Joneigh Khaldun, MD, chief medical executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), announced the activation of a state lab to test suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients Feb. 27.
The new state lab will work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct same-day testing on cases that meet the criteria for investigation. Previously, samples had to be sent directly to the CDC for testing.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also activated the State of Michigan Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to coordinate with state, local and federal agencies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The governor, state director of emergency management and homeland security, and other agencies work from the Lansing-based SEOC to direct all state resources in response to emergencies.
During testimony before the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, Khaldun also mentioned that the MDHHS will be launching a media campaign soon to educate the public on ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At the federal level, the American Hospital Association (AHA) urged Congress to provide $1 billion in initial supplemental emergency funding to support emergency preparedness and response efforts for hospitals and health systems for COVID-19.
The MHA will continue to closely monitor developments related to COVID-19 and are working diligently with state and federal agencies, including the MDHHS, the CDC and the AHA. Included in these collaborative efforts is the development of a communications toolkit to help members ensure patients and the public receive consistent, fact-based messages.