Munson entrance March 25, 2020

Munson Cadillac Hospital is one of three designated COVID-19 care centers within the Munson Healthcare system. Photo taken March 25, 2020.

CADILLAC — Cadillac Hospital is one of the Munson Healthcare system's three designated COVID-19 care centers.

Limiting the number of facilities that treat COVID-19 patients within the Munson Healthcare system is one way to optimize resources.

The scarcity of supplies and tests continue to be a concern.

Though relatively few people people in the area have been confirmed to have COVID-19 via testing, the health care system says they're preparing for more.

"We need to be prepared for an increase of COVID-19 cases and we are designing processes and centralizing resources to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) now and as patient volumes increase," said Munson Healthcare Public Information Officer Dianne Michalek via email. "Like many healthcare systems across the country, we are following guidelines sent down by the World Health Organization and CDC that prioritizes staff safety while also preserving PPE."

Besides Cadillac Hospital, Munson Medical Center in Traverse City and Grayling Hospital are Munson's other COVID-19 centers. Admitting COVID-19 patients to specific units within the designated hospitals will help the health care system manage their inventory.

"At the same time, we are leveraging every resource, public and private, at the local, state and federal level to get the supplies we need to manage this public health crisis," Michalek said.

People need to stay home.

"Staying well and staying home are two of the best ways you can help our healthcare team preserve supplies," she said.

Without more tests, it's hard to paint a picture of how wide and deep the novel coronavirus is spreading.

"The limited number of tests continues to be a challenge in trying to manage this outbreak," Michalek said. "Broader testing that includes those with mild- to moderate-symptoms and others who may be asymptomatic would provide us the data to better understand the disease and identify more targeted measures to prevent its spread."

People with mild-to-moderate symptoms should consult with their provider over the phone and treat at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medication.

The Munson Healthcare system is also accepting a variety of donations, though as of Wednesday morning, the only donation site is at Goodwill in Traverse City. More donation sites are expected soon.

The list of items Munson Healthcare is accepting include: Disposable face masks, N95 masks (sometimes called respirators), eye protection (including face shields and safety goggles), disposable gowns, disposable gloves (especially non-latex), disposable surgical caps, disposable foot covers, wipes (bleach or antimicrobial), hand sanitizer as well as more specialized items like PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators) and PAPR hoods, Nasal testing swabs and Viral testing kits. Munson is also accepting hand sewn masks based on these specs.

Learn more at munsonhealthcare.org.