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  • Writer's pictureLisa Reynolds, MD

Coronavirus Update Thu 4/2/2020 noon Including: Oregon HB1:The Oregon COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery AcT

Coronavirus Update

Thu 4/2/2020 noon

Including: Oregon HB1 The Oregon COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Act

Announcing: Virtual Town Hall Tue (4/7/2020, 7 pm, fb live or register for Zoom.)

Lisa Reynolds MD

This is Lisa Reynolds, MD. Portland Pediatrician, mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.

Coronavirus: The numbers

  • WORLDWIDE: 981,000 confirmed cases, 50,000 deaths, 171 countries

  • US: 234,500 confirmed cases, 5700 deaths; The US now has the most cases confirmed in the world.

  • WASHINGTON: 5900 confirmed cases, 247 deaths,

  • OREGON: 736 confirmed cases, 19 deaths (the number of new cases is fewer)

  • 75% of Americans under a Stay Home order

  • Important dates: First confirmed case in US 1/19/2020 (WA); first US death: 2/29/2020 (WA); first confirmed case in OR: 2/28/2020; first death in OR: 3/14/2020. Gov Brown’s Stay at Home order 3/23/2020.

Oregon update: Stay Home Save Lives is Working!

  • Institute for Disease Modeling (Gates foundation): There is strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission by 50-70% compared to baseline (what the rates would have been without state government intervention).

  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME, Univ of WA): Oregon Peak disease (highest number of cases): May 5. If we continue with strict stay at home behavior, we will have enough ICU beds, hospital beds, and ventilators to take care of our sickest citizens. THIS IS THE GOAL.

  • We are nowhere near loosening restrictions, which would cause a rebound and a rapid increase in the number of cases. 97% of Americans will have NO immunity to COVID-19 after this first wave.

  • Hospitalizations in WA state for COVID-19 symptoms dropped 20% last week compared to the previous week. This is the first decline since the early days of COVID-19 in WA.

The US, however, is in dire straits

  • IHME estimates that the US’s COVID-19 cases will peak on April 15. On that day we will need 262,000 hosp beds (we will be 88,000 beds short), 40,000 ICU beds (we will be 20,000 beds short) and 32,000 ventilators (short).

Other Oregon Updates

  • Governor Brown requests federal funding to mobilize 1250 Oregon National Guard members to help in COVID-19 related work (40 members have assisted so far). The federal government is expected to approve this.

  • Unemployment is currently at 16% with 168,000 Oregonians applying for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks. In early March, Oregon’s unemployment rate was at an all time low of 3.3%.

  • Most recreational areas are closed.

  • Providence Health Systems implements universal masking for caregivers and providers who work with patients and visitors, and those who handle food or medical supplies. (This is overdue.)

What I will do on day one in the legislature:

I will introduce House Bill 1: The Oregon COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Act. It will include:

  • Healthcare for every Oregonian. Governor Brown was correct to arrange for insurers to waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing. “No one should have to ask if getting a COVID-19 test is something they can afford.” Try replacing “COVID-19 test” with insulin. With albuterol. With a consultation with a heart specialist. Do you see where I’m going with this?

  • Extensive testing to make sure we know who is contagious (and needs to stay isolated) and who is not. We should also check antibodies to see who has immunity.

  • Detailed plans that we will deploy once a vaccine becomes available so we can inoculate all Oregonians safely and efficiently.

  • A Public Health System Modernization Plan with the logistics of building an Oregon arsenal of personal protection equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

What you can do right now (it’s worth repeating):

  • Prevent Infection:

    • Prevent yourself from getting sick. One infected person will infect 400 others in a month.

      • Wash your hands.Your hands carry almost all of your germs to the respiratory tract (leading to infection). 20 seconds. Soapy water. Wrists and fingernails. Towel dry. Or Hand Sanitizer (second best).

        • Before you leave your house.

        • When you arrive someplace

        • Before/during/after food preparation and eating

        • Before/after cleaning your home

        • Before/after diaper change

        • After shopping cart, sneezing, blowing nose, pet care, garbage.

      • Try not to touch your face (introduces germs from your hands to mucus membranes of eye/nose/mouth). Wash hands if you do. Use tissue to touch.

      • Clean your home. Here’s a great primer on cleaning high touch surfaces (door knobs, faucet handles, light switches, fridge door, etc).

      • Clean your phone (99.9% bacterial kill, like Clorox wipes)

    • Don’t spread (or receive) germs to/from others (in Oregon we say “don’t accidentally kill someone”). Remember you (& others) can shed virus without showing any symptoms. Viruses are smart. STAY HOME SAVE LIVES

      • “Cohort” with your household and NOT beyond that group.

      • When out for essential needs: Keep 6 feet of distance between you and others

      • Cover your sneeze/cough with kleenex (then toss then wash your hands). Or into your elbow (second best).

    • Continue to get exercise. From NYT: You can invest in home exercise equipment or smart-home exercise systems like Peloton or the Mirror, but that can get expensive. You can find a number of workouts to do at home for free. Beginners can try the Well Six-Minute Workout video series. We’ve got a guide to How to Start Working Out, the 9-Minute Strength Workout and Yoga for Everyone. Taking walks and jogging or running are safe ways to exercise outside, maintain your distance from others and keep you from going stir-crazy at home. Learn more about setting up a space in your home for exercise.

  • Medical Considerations

    • Have 90 day supply of medications on hand

    • Know where nearest hospital is and how to get there

    • Have your health insurance information/cards at the ready

Remember, this is a defining moment in our history. When we look back, we will talk about what we did and how we coped with the COVID19 pandemic of 2020 (if we do the right thing, it won’t be the COVID19 pandemic of 2020-2022). Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s check in with our neighbors. Let’s spend time as a family that we would not otherwise have (in real life or via video chat). But let’s continue using our brain, which functions like a muscle and atrophies without use. We need to keep our kids’ brains stimulated, either through school based virtual learning or through resources we find on our own.

Coming soon: Updated resource list

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This website is written by Lisa Reynolds, MD, Portland, Oregon Pediatrician on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic. Mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.

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