Healthcare workers on the front line in the battle against COVID-19 have reason to be frightened. Some are contracting the disease.
But Beaumont Health, the state's largest hospital system, tells employees that those who refuse a transfer to work with COVID-19 patients will be considered to have resigned and ineligible for future employment, Sarah Rahal and Beth LeBlanc of The Detroit News report.
The policy, obtained by the paper, has exceptions for those with underlying conditions and comes amid increasing angst in Metro Detroit hospital systems that are reaching capacity in the face of the third-largest regional U.S. outbreak of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, fears of contracting the disease heightened with the death on Friday of Dr. Chris Firlit, 37, a senior resident oral maxillofacial surgeon at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital. The married father of three was just three months from graduation.
He experienced a fever before his chief fellow drove him to Providence Hospital in Southfield, where he died of suspected COVID-19, Dr. Rafael L. Barretto, director of medical education, wrote in a message obtained by The News.
Attempts by Deadline Detroit to get comments over the weekend about Firlit's death from Barretto and other doctors and family were unsuccessful.