Update Friday the 13th (7:30 am)
This is Lisa Reynolds, MD. Portland Pediatrician on the frontlines of the coronavirus epidemic. Mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.
I want to be clear here: I’m seeing children with coronavirus in my clinic every day. Of course, I cannot test or confirm, but we are all nearly certain we are seeing kids with coronavirus in our clinic.
State and federal governments MUST take on the cost of coronavirus. We need to pay for the sick leave of stricken workers or family members as well as those whose work hours we curtail. We cannot let coronavirus and the economic fallout further jeopardize our vulnerable neighbors.
Factual update Coronavirus
A lot has happened over the past 24 hours.
WORLDWIDE CONFIRMED CASES: 135,000 cases, 111 countries, 5,000 deaths.
US CONFIRMED CASES: 1,600 cases, 46 states, 41 deaths
OREGON CONFIRMED CASES: 29 cases confirmed, including 8 at a long term care facility (veteran’s home) in Lebanon. No deaths.
OREGON’S Governor Brown has announced the following yesterday (THANK YOU!):
ALL OREGON SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED for 2.5 weeks starting Mon 3/16 and lasting until Wed 4/1/2020. We can do hard things. We must organize food for the kids who rely on schools for their meals.
Gatherings of more than 250 people will be banned (until 4/8/2020)
High risk individuals: (> 60 years old or with underlying health risk [heart/lung/diabetes/immunosuppressed]) should avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
Employers should help with social distancing by staggering work schedules, limit meetings and increase “personal space”. Allow employees to work from home. Extend sick pay so that sick employees can stay home.
Nursing home visitors restricted to essentials only.
Forming more task forces, etc.
Yes, this means massive disruption in our work and our education. The lives of Oregonians and the safety of our health system depend on making the right choices right now. #FLATTENTHECURVE
The status of testing in Oregon is unclear. At this point, there is no widespread testing due to lack of tests/testing infrastructure
OREGON UNIVERSITIES join hundreds across the US (including the two that my sons attend) in announcing a shift to online learning. This includes Univ of Oregon, OSU, PSU so far.
Economic crisis/stock market instability continues/deepens.
What to do:
Continue frequent hand washing/hand sanitizing. Stay home if you’re sick. Clean surfaces with clorox wipes. Try not to touch your face. These are necessary but insufficient steps.
Social isolation for high risk individuals: Those over 60 years old and those with medical risk (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes) should stay home.
We need social distancing for everyone (the only action that has been shown to slow the disease in an outbreak):
Social distancing: stay 6-10 feet away from other people
Small (3-4 people) gatherings: are okay for NON high risk folks. Sick people not allowed.
Do not visit nursing homes
Work from home wherever possible.
For houseless Oregonians, who are particularly vulnerable: Screening at shelters and isolating the sick, dispensing hand sanitizer, outreach.
If sick, get tested, once it becomes available. We need widespread testing ASAP.
What I’m doing:
Suspending door-to-door canvassing. Substituting literature drops (dropping off my “walk cards” to homes without knocking doors), designing mail programs and phone banks to voters.
Postponing campaign events
Wearing a mask at work at all times
Preparing to transition from “empty nest” to both kids at home doing distance college learning!!!