The leader of Mayo Clinic was at the White House on Wednesday to meet with the national coronavirus task force.
Mayo Clinic CEO and President Dr. Gianrico Farrugia was invited to the meeting by Vice President Mike Pence, the task force's leader. Hours later, President Donald Trump spoke to the nation about the crisis, announcing that U.S. borders would be closed to anyone arriving from Europe, except for Great Britain.
Wednesday's meeting included a dozen other hospital leaders, plus the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The task force wanted to talk to the leaders directly and to spur more collaboration.
"As a trusted voice on health care issues, we are stepping up to address the public's concerns, ensure health care staff are adequately protected, and develop solutions to COVID-19's unique challenges," Farrugia wrote of the meeting. "Given the potential impact of the virus on communities small and large, we must come together seamlessly to deploy our resources. Today's (Wednesday's) discussion was a step in the right direction, and we look forward to continued collaboration."
The task force is focusing on the national response to the outbreak of COVID-9 to help "ensure seamless collaboration" between the federal government and health care providers, according to Mayo Clinic.
The first case of COVID-19 confirmed in Rochester was announced on Wednesday. The Mayo Clinic quickly started a drive-thu process for collecting samplesfrom people showing possible symptoms or at high risk. The sample will then be tested by the Minnesota Department of Health.
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