Category Archives: Testing and Contact Tracing

For those who Refuse to Wear a Mask.

By Michael G. Stogner

Just something to think about, this is from the LATIMES this morning. Some of you know me and most of you don’t. I am a parent who took my daughter off of life support. I am still traumatized to this day. I was able to be with my daughter as often and as long as I wanted up until she left us. I can not imagine the additional stress and suffering the families and medical staff who are caring for the dying are experiencing.

WEAR A MASK

DISPATCHES FROM THE PANDEMIC
When nothing more can be done
By Fran Chalin
He came into the Orange County hospital because he had trouble breathing.
A week later the sign “caution droplets” hung on his ICU room door.
“Droplets,” code for COVID-19.
He hasn’t been conscious for 36 hours.
Only the ventilator keeps him alive.
Together, the doctor, hospice social worker and I tell the family nothing more can be done.
They nod, they have no fight left.
The doctor hates that he cannot save this man.
But he can allow them to say goodbye.
He tells them they can go in groups of two for 10 minutes.
He leaves us. He has to help someone else.
He cares for two floors of people with COVID-19, 51 people in all.
We tell them this is special, the doctor hasn’t allowed this before.
They mumble thanks. Translation: Isn’t that generous of you.
I stand outside the window into his room. When the 10 minutes are up, I wave.
His family members’ eyes plead, two fingers in the air, two minutes?
They smile and laugh in his room in case he can sense them.
But they sob once they slide shut his door.
The final two are his wife and first-born.
She collapses when she reaches his bed.
Their son barely catches her.
She kisses her husband, whispers in his ear.
I hope he senses her near him.
They don’t look at me when they walk away.
While hospital staffers extract the breathing tube
the social worker and I wait outside his room
because microscopic COVID-19 droplets will release into the air.
Once the tube is removed we prepare to enter his room.
We don’t have to go in, but we do. Mostly for him,
but for the staffers as well. They should have support too.
We sanitize our hands, then don gloves.
Then the N95 mask,
hairnet,
face shield,
then gown.
It’s uncomfortable, but it’s also keeping us alive.
Probably.
The staffers inspect us.
They are the best of humankind.
I ask if co-workers have had the virus.
Sure, they say. They point to the ones who recovered and are back working.
I don’t ask if any co-workers died. They have to focus on now.
Staffers adjust his medications.
He won’t feel the removal of the tube.
His family had asked if they could FaceTime
after the tube is removed.
The social worker holds up the phone.
I hold the patient’s hand. We hear his family:
“We love you, be at peace, go with God.”
The social worker is used to being around the dying, but this is different.
Ten minutes is not long enough to say goodbye.
She’s young, this is her first pandemic.
She was a child when people with AIDS died every day for years.
I was there, I was 25.
There wasn’t enough time then either.
We all watch the monitor, the lines become flatter.
We hear his last breath. Then nothing.
The nurse nods to us.
The social worker tells the family that he’s gone to be with God.
I don’t have her faith.
I don’t know where he’s going except to the morgue.
His relatives are wailing. We try to say how sorry we are, but they’ve hung up.
Does anyone else feel like they’ve just witnessed an execution?
We slide the door open, just enough to get out.
There is a receptacle for the shield and the hairnet.
I put my N95 into a plastic bag to leave out in the sun at home.
There aren’t enough of these masks to have a new one every time, but the nurse says, “It’s OK.
Just put it in the sun, the virus dies in the sun.”
I hope she’s right.
COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Black and brown people.
I’ve heard people speculate: Didn’t they all have lung issues,
or diabetes, or health problems that
made them more likely to get infected and die?
That sounds a lot like: Didn’t gays and IV drug users bring AIDS on themselves?
Disposable populations.
Outside the hospital there is a billboard.
“HEROES WORK HERE.” I want to scream.
Hero is just another word for better you than me.
The social worker calls me the next morning. She couldn’t sleep.
“This was bad,” she says with a sigh, “I’ll see you at the hospital soon.”
And now the memory comes back full force.
The other pandemic, AIDS.
Caring for the next person, and the next one.
I’m worried about myself and feeling guilty for even thinking about myself.
I’m worried I’ll forget that balance is important.
Forty years later, there is still the next one and the next one.
So tell me: Why aren’t you wearing a mask?
Fran Chalin has been a hospice chaplain for more than 10 years.

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San Mateo County 0.0% Positivity Rate.

By Michael G. Stogner

San Mateo County has reported on its Website that July 10, 2020 it TESTED 9 people and 8  were Negative 1 pending for a 0.0% Positivity rate. That’s one way to get your numbers down.

SMC 0.0% COVID-19 Posiytivity Rate.

You will remember the County is supposed to TEST 1500 people per day.

This is a PANDEMIC act like it.

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San Mateo County It’s Time.

By Michael G. Stogner

You know it’s time when you see the Captain of the Ship putting on his life vest and sneaking onto the lifeboat, or the Pilot putting on his parachute.

We all know that we are responsible for our own safety, The Cavalry  is not coming.

The Federal, State, and County Government has Failed to provide Testing, Contact Tracing, PPE to all those who need it.

SACRAMENTO — The California Senate on Wednesday joined the Assembly in deciding not to return from its summer recess next week, citing the continued spread of the coronavirus, which has now infected several staffers and members in the Legislature.

The decision was announced on the same day that a second Assembly member, Republican Tom Lackey of Palmdale, acknowledged through a spokesman that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

San Mateo County is home to San Francisco International Airport with direct flights from Wuhan. San Jose International Airport also has direct flights from Wuhan.

San Mateo County has Finally reached 0.0 Positivity July 10, 2020 Total Tested 9

San Mateo County has had been told to TEST 1500 people per day. July 8th they tested 141. They have only accomplished that 6 days. All Five County Supervisor are satisfied with those results. It’s Time for the Local Leaders the Mayors to protect the Residents in their Community, Provide Testing in their Cities. Enforce the State and County Health Orders.

July 10, 2020 SMC Tested only 9 People

SMC 0.0% COVID-19 Posiytivity Rate.

This is a PANDEMIC start acting like it.

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San Mateo County Beaches Closed 4th of July. Gov. Newsom closes Parking Lots.

By Michael G. Stogner

AP_18152108146827-e1546027846328

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this morning that all Parking facilities at state beaches on the San Mateo County Coastline will be closed for the July 4 weekend. Local leaders are expected to close all SMC beaches and Gov. Newsom has stated he will close state beaches in Counties closing local beaches.

No Parking equals No Beaches

If you don’t live on the coast Stay Away, Stay Home, Protect the residents that do.

If you see Brent Turner make sure you tell him Thank You. A perfect example of one single person can make a difference.

Same goes for Pacifica Mayor Deidre Martin a true elected Leader.

From County Manager Mike Callagy to me this AM. “So like Dr. Scott Morrow has said, assume everyone you come in contact with and everything you touch outside your home is infected and use the precautions listed to prevent yourself from becoming ill.

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Governor Newsom: Don’t do it.

By. Michael G. Stogner

Governor Gavin Newsom, Now is not the time to grant this immunity to Businesses. What is more important is track down all the people who came into contact with the Prominent Doctor who flew from New York to California with his daughter to be admitted into Silverado Beverley Place where he made contact March 19, 2020 with Brittany Bruner-Ringo R.I.P. The 32-year-old nurse stopped breathing April 20, 2020 32 days later.

Stay the course Protect the Residents of California.

April 9, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom State of California
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Request for Executive Order Related to Liability Protection

Dear Governor Newsom:

California’s heath care workers and those serving in supporting roles are on the front lines of a crisis unlike any our state has ever faced. Every day, they are racing against time to prepare to treat and care for all in need. Sadly, in the coming days and weeks, they will face wrenching, life-threatening decisions in managing scarce resources amid arduous conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to affect so many people that health care providers will be forced to allocate scarce medical resources among too many patients who need them.

Given this stark reality, we must have one goal: to save as many lives as possible. With that goal, we request the Governor issue an Executive Order including the following language, which will provide a level of liability protection adequate for care providers to save Californians’ lives:

During the current COVID-19 state of emergency, health care facilities, residential care facilities, senior living providers, health care service plans, physicians and other health care professionals, and all employees thereof, are hereby requested to render services to Californians. In recognition of these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances, such facilities, plans, physicians, professionals, and employees shall be immune from any administrative sanction or criminal or civil liability or claim for any injury, death, or loss alleged to have resulted from any act, omission, or decision made related to providing or arranging services, including but not limited to acts, omissions, or decisions undertaken because of a lack of resources, absent proof by no less than clear and convincing evidence of willful misconduct as measured by a standard of care that incorporates all of the circumstances of the emergency. All state statutes and regulations are hereby waived to the extent necessary to achieve this immunity. The unenforceability or invalidity of any part of this paragraph shall not have an impact on the enforceability or validity of any other part of this paragraph.

Governor Gavin Newsom
April 9, 2020 Page | 2

Effectively minimizing death and serious illness among the population as a whole entails distributing finite resources to those who have the greatest opportunity to benefit, thereby maximizing appropriate care for the greatest number of patients likely to benefit from these resources.

While the state is creating a framework to guide these difficult decisions, providers need assurance they will not later be judged or sued when abiding by this framework, or when making related care decisions based on their best judgment and determination at the time. In this time of crisis, care providers must be able to observe, evaluate, and respond to rapidly-changing conditions and events; the prospect of being subjected to future lawsuits would burden and slow these decisions, threatening greater loss of life throughout California. Basic ethical principles governing crisis triage decisions include accountability—not only for health care providers called upon to make such decisions, but also for the government in supporting the processes to make these decisions and protecting the providers who make them.

When providers approach their work in the coming weeks and months, we must give them the support they need to make the best possible decisions, including protections from future legal action, as long as that liability protection does not excuse willful misconduct. To help understand the magnitude of the situation, here are several examples of the kinds of situations our health care system will face:

  1. Thirty patients require ventilators, but a hospital has only 25 ventilators.
  2. A hospital has too few pulmonologists, so obstetricians agree to care for respiratory patients.
  3. A hospital postpones a patient’s elective surgery to accommodate a surge of COVID-19 patients,thus delaying care to the surgery patient.
  4. A patient no longer needs acute care, and is moved to a skilled nursing facility, although thepatient preferred to stay at the acute care facility and did not provide consent to be transferred.
  5. An assisted living facility resident contracts COVID-19 from an employee, even though thefacility used proper screening techniques when employees arrived at work.
  6. An assisted living facility suspends group dining and activities as well as restricting visitors, dueto social distancing requirements, and is sued for causing depression by isolating residents intheir rooms.
  7. A skilled nursing facility is sued for allegedly deficient care rendered by staff who had notreceived full training s a result of staffing shortages.
  8. A facility cannot access N-95 masks, and health care providers are asked to deliver care usingsurgical masks.
  9. A skilled nursing facility admits an asymptomatic patient in accordance with CaliforniaDepartment of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The patient later is determined to be COVID-19-positive, and the facility must manage a potential outbreak without full staff and without sufficient personal protective equipment.

In addition to the executive order language requested above, when considering the issue of liability protection, provisions of Government Code Section 8659 should be explicitly invoked; however these provisions are too limited for the unprecedented pandemic we are facing, which is why even broader liability protections is needed. Government Code Section 8659 does not help skilled nursing or assisted living facilities or health plans, and omits many types of health care workers (such as physician assistants, mental health providers, custodial staff, and managers). In addition, this statute does not provide protection for a willful act or willful omission, such as considered decisions to ration ventilators,

Governor Gavin Newsom
April 9, 2020 Page | 3

stop elective procedures, transfer a patient to an alternate care center, or assign an obstetrician to care for a pulmonary patient which has been the advice of the state or the standard or care in a crisis.

As our care providers make these difficult decisions, they need to know they will not be prosecuted or persecuted. This request is made with the deep understanding that every care provider is doing all they can to protect all Californians during this unprecedented crisis.

Respectfully,

Carmela Coyle, President and CEO California Hospital Association

Craig Cornett, CEO/President
California Association of Health Facilities

Sally Michael, President & CEO California Assisted Living Association

Janus Norman, SVP, Government Relations California Medical Association

Charles Bacchi, President & CEO California Association of Health Plans

Jeannee Parker Martin, President & CEO LeadingAge Californa

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San Mateo County TESTING and Contact Tracing.

By Michael G, Stogner

Testing and Contact Tracing should be and should have been the Number One Priority of San Mateo County Supervisors.

When will San Mateo County have Testing for All Residents like L.A. County just announced?

Saving Lives, Shelter in Place, No Cure, No Treatment, No Vaccine, Critical Shortages of all PPE, are all important topics, none are more important than Testing and Contact Tracing.

San Mateo County has 771,000 residents, Since January 1, 2020 when BlueDot Inc. first warned of the Virus a total of 13,004 Residents have been tested. That’s 4 months to test 13,004. SMC has No Idea how many residents are infected as of today, How could they?

State officials said they are testing more than 20,000 people a day — a third of the minimal daily tests needed to reopen. The State of California has 40,000,000 residents. You do the math

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that all county residents can now get free coronavirus testing at city-run sites. Until now, only residents with symptoms, as well as essential workers and those in institutional settings such as nursing homes, could be tested.

Stay at Home, Save Lives until Testing and Contact Tracing comes to San Mateo County.

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