Coronavirus, March 20: 14 notes directly from physicians, hospitals

Here are 14 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. Please email Mackenzie Garrity at or Kelly Gooch at with any announcements from your system related to COVID-19. 

New York 

1. The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, the research arm of New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, announced the enrollment of three large-scale COVID-19 clinical trials. Northwell said Feinstein and Gilead Sciences and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will join forces to identify effective treatments for COVID-19 patients who are in the hospital in moderate and severe conditions.

2. Northwell Health said it will delay payments with zero percent interest for at least 60 days for patients who receive care and have been financially affected with the loss of a job, lost wages or other financial struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic.


3. Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center developed an online assessment for patients questioning whether they have contracted COVID-19. The COVID-19 patient assessment tool currently does not work in Internet Explorer browsers.  

4. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has temporarily closed some of its prevention and survivorship clinics until April. The health system is considering telehealth options for patients. 

5. Bellingham-based PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center emergency room physician Ming Lin, MD, described the situation at the hospital with The Seattle Times. Dr. Lin claimed, along with other physicians, that the hospital has a lack of sufficient segregation and screenings for hospital staffers.  

6. Tacoma-based MultiCare Health System said one of its patients died March 17 due to complications from the coronavirus. The patient, a woman in her 50s with underlying health conditions, was hospitalized March 6 at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.


7. Although Kaiser Permantnete has been preparing for months to ensure hospitals have enough protective equipment and medical supplies, a registered nurse in the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center said there has been a rapidly escalating shortage of supplies, according to ABC10. In some instances, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are completely out, and nurses have started to use their masks and face shields for entire shifts. 

8. As Salinas (Calif.) Memorial Healthcare System begins to test more patients for COVID-19, the health system began staffing alternative care sites. Currently, SVMHS has three isolation tents outside its emergency room to screen patients who present with respiratory symptoms. 

9. Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia plans to open new floors that could be used for response to the pandemic, The Fresno Bee reported. The hospital currently has 38 intensive care unit beds.


10. If patients are concerned they have symptoms of COVID-19, UChicago Medicine has implemented a virtual screening questionnaire through its EHR. The screening categorizes patients into three categories, and from there, UChicago Medicine can determine which patients need to be tested. 

11. Peoria-based OSF HealthCare said it has established a digital COVID-19 pandemic response center. According to the health system, the center provides support through text, call or chat with a digital assistant for people worried about COVID-19. 


12. Southfield-based Beaumont Health said it will share daily COVID-19 test and admission statistics online. The information will be available here.  


13. Cincinnati-based The Christ Hospital Health Network closed its testing site in Mason March 20 after seeing a diminishing access to COVID-19 tests. The health system plans to reopen the testing site when more kits become available. 

14. Cleveland Clinic said it has launched a free online COVID-19 screening tool. People answer questions, based on symptoms and travel, and responses are used to determine risk of COVID-19.


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