MUSC Health to provide tri-weekly COVID-19 reports to media
CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 25, 2020) –At MUSC Health, the safety of patients, families, care team members, students, faculty and staff remains the number one priority. In an effort to provide accurate, relevant and timely COVID-19 information to news media in South Carolina and beyond, the MUSC Public Affairs and Media Relations (PAMR) department will begin issuing regular COVID-19 updates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week until no longer necessary. Your attention to these reports in the weeks ahead is appreciated.
Care team, academic and research leaders continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and create new ways to best take care of patients, educate our students and innovate around this new challenge. These reports are intended to streamline the unsustainable number of duplicative requests currently received by MUSC PAMR and to connect you with MUSC resources that may provide story ideas, angles or interesting new information for you to be aware of.
This information is for the Charleston area only. For information about MUSC Health Florence or Marion Medical Centers, please contact Kim Geiger at email@example.com. For information about MUSC Health Chester or Lancaster Medical Centers, please contact Ashley Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUSC Health (confirmed as of 3-25-2020)
Telehealth screenings through musc.care: More than 15,000
Total patients seen at West Ashley specimen collection site: Approaching 3,000
Inpatient pending rule-outs: 12
Total number of completed COVID-19 tests: 1066
COVID-19 positive cases
Outpatient/community via collection site: 39
MUSC Health care team members (hospital or clinic): 1 - previously announced first case in Chas. County
MUSC Health plans to use recently vacated, critical care space in the old Children’s Hospital, now known as University Hospital Extension, as well as possible ICU space in Ashley River Tower for approximately 100 extra beds. We are working with our regional health network hospitals in Florence, Marion, Chester and Lancaster to assess and plan for surge capacity in those parts of the state. We are also assessing other options with area partners and organizations.
General status (green, yellow, red): GREEN
MUSC Health is encouraging the community to donate the following supplies at the MUSC Warehouse in North Charleston if they are able to, in preparation for patient surges related to COVID-19:
Face guards and face shields
Industrial cleaning wipes
Thermometers (all kinds)
200 proof USP-grade alcohol
Details are available here: https://muschealth.org/patients-visitors/coronavirus-information/donations-to-musc-health
MUSC In-house COVID-19 testing capability
MUSC began to run in-house testing in small batches on Monday, March 23 and is increasing the number of batched samples that can be run each day with capacity expanding over time to accommodate up to 300 tests per day. This is a major development in our ability to understand the prevalence of the virus in the community, as well as increase our ability to screen, collect specimens and test quickly, giving patients results faster than we’ve been able to do thus far. With this new capability, and in addition to use of a private lab for testing, MUSC expects the amount of time individual patients are waiting for results to decrease significantly.
MUSC COVID-19 info for repurpose with permission/credit or follow-up story ideas:
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.