Bronson Elevates Surge Status Due to Rising Hospitalizations for COVID-19

Published on November 23, 2021

Bronson Elevates Surge Status Due to Rising Hospitalizations for COVID-19

Bronson has watched daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 at its hospitals rise to levels last seen at the height of the pandemic in November of 2020. The latest surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in southwest Michigan and across the state has led Bronson Healthcare to elevate from its level yellow surge status to level orange surge status. This change applies to Bronson Methodist Hospital, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, and Bronson LakeView Hospital.

Level orange status means that these Bronson healthcare facilities are consistently at capacity and resources are limited. Moving to level orange allows the health system to better allocate tight resources, including both staffing and supplies. In addition, it allows Bronson to have a plan in place to limit less critical services, alter hours those services are provided or redirect staff as needed to address more critical needs.

A level orange surge status means:

  • Pandemic-related and urgent/emergent care will be prioritized. Non-urgent care may be rescheduled or delayed.
  • The amount of documentation typically required by our bedside staff has been reduced.
  • Nurse to patient ratios have been adjusted, meaning staff members may be assigned to care for more patients than our normal standard.
  • Services and times at outpatient clinics and practices remain unchanged, however, hours may be limited in the future, if necessary, due to staffing or supply constraints.
  • Visitation policies remain unchanged, but are subject to change as needed.
  • Emergency departments remain open 24/7 to serve all emergent health care needs.


“We are currently seeing increasing admissions with unvaccinated, younger and normally healthy patients needing care for COVID-19 alongside older individuals with preexisting conditions who are experiencing breakthrough infection,” states Denise Neely, senior vice president and chief operations officer Bronson Methodist Hospital and chief nursing officer at Bronson Healthcare. “Combine that increase with individuals seeking care for non-Covid related health issues and we find ourselves with a healthcare system that is increasingly under pressure. Moreover, it’s not just Bronson. We’re seeing this strain on hospital capacity across our region, the state, and the nation.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an event that continues to affect and reshape healthcare. From strains on staffing to unprecedented changes to long-established supply chains, we have to continuously readjust to our current circumstances,” shares Neely. “Moving to a level orange response is the latest in our efforts to address this pandemic head on.”

The community can assist in relieving this pressure on area healthcare systems by getting vaccinated and continuing to practice safety measures such as masking and social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus. “The only way to truly get back to normal healthcare operations is for more people to get immunized, practice the established precautions with masking and social distancing to slow this pandemic,” says Neely. “As a community, we have to want to defeat the virus and take responsible action to do so.”