WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Sen. Gary Peters, a Democratic senator from Michigan, announced a proposal Sunday that would ensure the national government is helping the country's public health system to prepare to handle the influx of patients as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.
Peters' three-step proposal would help prevent the spread of the new virus by ensuring that there are enough personal protective equipment and medical supplies for health care providers and sick patients.
Here are the three steps to the senator's plan:
- Ensure an adequate supply of respirators, ventilators and other critical equipment
- Bolster the health care workforce and ensure their health and safety
- Increase the capacity of health care facilities for all patients needing care
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began testing for the coronavirus in the U.S. on Jan. 21, over 15,000 cases of the new virus and over 200 deaths have been confirmed in the country. However, that number has not been updated since Friday, March 20.
Peters said the federal government must help the public health system as it handles a drastic increase in patients during this pandemic without enough medical supplies for healthcare providers. He said he heard this firsthand from Michigan care workers.
"We must ensure that critical shortages won’t impact care for patients or the health and safety of caregivers. I will be pushing for these critical provisions to be included in additional legislation Congress is working on to address this severe public health and economic crisis.”
In Michigan, there are 787 cases of the coronavirus and five deaths confirmed by the state. However, there are 788 cases and eight deaths that were reported after the state's latest total. The additional case and three deaths were released after the state's final count that is released daily around 2 p.m.
STATE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COVID-19
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
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