Media Contact: Mary Masson 734-764-2220

Michigan Medicine announces COVID-19 unit, new paid sick time for employees

Michigan Medicine has executed the next phase of a comprehensive COVID-19 planning and response program which includes the opening, today, of a 32-bed isolation unit. 

“In this unprecedented time, we have moved forward with the activation of a Regional Infectious Containment Unit (RICU),” said Marschall Runge, MD, CEO of Michigan Medicine and dean of the Medical School. “This unit enhances care and minimizes risk of disease spread, while improving safety of patients on and off the unit, visitors and staff.”

The RICU was built as a negative pressure unit at Michigan Medicine specifically for these kinds of crises. The unit, which is comprised of 32 private, isolation rooms, follows CDC guidelines. In addition, focused locations with similar capabilities are available within the University’s hospitals. All staff caring for these patients are prepared, trained and have the right supplies.

“Because of our preventive efforts, risk of infection remains low for our employees and visitors, even if you work in our hospitals or near the unit where a COVID-19 patient is isolated,“ Runge said.  

Runge also announced the creation of a special paid time off (PTO) bank for employees who are exposed to COVID-19 while on the job.

 “We strongly believe that we need to recognize our physicians, nurses and all of our staff who are caring for patients with COVID-19, So, in addition to regular, paid time-off benefits, we are providing up to an additional 120 hours, special-use PTO bank for employees who need to quarantine as a result of caring for confirmed COVID-19 patients.”  

This is in addition to the 80 hours of special use PTO that the University of Michigan has given to all of its employees for dealing with the crisis, whether time off is needed because they have the virus or need to care for loved ones.

According to Runge, recognizing staff during these challenging times is a top priority of the health system. “Our health care providers are demonstrating their tremendous commitment to the health of their patients. We are so grateful to our entire team for their dedication during these extraordinary circumstances.”


For more about Michigan Medicine's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information for our patients, see


For more about the University of Michigan's response to COVID-19, see


For more about the state of Michigan's response, see

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