NEW BRITAIN – Hartford HealthCare has 233 covid positive patients in its acute facilities and 110 additional who are under investigation for having the virus. The Hospital of Central Connecticut has 29 coronavirus positive patients and nine under investigation.
“We do understand that at this point in time this in indeed the second wave of what we saw a few months ago,” said Keith Grant, APRN, senior system director, infection prevention, Hartford HealthCare. “We’ve talked a few times about how much preparation we’ve put into place the last few months in acquiring enough PPE that we can make very critical decisions to include having enough PPE hopefully to facilitate this entire process through.”
Grant believes they’ve done a really good job at providing opportunities to provide covid testing.
“We have committed and continue to build out capabilities to get everybody who needs a test a test. We do see demand increasing and there are probably several factors: one just the increase in incidents in prevalence of covid-19; two there is travel, the holidays are likely doing that; and third as we’ve gotten into the cold season more minor symptoms which cause concern all lead to appropriate request and need for test,” said James Cardon, MD, EVP and chief clinical integration officer. “As we move forward we have been building out our testing capabilities. Most recently with opening up our Bradley site (Monday) we did see a high volume there where about 350 plus people came through which was terrific.”
While it is possible to travel safely, traveling increases the risk of infection because physical and social distance capabilities are challenged, according to Grant.
“So if you do choose to travel obviously the safest way is to travel within your bubble, with your family in your car,” Grant said. “If you choose to travel any other way it’s deemed to be less safe just ensure that you’re wearing your mask when necessary, proper social and physical distance, also ensure that you’re doing proper hand sanitizing, ensure that you’re communicating and if you’ve had any contact and your deemed that you’ve been exposed ensure that you’re getting tested appropriately.”
Hartford HealthCare is prepared for the distribution of the vaccine and has purchased three freezers which hold 250,000 vaccines.
“We had a discussion about a vaccination and how a few months ago we were looking at a concept of vaccine development and from a clinical perspective that normally looks like about three to four years minimum and I think that’s me being very kind,” Grant said. “We’ve seen over the last few months significant expedition on the vaccine and the significant push to push the program forward and we’re now looking at two vaccines primarily that are over 95% effective. Significantly more effective than the flu vaccine so that’s a good thing.”
Grant foresees the distribution process as a collaboration between state local government; significant resource input from the federal government; and a significant collaborative effort from the healthcare systems.
“I can tell you there is much to be considered as to how this vaccine that is two dosages versus the flu vaccine that is a single dose, you go home, you’re inoculated and you’re good for another year. This is going to be a significantly different concept,” Grant said. “The plan is to ensure that every single person in Connecticut is informed and has the ability and access to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is out.”