Photo: Arnold Gold / Heart Connecticut Media
NEW HAVEN – The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at five Yale New Haven health hospitals has increased from 26 to 64 in the past two weeks, a 50 percent increase since Friday, officials said on Tuesday.
While smaller than the more than 800 hospitalized at the peak on 21 April, the increase shows that people are in charge of the health system’s chief clinical officer, Dr. According to Thomas Balsezak, social disturbances and practicing wearing masks should not be relaxed.
He and CEO Marna Borgström gave the latest update on the epidemic during an online news conference on Tuesday. Borgstrom said there were 29 COVID inspectors at Yale New Haven Hospital, 14 at Bridgeport Hospital, 13 at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, and eight at Greenwich Hospital.
“When you were your guard on high, it was almost easy to stay safe,” Balcezak said, warning that with fewer cases, some “feel unreasonably that you can lower your guard.”
He said the hospitals are “well prepared in terms of supplies and PPE” and are also planning for a possible surge in cases of flu as well as COVID-19, making it “twindemic” .
“Yes, we are worried,” he said. “We are ready and I think it is important for the public to know that we are alert and ready for the next wave.” He said hospitals have units for COVID units as well as “individuals under investigation” who are suspected of having the disease, but are awaiting test results.
Balcezak said a second vaccine trial would soon begin at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, which has 250 participants in its first trial, with Pfizer having more than 250 rooms. A second test with Merck would involve using the measles vaccine. The company has said that it hopes to make the vaccination once. Most vaccines require two doses.
He said that once a vaccine is developed, “we are going to have challenges that suit any major effort in terms of logistics” because 80 percent of the people are immunized to create “community immunity” should go.
Balcezak said there would also be issues with storage. “These genetic material vaccines require storage at extremely cold temperatures”: 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, he said. “And you have to store them at that temperature for a day or two before, until you administer them, and we don’t have the same number of freezers distributed evenly across the state.”
Balsezak also said that the health system is following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that employees face up as “particularly in patients’ rooms where patients are not wearing masks”.
“It continues to explore how we know that this virus spreads and is very uncommon for these viruses to spread through the mucous membranes of the eye, but we are concerned that we are adding it as an additional security measure Are, “said.
Both Borgström and Balsezak said they were concerned about causing physical and emotional fatigue among healthcare workers and the community at large. “The idea that we are facing it again requires us to double down on thanks to our staff,” Balcezak said. “Our employees are tired and they have been at it for a long time.”
“What they were doing is constantly reminding our employees to wear masks, wear them properly, maintain social distance, practice good hand hygiene. … We are all practicing… what we call 200 percent accountability, which is that if we see someone who is not compliant, we go up and address it politely but firmly And insist that this is something we all have to do to protect ourselves and each other. ”
Balsezak said it is difficult to know why the number of hospitals statewide has not steadily increased in number of hospitals. “In the state of Connecticut we are conducting more tests than ever before, and because of the easy accessibility of tests we can pick up more asymptomatic individuals,” he said.
Other reasons may be that “it is mainly affecting the younger population with less population and therefore less hospitalization” and the strain of the virus that is most prevalent is “more infectious but less fatal.”
Balsezak was asked about the “super-spreader event” Sept. 26 when Judge Amy Connie Barrett was introduced by President Donald Trump as his Supreme Court nominee, after which Trump and many others – COVID – Came down for 19.
“We know that it is better for a person wearing a mask, who has a virus or who may be susceptible to the virus, to wear both masks. Masks are really effective at source control, which means if you have the virus Is, so it reduces your spread and even plain old clothes masks are at least somewhat effective in protecting others.
“Regarding super-spreader events, I would just add that if you take a whole bunch of people with no masks, some of whom may be infected, when you crowd them together, even one Even on outdoor space, you risk spreading, ”said Balsezak.
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