April 9, 2020 | Becky Crapo
We hope this message finds you well during these difficult times. We are here for you, please contact us for your medical, dental, or mental health needs. Additional adjustments and resources at Grand Peaks have been made available as needed to help our community cope and move forward from these tragedies and hardships. These have included adjustments to the way visits are conducted, the utilization of staff to help limit exposure risk to patients coming to the clinic for medical dental and mental health care, and adjustments to sliding-fee schedule qualification criteria to help financially in these difficult times for those in need. These discounts can be extremely helpful to those with limited income.
Currently we are utilizing Telehealth visits which are office visits conducted with your provider by use of a computer with camera, cell phone or simply by telephone, when appropriate, while you remain at home. Not all visits will be appropriate for Telehealth. Contact our clinics for additional information or if you have questions.
We felt it important as Healthcare Professionals to update you on the current status of the Coronavirus pandemic locally and internationally. As of April 9th, 2020, the number of new cases recognized daily in Idaho is declining and a similar trend is occurring nationally. We have also now officially passed two weeks since the initial order from Idaho Governor for all citizens to “Shelter in Place” and later “Stay at Home” orders were enacted. With the voluntary efforts of this community and largely statewide we have seen a decline in the number of new cases of people getting infected. This is terrific. At the same time however, we are seeing increases in the number of deaths both locally and nationally. We wanted to offer potential explanations for this and emphasize the CRITICAL importance of continued diligence in following the current CDC recommendations for preventing spread of the disease, how-ever imperfect or incomplete they may seem at times.
As can be seen globally and nationally, the mortality rate (percentage of people infected with Covid -19 that tragically will die from the virus) has been around 3.4% in the United States. Other locations, such as Italy are at almost 13% and 11% in the United Kingdom (Britain etc.) This represents a 1 in 25 chance of death in the United States and upwards of a 4 in 25 chance of death in Italy. The current mortality rate of Idaho is around 1.5% or just over 1 in 100 chance of death. We like to stay hopeful that this rate will decline but have already seen an approximately 0.5% increase over the last week. This is most likely related to the fact that incubation period (time from infection to first symptoms) is between 2-14 days with nearly all people showing symptoms by 12 days. With this in mind, it has been approximately 14 days since the “Shelter in Place” order and most individuals infected at or near this time are either recovering or sadly worsening. This is comparable to the trends we have seen globally and nationally. The greatest concern is how to keep this mortality rate low in Idaho. We need to continue in our efforts to prevent a flood of new individuals with severe infection needing hospitalization within the next 1-2 weeks while those already affected and are still recovering in our Hospitals and Intensive Care Units throughout the state.
For this reason it is our opinion that it is CRITICAL for all of us to continue maintaining the current recommendations for social distancing, avoiding gatherings (voluntarily) and avoiding unnecessary trips to locations where higher risk for spread may occur. Currently the recommendations for using a face covering while in public is still in place with hopes to minimize further the likelihood of infection if travel outside the home is necessary.
We look forward to, as do all of you, the warm days of summer and the enjoyment of sharing barbecues, days in the parks, and other activities with friends and extended family. We encourage all to actively engage in healthy habits of eating well, maintaining exercise both indoors and outdoors, staying hydrated with water, and taking time to reflect on the positive changes and experiences that you may have had during these difficult times. We are here and ready to serve and join together with you in a hope for rapid resolution of the pandemic locally, nationally and across the world.