Hundreds of staff at a Detroit-area hospital system have tested positive for coronavirus, the system's chief clinical officer said Monday evening.
Nonprofit news site BridgeMI.com reported that Dr. Adnan Munkarah of the Henry Ford Health System confirmed 731 cases of the coronavirus among employees at the hospital system, accounting for 2 percent of the hospital system's 31,600 employees.
As many as 1,500 at another hospital system in the state have reported symptoms similar to coronavirus, though those numbers are not confirmed cases.
“If we are to test the whole population, you are going to see large numbers of people who are testing positive,” Munkarah told reporters on a press call earlier in the day, according to BridgeMI.com. “Testing positive is just a measure of how contagious this virus is.”
“Our team members are our greatest asset and their health and safety is a top priority as we continue to respond to this pandemic,” Munkarah said in a separate statement Monday evening confirming the total number of positive test results.
"We know we are not immune to potential exposure and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team," he added.
Detroit, Michigan's largest city, has seen a surge of coronavirus cases in recent days while the state itself has seen just over 17,000 cases of the virus — the third-largest total of any state in the U.S. More than 5,000 of those cases were reported in Detroit, where hundreds have died.
The hospital system's chief operating officer added in a statement to BridgeMI.com that staff were working "24/7" to acquire more personal protective equipment for nurses and doctors including masks, which hospitals across the country have reported trouble obtaining.