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Dr. Lorinser: ‘I am very worried about the medical care system being able to take care of people’

The new medical director for half of Upper Michigan’s health departments has major concerns about hospital staffing.
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 3:11 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday week, the new medical director for half of Upper Michigan’s health departments has major concerns about hospital staffing.

Dr. Robert Lorinser says “we’re in a whole bunch of hurt” if the U.P. surge of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths continues further. He says mask-wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing are the best ways to help alleviate the burden on health care workers. As of Friday, there are only 12 open ICU beds in Upper Michigan hospitals.

“(Hospitals) have surge plans. They have contingency plans. But there’s limits to all these plans. The most important limit is probably the staffing,” said Dr. Lorinser, noting hospital workers are contracting the virus as it spreads in the community.

In his first interview with TV6 & FOX UP since being named the medical director for the Marquette County Health Department, Western U.P. Health Department and Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, Dr. Lorinser addressed hospital staffing and capacity; data about outbreaks tied to U.P. schools and restaurants; major concerns about the virus spreading at nursing homes and bars; Thanksgiving recommendations; planning for vaccine distribution and current testing struggles.

Click the video above to watch the entire interview.

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