As new daily COVID-19 cases surge across the state, hospitals in West Michigan have been hit particularly hard.

Yesterday, Spectrum Health hosted a media briefing on the increase in cases of COVID-19 across the region and the effect it is having on the hospital systems.  In the briefing, Spectrum Health CEO, Tina Freese Decker said that West Michigan was looking at an increase in daily COVID-19 deaths and that about 1 in 10 patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 in West Michigan end up dying.

Spectrum Health is largest hospital network in the region, consisting of 14 hospitals in West and Southwest Michigan and those hospitals are nearing capacity for COVID-19 patients.

You can check out the entire briefing in the video below.

The media briefing from Spectrum Health noted that the hospital system is expected to be at capacity in just a matter of days and the hospitalization rate has been increasing.  In fact, the COVID-19 hospitalizations at Spectrum Health facilities has tripled in the last 20 days and shows no signs of slowing down.

Also in the media briefing, it was revealed that the positivity rate from testing has skyrocketed from right around 3% in the summer to an astounding 15% the last week.  The Spectrum Health network tests about 4,000 people per day across all of their facilities in the region.  That means that just from Spectrum Health results, we are seeing around 600 new daily COVID-19 infections.  This doesn't include other health care networks and private labs who are also testing.

The increased positivity rate and demand in testing has caused Spectrum to restrict testing to only people who are symptomatic.

And finally, the briefing explained that hospital capacity could be increased via field hospitals or adding beds where possible in existing facilities, but that staffing would end up being the true bottleneck in patient care.