Traverse City News and Events

GT Pavilions Testing High-Risk Residents For COVID-19

By Beth Milligan | March 20, 2020

Grand Traverse Pavilions has tested high-risk patients for COVID-19, the facility announced Thursday, with case results pending.

"Grand Traverse Pavilions has been at the forefront of prevention and preparation for the coronavirus in our community over the past several weeks," the facility said in a statement. "Leadership and specifically the environmental services and clinical teams have been diligently preparing our facility for the potential of accepting new patients or treating current residents that have been identified with a compromised respiratory condition. With the recent availability of testing kits for the COVID-19 disease in our community, Grand Traverse Pavilions Medical Director Dr. April Kurkowski identified residents for testing."

The recommendation to test was based on recent CDC guidelines for individuals who currently are being treated for other respiratory illnesses that may be co-presenting with the coronavirus, such as pneumonia. The CDC is recommending that clinicians consider testing high-risk patients with respiratory illnesses for the coronavirus. That new indication has shown that the predetermined symptoms for the virus may be masked by other related respiratory infections such as pneumonia. 

"We are working with the Health Department and are following CDC guidelines to identify and test those residents who fit the established criteria," says Kurkowski. "We are also ruling out other possible causes for their symptoms and are treating them symptomatically."

A specific isolation area has been established and will be activated as needed at the Pavilions. The facility's infection control team meets daily to review new mandates from the CDC and to discuss staffing scenarios. Family members of Grand Traverse Pavilions residents are encouraged to call their social worker for updates and to make arrangements to talk directly to their loved ones via Skype or Facetime.

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