Spectrum CEO: Social distancing reducing spread of COVID-19

Tina Freese Decker in Facebook video
Posted at 9:40 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 09:40:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Social distancing in West Michigan has flattened the coronavirus curve “by as much as 65 percent,” says Spectrum Health President and CEO Tina Freese Decker in a Facebook video addressed to Spectrum employees.

“Our hope is that social distancing may decrease the peak of the surge,” Freese Decker said. “As we continue to run our COVID-19 models, we are now seeing the impact of our community staying home."

The Spectrum system is working on ways to increase further testing for COVID-19, the CEO said as she invoked the possibility of using “rapid 15-minute tests” and tests for antibodies to identify people who are immune to the coronavirus.

“We know that we will need up to eight times the normal quantities of personal protective equipment,” she noted but assured employees that Spectrum was “making every possible effort” to secure what they need.

Looking to the future, Freese Decker said the world won’t be the same after the pandemic, and the medical system is working to plan for that. Freese Decker mentioned partnerships with community leaders and businesses “in order to help people stay safe when we no longer have to stay home.”