18 March 2020 Blog Post: COVID-19 Update
It has been a bit of time since my last update. At this writing there are now 217,031 worldwide #COVID-19 cases, 8,911 deaths and 84,383 recoveries. In the United States the total number of cases is now at 8,055 with 127 deaths and 106 recoveries. As I outlined in a previous post, the US case number, while rising rapidly, is undoubtedly a significant under representation of true cases. More likely there are 40,000-80,000 true cases.
At Santa Monica Primary Care we are now in our third full day of exclusive use of telephone and video conferencing with patients. I have found the video conferencing via Facetime to be most useful in the evaluation of specific concerns.
Unfortunately, we have not had a much success in obtaining COVID-19 testing results through our commercial partner LabCorp. We began sending samples last Wednesday (one week ago) and thus far have only had two results (both negative) return. The initial 3-4 day turnaround time is now listed as 6-7 days. The lack of availability of testing and the slow turn around time will continue to be major barriers to any hope for effective containment of coronavirus in the United States.
In terms of what to expect moving forward, a recent study from the Imperial College UK evaluated the effectiveness of the following five interventions – alone and in combination:
At Santa Monica Primary Care we intend to continue our current virtual clinic stance until at least March 27th and will reassess at that time. I will be making some house calls next week (forgive the full protective gear) to perform evaluations or procedures (such as suture removal or medication delivery by injection) to those that remain in necessitated self isolation.
Also today we have begun to proactively call our patients who have been asked to self-isolate due to age or a compromised immune systems. The goal of these calls is to ensure that each patient has adequate medication supplies as well as access to medical equipment, food and any other necessities that they may be lacking. We remain available 24/7 for any concerns and Dr. Bretsky will remain on call again through this upcoming weekend at (310) 828-4411.
𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿
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