Coronavirus: ACEP says two emergency physicians in critical condition

March 16, 2020

The organization says a member in his 40s in Washington is presenting symptoms and a 70-year-old member in New Jersey tested positive for COVID-19.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) says two of their members are in critical condition as a result of COVID-19, according to a news release.

The members are an emergency physician in his 40s in Washington and a 70-year-old in New Jersey. It is unknown if the Washington case was an occupational transmission or a community transmission. The hospital where he practices is acutely aware of the COVID-19 risk to its employees and has worked with the CDC to ensure appropriate policies and procedures were followed, the release says.

The physician in New Jersey leads his hospital’s emergency preparedness. He was admitted to the hospital several days ago with upper respiratory problems and in currently in isolation in the hospital’s intensive care unit, the release says.

“It is my hope that these colleagues and their cases serve as a reminder to each of us to stay vigilant. This virus is dangerous, and its impact is still unfolding,” William Jaquis, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP, says in the release. “As emergency physicians, we answer the call to care for our most vulnerable, even at great personal risk. Knowing that, I urge each of you to meticulously follow the recommended precautions to protect yourself.”

ACEP will continue to work to ensure its members are safe and remain in contact with the CDC, Congress, regulatory agencies and other officials, the release says.

“I am proud of your competence, dedication and, most of all, your bravery,” Jaquis says. “As our thoughts turn toward Washington and New Jersey, we remain committed to being there for anyone, at any time.”

The COVID-19 global pandemic has led to school closings across the U.S. and the CDC warns against holding mass gatherings of more than 50 people for at least the next eight weeks. As of March 16, Italy has reported more than 1,800 deaths due to the disease and the total number of cases worldwide grew to more than 167,400 people, according to reporting from The New York Times.

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