More than 700 Henry Ford Health workers tested positive for COVID-19

Henry Ford Health System
More than 700 Henry Ford workers have tested positive for COVID-19. (Henry Ford Health System)

A top physician at Henry Ford Health System says 734 workers have been infected with COVID-19.

Adnan Munkarah, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer, told FierceHealthcare in a statement that the health system has tested 2,500 workers so far and the number of positives represents 2.1% of their workforce.

The news was first reported by Crain's Detroit Business on Monday. Munkarah told the outlet that most of the workers who have tested positive for the virus have mild cases. However, he said that 20% did have to be hospitalized.

Over the weekend, a 54-year-old nurse at Henry Ford Hospital died from the virus, Michigan Radio reported.

RELATED: Hospitals to OIG: Lack of tests, PPE and consistent guidance hamstringing COVID-19 response

Munkarah told FierceHealthcare that the workers who have tested positive include staff members who are not on the front lines of the pandemic, meaning they may have caught the virus in the community and not in the hospital.

He said the system has implemented aggressive policies to protect workers, including universal masking for all employees and visitors and prioritizing tests for staff members who exhibit symptoms.

"As a health system caring for a large majority of our region's COVID-19 patients, we know we are not immune to potential exposure and we remain grateful for the courage and dedication of our entire team," Munkarah said.

Detroit and Michigan broadly are a growing epicenter for the virus outbreak, with 17,221 cases and 727 deaths confirmed Monday by state officials.