Romano Law Nurse Corner #15
More COVID-19 cases = More COVID-19 cases.
More COVID-19 cases means exactly that. Some confusion has arisen regarding the medical significance of the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases. About half of the States in the US have reported increases in positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. As of last week, 12 States have reported record highs in new COVID-19 cases, these states are Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Florida’s three-day streak of record-breaking numbers ended with approximately 4,100 new cases reported. As of today, the number of COVID-19 deaths has exceeded 120,000 in the United States.
We have heard some government officials articulating that the increase in positive cases simply means because of increased testing we have more cases. Sadly, this is not true. While certainly increased testing reveals increasing positive tests in and of itself, it does not mean there is no reason to be concerned, as implied by these statements. In certain States, health departments have reported an increase in hospitalizations, along with the increase in people diagnosed with COVID-19. We all appreciate that those with co-occurring illnesses and the elderly are at more significant risk if they contract COVID-19, but there has been an increase among young people suffering serious complications related to COVID-19 even when they have no other illnesses.
As to why there has been an increase in positive COVID-19, one apparent reason is the “re-opening” of certain states, in particular in areas where the re-opening has been less controlled. The biggest determinant in whether reopening is going well or poorly in a region is whether there is an increase in people being hospitalized with COVID-19. This data varies greatly in availability across regions, making comparisons difficult, it also varies because more people are being tested for COVID-19 at hospitals now, than were previously. “By now if you have any respiratory symptoms at all, you’re tested” according to William Schaffer, M.D. an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is a very important part of the measurement, it takes a while for people to become sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.
As some States continue to break records in their daily reported cases, in a number of southern states, officials are reporting that more young people are testing positive. In Mississippi, one health officer calls adherence to social distancing of the past weeks “overwhelmingly disappointing”. Texas Governor, Greg Abbott said last week people under 30 made up a majority of the new COVID-19 cases, stating that the increase in young people could be related to the Memorial Day parties, visits to bars, or other large gatherings. In Florida, Governor DeSantis said cases are shifting in a radical direction towards populations in their 20s and 30s. While those younger groups are mostly asymptomatic and don’t require clinical attention, they still spread the virus. Experts have raised alarm about Florida’s climbing cases saying the state could become the next US coronavirus epicenter.
Again, let’s not miss the fact that even if the young people are asymptomatic and/or do not require hospitalization, their ability to transmit COVID-19 will continue to affect others that are not so fortunate.
We are Susan Ramsey and Amie Goldberg, both practicing attorneys and nurses here at the Romano Law Group. Here is a little more about each of us:
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.