A new University of Washington model projects 4,003 people will die in Connecticut due to COVID-19 with peak deaths coming on April 22, two weeks from today. While certainly bad news this is still down over 1,000 from their projections of just a couple days ago. I am back in the field tomorrow, but here at the hospital, things are slow. The number of COVID patients is steadily increasing, and there is no doubt we will start having to use our surge capacity at some point, but the social distancing seems to have slowed the peak arrival in this part of the state. My guess is we will end up lower than 4,003, but we haven’t been hit with the full wave yet, and things seem to change every day, so the best we can do is take it a day at a time.
For those interested there is a great article in the New Yorker by the great medical writer Atul Gawande about what Singapore and Hong Kong are doing to protect health care workers.
Here are some key passages:
Transmission seems to occur primarily through sustained exposure in the absence of basic protection or through the lack of hand hygiene after contact with secretions.
All health-care workers are expected to wear regular surgical masks for all patient interactions, to use gloves and proper hand hygiene, and to disinfect all surfaces in between patient consults.
Social distancing is practiced within clinics and hospitals: Direct interactions among staff members are conducted at a distance; doctors and patients stay six feet apart except during examinations.
The use of N95 masks, face-protectors, goggles, and gowns are reserved for procedures where respiratory secretions can be aerosolized (for example, intubating a patient for anesthesia) and for known or suspected cases of covid-19.
Worth a read.