Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that the federal government has granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request for additional staffing assistance at a sixth Michigan hospital, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Under the agreement, the federal government will send up to a 25-person medical team to support Sparrow Hospital’s doctors and nurses as they treat COVID-19 and other patients.
“As we continue facing down the Omicron variant, I am grateful to our federal partners for their continued support. They are providing critical relief to Michigan’s hospitals,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our health care professionals have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for nearly two years, and I urge Michiganders to do their part to keep themselves safe and help our hospitals. Get vaccinated and if you are eligible, get your booster, to keep yourself out of the hospital. Please stay home if you’re sick and make sure you sign up to get free tests from USPS and/or your insurance providers. Get free, high-quality N95, KN95 or KF94 masks from your local pharmacy. Take action to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. We will get through this together.”
“These federal medical teams are providing much needed relief and a morale boost for our dedicated health care workers who have given so much over the past two years of the pandemic,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We are extremely grateful for the continued support from our federal partners during this latest surge of COVID-19. We are renewing the call for Michiganders to do their part to support our state’s health care workers by getting vaccinated and boosted if eligible, wearing a mask in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status, social distancing and staying home and getting tested regularly.”
The team will begin treating patients Feb. 7 and provide support for the next 30 days. Five additional Department of Defense (DoD) teams have provided support at Beaumont Hospital – Dearborn, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Mercy Health Muskegon and Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte. In addition, a civilian Disaster Medical Assistance Team was dispatched to Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte earlier this month before being backfilled by a DoD team.
“We are grateful for this assistance for our incredible Sparrow caregivers, who have been tirelessly protecting the community since this pandemic began,” said James F. Dover, Sparrow Health System president and CEO. “We want to thank Governor Whitmer and the state for its help and especially Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who has been steadfast in advocating for boots-on-the-ground support for Sparrow in combating the huge surge of COVID cases among both patients and our caregivers.”
Michiganders are being asked to carefully consider where they seek health care. A primary care office, virtual visit or urgent care may be the best choice as hospital and emergency departments are experiencing high demand. However, for emergency conditions such as stroke symptoms, chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant injury or uncontrolled bleeding, Michiganders should still seek emergency care.
As of Jan. 21, 4,286 Michiganders are hospitalized for COVID-19.
This press release was provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.