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COVID-19 Briefing - Friday, 6/26

Today’s Recap:

  • It’s crazy out there. The CDC is now saying that actual case counts may be ten times higher than reported.  We’ve been saying that for days.  You’ve had record numbers of positives, reports of illness and close contact exclusions.

  • Contact tracing, considered a critically important tool, isn’t working the way anyone had hoped.  We knew you were receiving fewer health department contact tracing calls  than a week or two ago, even though your positive case count has gone through the roof.  Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed this.  

  • People who have tested positive for COVID are not returning calls to contact tracers and not willing to share information about their close contacts.

Best Questions of the Day:

If someone was excluded for 14 days for exposure and developed symptoms on day 12, how long should they be excluded?  

Ten days from the onset of symptoms including three days fever free without fever reducing medication and resolution of respiratory symptoms. How long they were excluded before they developed symptoms doesn’t matter once they do.

Has the CDC added runny nose & cold symptoms to the COVID symptom list?

Yes…the newest list is as follows:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How do we explain to an employee that if they haven’t been contacted by us to be excluded based in our positive employee contact tracing, that it’s ok to work and they don’t need to  self-quarantine?

It’s important to proactively reach out when you have a positive COVID case because the rumor mill often starts even before your managers know about anything, and anxiety and fear are very real. Contact everyone one at a time, if you can, explain how you’re determining why we’ve excluded everyone that we have (6ft, 15+ consecutive mins, etc.), and why we haven’t excluded others (they don’t meet that criteria, the risk is much lower).  You can let them know that you have an experienced clinical team supporting you, and that you're following all the best guidance of the CDC and public health experts. We find that proactive 1:1 outreach can really help because so much of the anxiety is the rumors, lack of understanding, etc.

What do we need to know about the NY- NJ-CT travel restrictions?

Anyone traveling to NY, NJ or CT from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, N Carolina, S Carolina, Utah or Texas must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.  Fines of up to $10K for failure to comply!

If everyone attended a party and one person tested positive, do they all need to be excluded?

Not necessarily.  We need honest, accurate assessments from them about social distancing, sharing drinks, cigarettes, joints, etc.  It is likely that not everyone will need to be excluded… but that is a possibility.

If someone takes cold medicine (like DayQuil) which contains acetaminophen, does that confuse knowing if someone has a fever?

Unfortunately, it does. If someone takes it, that day can’t count towards three days fever free. And if they take it, you’ve no way of knowing if fever is one of their symptoms.

Best Read of the Day:  

Many of you have been asking us questions about pooled testing and it may play a critical role in our reaching the needed testing capacity.  Here’s an excellent article about how it works.  

US may turn to more 'pooled testing' as COVID-19 spreads

Best Laugh:

Have a good (and socially distant) weekend.

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