Health Officials: Avoid large gatherings this Thanksgiving due to COVID-19

“My plea to you and I implore you celebrate this holiday safe,” said Executive Vice President & Chief at Henry Ford Health System, Dr. Adnan Munkarah. 

On Friday, Michigan reached a single-day record of COVID-19 cases with reports that illustrate more than 9,700 people have tested positive for the virus. 

“In Michigan, we’ve had over 75 deaths per day on average over the past seven days, so definitely very sobering information,” Dr. Munkarah said. 

Henry Ford Health System Officials say right now, there are 305 patients in their hospitals who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“There are an additional 191 patients who are either suspected to have COVID, based on their symptoms and the test was indeterminate, so it was negative and we are retesting,” Dr. Munkarah said. 

And while personal protective equipment is not an issue right now, a major problem is staffing. 

“Unfortunately, this problem is not getting any better,” Dr. Munkarah said. “In fact, at times it’s getting worse.”

The reason for this stems from the high number of Henry Ford Health System staff members who have tested positive for the virus. In the last seven days, 169 confirmed cases among employees have been reported. 

“The majority of our staff are having to be quarantined and be on medical leave from work,” Dr. Munkarah. 

Officials with Henry Ford Health Systems say the majority of employees who have tested positive aren’t getting the virus from patients, but they’re getting it from being in the community. 

“If the community spread is not curtailed, if we are not able to stop, maintaining health care is not going to be sustainable,” Dr. Munkarah said. 

Earlier this week, 100 health care systems across the country, joined the #MaskUp Campaign, which focuses on reminding everyone not to lower their guards, especially as the holidays approach. 

“This is not an easy message,” said CEO of Michigan Medicine Dr. Marshall Runge. “We’re fatigued, we’re all stress, but this is exactly the wrong time to let up. 

Henry Ford Health Officials say even if you get a negative COVID-19 test, please avoid large gatherings.