Beaumont Health caring for 1,074 COVID-19 patients, urges health systems to prioritize transparency

Beaumont to share daily data on their confirmed COVID-19 patients

Beaumont Health announced Sunday that the health system is caring for 1,074 confirmed COVID-19 patients throughout the state of Michigan, as the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly evolves.

In the announcement, Beaumont Health CEO John Fox urges the Michigan government to require health systems to be more transparent with the public and to share more complete data.

“Some other health systems in our region are also seeing large numbers of COVID-19 patients. However, without an accurate daily census report that indicates how many COVID-19 confirmed patients are in each hospital and how many in each hospital are still awaiting test results, it is impossible to know how different parts of Michigan are being affected by the virus," Fox said. “About half of the patients in Beaumont hospitals that are tested for COVID-19 are confirmed as positive. Even with the limited information we have, we know southeast Michigan is the state’s ground zero for the pandemic.”

Beginning Sunday, Beaumont will share more complete data and a graph on its website each day to show the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized at Beaumont locations, officials said. Beaumont originally started sharing a daily COVID-19 update days after receiving their first confirmed case on March 13, officials say.

“Beaumont believes the state needs to collect accurate, real-time data from all hospitals across Michigan and share it in an open and transparent way, just as we have been doing at Beaumont Health,” said Fox. “As the state’s largest health system, we have been advocating for this both publicly and behind the scenes. This is an unprecedented situation. Faster action is needed to ensure we can care for the influx of COVID-19 patients over the next few weeks and months, in addition to those we serve who need emergency or trauma care, have heart attacks, give birth or need other truly emergent medical services.”

Beaumont officials also say their predictive models have identified an expected surge of patients at Beaumont and other health systems later in April or early in May.

Beaumont’s announcement listed the follow steps the health system is taking in response of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Creating an online risk assessment tool to help patients determine what kinds of medical care to consider if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Discharging as many patients as possible to the next appropriate level of care and cohorting the remaining non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Identifying the resources, equipment and staffing needed to manage the anticipated volume.
  • Screening all staff prior to entering a Beaumont facility.
  • Restricting visitors at all Beaumont hospital campuses.
  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment for staff.
  • Providing masks to all hospital employees who request one.
  • Providing curbside screening at all Beaumont hospitals except Beaumont Hospital, Wayne.
  • Closing the Emergency Center at Beaumont Hospital, Wayne and dedicating the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients.
  • Creating a coronavirus hotline to help answer patient’s questions: 800-592-4784.
  • Launching a #HealthCareHeroes campaign, including a daily “Home Beams for Health Care Teams” event to honor and recognize the medical team. A new TV commercial honoring the Beaumont team begins airing this weekend.

“I have been visiting all of the Beaumont campuses and have watched our team work so well together. Their response to this pandemic has been stunning and inspiring. We are all working long hours, seven days a week, and I am so proud of our team,” Fox said. “As I visit each of our hospital sites, it is also wonderful to see thank you signs and blue ribbons supporting our heroes. We truly have an extraordinary team. That said, we all must acknowledge all the frontline health care workers treating COVID-19 patients throughout Michigan and beyond. They truly are health care heroes.”

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 Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.