GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Spectrum Health employee has tested positive for coronavirus, the hospital system confirmed Tuesday.
Spectrum Health says the employee is not in a direct patient care role and that it suspects the employee contracted the illness in the community. It says it is screening everyone who enters a patient care area.
Officials refused to say what facility the person works at and when the test came back positive.
Spectrum Health called on people to adhere to social distancing recommendations from health officials. The goal of those recommendations is to keep the number of severe cases small enough that hospitals can handle them.
COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.
As of Tuesday, Michigan has recorded a total of 65 confirmed cases. Five of those are in Kent County; it’s unclear if the Spectrum Health case is one of those five or in addition to the five.
The state has advised people to follow common-sense practices, primarily washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, coughing into your arm or a tissue rather than your hands and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands. Health officials also stressed you should stay home when you’re sick. When in public, you should avoid shaking hands or standing too close to others.
If you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room so as to limit the spread of the illness. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit before going in.