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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Missouri Resident At Lake of Ozarks Positive for Covid 19

Missouri Resident At Lake of Ozarks Positive for Covid 19

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A Missouri resident has tested positive for COVID-19 after going to the Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial day weekend, health officials said. The Camden County Health Department said one person tested positive for the virus from Boone County. Health officials said the person did visit Backwater Jack’s, which is the outdoor pool and bar, where a viral video of people not social distancing was taken on Memorial Day weekend. Authorities say the person developed the illness on Sunday and was likely incubating illness and possibly infectious at the time of the visit.
Health officials provided the following timeline for contact tracing:
Saturday, May 23- Backwater Jacks – 1pm to 5pm, Shady Gators and Lazy Gators Pool — 5:40pm to 9pm,
Backwater Jacks — 9:40pm to 10pm, Sunday, May 24 – Buffalo Wild Wings – 1pm to 2pm, Shady Gators — 2:30pm until about 6:30pm or 7pm, Taxi from Shady Gators to private residence about 7pm. They encourage anyone who was at these locations during these times to get tested for Covid 19.
Photos and videos of partygoers crowded into the swim up bar-Backwater Jacks circulated social media over the holiday weekend. Backwater Jack’s Bar and Grill in Lake of the Ozarks is a popular vacation spot in the Midwest that regularly draws summer crowds. It was no different last weekend, even given the pandemic, and people are blasting the restaurant and attendees for ignoring social distancing advice. It’s clear from posts on social media that even if the venue was operating at reduced capacity, it was too crowded to maintain 6 feet between attendees.
Visitors and lake area residents told news outlets they were concerned with the lack of social distancing and safety that lead to a positive coronavirus case because they know the area attracts people from out of state also. “Everyone saw it coming so it’s kind of irony. Everyone’s like oh it’s fine we won’t do anything. But, there’s 200 people in a little pool. So I saw it coming. That’s why I tried to protect myself and make sure I keep others safe as well.” One Lake area resident said.
A visitor to the Lake Area said “They were taking a chance and I’m concerned about what the outcome will be in another week or two. With the one case showing up. Everyone that was exposed to that person is exposing a lot of other people. So it’s a bit concerning.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Monday 773 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the state and there are over 13,000 confirmed cases since the outbreak started. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Monday the state has almost 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and there have been 217 deaths since the outbreak started. The US death toll over 100,000.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Some States Reopen As Researchers Confirm Covid Was Circulating the US Earlier Than Believed

Some States Reopen As Researchers Confirm Covid Was Circulating the US Earlier Than Believed

 

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As many states slowly reopen, a pair of studies predict the COVID-19 outbreak is set to become far deadlier in the United States. A draft Federal Emergency Management Agency report forecasts that daily coronavirus deaths in the United States would rise to 3,000 people a day by June 1 — that’s a 70% increase over the current figure. Separately, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates the U.S. death toll will reach around 135,000 by August in the United States.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has topped 75,000 and is projected to keep rising in the coming weeks. The official coronavirus death toll worldwide has topped a quarter of a million, with over 3.6 million confirmed cases.  The United States makes up close to one-third of confirmed cases and a quarter of known deaths, even though it represents less than 5% of the world’s population.

Over half of U.S. states have relaxed, or are preparing to loosen, social distancing and other restrictions but it has not been a smooth transition.  In Georgia, more than 120 Atlanta restaurants have refused to open, saying it is not safe to do so despite Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s lifting of the state’s shelter-in-place order.  In Miami Beach, the governor had to close a popular park — just five days after reopening it — after thousands failed to adhere to new rules requiring social distancing and wearing a face mask.

Meanwhile, we continue to learn more about the virus globally as scientists and doctors try to create a vaccine.  A French hospital says they treated a COVID-19 patient as early as December — a month before the government confirmed its first cases.  A preliminary new study finds the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China mutated in Europe in February to become more contagious, speeding its spread around the globe. The authors of the study said they released their findings early so that people working on vaccines could see their results.

US Researchers say the novel coronavirus silently spread in the United States earlier than previously thought as well, infecting tens of thousands of people in New York and other major cities before the first US case was confirmed on January 21.  A new model by the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University in Boston shows the first infections came from China in early or mid-January, and that the virus went undetected because many people were not presenting symptoms or were misdiagnosed because US doctors had not seen the virus first hand yet.

The model suggests that while Americans were still focused on China, about 28,000 people in major cities — such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle — were infected by March 1.  Santa Clara County officials announced that tissue samples confirmed two people who died in early February tested positive for coronavirus. That month, a number of physicians saw patients, without travel histories, who had flu-like symptoms.

Several states, including California and Indiana, have been retracing their coronavirus timelines after discovering that the highly infectious disease started killing people earlier than previously known.  These discoveries have emphasized just how much about this pandemic remains unknown. Four months since the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, experts worldwide still do not fully understand how the virus started, how it impacts the body or what treatments are effective.

 

 

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Experts Warn of Spikes In Covid 19 Cases 2 to 3 Weeks From Reopening

Experts Warn of Spikes In Covid 19 Cases 2 to 3 Weeks From Reopening

 

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In just a few months, Covid 19 has spread across the globe and left in its wake a trail of social paralysis, economic ruin and even death.  While states across the US issued stay at home orders to slow their healthcare systems from being overrun, other states like New York, weren’t so lucky.  As some U.S. states start to lift pandemic-related restrictions on businesses and public spaces, there is a fear that infections will resurge in those places — and that if that happens, the virus won’t stay put.

Crystal Watson of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said “I do believe we are going to see additional surges of cases from this epidemic that will not be contained within a state.  Neighboring states and perhaps states across the country and countries across the world are going to have cases imported from those outbreaks.”  Experts say the problem is that diagnostic testing remains so limited that a second surge of cases could silently build. The nationwide goal of conducting 2 million tests a week is below what most experts say is needed to adequately track the virus and that plan won’t be in place until at least the end of May.

No one knows how quickly and how expansively the spread of the virus will pick up as states roll back restrictions, and governors are generally outlining gradual changes.  The incubation period of 2 to 14 days coupled with the turn-around time of test results in some areas taking a few days, means we just have to wait and see if reopened states will experience a surge in cases.  More than half the states have relaxed restrictions but experts say it will be at least two to three weeks before we see an increase in the number of infections because it takes time for individuals to infect others and for them to display symptoms.

Public health experts warned of the possibility of spikes before states made the decision to reopen. Even as their predictions prove true in some states, others are still moving forward with plans to reopen. Proponents of relaxing social distancing restrictions also point out that spikes in positive cases are to be expected with expanded testing.

In Georgia, gyms, salons, and restaurants are operating with limits. In Colorado, retail stores can have curbside pickup and elective surgeries are back on. And starting tomorrow, malls, theaters, and restaurants in Texas can open with 25% occupancy. These and other states have plans for further easing of distancing policies as long as case counts don’t spike.  If these states do see spikes they may have to roll back the restrictions as needed.

 

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Meat Processing Plants Close Due to Covid 19

Meat Processing Plants Close Due to Covid 19

 

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The coronavirus outbreak has hit workers in the food processing industry hard, with meatpacking plants reporting explosions in coronavirus cases. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a Smithfield Foods pork processing plant that employs 3, 700 people closed down indefinitely after the mayor put pressure on the CEOs to shut down for two weeks as the virus continued to spread through the plant.

The mayor spent two weeks asking them to shut down to no avail with daily reports of more workers becoming infected.  He finally forced their hand by releasing a letter, signed by the governor, requesting that the plant shut down and released it to the press.  At the time of the closure, the plant had 238 workers that tested positive.  Now, just 3 weeks after their first worker tested positive, there are more than 700 workers who are confirmed to have Covid 19 and another 143 infections that were traced to them.  The number of confirmed cases from the Smithfield plant represent 55% of the states’ cases.

Cargill Meat Solutions, a 900-worker plant in Hazleton, Pa., that packages meat in plastic for supermarket shelves in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, shut down temporarily as 130 hourly workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and a rash of employees called out sick.  Three other Pennsylvania plants closed due to the virus.  According to a union rep, JBS Beef in Souderton, CTI Foods hamburger-grinding plant in King of Prussia and Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. in Mifflintown are all closed amid outbreaks among employees.  A 70-year-old union steward at the JBS Beef slaughterhouse in Souderton died on April 3 from respiratory failure brought on by the pandemic virus.

Meat-processing plants across several other states including Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks. A federal food inspector in New York died from the disease last month.   Some companies are temporarily closing to sanitize facilities while also boosting hourly pay and offering bonuses to workers in an “essential” industry. Cargill said it would reopen its Hazleton plant as soon as it is safe. In late March, Cargill and the United Food and Commercial Workers negotiated a $2 per hour raise for shifts worked between March 23 and May 3. JBS Beef employees will be eligible for a one-time $500 bonus on May 15.

The World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say COVID-19 cannot be spread through food.  It’s an “unstable virus” that is mostly spread through sneezing and person-to-person contact. Stomach acids also mostly neutralize the virus if it’s eaten as well.

 

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Projections

Covid 19 Projections

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The coronavirus pandemic continues in almost every corner of the globe, with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpassing 1 million people — though the true number is certain to be far higher due to a critical lack of testing globally.  The largest number of cases is in the United States with over 350,000 confirmed.  Over 10,000 people in the US have died of Covid-19 as the virus continues to spread.

In Europe, COVID-19 has pushed hospitals across the continent past their breaking points. Spain has reported over 120,000 cases and their death toll topped 10,000.  In the U.K., London’s ExCeL convention center has been converted into an enormous field hospital with plans to treat up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients. Over 2,300 people have died from the disease across the U.K.

In Italy, there are over 100,000 confirmed cases and their COVID-19 deaths have topped 15,000.  It’s been reported that Italy’s true toll is far higher because the country can’t spare the resources to test every dead body.  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said models predict the United States faces a trajectory of COVID-19 deaths similar to Italy’s.  The computer model used by the White House projects close to 82,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by August 4, assuming the country implements full social distancing until the end of May.

The 81,766-death projection is a slightly less grim figure than the 93,531 cited earlier by the administration. The model projects that the country may need fewer hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment than previously estimated, and that some states may reach their peak of COVID-19 deaths sooner than expected.  Not all states are using the federal government’s forecasting model.

While the White House projects that coronavirus cases in the nation’s capital would peak later this month, the local Washington, DC government is relying on a different computer model that says it won’t peak until late June or early July.  Health experts warn against early optimism and say it’s best to prepare for worst case scenarios.

Experts say that pandemic modelling is almost never precise and the Covid-19 pandemic, the uncertainty in the projections is because of lack of access to good data coupled with the fact that we just don’t know enough about the coronavirus.  Another factor that adds to the uncertainty is how people will behave and what kinds of policies will be enacted to change contact patterns in the weeks and months ahead.  The ranges estimated really depends on how much people actually adhere to social distancing policies and how quickly these policies are issued.

 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Non Essential Businesses Shut Down Across US

Non Essential Businesses Shut Down Across US

 

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At least 24 states have enacted policies to close nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the United States.    While guidance varies from state to state, recreational spaces like museums, movie theaters, gyms, day cares, music venues and malls, as well as personal care retailers like spas, nail and hair salons, tend to fall in the nonessential businesses category.

The states with nonessential business shut-downs are Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.  Other states like Missouri and Kansas have shut down orders in certain counties.

Shuttering nonessential businesses resulted in tens of thousands of American workers losing their jobs in recent weeks. In New York and New Jersey, so many people filed for unemployment insurance over the past week that both states’ online systems crashed.  While guidance varies from state to state, recreational spaces like museums, movie theaters, gyms, day cares, music venues and malls, as well as personal care retailers like spas, nail and hair salons, tend to fall in the nonessential businesses category.

In New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday warned that the “rate of new infections is doubling about every three days,” essential businesses that remain open include health care facilities, infrastructure and manufacturing entities and essential services like trash collection, law enforcement and homeless shelters. Bars and restaurants can only offer take-out or delivery.

 

 

 

 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on COVID-19 Continues to Spread

COVID-19 Continues to Spread

 

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As concerns about the coronavirus rippled across the globe, the US president declared the Covid-19 outbreak a national emergency as public life in America continues to grind to a halt.   Schools have closed to millions of students, creating anxiety for working parents across the country. Travel bans have been widened and some cities across America have issued curfews or “shelter in place” orders to slow the spread of the virus.  More “shelter in place” orders are expected as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise and has now been found in all 50 states.  

 

Shelter in place orders will come from local government rather than federal.  A growing number of countries have also imposed lockdowns that effectively shut down public life, but the details of such lockdowns vary dramatically.  Italy banned all public gatherings and set a 6 p.m. curfew but allowed travel for work or health reasons, while in China, millions of residents are restricted from even going to shop for groceries.  

 

The “shelter-in-place” order that San Francisco adopted has fairly large exemptions for health, work, food and even exercise.  City officials ordered residents to remain in place at their homes except for essential activities, essential business, and essential government functions, including tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor or getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home.

 

The order also includes:

  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running provided that they maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Caring for a family member in another household.
  • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

 

 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin outlined a variety of potential proposals to Senate Republicans as part of a legislative package to help Americans and industries that are reeling from the coronavirus.  The administration proposed an initial $250 billion could be sent to Americans as early as the end of April if it can muster congressional approval.  

Sen. John Thune noted that getting cash assistance to Americans is something that has historically taken some time, but “I think there are ways now electronically that you can process things more quickly.” The proposal has fairly widespread support from Senate Republicans, who say it will offer immediate assistance to Americans impacted by the virus. Some lawmakers have varying ideas about how the proposal should work, including who should receive the payments and how much each American should get. 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Cases In The US

Coronavirus Cases In The US

 

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The World Health Organization is warning the number of cases of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus is approaching 100,000 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths due to the illness. Most of the deaths and infections have occurred in China, where health officials reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths recently.  

South Korea confirmed 438 new cases, making their total number of confirmed cases over 5,700.  Italy has over 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 100 deaths have been reported. Officials have closed down schools in Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere, with nearly 300 million children kept home from school worldwide. 

In the United States, there are now more than 300 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 11 — with 10 of the deaths occurring in Washington state. California recorded its first coronavirus death: an elderly man who traveled on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco and traveled to Mexico in February. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the ship quarantined off the coast of California and is airlifting tests for passengers and crew. Governor Newsom made the announcement as he formally declared a state of emergency across California.

The CDC issued new guidance for clinicians on screening patients for novel coronavirus and assessing their risk for infection. The agency also started shipping its coronavirus assay to labs across the U.S. and in other countries.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 states in the US have reported confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Washington State has the highest number of cases with 70 confirmed illnesses and 10 associated deaths. California has 60 positive cases and 1 death. 

Of the confirmed cases in California, 42 of them are linked to repatriation or international travel. Cases are rising rapidly in New York, where there are 22 confirmed cases across the state with an additional 24 testing results pending, and 122 individuals under investigation.  In response to the rise in cases, the US Senate passed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the outbreak. This came just a day after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives. More than $3 billion is expected to be put into research and development of treatments, vaccines, and testing.

 

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Continues to Spread-What You Should Know

Coronavirus Continues to Spread-What You Should Know

 

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The death toll from Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has surpassed 3,000 with the number of cases reaching over 90,000.  While 51,000 people who have contracted the illness have since recovered, the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) said that the global mortality rate for Covid-19 was 3.4 percent, a figure that primarily reflects the outbreak in China, where the vast majority of cases have been detected.

 

The organization’s director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference that Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu but did not transmit as easily.  Dr. Tedros said. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.” He added “While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, Covid-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity,” meaning more people can be infected and some will suffer severe illnesses, Dr. Tedros said. The coronavirus does not transmit as efficiently as the flu but “causes more severe disease.” 

 

While the prospect of being infected with a new virus can be frightening, the CDC warns that the symptoms to look out for are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus.  According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients have a fever, between 76% and 82% have a dry cough, and 11% to 44% report exhaustion and fatigue. 

 

The disease appears to become more severe with age, with the 30 to 79 year-old age range predominating the detected cases in Wuhan.   The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. People who are older or have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, may be at higher risk of serious illness. This is similar to what is seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

 

It’s unclear exactly how contagious the new coronavirus is but it appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact. It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes.  Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:  

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.

 

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5 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Cases Soar

Coronavirus Cases Soar

 

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The death toll from coronavirus continues to soar, now surpassing 1,700 and overtaking the global death toll from the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003. In Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease, the first death of a U.S. citizen was recorded last week. The World Health Organization is warning the coronavirus poses a “grave threat” to the world, as there are more than 73,000 confirmed infections worldwide.

New cases were identified on a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, bringing the number of confirmed cases on board to over 500.  Around 3,700 people have been quarantined aboard the ship where crew members say the workers aren’t being protected from infection. Faced with continuing transmissions on the Diamond Princess, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new travel restrictions for the ship’s passengers and crew.

After leaving the ship, on which passengers are scheduled to be released from quarantine Feb. 19, all passengers and crew will be required to wait an additional 14 days before returning to the United States. Should an individual from the cruise arrive in the U.S. earlier than that, they’ll be subject to mandatory quarantine until they’ve gone 14 days without exhibiting symptoms or, conversely, test positive. More than 100 Americans remain either on the ship or hospitalized in Japan.

—The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting COVID-19 is up to 20 times more deadly than the flu, with a fatality rate of about 2.3%.  Doctors in Shanghai have started using the blood plasma from some of the 14,000 patients who have recovered from the disease to treat new patients.  Chinese doctors are also trying antiviral drugs licensed for use against other infections to see if they might help. Scientists are testing two antiviral drugs and preliminary results are due in weeks, while the head of a Wuhan hospital had said plasma infusions from recovered patients had shown some encouraging preliminary results.

 

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