Spectrum Health takes measures to address potential COVID-19 cases
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – Spectrum Health Lakeland held a conference on Monday to address the steps they are taking amid the coronavirus outbreak.
There are 53 cases across Michigan and while there are no confirmed cases in southwest Michigan, Spectrum Health is reminding the public to take matters seriously.
The hospital network is preparing staff to deal with the coronavirus once it does reach the area.
They will provide free screening and virtual screening using a chat bot for patients.
Doctors have screened thousands of patients and have also launched a drive-up collection center where people can get tested if they feel ill.
Spectrum Health says that this decreases a potential risk of exposure and reduces impact on other care offices.
In order to get tested at any Spectrum Lakeland Hospitals patients must receive a doctor’s note.
Afterwards, specimen will be sent to a lab in Grand Rapids which will process test results over the course of a few days. Spectrum is working on doing its own testing by next week.
Another major point that Spectrum Health focused on during the conference is that the coronavirus is much different than other illnesses and should not be compared lightly.
“There is a lot of information and as it turns out misinformation about COVID-19. Many compare it to the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918. That comparison is very difficult, the world is a very different place. We had no vaccines back then, most of the numbers you see the overall cases, the mortality rate, data about transmissions are just good guesses,” said Spectrum Lakeland Health President Dr. Loren Hamel.
Spectrum Health also says that the flu is not a fair comparison to COVID-19 because it has no vaccine and the flu tends to be deadly to children while this illness does not.
Spectrum additionally revised their visitor policies after Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order on Friday.
No visitors will be allowed at any Spectrum Health Lakeland locations beginning on Monday except under special circumstances.
Through these measures, Spectrum Health hopes to create a fast, efficient and safe environment in response to any COVID-19 cases that may come through the area.