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Dear Colleagues,

It is a beautiful weekend and we hope that all of you have or will have an opportunity to enjoy some sunshine and your families.

Our media relations team has been hard at work ensuring that the world learns more about the dedication and great work that is happening throughout UW Medicine, from screening and testing patients for COVID-19 to identifying and implementing measures to better prevent and treat this disease. We are fulfilling our mission to improve the health of the public including those who are living homeless, have limited access to healthcare, or have limited English proficiency who have been disproportionally affected by this pandemic.

Last week, a photographer from Reuters captured the portraits of Harborview Medical Center staff who are working on the front lines. You can see their photos here []. Next week, the same photographer will visit UW Medical Center – Montlake and Northwest to capture our dedicated staff and providers at these two sites. These are truly meaningful portraits of the people who are ensuring the safety of our patients and staff.

You are all an amazing team of professionals and we admire your dedication and commitment to the life-changing work we are all doing.

Updates for today:

  • UW Medicine COVID-19 activity summary
  • New and revised clinical protocols and guidelines
  • PPE substitution for 1870+ N95 masks
  • Scrubs preservation for COVID-19 frontline workers
  • Update at the UWMC Northwest campus test site
  • Project Together UW

UW Medicine COVID-19 Activity

COVID-19 IP Care Trend Data 4-11


New and/or Revised Clinical Protocols and Guidelines:

As a reminder, UW Medicine has created two sites for COVID-19-related information, clinical protocols and guidelines, and policies and procedures. Internal website: External website: Also, please visit The Huddle for a collection of updates and important resources.

Please note that the extended use masking policy and the new cloth face covering policy have been combined into one policy.   Employees who would like to wear a mask while at work will be provided one surgical mask at the beginning of the shift to be used throughout the shift.  Cloth face coverings are not allowed in clinical areas.

PPE Substitution for 1870+ N95 Respirators

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, UW Medicine’s Supply Chain has worked around the clock to maintain supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and to source safe alternatives for potential shortages.

Due to low inventory of the 1870+ N95 respirator, we will be making a substitution to the 1870 N95 respirator at Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center – Montlake and UW Medical Center – Northwest. These respirators are used by staff who care for patients in airborne/respirator precautions. While they are very similar in safety and comfort, the most significant change is that staff will need to be refitted for the 1870 N95 respirator.

Staff on the inpatient units at each hospital who need to use the substitute mask will receive information on the timeline and process for refitting from their supervisors. This process has already started/will begin shortly at the three sites.

We will continue to keep you informed about our PPE inventory levels and whenever there is a need for substitutions. Please know that every PPE substitution is carefully vetted by an expert multidisciplinary team to ensure our staff always has access to safe and high quality PPE. We are very appreciative of your flexibility in adapting to all of the challenges that we are facing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Help Preserve Scrubs for Front-line staff

As you know, conserving personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical items is a top UW Medicine priority to ensure the health and safety of our providers, staff and patients. Across our region, the use of scrubs has significantly increased during the COVID-19 response and as a result, we are monitoring our supply carefully. While we have an adequate supply, it is important that we keep scrubs in active circulation so that we do not experience a shortage.

We are working closely with the vendor that provides these items to Harborview and both UWMC campuses. However, the vendor’s supply is limited due to widespread, increased demand. In order to ensure that our staff and clinicians have what they need to deliver care safely in our hospitals, we ask that you conserve our scrub supply by following these protocols (in addition to any entity-specific policies):

  • Only wear scrubs if you are working in an area where they are required or if you are involved in the care of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • If you wear scrubs, please remove them at the end of your shift so they can be laundered
  • Please do not take scrubs home
  • If you have any scrubs at home or in your locker, please return them so that they may be returned to circulation

We thank you for all of your conservation efforts during this time. It is this collective action that protects the health of our frontline care teams during this pandemic. If you have any questions, please reach out to your supervisor.

Updates at the UWMC Northwest campus patient test site

UWMC Northwest will close its OPMC test site location on Wednesday, April 15 at 12 p.m.  With the Northwest Campus Testing Site opening to patients in addition to employees, we are able to meet all patient needs in one location. Below are the hours of operations and location:

UWMC Northwest Campus Test Site
1560 North 115th Street
Parking Garage
Seattle, WA 98133
Monday through Sunday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Expanded Services – Blood Draw & Specimen Drop Off for Patients with confirmed COVID-19 or URI Symptoms

Patients who have confirmed COVID-19 or have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection can have their blood drawn or drop off specimens at the UWMC Northwest Campus Test Site. This will help to minimize risk of exposure in the lab and conserve PPE using the drive-up model.

To refer your patient, place lab orders in Epic and:

  • Warm transfer the patient to the Contact Center at 206.520.8770 or
  • Provide the patient with instructions to call the Contact Center at 206.520.8700.

The Contact Center will schedule the patient for a lab visit at the test site and provide all details unique to the drive-up blood draw.

Patients who have confirmed COVID-19 or have URI symptoms can also drop off specimens at this site.

For questions, please contact Jenny Brackett or Carolyn Grant.

Project Together UW

We continue to live through a time of rapid change and persistent uncertainty. This can make all of us feel anxious at times.  COVID-19 has disrupted the way we care for patients, the way we relate to our colleagues, and how we feel about coming home to vulnerable family members or loved ones after we peel off our layers of disposable plastic. Remarkably, our nurses, CNAs, providers, respiratory therapists, therapists, environmental services, administrators, lab services, researchers, and all other services across UW Medicine continue to do amazing work despite this tremendous stress and concerns for personal safety.  It is through this amazing community that we are able to move forward.

Project Together UW highlights the phenomenal work being done at our hospitals by all members of the UW Medicine community. Gratitude and support can be publicly shared between colleagues through our accounts on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and is collected on our website at the School of Medicine.  All of us deserve to be celebrated for actions large and small that too often go unrecognized. Watch the slideshow or scroll through messages to and from our community. Help us amplify our appreciation for one another!

Have someone in mind? Share your story and tag us in any of the above outlets using #togetherUW or email: Please note that Project Together UW is not affiliated with the main UW Medicine social channels and website.

Many thanks for all of your hard work! We hope you have a peaceful weekend.