Michigan Health Department orders COVID-19 testing at five state-run psychiatric hospitals

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LANSING, MICH (WLNS) – Today the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) ordered the testing of all employees of the five state-run psychiatric hospitals and centers. 

(MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon the order, and it takes effect immediately. 

“MDHHS believes that COVID-19 testing is one of the best tools we have in limiting its spread,” Gordon said. “Testing – along with wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent handwashing – is especially important in settings such as our state psychiatric hospitals where people are often in close contact with each other.” 

Testing is required for staff at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline, Hawthorn Center in Northville, Caro Center, Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital in Westland, and Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.

Subject to availability of testing supplies, the hospitals must: 

  • Test all newly hired staff.
  • Test any employees who are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms.
  • In facilities with any positive patient or staff cases within the last 14 days, test on a weekly basis all staff scheduled to work that week until no positive cases are identified within the last 14 days.
  • Exclude from work any employees who are required to be tested but are not. 

The emergency order also requires the hospitals and centers to take all necessary precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 – which may include requiring any staff suspected of exposure to COVID-19 to be tested outside the facility – and exclude from work staff with COVID-19 until they have met return-to-work criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Further details can be found in the emergency order

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