A COVID-19 Message from the CEO of Spectrum Health System

From Spectrum: For More Info, Go Here…

We are living in an unprecedented time. As we fight a deadly virus that is rapidly spreading, our economy, our connections and our lives are being challenged in significant ways. Life as we know it has changed. And it will continue to change.

At Spectrum Health, we are leaving no stone unturned to be as prepared as possible to take care of our community as COVID-19 continues to accelerate. I want to take this opportunity to be transparent about the reality of the situation we are facing and what is to come.

Please know that COVID-19 is far more dangerous than the flu. It is more contagious — contagious for longer and much more deadly. After two months, one person with the flu will pass it on to about 386 people. Comparatively, one person with COVID-19 will pass it on to up to 99,000 people. The fatality rate for those contracting the flu is about 0.1%. For COVID-19, this rate is 10 times higher.

Because of this, we are closely studying our models, which include learnings and data from across the state, country and world. These models project the spread of COVID-19 and enable us to estimate how many people in our communities will need hospitalization and intensive care services. They also allow us to understand the collective resources that would then be necessary to serve those needs. These are just estimates and we hope for the best, but our job is to plan for the worst.

At present, based on the information available, the rate of growth of deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan is at least as fast as New York, if not faster. The modeling for our area shows that, at its current rate, we would exceed demand for hospital and intensive care services in early May and this would last many, many weeks. This peak in cases would be more than our health care system, or any health care system, could handle.

In response, we are making every possible effort to increase the capacity of our hospitals. We have already canceled all non-urgent surgeries and procedures. We have plans in place to substantially expand our ICU capacity. And we are preparing to have as many health care workers as possible ready to care for us.

However, these actions alone will not be enough. We must do more, and we need your help. We know enough from models and trends that our primary tool to slow the spread and lower the curve is social distancing. This makes the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order critical. I know this is challenging for our families, our businesses and our organizations, but this is the best action we can take to lower the curve.

Please stay home unless it is absolutely essential to leave. Keep a social distance of at least 6 feet. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
We can still change these numbers, but we can only do so together.

Together, we are strong. And together, we will see this through.

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