April 6, 2020

Mayo Clinic COVID-19 News Media Coverage for April 6, 2020

By Emily Blahnik

Washington Post, Inside the coronavirus testing failure: Alarm and dismay among the scientists who sought to help by Shawn Boburg, Robert O'Harrow Jr., Neena Satija and Amy Goldstein — The Mayo Clinic created its first-ever rapid response team. A third of the 15 members were devoted solely to the FDA’s data and paperwork demands. Like others on the team, they worked 15-hour days for three weeks. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” said Matt Binnicker, a director of clinical virology at Mayo. He said they decided to persist because, in a worst-case scenario, the public health labs alone could not test on the scale that would be needed. “The public health infrastructure is really not set up to handle a pandemic,” he said.

Washington Post, Giuliani, a familiar voice in Trump’s ear, promotes experimental coronavirus treatments by Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey and  Jon Swaine — “The issue is that these are powerful medications that may or may not work for the desired efficacy but nevertheless have a side-effect package,” said Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic who published an article last week in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings warning health-care providers about hydroxychloroquine’s cardiac side effects. Still, he said it may not hurt for figures like Giuliani and Trump to share their enthusiasm over the early reports the medicine has helped some people. “Hope is a powerful medicine,” he said, cautioning against drawing political battle lines over treatments that could work.

Associated Press, No COVID-19 Testing at Home Yet but Quicker Options Coming by Matthew Perrone — …New rapid tests such as the one by Abbott Laboratories automate the process, cutting the time from four to six hours to about 15 minutes. “Essentially all of the reactions are squeezed into a little cartridge, so it's a very nice, self-contained system.” said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, lab director at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Additional coverage: New York Times, ABC News, PBS, Chicago-Sun Times, Jacksonville Journal Courier, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune

Reuters, Why U.S. hospitals see promise in plasma from new coronavirus patients by Deena Beasley — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced an “expanded access” program for convalescent plasma, coordinated by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, aimed at making it easier for hospitals across the country to collect and use plasma. Additional coverage: Yahoo!

Independent, Coronavirus: Scientists urge caution as they scramble to test Trump's 'game-changer' cure by Danielle Zoellner —  The Mayo Clinic released a warning for healthcare providers last week about the dangers the drug could pose on some patients, which includes it potentially causing sudden cardiac death when taken. The European Commission also announced on Tuesday there was no proof hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, which is also used for malaria, could treat the coronavirus.

Forbes, Autonomous Vehicles Moving COVID-19 Tests In Florida by Sebastian Blanco — While a roomy autonomous shuttle could actually increase such contact under normal circumstances, they can also be used to keep people further apart from each others, as is currently recommended in our new social distancing reality. That’s what’s happening at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, thanks to a partnership between the clinic, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Beep and NAVYA. Additional coverage: MSN, HIT Consultant, WUSF Health News Florida, Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Sentinel, Business Insider, Florida Politics, Auto Remarketing

Action News Jax, Researchers work around the clock developing COVID-19 vaccine at Mayo Clinic by Dani Bozzini —While the numbers of COVID 19 cases continue to rise in the U.S., researchers are working around the clock to develop a vaccine. Mayo Clinic says they’re very involved in the process, although a vaccine is still quite a ways away. Dr. Stacey Rizza, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Mayo Clinic, says developing a vaccine that prevents people from getting any virus is no easy task. It takes time, money, and research.

Arizona Central, Immunocompromised? Here's how you can better protect yourself from COVID-19 by Perry Vandell — Dr. Rafael Fonseca, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, said canceshould consult with their oncologists on if and how they should alter their treatment plan during the pandemic. "This has to be a highly individualized decision," Fonseca said. "There are many patients who really have to stay on their chemotherapy because of the type of cancer that they're facing or the aggressiveness of the cancer. And even with the risk of COVID, it makes more sense for them to remain on treatment."

KARE 11, Mayo Clinic 3D printing stepping up to help supply chain by Rena Sarigianopoulos — With the concerns in the supply chain, many folks are trying to come up with alternate solutions. That includes Mayo Clinic's 3D anatomic Modeling lab. While they can't just print masks, they are working on other options. “It is all hands-on deck, every day, every week,” says Dr. Jonathan Morris with Mayo Clinic’s 3D printing lab. Additional coverage: KMSP, KAAL, KIMT

KARE 11, Mayo Clinic: coronavirus blood test launching next week — After spending three weeks, evaluating 5 different antibody tests, researchers at the Mayo say they can now reliably detect whether a person has ever been infected with the novel coronavirus. "Early next week we hope to have the test available for clinicians to order and to start using," said Elitza Theel, PhD. The antibody tests will not replace the current, molecular tests, widely used to confirm coronavirus cases as they show symptoms. Additional coverage: TPT Almanac, Med City Beat, KAAL, KIMT, Grand Forks Herald, KTTC

Star Tribune, Mayo Clinic to lead national COVID-19 plasma trial by Jeremy Olson — Mayo Clinic announced Friday it is leading a national trial to use donated plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for others infected by the novel coronavirus that causes the illness…“Theoretically, it gives them an antibody boost, which should help them clear the virus,” said Dr. Michael Joyner, the Mayo doctor leading the program. Additional coverage: KROC-Radio, WXOW La Crosse, RiverTowns.net, KSTP, KTTC

WCCO-Radio, Dr Michael Joyner —Dr. Michael Joyner from the Mayo Clinic joins Dave Lee & tells him how plasma is being used to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

Pioneer Press, Walz to Minnesotans: ‘There’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19’ but ‘spring will arrive’ by Dave Orrick — About halfway through the speech he pivoted to positive stories, such as a Mayo Clinic study that seeks to use the blood of those who’ve survived the virus — as the vast majority do — as a treatment for those who fall ill. Additional coverage: KAAL

Mankato Free Press, Stuck in Kato: International student's parents came to visit — then a pandemic hit by Robb Murray — While he’s stuck here, though, Tanvir said he’s offered his services to Mayo Clinic Health System. He’s not licensed to practice here, but he said he’d be able to help if things got desperate. “I told them, ‘If you need any services, I am a doctor from another country. I don’t have a license to practice here, but I’m just sitting in my home. I could help.” So far Mayo hasn’t reached out.

RiverTowns.net, Mayo Clinic Health System conserving supplies, but has what it needs for now thanks in part to community support by Michael Brun — Mayo Clinic Health System is conserving medical supplies and testing equipment, but has what it needs to care for patients with COVID-19 and other ailments around the region, a clinic administrator said Friday, April 3. The network of community hospitals and clinics, with locations in Red Wing, Ellsworth, Cannon Falls and Lake City, is keeping a close eye on its stockpile of personal protective equipment, or PPE, said Dr. Deepi Goyal, an emergency medicine physician and Mayo Clinic Health System chairman of clinical practice for southeastern Minnesota.

Albert Lea Tribune, Mayo Clinic reviewing plans for use of hospitals in event of surge — Mayo Clinic Health System officials are planning how to best utilize Mayo facilities in the region in the event of a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

Albert Lea Tribune, Mayo Clinic Health System modifies clinic hours — To meet evolving patient needs, Mayo Clinic Health System has launched several new services, including drive-thru testing for COVID-19, curbside pharmacy and medical equipment pickup, and dedicated respiratory clinics. To limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the health system is delivering as much care as possible through telehealth or virtual methods, such as video visits, phone calls and online tools.

Austin Daily Herald, Mayo turns blue in show of support — In honor and support of the communities and dedicated staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic Health System in both Albert Lea and Austin will join other Mayo Clinic facilities in going “Mayo blue.”

Faribault Daily News, Local leaders say 'Stay home, just for the health of it' by Annie Harman — Area health care providers and local leaders share an important message about slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

La Crosse Tribune, Passive immunity for COVID-19 possible — In an email from the Mayo Clinic, called the weekly COVID-19 update, the doctor/author highlighted an article from the March 24 St. Paul Pioneer Press entitled “Mayo Clinic joins Amazon, others to deliver coronavirus ‘bridge therapy.’”

La Crosse Tribune, Number of telehealth visits rapidly rising at Gundersen, Mayo during COVID-19 by Emily Pryek — At Mayo, phone visits have also skyrocketed during COVID-19, from a few to well over 200 a day. “We expect this volume to increase about 10% to 15% per week as we reschedule all the patients that were moved, and the mix of phone to video will get closer to 50/50 over the next month,” says Tanner Holst, vice chair of administration for medical specialities and behavioral health at Mayo Clinic Health System.

Belle Plaine Herald, Mayo Rolls Out Video Visits to Area Nursing Homes, Includes The Lutheran Home —"Many of our nursing home patients are the most vulnerable, and they're in an age group that is associated with higher risks for complications and death from COVID-19," says Susan Laabs, M.D., regional medical director for Senior Services at Mayo Clinic Health System. "These patients can't receive visitors, and they can't leave the facility for care, so this is a good way for our providers to meet with our patients and provide care exactly where they are."

US News & World Report, Why U.S. Hospitals See Promise in Plasma From New Coronavirus Patients by Deana Beasley — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced an "expanded access" program for convalescent plasma, coordinated by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, aimed at making it easier for hospitals across the country to collect and use plasma.

Yahoo! Finance, The doctor fighting the coronavirus in his own special way by Betsy Wagner — He is just what the world needs right now: Dr. Elvis Francois, an orthopedic surgery resident whose beautiful singing voice is going a long way in healing the world’s broken hearts.  One recent day, as the coronavirus death toll mounted across the globe, he and his colleague, Dr. William Robinson, sat down at a piano in lobby of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, where they are both residents. Still in their surgical scrubs, the two filmed themselves performing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” with Dr. Elvis (as he’s known) singing, and Robinson accompanying him. Additional coverage: FOX 11 Los Angeles, Forbes, Refinery 29, Entertainment Daily

Neurology Live, Mayo Clinic Neurology Taps Video Technology to Maintain Care During COVID-19 — In today's increasingly digital world, everything from banking to shopping and getting a ride is at your fingertips. Mayo Clinic is working to make health care just as accessible and convenient. "Mayo Clinic can go out to where our patients are digitally, rather than forcing the patients to come to our facilities if they don't need to be in our buildings for the care they're getting," says Steve Ommen, MD, medical director for Mayo Clinic's Center for Connected Care, which provides the infrastructure and tools to practice medicine in innovative ways.

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Editors: Emily BlahnikKarl Oestreich

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