COVID-19: MUSC Presidential Update - August 5, 2020

Dear MUSC family,

As reported in the MUSC Catalyst News, a recent update from the MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project offers positive and encouraging data in some key categories for the Charleston Tri-county area:

  • The infection growth rate is down from 3% to 1.8%.
  • The number of cases is down from 2,600 to 2,000 per week.
  • The overall number of hospitalizations at MUSC Health is decreasing.
  • All three of the large hospitals in the Tri-county area now have a manageable number of COVID-19 patients, an improvement from the previous week.

We continue to monitor and respond to the individual community situations affecting our Florence and Lancaster MUSC Health divisions; these areas have multiple red indicators, based on our data analysis, and might need more support from the MUSC family in the days ahead if their infection rates and hospitalizations continue to rise.

As I’ve mentioned before, successfully moving forward across South Carolina means slowing down the growth rate of new infections at the local level – and the last two weeks, in particular, have demonstrated how much of that is within a community’s control when its citizens make a concerted effort to work together for the safety of all. Please take a moment to view a short video that expounds on that thought.

And if living in the era of COVID-19 weren’t enough to contend with these days, we just weathered our first major storm of the season with the arrival and swift departure of Hurricane Isaias. Perhaps it’s my bias, but the professionalism, competence and positive “can-do” attitude of our university and health system employees, faculty, students, and clinicians in the face of adverse weather are unmatched when wind, rain, storm surges and tornadoes come our way. Thank you for your efforts this week in the face of Isaias.

As we continue to plan, prepare, watch and wait, whether it be for the next storm or changes related to COVID-19, one thing is certain: Our ability to work together as one MUSC during the most challenging of times will only further position us for greater success as an organization in the years to come.

Yours in service,

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
MUSC president