Update: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

March 11, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

(For information on proper handwashing techniques, check out the video at the bottom of the page.)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Tuesday night that there are two Michigan residents who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

One of those is an inpatient at the University of Michigan Health System.

The organization is confident that it is utilizing proper precautions with this patient, who was carefully isolated to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and patients.

Additionally, team members have taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this disease, including implementing conservation strategies to ensure supplies are available.

Among the steps being taken at Michigan Medicine:

  • The organization continues to travel screen patients and visitors for epidemiologic risk factors and symptoms. 
  • All patients with symptoms consistent with viral respiratory illness (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) will be cared for using Droplet Precautions.
  • Testing is prioritized for patients who will be admitted or are at higher risk of complications. Providers should continue to contact Infection Prevention with any clinical concerns for COVID-19.
  • Locations have been identified to care for COVID-19 patients in the ambulatory and inpatient setting.
  • Planning for caring for an increased number of patients is occurring in the Emergency Department, ambulatory care centers and in the inpatient setting.

Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Resources for training on appropriate PPE for ambulatory and inpatient settings, and how to put it on and take it off are available. These include posters, videos and Just In Time training.
  • It is important to use PPE appropriately to protect the supply and ensure that appropriate PPE is available to provide care to patients.
  • There have been multiple reports of masks and N-95s being taken. Please protect the supply by ensuring your PPE is secure.
  • Tighter controls around entry to University Hospital have been put in place by security. The goal is to monitor entry and masks to ensure anyone with symptoms has access to masks, while also protecting the supply.

Travel guidelines for Michigan Medicine team members

All faculty, staff, students, visiting observers, visiting scholars and contractors with recent travel to any country with CDC level 2 or 3 travel notices (China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan) should self-report to Occupational Health Services (OHS) and monitor themselves for 14 days for symptoms of fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. OHS can be reached at 734-764-8021.

All returning travelers from Hong Kong and areas of the U.S. with community transmission (currently Washington state, California and New York) should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days but do not need to report to OHS unless symptoms occur.

Steps you can take

As a general reminder, influenza and other respiratory viruses are still circulating locally, and workforce members with fever and respiratory symptoms should stay home from work regardless of travel history.

As always, the best defense against COVID-19 is proper handwashing. Please see the video below for a quick and easy way to make sure you are washing for long enough!

Other recommended actions include avoiding close contact with those who are sick, covering your cough with your arm or a tissue and remaining home and not coming to work if you are sick.

Other Michigan Medicine updates and information

Please note, out of an abundance of caution, the Employee Appreciation Breakfast and Dinner scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 has been canceled. Click here for more information.

If you have specific questions about COVID-19 and your work at Michigan Medicine, go to the Infection Prevention & Epidemiology page for updates. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for on these web pages, please email coronavirus-info@med.umich.edu and your question will be answered as quickly as possible.  Do not use this email for sharing patient health information.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and the organization will keep employees informed on a regular basis. Stay tuned to Headlines, your email box and meetings with your supervisor for more information as it becomes available.