National COVID-19 Update

March 25, 2020

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show a total of 54,453 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 54 states and U.S. territories, with 737 deaths. New York State leads the nation with more than 26,300 cases.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) continues to provide guidance for surgeons to curtail recommendations for elective surgical procedures to preserve the necessary resources for care of critically ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the ACS has released “COVID-19: Elective Case Triage Guidelines for Surgical Care,” a new surgical triage document, developed following expert review in several specialties, that provides trusted information from the most current best evidence available several surgical areas.

Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, nationally recognized leaders in the treatment, training and quarantine methods for highly infectious diseases since caring for patients during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, have developed a webpage compilation of COVID-19 resources for providers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a memo to state survey agency directors on its prioritization of survey activities. The memo notes that only complaint/facility-reported incident surveys, targeted infection control surveys and self-assessments are the only types of surveys that will be prioritized and conducted from March 20 and the following three weeks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Office of Business, Industry, Infrastructure and Integration (OB3I) are holding conference calls every Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3 p.m. (CT). These calls are to discuss the current situation and supply chain issues, and provide regional updates along with an open forum for questions and answers. The call number is: 800-593-7177; PIN: 7963614.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced today that it has expanded access to scientific papers on coronavirus for researchers, care providers, and the public, and for text-mining research. This work makes use of NLM’s PubMed Central® (PMC), a digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature. PMC currently provides access to nearly 6 million full-text journal articles.

The latest WHO situation report shows more than 372,000 COVID-19 cases globally, with over 16,200 deaths. The European Region now leads the world in cases and deaths, with more than 195,500 confirmed cases with over 10,100 deaths. The Western Pacific Region ranks second with more than 96,500 confirmed cases and more than 3,500 deaths.