COVID Cases Climbing in 36 States | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Coronavirus outbreaks in the Midwest and Western United States have driven the national case count to its highest level since August, fueling fears of what the coming winter will mean for the country.

COVID-19 cases are starting to climb in 36 states, including parts of the Northeast, which is starting to backslide after months of progress, The New York Times reported. More than 820 new deaths and more than 54,500 new cases were announced across the country on Tuesday, the newspaper said. Idaho and Wisconsin set single-day records for new cases.

About 50,000 new cases are being reported each day in the United States for the week ending Monday, the Times reported. That is still less than in late July, when the country was seeing more than 66,000 cases each day.

But the trajectory is worsening, and experts fear what could happen as cold weather drives people indoors, where the virus can spread more easily, the newspaper said. The latest spike in cases shows up just before the increased mingling of people that comes with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sixteen states each added more new cases in the seven-day period ending Monday than they had in any other weeklong stretch of the pandemic. North Dakota and South Dakota are reporting more new cases per person than any state has previously, the Times reported.

“A lot of the places being hit are Midwest states that were spared in the beginning,” William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher, told the Washington Post. “That’s of particular concern because a lot of these smaller regions don’t have the ICU beds and capacity that the urban centers had.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations have already begun rising in almost a dozen states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, raising the probability that increasing death counts will soon follow, the Post reported.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN that he hopes the numbers “jolt the American public into a realization that we really can’t let this happen, because it’s on a trajectory of getting worse and worse.” He called the rising numbers “the worst possible thing that could happen as we get into the cooler months.”

It is unclear what is driving the climbing case count, but it could be the long-feared winter effect already taking place, or the reopening of businesses and schools, or just people letting down their guard on social distancing efforts, the Post reported.

Second COVID vaccine trial paused

A second coronavirus vaccine trial was paused this week after an unexplained illness surfaced in one of the trial’s volunteers.

Johnson & Johnson, which only began a phase 3 trial of its vaccine last month, did not offer any more details on the illness and did not say whether the sick participant had received the vaccine or a placebo. The trial pause was first reported by the health news website STAT

Germany hits 5,000 new cases, Merkel eyes action

BERLIN — The number of newly reported coronavirus cases in Germany has passed 5,000 for the first time since mid-April.

The country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said Wednesday that a further 5,132 infections and 43 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded over the past day.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting the governors of Germany’s 16 states Wednesday to discuss which measures to take in response to the growing case load.

Officials are particularly concerned that COVID-19 infections might increase among older people, who are more likely to suffer serious illnesses.


So far, some 620 people in Germany are receiving intensive care treatment for COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, Germany has recorded a total of 334,585 coronavirus infections, of which almost 282,000 are considered to have recovered. There have been 9,677 deaths in the country from COVID-19.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— More masks, less play: Europe tightens rules as virus surges

— Possible safety issue spurs pause of COVID-19 antibody study

— AP-NORC poll: New angst for caregivers in time of COVID-19

— Lives Lost: Indian doctor embodied his family’s dreams

__ Despite virus fears, Texas sends most voters to the polls

___

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LONDON — Health officials are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss whether to add areas of northern England, including Manchester and Lancashire, to the highest-risk tier, meaning additional anti-coronavirus measures such as closing pubs could soon be imposed there. Only Liverpool was placed in the highest-risk category when the plan was unveiled Monday.

The discussions come as the regional government in Northern Ireland prepares to announce even tougher measures, including a two-week school closure. Northern Ireland has the highest infection rate among the U.K.’s four nations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being criticized by all sides two days after announcing his three-tier approach to controlling the virus.

A report released Tuesday showed that the government’s science advisers have called for tougher measures, including a two- to three-week national lockdown. The opposition Labour Party has called for that advice to be followed, while members of Johnson’s Conservative Party say the measures already in place go too far and are damaging the economy.

___

BERLIN — Berlin’s Staatskapelle orchestra under star conductor Daniel Barenboim has called off a three-country European tour planned for November because of the coronavirus pandemic and the difficulties of juggling different countries’ travel restrictions.

The Staatskapelle had planned to play Beethoven works in Paris, Athens and Vienna between Nov. 6 and 22.

The orchestra said Wednesday that it had proven impossible to go ahead with the tour, “not least because of the complex situation with travel to three countries, each with different travel and quarantine rules.” It said the orchestra hopes to be able to rearrange the concerts in the future.

The decision comes after new coronavirus infections hit a record daily increase last week across Europe.

—-

NEW DELHI

Anthony Fauci warns COVID surge as cases rise in north, weather cools

CLOSE

Dr. Anthony Fauci says top U.S. college athletic programs and professional sports leagues are managing risks for COVID-19 infections far more professionally than the situation at the White House that led to President Donald Trump’s illness. (Oct. 6)

AP Domestic

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said the United States faces a “difficult situation” with a rise in positive coronavirus tests through a wide swath of northern states as the weather cools. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the share of positive coronavirus tests is increasing in the Northwest, Midwest and other northern states. 

The share of tests that detect the virus is a key indicator of whether the coronavirus is spreading or under control in a community. Public health officials want to see less than 3% of all tests return positive. An ideal rate is less than 1%, Fauci said Tuesday during a College of American Pathologists meeting.

“We’re starting to see a number of states well above that, which is often, and in fact invariably, highly predictive of a resurgence of cases,” Fauci said. A rise in the share of positive cases “we know leads to an increase in hospitalizations and then ultimately an increase in deaths.”

Data from the COVID Tracking Project shows 36 states have a higher rate of tests coming back positive than the previous week. Another 41 states have higher case counts in the past week compared to a week before, an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.

As the fall weather cools and people spend more time indoors, public health experts hoped “we had rather good control over infection dynamics in the country,” Fauci said. “As a matter of fact, unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

Fauci said the nation is averaging between 40,000 and 50,000 new cases every day. The United States has reported more than 7.8 million cases and 215,085 deaths.

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Monday shows 16 states set records for new cases in a week, while Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota had a record number of deaths in a week. 

Fauci said shutting down the nation again to slow the virus’ spread is something “we do not want to do.” and urged Americans to commit to public health recommendations to slow SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. People should wear masks, maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, avoid crowds and wash hands frequently.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says a coronavirus vaccine could come earlier than expected. (Photo: AP)

The nation should know by the end of 2020 whether there is a safe and effective vaccine. With five vaccine candidates now in the late-stage clinical studies, Fauci said doses of any Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccine could be shipped by the end of the year or early 2021, first to those who are most vulnerable.

And although the development has been speedy,

King County Coronavirus Cases Are On The Rise

SEATTLE, WA — Coronavirus activity continues to rise in King County, where increased case counts and transmission levels have left public health officials uneasy about the trajectory heading into the cold months.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for King County, hosted a news briefing Tuesday, outlining some concerning markers recorded across the county since Sept. 21.

“We expected it would be more challenging to manage COVID-19 during the fall and winter as we spend more time indoors and environmental conditions favor the spread of infection,” Duchin said. “The trends we’re seeing today should be a wake-up call for everyone. The longer we wait, the more difficult it gets to change the trajectory of an increasing outbreak. If we let it get away from us now, we may be in for a very dark time over the coming months.”

Washington’s most populous county has seen the highest number of positive cases in the state since the pandemic began. After two months of progress, that number is again trending in the wrong direction.

“Since the 21st of September, transmission and cases have been increasing in King County and regionally, as well as in many states across the country,” Duchin said. “Last week, we had over 1,000 cases reported in King County, and we’re having over 140 cases reported each day over the past week.”

The latest numbers are more than twice the trends seen in September. While record testing plays a role in the increase, Duchin said, the county’s testing positivity rate and the virus’s reproductive number have also grown, indicating increased transmission.

King County’s 14-day rate of cases has grown to 89 illnesses per 100,000 residents, a key indicator that places the county back in the highest bracket for transmission risk. In late September, that number had dropped to 50, landing the county in the low end of the moderate range.

Duchin said hospitalizations remain “relatively stable,” but have increased by one third. Increases have been recorded across all age groups, but particularly in young people and middle-aged adults. Over the last week, those ages 18-24 currently have seen the highest rate of infection, followed by people ages 25-34.

According to the county’s data, about 10 percent of cases in the last week were linked to an outbreak associated with the University of Washington’s Greek system. As of Tuesday, at least 242 students among 17 sororities and fraternities have tested positive since early September.

“As that tells us, this outbreak is large, but it is not responsible for all of the increase that we’re seeing in the county,” Duchin said.

Over the past two weeks, suspected exposures were “broadly distributed,” Duchin said, with 40 percent of cases acquired within the household, 30 percent from social events and other activities and 16 percent among essential workers.

The county’s rate of deaths continues to remain stable, with six to nine reported per week over the last month and mostly confined to patients over 80 years old. If community transmission becomes widespread,

One client in one spin studio that followed all the rules triggers a coronavirus outbreak with at least 61 cases

SPINCO, in Hamilton, Ontario, just reopened in July and had all of the right protocols in place, including screening of staff and attendees, tracking all those in attendance at each class, masking before and after classes, laundering towels and cleaning the rooms within 30 minutes of a complete class, said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, in a statement.

But it still wasn’t enough.

Public health officials are very concerned about the number of cases and the size of the outbreak, especially because the city is not currently a hotspot and the facility was not ignoring health protocols, they said in a statement to CNN.

“They have also supported public health services in our investigation by sharing the messaging with all their members,” said Richardson.

There are currently 44 confirmed positive primary cases associated with SPINCO and 17 confirmed secondary cases. Exposure was linked to several classes held from September 28 to October 4.

The studio’s co-owners, Naz Zarezadegan and Ira Price, told The Hamilton Spectator on Monday that public health officials told them “patient zero displayed no symptoms.”

In a post to clients on Instagram, SPINCO exclaimed in frustration, “We took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again!'”

SPINCO said it will stay closed pending further investigation by health officials.

City officials say SPINCO was operating at 50% capacity, with a 6-foot radius around each bike, and that this might raise questions about the safety of gyms and fitness studios during the pandemic.

“We continue to look at what does it mean, what do we need to understand about exercises classes,” Richardson said in a media briefing Tuesday.

Canada is reckoning with a second wave of the coronavirus which has been marked by a doubling of new, daily positive cases of Covid-19 within the past month. Targeted restrictions and closures are in place in many urban centers including Toronto and Montreal, but not in Hamilton.

Source Article

South Brunswick COVID Cases In Double Digits For Third Time

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – For the third time since June, South Brunswick reported weekly COVID positive cases in double digits, the town said Tuesday.

Eleven new cases were reported the week of Oct. 4-10.

“While this is a change from previous weeks, we look for trends over several weeks to show emerging patterns,” town officials said in a statement.

The biggest increase in COVID cases in five months was reported the week of Sep. 27-Oct. 3, with 19 people testing positive.

Read More Here: South Brunswick Sees Highest Weekly COVID Increase Since May

In the past few months, South Brunswick successfully managed to keep COVID cases in single digits.

“In addition to those 11 new cases, we were informed of 3 additional cases confirmed from previous months, bringing our total number of COVID positive cases to 572.”

The average age of the 11 people who tested positive was 22 years of age. Eight were male and three were female.

Officials attributed the cases to international and out-of-state travel, college students testing positive at their colleges but being reported at their home addresses and the virus spreading throughout individual households.

South Brunswick Township currently has 572 cases of residents who have tested positive. This number reflects both residents and people living in long-term care facilities within the Township.

Have a correction or news tip? Email [email protected]

Get breaking news alerts on your phone with our app. Download here. Sign up to get Patch emails so you don’t miss out on local and statewide news.

This article originally appeared on the South Brunswick Patch

Source Article

No Additional Deaths; 46 New Cases

WASHINGTON, DC — D.C Department of Health confirmed 46 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That’s up from the 38 reported on Monday. This brings the District’s total number of positive cases to date to 16,068.

D.C. Health reported no additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday. The total number of deaths in the District stands at 637.

According to D.C. Health, 443,081 coronavirus tests have been administered in the District, 233,450 residents have been tested, and 12,583 have been cleared from isolation.

The District currently has 50 intensive care unit beds available out of 345 total intensive care unit beds. There are currently 169 in-use ventilators out of a total of 440 available. Also, there are 25 COVID-19-positive ICU patients.

Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus in D.C. as they happen. Sign up for free news alerts and a newsletter in your Patch town.

Globally, more than 37.9 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Tuesday morning. In the United States, more than 7.7 million people have been infected and over 214,000 people have died from COVID-19.

Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Age and Gender

(D.C. Health)
(D.C. Health)

Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Ward

(D.C. Health)
(D.C. Health)

Total COVID-19 Deaths By Ward

D.C. Health
D.C. Health

Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Race

(D.C. Health)
(D.C. Health)

Total of Positive COVID-19 Deaths By Race

(D.C. Health)
(D.C. Health)

District residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

RELATED:

This article originally appeared on the Washington DC Patch

Source Article

COVID-19 again? Reinfection cases raise concerns over immunity

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – The case of a man in the United States infected twice with COVID-19 shows there is much yet to learn about immune responses and also raises questions over vaccination, scientists said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old from Reno, Nevada, tested positive in April after showing mild symptoms, then got sick again in late May with a more serious bout, according to a case report in the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal.

The report was published just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump, who was infected with COVID-19 and hospitalised earlier this month, said he believes he now has immunity and felt “so powerful”.

Scientists said that while known incidences of reinfection appear rare – and the Nevada man has now recovered – cases like his were worrying. Other isolated cases of reinfection have been reported around the world, including in Asia and Europe.

In the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health confirmed on Tuesday that an 89-year-old Dutch woman, also sick with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, had recently died after contracting COVID-19 for a second time.

Dutch media said this was the first known case worldwide of a death after SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus reinfection.

‘IMPLICATIONS FOR VACCINATION’

“It is becoming increasingly clear that reinfections are possible, but we can’t yet know how common this will be,” said Simon Clarke, a microbiology expert at Britain’s Reading University.

“If people can be reinfected easily, it could also have implications for vaccination programmes as well as our understanding of when and how the pandemic will end.”

The Nevada patient’s doctors, who first reported the case in a non peer-reviewed paper in August, said sophisticated testing showed that the virus strains associated with each bout of infection were genetically different.

“These findings reinforce the point that we still do not know enough about the immune response to this infection,” said Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia.

Brendan Wren, a professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the Nevada case was the fifth confirmed example of reinfection worldwide. 

“The demonstration that it is possible to be reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 may suggest that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be totally protective,” he said. “However, given the (more than) 40 million cases worldwide, these small examples of reinfection are tiny and should not deter efforts to develop vaccines.”

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic concurred that the U.S. case underlined what was unknown about immunity. “And this also really is an argument against what some have been advocating, and that’s building naturally what is called herd immunity. Because we don’t know,” he told a briefing.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Additional reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source Article

Rising Covid-19 cases and an uptick in hospitalizations may be the start of a predicted surge, officials warn

With 33 states reporting a rise in new Covid-19 cases and a nationwide uptick in hospitalizations, local officials worry this could be the beginning of the coming surge experts have warned about.



a person standing in a parking lot: A medic prepares to transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. - Florida has emerged as a major new epicenter of the US battle against the disease, with confirmed cases recently surpassing New York and now second only to California. The state toll has leapt over the past week and more than 6,500 people have died from the disease there, according to health officials. More than 460,000 people have been infected with the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21 million, and a quarter of the state's cases are in Miami. The US has tallied a total of 151,826 deaths from COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)


© CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images
A medic prepares to transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. – Florida has emerged as a major new epicenter of the US battle against the disease, with confirmed cases recently surpassing New York and now second only to California. The state toll has leapt over the past week and more than 6,500 people have died from the disease there, according to health officials. More than 460,000 people have been infected with the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21 million, and a quarter of the state’s cases are in Miami. The US has tallied a total of 151,826 deaths from COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

In Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Covid-19 cases are rising at a “concerning rate,” while the city’s seven-day average daily case rates are as “high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May.”

The seven-day average of hospitalizations also rose about 37% in a little more than a week, he said during a Monday news conference, and warned residents could soon see tighter Covid-19 restrictions if the city’s numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.

Officials across the country warn of similar patterns. White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx last week warned the Northeast was seeing “early suggestions” of alarming trends. Kentucky’s governor said recently the state is seeing a third major escalation in infections. In Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening this week in response to a surge of Covid-19 patients — days after the state reported record-high numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths.

The US is now averaging more than 49,000 new infections daily — up 14% from the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And last week, the nation recorded more than 50,000 new cases for at least four days in a row. The last time that happened was in early August.

“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Monday. “We’ve got to turn this around.”

That doesn’t have to mean another lockdown, the infectious disease expert has previously said. Instead, it means more people heeding to safety guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing.

Otherwise, the US could be in for a devastating winter. Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project more than 135,000 Americans could die within the next three months.

Healthcare professionals ‘deeply afraid’

Hospitalizations nationwide are also on the rise. At least 10 states have recorded record-high hospitalization

160 new cases over weekend

CLOSE

Coronavirus Deaths Top 1 Million worldwide

Wochit

Editor’s note: The Star is making this story free to readers due to public health concerns related to coronavirus. Please consider a digital subscription to The Star so we can continue doing this important work.

Ventura County saw 160 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, public health officials reported Monday.

No new deaths were tallied. The report covers data collected Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Since early March, when the first local infection was reported, 13,423 county residents have tested positive for coronavirus. Of those, 12,595 people have recovered. Another 670 residents with active cases were under quarantine, according to Monday’s tally.

The deaths of 158 residents have been attributed to complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Most patients who died also had other medical conditions, public health officials have said.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 dropped over the weekend, from 37 on Friday to 33 as of Monday. Of those in a hospital, eight were being treated in an intensive care unit Monday, down from 10 on Friday.

Story continues below

More coronavirus news: Area school districts consider path forward to reopening campuses for in-person learning

Location of local COVID-19 cases

Most Ventura County locales saw new infections over the weekend. They are, in descending order of total cases:

  • Oxnard, 5,410 total cases (+60 over the weekend)
  • Simi Valley, 1,833 (+35)
  • Ventura, 1,457 (+13)
  • Thousand Oaks, 1,236 (+8). The city’s total includes 345 cases in Newbury Park.
  • Santa Paula, 878
  • Camarillo, 698 (+9)
  • Fillmore, 537 (+6)
  • Moorpark, 506 (+8)
  • Port Hueneme, 414 (+4)
  • Ojai, 135 (+3)
  • Piru, 103 (+1)
  • Oak Park, 86 (+4)
  • Oak View, 72 (unchanged)
  • Somis, 55 (unchanges)
  • Bell Canyon, 3 (+1)

Story continues below

Public health investigators tracking the source of coronavirus infections have determined 4,929 cases were transmitted through contact with an infected person, 2,647 were acquired in the community and 17 resulted from travel. The source of 455 cases remained under investigation, while another 5,215 infections have been classified as having an undetermined source.

As new cases have continued to decline locally, Ventura County last week progressed to a less-restrictive tier in the state’s four-tier system. The county eased out of the most-restrictive “purple” tier to the “red” tier, which allowed some expansion of operations for restaurants, malls, places of worship and other activities. The state system uses a variety of metrics to determine which tier is appropriate for a given county.

Information on free testing sites in Ventura County is available online. For more resources, visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org

Map: COVID-19 by county

More than 840,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported elsewhere in California outside Ventura County.

The Star’s Data Central page has an interactive map tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases, recoveries and deaths across the state, country and world.

The map is updated automatically and shows a closeup of each California county, or zoom out to see numbers from around the nation and the world.

Not seeing the map? Click here to