As the Texas Medical Association told you Monday, personal protective equipment (PPE) will begin to move more quickly from state-managed warehouses to Texas county medical societies and on to private practice, community care physicians.
The movement of PPE, including N95 masks, is possible through an extensive collaboration among TMA, county medical societies, and a host of other associations and state agencies.
But we need your help.
Check your email today for a personalized link to the new TMA PPE Portal, which will include a needs assessment form for your practice. The form asks you to report your daily use of N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, booties, and sanitizer. Only one email was sent to each practice.
Find more information, including who can request PPE through the portal, how much it will cost (spoiler alert: it’s free), quality control, and how to identify your Regional Advisory Council (RAC), in TMA’s latest PPE frequently asked questions (FAQ) document.
Remember that the portal is not a PPE order form. The Hospital Preparedness Programs (HPPs) and RACs will use the data to allocate a share of available PPE to county medical societies. The county societies will use the data and guidelines developed by a TMA work group to distribute PPE to community physicians.
“The RACs and HPPs are all independent organizations, and all operate differently. Thanks to the strong support of Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, everyone is working much better to meet the PPE needs of community physicians,” TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD, said. “We very much appreciate the assistance of Chief Kidd and the RACs.”
You can also find the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak by visiting TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center regularly.
Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) is offering KN95 respirator masks — a crucial piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) — to its policyholders on the front lines of the COVID-19 emergency in Texas. While supplies last, the masks are being provided at no cost to physician policyholders and their practices in need of this PPE.
“We are doing all we can to provide relief to physicians who are in the trenches fighting this common enemy — COVID-19. We will do our very best to provide those in the greatest need with this important, potentially life-saving equipment,” Donohoe says.
TMLT physician policyholders responded quickly to the news. “I have been diligently trying to find these masks and other PPE. Your kindness is appreciated,” wrote Dr. Karen Anderson, a nephrologist in Houston, TX.
Dr. Paul H. Kocay, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Boerne, TX added, “As a small practice, we’ve not had access to ANY type of masks since March 15th. This will help us immensely!”
Supplies are limited and are expected to go quickly. Policyholders should check their email for details on how to request a supply of KN95 masks.
The Texas Medical Board (TMB) on Tuesday adopted emergency rules to follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s revised executive order that lifts restrictions on certain non-urgent, elective surgeries and procedures that had been in place since late March.
The TMA white paper includes background on Governor Abbott’s restrictions, provides details on each new executive order, and looks at TMB’s recommendations for physicians trying to decide whether to perform a surgery or procedure.
In addition, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a document that provides links to COVID-19 resources, including state and federal guidance as well as specialty societies that have published resource pages.
You can find both documents on TMA’s COVID-19 resource page, which is regularly updated with new information, tools, and resources.
Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) today reported another COVID-19 death, a man in his 70s from Fort Worth. Tarrant County now has 53 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus. 283 people have recovered.
“Every death that occurs is regrettable and makes us mindful of the toll this virus is taking in our community,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. He urged everyone to continue to follow Public Health guidelines, which include:
Stay home as much as possible.
If you go out, cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf.
Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others when you are out.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
If you have difficulty breathing, or a persistent fever, call your doctor or healthcare provider.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
Frequently clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.
COVID-19 causes respiratory illness with cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and may lead to bronchitis and severe pneumonia. For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, (817) 248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.