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cases Surge

As Cases Surge, Pandemic Restrictions Again Descend on Quebec – The New York Times

Politicians in Quebec and neighboring Ontario, Canada’s two most populous provinces, are blaming a rise in cases on people dropping their guard.

Credit…Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Dan BilefskyIan Austen

MONTREAL — There has been a veneer of normalcy in Montreal.

Couples hunched over steak-frites and poutine at popular neighborhood bistros. Young people thronging comedy shows and CrossFit classes in parks. Shopping sprees, even if armed with masks and sanitizers.

But this week the sense that regular life was gradually returning was upended when Quebec, faced with a resurgence of coronavirus cases, became Canada’s first province to reintroduce tough shutdown measures — including closing restaurants, cinemas, and theaters, and forbidding household visits to friends or family, with some exceptions.

“The situation has become critical,” Quebec’s premier, François Legault, said on Monday evening, lamenting that people had relaxed their vigilance and prioritized fun. “If we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths, we must take strong action.”

Alarm has also shaken Ontario where some cities are again posting record case numbers, and some new, modest restrictions have been imposed, including shutting down strip bars and banning alcohol sales after 11 p.m.

Epidemiologists attributed the growing numbers of case to inadequate contact tracing; an unwillingness to shut down schools and businesses; and people letting their guards down. For example, the karaoke bar, Bar Kirouac, in Quebec City, was linked to 72 cases of Covid-19, according to Quebec health officials.

The relapse has underlined how even Canada, a country with universal health care and a generally disciplined, rule-bound population, remains vulnerable to the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Ottawa, the national capital, reported 105 cases — its highest number of new cases in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. It now has the highest number of active cases since late April.

Quebec, Canada’s epicenter throughout the pandemic, reported 750 new cases on Monday, helping to bring the total number in the province to 73,450. In total, 5,833 people have died in Quebec; the entire country has seen 9,289 deaths.

Image

Credit…Blair Gable/Reuters

Canadians have until recently taken some satisfaction in the country’s approach to containing the virus. Most provinces moved swiftly in March to shut down schools and businesses. The border with the United States was closed and some provinces limited travelers from other parts of Canada — a restriction that still is in effect.

By spring and through the summer, many of those measures were significantly relaxed in most parts of the country.

In contrast to the hard-hit United States, where President Trump has repeatedly clashed with governors over how to manage the pandemic, partisan and regional grievances in Canada have been largely set aside.

Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta, a conservative who has often sparred with premiers in more liberal provinces, offered surplus masks, gloves and ventilators to Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

Without exception, political leaders have also deferred to physicians, scientists and public health experts to inform the country’s approach.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently been buffeted by scandal, he has been generally credited for his authoritative handling of the pandemic. Early on, he set an example when he became the first leader of a major industrialized country to go into self-isolation, when his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for the virus.

His government has since offered billions of dollars in financial support for businesses and workers hit by the virus to limit economic harm.

But David Buckeridge, an assistant professor and public health surveillance researcher at McGill University in Montreal, said that in Quebec, the provincial government did not act fast enough this time around.

“There’s so much pressure to maintain the economy that the government was a little slow to act decisively and close businesses,” Professor Buckeridge said. He said certain types of businesses like bars should never have been reopened.

He also said that although Mr. Legault blamed the rise in cases on private social gatherings, the province’s poor record at contact tracing made it impossible to confirm that. Mr. Legault’s analysis, he suggested, may be motivated by economic rather than medical considerations.

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Credit…Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Health officials and epidemiologists said Quebec’s party culture has helped make it the pandemic troublemaker, compared with other provinces like British Columbia and those on Canada’s Atlantic coast, where the numbers of cases per capita have been significantly lower.

Speaking on Sunday night on a popular television show, “Tout le monde en parle,” Quebec’s health minister, Christian Dubé, said, “We like to party.”

In Montreal, parks in recent weeks have hosted dense clusters of young people attending performance nights or sunning themselves. As winter looms, and with the city’s usual diet of summer festivals canceled because of the pandemic, there has been a particular urge to have fun. The authorities say private underground house parties have also helped fan the outbreak.

In Quebec, revelers enjoy mimicking Celine Dion, a native daughter, at karaoke nights. But earlier this month, after the outbreak at Bar Kirouac in Quebec City, health authorities suspended karaoke evenings throughout the province.

They noted that the projection of respiratory droplets when people sing and the sharing of microphones had made singing nights potentially deadly.

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Credit…Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Under Quebec’s new rules, which will go into effect on Thursday, people will be forbidden to invite houseguests with the exception of individuals who require a caregiver, child care or maintenance services. Museums, bars and libraries will be closed. Churches, synagogues and mosques will be limited to 25 people.

People gathering outside will also be expected to remain two meters, or about 6.6 feet, apart. However, schools, which have been buffeted by dozens of cases of coronavirus, will remain open, as will gyms, hotels and hair salons.

The new restrictions will be imposed for 28 days and apply to three regions in Quebec, including Montreal.

In Ontario last weekend, a group of mostly young motorists poured into a resort community and commandeered its streets for illegal racing. Most of the crowd members were not wearing masks or socially distancing. Overwhelmed, police sealed off the town.

On Tuesday Doug Ford, the Ontario premier, said he will introduce orders barring visitors from long-term care homes in three of the province’s most populous regions.

The resurgence of cases has disproportionately affected young people, a shift from the early days of the pandemic. Dr. David N. Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said that may not just be the result of irresponsible behavior but of other factors, including the opening of university dorms and the fact that young people work in shops and restaurants.

“Not many 60-year-old baristas and waiters here,” he said, saying that blaming renewed outbreaks on social gatherings and irresponsible youth had “become an escape hatch for the government in terms of any restrictions on businesses.”

Dr. Buckeridge said that Quebec’s new measures will take weeks to have any effect on infection rates, and that the province will likely have to go further.

“There are going to be a few 28-day periods unless we change what we’re doing in a meaningful way,” he said.

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cases First

First cases of flu hit Bay Area, marking start of a dangerous season ahead – San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area hospitals have reported their first cases of influenza, signaling the start of what could be a turbulent flu season with COVID-19 in the mix.

The flu season doesn’t typically begin in earnest until December or January in California, but doctors already are bracing for a worst-case scenario of widespread influenza on top of the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses that may be circulating.

Public health experts want as many people as possible to get vaccinated against influenza over the next couple of months to protect themselves and keep hospitals from being overrun. At the same time, health care providers need to expand testing for both the coronavirus and the flu in the coming weeks so they can quickly sort out who’s infected with either virus — or if people are sick with both.

It’s possible that the Bay Area may see a remarkably calm flu season if large numbers of people are vaccinated and if residents continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing to prevent spread of the coronavirus. The Southern Hemisphere had virtually no influenza over their winter months, suggesting that COVID-19 prevention can help stop the flu, too, according to a study released Thursday.

But if the coronavirus surges in the fall, as it did this summer, and if the coming flu season isn’t blunted by protective measures, that could be a public health nightmare, infectious disease experts warn. Hospitals could be overwhelmed, potentially leading to more serious illness and death from both diseases.

“Even a mild flu season is disastrous on top of what is already an uncontrolled pandemic,” said Dr. Charlies Chiu, head of UCSF’s infectious diseases division. “We’re not handling COVID-19 very well. A few thousand flu cases could be enough to overwhelm our hospital system.”

Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and other major providers began offering flu shot clinics this month and anticipate vaccinating 10% to 15% more people this year than usual. Most people are being advised to find a drive-through vaccination clinic near them, to avoid clustering in doctor offices or other indoor spaces where COVID-19 could spread.

Doctors want as many people vaccinated as possible to prevent the widespread illness that occurs in a normal flu season, and also to protect individuals from becoming co-infected with influenza and the coronavirus. There also is evidence that the flu vaccine may offer some protection against serious illness from the coronavirus, though more study is needed, said Dr. Jeffrey Silvers, medical director of infectious disease at Sutter Health in the Bay Area.

“The flu shot stimulates part of your immune system that is the same part stimulated for COVID,” Silvers said. “So you may get a second benefit from the flu shot this year. If you do get COVID, you may not get as severe disease.”

Damiel Amores administers a flu vaccine to Daniel Fitzpatrick at Kaiser Permanente medical center in Redwood City.

The UCSF emergency department this week reported its first case of Type A seasonal influenza, and the first Type B case was reported at an East Bay hospital last week, infectious disease experts said. The state public health department has not yet started issuing weekly flu reports as it does during the season.

Getting the vaccine

Anyone can find a flu vaccine location at vaccinefinder.org. Many pharmacies offer them at low cost or free.

Kaiser recommends that its members get vaccinated at one of its drive-through clinics. Appointments aren’t necessary, but members should make a reservation online before showing up. Clinic locations and reservations are at kp.org.

Sutter Health patients can book an appointment online at sutterhealth.org/flu.

Doctors say they typically see a handful of flu cases through the summer, so the recent reports are not cause for concern. In fact, flu reports have been lower than usual in recent months, partly because no one’s looking for it — testing resources have been diverted to the coronavirus.

Another explanation for the low numbers is that social distancing, though not effective enough to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases over the summer, quashed the small amount of influenza that circulates in the off-season. A study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that coronavirus containment efforts may have led to an early and abrupt end to the U.S. flu season in March. And flu reports during the typically slow summer months are at “historical lows,” according to the CDC.

More compelling evidence that COVID-19 control efforts can also stop the flu: Three Southern Hemisphere countries reported almost no influenza during their usual flu season, according to the CDC. Australia, Chile and South Africa, combined, reported only 51 flu cases out of 83,307 samples tested in April through July, a positive rate well below 1%. In the previous three years, the positive rate was about 14% for those three countries in that time frame.

That bodes well for California and the Bay Area, if people stick to social distancing in the fall and winter, infectious disease experts said.

“We’re really, really hopeful that universal masking will not only decrease transmission of COVID but also flu,” said Dr. Maria Raven, chief of emergency medicine at UCSF, in a panel discussion on the pandemic on Wednesday. “We’ve seen that in the Southern Hemisphere. We’re hopeful for that to happen here, but prepared for it to not happen.”

Over the next month or two testing for both influenza and the coronavirus will increase, as more respiratory illnesses begin to circulate and doctors face patients with symptoms like cough and fever that aren’t easily pinned to one disease or another.

Major providers like Kaiser are hoping to get a test soon that would let them screen for influenza and the coronavirus at the same time. The CDC developed such a test and it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July, but it has yet to be widely distributed.

This week, Kaiser sent out an advisory to members meant to help them distinguish between symptoms of COVID-19, influenza and common colds. But doctors noted that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 without a laboratory test.

Influenza and the coronavirus both can cause fever, cough, shortness of breath and body aches; the only distinguishing factor for COVID-19 is a loss of taste and smell, but not everyone experiences that symptom. Colds are a little easier to tell apart because they don’t usually include a fever and people don’t feel nearly as awful, but they could still be confused with a mild case of COVID-19.

Last spring, when the coronavirus first began circulating widely and testing resources were slim, public health officials told people to not bother getting tested unless they were seriously ill or had contact with a known COVID-19 case. But the guidance will be different this fall, health care providers said.

To control the pandemic, everyone who may have the coronavirus should be tested right away so that their cases can be investigated. Plus, doctors will want to know right away whether someone has influenza, which can be treated with antivirals, or COVID-19, which would require more aggressive isolation protocols.

“Definitely our philosophy during this fall and winter is going to be to test very heavily,” said Randy Bergen, clinical lead for Kaiser’s flu vaccination program in Northern California. “These conditions — influenza, COVID, colds and even respiratory difficulties from smoke and allergies — have a huge degree of overlap in symptoms. And in terms of distinguishing flu from COVID, that’s really difficult.”

Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: eallday@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @erinallday

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cases Coronavirus

Coronavirus cases tied to a Maine wedding reception hit 147, with 3 deaths – WRAL.com

By Christina Zdanowicz, Amanda Jackson and Alanne Orjoux, CNN

Millinocket, Maine — At least 147 Covid-19 cases are now linked to an August wedding reception in Maine, a state CDC spokesman said Saturday.

Three people connected to the outbreak have died of the virus, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Robert Long told CNN.

The wedding was held in Millinocket on August 7. Since then, the cases have spread to a nursing home and a prison, both more than 100 miles away from the venue.

The wedding outbreak investigation as of Thursday was still at 56 cases among the guests and their secondary and tertiary contacts. Secondary contacts are people who had close contact with someone who attended and tertiary contacts are people who had close contact with a secondary.

The state had 4,667 cases of coronavirus and 134 deaths through Friday, according to the Maine Covid-19 website.

Covid cases at a jail and nursing home

Outbreaks linked to the wedding have unfolded at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison and York County Jail in Alfred, the state agency announced last week.

Seventy-two people connected to the York County Jail have tested positive for the virus, Long said Thursday. Of those, 46 are inmates, 19 work at the jail and seven are household members of those jail employees.

The jail is more than 220 miles away from the reception site. Maine CDC began investigating the jail outbreak on August 21.

The outbreak at the Maplecrest rehab center in Madison, which is more than 100 miles from the wedding venue, has also grown, according to Maine CDC.

An employee of the nursing home is a secondary case associated with the wedding outbreak. Sixteen people at Maplecrest have tested positive, including that person.

“What we are dealing with is a giant tube of glitter. You open a tube of glitter in your basement then two weeks later you are in the attic and all you find is glitter and have no idea how it got there,” Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said on August 25.

“That’s what Covid-19 is like. You open up glitter in Millinocket and next thing you know you are finding traces of it at a jail complex in York County. It’s just emblematic of how quickly, silently and efficiently it can spread.”

Wedding venue cited

The wedding guests attended a reception at Big Moose Inn, according to Maine CDC. The Big Moose Inn is a 37-acre property that includes a restaurant, cabins and campgrounds near Baxter State Park. The inn has hosted weddings since the 1970s and can accommodate 100 guests in its Fredericka’s Restaurant, according to its website.

Maine CDC is investigating other points of connection with the group, including the ceremony held at Tri Town Baptist Church, Shah said last week.

The wedding reception had approximately 65 guests, in violation of the state’s 50-person cap for indoor events, Maine CDC said. The agency delivered an imminent health hazard citation Thursday to the owners of Big Moose Inn for this violation, it said.

In defense, Big Moose Inn staff said they misinterpreted the state’s rules on social distancing, according to a statement sent August 29 to CNN.

“We understood that there could be no more than 50 persons in our largest room. We did make an error in the interpretation of that rule,” the venue said in the statement. “Our interpretation was that we could take a wedding party of more than 50 persons, and split them between two rooms as long as it didn’t exceed our total capacity or a specific room’s capacity.”

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cases Maine

Maine CDC reports 50 more cases of COVID-19 as total cases top 4,600 – WMTW Portland

ALL RIGHT, SOME GOOD NEWS THERE TED. THANK YOU. LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE LATEST. CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS RELEASED FROM THE MAINE CDC TODAY. THEY’RE REPORTING 50 NEW CASES TODAY FOR NEW TOTAL OF FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN. THE D

Maine CDC reports 50 more cases of COVID-19 as total cases top 4,600

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 50 additional cases of coronavirus on Thursday and no new deaths.The 50 additional cases bring the total in Maine to 4,617.A total of 133 Mainers with coronavirus have now died. A total of 3,988 Mainers have recovered from the virus, which is an increase of 10 over the past 24 hours.Active cases are at 496, which is a increase of 40 from Wednesday.MAINE CORONAVIRUS DATA: Deaths: 133 Total cases: 4,617 Confirmed cases: 4,145 Probable cases: 472 Cumulative positivity rate: 1.89% 14-day positivity rate: 0.7% Patients recovered: 3,988 Active cases: 496 Currently hospitalized: 9 Patients in intensive care unit: 4 Patients on ventilators: 1Get the latest coronavirus information from the Maine CDCCOVID-19 SYMPTOMSSymptoms of coronavirus may include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and sore throat. Symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure.Other symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and new loss of taste and/or smell.Health officials said most patients experience mild symptoms and can recover at home.However, some patients, particularly those with underlying medical conditions, may experience more severe respiratory illness.Coronavirus appears to spread in similar ways to the flu and the common cold, which includes through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact such as touching and shaking hands and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.Anyone experiencing symptoms is urged to call their health care provider and not just show up in person.COVID-19 RESOURCES: Maine Helps: The Maine Helps website offers ways Mainers can directly help nonprofits, health care and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. FrontLine WarmLine: Maine Department of Health and Human Services phone line to help Mainers who are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. The phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day by calling 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440. The service will eventually include a text option, officials said. 211 Maine: The state’s 211 system can answer general questions about coronavirus from callers. Mainers can also text 898-211 to have their questions answered. NAMI Maine Resources: NAMI Maine is offering several programs to help people with mental health concerns due to the COVID-19 crisis.

AUGUSTA, Maine —

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 50 additional cases of coronavirus on Thursday and no new deaths.

The 50 additional cases bring the total in Maine to 4,617.

A total of 133 Mainers with coronavirus have now died.

A total of 3,988 Mainers have recovered from the virus, which is an increase of 10 over the past 24 hours.

Active cases are at 496, which is a increase of 40 from Wednesday.

MAINE CORONAVIRUS DATA:

  • Deaths: 133
  • Total cases: 4,617
  • Confirmed cases: 4,145
  • Probable cases: 472
  • Cumulative positivity rate: 1.89%
  • 14-day positivity rate: 0.7%
  • Patients recovered: 3,988
  • Active cases: 496
  • Currently hospitalized: 9
  • Patients in intensive care unit: 4
  • Patients on ventilators: 1

Get the latest coronavirus information from the Maine CDC

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of coronavirus may include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and sore throat. Symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure.

Other symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and new loss of taste and/or smell.

Health officials said most patients experience mild symptoms and can recover at home.

However, some patients, particularly those with underlying medical conditions, may experience more severe respiratory illness.

Coronavirus appears to spread in similar ways to the flu and the common cold, which includes through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact such as touching and shaking hands and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is urged to call their health care provider and not just show up in person.

COVID-19 RESOURCES:

  • Maine Helps: The Maine Helps website offers ways Mainers can directly help nonprofits, health care and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • FrontLine WarmLine: Maine Department of Health and Human Services phone line to help Mainers who are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. The phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day by calling 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440. The service will eventually include a text option, officials said.
  • 211 Maine: The state’s 211 system can answer general questions about coronavirus from callers. Mainers can also text 898-211 to have their questions answered.
  • NAMI Maine Resources: NAMI Maine is offering several programs to help people with mental health concerns due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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cases Coronavirus

As coronavirus cases surge, Paris mandates masks in public – NBC News

Paris authorities have mandated that face coverings must be worn in all public places in the city from Friday as coronavirus cases in the French capital continue to climb.

The top officials of three surrounding regions also signed on to the orders, meaning that people in a vast swath of nearby areas must also be masked in all public.

Cyclists and those exercising outside will be exempt from the rule, police said, as well as children under the age of 11.

The virus is actively circulating in about 20 percent of France’s regions and masks will now be required for everyone in Paris starting Friday — but the government is determined to reopen schools next week, get workers back on the job and kick off the Tour de France cycling race on Saturday.

Showing a map of the country’s new “red zones,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday urged local authorities to impose new restrictions to slow infections and prevent another economically devastating national lockdown.

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“The epidemic is gaining ground, and now we must intervene,” Castex said. France “must do everything to avoid a new confinement.”

He acknowledged that the rising cases this summer — attributed mostly to people going on vacation with family and friends — came earlier than authorities expected.

France is now seeing more than 50 positive tests per 100,000 people in Paris, Marseille and other areas. The government announced Thursday that 21 of 101 administrative regions, or departments, are now in the “red zone” where the virus is actively circulating, and where local authorities can impose stricter rules on gatherings and movements.

The number of virus patients in French hospitals remains low so far despite the jump in infections but it has been steadily rising in recent days.

Download the NBC News app for the latest news on the coronavirus

The government’s message Thursday was mixed — while expressing alarm about growing cases, Castex insisted that “living with the virus” is the new national mantra and he wants people to resume work in September as broadly as possible.

To protect vulnerable populations, the prime minister urged people not to hold family parties and said “grandpa and grandma” shouldn’t pick up their grandchildren from school.

A woman wearing a protective face covering jogs through the French capital Paris. Cyclists and those exercising outdoors will not be covered by the new rules mandating masks in public. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP – Getty Images

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said there’s no reason to dial back plans to send France’s 12.9 million students back to class next week or to reopen cafeterias.

“All children should return to school,” he said.

Blanquer also said letting the Tour de France cycling race go ahead is “a sign that we can continue to live, and the resilience of our society.”

Already delayed from its traditional early July start, cycling’s premier event sets off from Nice on Saturday and will crisscross the country for more than three weeks. Fans, tourists and residents usually mass along the route for a beloved event that is a prime advertisement for France’s beauty and traditions, organizers this year are urging all spectators to wear masks.

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cases Coronavirus

More coronavirus cases linked to Millinocket wedding reception, CDC says – WGME

More coronavirus cases linked to Millinocket wedding reception, CDC says – WGME
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cases COVID

24 new cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding reception in Millinocket – WABI

MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI)

28 new cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a recent wedding reception in Millinocket, according to officials at Millinocket Regional Hospital.

The outbreak in the Katahdin region has officials working to find anyone else who may have been in close contact with those who are carrying the coronavirus.

On August 7th, 65 people attended a wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, according to the Maine CDC.

Millinocket Regional Hospital has confirmed that there are now 28 positive cases linked to this event.

They also say they expect that number to go up as testing continues and pending results come in.

The CDC says that all of the people who tested positive are Maine residents, however officials did not say if any of the wedding guests came from out-of-state.

CDC Investigators are talking to officials at the inn to determine details, such as whether the event was held indoors or outdoors.

Up to 50 people can gather in a shared space indoors, while up to 100 can gather in outdoor spaces.

The Maine CDC is urging anyone who attended any event at the Big Moose Inn who may be showing COVID-19 symptoms to contact their health care provider immediately.

Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, or body aches among many others.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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cases Maine

Maine CDC reporting 21 new cases of coronavirus, 7 more cases in Penobscot County – WABI

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) -The Maine CDC is reporting 21 new cases of coronavirus They’re reporting the most new cases in Penobscot County.

Maine CDC is reporting 21 new cases of coronavirus.

Maine CDC is reporting 21 new cases of coronavirus.(WABI)

The state total is 4,168. There are 417 active cases as of Sunday. 3,624 people have recovered. That number is up eight from Saturday.

There are no new deaths being reported Sunday, August 16th.

Looking at the cases county by county throughout the state, Penobscot County has the highest number of new cases with an additional seven being reported.

Penobscot County has the most new cases of coronavirus as of Sunday.

Penobscot County has the most new cases of coronavirus as of Sunday.(WABI)

There are 178 total cases and 39 active cases there right now.

There are four new cases in York County.

Cumberland county has three new cases and 197 active cases.

Kennebec, Knox, Oxford, Waldo and Somerset Counties each have one new case a piece.

There are no new cases being reported in Piscataguis County where there are seven active cases being reported as of Sunday.

The Maine CDC is reporting two unknown cases right now.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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cases COVID

DHEC: 986 new COVID-19 cases, 51 more deaths announced in SC – WTOC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has announced 986 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 51 additional confirmed deaths Friday.

This brings the total number of people with confirmed cases since the outbreak began to 104,874 and confirmed deaths to 2,156.

Of the 51 deaths reported, 40 were elderly people (ages 65 and up) and 11 were middle-aged (ages 35-64).

Please click here for the county of residence of each of the people whose deaths were reported.

The chart below shows the actual date of death for each of the people whose deaths were announced Saturday.

dhec

dhec (Source: dhec)

DHEC also announced 22 new probable cases of the virus, as well as, 6 new probable deaths. That brings the total of probable cases to 1,008 and the total number of probable deaths to 104 in the state since the outbreak began.

For more information about why DHEC reports probable cases and deaths, keep reading.

DHEC now uses a document to show county-by-county numbers of new confirmed and probable cases. Cases are counted by a patient’s zip code of residence.

Included in this article is context on testing, recoveries, hospitalization, death rates, and more. That information is provided in detail below.

COVID-19 TESTING IN SOUTH CAROLINA*

  • Negative diagnostic tests (all labs) – 719,922
  • Positive diagnostic tests (all labs) – 139,470
  • Total diagnostic tests – 859,392
  • Negative serology (antibody) tests – 55,892
  • Positive serology (antibody) tests – 4,640
  • Total serology (antibody) tests – 60,532
  • Negative tests of unknown type** – 2,208
  • Positive tests of unknown type** – 11
  • Total tests of unknown type** – 2,219
  • Total number of tests performed in South Carolina by DHEC and private labs – 922,143

*These numbers represent the volume of tests received and not distinct individuals tested. Individuals could have multiple tests.

**Unknown test types refer to tests with an unrecognized type. As (DHEC) continues to investigate unknown test types they will be reassigned as more information becomes available.

>> To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click or tap here.

DHEC officials made clear they have not counted any positive antibody tests as positive COVID-19 cases.

Antibody tests determine if a person has COVID-19 antibodies in their system, meaning they had a previous infection. It does not test for an active infection.

TRACKING PERCENT POSITIVE

The recent spike in cases in South Carolina is not just due to more testing, DHEC officials have said repeatedly.

Percent positive refers to the number of people who test positive for COVID-19 in relation to the number of tests being performed. The percent positive has remained high since early June.

DHEC says the percent positive from the 6,012 tests reported to them statewide Friday was 16.4% (not including antibody tests).

When daily case numbers are high and the percent positive is high, that indicates more virus spread in the community, DHEC said.

The following chart shows the percent positive over the past 28 days.

dhec

dhec (Source: dhec)

To see the percent positive since the outbreak began in South Carolina, use the chart below, and click on “Testing.”

As of Friday morning, DHEC says 80.51% of inpatient beds in South Carolina are in use while 76.74% of ICU beds are in use.

There are 1,246 hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under investigation for having the virus, DHEC said. Of those, 311 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.

DHEC is reporting 1,549 ventilators available in the state with 526 of them in use. COVID-19 patients account for 181 of those.

As of August 13, DHEC has estimated 90% of people who didn’t die from the virus, and that they have “symptom onset data” for, have recovered. They only have that data for 48,940 people. Of those people, 1,462 have unfortunately died.

Based on that information, DHEC estimates that about 42,731 of those people have recovered so far. The rest of those people are still fighting the virus, DHEC says.

Note that this data is only available for fewer than half of the total COVID-19 cases reported in South Carolina.

When looking at the confirmed numbers of cases and deaths, one could figure the death toll from the virus is about 2% in South Carolina.

If that is the case, as DHEC suggests, there may have been more than 742,000 coronavirus cases in the state so far. That would mean the death toll could be more like 0.28%.

WHAT ARE PROBABLE COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS?

On June 18, DHEC announced it would begin reporting probable cases and deaths. A probable case, according to DHEC officials, is an individual who has not had a confirmatory viral test performed but meets the following qualifications:

  • Has epidemiologic evidence and clinical evidence of infection, or
  • A positive antibody blood test and either epidemiologic evidence or clinical evidence.

A probable death, according to DHEC, is a person whose death certificate lists COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death but did not undergo confirmatory viral testing.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO HELP

South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (such as doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.

To help protect against COVID-19, DHEC encourages everyone to wear a mask covering whenever in public. When wearing a mask, South Carolinians should:

  • Make sure you can breathe through it
  • Wear it whenever going out in public
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands before taking it on or off
  • Wash after using

  • Use on children under age 2
  • Touch the front of the mask
  • Use surgical masks needed by healthcare workers

DHEC says homemade masks can reduce the chance of people spreading the virus and keep them from touching their face. They are recommended to be worn in places where social distancing is difficult — grocery stores, pharmacies, etc…

People who have the virus but aren’t showing symptoms can reduce their chance of spreading the virus by wearing a mask, so everyone is recommended to wear one.

Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of the coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.

Most people can recover from the virus at home using over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms.

Some people who have the virus don’t show any symptoms, but they can still spread it to others. The CDC estimates that up to 35% of all cases are asymptomatic.

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

Those who are at the highest risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 are the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

The CDC says about 3% of people who show symptoms of the virus need to be hospitalized, but that percentage is doubled for seniors.

Young people who contract the virus are not likely to have a serious case, research shows. However, the CDC said about 40% of people who needed to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus are between the ages of 18 and 64.

Those who are hospitalized with serious cases of COVID-19 have trouble breathing, and many need support from ventilators, which breathe for them. The U.S. is working to produce more of the machines to prepare, but experts fear a shortage of life-saving devices.

Children are the least likely to develop COVID-19. However, a serious but rare inflammatory condition in children has been linked with the coronavirus. Click or tap here to read more about that.

The mortality rate for people with the virus was first widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts noted at the time that the actual percentage was not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

As of mid-May, the CDC estimates about 0.4% of people who get COVID-19 will die from it.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider. Avoid going to the doctor or an emergency room unless the situation is life-threatening.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free online screening from Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

MUSC has an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Go to musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also has a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to prismahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.

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COVID-19 cases among children see 90 percent increase over 4 weeks, report says – Chron.com

By Alison Medley

Published

  • From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,9srcsrc new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.--an increase of 9src% over four weeks, according to AAP report. Photo: Houston Methodist

    From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,900 new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.–an increase of 90% over four weeks, according to AAP report.

    From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,900 new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.–an increase of 90% over four weeks, according to AAP report.

    Photo: Houston Methodist

From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,900 new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.–an increase of 90% over four weeks, according to AAP report.

From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,900 new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.–an increase of 90% over four weeks, according to AAP report.

Photo: Houston Methodist

If you’re worried about getting your children back in class because of the coronavirus outbreak, a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics confirms your concerns.

From July 9 to August 6, there were 179,900 new child cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.--an increase of 90% over four weeks, according to AAP report.

“In areas with rapid community spread, it’s likely that more children will also be infected, and these data show that,” said AAP President Sally Goza said. “As a pediatrician, I urge people to wear cloth face coverings and be diligent in social distancing and hand-washing. It is up to us to make the difference, community by community.”

In just the last two weeks of July, more than 97,000 children tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the AAP.

“While children represented only 9.1% of all cases in states reporting cases by age, 380,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic,” states AAP’s summary of findings.

Most of the novel coronavirus cases among children are less severe, and do not require hospitalization, noted AAP.

“What we do know from these data is that, in children, deaths continue to remain much lower than in older age groups,” AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases’ Sean O’ Leary said. “But as case counts rise across the board that is likely to impact more children with severe illness as well.”

According to the AAP, seven states have reported 15,000 or more cumulative child COVID-19 cases.  The highest numbers of child COVID-19 were found in California, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia.

The AAP study included 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  Texas reported age distribution for only 8% of all cases, so it’s excluded from some of the data.

alison.medley@chron.com

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