Michigan Medicine, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, IHA partnering with county health departments to respond to COVID-19

Livingston, Washtenaw health officials working with hospitals

Author | Mary Masson

Hospital and health officials from the Livingston and Washtenaw areas have been collaborating for weeks on preparation for patients with COVID-19, keeping in contact and sharing emergency response plans.

Both Michigan Medicine and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System have implemented visitor guidance asking people who are sick to wait until they are healthy to visit patients.

“We want to assure community members that their healthcare leaders are preparing for potential patients. At Michigan Medicine, we have activated a comprehensive planning and response team. We have plans in place so that we can appropriately care for these patients and keep our employees and the community safe,” said Jeff Desmond, chief medical officer for Michigan Medicine.

Health department and hospital officials stress that good hand hygiene is the best defense against the spread of diseases like COVID-19 or the flu. They encourage all to practice proper cough practices — cough into your arm, elbow, or tissue — and clean frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant.

This week, Michigan Medicine launched a video that shows how to wash hands with the help of the “Hail to the Victors” fight song.

People should stay six feet away from those who are sick if possible, practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and should stay home from work, school or social gatherings when they are sick.

“To help minimize community spread, we will continue to screen all presenting patients regarding fever, respiratory symptoms, travel risk factors, and exposures and, if indicated, immediately place a mask on and isolate the patient,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, M.D., chief clinical officer at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be mild or severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have symptoms, the best thing to do is call your primary care physician, who can determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

“Unless you are experiencing emergency symptoms, we recommend you don’t go to an emergency room where you can infect others,” said Juan Luiz Marquez, M.D., M.P.H., medical director at Washtenaw County Health Department. “Most COVID-19 symptoms can be managed at home with advice from a physician.”

“Remote tools such as virtual-visits also can be a good option for people. Those without primary care physicians can also call the health department for advice or a place to start,” said Donald Lawrenchuk, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Livingston County Health Department.

Residents can call Livingston County Health Department at 517-546-9850 or the Washtenaw County Health Department at 734-544-6700. Or access information at Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

More information is available at Michigan MedicineSaint Joseph Mercy Health SystemLivingston County Health Department and Washtenaw County Health Department.


Media Contact Public Relations

Department of Communication at Michigan Medicine

[email protected]


Featured News & Stories pills doctor prescription patient
Health Lab
How one state beat national surgery opioid trends
Medication guidelines for post-surgical opioid prescribing were associated with a lower rate of long-term opioid use and much lower amounts of opioid prescription fills in Michigan compared with the rest of the U.S.
glowy balls images connected light green
Health Lab
Candida auris: The deadly fungus on the rise
Candida auris is a deadly fungus on the rise that the CDC has issues warnings about. A Michigan Medicine microbiologist and immunologist explains more about the pathogen.
backs of three people
Health Lab
When genetic testing can help the whole family
Genetic testing for hereditary conditions such as breast cancer can have implications for the whole family. Learn how genetic testing helped Cathleen Argyle and her family to uncover a rare mutation and how the Rogel Cancer Center provided advice and guidance throughout the process.
cancer cell
Health Lab
Artificial intelligence predicts genetics of cancerous brain tumors in under 90 seconds
An artificial intelligence screening system called DeepGlioma predicts genetics of cancerous brain tumors in under 90 seconds.
pregnant women 3 blue and yellow background
Health Lab
Income affects maternal and infant health in somewhat unexpected ways
While higher income improves maternal and infant health over time, it’s not enough to offset the impact of race, according to new research. In addition, although higher-income mothers and their babies ultimately end up with better health outcomes, they actually start out with more difficulties. And regardless of wealth, maternal and infant health in the United States lags behind Sweden.
gif of people with spinal injuries walking and sun setting purple pink yellow grey
Health Lab
For spinal cord injuries, acceptance and commitment therapy aids in recovery
For spinal cord injuries, acceptance and commitment therapy aids in recovery.