Spectrum Health continues to see the variety of sufferers hospitalized with COVID-19 transfer in the appropriate course.
However the pandemic just isn’t over.
Darryl Elmouchi, MD, MBA, president of Spectrum Well being West Michigan, discusses what the subsequent part of COVID-19 may appear like—and what this might imply for the neighborhood because the virus loosens its grip on West Michigan.
Q: How are issues taking a look at Spectrum Well being?
After practically 90 days, Spectrum Well being is formally transferring out of purple standing and again into yellow standing.
This implies operations—whereas nonetheless interrupted by way of staffing shortages and the variety of sufferers with COVID-19—are general enhancing.
“Issues are positively getting higher,” Dr. Elmouchi mentioned. “We’re seeing sluggish however regular enchancment in our inpatient COVID-19 census, which is nice information for everyone.”
Fewer than 300 individuals are at the moment hospitalized with COVID-19 at Spectrum Well being.
Q: Are we lastly on our manner out of this pandemic?
There isn’t a CDC information to a hospital or well being system’s standing. These are inner measures that time towards issues getting higher, however in no way is it a return to regular.
“The pandemic, sadly, just isn’t over,” Dr. Elmouchi mentioned. “However we’re very hopeful that we’re steadily shifting into a special part of the pandemic the place issues are extra manageable.”
Q: What may change as we shift into a brand new part?
At this level not very a lot will change. Customer restrictions will stay in place at Spectrum Well being, however this might change within the weeks and months forward.
Sufferers, staff members and guests might want to proceed sporting a masks at any Spectrum Well being facility.
“For those who may see below the masks, you may see a number of extra smiles from our staff members as a result of they probably really feel barely much less burdened,” Dr. Elmouchi mentioned.
Q: How are pediatric admissions at Helen DeVos Kids’s Hospital?
Over the previous three weeks, Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has seen a peak within the variety of kids admitted with COVID-19.
Kids’s hospital staff members are seeing extra children who’re fairly sick and even on ventilators.
A good variety of kids being hospitalized are unvaccinated and are getting fairly sick, Dr. Elmouchi mentioned.
“That is largely because of the transmissibility of the omicron variant,” he mentioned. “Regardless that this variant is much less extreme in most individuals, it’s not much less extreme in everybody, together with kids.”
Q: Would possibly this be the final surge of the virus?
Issues is not going to return to regular simply but. However it can get far more regular with time.
“We’re all going to want to discover ways to stay with this virus and never essentially cower away from it, as we did at first once we knew nothing,” Dr. Elmouchi mentioned. “So many individuals have gotten sick during the last six weeks. And we hope there’s far more neighborhood immunity transferring ahead.”
Dr. Elmouchi believes we are going to see a bit extra of a return to normalcy because the illness begins to unfold extra just like the flu.
“We expect issues will get higher because the yr progresses,” he mentioned.
Q: Are you able to clarify “endemic,” versus “pandemic”?
With a pandemic, there’s a big quantity of sickness all on the similar time. Within the case of COVID-19, it was throughout the globe. An endemic is the place illness settles in and exists within the background.
“Consider rooster pox,” Dr. Elmouchi mentioned. “It by no means actually goes away. However we don’t have these big spikes taking place throughout on the similar time.”
With chilly and flu, surges come every winter, however they’re nothing as extreme as COVID-19.
“One of the simplest ways for all of us to consider that is we’re going to study to stay with an endemic of COVID-19,” he mentioned. “It’s by no means going to go away. It’s simply going to get higher and higher.”