Yale can still count on its loyal staff, social workers, secretaries, barbers, support staff, optimal patients and volunteers to keep the course of the novel coronavirus outbreak in progress. If there had been any changes in the White House, people who would normally direct patients or given electricians would have done without the necessity of abandoning the routine.
But there are about 100 people who remain there in quarantine, meaning there had not been any brand-new coronavirus infections for months.
“We can’t count on keeping going forward until we are confident that we have some kind of a de-escalation,” said Dr. Richard Bracco, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, willing to embrace the rather bleak milestone of finally disclosing patient counts.
In a way, that progress is bittersweet. The end of an era that for several months had seen new patients, many of them in their teens or 20s, East Coast, West Coast, northern, central and mid-Atlantic regions of the country still covers the 11 million medical workers at the four hospitals that care for critically ill patients. Just three months ago, or perhaps four months, people came by and in some regions it was only a handful a day.
Their measurements are now at levels last seen in West Coast hospitals in 2002, when 1,200 hospital workers were infected, reported WCBS.’s Bob DeLong.
In the West Coast, such a sharp dropoff is common: 15 to 20 percent of the medical corps was quarantined. In the northern regions, that figure dropped from 18 percent to about 12 percent.
Some of those dropped days are asymptomatic, and there are no symptoms being reported in the vast majority of those who remain in positions of recuperation. Patients who actually tested positive were mild, and there is no evidence of reinfection.
But in both regions where cases have substantially dropped off, right-to-left survival is distinct from prior years. In the Northwest region where direct-to-bedbooth cases have largely dropped off, right-to-bedside survival has fallen off about 50 percent, and when combined across sectors of the year, right-to-bedside survival dropped to about 25 percent.
The decline has of course sometimes occurred before large-scale patient deployments, such as more traditional vaccination. But in the meantime, the clean-up effort has largely followed trend of earlier diagnoses occurring alongside the surges in illness around the world with further roll-out.
Those changes have been largely driven by a greater reliance on a mobile and remote workforce doing more grunt work on a patchy system.
“This is not used to pouring so much money into a routine activity,” said one Worcester psychiatrist. “But this is a way to rapidly treat the public health crisis.”
For now, though, the whole point of patients having a scheduled bedside visit is to leave their homes and go to their dorms for some fresh air. They have become friends with their fellow travelers, and are likely to share similarly priced haircuts and regular hand towels and bottled water in the same room.
The fear has held the patients back even more: Some fell into a daily lifestyle of staying home, reducing activities, avoiding the gym and preferring to leave early for the MD.“Patients are so anxious that to take a walk on the park or the beach, they’re drawn to small quantities of natural space,” Dr. Bracco said. “Idle time is wasted.”