MHA Joins Public Health Officials in Urging Residents to Prevent COVID-19 and Flu
Posted on October 15, 2020
The MHA joined the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health at a press conference Oct. 13 to provide COVID-19 data updates and urge residents to step up their efforts to prevent both COVID-19 and the flu to avoid a simultaneous surge that could be disastrous for Michigan communities and the healthcare delivery system.
At the event, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health, reviewed current COVID-19 data and trends that show Michigan COVID cases trending upward in all regions of the state (89 cases per million people per day) despite positive momentum in testing numbers (30,000 average daily tests). The top areas of outbreak continue to include nursing home/long-term care facilities, K-12 schools, colleges/universities and social gatherings. Khaldun noted that, as the colder months and flu season have arrived, this concerning jump in cases can be reversed if best practices are followed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“State and local public health officials have been concerned about the risk of a surge in cases in the fall, and this recent increase should remind us all to refocus on preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Nick Derusha, president of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, and participating in contact tracing with public health officials are proven, effective ways to slow the spread of this virus.”
The MHA focused on hospital trends, noting COVID-19 hospitalizations have surged more than 80 percent in recent weeks, and the risk of a capacity crisis could overwhelm the state’s healthcare system without the cooperation of the public to step up efforts preventing COVID-19 and the flu.
“At the height of the COVID-19 response in Michigan, our front-line hospital workers were working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients. As we see cases on the rise again and more hospital beds with patients than we have in weeks, we must remember what mask wearing and social distancing does: it prevents cases, it prevents hospitalizations and it prevents deaths,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer of the MHA.
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