Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System announced Thursday that patients can begin scheduling select time-sensitive services and surgeries amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As the pandemic hit southeast Michigan hospitals, health systems suspended all elective procedures and time-sensitive procedures for individuals with conditions that were not “imminently life threatening”, officials say.
Now, the health systems are resuming essential, time-sensitive procedures through a “phased reopening approach.”
“While we know COVID concerns are still high, we don’t want patients’ conditions to deteriorate or urgent needs to become emergent due to a reluctance to seek appropriate care,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, M.D., Ph.D, MHSA, chief clinical officer for Trinity Health Michigan. “We are working together with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Health and Hospital Association and our fellow health systems in a coordinated effort to begin treating patients for both ambulatory and hospital-based non-COVID issues.”
Patients with health conditions that aren’t imminently life threatening but will worsen their health over time can now schedule necessary procedures with their physicians. Such essential procedures might include cancer operations, vascular bypass and diagnostic procedures, officials said.
The health systems and their emergency departments remain open for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care, officials said.
Anyone who believes they’ve contracted COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
How COVID-19 Spreads
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 and 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.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.