GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health said it may use a Grand Valley State University building in downtown Grand Rapids to create more hospital space, if the coronavirus pandemic gets worse for West Michigan.

The two organizations said they have been planning and preparing for many years in the event Spectrum Health needed to utilize space inside GVSU’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences as contingency space.

“We remain committed to adapting, preparing and finding new solutions to ensure the health, safety and appropriate care for our community in the midst of this critical and rapidly evolving health crisis,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health. “This arrangement provides contingency medical space, should we need it. We are grateful for our community partners like GVSU who are coming together in remarkable ways to support our teams and our patients.”

If needed, the space can accommodate up to 250 hospital beds.

While the space requires the state's approval, the organizations are preparing now so the additional beds can be available quickly. 

“Grand Valley State University has resources to help fight this virus, and we are pleased to work with Spectrum Health,” said Grand Valley President Philomena V. Mantella. “We will provide space and any resources we have to assist our state and country.”

The contingency plan announcement comes one day after Michigan's total number of positive COVID-19 cases topped 1,700 and the death toll reached 24. 

Here is our full 13 ON YOUR SIDE coronavirus website.

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.

STATE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COVID-19

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:  

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • 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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