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MHA: More younger people being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan

Michigan Health and Hospital Association

COVID-19 hospitalizations are spiking again in Michigan, and this time younger people are driving much of that trend, showing that “adults of any age are vulnerable to complications from the disease,” according to data from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

The MHA says older adults are still more likely to be hospitalized with COVID. But in this latest spike, more younger people are being hospitalized too, and the percentage increase among older adults is much smaller.

The MHA says COVID-related hospitalizations for people in their 30s has jumped 633% since the start of March. For people in their 40s, the jump is 800% (the MHA declined to release the raw data behind the percentages, citing data use agreements with member hospitals).

COVID-19 hospitalizations among all age groups have nearly doubled from March 1 through Wednesday, from 873 inpatients to 1,729 across the state. That’s the largest number of hospitalizations since late January.

The MHA says the data strongly suggest that vaccinations are playing a role in keeping hospitalizations down among older adults. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 44% of people over 75 are now fully vaccinated, as are nearly 40% of people aged 65-74. Vaccination rates among younger people are considerably lower due to eligibility restrictions, though all Michigan residents over 16 will be eligible for vaccination starting April 5.

“Michigan is making progress at ultimately defeating the COVID-19 pandemic through increasing vaccination rates, but the war is not yet over,” MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth said in a press release Wednesday. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and risk contracting COVID-19 with more contagious variants emerging and vaccines becoming widely available.

“My prescription to all Michiganders is to wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds and when it is your turn, get your vaccine. You must continue to take preventive measures even after you’re vaccinated because it takes at least two weeks for a vaccine’s full protection to kick in following the last dose, and it will take time to vaccinate everyone.”

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Michigan since late February, and hospitalization trends are now following suit. After the huge surge this past fall and early winter, cases dropped to a seven-day average of around 850 in mid-February. As of Wednesday, the seven-day average was back up to 3,122 cases per day. Test positivity rates are also climbing—the seven-day average was just over 9% positive as of Wednesday.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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