Skip to main content

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact our region and country. Significant progress is being made on surge planning, central labor pool, personal protective equipment (PPE) acquisition and conservation, and testing capability expansion.

This update includes a summary of case counts for UW Medicine hospitals, UW Virology Lab activity, new protocols and policies, as well as important announcements.

UW Medicine Hospitals’ Case Activity as of March 28, 2020, 8 a.m.:

Case activity table

UW Virology SARS-CoV-2 Testing Activity: On March 27, 2020: 2,000 samples were completed. Current daily capacity is 3,000 samples. Turnaround Time: 8 hours. No current backlog.

New and Revised Protocols and Policies:

  • NEW: UW Medicine Critical Care Management of COVID-19 (March 24, 2020)
  • NEW: Guidelines for the Physical Examination of the Patient who Has Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 (March 26, 2020)
  • Revised: UW Medicine SARS-CoV-2 Treatment Guidelines (March 25, 2020)

Important Announcements:

Conservation Strategy for Face Masks with Integral Eye Shields: The dynamic state of our supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE) requires that we enact conservation policies that include suitable and safe substitutes. We are currently experiencing low supplies of facemasks with integral eye shields at all four hospitals.

Per our conservation policy, we are in the process of providing staff on the inpatient units with rigid hard-sided goggles or full-face shields that are safe to clean and reuse if not damaged. This eye protection is coupled with a separate mask in order to provide complete facial protection. Staff on the inpatient units at each hospital have received more information on this conservation strategy directly from leadership, including details on each unit’s allocation and instructions for inspecting and cleaning the replacement googles and face shields.

Our supply chain colleagues have secured substantial supplies of reusable face shields for our care teams. In addition, our community of UW innovators led by Beth Ripley, Dmitry Levin and Rob Sweet has begun 3D-printing production of FDA-approved face shields with both reusable and disposable components and will begin testing mask designs followed by potential gowns and ventilator parts.

New Teleworking Guidance: We are seeing a rise in malicious attacks as negative actors exploit COVID-19 to target teleworkers and staff eager for information. UW Medicine Compliance and Security updated their guidance into a quick reference guide that all staff are encouraged to review and implement immediately.

Key takeaways:

  • Maintaining patient privacy is a priority even when working from home.
  • Use designated resources for accessing UW Medicine systems and storing confidential information. You can find those listed in the quick reference guide.
  • Protect access to your computer by locking it or logging out when unattended.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when discussing confidential information – either on the phone or video conference call.
  • Check links and senders before opening hyperlinks or attachments. Be on the lookout for fake COVID-19 websites and phone scams.

Most importantly, we continue to be inspired by our UW community in response to COVID-19. Thank you for everything you are doing to keep each other and our patients safe. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.


Santiago Neme, MD, MPH
Medical Director
UW Medical Center – Northwest Campus
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine

Chloe Bryson-Cahn, MD
Associate Medical Director, Infection Prevention
Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine