May 20, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD

Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Ask any driver about what irritates them, and you are likely to hear about other drivers who drive too slowly, and those who drive too fast. These tend to be subjective observations, but speed limits do give us objective guidance as to the appropriate speed of travel.

Unfortunately, there are no posted speed limits or minimum speeds listed for reopening a state. This week in Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont has announced a phased-in reopening beginning today, May 20. I would like to discuss this from a public health perspective. 

As some offices, retail businesses, restaurants, and other establishments begin to re-open, my take-home message to you all is: proceed with caution. If at all possible, continue to stay home. I urge continued self-isolation even more strongly for anyone over 65 years of age, or those who have medical conditions that place them at high risk…

May 14, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD

Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Not only does the coronavirus continue to challenge us, but the predictably unpredictable New England weather is keeping us guessing with snow squalls in May! I hope everyone is weathering this season of uncertainty.

Over the past week, we’ve continued to learn more about Covid-19—particularly how it may be affecting children, who were previously thought to be largely spared by this disease. The medical community is now seeing a condition in children called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS), which is believed to be caused by Covid-19. The initial case was described in England in late April as a combination of Toxic Shock Syndrome and Kawasaki Disease (KD), the most common inflammatory condition affecting children aged 6 months to 5 years. At this time, there have been over 70 reported cases of PMIS in the New York City area with other reports of similar cases in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and cities in Europe. PMIS is characterized by fever and rash, as well as with some or all of the other signs and symptoms of KD, including swollen lymph nodes, rash all over the body and most notably on the palms and soles of feet, and the characteristic “strawberry tongue.”  Not all the patients have tested positive for Covid-19 but a significant number have. At this time, experts feel this possible manifestation of Covid-19 is rare, but parents are advised to have any child with these symptoms promptly evaluated.  

Also this past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidelines on when a person can be released from quarantine (whether due to a positive test or, more commonly, due to clinical presentation since tests are still not readily available). The criteria include a minimum of 10 days quarantine, improving symptoms, and no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication…

May 7, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Once again, I hope this note finds you all safe and well. My thoughts go out to all of you who have been personally affected by Covid-19. 

As we continue to follow the course of this pandemic, we see parts of our country (and the world) start the process of reopening while other areas brace for possible increased cases of Covid-19. As of this week, Connecticut has over 30,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths, but has seen an overall significant decline in hospitalizations over the past two weeks. Governor Lamont is looking at criteria for beginning to re-open the state, including 14 days of decreased hospitalizations; adequate testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and healthcare capacity; substantial contact tracing; and protection of high-risk populations. If these goals are met, we may see a partial re-opening by May 20.

What is new?…

April 29, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Wishing you all health and safety. My thoughts go out to those of you who have been personally been affected by Covid-19.

As is often the case, the more you know about something, the more there is to know.  This is certainly true about Covid-19.  I would like to summarize a number of current issues, knowing that this information will continue to evolve as we learn more.

First, we are becoming aware of the wide variety of ways that Covid-19 can present. From the very beginning, we have all known about the symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that gradually build (in contrast to influenza, which typically hits hard and fast). This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially added six other symptoms commonly seen with the coronavirus, including: loss of taste and smell, chills, shaking chills (rigors), headache, muscle aches, and sore throat…

April 23, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Greetings from the Davison Health Center. As of Monday evening, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has mandated by executive order that face coverings be worn in public anywhere a 6-foot distance is unavoidable, including in stores, pharmacies, and at grab-and-go restaurants, as well as when using public transportation and in the workplace. Employees working on Wesleyan’s campus are required to wear face coverings while at work and when the 6-foot distancing requirement is unattainable. Employees may have some flexibility when working in offices alone with the door closed, but must have a face covering available. Please see the State of Connecticut’s “Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employees.”

Wesleyan is offering free face coverings to students, faculty, and staff on campus. Students may pick up masks at a pop-up station on the main floor of Usdan. Staff and faculty masks are available for pick-up at Wes station in the basement of Usdan…

April 15, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

I trust this note finds everyone in good health. I write today with another public health update on the coronavirus pandemic.

Since my last update, the CDC has announced that there will be antibody testing available within the next few weeks, which will measure two antibodies: Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG).

Let me offer a quick Immunology 101 lesson: …

April 8, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan community,

Wishing you all health and safety during this tumultuous time.

Since our last update, the CDC has made new recommendations regarding face masks. These are the key points to know:

1. ) Masks should be worn when going out in the public such as grocery shopping or trips to the pharmacy. This also applies to students on campus picking up their take-out meals.
2.) The current recommendations…

March 31, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
To: Lauren Rubenstein
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

The Davison Health Center sends our wishes for good health and safety to everyone.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely at the local, national and international levels.

Over the next few weeks, experts in the field predict increased cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Coupled with the lack of a vaccine, medication trials still in early phases, and troubling shortages in testing, personal protective equipment, and ventilators around the country, it is understandable to see high levels of fear and anxiety as we worry about our own well-being and the health of our loved ones.

With all these challenges, I would again like to stress the measures that we can all…

March 26, 2020: Health Advisory from the Davison Health Center

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Health Advisory from the Davison Health Center

To the Wesleyan Community:

In light of the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in New York (especially in New York City and Westchester County) we urge students, staff and faculty to avoid travel to and from New York at all costs.

Travel to an epicenter such as we are seeing in New York not only increases your own risk of…

March 22, 2020: Accessing health services on campus

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Date: Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 8:46 PM
Subject: Accessing health services on campus

To our students remaining on campus:

Thanks to everyone who attended the Zoom meeting this evening. As we mentioned, the Davison Health Center will be in operation from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for the remainder of the semester or until otherwise announced.

As you have been advised in prior correspondence, in order to prevent potentially infecting others, DO NOT WALK IN to the health center. Instead, please call us at 860-685-2470 to speak with one of our staff members.

For the same reason, if you are seeking…