Spectrum Health will take SE Michigan COVID-19 patients

spectrum health butterworth hospital coronavirus restrictions

Signs outside Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids announce visitor restrictions due to coronavirus. (March 19, 2020)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With southeast Michigan hospitals treating more and more COVID-19 patients, Spectrum Health says it’s stepping in to help carry the load.

The West Michigan hospital system said Friday it will take “a limited number of medically-appropriate COVID-19 patients from Southeast Michigan” under a “compassionate patient acceptance plan.” Those patients will be treated at Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals.

Spectrum Health said West Michigan cases are likely to surge as southeast Michigan cases start to decline, and that it may need those hospitals’ help in return.

“This will be carefully coordinated and highly collaborative with other health systems in the state. We are all in this together,” a statement from Spectrum Health read in part.

To date, Spectrum hospitals across 13 counties have tested about 2,700 patients for COVID-19. Only 212 of those have come back positive so far; 135 tests are still pending. Of the patients tested, 69 have been hospitalized. Tests have confirmed 29 of the hospitalized patients have COVID-19 and results are still pending for 40.

In metro Detroit, hospitals are seeing thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths. Kent County has only seen 135 cases and two deaths so far.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital said last week that it would take some rehab patients from southeast Michigan hospitals to free up beds for COVID-19 patients. Several other hospitals in west and southwest Michigan said they wouldn’t be taking southeast Michigan patients.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. Though anyone can get it and anyone can develop a serious case, the people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems. If you think you have coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit and they will direct you on how to get tested.

Full statement from Spectrum Health:

“We are doing our best to plan for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases that we believe are imminent in the coming days in our region. Spectrum Health’s mission is to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. We support the State of Michigan’s efforts to plan for expanded hospital capacity. At this time, we have capacity and have developed a compassionate patient acceptance plan where we will accept a limited number of medically-appropriate COVID-19 patients from southeast Michigan. We anticipate the surge in southeast Michigan will be declining as we increase our patient load and may need hospitals there to help us in a similar way. This will be carefully coordinated and highly collaborative with other health systems in the state. We are all in this together.”


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