DETROIT – State officials in Michigan have sent out a memo to hospitals in more remote locations asking them to become relief hospitals and take patients transferred from hospitals at capacity in Metro Detroit amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Officials said if immediate action is not taken by our statewide health system, needless loss of life is anticipated. The state is asking that hospitals in areas that are less affected step up and offer 10 percent of their beds to assist hospitals that are at capacity with coronavirus patients.
Both the Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System are swamped with coronavirus cases currently. Beaumont said it is at capacity. Henry Ford has room for more coronavirus cases, but overall it is very close to bed capacity in totality.
“We’ve had a significant surge, as you know, in Wayne County and Oakland County. Today our capacity is quite full in those two hospitals, especially the West Bloomfield and the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit,” said Dr. Betty Chu, of Henry Ford Health System.
The transfer of patients would be done by EMS personnel.
“The transfer procedures are in place. Hospitals have now been notified. Now we need facilities around the state to respond, and the process can begin to transfer patients,” said Dr. Frank McGeorge.
The state also noted that it expects to need alternate car sites, like dormitories or former hospitals.
Read the letter below:
The symptoms of coronavirus could appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips or face you should seek medical attention immediately.
Has coronavirus impacted your life? There is help available:
- Apply for unemployment benefits
- Apply for assistance with health insurance, food
- Find resources near you
- Resources for small businesses
- Contact the U.S. Disaster Distress Hotline for crisis counseling
Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.