BREAKING: More than 700 employees at one Detroit hospital system test positive for coronavirus

734 workers in a Detroit hospital system have tested positive for coronavirus. That comes out to over 1 in 4 of the nearly 2,500 who were tested. 

Bridge Magazine reports more than 700 Henry Ford Health System workers have tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital system’s chief clinical officer said Monday.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah said in a statement Monday evening that 734 employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus out of nearly 2,500 employees who have received tests. The figure represents just over 2 percent of the hospital system’s 31,600 employees. More workers likely have the virus, but have not been tested.

“If we are to test the whole population, you are going to see large numbers of people who are testing positive,” Munkarah had said at a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon. “Testing positive is just a measure of how contagious this virus is.”

Beaumont has 1,500 workers with coronavirus symptoms, including 500 nurses
Henry Ford officials declined to say how many of the hospital system’s employees have died of COVID-19, citing employee privacy. As Bridge reported last week, at least one of the system’s nurses has died.

Henry Ford also did not provide additional details about workers who have tested positive, such as which jobs they fill within the hospital system, how many of them are still working and how many are out sick. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has said it does not track such numbers.

“Our team members are our greatest asset and their health and safety is a top priority as we continue to respond to this pandemic,” Munkarah said in the statement. He later added “we know we are not immune to potential exposure and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team.”

Henry Ford is among several metro Detroit hospitals to experience a surge in COVID-19 patients as the virus continues to spread in Michigan, pushing their facilities to the brink of capacity.

Metro Detroit is the epicenter of the virus, with 80 percent of Michigan’s cases. The city of Detroit alone has recorded 5,023 cases so far, with 193 deaths. In total, 17,221 Michigan residents have tested positive for the virus, according to numbers the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released Monday, and 727 have died.

The state Department of Health and Human Services says it does not track how many health care workers have contracted COVID-19, and most Michigan hospital systems have not released their own figures. In addition to Henry Ford, Beaumont Health officials have said “a few dozen” of the hospital system’s employees have tested positive for the virus.