Hartford HealthCare chief clinical officer sees covid-19 peak hitting in mid to late December

Published on Thursday, 19 November 2020 16:10
Written by Ciara Hooks

@Hooks_Ciara

NEW BRITAIN – Hartford HealthCare updated the community on the latest numbers across its system, its preparedness and testing as it prepares for the December surge of coronavirus cases Thursday morning.

There are 219 covid positive patients in Hartford HealthCare’s acute facilities. The Hospital of Central Connecticut has 39 covid positive patients.

“We’ve been watching this curve move a little bit. Initially, about two or three weeks ago, I had indicated that we will see some sort of a peak somewhere between the 5th and 7th of December and right now the modeling has changed a little bit and we’re seeing the peak all the way until mid to late December at this time,” said Ajay Kumar, MD and chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare.

Kumar says the current models indicate hospitalizations will be just below the last peak in late April, which had about 870 patients. At some point the state of Connecticut could reach 1,500-1,600 patients.

“It’s important to understand that we will only reach those numbers with intervention and if we enact the appropriate precautions. As a reminder, our current predictive modeling suggests we will face a significant surge in late December and early January, a surge which could exceed what we saw in April. If we are able to change current social behaviors, we can flatten the 2.0 curve,” Kumar said.

Kumar said Hartford HealthCare has always been in preparation mode for these moments. They are in good standing with capacity and supplies.     

“We actually have the standard work of managing across the system our capacity through our capabilities with CLC, Care Logistic Center,” Kumar said. “We are not concerned about supplies at the moment in terms of ventilators, pharmaceutical agents, plasma, beds, mattress and any other things. We have a good supply and we are not concerned patients would be finding a challenge in Hartford HealthCare facilities across the system.”

Hartford HealthCare continues to work on testing capabilities as well.

“To date we’re approaching about 500,000 tests across all of our communities and as we’ve seen an uptick in the prevalence of covid-19 it has clearly also impacted our testing. We’ve done a quarter of that testing actually over the last four weeks,” said James Cardon, MD, EVP and chief clinical integration officer, Hartford HealthCare. Cardon aid Hartford HealthCare is focused on improving its ability to meet the high testing demand.

Hartford HealthCare is continuing its efforts to hire staff to be able to see more patients through existing sites.

“We have different types of processes and procedures put in place to make sure we focus on colleagues as much as we can at this time, but at some point the capacity might reach and we may not have enough people to care for the patients and we started preparing for that,” Kumar said. “We have a contingency plan to relocate staff, retrain, deploy and a few other things we can do. We are fortunate enough to have 30,000 people in Hartford HealthCare so we have tremendous capabilities of making that happen.”



Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 19 November 2020 16:10. Updated: Thursday, 19 November 2020 16:12.