Family Medicine and Community Health Weekly COVID-19 Updates
- The state remains in phase 2 of the Governor’s reopening plan.
- Statewide all COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in the right direction
- Only 2 hospitals across the state are still using surge capacity
- The hospital and medical group have advanced to phase 2 of the state’s plan, characterized primarily by resuming non-essential invasive procedures.
- All services are expected to continue to prioritize the most urgent cases as procedure volume gradually increases.
- Ambulatory offices are now in the health system’s levels 3 and 4 of recovery, with the goal of resuming pre-COVID volume through a combination of telehealth and face-to-face visits.
- All services can be offered with the exception of cosmetic procedures.
- Offices should continue to prioritize those individuals most in need of face-to-face care and follow all guidance for infection control and social distancing.
- Visitation policy has changed, now allowing in most cases 1 visitor. Accompanying individuals for ambulatory visits should be discouraged unless clinically necessary to minimize density in the offices.
- Testing tents remain open.
- Volume remains steady due to pre-procedure testing. We are in the process of transitioning primarily to saliva-based PCR instead of nasopharyngeal swab.
- UMass participated in a two day testing event for individuals who participated in large gatherings. On June 17/18, 1600 samples were collected.
Medical School Campus Reopening
- Most FMCH department staff will return to part time office/part time remote work on July 6. Density will be reduced, and social distancing will be in effect, with guidance for kitchen/breakroom spaces etc.
- The inpatient census of individuals with COVID-19 continues to decline. As of this am, 35 individuals are hospitalized at UMMHC, with 12 in ICU.
- The final surge ICU space is in the process of transition back to normal function.
- Most deployed staff have returned to their usual units; a few remain deployed to employee health and nurse triage.
- Overall hospital census still high; additional acute care beds are expected to remain open post-COVID
- We remain prepared to staff a 3rd Family Medicine team but to date have not been requested to do so. At this point it seems unlikely it will be needed.
Reminders about protocols and procedures
- Self Reporting is required by the Mass DOH.
- Clinical employees should continue to self-report health status using the employee self-reporting tool or the Now Mobile app.
- School employees who have been cleared to work on site should begin to self-report daily once they are working any part of the work week on site.
- Dual docs need only use the clinical self-reporting as they have been doing.
- A new central email address, MedCenterLeadership@umassmemorial.org, has been developed, replacing the command center email. This is intended to keep open and transparent communication with the health system leadership beyond COVID.
- Employee Masking: Please continue to wear the mask provided to you by UMass Memorial from the time you arrive until the time you leave. You can reuse your UMass Memorial issued surgical mask at work until it is visibly soiled or damaged, typically 2-3 days. Clinical providers should follow appropriate infection control procedures and will likely replace masks more often. Please wear masks, even outside, when going to or from your car.
- N95 Sterilization: UV light disinfection is now the sole method at UMass Memorial, and the process has been consolidated to a single site at Memorial campus.
- Ambulatory Testing Tent Hours: Effective Monday, June 8, the testing tent will be open to patients and employees Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 12 noon.
Erik Garcia, MD has been awarded the Consultant Attending of the Year 2019-2020 which is awarded for exceptional compassion, work-ethic and collaborative approach to the care of emergency department patients.