17 Jun Medical Director Update 6/15
As you may have heard, Oklahoma has seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. Tulsa has not been spared. Two important metrics to follow include the rolling 7 day average and the % increase in the previous 7 day rolling average. Both of these numbers are increasing in Tulsa. This has been linked to large indoor gatherings, likely a result of months of isolation with individuals having a desire to socialize. What gives me even more concern is the presidential rally (possibly 2) this coming weekend. This event has the potential to become a “super spreader”and could drastically change the situation very quickly. We should know the direction we are headed in approximately 2 weeks from today.
The good news is hospital utilization remains low and we have not yet hit “surge” although some states are (Arizona and Arkansas are experiencing critical hospital mass).
As of this letter, 12&12, Inc. remains in a phase 3 operating status. Our admissions in the face of the epidemic have allowed us to help over 100 people at a time they need it most. I am reluctant to step away from this. I am working with leadership to evaluate what components of a phase 2 will be necessary over the next 2-3 weeks without effecting our admissions inflow and overall census.
I ask all at 12&12 in the community to please practice easy common sense methods to help prevent the spread. This includes limiting activities in public, limiting activities in private to small numbers, wearing a mask in public, frequent hand washing, and cleaning commonly used surfaces often.
If you have symptoms or have had an exposure, please consult your physician so that you can get tested.
As we have moved to phase 3, some instructions/policies require further clarification. Below are some questions that have been posed to me:
- Can we be leaving the facility for lunch like we used to?
- I would advise against this at this time. With the increasing numbers and impending rally, this is unnecessary risk of the spread. Once we know that the numbers after the rally are going in the right direction, we will likely not encourage our employees to not leave for lunch. For expressed directions, please contact your supervisor.
- How much longer are you guys / we going to make staff wear masks?
- Until we know the full extent of damage from the rally in association with current trends. Right now, for the next 14 days, possibly longer.
- Why do we have social distancing at meal times but allow clients to be side by side in group rooms, courtyard, etc.?
- Residents are encouraged to social distance at all times in the courtyard. There is only so much control we have over clients and the institution has made the decision to not discharge individuals for not adhering to guidance as long as they are not on quarantine precautions .
- When is Phase 3 go in effect for reopening plans?
- 12&12 entered Phase 3 last Monday (one week ago). We have not had any problems. However, as above, we will likely go to a hybrid mix of phase 2/phase 3 for the immediate future.
- Would we be told if COVID positive patients were in 12&12?
- To date, we have had no positive patients. I fully anticipate that not being true much longer. Who is notified of a positive case will be determined on a case by case basis, ensuring that we are adhering to all federal and state laws. Any positive test will be relayed to Tulsa Health Department and next steps in consultation with them. The exposure to the rest of the facility with need for testing clients and staff determined at that time. It is hopeful that all of the measures we have put in place will limit the exposure and therefore limit the possible contagion should it occur.
These are trying times, and I take safety of all very seriously. I have the strongest commitment from Bryan Day and his staff that administrative concerns will not superseded medical precautions. Please let me know if you have any concerns.
Jason Beaman D.O., M.S., M.P.H., FAPA
Medical Director, 12&12, Inc.