Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital issues COVID-19 update. 

April 7, 2020

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital issues COVID-19 update. 

LUDINGTON — Though Mason County has had its first confirmed COVID-19 case, as reported by District Health Department #10, the patient is not being treated at the hospital but rather is at home under quarantine, according to hospital officials.

The hospital is continuing to be prepared to test and treat patients and has provided the following information in response to some concerns members of the public have had recently.

“We are prepared,” said hospital spokesperson Patricia Ezdebski. “We appreciate the outpouring of support from the community, from signs posted to provide encouragement, tributes to our staff, donations of meals, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), and the many uplifting messages. Spectrum Health’s mission is to improve health, inspire hope and save lives.

“We encourage you to visit spectrumhealth.org for resources and information, including a dashboard updated daily with information about the number of people who have been tested across the Spectrum Health service area, the percent positive and negative, and the number hospitalized. The dashboard numbers are for the 13-county region served by Spectrum Health West Michigan. Local information can be found on the District #10 Health Department web site at www.dhd10.org.”

 There is also an employer information page with resources Spectrum Health is sharing for area businesses. That information can be found here:  https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19/employer-resources

Week of April 6, 2020: 

  • The local COVID-19 tent is housed on the east side of the hospital. Those who are having COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, fever, persistent dry cough, body aches), are directed to the tent for screening. Those who meet the CDC-based criteria for a COVID-19 test will be swabbed for a specimen collection. The specimen is then sent by driver to Grand Rapids to be tested. Patients will either be directed to self-quarantine at home or be admitted for observation while awaiting the test results. The hospital continues to evaluate the hours of operation for the tent, and there have been days when it is closed due to low patient volumes. Operations will be adjusted as we need in order to best serve the community.
  • COVID-19 testing. Spectrum Health has the ability to do testing in its lab facility at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. Spectrum Health was one of the first in the state to enact in-hospital testing and has quickly ramped up our capability to provide testing, not only for its patients and healthcare workers, but also for many of the other hospitals in the regionThis was put in place two weeks ago and allows for a faster turn-around time for results. Spectrum Health is running over 650 tests a day with results back in approximately 24 hours. A new rapid testing procedure is being adopted where providers could have results back in as little as 15 minutes and we expect each of our Regional hospitals to have this capability soon.
  • COVID-19 treatment: “At Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, we have had no patients confirmed as having COVID-19 so there has been no need for treatment,” Ezdebski said. “If and when our first patient tests positive, we are ready to provide the needed care. Other hospitals in the Spectrum Health system have had patients that are confirmed positive and are providing treatment and care to those patients.”
  • Not everyone receives a COVID-19 test. Not everyone receives a COVID-19 test.  There are specific guidelines and parameters that clinical indicate when a COVID-19 test is appropriate.  A provider order is required.  There is an international shortage of supplies required for COVID-19 testing.  As a result, testing is limited to those patients meeting the COVID-19 profile. The Ludington hospital has performed over 45 tests to date. All have been negative.
  • COVID-19 surge planning. There is extensive work taking place across Spectrum Health, and throughout the emergency preparedness community on surge planning, anticipating and planning for when/if there is a surge of COVID-19 positive cases that require support. “Locally we are working with the county, state, community non-profits and all area agencies that would have a role in managing this work,” Ezdebski said.
  • Sources of truth. There is a lot of information available about COVID-19. Please refer to the https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19 website for up to date information about what Spectrum Health is doing to help care for patients, test patients, and keep the community safe. “Our local District #10 Health Department web site is also a good source for daily updates on COVID-19 positive cases in our district,” Ezdebski said. The site is www.dhd10.org. The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization are national and international evidence-based resources for truthful information. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/ and https://www.who.int/


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