Michigan needs more medical professionals in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Michigan needs more medical professionals in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19)
Michigan needs more medical professionals in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19)

DETROIT – Hospitals aren’t just facing a shortage of N95 masks, gloves and ventilators -- there aren’t enough medical professionals to meet the need.

The state and Metro Detroit hospitals are asking for qualified volunteers to help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Henry Ford Hospital is moving clinical staff around, but that’s not enough. One challenge is many of the clinical workers haven’t been in in-patient settings for awhile. The need for trained medical professionals is changing every day.

“We’re talking about the need for hundreds, if not thousands of medical workers,” the COO of Henry Ford Health System Bob Riney said.

Henry Fordd said its health care network reached capacity on Saturday.

“Most hospitals could squeeze out physical capacity but not human talent capacity,” Riney said.

Hospitals and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s chief medical executive are asking for doctors, nurses, physician assistants and respiratory therapists to join the fight against COVID-19.

Former x-ray technician Lisa Nolan is ready to answer the call.

“I need to do something, I can’t just sit here,” Nolan said.

Nolan is from Macomb Township and worked at Beaumont and St. Johns for 20 years. She is 48 years old and has no underlying health problems. She said she can draw labs, start IVs and has extensive triage experience.

“If I can help, I’m there for you -- just hang in there,” she said.

As facilities like the TCF Center are being converted to treat patients, the state is making it easier for medical professionals to join the fight.

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MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

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.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

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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