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Michigan Health & Hospital Association on COVID-19: call a doctor before going to a hospital

Doctor's stethoscope
Doctor's stethoscope

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association is urging people who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have symptoms of the disease to stay home unless they are told otherwise by a health care professional. 

Ruthanne Sudderth, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, says to call a doctor before going to a hospital if you think you have been exposed to the disease or if you have symptoms such as fever, a cough or shortness of breath.

“So that we don’t bring the virus into a health care setting unnecessarily, and then seeking guidance from them (a doctor) over the phone for where to proceed with care if necessary,” Sudderth says.

Sudderth is concerned about people unnecessarily exposing health care professionals to the disease when they could have stayed home. She says most people who have the virus can take care of themselves from home.

“The vulnerable populations in Michigan, like elsewhere, are elderly folks and people with underlying health conditions. So the less that we could spread that through the community, the better,” she says.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency late Tuesday night, after announcing the state had confirmed the first two cases of the disease in Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control still need to confirm those two positive tests.

Sudderth says hospitals plan for emergency outbreaks routinely.

“Our hospitals have been coordinating with one another to make sure each one has enough bedding and space for patients,” Sudderth says.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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