Jackson College providing dorms to Henry Ford hospital workers

Published: Mar. 28, 2020 at 12:17 PM EDT
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Temporary residence for healthcare workers at Henry Ford Allegiance Health is being provided via dorms at Jackson College.

The college announced Saturday that it opened two dorm towers on its campus for the health system's employees who are choosing to stay closer to the hospital campus to help care for the growing number of coronavirus patients being treated in Jackson County, according to a news release.

“With all colleges and universities across the country closing their campuses and moving to a completely online environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had available student residence space and saw a need we could help fill,” said Daniel Phelan, President and CEO of Jackson College, in a news release. “The Henry Ford Allegiance Health team members are engaged in vital and heroic work, and we’re honored to provide them with nearby lodging in a secure environment, together with access to technology, food, and beverage to keep them sustained during this ordeal. We are pleased to join other community organizations in helping support Henry Ford Allegiance Health.”

Team members at Henry Ford Allegiance Health have been working long hours and having long commutes, said Carey Johnson, RN, situation leader for the hospital’s incident command team, in the release.

“For those of us who are working long hours and have long commutes, Jackson College is giving us the gift of time and rest, which is invaluable right now," Johnson said. "These accommodations also provide many of us with peace of mind, knowing we’re able to protect our families from possible exposure to COVID-19.”

Signs on the Jackson College campus were installed Friday to welcome Henry Ford Allegiance Health team members.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health is continuing its preparation today for an anticipated rise in the number of COVID-19 patients being care for in its acute care hospital.

There are 12 inpatients at the hospital who tested positive for coronavirus as of 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the news release stated.

Test results are pending on another 19 patients who are being treated as “persons under investigation,” and are being cared for on isolated units in the hospital to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to other patients. As of Saturday morning, two positive COVID-19 inpatients at Henry Ford Allegiance Health have fully recovered and were discharged to return home, free of any symptoms or concern of spreading the illness to others.

“Michigan is in a period of exponential growth right now, where we are seeing the numbers of COVID-19 patients double approximately every three days,” said Vivek Kak, MD, medical director for infectious disease at Henry Ford Allegiance Health, in the release. “What we’re seeing in the Detroit area right now is concerning and is exactly why we are encouraging everyone to stay home and practice safe social distancing. Slowing the spread will allow hospitals like Henry Ford Allegiance Health a much better chance to fight this illness and ensure resources are available for those in need.”

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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