The coronavirus is as close to Erie as Cleveland, as Ohio’s governor reports three confirmed cases there.
UPMC Pittsburgh announced today there has not been a confirmed positive case or presumed positive case of the coronavirus at any of their hospitals in three states.
Now, the health care provider is working on its own way of testing for the virus after sending away several tests.
Doctors from all departments such as infectious prevention, pediatrics and clinical laboratories all spoke at the conference today, saying they are taking every stop possible to keep patients safe and to find a vaccine.
The health care provider currently operates in three states; Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. The states have all reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, however, “There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at any UPMC facility,” said Graham Snyder, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology.
One doctor is saying they have sent out test regarding suspected patients to the state Health Department for testing. They would not disclose the number of tests sent out.
Due to the length of time it takes to receive results, UPMC is working on their own test.
“We are seeking to shorten the time it takes and allow for more testing from suspected test to diagnosis,” said Alan Wells, Medical Director, Clinical Laboratories.
Doctors are asking the public not to visit loved ones at home care facilities if they are ill or have cold-like symptoms.
“This will help us avoid accidentally spreading not only COVID-19, but many of the common respiratory viruses that are circulating in our communities and to our vulnerable elderly population,” said David Nace, Chief Medical Officer, UPMC Senior Communities.
As for children, COVID-19 seems to not have as big of an impact on them, unlike the flu which can have greater affects on children than adults.
“Symptoms seem to be much milder in children. Recent date from China suggest that children are infected at rates similar to adults, but have milder decease,” said John Williams, Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
As for when UPMC testing will be good to go, there is no timeline for a launch date. Doctors say there is a vaccine currently in the works, however, at best it is months away.