Update from Kaiser Permanente: March 19, 2020
As the situation around coronavirus and COVID-19 continues to evolve, we’re committed to providing you with the most up-to-date health and safety information. In our last email, we shared an informational flier for your employees with health and safety tips. Additionally, we recently created a 5-part Coronavirus and COVID-19 informational video series that you may find helpful as we work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Below are the latest updates about how we’re caring for our members, patients, employees, and communities.
- Keeping members informed: We’re continually exploring additional ways to keep our members and the communities we serve informed of the latest health and safety information. In addition to the video series mentioned above, we’re continuing to keep our website kp.org updated, posting communications at our medical facilities, and distributing fliers with health and safety tips. These fliers are available in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. All of our materials provide health and safety information and remind members that it’s easy to get care and advice through our established telehealth options — including phone, email, and video — without an in-person visit.
- Testing and prevention: We’re continuing to follow public health guidance for COVID-19 testing, prioritizing high-risk patients that are referred by their doctor. As a Kaiser Permanente member, members won’t have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing. We’re also taking steps to provide more preventive care and treatment for respiratory illness and infection, as we learn more about COVID-19.
- Social distancing: Social distancing is a public health intervention in which people are discouraged from convening in groups in order to stop or slow the spread of a highly contagious disease. For specific guidelines on how to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, refer to the CDC’s recommendation for mitigation strategies.
- Vaccine trial underway at Kaiser Permanente: As a number of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected our research institute in Washington to conduct a trial of an investigational vaccine against the 2019 novel coronavirus. This is the first trial to get underway in the United States. The NIH selected the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, which has been a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit since 2007. This is the only one of the nation’s 9 units not at a university medical center, to begin clinical testing of a vaccine. To learn more about the study, visit corona.kpwashingtonresearch.org.
- Kaiser Permanente’s leadership on a national level:
- Meeting with White House officials: Last week, our Chairman and CEO Greg Adams met with the White House Coronavirus Task Force in Washington D.C. With the nation’s top health care executives, Adams discussed a path forward on eliminating copays for testing and screening with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The task force and CDC also provided guidance on what every American and community can do now to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.
- $1 million contribution to public health organizations: Kaiser Permanente is contributing $1 million to 10 leading public health organizations and collaborating with the CDC Foundation to strengthen the United States’ public health infrastructure and response systems to stop the spread of COVID-19. Read the official announcement.