Stephen M. Parodi, MD, and Vincent Liu, MD, both of The Permanente Medical Group, published a peer-reviewed viewpoint online in today’s JAMA on the urgent need for public health officials and large health care systems to move from containment to mitigation of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In their viewpoint, “From containment to mitigation of COVID-19 in the US,” Drs. Parodi and Liu note that numerous hospital personnel are being furloughed under quarantine while they are evaluated for symptoms and evidence of infection.
“These events not only affect the hospitals providing patient care to suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases but also limit the personnel for adjacent emergency departments, intensive care units, and inpatient wards,” they wrote in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“It is critically important that the strategy for slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic change from containment to mitigation.”
Dr. Parodi is an executive vice president with The Permanente Federation and national infectious disease leader for Kaiser Permanente, and Dr. Liu is a Permanente intensivist at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center and a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Northern California.
In advocating for enhanced precautions to limit community spread of the coronavirus, Drs. Parodi and Liu highlighted five key elements: 1) precautions to prevent the spread of droplets, 2) population-based management of COVID-19 disease, 3) self-monitoring of health care personnel with potential exposure, 4) strategic placement of sick patients in care facilities, and 5) careful allocation of protective equipment and medical supplies.
“Pandemics bring much uncertainty,” Drs. Parodi and Liu wrote. “But what is certain is that the ingenuity of the public health authorities in partnership with hospital systems will be critically important to shift the strategy to meet the requirements of this evolving epidemic.”
Read the full study on the JAMA website.