Guidance Offered to Public, Hospitals Related to Testing During COVID-19 Outbreak
Posted on March 21, 2020
Due to a national shortage of testing materials and personal protection equipment for healthcare workers, Michigan residents are encouraged to stay home and not seek 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing if they are not exhibiting symptoms or are only mildly sick.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to labs across the state to strategically use limited testing resources for those cases involving very sick patients and people who could spread the disease widely.
Michigan hospitals are ramping up their ability to collect COVID-19 samples, but not all hospitals in the state have the equipment required. The country is facing a shortage of sample swabs, masks and other critical items needed to safely collect and complete COVID-19 tests. The MHA has been working in partnership with manufacturers and others across the state to attempt to increase production of some of these items.
People with COVID-19 have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia. Those who think they are sick should contact their healthcare provider by phone, email or virtual visit.
People who are mildly sick may be told to stay in quarantine and care for their symptoms until they have had no fever for at least 72 hours, other symptoms have improved and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared. If symptoms worsen, people should seek medical attention, but contact their doctor or the facility they are traveling to first. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency warning signs include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
- New confusion or inability to arouse.
- Bluish lips or face.
The MHA has provided sample social media posts that Michigan hospitals can use to reinforce these important public messages. Additional information and resources are available on the MHA’s COVID-19 webpage. Members with questions may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare