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Major hospitals urge public to "do the right thing" as COVID-19 admissions surge by 80%

Emergency room hospital

Doctors in charge of Michigan hospitals are asking people in Michigan to voluntarily "do the right thing" to slow the spread of COVID-19, now that the Michigan Supreme Court says Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer does not have the authority to issue executive orders on COVID-19.

The statement, signed by 28 top medical officers of hospital systems across the state, was issued after COVID-19-related hospital admissions surged by more than 80% in recent weeks.

Dr. Gary Roth is Chief Medical Officer for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

"We don't need a directive to know that wearing a mask is the right thing to do, maintaining appropriate physical distance is the right thing to do, washing our hands, my god, we learned that from our parents when we were all children; and if you are not feeling well, stay away from others, and if you know someone that's not feeling well, stay away from them," says Roth.

Roth says, "we're not trying to scare anyone, that's not our intent." But he cautions that the state's health care system is vulnerable to a capacity crisis if COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to spike.

He says Michigan hospitals are at least more prepared now, with better stocks of protective equipment and ventilators, along with improved medical strategies for caring for COVID-19 patients.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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