A resident living in Zaragon West Apartments tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to an email sent to residents on Wednesday afternoon. 

“We have been informed that the resident sought immediate medical attention from local healthcare providers and is now self-quarantined at their home,” the email reads. 

Z West said they increased sanitation measures within the building and encouraged residents to take actions to prevent the spread of the virus, including frequent hand-washing and practicing social distancing. 

As of Wednesday, Washtenaw County had reported 400 cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths. In a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon, The Washtenaw Public Health Department noted the influx of new cases.

“We are reporting almost 90 new cases of COVID-19 today,” the tweet reads. “Please note that almost half of the cases in this spike represent a backlog of labs that have been pending for 1-2 weeks.”

The Washtenaw County Health Department advised residents to cover their mouths and noses in public to slow the spread of the disease after a growing body of evidence suggested people with no symptoms can potentially carry and spread the virus. The Health Department urged people to save N95 and surgical masks for health care workers and consider using homemade masks or bandanas instead.

During a virtual press conference Tuesday, Michigan Medicine released projections estimating that with “aggressive social distancing,” the peak of COVID-19 cases would be on May 16 with 3,179 patients hospitalized. Under a model with less social distancing, the peak would be on May 4 with 5,860 hospitalized.

Michigan Medicine is currently licensed for 1,000 beds, and Keith Dickey, chief strategy officer for Michigan Medicine, said the hospital anticipates hitting capacity within the next two weeks. 

To accommodate the influx of patients, Michigan Medicine is looking to convert an indoor track facility into a field hospital.

“We are now assessing locations outside of the four walls of our hospitals, on our athletic campus, for the potential to create a field hospital of 500 beds or more,” Dickey said. “The initial location we are evaluating and prepping for is in the indoor track at the facility on State Street.”

Reporter Julia Rubin can be reached at julrubin@umich.edu.

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