169 Henry Ford Health System staffers test positive for COVID-19

The number of Henry Ford Health System employees who are exposed to COVID-19 in the community remains high, putting additional stress on staffing at the Detroit-based health system, Adnan Munkarah, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, said during a media briefing Nov. 20. 

In the last week, 169 of 900 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, he said. That is a positivity rate of about 18 percent, overwhelmingly attributed to community spread, Dr. Munkarah said. Overall, Henry Ford reported 290 workers were still sidelined for reasons related to COVID-19 as of Nov. 20, less than 1 percent of the health system's workforce of about 30,000 people.

"This is the problem we are facing with the community spread. The more people who are exposed in the community, and the more people who are contracting and catching that virus and becoming infected in the community, the more of our staff are having to be quarantined and be on medical leave from their work," said Dr. Munkarah.

He emphasized the importance of protecting healthcare workers and community members by wearing  masks in public, social distancing, avoiding large indoor gatherings and frequent hand washing so the health system can continue to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients. 

He said Henry Ford is adjusting hours and location of services and ramping up virtual care options to better accommodate all patients. 

As of Nov. 20, the health system reported 305 confirmed hospitalized COVID patients across its five hospitals, down from 327 Nov. 16, and 191 suspected COVID-19 patients (unconfirmed but symptomatic) in isolation. 

Watch the full media briefing here


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