May 21, 2020 - Dr. Archer's Update on COVID-19 response from the DOM and Medicine Program
COVID-19 Update: No news is good news! There are no new cases of COVID-19 in our region today (see update from KFL&A Public Health). There are also no new cases of COVID-19 in KGH. The running total for the epidemic thus remains 62 cases in the KFL&A region with only 1 active, outpatient case. Our PPE supply is stable with 3 weeks reserve, at the current level of activity.
Kingston remains in a bubble with a low incidence of COVID-19 (28.7 cases/100,000 population), positioning us ideally to carefully reopen the city and ramp up activity at KHSC and Queen’s University (read the blog if you’re interested in hearing more). In contrast Toronto has a rate almost 10 times higher (270.2 cases/100,000 population). This is a reminder that the realities of and response to the pandemic will vary by location.
Our low disease prevalence raises questions:
1) When will we ramp up elective care? (Answer: we still await Ontario Health’s permission). The province has just commissioned a group to examine how and when to ramp up of ambulatory care. The first wave of ramp up (which we also await) has been focused on increasing elective procedures and surgeries.
2) When can we relax visitor restrictions? (Answer: not sure yet). Visitor restrictions have kept the hospital environment safe; but have been hard on our patients, who rely on family for comfort, decision making, and emotional support. The hospital is monitoring the impact of reducing accompanying people on the health and wellness of our patients.
To see where Canada stands amongst nations in the COVID-19 pandemic, click here. The case total has risen to almost 5 million with 321,105 deaths.
The Department of Medicine is organizing a Food Drive from May 11 – May 22nd to collect donations for the Partner’s in Mission Foodbank in Kingston.
Please consider picking up a few extra items to donate or check your cupboards to see what you might already have! Money is also welcome! If you choose to donate, please drop off your items with the DOM admin team or your divisional admins before May 22nd! We welcome contributions from folks who are not officially part of the DOM.
Three segments of my daily briefing are on hiatus to avoid repetition:Care for the 99%, Capacity at KGH, and A daily reminder for people in the community re COVID-19 testing and the safety of accessing the hospital. These 3 segment will reappear when new information arises. Suffice it to say we: a) will be ramping up our elective volume soon b) continue to perform community COVID-19 testing at the Memorial Centre and c) are confident that our hospitals and clinics are safe places to receive care.
How’s the epidemic going? To date there have been 80,142 cases of COVID-19 and 6031 deaths in Canada (see below). There are currently 2,624 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and only 368 (14%) are in intensive care units. The COVID-19 curve has flattened, with a decline in new daily cases/day. This improved epidemiology justifies the gradual reopening of the economy in many provinces, including Ontario.
COVID-19 remains most prevalent in Quebec, particularly in Montreal. Quebec, with 22% of the population, accounts for 56% of all cases and 61.6% of all deaths in Canada.
COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect the elderly and particularly the frail and residents of long term care facilities (LTC) (see today’s data below). There have been another 25 deaths in LTCs since yesterday in Ontario. The ~78,000 residents of Ontario’s LTC facilities account for less than 0.5% of the population but they account for ~74% of all deaths from COVID-19!
Testing: We have tested 3.8% of all Canadians (1417,869 people, see graphic below) and are at the same rate in Ontario. I am concerned that testing rates have declined for the past 4 days; not ideal as we reopen society. As noted in earlier discussion we likely need to be doing multiples of the current testing rate so we can safely move to the next phase of reopening Canada!
Random act of kindness: Thanks to our friends at Melt & Grill. They delivered a dose of grilled cheese sandwiches and poutine to the DOM. Just what the doctor ordered!
I tweeted out this memoji (below), created by Ms Anita Ng, Manager of the DOM, illustrating how I try to look after myself as the pandemic drags on. She also brought this relevant article (left below) to my attention (click here).
In return I received this lovely Memoji from Kiara, daughter of Drs. Janet Lui and Sid Srivastava…and suddenly I had a smile on my face! Thanks Kiara, you made my day!!!