According to the celebrity news outlet, Simoni contracted COVID-19 after a patient coughed into his face during a procedure. TMZ cited “family sources” who said the patient had not been tested prior to the procedure. She called Simoni’s office days later to report that she had tested positive for the virus.
Simoni’s expertise was well-known nationwide. He was featured multiple times on the daytime talk show The Doctors. The show confirmed on its Facebook page that Simoni had died after contracting the coronavirus.
Here’s what you need to know:
Simoni Performed a Lip Injection on the Patient in December, Per TMZ
Simoni contracted COVID-19 after performing an elective procedure on a patient in December. According to TMZ, the female patient came in for a lip injection; her temperature was checked and she filled out a health questionnaire but Simoni’s office did not require that she take a COVID-19 test beforehand.
Simoni wore a mask during the procedure, while the patient did not. “Family sources” cited by TMZ said the patient coughed directly into Simoni’s face.
The patient called a few days later to tell him she had contracted the coronavirus and Simoni isolated himself as a precaution. According to CBS Los Angeles, Simoni was tested on December 6. He initially felt fine but began struggling to breathe about a week after testing positive for the virus.
Simoni’s symptoms intensified and he was placed on a ventilator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as his lungs struggled to function on their own, TMZ reported. Doctors put him in a medically induced coma to slow the damage but he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died on January 8.
The Doctors confirmed Simoni’s death in a Facebook post. The show posted a tribute to Simoni on January 10:
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Dr. Payman Simoni, who recently lost his life to COVID. Dr. Simoni was a loving father and husband, a talented ENT and plastic surgeon, and a dear friend of our show. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
Simoni Had Been Practicing Medicine for More Than 20 Years & Specialized in Facial Plastic Surgery
According to his website, Simoni was known as “one of Hollywood’s top five plastic surgeons.” Simoni had been licensed to practice medicine in California since at least 2006, according to the state’s medical board. His profile listed “Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery” as his primary specialty.
His secondary focus was otolaryngology, which is the medical field dealing with head and neck surgeries. Simoni was certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology.
Simoni was a frequent guest on the daytime talk show The Doctors. In April 2019, he appeared on the program to discuss how he used biological human glue during facelifts. That interview is embedded above and can also be seen here.
On his own YouTube channel, Simoni shared videos in which he explained the various procedures he performed.
Simoni Attended College With His Wife, Who Works as a Dentist in Beverly Hills
Simoni did not specify which year he moved to the United States on his website, but a search of online records suggests he obtained a Social Security number in 1989.
Simoni lived in New York City for several years as a student. Simoni completed his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University before earning his medical degree from Yeshiva’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1997. His website bio adds that he completed his residency at Birmingham Hospital in Alabama.
Simoni attended Yeshiva University alongside the woman who would become his wife, Rashin Nouranifar. According to her Facebook page, she graduated from Yeshiva in 1993 and earned a degree from the NYU College of Dentistry in 1997. A search of the Dental Board of California shows Simoni’s wife is a licensed dentist in Beverly Hills.
When Rashin Simoni announced her husband’s death on Facebook, she described him as a “remarkable individual, with unparalleled accomplishments and achievements. He had a brilliant mind and a beautiful soul that touched many.”
The City of Beverly Hills Has Allowed Elective Procedures to Continue Since April
California has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus in recent weeks. According to The New York Times on January 9, Los Angeles County was days away from “a level where one in 10 residents has tested positive for the coronavirus.”
But despite rising case numbers, cosmetic and elective surgeries have been allowed to proceed. The city of Beverly Hills temporarily suspended all elective medical, dental and surgical procedures in mid-March. But by late April, the city reversed course and decided to abide by state and county guidelines. According to a news release issued on April 28, 2020, the city encouraged doctors to suspend elective procedures but they were not required to do so.
But on January 5, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a new health order that would require certain elective surgeries to be delayed if “ICU availability for that county is 10% or less.” As KCRA-TV reported, this change was implemented in order to ensure there are enough hospital beds for patients requiring emergency care. The California Department of Health said ICU admissions due to COVID-19 had increased 21% in the previous two weeks, KCRA reported, and “ICU capacity in both the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California remained at 0%.”