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Michigan Hospital CEOs say COVID-19 once again a statewide emergency

Posted at 1:47 PM, Nov 12, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Thursday Chief Executive Officers from Michigan’s largest hospital systems described the growing levels of COVID-19 across the state as “frightening.” They said they’re growing increasingly concerned that neither the staff to care for patients nor beds to put them in will be available as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

Leaders from Beaumont Health, Henry Ford Health System, Munson Healthcare, Spectrum Health and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association were clear in their warning: COVID-19 is moving faster than ever before, and is affecting all demographics at a staggering rate.

Representing the north was Gar Atchison, Chief Executive Officer and Market President at UP Health System - Marquette.

“We are facing a very grim reality this fall if Michigan residents don’t take this virus seriously... these numbers aren’t sustainable,” said Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III. “We are no longer seeing a positivity curve, but a near vertical line of new patients and new cases. Field hospitals in Detroit and Novi were closed with only limited use this spring, but we may need them again this winter if we don’t slow the spread now.”

“Throughout the pandemic, business and health care leaders have been very clear that we need to heed the warnings of medical professionals, use the tools that are at our disposal to tame this virus. We buckle our seat belts in the car and we lock the doors to our homes. We need to have the same mindset about using the tools that all of us understand to slow spread,” said Gerry Anderson, Executive Chairman of DTE Energy and Co-Chair of the Michigan Economic Recovery Committee. “This fall and winter could very well become a painful scenario if we don’t - but it doesn’t have to. If we work together, we can stop COVID-19.”

Their overall message was advising the public not to wait to be told to fight the disease. They encouraged Michiganders to take personal responsibility for controlling COVID-19 by doing the steps that are known to work: Wearing a mask, social distancing, self quarantining if sick and washing hands and surfaces often.

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