Online March 13, 2020
Guided by the trajectory of cases in Italy and other countries, it is very likely that the U.S. health care infrastructure and resources, particularly as it relates to care of the most critically ill patients, are likely to be strained over the coming weeks. Social distancing, crowd avoidance, and other techniques do help to flatten the curve of the dissemination of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), but beyond that, it is appropriate to be forward thinking regarding those patients who will, nevertheless, become infected.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has additional comments on this issue. Following a careful review of the current situation, we recommend the following:
We are aware that surgeons who practice in hospitals in geographic COVID-19 hot zones are already getting an advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to prepare. If you practice in an area that's not a hot zone, we still recommend that you refer to the CDC website for guidance. Visit the section entitled "Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States."
We recommend you read the entire document, but for your convenience, a portion of that information is excerpted below:
Time is of the essence. Please be vigilant and take a leadership role in your practice setting so that these recommendations begin to take hold immediately.