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Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/15

Coronavirus Update and Health System Preparations - 4/15
Testing and Confirmed Cases
To protect patient privacy, we have established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DCH internal counts as of noon on 4/15/20:

  • 17 inpatients are being treated for COVID-19.

  • Six inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.

  • Five or fewer inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.

  • 130 (cumulative) have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.

  • 2,741 (cumulative) have tested negative at DCH sites.


Understanding the Results
Today’s report includes a significant jump in COVID-positive patients being treated in our hospitals. It also includes some revised reporting tools (attached image) with some additional information. Following is an attempt to explain both the jump and the tools.

As of yesterday’s report we were treating seven inpatients for COVID-19. As you can see, today we are treating 17 inpatients with confirmed COVID-19.

Why the large jump overnight?

This is an evolving situation, and we are constantly looking to improve both our flow of information and treatment processes. At any given time we have had up to 60 individuals in the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms but who had not yet been confirmed to have the virus. These individuals are known as persons under investigation or PUIs (as shown in the chart), and they have been isolated and treated with the same safety precautions as if they had been confirmed to have the virus.

On Monday we announced that we can now test in-house in less than eight hours. Combined with rapid turnaround times from Diatherix for the more acute patients, we saw a rapid decrease from over 60 PUIs at one point yesterday to 25 today. This faster turnaround is cutting down on the lag time, and we are starting to get a more real-time picture of what is happening. It has not changed how we have been caring for those we suspected of having the virus.

We continue to be fortunate in that even with the rise in confirmed cases; the acuity levels remain generally low. However, as a community, we still need to be vigilant or the numbers will continue to climb.

The Home Depot and McAbee Construction
The Home Depot in Tuscaloosa received a shipment which included a case of respirators. They reached out and donated them all to DCH this morning.

McAbee Construction also pitched in with a large box of face shields.

Thank you so much! All items will be put to good use.