Genesee County health director bracing for surge in coronavirus cases

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (3/27/2020) "It's gone up rapidly in a very short period of time," Genesee County health director, John McKellar said.

In Genesee County alone, there are now 91 positive cases of coronavirus.

It was just one week ago when the county reported its first four cases.

The county health department held a press conference Friday morning to update the community on its response and preparedness.

McKellar said he believes the county will soon see a surge of positive cases.

He explained what we're seeing in Detroit -- hundreds of new cases a day -- will soon be our reality in Genesee County.

McKellar said expecting that to happen, the hospitals and other health partners are prepared.

But, when asked if Genesee County has enough equipment and beds ready, he couldn't say.

"It’s just, it’ll become a wait and see question as to whether or not we’ve done enough in enough time," McKellar explained.

He has been in close contact with the state since the coronavirus pandemic began.

McKellar explained the conversation right now is not just who has beds available. McKellar said they're also talking about what's called 'burden shifting.' That involves moving non-COVID-19 patients to other facilities where they could be taken care of without having to come to the hospital.

The overall goal is having as many hospital beds available as possible.

"Right now, there’s also talk about setting up assistance facilities. That might be - would not be hospitals, but might be formerly closed nursing homes for example, or something like that, take less ill patients, rather than those folks having to occupy beds in hospitals," McKellar explained.

McKellar added it's hard to say how soon Genesee County can expect to experience the surge of positive patients, but it could be in the next couple of weeks. That's another reason why he's re-emphasizing the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order from the Governor.



 
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