COVID-19 and the Path Ahead: A Roundtable Discussion with UPMC Doctors

In a new roundtable discussion, a group of leading UPMC doctors share insight on the recent spike in COVID-19 cases — and what it means for your health care.

The doctors discuss the need to wear facemasks while traveling in public, the importance of continuing medical care through the health crisis, and UPMC’s readiness to care for patients as the pandemic stretches into the later part of 2020.

In the months since COVID-19 emerged in western Pennsylvania, its effects on the community have continued to evolve, says Donald Yealy, MD, chair, Department of Emergency Medicine at UPMC.

“What we’re going to see over time is changes in the numbers of people (affected), changes in the numbers of people who have bad forms of the illness,” Dr. Yealy says.

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“And what we’re going to do with this from the UPMC side is prepare for the worst, but respond to and share with you what’s actually happening right now, so you know how you can be safe.”

Dr. Yealy is joined by Rachel Sackrowitz, MD, chief medical officer, UPMC ICU Service Center, and Richard Beigi, MD, president, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

The doctors agreed that facemask use, social distancing, and handwashing are key to combating COVID-19 as case numbers fluctuate. For young people, particularly, prevention is critical: While they may be less likely to experience severe illness, they can spread COVID-19 to others who may develop serious complications.

“For young people, the focus really is, ‘How will my behavior impact those around me? And how can I change my behavior so that I can take care of everyone around me?’” Dr. Sackrowitz says.

The far-ranging conversation also touches on how telemedicine and video visits break down barriers for vulnerable patients, how pregnant women and young children can stay protected, and how COVID-19 has affected minorities.

Watch the video to view the full conversation and visit our website for more.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations in central and western Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.