Hospitals

Black Coronavirus Patients Land in Hospitals More Often, Study Finds

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that  the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

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Hospitals Move Into Next Phase as New York Passes Viral Peak

Across New York City, hospitals have moved into a new phase in their battle against the coronavirus.

In the city that was hit hardest by the pandemic in the United States, the number of new patients and the daily death toll have dropped sharply. Many of the refrigerated trucks filled with bodies are gone. Doctors no longer routinely plead for help in makeshift protective gear. The emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, once overwhelmed, treats barely a third of the people it did before the outbreak.

“It’s like someone turned off the hose,” said Dr. Eric Wei, an emergency medicine physician and senior vice president of quality for NYC Health & Hospitals, the public health care system, referring to patient numbers in recent weeks.

“There’s a huge psychological desire to be like, ‘Whew, we’re through the worst of it,’” he said, but cautioned, “It’s a challenge to fight that

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Hospitals Struggle to Restart Lucrative Elective Care After Coronavirus Shutdowns

“Our hospitals, like every other hospital in the country, are half empty,” said Marvin O’Quinn, the president and chief operating officer for CommonSpirit Health, a Catholic system that operates 137 hospitals across 21 states.

As restrictions ease around the country, some states have begun allowing procedures unrelated to the coronavirus, like knee replacements, colonoscopies and mammogram screenings.

“As anyone waiting for an elective surgery knows, ‘non-urgent’ does not mean ‘minor,’” said Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon in allowing the state’s hospitals to resume business on May 1. “This is incredibly important medical care that we would not have told providers to delay if the threat of Covid-19 had not made it necessary.”

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Airborne Coronavirus Detected in Wuhan Hospitals

Adding to growing evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through air, scientists have identified genetic markers of the virus in airborne droplets, many with diameters smaller than one-ten-thousandth of an inch.

That had been previously demonstrated in laboratory experiments, but now Chinese scientists studying real-world conditions report that they captured tiny droplets containing the genetic markers of the virus from the air in two hospitals in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started.

Their findings were published Monday in the journal Nature.

It remains unknown if the virus in the samples they collected was infectious, but droplets that small, which are expelled by breathing and talking, can remain aloft and be inhaled by others.

“Those are going to stay in the air floating around for at least two hours,” said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who was not involved with the Nature paper.

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