Warming Weather May Help Prevent Coronavirus Spread: CVS CMO

The Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health Corp. has expressed the hope that the warming weather will help prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

In a message to CVS Health employees, CMO Troy Brennan said he was sharing a few epidemiological and clinical insights related to the COVID-19 or coronavirus outbreak. He also advised employees to practice social distancing and other common measures like washing hands frequently.

Brennan said he hoped the warming weather will help prevent spread of the coronavirus, but added that there was no guarantee it will do so. He added that the viral spread must be down, helping to relieve pressure on the U.S. health care system.

“There is still a lot that is not known. We will learn more as testing increases and as more patients with significant disease from the virus are treated,” the CMO said.

Brennan added that radical social distancing is working to help prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus, noting that it worked in China with very stringent approaches, and in Korea with more measured ones. While neither country has eliminated the virus, there is some sense of control, the chief medical officer noted.

Brennan also provided tips on how to identify the symptoms of the coronavirus. The coronavirus pneumonia presents as a dry cough with no runny nose, often accompanied by a fever. Persons experience these symptoms should call their doctor. People having a runny nose and sputum are likely to have only a common cold.

He urged people to wash their hands frequently and to avoid rubbing their eyes, or touch their nose or mouth. People should follow new social distancing guidance when working from home or after they leave the workplace.

In early March, CVS Health said it is providing COVID-19 or coronavirus diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits with no out-of-pocket costs or cost sharing for Aetna members.

The new policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC for testing. The testing can be done in any approved laboratory location, CVS Health said.

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