California’s stay-at-home efforts paying off, Stephen Parodi, MD, tells Associated Press

Kaiser Permanente, which serves more than 9 million members in California, has witnessed a promising trend over the past 2 weeks since social distancing measures were implemented across the state, Stephen Parodi, MD, executive vice president of The Permanente Federation, told The Associated Press.

The volume of phone calls from patients complaining of cold, cough, and flulike symptoms —leading indicators of future hospitalizations — dropped 60% from a peak of 14,000 calls a day in mid-March to 5,000 a day in early April, Dr. Parodi said.

Kaiser Permanente is treating 350 COVID-19 patients in California, which account for about 6% to 7% of available beds at its 36 hospitals in the state. The figure has remained relatively stable, Dr. Parodi said.

“What we’ve seen with hospitalization in both Northern California and Southern California is essentially a leveling off over the past week and a half,” said Dr. Parodi, Kaiser Permanente’s national infectious disease leader. “Which is in contrast to other systems in the United States where they’re seeing significant increases or even exponential increases, and we’re not seeing that in California.”

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