Statements from Cleveland Clinic Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Testing for COVID-19 – March 12 2020, Updated at 5:00 PM
We want to clarify misinformation that has been trending on social media related to Cleveland Clinic testing for COVID-19. Cleveland Clinic has not developed a new test for COVID-19. We have purchased the necessary CDC components and validated the test in our own lab. This means we can now conduct on-site testing for the virus, allowing us to test patients and receive the results more rapidly – in most cases, within one day. We expect other hospitals and academic medical centers across the country will also have this capability.
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Visitation Guidelines at Ohio Locations – March 12 2020
In order to protect our patients and caregivers we are limiting our entrances and visitation policy amid this coronavirus outbreak. At all Ohio locations, we’re asking:
- If you’re sick, have a fever or a confirmed case of COVID-19, don’t visit or accompany a patients
- Patients may only have up to 2 people with them at any time.
- Visitors must be age 16+.
- Visitors can speak with a caregiver about exceptions and special circumstances.
- No visitors are allowed from 10p-8a, unless accompanying a newly-admitted patient.
- Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.
These restrictions are being put in place for the safety of you, our patients, caregivers and the community.
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Testing for COVID-19 – March 12 2020
We want to clarify misinformation that has been trending on social media related to Cleveland Clinic testing for COVID-19. Our organization will soon have the capabilities to conduct on-site testing, as will other hospitals and academic medical centers across the country. We are in the process of validating our testing capabilities and will soon send out more information. We anticipate test results will be available within a day. Please continue to look for updates on https://clevelandclinic.org/coronavirus and https://clevelandclinic.org/newsroom for updates on this rapidly evolving situation.
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Additional Precautions Regarding COVID-19 – March 11, 2020
“We are adding additional precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and caregivers. These apply to all Cleveland Clinic locations nationally and internationally, as of March 10, 2020.
- Absences: Effective immediately and until further notice, if a caregiver is diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined due to COVID-19, those absences will be excused. We are finalizing details and will share more in the coming days.
- Business travel: We are now restricting all international and domestic business travel until further notice.
- In-person meetings: We are asking caregivers to replace in-person meetings with a virtual option such as Skype.
- Cleveland Clinic events: We are in the process of reviewing all upcoming Cleveland Clinic-hosted events, including Continuing Medical Education (CME), to determine which should be canceled or postponed.
- Volunteers: All in-person volunteer and Healthcare Partner activities at Cleveland Clinic facilities are canceled. Volunteers may continue service remotely, if applicable.
- Testing: If you are concerned you have COVID-19, we recommend you seek care first from Express Care Online or call your primary care physician. They can evaluate you and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on symptoms, travel and exposures. If you do meet the criteria, you will be advised as to how to proceed with testing. Currently, we are testing in accordance with CDC guidelines. As this situation changes, we will continue to evolve our testing procedures.
As healthcare providers, our first priority is serving our patients and community. We are taking these precautions to ensure we can continue caring for our patients while also protecting the health of our caregivers.”
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on How to Seek Care for Coronavirus (COVID-19) – March 10, 2020
If you are concerned you have COVID-19, we recommend you seek care first from Express Care Online or call your primary care physician. They can evaluate you and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on symptoms, travel and exposures. If you do meet the criteria, you will be advised as to how to proceed with testing.
The Ohio Department of Health also has set up a COVID-19 hotline (1-833-4-ASK-ODH) for those with questions or concerns.
Currently, we are testing in accordance with CDC guidelines. As this situation changes, we will continue to evolve our testing procedures.
It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and only a small percentage of patients will require hospitalization. The majority of patients will be able to recover at home. Currently, care for COVID-19 patients is supportive as there are no medications available to treat this disease.
We encourage everyone to practice regular infection prevention techniques such as washing their hands frequently, avoiding touching their faces, cough etiquette and staying home when they are sick. More information can be found here or from the CDC.
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Travel Restrictions – March 5, 2020
“We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health issue. As of today, March 5, all nonessential international business travel for our caregivers has been suspended through March 31, 2020. Domestic business-related travel is being limited to essential trips only and will require hospital leadership approval.
As healthcare providers, our first priority is serving our patients and community. We are taking these precautions to ensure we can continue caring for our patients while also protecting the health of our caregivers.
We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) travel notices, which are subject to change, and will re-evaluate our own travel restrictions accordingly.”
Statement from Cleveland Clinic on how we’re preparing for Coronavirus (COVID-19) – February 26, 2020
Cleveland Clinic has been closely monitoring this evolving health issue. In this interconnected world, healthcare providers are always aware of the possibility of emerging infections. This is an issue that Cleveland Clinic continuously prepares for through trainings and drills. In this situation we are preparing in a variety of ways:
- Cleveland Clinic physicians and leaders have been holding regular, multidisciplinary planning meetings since mid-January
- We are closely collaborating with public health officials on a local, state and national level
- We have capacity to add up to 1,000 beds within 72 hours should the need arise
- Preparation for healthcare includes drills, practice putting on and taking off personal protective equipment, table top exercises including mock patients, POI in urgent care ED and ICU
- We are continuously working to keep our caregivers trained and educated
- Currently we have adequate supplies (masks, ventilators, negative air pressure rooms)
Coronavirus video resources for media outlets: Broadcast package, b-roll, sound bites:
Sound bites from March 12, 2020 press briefing:
Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and President, Cleveland Clinic
“We have developed the ability to test for COVID 19 internally in Cleveland Clinic. Because we’re going to be able to do it on site means it’s going to have a substantially shorter turnaround time and it’s going to have, we’re going to have, an ability to serve our patients more expeditiously.”
“People who do not have any symptoms but have questionable exposure will not be tested at the moment, so if you feel fine and you may have been in contact with someone, you would not be tested.”
“Cleveland Clinic has not developed a new test for coronavirus. What Cleveland Clinic has done is used the publicly available information from the Centers for Disease Control and have followed the guidelines internally to develop the testing capacity internally. The reason why we have been able to do it, and we have been able to do it quickly, is because our team has focused all of our organizational resources, and an immense amount of work, to get to the desired result as quickly as possible.”
“It is a game changer for the local community that in times of need Americans in general, healthcare professionals in particular, always band together and show the best and the brightest side of our communities and we’re standing in front of you today, not only because we have developed something that is unique for the Cleveland Clinic, but because we’re a part of a greater nation-wide effort to serve our citizens in the best, most responsible way.”
“There are three steps to the process that will ensure success in us handling this pandemic. One is to make care, clinical care, accessible to every American, regardless of socio-economic status and ability to pay and whether they have, or do not have, any insurance. The second one is, what we spoke a lot about, is to scale up the efforts to have tests available to all of those who have an actual need of being tested, and a third one, and this is a big societal effort, once people are identified to have the disease, to make sure that they can stay in their homes and be quarantined and prevent the spread to others, ensuring that they have all the means that they need in order to stay at home without fearing for their jobs or their livelihood.”
Brian Rubin, MD, PhD, Chairman, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic
“The turnaround time has been slated to be around 8 hours, of course, it varies a little bit, that’s really the time it takes to run the test. So, what we’ve done is just eliminate the pre-analytical step of having to transport it somewhere else, that’s why we’re able to turn it around.”
“Well, the turnaround time is so much shorter, so previously our turnaround time was in the neighborhood of 3-4 days, and so now we can rapidly evaluate people and within 8 hours, for instance, we can determine if somebody is positive for the virus.”
Steven Gordon, MD, Chairman, Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic
“There is tiered testing criteria, and what we mean by that is, that it’s not everyone that wants a test, there are CDC guidelines for tiered criteria. And at tier one, for instance, in that population, all of the people have symptoms, basically they have to have fever or clinical signs of disease are going to be, for instance, patients that may be at our hospital with an unexplained pneumonia where other routine tests have been negative, we now have to think about the possibility could that be COVID-19.”
Robert Wyllie, MD, Chief Medical Operations Officer, Cleveland Clinic
“We’re going to start screening people at all our hospitals and all our other health care facilities, which are ambulatory. We’re going to screen them just at the door, or just before they get to the door. If they are ill with an acute respiratory infection, we’ll ask them to get evaluated. But, we don’t want them visiting people in the hospital who are already ill. We’re going to limit the number of entrances to our hospitals to a couple so that we can manage the ingress and egress. We’re going to do the same thing with the vendors in terms of keeping vendors out who aren’t clinically necessary, so that we limit the exposure to the patients.”
“We will ask everybody coming in the door a question about, do you have an acute respiratory illness? Have you traveled to an area which is endemic? Or a sustained community transmission? We’ll ask if you have a fever and if you have those things, we’re going to ask that you get evaluated but we don’t want you coming in to visit somebody in the hospital.”
“Somebody has to order the test, and for appropriate indications, and we’ve outlined that in the electronic medical record. We’ll make sure we identify those patients, they’ll actually be identified twice, and then we’ll do testing. So, right now, the plan is to have them drive into a tent area, they can even stay in their car, we can do the testing, they can drive off, we can give them advice about the length of time it’s going to take to get the test back and what they’re supposed to do before they get the results back.”
Broadcast package: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Reducing Your Risk
Broadcast package: Good Hand-Washing is the Best Way to Stay Healthy
Interview Sound Bites from Robert Wyllie, MD, Chief Medical Operations Officer, Cleveland Clinic
Continual state of readiness – Robert Wyllie, MD, Cleveland Clinic
“We are in a continual state of readiness. We’re updating the skills and knowledge. The caregivers, what we want to take away is any of the unknowns by providing information as quickly and as succinctly as we can. That includes how to put on personal protective equipment and how to take off personal protective equipment so that you’re not contaminating yourself either putting on or taking off that.”
Personal protection – Robert Wyllie, MD, Cleveland Clinic
“The best way to protect yourself is cough etiquette, into a tissue, in your sleeve. Making sure you wash your hands frequently and if you’re ill stay home. Don’t contaminate other people but call and let people know what’s going on because you may need to be seen for medical attention.”
Treating COVID-19 – Robert Wyllie, MD, Cleveland Clinic
“The game plan right now is supportive care so, that’s I.V. fluids and help breathing, all the way from supplemental oxygen to breathing machines as we need them. There are three drugs which are right now being used in clinical trials, one of them is new, and there are several other individual efforts about off label use of current medications.”
Call first, if COVID-19 is suspected – Robert Wyllie, MD, Cleveland Clinic
“Call your health care provider first, tell them about your concerns, let them assess the concerns over the phone because what we don’t want is people with mild, potentially COVID-19 infections to come into waiting rooms, whether it’s in your doctor’s office, or whether it’s an emergency department, where you might infect other people. And remember most of this is going to be mild, over 80 percent of it is going to go away completely on its own, if you just stay in your own house.”
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso