LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – New data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) shows that the majority of Michigan residents that are severely ill with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

A public health advisory, issued by MDHHS, states that all Michigan residents regardless of vaccination status should wear a mask indoors in public settings. They advise that individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who are immunocompromised should avoid large crowds or gatherings.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and MHA ask Michigan residents to get vaccinated for their own health, for the safety of health care personnel and to prevent more strain on health care systems.

“The data is clear: if you are unvaccinated, you are risking hospitalization or death,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We have a safe and effective vaccine that is quite literally saving lives. Michigan residents absolutely need to get vaccinated to keep their loved ones safe this holiday.”

MHA says three out of four (76%) COVID patients are unvaccinated, 87% of patients in the ICU for COVID are unvaccinated and 88% of patients on ventilators for COVID are unvaccinated.

“Michigan’s health care systems are stretched beyond their limits – so much so that the U.S. Department of Defense is providing clinical staffing support to hospitals throughout the state that are operating at capacity, delaying nonemergency medical procedures and placing their emergency departments on diversion,” said Brian Peters, CEO of MHA. “This data confirms what the situation in our hospitals is already telling us: get vaccinated, whether it is your first dose, vaccination for your children or a booster dose.”

This week, 4,291 were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan. 70% of residents 16 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine but cases are surging in the unvaccinated population according to MDHHS. MDHHS has also begun monitoring for the omicron variant of COVID-19 which has not yet been detected in Michigan. They advise residents that the presence of variants increase the importance of getting vaccinated, including booster doses, wearing masks and following other precautions.

People can take the following steps to protect themselves and their loved ones:

  • Get tested for COVID-19, especially before gatherings
  • Physically distance from other people and avoid crowds
  • Frequently wash hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • Cover the mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Isolate until recovery if symptoms of COVID-19 develop or a positive COVID-19 test is received