Maryland adds 504 new coronavirus cases, five new deaths; positivity rate down slightly

Maryland added 504 confirmed cases of coronavirus Monday, as well as five new deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

These additions bring the state’s total to 131,861 confirmed infections and 3,859 fatalities since officials started tracking the pandemic’s spread in the state in March. Through Sunday’s count, the state had the 29th-most cases per capita and the 16th-most deaths per capita in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

There are currently 384 patients who are hospitalized with the virus in Maryland down from 393 on Sunday. Ninety-three patients are in intensive care units, an increase of three from the day before. There are 291 people currently requiring acute care, dropping slightly from 303 on Sunday.

The seven-day average testing positivity rate currently stands at 2.76% in Maryland. That’s down by 0.07% from 2.83% Sunday. Hopkins, which tracks this measure in a different way than state officials, had the rate at 5.65% as of Sunday.

Maryland determines positivity by looking at the number of tests conducted, while Hopkins looks at the number of people tested. That means Hopkins counts individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of results, only once in its data.

The World Health Organization has recommended that governments see 14 consecutive days with positivity rates below 5% before beginning to draw back restrictions related to the pandemic. Though Maryland has been reporting a rate below that measure for about three months, it began its reopening process before reaching the WHO’s suggested benchmark.

According to the Hopkins tracker, Maryland had performed the 32nd-most tests per capita in the nation as of Sunday, with over 28,000 tests per 100,000 people. The state was reporting a testing volume of over 2.9 million as of Monday.

As of Monday, 476 have died from the virus in Baltimore City, with an additional 17 probable deaths from COVID-19. Montgomery County, the most populated county in the state, has seen the most deaths from the virus, with 815 fatalities and 40 probable fatalities as of Monday.

Prince George’s County, the second most populated county in the state, followed Montgomery close behind with 814 deaths and 23 probable deaths. It has experienced the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with 30,762 as of Monday.

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U.S. daily COVID-19 cases remain above 50,000, Montana adds 5,000 cases in October

Oct. 11 (UPI) — New COVID-19 cases in the United States continued to rise at their highest rates since August amid surges in states like Montana.

The Johns Hopkins University global tracker reported 54,639 new cases and 618 deaths on Saturday, the fourth consecutive day with more than 50,000 deaths, a level of daily increase not seen since August.

Since the first reported case in the country on Jan. 21, the United States has reported world-leading totals of 7,745,951 cases and 214,641 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Johns Hopkins data showed that Montana has reported 5,046 COVID-19 cases from Sept. 30 through Oct. 10 after recording just 5,017 cases in the 150 days between its first reported case on March 13 and Aug. 10.

With 585 new cases Sunday, Montana has reported 18,702 total cases, up from 14,645 as of last Sunday, and a death toll of 210.

California, which leads the nation in COVID-19 cases, reported 3,803 new cases for a total of 846,579 while adding 64 deaths for a death toll of 16,564, which is second in the nation.

Texas reported the nation’s second-highest case total at 792,478, with an addition of 2,262, as well ass 16,557 deaths, including 31 new ones, in third ahead of New Jersey with 16,274.

Third place Florida tallied 5,570 new cases and 178 deaths over two days on Sunday after the state did not report data on Saturday while officials worked to strike hundreds of thousands of duplicate test results resent on Friday by Helix Laboratory, a private testing lab.

Sunday’s numbers brought Florida’s case total to 734,491 and its death toll to 15,364, which is fifth in the ntation.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 1,143 new cases for the country’s fourth-highest total at 474,286, while adding five deaths to bring the nation’s leading death toll to 25,574 of confirmed deaths and 33,942 including probable deaths.

The state’s overall positivity reached 0.96% the first time it fell below 1% since Sept. 24. However, in “Red Zone” areas — which account for 2.8% of the state’s population but 14.9% of all positive tests — the positivity rate was 5.74%, while the rate for the rest of the state was 0.84%.

“We are taking strong action to respond to these outbreaks and to stop the spread. Mask up,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

No. 5 Georgia reported 1,162 new cases for a total of 331,409 and 23 new deaths, bringing its death toll to 7,416.

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U.S. adds 43K COVID-19 cases; Dr. Fauci warns of 400K deaths this winter

Oct. 7 (UPI) — The United States’ top infectious diseases expert has warned that 400,000 people nationwide could be dead from COVID-19 by this winter if people don’t follow recommended health guidelines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told students at American University in Washington, D.C., Tuesday that a second wave of the coronavirus in the forthcoming colder months has the potential to be very deadly.

“The models tell us that if we do not do the kinds of things that we’re talking about in the cold of the fall and the winter, we could have from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths,” he said. “That would be just so tragic, if that happens.”

Fauci also refuted a tweet from President Donald Trump Tuesday that likened COVID-19 to influenza.

“You don’t get a pandemic that kills a million people and it isn’t even over yet with influenza,” Fauci told NBC News. “So it is not correct to say it’s the same as flu. It has some overlapping symptomatology early on. But flu doesn’t do the things to you that COVID-19 can.”

Trump’s tweet was later deleted by Twitter for violating its policy against spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.

Updated data from Johns Hopkins University showed 43,500 new cases nationwide on Tuesday, an increase of about 4,000 over Monday. Deaths also spiked on Tuesday to about 700, the most in nearly a week.

Since the start of the outbreak, there have been 7.51 million cases and 211,100 deaths nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins.

There has been an average of about 45,000 new cases per day in the United States so far in October.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp and state health officials warned Wednesday of a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and the flu. He and Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey urged Georgians to get flu shots, wear masks and follow distancing guidelines.

Toomey said the twin epidemics could be “devastating.”

Georgia’s 7-day average of new cases rose by 3.4% this week, although it’s down 67% from its peak in late July.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear renewed his face mask order for another 30 days and reported more than 1,000 cases Monday — the third-highest total to date.

“We are experiencing an escalation … and it is significant,” he told reporters, saying the state is on track to surpass 6,100 cases this week.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers issued a statewide order restricting indoor public gatherings at certain businesses. His third order in recent weeks limits gatherings to 25% capacity and builds on an existing face mask mandate.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” he said.

Occupancy in Wisconsin hospital beds earmarked for COVID-19 patients is near 800, a record.

“We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus,” Evers said.

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Trump’s fight with COVID-19 adds fresh fuel to the misinformation fire he started

With the president hospitalized, his doctors evading basic questions and an election 29 days away, chaos reigned after Trump tested positive for the virus that’s killed more than 200,000 Americans. Now, after a four-day stay at Walter Reed medical center, the president said he will return to the White House. But more questions than answers remain.

Unlike a normal residence, the White House has its own medical unit, offering “full-time” care and facilities for emergency surgery, including the ability to administer supplemental oxygen — which he previously received at the White House — and even a crash cart for resuscitation.

If the president leaves the hospital Monday evening, the situation could become even more opaque. Trump is eager to return to an image of normalcy, but he’s still a high-risk patient in the throes of a wildly unpredictable and deadly virus that seldom charts a linear course to recovery. And because it’s clear that Trump is eager to feign normalcy at any cost with less than a month to go before the election, his return to the White House is not a reliable sign that he’s anywhere near being in the clear.

One result of obfuscating the president’s health? The internet is left to eagerly fill in the gaps.

Top-down misinformation

Doctors provided the first update about the status of Trump’s health on Saturday, but that event backfired, with White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley later admitting that he omitted information in order to keep the president’s spirits high. Conley also threw the timeline of Trump’s diagnosis into question — confusion that’s only been partially resolved since.

The White House’s coronavirus outbreak is a big opening for opportunists, according to Yonder, an AI company that monitors online conversations and tracks disinformation. In an online info ecosystem the company says is “broken,” a fresh crisis is rocket fuel for false claims and conspiracies.

“From groups suggesting the diagnosis was a hoax for political gain to QAnon supporters suggesting it was all part of a plan to isolate and protect the President from his adversaries in the ‘deep state,’ social media continues to act as a weaponized rumor mill,” Yonder CEO Jonathon Morgan said.

“In every case, agenda-driven groups on social media are using another national crisis to their advantage, and obscuring the truth in the process.”

On Friday, left-leaning conspiracy theories like #TrumpCovidHoax posited that the

Michigan Adds Over 1,400 New Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Top 6,800

MICHIGAN — Michigan added more than 1,400 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, according to the most recent data provided by state health officials.

The state reported 1,407 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in Michigan, bringing the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 129,923. Thirteen more deaths also were reported in Michigan Monday, bringing the coronavirus death toll in the state to 6,816.

On Saturday, officials in Michigan said that 99,521 Michiganders had recovered from the coronavirus.

Don’t miss important updates from health and government officials on the impact of the coronavirus in Michigan. Sign up for Patch’s daily newsletters and email alerts.

According to the World Health Organization, Michigan is 17th in the U.S. in reported coronavirus cases. Michigan is 10th in the nation in COVID-19 deaths.

More than 7.6 million cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. Over 214,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus. More than 4.8 million people in the U.S. have recovered from the virus.

Over 35.5 million cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Of those, more than 1 million have resulted in deaths. More than 26.7 million cases are recoveries. Over 7.8 million cases of the virus remain active.

This article originally appeared on the Detroit Patch

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The Daily Beast

Trump’s Jab on Hunter Biden’s Drug Addiction Horrifies Treatment Advocates

Even by the historically low standards of decorum and decency set by President Donald Trump’s pugilistic performance in his first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the president’s attack on his opponent’s son for his past struggles with substance use was singular in its ugliness.“Are you talking about Hunter?” Trump said late into the debate, interrupting Biden as he reflected on his late son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015. “Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use—he didn’t have a job until you became vice president, and once you became vice president, he made a fortune.”Trump’s callous and incorrect comments—Hunter Biden was not dishonorably discharged— about his opponent’s lone surviving son’s past drug use were clearly wielded to leave a mark, but Biden responded with defiance.“My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people we know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”The moment horrified advocates for addiction treatment and recovery who told The Daily Beast that they fear Trump’s comments, and comments like them, could make it harder for the millions of Americans affected by substance use to get help.“Addiction is a medical condition that affects millions of Americans each year, irrespective of any demographic. It is a disease, not a moral or character failing,” Marvin Ventrell, CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, told The Daily Beast. “It is inappropriate, harmful, hurtful, and irresponsible when a public figure or person of influence disparages people suffering from addiction.”“Pointing out a father because his son may have struggled in the past with a substance use disorder is wholly unconstructive and serves to perpetuate misconceived perceptions of addiction,” said Dr. Paul H. Earley, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “Our nation must respond with compassion and evidence-based treatments if we want to treat addiction and save lives.”Trump’s comments, which characterized substance use as a character failure, also undercut the hard-fought understanding in the medical community that addiction is a disease, said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical director of American Addiction Centers, which provides treatment for substance use disorders.Trump Planned to Go Feral on Biden. Now His Allies Want to Call Animal Control“The stigma surrounding mental health and addiction has been shown to be a significant barrier to treatment and prevents many people from seeking the help that they need,” said Weinstein, who called addiction “an indiscriminate, chronic, complex and relapsing brain disease.”“This disease is not the result of a moral failing, poor judgment, or weakness—it is a chronic condition that requires lifelong maintenance,” Weinstein said.Trump has a track record of making flippant comments about substance use and addiction, despite the death of his elder brother to complications related to alcoholism. In recent years