(CBS DETROIT)– According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as of April 5th there are 3,314 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19. The mass majority is in Metro Detroit and according to Dr. Matthew Sims, Director of Infectious Disease Research Beaumont for Health, that number has seen a steady rise.

“A few weeks ago we were down to you know just under 20 patients admitted at Royal Oak with COVID and as of yesterday afternoon I think we were at 158, so it’s a big surge.” Said Dr. Sims

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Dr. Sims says ,that surge can be blamed on the new variant B117 that is showing up more and more in Michigan. He says it spreads much faster and seems to make patients more ill, and although they’re seeing COVID in the younger 30 to 50 year old population, those over 60 are still becoming severely ill, like Detroiter Alex Parks who was recently hospitalized at Beaumont Royal Oak with COVID-19.

“I never been in the hospital and that was something new to me you know waking up all night long getting shots or taking medicine or temperature that was something that I experienced and I said I never thought that would be me.” Said Parks

After contracting COVID this past March, Parks became very ill and spent a week in the hospital, he says the experience was terrifying, but with medication and breathing treatments he got through.

Dr. Sims says Beaumont has not reached it’s bed capacity, but the ER in Royal Oak is extremely busy and staff starting to feel overwhelmed, and patients are seeing longer wait times.

“Unfortunately, those waits are getting longer and longer because we’re getting more and more people in.” Said Dr. Sims


The latest COVID hospitalizations in Metro Detroit

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Henry Ford Health-366

Beaumont Health-over 600

St. Joseph Hospital’s- 273

Ascension Hospital’s- 427

Dr. Sims encourages people to keep wearing masks and social distance and get vaccinated as soon as possible in hopes of preventing more surges.

As for Parks, he’s grateful he beat the virus.

“I’m just glad to be here” Parks said

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April Morton