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(March 28, 2020 12:13 PM) Jackson College is partnering with Henry Ford Allegiance Health to provide temporary residence in their dormitories for health care workers. Two dorm towers on the campus of Jackson College will become “home away from home” for a number of Allegiance employees who are choosing to stay closer to the hospital campus to help care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients being treated in Jackson County.

“With all colleges and universities across the country closing their campuses and moving to a completely online environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, we had available student residence space and saw a need we could help fill,” said Daniel Phelan, President and CEO of Jackson College. “The Henry Ford Allegiance Health team members are engaged in vital and heroic work, and we’re honored to provide them with nearby lodging in a secure environment, together with access to technology, food, and beverage to keep them sustained during this ordeal. We are pleased to join other community organizations in helping support Henry Ford Allegiance Health.”

Nurses, physicians and other front-line health care workers are making national news for their heroic response to treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our team members could not be more grateful to Jackson College,” said Carey Johnson, RN, Situation Leader for the hospital’s Incident Command team. “For those of us who are working long hours and have long commutes, Jackson College is giving us the gift of time and rest, which is invaluable right now. These accommodations also provide many of us with peace of mind, knowing we’re able to protect our families from possible exposure to COVID-19.”

Signs on the Jackson College campus were installed yesterday to welcome Henry Ford Allegiance Health team members.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health is continuing its preparation today for an anticipated rise in the number of COVID-19 patients being care for in its acute care hospital.

As of 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, Henry Ford Allegiance Health was treating 12 inpatients in their hospital who tested positive for COVID-19. Test results are pending on another 19 patients who are being treated as “persons under investigation,” and are being cared for on isolated units in the hospital to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to other patients. As of this morning, two positive COVID-19 inpatients at Henry Ford Allegiance Health have fully recovered and were discharged to return home, free of any symptoms or concern of spreading the illness to others.

“Michigan is in a period of exponential growth right now, where we are seeing the numbers of COVID-19 patients double approximately every three days,” said Vivek Kak, MD, Medical Director for Infectious Disease at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. “What we’re seeing in the Detroit area right now is concerning and is exactly why we are encouraging everyone to stay home and practice safe social distancing. Slowing the spread will allow hospitals like Henry Ford Allegiance Health a much better chance to fight this illness and ensure resources are available for those in need.”

A park-and-pray event was organized by community members on social media for today at 6:30 p.m. on Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s main hospital campus. Hospital officials are grateful for the heartfelt support from community members but are asking people to stay home instead. “It is incredibly uplifting to know our community is supporting us in prayer right now,” said Pete May, the hospital’s Public Information Officer. “While we gratefully accept these prayers and well wishes, we are asking everyone to pray from the safety of their own home. Not only do we want to honor the Governor’s request for Michigan residents to stay home and stay safe, we also need to make sure hospital operations, which include parking and ambulance traffic, are not disrupted.”

Those community members wanting to encourage COVID-19 patients at Henry Ford Allegiance Health are encouraged to use the Well Wishes feature on the health system’s website. Next week, the health system plans to expand this platform to allow community members to leave well wishes for hospital employees.

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