Today we received word that two of our ACEP members are in critical condition as a result of COVID-19. An emergency physician in his 40s in the state of Washington presented with symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 syndrome. A 70-year-old member in New Jersey has tested positive for the virus. I am deeply saddened by this news, but not surprised. As emergency physicians, we know the risks of our calling. We stand united with our colleagues and our thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery are with each of them and their families.
In Washington, whether this was a case of occupational transmission or community-based spread of the disease is unknown. The hospital was acutely aware of the COVID-19 risk to health care workers and has worked closely with the CDC to ensure the appropriate policies and procedures are in place to mitigate risk. This emergency physician complied at all times with appropriate PPE procedures.
In Patterson, NJ, the physician, who leads his institution’s emergency preparedness, was admitted to the hospital several days ago with upper respiratory problems and remains in isolation in its intensive care unit.