GRAND RAPIDS — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has temporarily added beds to ease pressure on other hospitals in the region that are stressed with a surge in COVID-19 patients.
The 14 beds will be available for non-COVID patients at acute-care hospitals who need rehabilitation and have conditions that Mary Free Bed treats. That will free up beds at referring hospitals to handle their patient surges.
“We’re in regular contact with our colleagues at West Michigan hospitals, and we’re happy to provide this assistance,” said Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle. “This is truly a community effort to ensure residents receive all the types of care they need.”
Mary Free Bed may activate another 19 temporary beds if needed under emergency state approval, adding 33 total beds during the pandemic that has pushed some hospitals to near capacity.
Mary Free Bed in April sought and quickly received state approval to add up to 83 beds. The hospital went back to the state this fall and received approval for the 33 temporary beds.
Additional temporary hospital beds in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases also recently opened in Muskegon.
Mercy Health Muskegon opened a 20-bed care unit two weeks ago at the Hackley Hospital campus. The space was available after Mercy Health Muskegon this fall consolidated inpatient care at the Mercy hospital campus on Sherman Boulevard.
Mercy Health plans to expand the Hackley unit to 40 beds by Dec 14. Further expansions will come in 20-bed increments “as needed,” according to a spokesperson.
As of Thursday, Michigan had recorded 380,343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in the spring, an increase of 7,416 cases from the day before. The state reported another 175 deaths, elevating the COVID-19 death toll in Michigan to 9,580.
Michigan has restrictions in effect that prohibit in-person dining at restaurants and limiting capacity at retail stores. The restrictions — in place for three weeks as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surged across the state — expire Dec. 8.