78 test positive for COVID-19 at Henry Ford hospitals in Metro Detroit

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Henry Ford Health System confirmed Friday that 78 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at the health system's four Metro Detroit hospitals, reflecting the increase in confirmed coronavirus infections in the region.

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit reported 56 infections confirmed so far, with 11 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 10 at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and one positive test at Henry Ford Wyandotte. No tests have come back positive at Henry Ford Allegiance Heath in Jackson. 

An ambulance arrives near a tent setup at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital to reportedly screen potential coronavirus patients, Friday, March 13, 2020.

The statewide total of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped to 549 as of 10 a.m. Friday, the latest release of numbers by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Henry Ford launched its own in-house test Monday, greatly increasing the number of patients the health system can test and speeding results for the sickest patients. The in-house test is reserved for patients with the greatest need and can be processed within about eight hours, health system officials said. 

The numbers released Friday were of Henry Ford system patients who tested positive. No information was available on how many of those patients were hospitalized or released to home-quarantine. Health system spokesman David Olejarz said more detailed information may be released later. 

Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, senior vice president of community health and equity at Henry Ford Health System, will join U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, for a  live Facebook event  from 2:30 pm to 3 pm on Saturday. The event can be viewed at facebook.com/Rep.BLawrence/.

In-house testing is being is prioritized for patients who are currently hospitalized, admitted Emergency Department patients and Henry Ford health care workers, according to the health system.

Results are turned around within 24 hours, though it could be up to 48 hours due to increased demand. Tests performed on outpatients and those screened at Henry Ford drive-through/triage locations are sent to an outside lab and could take four to five days for processing.