Patients

Covid-19 Patients No Longer Need Tests to End Isolation

Most Americans recovering from Covid-19 can come out of isolation without further testing to show they no longer carry the coronavirus, federal health officials said on Wednesday.

Instead, patients may be judged to have recovered if 10 days have passed since they first felt ill; they no longer have any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or diarrhea; and they have not had a fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.

The new recommendations are not rules but guidelines intended for patients, doctors and health policymakers. The revisions should help relieve the burden on the country’s testing system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Previously, one way to get out of isolation was to have two negative diagnostic tests, also called PCR tests, for the virus taken 24 hours apart. But now there are testing delays of up to two weeks in parts of the country, and

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A Covid-19 Lesson: Some Seriously Ill Patients Can Be Treated at Home

Joan Murray had been home with Covid-19 for about a week when she ran into trouble. She had a fever of 103 degrees and chills that sent shivers up and down her spine. Her oxygen levels were dropping, and the tightness in her chest felt “as if somebody had bound up my lungs with string.”

But the 77-year-old, a retired registered nurse who lives alone in Westbury, N.Y., was adamant that she wanted to fight the illness at home. “As a nurse, maybe I knew too much,” she said. “The last place I wanted to be was the hospital.”

So the hospital came to her.

Northwell Health, which has cared for thousands of coronavirus patients in its network of facilities in New York State, sent a nurse manager to Ms. Murray’s home in May. Covered head to toe in protective gear — gown, gloves, mask, shield and disposable bootees —

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‘They Want to Kill Me’: Many Covid Patients Have Terrifying Delirium

One moment, scientists in Japan were testing chemicals on her; the next she was telling them, “‘I am an American and I have a right to eat a cheeseburger and drink Coca-Cola,’” she recalled, adding: “I don’t even like cheeseburgers.”

Along with this agitated hyperactive delirium, she experienced internalized hypoactive delirium. In a recovery room after leaving the I.C.U., she’d stare for 10 to 20 seconds when asked basic questions, said Dr. Hageman, adding, “Nothing was quite processing.”

Ms. Victory managed to take a picture of herself with nasal oxygen tubes and a forehead scar, post it on Facebook and write “I’m alive” in Vietnamese so her parents in Vietnam would know she’d survived. But another day, she called her husband, Wess Victory, 15 or 20 times, repeatedly saying, “I give you two hours to come pick me up.”

“It was heartbreaking,” said Mr. Victory, who patiently told her she

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Many Medical Decision Tools Disadvantage Black Patients

Unbeknown to most patients, their race is incorporated into numerous medical decision-making tools and formulas that doctors consult to decide treatment for a range of conditions and services, including heart disease, cancer and maternity care, according to a new paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The unintended result, the paper concludes, has been to direct medical resources away from black patients and to deny some black patients treatment options available to white patients.

The tools are often digital calculators on websites of medical organizations or — in the case of assessing kidney function — actually built into the tools commercial labs use to calculate normal values of blood tests. They assess risk and potential outcomes based on formulas derived from population studies and modeling that looked for variables associated with different outcomes.

“These tests are woven into the fabric of medicine,” said Dr. David Jones, the

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