Cape Cod Healthcare Provides Update on Testing and Equipment

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Healthcare officials provided an update on testing for COVID-19 during a conference call on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, Cape Cod Hospital reported one patient with COVID-19 in the ICU, five on the floor and 43 with tests still pending.

At Falmouth Hospital, three patients with COVID-19 are in the ICU and 22 with tests still pending.

About 647 patients have been tested at all Cape Cod Healthcare testing sites.

Cape Cod Healthcare Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Kevin Mulroy said that he is seeing that patients younger than 40 are not coming back with a high positive case rate for COVID-19.

In the 21-40 age demographic, Dr. Mulroy said that only six percent came back positive and that they’ve seen none in those below the age of 20.

“It is really a disease that is affecting the patients over 40 a lot more than it does the younger population,” said Dr. Mulroy.

“The younger population is getting symptomatic but they appear to be getting symptomatic from things other than coronavirus or COVID-19.”

He added that most of the positive cases they are seeing at Cape Cod Healthcare are from those over the age of 40.

Even then, the positive rate for in-patients are at 25 percent, with many having other forms of respiratory disease that are common in the area.

“If someone looks like they potentially could have COVID disease, we’ll go ahead and test them,” said Dr. Mulroy.

“So those 43 patients we have on the floor, chances are only about 10 of those would come back positive after the 25 percent.”

They have also tripled their ventilator capacity and have a plan to meet the needs for as many patients as they can.

Dr. Mulroy said that they have been aggressive in getting more ventilators that they don’t have in the hospitals and they feel good about where they stand right now.

“We don’t know which way this pandemic will go, but we’re about as prepared as we can be,” said Dr. Mulroy.

President and CEO Michael Lauf said that healthcare workers have about eight days’ worth of personal protective equipment.

He said that the outpouring of support from the community to help with the issue has been second to none.

“We’re very, very prideful of our community’s response in helping us manage this crisis,” said Lauf.

He added that they’re still receiving supplies every day from a variety ways and variety of distributors across the country and world.

“We have plenty of days to handle any crisis that should hit us in the next eight.”

Isolation gowns are very difficult to get on a national basis, but Dr. Mulroy said that they have several backup plans to make sure that they have everything they need to take care of patients.

COVID-19 has also an effect on Cape Cod Healthcare’s revenue.

With the cancellations of elective surgeries as well as reduced ambulatory, diagnostic and outpatient volume, across every entity, they are down about 52 percent.

“This is really our first full of week of steady state in terms of what it looks like with very little,” said Lauf.

“The number is quite large.”

Cape Cod Healthcare has also seen an influx in population with many people who are not usually on the Cape until May or June, now here.

Lauf said that those from hot spots like New York should take the advice of federal and state governments and quarantine themselves.

“We certainly would never, ever ask anyone to not come to the Cape, we cherish and welcome our part-time residents,” said Lauf.

“During this time of crisis, it’s better to stay where you are, then to potentially bring an exposure to this community.”

About Justin Saunders

Justin Saunders has nearly 10 years of experience in radio, television, online and newspaper journalism across the US and Canada. Justin joined the NewsCenter in May 2014 and continues to help provide coverage of the Cape and Islands.
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