Michigan Healthcare Systems Issue Joint Statement on COVID-19 Policies As Cases Increase Statewide

With a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Michigan, Chief Medical Officers and Chief Clinical Officers of Michigan healthcare systems and hospitals have issued a joint safety message regarding COVID-19. The statement was signed by the heads of 110 of Michigan’s 137 hospitals, including all of those in the Great Lakes Bay Region and Flint. It was issued amid disagreements among state legislators and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over COVID-19 restrictions, and the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision invalidating her previous executive orders. The statement in its entirety is below :

“We want to make it clear that regardless of state law, executive orders, or local public health directives, hospitals and healthcare systems across the state are standing as a united front in our policies and interventions in order to fight the spread of COVID-19. It is imperative that every Michigan resident join us in taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

Our hospitals and healthcare facilities will continue requiring staff, patients, and visitors to follow public safety protocols, including mask-wearing, screenings upon entry to our facilities, and limitation of visitors. We ask that everyone do the public version of these precautions: wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently. We do this to keep our patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.

In recent weeks, we have seen COVID-19 cases trending upwards in all regions of the state, and hospitalizations have surged by more than 80 percent. This concerning jump puts our entire healthcare system at risk of another capacity crisis. If the trend continues, doctors and nurses, therapists and custodians, food services and support staff, who have barely begun to recover from the terrible stress of the initial COVID-19 surge will suffer additional stress and risk their own infection, illness, and mortality. If Michigan doesn’t change its approach to this disease, we could have crowded hospital emergency departments and approach exceeding the capacity of our hospitals as we did in Southeast Michigan this past spring.

The decision to continue these safety measures is driven by data and guidance from healthcare experts, not politics. Public health draws on data to chart the route from where we are now, to where we need to go. It keeps hospitals and healthcare facilities safe places for patients to receive both routine and emergency care as needed. These measures also will prevent another catastrophic surge in hospital admissions and COVID-19 deaths, but we need your help and compliance.

Help keep COVID-19 under control by doing what you can to prevent more illness and hospitalization. Support our dedicated and courageous healthcare staff as they continue the fight against COVID-19 for those patients who have the misfortune of becoming ill during the pandemic.

Together we can get to where we want to be: keeping this dangerous virus under control.”