Northwestern Medicine has instituted numerous systemwide updates, including the rollout of Bamlanivimab monoclonal antibody treatment, revised testing turnaround times, new procedural scheduling and updated visitor policies.
COVID-19 VACCINE There are several COVID-19 vaccines in late stage development, and Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted an Emergency Use Authorization Request to the FDA for their COVID-19 Vaccine. We anticipate within the next few weeks that the FDA will authorize one or more for emergency use. Information about the vaccines, the government planning efforts and frequently asked questions can be found here.
TESTING UPDATES Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, the viral testing volume at NM has increased by 13%. Daily collections average more than 5,000 specimens per day, which exceeds our internal capacity, forcing outpatient (non-pre-procedure) tests to be sent to Quest Diagnostics for processing. Quest has given NM priority one status for processing; however, their turnaround times are typically two to three days longer. The lab is actively working to increase internal testing by expanding capacity on current PCR testing platforms and validating new technologies. For additional information, please visit the Testing Resources page on Physician Forum or the Testing Resources page on NMI (login required).
NEW PROCEDURAL SCHEDULING Non-emergent surgeries and procedures that require an inpatient bed have been reduced to preserve bed availability, staffing and resources. Resource availability is determined weekly to ensure appropriate communication with patients and their physicians.
UPDATED VISITOR POLICIES NOW IN EFFECT With the increase in COVID-19 cases across the city and the state, as well as state-issued mitigation guidelines, NM has implemented additional measures to maintain a safe and trusted environment for staff and patients. You can view these changes and the most up-to-date information by visiting Visitor Restrictions Due to COVID-19 page on nm.org.