Beaumont Wayne emergency room converted into COVID-19 treatment center

Staff prepared for patients

WAYNE, Mich. – The Intensive Care Unit at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital is now at capacity -- several others in Metro Detroit are either at capacity or near.

Last week, Beaumont Hospital closed its Wayne Emergency Center so it could be revamped to handle the rush of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients that is expected.

“It’s very quiet now,” Beaumont Wayne Hospital Chief of Staff Muzammil Ahmed said. " I almost think of it as the quiet before the storm."

No matter how severe the coronavirus storm gets, medical staff at Beaumont Wayne feel they are prepared. The entire emergency center is now a COVID-19 center.

There are no longer open-air hallways. There are airtight, plastic barriers up to keep the virus from getting out of the unit.

Muzammil gave Local 4 a tour via video chat. They now have 70 ICU beds instead of just 17. Currently they have enough protective equipment, but workers are concerned.

Some staff members have moved out of their homes in an effort to protect their families from potential exposure to the virus.

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.

About the Authors: