Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Updated October 21, 2020

Latest Information from Michigan Medicine

Your Safety is Our Priority

Find out about the steps we're taking to give you a safe, reliable place to receive medical care. 

Time to Get Your Flu Shot

Protect yourself and the people around you by getting a flu shot at one of our many clinics. 

COVID-19 Patient Testing

Find out about COVID-19 testing for all patients with an upcoming surgery, procedure or admission.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Learn how to get testing to discover if you’ve had COVID-19 and what the results mean.

Updated Visitor Guidelines

Find out about the most recent visitor guideline updates for our clinics and hospitals.

COVID-19 Research Studies

Visit to learn about coronavirus-related research studies.


If You Think You Have COVID-19

Here are three options for Michigan Medicine patients and employees who want to be evaluated for COVID-19. Please remember that you may access your account and communicate with your care provider through the MyUofMHealth patient portal.

Call the COVID-19 Hotline

The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer COVID-19 questions.

Schedule a Virtual Care Visit

To allow our patients to be evaluated for COVID-19, we have expanded access to E-Visits and Video Visits.

Get Curbside Screening

Curbside COVID-19 screening is being offered at select health center locations by referral only.

Please note: Stay at home and away from others if you are sick. In many cases, COVID-19 can be managed without emergency care. Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that are not life-threatening who do not have a primary care provider should call the State of Michigan Coronavirus Hotline at 888-535-6136.

COVID-19 at Michigan Medicine by the Numbers

Michigan Medicine is posting daily weekday snapshots of our current COVID-19 testing and inpatient count.

For University of Michigan campus data, see the U-M COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Patient Data

As of October 21, 1:00 pm

  • Total patients tested for COVID-19 at Michigan Medicine since the pandemic began (includes pending tests): 77,871
  • Total positive tests: 2,187
  • Tests pending (waiting for results): 1,235
  • Current inpatients that are COVID-19 positive: 15
  • Total COVID-19 patients discharged to date: 807
  • COVID-19 patients discharged in the last 24 hours: 5

Discharge numbers include patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities but exclude deaths and discharges to hospice.

Employee Data

March 5 - October 20

  • Total Michigan Medicine employees tested for COVID-19 since March 5, 2020: 9,137
  • Total tests: 13,357
  • Total positive tests: 593
  • Total discharges of Michigan Medicine employees hospitalized for COVID-19: 22

National COVID-19 Data: For COVID-19 data for the U.S., including case numbers, hospitalization rates, hospital capacity, and more, visit the Cases, Data, and Surveillance page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Questions & Answers

What is Novel Coronavirus COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It has been diagnosed in multiple locations worldwide and has received widespread attention from public health authorities and the news media.  Michigan Medicine is closely monitoring and following guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is in close contact with state and local health authorities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and have resulted in many deaths around the world, making the SARS-CoV-2 virus a serious public health threat.

Who is at risk of getting COVID-19?

In Michigan, we are seeing community spread of COVID-19, which means that there is some risk of exposure for everyone. 

Exposure risk is higher for:

  • Those who have prolonged close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and are not wearing appropriate protective equipment.
  • Elderly people and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk of more severe illness.

You can lower your risk of exposure by practicing social distancing including staying at least 6 feet away from people, wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public, limiting contact with large groups of people, and washing your hands frequently.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:

  • Fever or chills
  • New Cough
  • New Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New muscle aches or soreness
  • New Headache
  • New Rash
  • New Runny nose, nasal congestion, or sore throat
  • New nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell 

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. Persons who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow quarantine guidance from their local public health authority.  Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing).

Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19.

CDC COVID-19 Symptoms and Self-Checker Tool: For more about COVID-19 symptoms and to access a self-checker tool, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Symptoms of Coronavirus page.

Who is at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19?

According to the CDC and WHO, people at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 include adults over 60 and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Sickle cell disease
  • People with compromised immune systems

People with compromised immune systems include those:

  • With primary or acquired immunodeficiency
  • On anti-rejection therapy following organ or bone marrow transplant
  • On biologic therapeutic agents
  • With malignant cancers or receiving or who have recently received chemotherapy
  • Receiving systemic immunosuppressive therapy, including corticosteroids equivalent to 20 mg a day of prednisone for 2 weeks or longer

If you are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, watch closely for symptoms and emergency warning signs. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Get medical attention immediately if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, including:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Visit our COVID-19 Patient-Specific Guidelines page to view or download information for patients with specific conditions or who are being treated at certain Michigan Medicine clinics. This page will be updated as we learn more about the disease.

Should I be worried about the new multi-system inflammatory syndrome being reported in children and adolescents?

New reports suggest that a rare and potentially fatal inflammatory disease linked to the novel coronavirus is afflicting a small number of kids. Pediatric health experts are closely monitoring new data, emphasizing that while parents should learn about the new condition and know the symptoms – they also shouldn’t panic.

Read more about the new syndrome here.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says health experts are still learning about how this new coronavirus spreads. It is thought that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets in the air caused by coughing, sneezing or talking
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)

What steps can I take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or flu?

If you are ill, stay home and rest. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wear a mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that by covering your mouth and nose, you’re significantly lowering the chances of spreading infection through small droplets that come out of your mouth when you talk, sneeze and cough. Visit our Mask-Wearing to Prevent COVID-19 page for more about the why, who, and how of mask-wearing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Watch the video: "Wash Your Hands: Fight Germs with the University of Michigan Fight Song" for a "Go-Blue" approved demonstration of how to do this.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and anyone outside your household, whether they appear to be sick or not. Some people may carry the virus but may not show many symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wear a cloth face cover or mask to cover your mouth and nose when you’re in public.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you haven’t done so, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.

How is COVID-19 treated?

There are currently limited options for the treatment of COVID-19. Management is primarily focused on supporting the patient and managing symptoms, helping the patient to breathe, and allowing the body to fight the infection and heal.  Certain patients requiring hospitalization for COVID-19 may be eligible for treatment with antiviral or anti-inflammatory medications have been shown to provide additional benefit in patients with severe disease in some studies.

University of Michigan faculty are closely monitoring a number of potential treatments in development around the world, including several therapies currently being investigated here at Michigan Medicine.

For more information, read our blog post on the Michigan Medicine Lab Blog: Chloroquine, Ibuprofen and Beyond: Doctors Discuss Latest Treatments, and Treatment Rumors, For COVID-19

How can I volunteer to join a clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Michigan Medicine researchers are using their expertise to advance what doctors and scientists know about how to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19. Our faculty are currently conducting a number of clinical studies related to COVID-19, including one to test the effectiveness and safety of a vaccine. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine trial, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial page. For other coronavirus-related studies, visit the Other Coronavirus Research Studies page or go directly to the list of coronavirus studies on

Other COVID-19 resources

For information about COVID-19 specific to the state of Michigan, visit the State of Michigan COVID-19 website. To find a COVID-19 testing location, visit the COVID-19 Test Finder page on the website.

For more up-to-date medical information about COVID-19, including what to do if you're sick, symptoms, data, and more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 Health Resources, Research and News

Sign up for email updates: Visit the COVID-19 Email Updates page to sign up to receive regular email updates from Michigan Medicine with news and resources about the coronavirus.

Click on one of the links below to read the latest stories and research information from our Michigan Health and Lab blogs and News Room.

Visit the Health Resources, Research and News page for more COVID-19 news and resources.