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I hope that this message finds you well, despite all of our ongoing challenges. Kids out of school, family members out of work, feeling stuck at home and forecasts for more COVID-19 cases in the coming months. Please recognize that what we are all doing is working: the number of patients in our hospitals is continuing to decrease, and the number of new cases per day across the state is still going down. This gives me a tremendous sense of hope as it shows us that we can respond and that we can work through this as a community.

My own way to cope is to look at the numbers, but also to stories of individuals, families and communities that provide me with inspiration. An example of this is the UW Medicine Schwartz Rounds that happened in place of the Town Hall last Friday (see below). If you were able to attend, I hope it helped you realize you are not alone.


  • Updated protocol for patients recovering from COVID-19 and returning to clinical care.
  • Updated protocol for employees recovering from COVID-19 and returning to work.
  • UW Medicine Surgery Town Hall, Wednesday, 5/6, 6 a.m., for surgeons and operating room staff at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.

UW Medicine Hospitals COVID-19 Activity

UW Medicine COVID-19 Inpatient Case Trend May 5 2020

State, National and Global Updates

Washington: Washington state reported 15,462 cases and 841 deaths as of May 3. A total of 216,320 people have been tested, and 7.1% of those tests have been positive.

United States: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1,152,372 COVID-19 cases and 67,456 deaths as of May 4.

Global: The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for May 5 reports 3,517,345 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 243,401 deaths.

UW Medicine Schwartz Rounds

During our first UW Medicine Schwartz Rounds, nearly 900 participants listened to the powerful stories of 10 panelists, who represented a broad range of healthcare providers. Their stories included personal reflections on the fear of infection, the challenges of limited time at the bedside, the mixed emotions of a new pregnancy, the desire to take care of each other and to not let anyone die alone, and the feeling of not being able to do enough.

We plan to continue to have local Schwartz Rounds focused on COVID-19 at our hospitals, and we will likely come back together for a system Schwartz Rounds in the summer.

UW Medicine Surgery Teams Town Hall, 6 a.m., May 6

As we begin to expand the performance of urgent surgeries and plan for resuming elective surgeries, this town hall will provide surgeons and operating room staff with an update on our plans and address questions and concerns. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Trish Kritek and will include medical directors as well as nursing and physician leaders from surgery, anesthesia and infection prevention.

Please join the webinar by using this Zoom link or by phone: 669.900.6833, Webinar ID: 974 0958 4165. The webinar begins at 6 a.m. and will be recorded for those unable to attend.

Updated Policies and FAQs

In response to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UW Medicine has updated two documents on the UW Medicine COVID-19 website:

  • Patient Return to Ambulatory Care and Repeat Testing: Care of ambulatory patients with active COVID-19 or who are in the recovery phase can be safely performed in specific outpatient facilities staffed with trained HCP and provided with appropriate PPE. Needed care should not be delayed due to a recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

As we move forward with our plans to increase clinic and hospital visits, we will continue to focus on doing so in the safest possible way. Thank you for your service to our patients and your support of each other.


John Lynch, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control
Associate Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine