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UPDATE: Eaton County announces first case of coronavirus

Posted at 5:53 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 06:39:46-04

EATON COUNTY, Mich. — Eaton County has announced its first positive case of coronavirus in an 88-year-old woman who traveled domestically.

Colette Scrimger, Barry-Eaton District Health Officer, stated, “We understand many in the community are concerned about the spread of COVID-19. Barry-Eaton District Health Department will be acting quickly using methods such as contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation for impacted individuals to reduce the risk of illness in Eaton County.”

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department said it will contact people who have been in close contact with the patient and will assess for symptoms and quarantine and monitor appropriately.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Michigan has 80 cases of coronavirus in the state at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The break down of those cases as listed on the MDHHS' website are:
Bay: 1
Charlevoix: 1
Detroit: 13
Ingham: 2
Jackson: 1
Kent: 5
Leelanau: 1
Macomb: 10
Monroe: 1
Montcalm: 1
Oakland: 23
Otsego: 1
Ottawa: 1
St. Clair: 2
Washtenaw: 7
Wayne: 10

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Beaumont Health in Wayne County announced the first death of a patient with coronavirus Wednesday.

Beaumont Health tweeted the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Health officials are saying the man was in his 50's and had other underlying medical conditions. Officials said he passed away early Wednesday morning.

"Our medical team went to extraordinary efforts to care for this patient and we are deeply saddened by his passing and empathize with his family," said Susan Grant, Chief Nursing Officer of Beaumont Health. "Our physicians, nurses and medical staff are all working together to care for COVID-19 patients. During a time like this, we are united to battle this virus. Further, we must continue to serve and care for the non-COVID-19 needs of all patients whether they are giving birth, needing essential surgery or requiring lifesaving emergency procedures.”

"We're really just kind of seeing the tip of the iceberg here. We know, statistically, from other countries and other states that have experienced this on a larger scale than we have so far, that there will be a significant number of critically ill patients. There will be a significant number of patients that will die from COVID-19 but I also want to make sure that we're emphasizing that the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 will recover," said Dr. Nicholas Gilpin.

Beaumont Hospitals said the following is happening:

• Coronavirus testing is being processed on-site by Beaumont staff on a limited basis
o On Tuesday, March 17, Beaumont processed approximately 500 tests
o Since Thursday, March 12, Beaumont has also sent 1100 other tests to the State and other national labs for testing
o Note: not everyone who has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) needs to be tested. Beaumont recommends talking with a physician or nurse on the phone prior to seeking testing. If a patient is experiencing life-threatening symptoms, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency center.
• Curbside screening is available at all eight Beaumont hospitals
o Beaumont staff screened about 1500 patients across the health system yesterday, March 17
• Beaumont’s Coronavirus hotline, 800-592-4784, is staffed by Beaumont nurses and staff members.
o Nurses and staff members are answering approximately 5,000 calls a day
• Visitor restrictions are in place at all Beaumont hospitals.
• Some not immediately essential surgeries have been put on pause indefinitely
• Non-essential services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, cardiac rehab, pulmonary rehab have been put on pause indefinitely
• The main Beaumont command center is helping the entire Beaumont team coordinate, share resources and communicate across Michigan’s largest healthcare system.
• State and federal health agencies and lawmakers are also working with Beaumont leaders to help contain the virus and enable health systems to care for patients who become seriously ill
• Protecting our staff by providing them with and educating them about personal protective equipment (PPE) and appropriate infection control procedures
• Collaboration with other health systems is occurring in Michigan and across the nation every day

The state will continue to monitor cases but is pressing the White House for more tests and resources to combat the virus.

As numbers for the coronavirus continue to change, there are steps residents can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent coronavirus disease, including:
• Washing your hands with soap and water.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
• Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

The state of Michigan has set up a coronavirus hotline, 1-888-535-6136, for those who have questions about the virus. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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