MUNSON MEDICAL CENTER (copy)

Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, part of Munson Healthcare.

TRAVERSE CITY — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 hit a new local record.

Numbers released by Munson Healthcare’s COVID-19 tracker on Friday showed 141 inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients in the network’s six hospitals — 73 of them at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

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At Grayling Hospital, there were 24 patients hospitalized with coronavirus; at Cadillac Hospital, 22; at Ostego Memorial Hospital, 11; at Manistee Hospital, 8; and at Charlevoix Hospital, 3.

This passed the record 139 hospitalizations that Munson Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Dianne Michalek reported to the Record-Eagle on Wednesday. This surprised hospital officials because they are not expecting to see a post-Thanksgiving surge until next week, she said.

“It’s really unpredictable,” Michalek said. “This surge has not behaved like other surges where we spike really high. We’ve been plateauing.”

The increasing number of hospitalizations arrives as a fourth wave of the pandemic virus struck Michigan, driving the state’s daily new infections to worst-in-the-nation status. As previously reported, Munson Healthcare remains in pandemic response plan stage “red,” which means they are at capacity.

Michalek said they wouldn’t turn anyone away but they are currently asking the state for additional resources.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, state data shows there have been 73,805 total COVID-19 cases detected and 1,289 total deaths reported in northern Michigan by Wednesday, according to data published on the Munson COVID-19 dashboard.

Statewide, on Thursday and Friday together, there were 18,443 new cases, an average of about 9,222 new cases per day, and 277 new deaths, which included 169 new deaths identified during a records review.

Follow Jessica McLean for more stories at @journalistjam on Twitter.

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