More than 700 employees at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have tested positive for coronavirus, the hospital’s chief clinical officer said Monday.
According to International Business Times, 2,500 employees at the hospital have been tested for coronavirus and 734 tests came back positive. The number accounts for just over 2% of the hospitals 31,600 employees.
Dr. Adnan Munkarah, the chief clinical officer at the hospital, said further testing will likely lead to more positive cases among the employees.
“If we are to test the whole population, you are going to see large numbers of people who are testing positive,” Munkarah said in a press conference. “Testing positive is just a measure of how contagious this virus is.”
The hospital did not release who tested positive, their designation, how many of them are still working, how many are in quarantine or how many have died. Munkarah said privacy issues have halted the release of information.
“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. “We know we are not immune to potential exposure and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team.”
The hospital has been overrun with cases in recent days as Michigan has moved to third in coronavirus cases behind New York and New Jersey. As many as 5,023 Detroit residents have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday, with 193 deaths. More than 17,000 Michigan residents in total have been infected with the coronavirus as of Monday and 727 have died, according to the data released by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus is significantly affecting African Americans due to low-wage jobs, a lack of quality healthcare, and existing health disparities.
“We are very concerned about that. It is very sad. There is nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid complications,” Fauci said Monday.
Detroit’s population, which is 70% African American, currently has a higher death rate than New York City. African Americans are less likely to telecommute and more likely to work in low-wage positions forcing them outside daily.