May 28, 2020 UPDATE: Read below for details on how to talk with patients regarding fears of going to the ED and the latest updates around the COVID-19 pandemic response. Please continue to use this website for daily updates and wellness resources. It also contains specialty-specific pages for clinical information and resources.
- There are nearly 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. with 100,000 deaths.
- COVID-19 cases are rising in the Carolinas, Virginia, California and the Deep South but continue to decline in the NYC-metro area.
- The coronavirus remains highly infectious and continues to spread, even in warm climates. Clinicians and the general public should continue to take precautions to limit unnecessary exposures to the virus.
- Masks or face coverings are still recommended in any public setting. Protect others and yourself. Envision Healthcare continues to source PPE for clinical sites and distribute to areas with the highest need.
- The Envision National COVID-19 Task Force will continue to release resources, guidance and communications as available.
Below are general guidelines and recommendations. Continue to follow local guidance from your hospital or local health officials, if available.
ERs are Safe
General fear of contracting COVID-19 has caused a significant decrease in emergency department visits across the nation. This means many patients are often delaying or forgoing the appropriate care for serious and life-threatening conditions. Here are important things to know as you talk with patients:
- Do not delay treatment. Severe acute illnesses continue to require emergency care (e.g., stroke, heart attacks and severe non-COVID-19 infections). Intentions to not overwhelm hospital systems by avoiding EDs may have the opposite result. Patients may be putting themselves at higher risk by ignoring signs and symptoms and avoiding emergency treatment for potentially life-threatening conditions.
- Hospitals are separating regular emergency patients from COVID-19 patients and are implementing layouts and strategies so that EDs are as safe as possible for non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 conditions.
- Our hospitals and clinicians are following safety and clinical quality protocols and additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including hand-washing, appropriate PPE use for providers and patients and the use of virtual health.
Protecting yourself from infection as states “re-open”
Many states are beginning to slowly re-open; however, the process of safely reopening is complex. The coronavirus is still in our communities and highly infectious. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:
- Always wear a mask when in public spaces (grocery store, hardware store, post office)
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid groups of more than six people
- Maintain social distancing
- Stay home if you become ill
- Contact your doctor with worrisome symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath
Face Masks for Home Use
The CDC continues to recommended the use of face masks or face coverings in public. Homemade face masks are not appropriate for use by healthcare professionals in clinical settings. Please see the following infographic from the CDC on How to Wear a Face Mask and How to Make Your Own.
Treatment recommendations continue to be limited to supportive care measures. No evidence-based studies have demonstrated any benefit of antiviral or immune-modulating medications for preventing or directly eradicating the virus.
There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19, although some companies have entered the beginning phases of trials. While encouraging, successful vaccine production and distribution is likely more than a year away.
Antibody testing has continued to increase across the nation; however, there have been no widespread studies indicating their efficacy or accuracy. Caution should be used when interpreting antibody testing for COVID-19.
The CDC’s guidance for treatment and evaluation is rapidly evolving. Continue to follow the CDC guidelines.