more contagious variant strain.
Spectrum Health Hospitals now has 139 patients with Covid-19, up from 52 two weeks ago. Intensive care unit admissions have doubled in four days.
Almochi said it is believed that the average age of patients is now lower because people 70 and older have been vaccinated.
At Spectrum Health Hospitals, the number of COVID-19 inpatients over the age of 70 has dropped by about 40 percent compared to the last coronavirus. In contrast, the number of patients under the age of 40 has increased by 54 percent.
The latest data on the percentage of positive coronavirus cases in Kent County compared to all the tests given shows a seven-day average of 11.3 percent. Elmochi said the figure for the day given in the spectrum health system-test has been as high as 16 per cent.
“It’s definitely a young demographic in the hospital. There’s definitely a lot of positivity and concern that what we’re seeing now is strangely reminiscent of what we saw a few months ago.”
Health officials reiterated the importance of vaccination.
Tina Fris decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, said: “The thing we care about most is that the shit is in the arms. “And so it doesn’t matter where you shoot, your vaccine. It’s just so important that we’re all collaborating to help our community. “
While the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic was able to vaccinate more than 12,500 people in 12 hours on Monday – a one-day national record for the size of the clinic – the availability of the vaccine is still scattered.
John Ashford, CEO of Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals, said the hospital system “has not seen a stabilization in the amount of doses we are receiving, but we are hopeful we will continue to see our proportions this week.”
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