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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Cases Continue Rising Since Memorial Day

Covid 19 Cases Continue Rising Since Memorial Day

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There are almost 8,000,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with over 420,000 deaths. As many countries open up again, the World Health Organization warned the situation is getting worse globally. Nearly 75% of recent cases came from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia, said the WHO. The WHO also said that the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic people appears to be rare.
Latin America remains the epicenter of the pandemic now with the highest tolls reported in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru — which together account for over 1 million confirmed cases. The WHO said Central and South America have likely not reached peak transmission yet. Cuba remains announced they are closing in on the tail end of the pandemic, where infections have been on the decline for two months.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in U.S. states that were among the first and most aggressive to reopen, leading some local officials to reconsider reopening plans. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced a 7-day statewide pause on further reopening as health officials study the data and try to contain budding outbreaks. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey tried to reassure people that the rise in confirmed cases was expected and that the state’s hospitals have the capacity to handle a further surge.
Recent data shows 21 states have seen an increase in their average daily new Covid 19 cases this week than in the previous week. Alabama, Oregon and South Carolina are among the states with the biggest increases. Alabama saw a 92 percent change in its seven-day average, while Oregon’s seven-day average was up 83.8 percent and South Carolina’s was up 60.3 percent. Hospitalizations have risen as well. For example, Arkansas has seen a 120.7 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 92 cases to 203, since Memorial Day.
Health officials warn that mass gatherings of any type could worsen the spread of the virus, as the 2020 election heats up and nationwide protests against racism and police brutality stretch into their third week across the globe. CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Cases Rising Since Memorial Day

Covid 19 Cases Rising Since Memorial Day

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The U.S. has the highest number of confirmed Covid 19 cases by far and over 108,000 deaths while as many as 1,000 Americans are still dying per day.  With a majority of states lifting restrictions that were implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus, close to half of the nation’s states are diagnosing new Covid-19 cases in increasing quantities.  States across the US have increased testing so an increase is expected but U.S. data shows hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day.  In Texas, North and South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona, increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients are showing up at hospitals.

Texas, one of the first states to reopen, reported two consecutive days of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations. The state has seen a 36% increase in new cases since the end of May, with a record 2,056 hospitalizations recorded last week.  Since the start of June, 14 states and Puerto Rico have recorded their highest seven-day average of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah are all seeing spikes in cases.

The overall numbers nationwide look relatively promising, as America’s overall daily count of new coronavirus cases has declined and the number of new deaths has continued to curve downward since the pandemic hit the US.  That’s primarily due to progress in previous hot spots such as Illinois, New Jersey and New York.  New York City finally reopened its economy after being the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic for months.  If you remove the impact of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other hot spot states, we have a much more worrisome picture of what’s happening in the U.S.

A new study showed that stay-at-home orders may have been worth it, preventing nearly 60 million U.S. infections.  Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a House committee that many Americans are failing to heed CDC warnings that they should practice social distancing and wear masks in public since states have reopened.  Redfield said “We’re very concerned that our public health message isn’t resonating. We continue to try to figure out how to penetrate the message with different groups.”  Public health officials have been stressing sheltering in home for three months, with people asked to reduce contacts outside their household unit as much as possible.  With the arrival of summer weather and the gradual reopening of businesses and services, people are forgetting Covid 19 is still a risk.  We don’t have community immunity to COVID-19, it’s still highly contagious and we don’t have a vaccine and this has many worried the spikes will continue.

Public health officials have raised concern about future coronavirus spread following days of protests against police brutality across the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was closely monitoring the demonstrations and warned such gatherings could spur coronavirus transmission on a wide spread level.

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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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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Cases In US Since Reopenings

Covid 19 Cases In US Since Reopenings

 

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There are now over 5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 325,000 known deaths around the world. Over 2 million people around the world have recovered from the virus. Despite the US having less than 5% of the world’s population, there are almost 1.5 million confirmed cases with over 100,000 deaths, representing over one-quarter of all fatalities and almost one-third of the confirmed cases. Over 450,000 people have recovered from Covid 19 but there are now cases in the US of people that have been re-infected, meaning they did not develop antibodies to build immunity with their first infection.
Forty-eight states will be at least partially reopened this week as health experts continue to warn of the danger of a hasty end to lockdowns. Each state has their own guidelines on what businesses have reopened and a timeline on further openings. There are 17 states that have seen an uptick in new cases since reopening. Officials from the World Health Organization say those who ignore measures such as social distancing are at risk of seeing a resurgence of the coronavirus. They also advise people to wear face masks when they are in groups. While coronavirus generally doesn’t spread outdoors as easily as it does indoors, there’s still a risk with any cramped crowd — especially because the virus can spread by just talking.
A cluster of new cases emerged after a swim party in Arkansas. In Atlanta, several recent prep school graduates also tested positive for the coronavirus, including one who had friends over for a graduation party. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed new COVID-19 cases are predominantly coming from people leaving their homes to shop, exercise or socialize. Meanwhile, in California, Orange County’s coronavirus cases continue to mount, with over 4,000 cases reported. COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Texas, with 1,800 new infections reported last Saturday — the highest single-day increase in Texas so far. South Dakota has also seen a spike in cases since reopening.
Some states are now seeing drops in the number of confirmed cases. New Jersey, one of few states that had one of the strictest and longest stay at home orders, has seen a decrease in cases. This appears to be relatively bright news for hard-hit New Jersey, second in the country only to New York for the number of total reported cases with over 143,600 confirmed and over 10,000 deaths.
Missouri also saw a drop in cases when they began allowing all businesses to reopen May 4, but then an increase during the second week of reopening. Businesses were allowed to reopen provided they could abide by certain social distancing guidelines. Indoor retail businesses must limit their number of customers to no more than 25% of normal capacity, and local communities can choose stricter rules if they choose. Missouri has over 11,000 cases and over 600 deaths. Idaho, which only has around 2,500 cases, also saw a decrease in reported cases.
As each state opened, many leaders stressed the importance of following the social distancing guidelines but left responsibility up to it’s’ citizens. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. They say that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Vaccine Trials Underway

Covid 19 Vaccine Trials Underway

 

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Physicians caution that amid a desire to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, developers of drugs and vaccines have become overly enthusiastic about the chances their products will work.  Several vaccine developers have issued statements looking into the future — setting possible timetables for study completion and vaccine manufacturing.

Biotech company Moderna said early trials of their coronavirus vaccine show promising results as volunteers developed antibodies against the virus. Eight people took part in the study. The company, which is developing the vaccine with the National Institutes of Health, says it will move on to larger-scale trials and that a vaccine could be made available as soon as January.   Moderna is collaborating on its vaccine development with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of NIAID, said while Moderna’s numbers were limited, “it was good news” and he was “cautiously optimistic” about the vaccine.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently over 100 vaccine efforts underway around the world.  There are 10 vaccines in human clinical trials worldwide. There are four teams in the United States: Moderna, Pfizer, Inovio and Novavax.  Five Chinese companies have vaccines in human trials. University of Oxford is the only team in Europe currently running trials.  Inovio and Moderna have said they expect their large-scale clinical trials, known as Phase 3 trials, to last around six months. Pfizer hasn’t given a timetable for its Phase 3 trial.  Worldwide, there are 114 more candidates in pre-clinical trial stages.

One big stumbling block for any vaccine trial is that Covid-19 infection rates in many areas of the world are flattening out or declining. The point of Phase 3 is to vaccinate people and then see if they naturally become infected, and with lower rates of circulating virus, the study subjects are less likely to be exposed to the virus in the first place.  For a vaccine clinical trial to be successful, there needs to be sufficiently high levels of the virus circulating in the community. If there isn’t enough virus around, it will be impossible to tell if the vaccine protected the study subjects, or if they were just never exposed to the virus.

The global effort to develop a vaccine is just the beginning of this race. It also takes time to ramp up vaccine production and deciding how it will be distributed will be difficult in a world of more than 7 billion people.  New drugs and vaccines traditionally go first to the wealthiest countries and that’s the expectation in this case as well. But the exact order could depend on where the vaccine is first developed and what that countries priorities are in distribution.  Wealthier countries have been hit hardest by the virus so far. But in many of these nations, COVID-19 cases are leveling off or declining, while they are rising rapidly in the developing world, including countries such as India, Brazil and Peru.  Nations and drug companies are likely to face a range of conflicting pressures with the need to provide the vaccine at home and intense scrutiny to share it widely, fairly and cheaply abroad.

 

 

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on HHS Increases Telehealth Promotion, Rural Hospital Funding for COVID-19

HHS Increases Telehealth Promotion, Rural Hospital Funding for COVID-19

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The Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services is increasing awareness around expanding telehealth services for patients and providers across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, attending particularly to areas with historically limited access to health care services, such as rural communities.

 

The agency launched a new telehealth website Wednesday through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a means to better inform people about ongoing federal efforts to support and promote telehealth programs at this time.

”During the pandemic, telehealth is more vital than ever,” HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan emphasized in a press call. “This new one-stop resource will help Americans avoid having to look up telehealth information in so many different places.”

 

Read More At:

https://www.governmentciomedia.com/hhs-increases-telehealth-promotion-rural-hospital-funding-covid-19

 

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on New York Medical Supplies Depleting Fast

New York Medical Supplies Depleting Fast

 

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In New York City, the epicenter of the US crisis, the death toll from COVID-19 is over 4,500 and continuing to climb.  There have been more than 140,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus discovered in New York, including more than 76,876 in New York City.  Thirty-five percent of the confirmed cases in the US are in the state of New York.  Governor Andrew Cuomo warned state residents to expect a high death rate through July.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is dispatching more than 250 ambulances and 85 refrigerated trucks to New York to serve as temporary morgues.  In Central Park, an emergency field hospital began operations to treat spillover patients from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly warned city hospitals are in dire need of millions of masks, hundreds of thousands of gowns and hundreds of ventilators, and are on the brink of running out of supplies.

Following complaints by health care workers about their inability to get tested for the coronavirus despite a colleague recently dying from COVID-19, the Mount Sinai hospital system in New York City will begin providing tests on Tuesday for any employee who shows symptoms of the disease. Mount Sinai will use PCR tests for anyone showing symptoms.  They will also administer a serum antibody test to anyone who was symptomatic.

The Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services announced that hundreds of thousands of masks and other pieces of medical equipment seized from a Brooklyn man have been distributed to medical workers on the front lines treating novel coronavirus patients in New York and New Jersey.  According to the DOJ, the equipment seized and distributed includes roughly 192,000 N95 respirator masks, nearly 600,000 medical gloves, 130,000 surgical masks, procedure masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray.  Prosecutors say 43-year-old Baruch Feldheim hoarded the supplies in order to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and was selling them to doctors and nurses at prices as much as 700% above market value.

Governor Cuomo said it’s unclear what will happen after New York hits its peak. Cases could begin dropping off or there could be more of a plateau effect, in which new cases and death rates remain flat.  Cuomo said the falling rate of infection will not be met with a slackening of social-distancing measures. Schools and nonessential business will remain closed at least until April 29 and there will be higher fines for people violating social-distancing rules. The maximum fine is now $1,000.

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