Munson Sees Highest COVID Patient Count Ever, School Clinics Planned
Munson Healthcare says again that cases continue to rise across northern Michigan. Overall, the number of cases has increased and hospital stays are also increasing. Munson hosted its weekly community update with several local health departments.
Wendy Hirschenberger, Grand Traverse Co.’s Department of Health officer said, “We currently have the most active cases we’ve ever had in the community at 1,240.” Grand Traverse County sees a new high for active cases. The numbers seem to be calming down, but it may be too early to say. “Our metrics are still high, but they have stabilized…. We have to see if this is a trend or not in the next week or two. “
And Grand Traverse County reports four deaths in the past week – three seniors over the age of 70 and one young woman. “As of last week, we’ve reported a woman in her twenties, a woman in her eighties, and overnight a man in her seventies and a man in his eighties. We now have a total of 80 deaths in Grand Traverse County. “
Dr. Christine Nefcy, Munson Healthcare’s chief medical officer, says they have never had so many COVID patients. “The number of cases continues to grow. While our percentage positive has decreased slightly from last week, our cases per 100,000 continue to increase and our hospital stays continue to increase. She adds, “We currently have 100 patients positive for COVID 19 who are being hospitalized system-wide. This is the highest number of inpatients since the beginning of the pandemic. “
The vaccine supply for Benzie-Leelanau and the Northwest Michigan Health Department has remained constant. Health officer Lisa Peacock says they can take anyone ready to step in. “Our waiting list is literally non-existent at this point. We were able to work through the entire queue or queue for planning … but we are definitely moving towards open planning. “
There is a community clinic in Antrim County on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at Elk Rapids High School – appointments and walk-ins are allowed.
District Health Bureau No. 10 reiterated the quarantine guidelines. Medical Director Jennifer Morse explains, “If you’ve been exposed to someone who tests positive,” You must quarantine for 14 days at any time during those 14 days, regardless of a negative test result. Both antigen (rapid tests) and PCR tests can be falsely negative in earlier stages of COVID infection, which is why you cannot be released from quarantine (i.e. the test can be negative even though you are infected). “
Dr. Morse says that even after your second dose of vaccine, you are not considered fully vaccinated right away. “You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving your last dose of a series of vaccines (whether it is one or two doses) (ie the series of vaccines is most likely fully effective). If you are exposed at / after this two week mark, there is no need to quarantine. If you are exposed before the two-week timeframe, you must quarantine for 14 days. “
She adds, “This is because if you were infected and able to reproduce from exposure, the virus was in your body before your immune system was fully immune to the vaccine. The virus would gain a foothold in your body if you passed the two week mark after your second vaccine and an infection could still occur. “
However, according to health officials, vaccination is the best way to stay protected and relax general restrictions. “If they are (fully) vaccinated (plus two weeks), in most cases they are not subject to this quarantine. This can be an important asset to our businesses, our communities, and our economies. “
With Memorial Day and July 4th just around the corner, now is the time to get your vaccine before the influx of summer visitors and tourists arrives. Dr. Morse says, “You can get vaccinated now and take both doses of Moderna or Pfizer before all the visitors we are likely to see arrive.”
Meanwhile, 620 Spring Breakers went to the Traverse City Central Rapid Test Site three weeks ago – 42 of them came back positive, according to TCAPS. In addition, 118 PRC tests were performed and sent to a laboratory for results. In a statement to 9 & 10 News, TCAPS said, “The results of the 118 PCR tests came in the days after the test event, but positive case information would have gone to the relevant health departments, not the school district.”
According to Hirschenberger, there are currently plans for student clinics. “We will open first-dose clinics for 16-17-18 year olds in high schools. Kingsley, Buckley and TC West this week, TC Central next week. And work through other high schools in our region in the coming weeks. “
Parents should look out for school emails for informed consent and schedule information.