Coronavirus (COVID-19) UTMB Daily Update

As of Noon, May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020, 12:38 PM by COVID-19 Communications

COVID-19 Updates are distributed each Monday and Thursday. Separate communications will be sent as needed. Check https://www.utmb.edu/covid-19 regularly for information relevant to you and your role. Also pay attention to specific instructions from your department or school.

As of Noon, May 21, 2020:

  • COVID-19 testing and patient data as of May 21, 2020 (UTMB Health System)

UTMB tests performed for UTMB patients and employees, nursing homes and Galveston County Health District screenings
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., May 21, 2020

31,883

Positive results from these tests
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., May 21, 2020

1,355

Patients Under Investigation for COVID-19 (PUI)
Currently hospitalized across the UTMB Health System, as of 9 a.m., May 21, 2020; “PUI” = tested and awaiting results

9

COVID-19-positive patients in UTMB hospitals
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., May 21, 2020; does not include TDCJ offenders

4

COVID-19-postive TDCJ offenders in Hospital Galveston
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., May 21, 2020

42

COVID-19-positive UTMB hospital patients discharged to home Cumulative as of 9 a.m., May 21, 2020

253

Deaths among UTMB hospital patients with COVID-19
Cumulative from April 9, 2020, to 9 a.m., May 21, 2020; excludes deaths that occur outside of UTMB hospitals (e.g., nursing home, home hospice)

44


  • Dr. Raimer will host a special livestream-only Town Hall at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 27. The meeting also will be recorded for later viewing. Visit the Town Hall web page for more information.
  • Enhanced visitor policy effective May 20: As we begin a safe and phased approach to reopening and expanding access to a wider range of clinical services for a larger number of patients, we are enhancing our visitation policy to allow for improved social interactions between patients and their loved ones. With the safety of our patients, employees and visitors in mind, we will continue to take visitation precautions. Please see our enhanced visitor policy.
  • Planning for the safe return of employees and students to our campuses continues. Follow guidance from your department leadership or school leadership regarding specifics related to your area.
  • UTMB ambulatory clinics are back up and running. Kudos to everyone who worked hard to make this happen for our patients and our mission. We continue to reach out to patients and to communicate widely that is it safe to come to our facilities for care. Patients and others can get more information at www.utmb.edu/covid-19/safe.
  • UTMB continues to keep a close watch on regional and statewide data regarding new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and will use that data in our planning going forward. In addition, as the June 1 start of hurricane season approaches, Incident Command leadership is incorporating the potential for tropical weather activity into our ongoing COVID-19 planning. 

Wellness Tips

From your RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) Task Force. Join us in focusing on at least one brief, healthy practice a day. Send pics, videos, stories or shout-outs to tcupit@utmb.edu as we work together to stay healthy and resilient.

  • Make time for your hobbies or learn a new one.Having interests outside of work and/or school is important to decompressing and refocusing thoughts and energy. Make a list of something you've wanted to learn and do it—a little at a time.  
  • Do something for your physical fitness today.Take the stairs, do a stretch from the RISE website or try a virtual workout offered through the UTMB fieldhouse. You are a hero—take care of yourself. We need you.  
  • Actively practice gratitude.Commit to send three texts, letters or messages of gratitude this week. It's good for both you and the person you're recognizing.

Click here for information on resiliency, wellness and mental health resources immediately available to employees and their families, and students. See the In Focus video on resiliency, with Dr. Raimer and Dr. Tammy Cupit.

This update sent by the Office of Marketing and Communications, on behalf of President ad interim Dr. Ben G. Raimer and the UTMB Health Incident Command leadership.

Resources for:

COVID-19 General FAQs

FAQs

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

While COVID-19 causes only mild illness in some infected individuals, it may cause serious lower respiratory infection leading to hospitalization and even death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this factsheet highlighting important information you should know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-10).

Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • Stay home unless you need medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting a clinic
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms

Last modified on 3/10/2020

  • Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, should contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.
  • The nurse hotline will advise the patient on what to do next, including the most appropriate clinic location for evaluation if needed.
  • Patients should follow provider recommendations for testing, self-isolation and management of symptoms.
  • Any patient experiencing a worsening of symptoms—particularly shortness of breath—a few days after first becoming ill should contact the Access Center IMMEDIATELY.
  • To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission. 
  • You may also wish to check with your local county health officials for testing available through local government. In Galveston County, Health District testing information is online.

Please note: Our process and procedures may be updated as the COVID-19 situation develops in our region.

Last modified on 4/29/2020

This is one of the topics that remains under study; it's still not certain exactly how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (at one point nine days was mentioned, which the latest studies suggest may be unlikely). Survival of the virus will vary under different conditions, including type of surface, temperature, humidity and moisture, exposure to sunlight, and other factors.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. 

Last modified on 3/14/2020

There are no plans for UTMB to serve as a general quarantine facility in the case of an outbreak in our area. As always, we are prepared to care for patients who need hospitalization due to COVID-19 or any illness.

Last modified on 3/12/2020

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a dry cough,
  • fever of 100.4 F or higher, and
  • shortness of breath.

Any time a member of your household has a fever (whether flu, COVID-19 or another illness), they should stay home until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. If at any time you have concerns about any symptoms you or your family is experiencing, call your doctor.

Last modified on 3/10/2020

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Last modified on 3/16/2020

At this time, patients testing positive for COVID-19 who have mild symptoms, are not over age 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition are advised to isolate at home. If a patient with COVID-19 is concerned, begins to experience shortness of breath, starts feeling worse a week or so into the illness, is over age 60 or has an underlying medical condition, they are strongly encouraged to call their doctor or the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

Last modified on 3/16/2020

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