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Nearly 3,000 Health Care System Employees In The Detroit Area Have Confirmed or Suspected Coronavirus Infections-5,400 nationwide

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  • Nearly 3,000 Health Care System Employees In The Detroit Area Have Confirmed or Suspected Coronavirus Infections-5,400 nationwide

    Nearly 3,000 Health Care System Employees In The Detroit Area Have Confirmed or Suspected Coronavirus Infections

    The number is very likely higher as not all health systems are revealing how many employees have been infected.
    Emma LoopBuzzFeed News Reporter
    Posted on April 12, 2020, at 12:20 p.m. ET

    A directory sign outside the east entrance to Beaumont Hospital on April 8, 2020 in Royal Oak, Michigan. There are reportedly nearly 1,500 Beaumont employees that have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms including 500 nurses.

    The coronavirus outbreak has spread rapidly in the Detroit area, straining the health care system there. Now, as infections continue to surge, so too has the number of health care workers who have fallen ill.

    Nearly 3,000 people employed by health care systems in southeast Michigan have either tested positive for the virus or developed symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. At least four have died.

    “There has been a shortage of nursing staff throughout the hospital,” said a nurse who works at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and who has contracted the virus. “Oftentimes nurses are being pulled from different units to assist on units with higher numbers of patients,” said the nurse, who spoke on background because she did not have authorization to speak to the media. “I can honestly say the nervousness is apparent in many of us. Seeing each other getting sick just increases the anxiety that one of us might be next and bring it home to our family.”

    BuzzFeed News asked the eight major health care systems in the area for data on how the virus has affected their employees, as well as a breakdown by occupation. Among the five health care systems that responded, 2,722 employees are either confirmed or suspected to have the coronavirus — the most comprehensive total to date for the Detroit area and more than the entire state of California. Though the number includes all employees, a large portion of them are medical staff, according to two systems.

    ....The number of health care workers in the region who have contracted the virus is likely significantly higher. Three Detroit-area health care systems failed to provide data, and one of them operates hospitals that have been especially hard-hit by the outbreak and where staff have publicly denounced their working conditions. Another has had a surgeon die and hundreds of nurses call in sick.

    A recent BuzzFeed News investigation found that at least 5,400 health care workers in the US have been infected based on available data collected at the state level, but as the Detroit figures show, the true number is likely much, much higher due to inconsistent tracking throughout the country. Michigan health officials, for example, have said they are not specifically collecting this information.

    Though more than 100,000 people work for health care systems in the Detroit area — which includes Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties — the loss of thousands of employees at a time when the system is already strained has contributed to widespread staff shortages and increased fears about the pandemic among front-line medical staff.

    Steve Homick, an emergency room nurse at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, said his hospital has also replaced sick nurses with those from other units to address staff shortages and offered healthy employees incentive pay to take extra shifts.

    “I know that nurses have gotten really sick from this. I know that nurses have passed away from it, so for us, every time we hear a name, it’s really concerning to us,” Homick said. “We’re worried about our staff.”

    The infections underline the personal risk front-line health care workers now take each time they report to work — many don’t have enough equipment to protect themselves from a contagious virus that isn’t yet fully understood. The numbers also underscore Detroit’s status as a hot-spot for the outbreak in the US......

  • #2
    Virus Deaths at U.S. Nursing Homes Pass 3,800, With 45 at Virginia Facility

    The outbreak at a Virginia nursing home has become the deadliest in the nation at a long-term care facility.
    About 80 percent of the residents at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Richmond, Va., have tested positive for the coronavirus.
    By Danielle Ivory, Mitch Smith and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
    • April 14, 2020, 5:32 p.m. ET
    At least 45 residents of a nursing home in Virginia have died from the coronavirus, the highest known death toll reported at a long-term care facility in the United States, according to an analysis of case data by The New York Times.

    An additional 83 residents have tested positive for the virus at the facility, the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Richmond, Va., its medical director, Dr. Jim Wright, said in an interview on Tuesday. He said the home had about 160 residents, meaning about 80 percent had contracted the virus.

    The Times has identified more than 2,500 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States with coronavirus cases. More than 21,000 residents and staff members at those facilities have contracted the virus, and more than 3,800 have died....