How to get needed health care while helping hospitals overburdened by COVID-19

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reminds Michigan residents to choose the right place of care for their medical needs. This is one way to help ease the burden on state health systems.

The MDHHS said in a press release that Michigan’s health systems continue to be overloaded with COVID-19 patients, the majority of whom are unvaccinated. From January 15 to December 3, 85.1% of COVID-19 cases, 88.1% of hospitalizations and 85.5% of deaths were in people who were not fully vaccinated. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to be primarily preventable by receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

“We must all do our part to get vaccinated and boost to ensure our safety, that of our families and our neighbors,” said Dr Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS medical director. “In addition to getting the vaccine, it’s important to maintain your routine medical care so that any potential illnesses are detected early and can be much more manageable.”

Bagdasarian said in the press release that residents are urged to continue seeking medical attention – but avoid emergency services unless there is a life-threatening illness.

“If you don’t have a primary care provider, now is a great time to find one by contacting your local health system. Bagdasarian said.

Illnesses can be treated in a variety of health care settings depending on the severity of the symptoms. People facing life-threatening emergencies should seek care by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency department.

The MDHHS has recommended that people with the following conditions call a health care provider, such as their local doctor’s office, for a virtual or in-person appointment or see an emergency care provider to:

• Cold or flu
• Sprains
• Minor rashes or burns
• Ear pain
• Animal or insect bites
• Allergies
• A COVID-19 test.

People are told to call 911 or go to an emergency service to:

• Life-threatening medical conditions or emergencies such as a heart attack or stroke
• Choking
• Head injuries
• Severe burns
• Severe chest pain or pressure
• broken bones
• Uncontrolled bleeding
• Severe respiratory distress.

Anyone with minor symptoms like sniffling or coughing should get tested for COVID-19. To receive a flu shot or COVID-19, visit a pharmacy or vaccination clinic or to find a location nearby.

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