COVID-19 cases increasingly involve younger people

As of July 30, UW Medicine was providing care for 35 inpatients with COVID-19 across its hospitals, said Lisa Brandenburg, president of UW Medicine Hospitals and Clinics. By contrast, at the previous height of the coronavirus surge, there were more than 120 inpatients at those hospitals.

COVID-19 patients increasingly comprise people in their 20s and 30s, she said.  Even if they think they'll be able to fend off the virus, the bigger concern is transmitting it to more vulnerable members in the community. 

"We need to protect those people who are most at risk like our elderly family members, the Black and Latinx communities, and people who have underlying medical conditions. It’s incredibly important that we all do what’s right to protect everyone in our community," she says.

At UW Medicine, all clinicians and staff continue to strictly follow infection-control protocols, and patients and visitors must be masked, as well.  Staff continue to have sufficient personal protective equipment on hand. With these policies, it is an opportune time, Brandenburg said, to schedule outpatient elective procedures. All elective surgery patients are tested for COVID-19 before the procedure can move forward.  "You can be aware that all the other patients in the surgical area are COVID-negative," she said.

UW Medicine