Cape Cod Healthcare has disputed numbers published in a Cape Cod Wave story in which an ICU nurse told us about the situation in the hospital, including the number of staff who have gotten sick. We stand by our story.
These are the eight disputed points, according to Jane Johnson, Executive Director of Hospital Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery:
On behalf of Cape Cod Healthcare, we are writing to inform you that the story you published today regarding the ICU at Cape Cod Hospital is inaccurate and misleading.
1. A COVID-19 exposure incident which is believed to have been on April 28, 2020 resulted in 16 ICU staff members testing positive, not 24 as the article states. There were 14 RNs, including 2 traveling nurses and 2 nursing assistants. A few were asymptomatic. (Note from Cape Cod Wave: This is the first we have heard of this “exposure incident.”)
2. No ICU staff members were hospitalized, and all have returned to work except for 3 RNs and 1 nursing assistant. These numbers do not represent 20% of our ICU staff.
3. Two hospital employees who tested positive and were hospitalized, were not traced to the ICU exposure.
4. Clinical staff were tested twice, not two or three times per week, as the article states. Any employee tested a third time was tested at their request.
5. Today there are 12 COVID-19 patients with 5 in critical care in Cape Cod Hospital. The article states 8 in ICU and 9 more in the hospital outside of ICU. (Cape Cod Wave Note: “Today,” in this Cape Cod Healthcare letter is May 24. The numbers quoted in our story were from the day of our interview, May 22)
6. [The nurse] states that ER visits have doubled if not tripled. Over the last two weeks, the number of patients treated each day has been relatively consistent with an average of 132. Our lowest volumes were in early April with volumes between 80-100 but have far from doubled or tripled in volume.
7. Cape Cod hospital midnight census for today was at 58% occupancy for med/surg telemetry and 45.8% occupancy for critical care- meaning the hospital is currently half full.
8. Cape Cod Hospital supply chain has worked tirelessly to acquire the necessary PPE. The staff has N95s that are properly fit tested to each employee, face shields, gowns, gloves, hats and is provided every day with hospital scrubs so they can change before and after each shift. (Cape Cod Wave Note: Our source has always said there is enough equipment and has always expressed gratitude to Cape Cod Healthcare and the community for all their help.)
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For our other coverage see Cape Cod Covidispatches