August 2021 Delta Surge: The Evergreen team depends on every player to serve our community.
Douglas County is in the middle of the COVID delta variant surge.
The delta variant is reported to be as highly transmissible as the chickenpox virus (Ro of 8). Unfortunately, our Urgent care clinic has observed this and an increasing number of vaccine breakthrough cases as well (at least 17% of our positive Covid cases). All three vaccines have been represented in these breakthrough cases. How is Evergreen responding to these challenges?
Here are some numbers that only include the month of August.
Total Visits in the Urgent Care Clinic: 5,809
Total Curbside Visits: 1,598
Total COVID tests performed: 2,966
Total Positive COVID tests: 1,172
Over 150 intravenous monoclonal antibody infusions of casirivimab and imdevimab.
Total clinic encounters: 19,403
Our entire team is working together to meet our community’s medical needs, and not just for COVID positive patients. There is no doubt that our efforts reduce Emergency department visits and hospitalization. These are critical services when capacity is stretched everywhere. Our physicians and transition of care teams provide care to our patients throughout their hospitalization as well, and we are working through some very challenging disposition issues.
Our culture of teamwork, innovation and sacrifice have allowed Evergreen to provide 19,403 August encounters for our community in the form of urgent care, primary-care, women’s care, hospital care and vaccine clinic visits. We also continue to actively serve our vulnerable populations with our transition of care and chronic care teams.
We are thankful for every member of our administrative, clinical, and very important support staff. We need every one of them to complete our mission. This is their story.
The Urgent Care reception staff begins the day poised to meet the ill.
We swabbed 2,966 patients for COVID-19 in August alone.
Our team knows how to think through a problem. We have been providing monoclonal antibody infusions for over 6 months now, but August demand skyrocketed. Our staff turned the board room into an infusion center for Regeneron. We ensured our HVAC system separated the airflow from the rest of the building and isolated the area from other non-Covid positive treatment areas. We have recently been able to infuse over 20 patients/day. This resource is limited to those who meet very defined criteria during the viral replication phase of this disease.
We turned 24 parking spaces into curbside testing and evaluation opportunities. It is hot and smoky in August, but our staff did not complain. There have been days that the urgent care alone cared for over 250 patients a day. They know that they are making a difference.
In addition to the extremely high volumes, we are treating very complex disease in our urgent care. Outside systems have not always adapted as fast as we have. This critical staff member (pictured above) attempts to gain prior authorization from two insurance companies to obtain STAT advanced imaging. A common answer by some insurance companies is to “just send them to the emergency department”. This is not a good option when the Emergency department is overburdened already.
This is what working together looks like. This is our story, and this is who we are. I am fortunate to be affiliated with such a fine group of professionals and citizens.
John Powell M.D.
Chief Medical Officer.