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ALPENA, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services hosted a digital press conference on Tuesday regarding Michigan’s latest COVID surge.

Presenters focused on current statistics, state programs, and the impact of the coronavirus on children. Panelist Dr. Bagdasarian showed hospitalizations are up 20% since last week, with more than 70 hospital admissions a day for people 50 or older.

She says the case load has reached a new high for the pandemic in Michigan.

“When we look at our new cases- our weekly cases per 100 thousand, we’re now at a point that we have not seen through this pandemic.  This is the highest weekly number we’ve ever had- 129,937 weekly cases in Michigan.”

Pediatric hospitalizations are also on the rise – 66% higher than last week. Dr. Lauren Yagiela said kids sometimes need expensive, high–tech treatment to survive.

“We’ve had a few children whose heart and lungs are so severely compromised that they needed heart-lung bypasses… A child’s blood is pumped out of their body and run through a machine that replaces the function of their heart and lungs. Without ECMO support, these children are likely to die.”

She said even children with mild cases are at risk of complications if they have a condition such as asthma or diabetes. And those who survive can have long–lasting long conditions and post–traumatic stress.

The Department said one of the best way to protect your kids and your community is to make sure your family is vaccinated against COVID–19.