The Health Director for the state of Arizona tells hospitals to fully activate their emergency plans in response to surge in COVID cases.

 

Banner Health is Arizona’s most extensive hospital system.  They are also Arizona’s largest private employer.  In response to the COVID crisis, the company already furloughed approximately 3,oo0 employees, decreased executive’s salaries by 20 percent and created a one-time bonus pay for employees who provided direct care of COVID-19 patients during March, April, and May.

A statement released by the company yesterday informed the public they had reached capacity for ECMO treatments and was nearing capacity for their ICU beds.

Our ICUs are very busy caring for the sickest of the sick who are battling COVID-19. Since May 15, ventilated COVID-19 patients have quadrupled. Banner Health also recently reached capacity for patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. (2/3)

— Banner Health (@BannerHealth) June 8, 2020

The rate of new infections in Arizona has been climbing.  On Thursday, Governor Doug Ducey explained the number of new infections was related to increased testing.  He added the state was not in a crisis, as “field hospitals are available if regular hospitals run out of space.”  However, Cara Christ, the state’s health official, advised hospitals yesterday to fully activate their emergency services.  Arizona dissolved the stay at home order and, Governor Doug Ducey guided reopening on May 1 for businesses to open on May 4.  The Governor allowed sporting activities to resume on May 15 and racing on May 23 at 25% capacity.  Doctors in Arizona are not surprised about the spike of new cases in the state.

Arizona is home to many retirees, and approximately 17% of the residents are age 65 or older.  The number of COVD related deaths recently passed 1,000.  Arizona is a hot, dry state prompting the department of health to tweet about heat-related health concerns three times in June.  The hypothesis of decreased infections during warm weather suggested by some health care professionals, including CDC Director Robert Redfield, has been proven wrong. Many specialists believed warm weather was not going to decrease the rate of infections.  One of the specialists is epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford, who warned in April to not hope for a warm-weather slump.  I also urged my family and friends in mid-May to not to let their guard down due to improving weather conditions.  Unfortunately, pandemic fatigue has set in on most Americans and my post was not well received.

If you are among higher-risk individuals who’s personal plans have eased because you believe warm weather is a deterrent to the spread of COVID-19, I recommend you reconsider your beliefs. Even if you are a person who is not at an increased risk of death due to COVID infection, the long term effects of a COVID illness are still unknown.  Be wise and follow guidelines to prevent disease.  Be proactive and protect your health. Be prepared for future medical visits and become a member on MyMedicInfo.com.

Updated 6/9/2020 at 9:40 am EST

 

 

 

 

 

Updated Local Reports as of 4-3-20 impact of COVID 19 in the United States

Reports from around the country

Alabama Auburn University Graduate helped to develop test widely used in Alabama.

Alaska 80% of the residents of Whittier who live in a single high-rise apartment building are viewing the pandemic from a different perspective when compared to other residents of the state.

Arizona Leader of Arizona’s response to COVID-19 quits.

Arkansas. Jonesboro Church to hold services this weekend despite pandemic.

California Native of Santa Rosa, California cheered by his crew as after he was relieved of duty for sounding alarm on COVID-19. More on Captain Brett Crozier.

Colorado Pediatric hospital is accepting donors for antibodies to use as treatment for COVID patients.

Connecticut. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is furloughing 400.

Delaware Troopers in the state are allowed to stop vehciles with out of state license plates.

Florida Approximately one dozen critically ill patients transported from crusise ship to two local hospitals on Thursday 4/2/20.

Georgia Governor states learning the virus can spread before showing symptoms is a “game changer”.

Hawaii Hawaii molecular epidemiologist to study if some racial groups are more prone to COVID-19 infection and complications.

Idaho Health group tries a new approach to screen, test, and treat COVID 19 patients.

Illinois Hospitals preapare for surge in COVID-19 patients.

Indiana 5 cases of COVID found in two prisons.

Iowa Over half of the counties in the state have confirmed cases.

Kansas Governor of Kansas expresses her frustration with the federal response to her emergency requests.

Kentucky Judges order ankle monitoring for COVID patients who defy quarantine order.

Louisianna Over 500 patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Louisanna are on ventilators.

Maine Maine newspaper/editoral board gives their opinion on why it is smart to release some prisoners early.

Massachusetts At least 12 of 18 patients who have died at Massachusetts veterans hospital had COVID-19.

Maryland Maryland calls on the National Guard for assistance.

Michigan Michigan government issues hiring freeze in response to COVID-19.

Minnesota Minnesota hospitals are losing revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mississippi Over 1,000 confirmed cases in the state.

Missouri Missouri man allegedly coughs on customers.

Montana Musician/Artist John Mayer donates money to Montana hosptial so it can purchase ventilators.

Nebraska. Reports 6th death from COVID-19 in the state.

Nevada Large quantities of Personal Protective Equipment on the way to Nevada.

New Hampshire Opinion/Editoral recommending less federal spending on nuclear weapons, more federal spending for COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey One quarter of nursing homes in New Jersey have COVID-19 infections.

New Mexico More than 70 businesses violate governor’s order.

New York. Experimental antiviral treatment site begins in New York.

North Carolina Health Care Systems expect furloughs as revenue decreases.

North Dakota Governor is frustrated that residents are not taking the pandemeic seriously.

Ohio In one Ohio family, 3 members die from COVID-19.

Oklahoma Oklahoma reports second largest spike of COVID 19 infections on 4/2/2020.

Oregon Personal Protective Equipment shortages straining hospitals and increasing risk/stress for health care professionals.

Pennsylvania 102 year old recovers from and defeats COVID-19.

Rhode Island Insurers provide 5 million in funding to help with the pyschological need during the pandemic.

South Carolina After Donald Trump claimed at a South Carolina rally that the virus was a hoax, an AI company notes a spike of hashtags in social media and campaigns to spread disinformation attempting to discredit politicians, the media, medical experts, and scientists who were trying to protect the public.

South Dakota Hospitals prepare for a surge in two weeks.

Tennessee On Thursday, Governor Lee spoke to Tennesseans. “We need you to understand that home isn’t an option,” he said. “It’s a requirement for the swift defeat of COVID-19.”

Texas Report from Houston on the struggles of one care facility preventing the spread of COVID 19.

Utah The state partners with private company to allow for more testing.

Vermont State orders large store retailers to stop selling nonessential items in their stores.

Virginia Updates of cases around the state.

Washington Governor extends stay at home order through May 4.

West Virginia One company has 4 of its employees test positive for COVID-19.

Wisconsin Dairy farmers are being asked to dump milk until April 6th.

Wyoming Survey of over 400 Wyoming residents demonstrate the impact of the pandemic.

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Updated 4/3/2020 at 1:15 pm EST

We are all interconnected and must do our part to prevent COVID 19 spread.

world in his hands

If you didn’t believe before that we are all interconnected, I am confident you believe it now.

One new viral infection has led to a pandemic.  While pandemics are not new, it is new for most of us in the United States.  Few of us were alive in 1918 when the Spanish flu affected the world.  And if you were here at that time, it is highly unlikely that you even remember it.  If you are now age 105, you would have been age 3 or 4 during the Spanish flu.

I’ve heard many people say, “it is like we are living in a sci-fi movie”. If you would have asked me two months ago, that most flights overseas are grounded, that major sporting events canceled, that nonessential businesses would be closed, and physical distancing measures be implemented,  I would have stated that it is impossible.  However, that is the reality.  If you are among the percentage of people who believe the outbreak to be a hoax, try to not deny what is happening.  Denial will trick you into thinking you will not get sick or the virus does not have any direct impact on you.  Denial will allow you to not follow the recommendations of specialists and experts who understand how pandemics work and are advocating to save lives.  Even if you never get exposed to COVID 19 virus, the implications of this virus have already changed societies and will continue to do so.  For some of us in minor ways, for some of us in tragic ways.

Now is not the time to place blame on other countries.  Now is not the time to blame politicians.  It is not the time for political figures to point blame at travelers, nursing home health care administrators, etc. Blaming one another for this crisis is not allowing us to work cooperatively to solve new problems.  If scientists and experts recommend guidelines on how to move forward, they are the experts who we need to be listening to.  We are still learning about how the virus spreads, infects, and how to medically treat it so we can save lives.  Until more effective treatments are discovered, prevention is your best medicine.  Our world has been through pandemics before and we should learn from the past.  Many have used the lesson learned with two cities during the Spanish Flu that took two different approaches to fight the spread.  Our country is doing similar things.  Every state is making local decisions.  While each location has its own unique circumstances, we will look back at what we did right and what we did wrong.  We just have not seen anything on this grand of a scale for quite some time.  It is my opinion that it is not wise to compare it to the H1N1 virus of 2009, SARS, MERS, or Ebola.  Each of those viruses had a unique impact on the world.  The Spanish Flu of 1918 is probably the best pandemic to compare it to, however, even that was influenza and this is a coronavirus.  We should not compare apples and oranges.  Another parable is that of the blind men and elephant.  We need to listen to experts.  Listen to the infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, historians, and professors.   

There are times to be offensive and there times to be defensive.  If you want to be successful and win the game, a team works together and knows when to be offensive and knows when to be defensive.  These are lessons we are taught early in life.  The consequence of not winning this war on this virus can have a vast toll on us.  We are in this together.  At some point, medical professionals and/or scientists will find successful treatment and in the process save millions of lives.  Yes, millions. If we do not listen to the experts, we will continue to see sad and difficult days ahead.  We have no idea how long that will be.  You have to do your part.  Now is the time to play defense.   Even if you live in a remote part of the world and do not get exposed to the virus, you can show your support by leading by example.  Stay home.  Rural areas have cases.  No one is immune to a new virus.

Please follow the recommendations of the CDC.  The only recommendation I do not agree with by the CDC is the one that healthy people do not need masks.  I understand the importance of first responders and health care providers to have masks.  Yet, people have the right to protect themselves.  Plus, even if you do not have a mask to wear – consider wearing a bandana over your mouth and nose.  In my observation and opinion, South Korea has been more effective at reducing the spread of the COVID virus.  I read that 70% of the population has been wearing masks over their nose and mouth when they are out in public.  We should be doing the same.  When we do go out for groceries or to the pharmacy, wear a protective mask or bandana. If it is being recommended for those health care professionals who are treating the infected, the same guidelines apply to you to protect yourself from the virus.  You still should try to stay six feet away from others in addition to the other guidelines.  Keep in mind, not all people who are sick will be staying home.  To complicate matters, some infected people may not have symptoms and are unintentionally spreading the virus.

Hope.  The FDA has allowed the ability to begin using antibodies of infected individuals who recovered as a way to treat the severely ill in New York.  I heard today that the virus is not mutating easily.  This is good news.

Some people, like Jahova Witness believers, may not agree to this form of treatment.   Yet, for those who want it, it is a way to possibly defeat the virus and save lives.  Other measures are being discussed and will be attempted.  Until we have an effective treatment, continue to play defense.

Updated 3/25/2020 at 12:14 pm EST

Local reports show devastating impact of COVID 19 in the United States

Reports from around the country: those with comments after the state are noteworthy reads

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona Overdose from self medicating.

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut One party in early March finds half of the guests got infected.

Delaware

Florida Doctors are starting to see a high number of people presenting to emergency rooms in south east counties in the state.

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho Emergency room physician shares his thoughts.

Illinois First known COVID-19-related infant death in US

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky Amazon warehouse performs deep cleaning.

Louisianna High jump in deaths overnight.

Maine

Massachusetts

Maryland Majority of cases in Maryland are under the age of 65.

Michigan

Minnesota Rural hospitals attempt to prepare for COVID patients.

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana 6000 workers file for unemployment.

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey Timeline of the outbreak.

New Mexico Air Force base has 3 confirmed cases.

New York. Emergency Room doctor states 90% of those presenting to the emergency room have COVID symptoms.

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio In one county, half of the cases are in people aged 20-39.

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee Second death from COVID in Tennessee.

Texas Former Texas A&M guard David Edwards dies from coronavirus.

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington Husband and wife die 2 days apart, both from coronavirus-19

West Virginia Trouble getting tested in West Virginia explains why it was the last state in the country to confirm a positive result.

Wisconsin

Wyoming Trouble getting tested despite symptoms.

Updated 3/28/2020 at 10:28 pm EST