Thanks as always to Dr. Mike Silverman, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, for these superb updates!
Friday Night Update from the ER in Arlington, VA
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’m also hoping that you’re more interested in eating leftover turkey and pumpkin pie than getting a COVID update.
I just got home from a shift in the ER and between today’s shift, Thanksgiving prep Wednesday and family time yesterday, and working an extra shift a few days ago when I was the on call doctor and one of our docs called out sick, I didn’t get much time to think about today’s post. I hope you don’t mind a brief update.
After several weeks of record ED volume, our volume has been down a touch the last 10 days or so. Thanksgiving is always a low volume day, and even though we still have busy days (Mondays are historically the busiest ER day of the week), it’s good for the staff to be able to take a breath.
COVID cases are up a bit. As is the percent positivity rate. But I’m still seeing way more flu than COVID. I can’t even tell you how many flu cases I had today, let alone this week. But there were a lot of flu patients, and they all feel generally poorly. I am really just shocked at the number of people who didn’t get their flu vaccine this year (and the number who still haven’t gotten COVID vaccines).
The CDC published some real world data on the benefits of the new bivalent COVID vaccine in the MMWR this week. The study group comprised over 360,000 patients who had COVID tests at almost 10,000 pharmacies nationwide earlier this fall and compared results in patients who received the bivalent shots to those patients who had received 2-4 doses of the original monovalent vaccine. Results showed that the new bivalent vaccine “is better at preventing symptomatic COVID infections than the earlier doses” and “provided stronger protection” to those who received it versus those who received the monoclonal vaccine.
I’m going to get some leftover turkey and pie (and maybe a glass of wine). The picture is the turkey I grilled yesterday. If you’ve never had a grilled turkey, it’s worth trying.
Coronavirus is not quite done with us yet.
Science matters. Get vaccinated (or your booster). Keep a mask handy.