Tulane University School of Medicine has faced an unprecedented challenge with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our clinical teams have been on the forefront of caring for the sick and have worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances. Our research teams are leading and participating in multiple clinical trials to discover effective treatments. The SOM rapidly implemented testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and new diagnostic assays are being developed. Our educational programs have remained strong, transitioning, when appropriate, to distance learning. Our medical students successfully led a nationwide effort to secure personal protective equipment. The safety of our faculty, staff, residents, and students has been a primary concern, and the SOM has allowed flexibility in work schedules, to maximize opportunities to work from home.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to remain a challenge for many months, there is evidence of a statewide reduction in the number of newly diagnosed cases, new hospitalizations, and number of patients requiring ventilation. Since education, clinical services and research are essential services of the University and Medical School, we plan to begin phasing in the return of faculty, staff and students. Effective May 18, 2020 departments and units should begin to gradually phase in the return of their faculty, staff and trainees (with the exception of medical students), with the goal of having as many employees as possible returned to the medical school campus by June 15, 2020.