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Beaumont hospitals treating hundreds of confirmed coronavirus patients in Michigan

Hospitals are nearing ventilator capacity

DETROIT – Beaumont hospitals are treating hundreds of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The hospital reports that it has some ventilator capacity currently, but that could change as more people become infected. As is the case across the country, there’s a limited number of COVID-19 testing material and processing equipment.

Officials said Beaumont labs can process 400 tests a day, while currently many third party labs are backlogged.

“We have been actively transferring COVID-19 patients within our system to other Beaumont hospitals, as appropriate, if one hospital has more capacity than another. However, across our system, we are facing limitations and nearing capacity with our staffing, personal protective equipment and mechanical ventilators,” Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson said. “We are taking steps to increase our capacity, such as converting some of our operating rooms into intensive care units.”

During a conference call Monday night, state officials said no COVID-19 patient who has needed a ventilator has been removed from the ventilator -- they have either died or are still on it.

As of Tuesday night, 24 people have died from coronavirus in Michigan.

Detroit native Marlow Stoudamire, a community leader who once worked at Henry Ford, died due to the virus. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

He was 43 years old and had no known underlying health issues.

MORE: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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