VMS Starts Weekly COVID-19 CALLS With VDH at 12:15pm on Tuesdays
Please join VMS, for a weekly COVID-19 update from 12:15-12:45 pm hosted by Vermont Department of Health (VDH) Commissioner Mark Levine to update Vermont's clinicians on the latest information and protocols to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont. Please use this call-in information each week:
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Join by phone: Dial-in number: +1 (802) 552-8456
Conference ID: 993815551
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The first of these teleconferences occurred this Tuesday, March 17th. The Commissioner reported today there are 17 confirmed cases in Vermont and that the patients range in age from 70s to 50s and from 20s to 30s. He also covered the latest priorities regarding the testing of patients. He said VDH does not want to interfere with clinical judgement, but they are prioritizing symptomatic healthcare workers and those who fit the highest risk categories to receive testing first. He reiterated that the drive-through testing protocol is for patients that have a referral from their primary care practitioner to be tested, not for anyone with symptoms. The Department is currently working in coordination with the University of Vermont Medical Center to source more testing equipment and lab capability. Commissioner Levine said Vermont, like all states, does have a stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but that we are working to source more as it is not enough. He also said that the Administration is working to provide childcare for health care professionals as the State understands this is a critical need at this time. The Commissioner was optimistic about expanding the test capabilities as early as next week.
Clinicians that joined the call also provided updates on their practices' workflow changes to COVID-19. Responses included:
- A dermatology practice closing to all non-acute care for the next 3 weeks.
- A radiologist said they have cancelled all scheduled imaging like mammography that requires close contact. They also said it is not recommended to order CT scan imaging for COVID-19 both to protect technologists and because it takes the machine out of use for long periods of time to adequately clean between patients.
- A pediatrician reported that they have changed all of their "well-child" visits to the morning and and all sick visits to the afternoon. They have prioritized well-child visits to anyone behind on their immunizations. They are also keeping clinicians working with sick kids, who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, separate from the clinicians attending the well-child visits.
- Another pediatric practice is doing all virtual appointments.