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Hello everyone, Happy Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family, maybe even through Zoom!
Deaths have doubled this week in Virginia. We are up to 121 deaths, and 777 hospitalizations. There are some anti-inflammatory chemicals that can be used during the viral phase such as hydroxychloroquine, but there is also a second phase, the inflammatory phase. Using IL-6 inhibitors that focus on a certain part of your immune system, specifically help in the lungs. From a treatment standpoint, things are getting better, but we do have more patients that are sick.
Health Data and Projections:
The peak for Virginia should be April 20th. We have sufficient resources to take care of everyone, and there will be about ⅓ fewer deaths than originally anticipated. Now, the approximate number is about 900. We are seeing the curve begin to tick up because more people are being diagnosed.
Why aren’t the residents and healthcare workers at Canterbury not taking hydroxychloroquine as a prevention, like you would for malaria?
We don’t have any studies to show that taking those medications prevents this virus, unlike malaria. These people are being followed daily by the Department of Health and so are all their contacts. Those individuals at Canterbury are also not filling in shifts at other nursing homes. Some are filling prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine, but we don’t have any data on that, and we are trying to remain very data driven.
Should essential employees and construction workers who are having a hard time with their dust masks, use alcohol on them, or leave them in the sun?
There is no data on that either. These masks are to prevent you from coughing or spitting, or transmitting it to someone else in the case that you are an asymptomatic carrier. Wearing a mask is mostly to protect others. Many of these masks are meant to be disposable and meant to be thrown away. If they are wet or soiled, they should be thrown away.
Why was June 10th chosen for a stay at home order?
June 10th was the furthest out that they thought it was going to be. This was a way of telling us all the worst case scenario, which could be pulled back, as opposed to a more reassuring date that would ultimately have to be pushed. This was the Governor’s decision.
Can mosquitoes carry the virus since they get blood from people?
No one knows the answer. This is more of a droplet infection which could solely be in your mucus membranes, and not in your blood.
Are people giving their CPAP machines to hospitals to use?
Right now, hospitals are okay on ventilators. We have adequate access to ventilators for those who are ill in Virginia.
What is the peak and possible resolution of COVID?
The best numbers we have now from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation HERE, says the peak will be April 20th, the peak will go down after that, until the end of May. Things will appear to be largely resolved by June. This does not mean that social distancing will go away, this simply means that we will then have to have a plan for herd immunity, and to prevent another curve and another peak.
Do I have to wear a mask if I am just going for a walk alone?
No, if you’re by yourself, you are okay.
What about A+ blood type?
More testing will have to be done, but at this time there is no higher correlation between infection and A+ blood than any other type.
What about ticks?
Similar to mosquitoes, at this time we just don’t know.
What about taxes?
The state tax delay is not aligned with the federal tax delay. We do not share the same fiscal year, ours ends on June 30th, and their’s ends on either August 30th or September 30th. We can’t do our due diligence and fund the state if we don’t have the taxes in to calculate by the end of June.
1. However, you have the automatic ability to extend your taxes for your corporation or for yourself. The extension is 6 months for individuals and 7 months for most corporations.
2. We have not yet changed the penalty structure for what happens if you don’t pay what you owe the state by June 1. This was not a change the Governor could make by executive order, but the legislature can. The June 1 date likely will not change, but both the Secretary of Finance and the legislature have talked about waiving all late fees. I will be advocating for that, and it just makes sense.
What is the reality and timeline of widespread testing? What test will we use? Answer:
Testing to determine sickness will not answer questions about what to do moving forward after the stay at home order. We will need to know who has immunity from the virus. I believe we will need widespread antibody testing, and we will want to know who has immunity from those who previously had the virus.
Are there errors in the number of deaths that are being attributed to COVID-19?
Certainly, there are likely people who have died from COVID, and we didn’t know what it was. There have been others who have died from other illnesses that have been attributed to COVID-19. Accuracy is essential, so it is my hope that labels are as accurate as possible, with the information we have.
Social distancing isn’t always possible at construction sites, and I believe these sites should be closed. Answer:
If you’re working and you choose not to work, I’m not sure what your business will do. But, you are generally safe if you’re following good guidelines and you’re a healthy person. Wear a mask to prevent transmission to others, don’t touch your face with unclean hands, and use plastic gloves.
What is the timeline for beginning to open things up and lifting the stay at home order?
Things are on hold for now, we believe it’s June 10th. The Governor has moved the election for June 9th two weeks forward.
Should quinine and zinc be added to daily vitamins?
Zinc is effective for viruses, it makes it hard for a virus to cling to your membranes and the skin of your throat. Adding zinc won’t hurt. As for quinine, there is not a parallel relationship as there is for malaria. One medication, hydroxychloroquine, is working for that. It’s not necessarily that all medications like that will work.
If we have capacity in our hospitals, will the Governor’s stay at home order be rolled back?
No, the issue with flattening the curve is that it’s an ongoing issue. If we begin to expose more people, the curve will just go right back up. I expect there to be widespread immunity testing sometime this summer so we can figure out how we transition back to a normal life without causing another spike.
What metrics will be used to reopen the state?
We don’t know yet, right now we are still in crisis management mode.
What are we doing to ensure that there is PPE here?
The state and government is doing an excellent job to ensure that we have personal protective equipment, but there are weak spots. Those people should reach out to me because the hospital has had a lot of PPE that has been donated, but isn’t medical grade. However, it can be used in the community. That way, we can connect those dots and use resources wisely. The Governor should be making an announcement for additional funding so nursing homes can get the PPE they need. A Henrico lab center has also created a rapid test, and we’ve been connecting those to nursing homes and other facilities.
If we don’t put prevention measures in place, will we see more fatalities than the flu?
I don’t think so, the flu has an extraordinary rate of death. It might be comparable, but I don’t think COVID will dwarf flu numbers. The goal is to keep people out of hospitals. In Virginia alone, we have reduced the projected death rate by ⅔.