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Ingham County's COVID hospitalizations are nearing a record high — and many patients are unvaccinated

Sparrow Hospital nurse photo
Courtesy photo
Sparrow Hospital
A nurse works at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Ingham County are nearing a record high and many of those patients are unvaccinated.

As of midnight Wednesday, 199 people were hospitalized in Ingham County with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The number has been on a steep upward trajectory since early November, approaching the record-high level reached this spring. Coronavirus hospitalizations peaked on April 13 at 212 patients countywide.

Mid-Michigan's COVID spike mirrors a statewide surge and all Michiganders must do their part to keep hospital beds available, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said.

"Please wear a mask," Vail said. "Please get vaccinated. Please stay home when you're sick. Please isolate if you have COVID."

At Sparrow, Ingham County's largest hospital, elective surgeries are being postponed because of capacity strain. About 70% of Sparrow's hospitalized COVID patients are not fully vaccinated, a hospital spokesman said.

McLaren Greater Lansing, the other hospital system in Ingham County, did not provide figures on vaccination rates.

Although the hospital has seen "a significant rise in COVID-19 patients needing inpatient care," McLaren "continues to perform procedures and provide exceptional care to all our patients," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Linda Peterson said in a statement.

At McLaren Greater Lansing, 95% of hospital beds were occupied as of Monday, according to a statewide database. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing was at 97% occupancy.

Statewide, 87% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 between mid-January and mid-November were not fully vaccinated.

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.
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