(WXYZ) — A top hospital executive is speaking out now about providing vital services amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is weighing in on what more is being done to help in the crisis.
“Right now medical professionals across the state have no choice but to reuse face masks," Whitmer said Thursday. "This increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 during a time when we should be doing everything we can to mitigate it.”
Whitmer said that ICUs are full and ERs are overloaded, and that people need to come together and coordinate healthcare resources.
A balancing plan is now in effect, using help from outside of southeast Michigan.
“Hospitals outside southeast Michigan are being asked to serve as relief hospitals, offering 10% of their usual bed capacity to accept patients from other hospitals that are currently overwhelmed with critically ill patients," Beaumont CEO John Fox said. "We already have hospitals who are stepping up to be a relief hospital and are starting this process.
“We’re cohorting all our COVID-19 positive patients on special units where the virus can be contained, and managed and we can be effective with those patients," he added.
There's also work being done by the state to identify alternative sites – some near hospitals, and increase the ability to test. So far, 9,100 samples have been taken as local leaders step up to offer more.
Hospitals across the area are also asking for donations of masks, gloves and other items.
Whitmer said that while the state is making unprecedented progress finding solutions, in some cases multiple states are bidding competitively against one another, which shouldn't be the case in a crisis.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.