Coronavirus, March 19: 11 notes from physicians, hospitals

Here are 11 notes from hospitals, health systems and physicians on their responses to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Editor’s note: This list is presented based on the number of COVID-19 cases reported per state. 

New York

1. New York City-based NYU Langone Health said it has reconfigured and expanded the emergency department at Tisch Hospital and its Kimmel Pavilion, with designated COVID-19 screening and assessment areas. The health system, which has six inpatient locations, has completed a similar process at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn and NYU Winthrop.

2. Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam have suspended most testing for the novel coronavirus due to testing supply shortages, The Daily Gazette reported. The organizations are reserving testing for the sickest patients until they have more supplies.

3. Nuvance Health, a seven-hospital system in Hudson Valley, N.Y., and western Connecticut, has furloughed 200 staff over COVID-19 exposure, the News-Times reported. Most of the furloughed staff, who are staff nurses at Danbury (Conn.) Hospital but also physicians and nonclinical health workers from Norwalk (Conn.) Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., have been symptom-free and some are expected to return after their 14-day quarantine.

Washington 

4. Tacoma -based CHI Franciscan is suspending patient billing for testing and treatments of COVID-19, the Mirror reported. The suspension covers CHI Franciscan’s eight acute care hospitals and more than 200 clinics.

5. Stephanie Bandyk, a registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit of Swedish Hospital in Seattle, told Stat ICU nurses are treating two patients at a time amid the pandemic. She said they were limiting one COVID-19 patient per ICU nurse for a period, but are now back to the normal ratio of two patients at a time, because of the increased number of patients. 

Illinois

6. Park Ridge-based Advocate Lutheran General Hospital rolled out a drive-thru station to test forCOVID-19, according to The Chicago Tribune. The hospital said that the drive-thru testing is not available to the general public and that people need authorization from a physician. 

Colorado 

7. Centura Health in Centennial has decided to limit its COVID-19 testing to patients with serious complications and healthcare works, although some exceptions apply, according to The Denver Post. Denver Health and Aurora-based UCHealth also confirmed that their hospitals have limited testing. 

Michigan 

8. A patient at Royal Oak-based Beaumont Health has tested positive for COVID-19. In response, the health system has expanded its screening and testing options, including new curbside screening options. As of March 17, Beaumont Health had processed 500 tests.  

Wisconsin 

9. A physician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa has tested positive for COVID-19, according to NBC Chicago. The hospital promptly tested 200 staff members and patients. 

Minnesota 

10. A long-term care facility in St. Paul will be converted to a COVID-19 treatment center to meet the needs of patients and staff at M Health Fairview in Minnesota, according to The Star Tribune. The hospital cut operations last winter after experiencing budget constraints, leaving it with only 50 beds.

Kansas

11. Topeka-based Stormont Vail Health has created a new Emergency Events and Labor Pool Activation Policy. The policy, which took effect March 17, provides guidance in emergency situations, such as the pandemic, and has processes to help maintain sufficient staffing levels.

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Former Mercy Hospital CEO, Chicago public health commissioner dies

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