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Baraga hospital responds to county officials’ COVID-19 “manifesto”

Baraga County Memorial hospital released a statement Thursday evening outlining staff concerns over a recent decision that county officials will not enforce MDHHS COVID-19 restrictions.
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Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 2:51 PM EST
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BARAGA COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Baraga County Memorial Hospital has released a statement outlining staff concerns over a recent decision that Baraga county officials will not enforce MDHHS COVID-19 restrictions. That decision was presented in a “manifesto” signed by The Baraga County Sheriff, prosecutor, clerk, treasurer, and board members.

BCMH issued the following statement:

We, the medical staff of Baraga County Memorial Hospital, bring your attention to a document titled the Baraga County Manifesto and signed by county officials. We received a concern from a community member who had read the Manifesto. She was worried about whether it would still be safe to come to the hospital, thinking the Manifesto required us to change our practices. Though the county officials are entitled to their opinions, we want to clearly state that this Manifesto in no way requires BCMH to change its practices.

We are concerned that following a manifesto such as this may lead to harm to the residents of Baraga County and as their medical providers, we stand firm in our agreement with the recommendations and public health orders which have been put forth by the State of Michigan. With Baraga County’s death rate (deaths per capita) being the highest rate of all Michigan counties, we continue to follow the orders ourselves and we continue to encourage our patients to follow them. In fact, not following the recommendations is likely to lead to more hospitalizations and deaths of our most vulnerable county residents, taking us backwards in this pandemic. We are losing a whole generation of elderly people whom our community’s children will never know.

We, as medical professionals in Baraga County, in order to move forward instead of backwards, urge our community to follow CDC recommendations. We urge you to continue masking and using social distancing. We urge you to allow our health departments to continue guiding us through this unprecedented pandemic. We strongly recommend getting on of the protective vaccines as soon as it is available to you. We want our community to be able to move forward in a gradual return to a normally functioning society. Therefore, we at BCMH will continue to provide medical care using best medical practices and following our experts’ advice.

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