NEW BRITAIN- Hartford HealthCare shared their latest numbers across the system, and how theyâ€™re preparing for the rise in state numbers during a media briefing Thursday afternoon.
There are 165 covid positive patients across Hartford HealthCareâ€™s acute facilities. Hospital Of Central Connecticut has 31 covid positive patients.
â€śWeâ€™ve been watching the numbers across the system every day and weâ€™ve seen a rapid incline lately especially in the last several days. This is an expected phenomenon that we expected through different modeling and other things to see some increase and we will continue to see some increase all the way to mid-December,â€ť said Ajay Kumar, MD and Chief Clinical Officer at Hartford HealthCare. â€śThe important part to mention is that while weâ€™re seeing the increase the way the system is designed we are working to manage this pandemic and our system isnâ€™t overwhelmed. We are not at capacity, we are able to handle our processes and access to the patients just as much as any other times right now. Whatâ€™s most interesting is the patients that are coming here right now are not utilizing intensive care so much thankfully so these are generally the patients on the floor and managed in the non-critical care setting.â€ť
Kumar shares that as some of the hospitals in the state have limited the visitation Hartford HealthCare continues to evaluate things every day looking at prevalence and other variables.
â€śWe look into how the healing is promoted; do we have compassionate patient experience focused care provided and Iâ€™d like to believe that the interaction of the family members is important at this time,â€ť said Kumar. â€śWe are confident our processes at this time designed across Hartford HealthCare are safe to be able to provide that level of exposure. We also think about how does our community perceive that part here and Iâ€™m very confident and really proud of the work our colleagues have done during the pandemic. That we have remained focused on safety and as long as we continue to focus on safety weâ€™ll continue to do what weâ€™re doing here.â€ť
Kumar also gives his take on how he sees the spread of the virus occurring now.
â€śAbout four to five weeks ago we started seeing some changes in the community. We started seeing the increase in the younger population getting infected and I quoted this number 20-29 and 30-39 age groups had a very high positivity rate compared to the 60-69 range,â€ť said Kumar. â€śNow fast forward three weeks ago we started seeing some increased spread in the nursing homes. What happens is the younger population who gets infected because of social gatherings and maybe mask fatigue or even disregard of the mask or social distancing who is able to congregate and are mobile is able to expose other members it lead to similar spread which we saw in the nursing homes and other areas breaking out. Now weâ€™re seeing the increase of hospitalizations and thatâ€™s the trend of the pandemic younger population, elderly/vulnerable population and hospitalization goes up.â€ť
With things constantly changing Kumar says itâ€™s difficult to know if the mortality is any better than before.
â€śRight now we have more younger patients who are positive in the society and weâ€™re testing more so the base is much higher as well,â€ť said Kumar. â€śWe have done more than 435 thousand testing so far. In the last month itself we have done 100 thousand testing. Our call center has received over 260 thousand calls. Yesterday (Wednesday) I looked at the number our last seven day average was 1,039 calls a day. As of yesterday within 24 hours we got in access of 3,000 calls.â€ť
Hartford HealthCare continues its commitment to ensure that the system passes on the appropriate and right information to the community as quickly as possible to ensure that safety is maintained.
â€śWe do find over the past few months that this information has been critical not just from us, but the appropriate information has been critical to places that weâ€™ve been in regards to significant reduction over the last few months,â€ť said Keith Grant, APRN Senior System Director, Infection Prevention, Hartford HealthCare. â€śAnd as we see an increase we do believe that the right information with the right practices will help us to reduce numbers and get us back to a place where we saw no new cases significantly and lower rates; in Connecticut rates lower than 1%.â€ť
From an epidemiology perspective Grant says that whenever there have been holiday or holiday weekends after a few days consistent with the incubation periods weâ€™ve seen upticks.
â€śAs we look toward Thanksgiving I ask the same thing that weâ€™ve always asked proper social distancing, proper physical distancing, ensure that if you do have symptoms stay away from family and your loved ones, appreciate using some virtual communication and ensure that youâ€™re not passing anything on to your vulnerable family members,â€ť said Keith Grant. â€śWhen you decide to get together identify your guest list, your risk factors for each guest, create messaging so communicate what you believe is safe if youâ€™re hosting, think about screening, think about encouraging testing if people are traveling from high risk areas encourage them to self quarantine for a period of time 7 to 14 days before the travel, I would still encourage wearing a mask when multiple individuals are getting together.â€ť