Over 2,200 Staff at 2 Detroit Hospital Systems Confirmed to Have COVID-19 or Displaying Symptoms

April 7, 2020 Updated: April 7, 2020

Around 2,200 staff members at two of Michigan’s biggest health care providers have either been infected with COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the disease, according to reports.

More than 700 employees at Detroit-area’s Henry Ford Hospital Campus have tested positive for the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, according to the chief clinical officer of the facility.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah of the Henry Ford Hospital Campus was quoted by Bridge Magazine as saying that 734 staff members at the hospital have tested positive.

“If we are to test the whole population, you are going to see large numbers of people who are testing positive,” Munkarah told reporters in a conference call on April 6. “Testing positive is just a measure of how contagious this virus is.”

The 700-plus cases amount to about 2 percent of the hospital system’s 31,600 employees. The Henry Ford system includes six hospitals in the Detroit area.

As of 9 a.m. on April 6, Henry Ford reported that it had 3,637 outpatients across its entire system with a positive COVID-19 result, with a total of 725 hospitalized positive cases.

No information was disclosed whether any of the health system’s employees had died from the disease, WXYZ-TV reported.

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A health care worker pushes an empty wheelchair outside the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the CCP virus outbreak in New York City on April 6, 2020. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

According to a separate report by Bridge, as many as 1,500 employees at Beaumont Health—one of Michigan’s biggest hospital systems—have reported symptoms that suggest they’re infected with the respiratory disease caused by the CCP virus.

Many hospital workers in Michigan have been reusing personal protective equipment amid a shortage of masks, gowns, and other supplies, which is a concern for employees’ safety, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In a separate statement to Detroit News, Munkarah said, “As a health system caring for a large majority of our region’s COVID-19 patients, we know we are not immune to potential exposure, and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team.”

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Paramedics put on personal protective equipment before approaching a coughing patient amid the CCP virus outbreak in Medford, Massachusetts, on April 6, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

As of the morning of April 7, Michigan had reported more than 17,000 confirmed CCP virus cases and 727 deaths, according to a running tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. These figures indicate Michigan has the third-highest number of confirmed infections in the United States, with only New York and New Jersey reporting more cases.

Peak Death Week

CCP virus fatalities in the United States numbered 10,993 on the morning of April 7, while the tally of all known U.S. infections topped 368,000.

“It’s going to be the peak hospitalization, peak ICU week, and unfortunately, peak death week,” Adm. Brett Giroir, a physician and member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on April 6.

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A bus driver for Detroit’s city bus line DDOT on March 24, 2020. (Seth Herald/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 90 percent of Americans were under statewide stay-at-home orders issued in recent weeks, with South Carolina joining on April 6.

Political leaders and medical professionals have voiced alarm for weeks over crippling scarcities of personal protective gear for first responders and frontline health care workers, as well as shortages of ventilators, drugs, and other supplies.

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