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health Massachusetts

Massachusetts health officials report 353 new COVID-19 cases, 11 additional deaths – WCVB Boston

Massachusetts health officials report 353 new COVID-19 cases, 11 additional deaths

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported an additional 353 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and confirmed 11 new COVID-19-related deaths across the state Sunday, bringing the state’s confirmed coronavirus death toll to 8,417.In addition to the total of 110,430 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, state health officials also reported 65 new probable cases for a total of 8,028 probable cases. Click here to see a graphical look at COVID-19 data.LIST: Updated town-by-town breakdown released by state As of Sunday, 406 patients with the coronavirus were hospitalized in Massachusetts, an increase of 37 patients in relation to what the state reported Saturday. Of those patients, 68 were reported to be in an intensive care unit.As of July 29, weekly data shows that 97,595 patients have been released from isolation, meaning they are considered to have recovered from the virus.PHNjcmlwdCBpZD0iaW5mb2dyYW1fMF85MTUyMTg3My03NmRhLTQ0ZmUtOTA0Ny1mMTllZWFlZGFjNmQiIHRpdGxlPSJDb3JvbmF2aXJ1cyBpbiBNYXNzYWNodXNldHRzIiBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vZS5pbmZvZ3JhbS5jb20vanMvZGlzdC9lbWJlZC5qcz9yeXoiIHR5cGU9InRleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdCI+PC9zY3JpcHQ+New data is published daily around 4 p.m.

BOSTON —

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported an additional 353 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and confirmed 11 new COVID-19-related deaths across the state Sunday, bringing the state’s confirmed coronavirus death toll to 8,417.

In addition to the total of 110,430 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, state health officials also reported 65 new probable cases for a total of 8,028 probable cases.

As of Sunday, 406 patients with the coronavirus were hospitalized in Massachusetts, an increase of 37 patients in relation to what the state reported Saturday. Of those patients, 68 were reported to be in an intensive care unit.

As of July 29, weekly data shows that 97,595 patients have been released from isolation, meaning they are considered to have recovered from the virus.

New data is published daily around 4 p.m.

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health World

World Health Organization holds briefing after scientists say airborne transmission of coronavirus is a “real risk” – CBS News

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak is “accelerating, and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic.”

“More than six months in, the case for national unity and global solidarity is undeniable,” he said at a WHO briefing Tuesday. “We cannot afford any divisions.”

Tedros stressed that while global deaths have leveled off, many countries are actually seeing cases and deaths rise. 

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said there are several possible explanations for a global death decline. One explanation, he said, could simply be that there’s a lag, and we may see deaths rise again. 

Ryan warned, however, that what is imminently concerning is a daily increase in cases. “That is not purely a result of testing,” he said.

According to Tedros, a team of WHO experts will be traveling to China this week to advance research working to understand how the novel coronavirus first reached humans. 

Ryan said understanding how the virus got from the animal kingdom to humans is an “extremely important” step in managing risk going forward. “There is a trail and we have to follow that,” he said. 

They spoke after scientists urged the agency and other public health organizations to amend their guidelines to reflect the risk that the coronavirus can be airborne.

The WHO has said the coronavirus is only confirmed to be airborne during aerosol-generating medical procedures performed in health care settings, such as intubation. It says the virus primarily spreads through larger respiratory droplets, which don’t travel as far, which is why maintaining social distancing of about 6 feet has been recommended.

But an open letter supported by 239 scientists says airborne transmission of COVID-19 is a “real risk.” 

“Hand washing and social distancing are appropriate, but in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people,” states the letter, entitled “It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19.”  

On Tuesday, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, said the organization is in the process of producing a scientific brief on the issue that will be published in the coming days. She said the WHO still recommends people physical distance and continue to wear face masks. 

The letter was issued as the United States sees a spike in coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Monday the country is still “knee-deep” in the first wave of the pandemic.

–Contributing: Nicole Brown and AFP 

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Allegheny health

Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 150 New Coronavirus Cases As County Total Climbs To 3,263 – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department is reporting 150 new Coronavirus cases Saturday and no additional deaths.

The county-wide total now stands at 3,430 since March 14. There are 3,263 confirmed cases and 167 probable cases.

“Wearing masks, washing your hands and maintaining physical distance from others is absolutely essential to keep our community safe – now more than ever,” the county health department said. “Please limit travel and errands to only those that are necessary and take the appropriate steps to protect those around you. Your vigilance can allow us to keep our businesses open and continue to support the economy.”

Officials report that 408 patients have been or are presently hospitalized among all cases, with two more patients hospitalized since Friday’s report. In hospitals, 161 people have needed to be admitted to the ICU and 77 patients have required ventilators.

The death toll stands at 187, with 175 confirmed deaths and 12 are probable. A probable death is when a person had not had a positive test for COVID-19.

Out of the new cases, patients are ages 3 years old to 87 years old, with the median age of new patients at 26 years old.

Deaths have been in individuals ranging in age from 23-103, the youngest patients being 23 and 42 years of age. The median age of those who have died is 84.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:

Stay with KDKA for the latest on the developing story.

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health Minnesota

Minnesota health leaders warn of COVID-19 clusters at 2 Minneapolis bars – FOX 9

Minnesota health leaders warn of COVID-19 clusters at 2 Minneapolis bars

State health officials are warning people who visited two Minneapolis bars and two Mankato bars, linked to recent COVID-19 cases, to monitor themselves for symptoms.

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9)State health officials are warning people who visited two Minneapolis bars and two Mankato bars, linked to recent COVID-19 cases, to monitor themselves for symptoms.

According to health officials, more than 30 cases have been linked to two bars in Minneapolis: Cowboy Jack’s and Kollege Klub.

In Mankato, more than 100 cases there have been linked to bars, particularly Rounders and The 507.

Health officials say anyone who frequented these locations should keep an eye on their health and get tested and seek treatment if needed.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Health say they are worried about the lack of social distancing and the use of masks at bars. While younger people might not face as many health effects from COVID-19, health leaders worried about the spread from those patients to family members or others that could be more at risk.

Kris Ehresman with the Department of Health says it’s likely the bars involved didn’t follow state guidelines for reopening.

“One of the things that’s important is that the guidance that we’ve provided for bars and restaurants,” explained Kris Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Health. “People need to be seated and they need to be able to socially distance. I think that is really important. I think that in the case of these establishments, that guidance very likely wasn’t being followed.”

Ehresmann says MDH is working with their division that regulates restaurants to make sure restaurants and bars obey guidelines but wouldn’t say if the bars involved with the recent cases would face penalties.

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health officials

US health officials believe 20M Americans have had COVID-19, a number 10 times greater than 2.3M confirmed cases – WPVI-TV

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, suggesting millions had the virus and never knew it.

That’s nearly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed and comes as the Trump administration works to tamp down nationwide concern about the COVID-19 pandemic as about a dozen states are seeing worrisome increases in cases.

The administration also looks to get its scientific experts back before the public more as it tries to allay anxieties about the pandemic while states begin reopening. Since mid-May, when the government began stressing the need to get the economy moving again, the panel’s public health experts have been far less visible than in the pandemic’s early weeks.

Twenty million infections would mean about 6% of the nation’s 331 million people have been infected, leaving a majority of the population still susceptible to the virus. Previously, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that as many as 25% of infected people might not have symptoms.

The new estimate is based on CDC studies of blood samples collected nationwide. Many infections were not caught in early testing, when supplies were limited and federal officials prioritized testing for those with symptoms.

Administration officials are pointing to the new data to allay public anxieties, claiming that while there have been significant spikes, they have the outbreaks well in hand.

President Donald Trump, who refuses to wear a face mask in public, has been playing down the virus threat, insisting recently that “it’s fading away, it’s going to fade away.”

Senior administration officials maintained they were not trying to minimize a public health crisis. But they insisted the nation was in a markedly different place with the virus now than when the U.S. last saw similar infection numbers in mid-April, when testing infrastructure was weaker. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly.

The administration officials did not provide full results of their blood samples collections, and several independent experts said the methods and locations of sampling are key to interpreting their meaning.

Dr. Thomas Tsai, a Harvard University health policy researcher, said 20 million seems reasonable, but “most of these estimates exist in a range” and it’s important to know how wide that is.

“It’s hard to interpret this just from a single number and without the context for it,” such as what locations were sampled and whether it was truly a random slice of a population or areas of low or high prevalence, which can skew the results.

Despite the phaseout of daily White House coronavirus briefings, the administration has been closely monitoring data on the spread of COVID-19 and has been deploying teams from the CDC to identify and stem outbreaks around the country.

A dozen states in recent weeks have seen a worrisome uptick in new cases, as well as in the more critical measure of the percentage of positive cases discovered in tests performed. Seven states have seen more than 10% of tests come back positive. And troublesome spikes in Sun Belt states have dominated news coverage in recent days, to the consternation of Trump administration officials.

They point instead to more nuanced county-level data, which shows positivity rates exceeding 10% in just 3% of the nation’s counties. Yet they acknowledge that some of the areas with the highest transmission rates are generally the most populous, suggesting tens of millions of Americans could be living in areas with spiking infections.

As states reopen, the administration says it is up to governors and local officials to determine how to respond to the spikes. Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, for example, recommended that most residents remain home for their safety, as his state sees virus infections increasing in major metro areas.

The CDC teams, officials said, are working to trace new outbreaks and reinforce protective measures like social distancing and mask wearing in hard-hit areas and to remind vulnerable populations to take extreme precautions. The administration says those efforts have helped slow new infections in North Carolina and Alabama, where they were deployed earlier this month.

One of the hard-hit areas is Phoenix, where Trump held an event Tuesday with thousands of young attendees, nearly all of whom were maskless.

The officials say the nature of the outbreak now is different than months ago, when deaths topped more than 1,000 per day for weeks and hospitals were stretched beyond capacity across the country. The new increase in positive cases, they said, is capturing what has long been there. They say it is only now showing up in data because the U.S. has increased testing and surveillance.

Meanwhile, mortality data has steadily declined, as have hospitalizations in all but a few hot spots.

To the administration officials, that reinforces their hypothesis that millions unknowingly had the virus earlier this year. Through early May, federal guidelines prioritized testing for symptomatic people, those exposed to a positive case and those in high-risk environments.

With testing far more widespread now, officials believe 50% of new cases in Florida and Texas are among people ages 35 or younger, and most of them are asymptomatic.

The White House removes states with limited spread of COVID-19, like Hawaii and Wyoming, from its list of places of concern, despite their high percentage increases, because they are seeing just several dozen cases.

The U.S. is testing about 500,000 patients per day. On a per capita basis, the U.S. rate falls behind several other countries, including Spain, Australia, Russia and Iceland, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

There is no scientific consensus on the rate of testing needed to control the virus. But many experts say the U.S. should be testing roughly 1 million to 3 million people daily to catch new cases and prevent flareups. Administration officials said they expect to be able to run 20-40 million tests per month beginning this fall.

Testing is constrained by laboratory supplies needed to run the tests but also lack of demand for tests in some areas.

Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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health World

The World Health Organization’s new announcement about COVID-19 was a huge mistake – AlterNet

In a potentially disastrous blunder, the World Health Organization made an announcement on Monday about COVID-19 that experts are saying was a gigantic mistake.

The announcement addressed this question: Can people infected with COVID-19 who don’t display any symptoms still transmit the infection to others? For months now, public health officials have said yes, and this fact has driven many of the extreme measures countries across the world have taken in response. Because the virus that causes COVID-19, called SARS-CoV-2, can transmit even when a person doesn’t have symptoms, much of the world’s population has sought to avoid unnecessary contact with others for fear that anyone could be carrying the deadly pathogen.

But in a CNBC article published Monday reported WHO officials suggesting at a recent briefing in Geneva that transmission from people without symptoms is “very rare.” This report blew up on social media, as it gave many who fear the disease new hope and many who have been critical of the extreme measures taken to stop the spread more ammunition. It seemed to suggest to some — erroneously, it’s now clear — that social distancing is not nearly as important as has been assumed.

Pretty quickly, however, clear problems with the report began to emerge. A CNBC tweet about the story initially conveyed a much stronger message than even was WHO officials explicitly said, that asymptomatic people don’t spread the virus. This tweet was later corrected to say that WHO now claims asymptomatic spread is “very rare.”

Even this revised summation of the report is misleading, however. The CNBC article included this vital caveat:

 [Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit] acknowledged that some studies have indicated asymptomatic or presymptomatic spread in nursing homes and in household settings.

More research and data are needed to “truly answer” the question of whether the coronavirus can spread widely through asymptomatic carriers, Van Kerkhove added.

And as other experts reacted to the report, they were critical of WHO’s conclusions and public stance. Most importantly, it seems WHO’s discussion of “asymptomatic” transmission of the virus focuses on a narrow subset of people who never have symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. The problem is it’s impossible, at first, to tell these people apart from the group that is pre-symptomatic — those that have been infected but have not yet developed symptoms. And there’s extensive evidence to believe that these people can transmit the virus to others, which explains why it can spread so easily. People who have symptoms will be much more likely to stay at home, take sick days at work, and avoid spreading the disease to strangers. People who haven’t experienced their symptoms yet are more likely to be out and about, allowing the virus to spread more widely.

A recent paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded: “Asymptomatic persons seem to account for approximately 40% to 45% of SARS-CoV-2 infections, and they can transmit the virus to others for an extended period, perhaps longer than 14 days.”

Other research has found similar results, which is why so many public health experts were troubled by WHO’s remarks.

“We haven’t seen a lot of evidence of fully asymptomatic people transmitting to many others (though admittedly these tracing studies are hard to do). Pre-symptomatic transmission, on the other hand, is why SARS-CoV-2 has been harder to control than SARS-CoV,” said Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida. “If fully asymptomatic transmission is rare, this could impact how we monitor exposed contacts (how long to quarantine). But otherwise, it seems more of scientific than practical interest. People without current symptoms could be infectious. Act accordingly.” [Emphasis added.]

A. Marm Kilpatrick, a biology professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, made similar arguments.

“Abundant data now shows that transmission from people w/out symptoms makes up a huge fraction (40-50%) of transmission,” he explained.

WHO’s new announcement, he said, “is going to mislead many people and is based on flawed evidence due to how it was collected.”

One part of a problem with the WHO’s claims, he said, is that they’re based on contact-tracing data. But this means it relies on self-reporting about who a person may have contracted COVID-19 from or who they might have passed it on to, and this kind of information is not nearly reliable enough to base confident scientific conclusions on it. This is especially true since much additional evidence does indicate the possibility of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transfer.

“Given uncertainty in infectiousness and bias in contact tracing methodology, there is insufficient for [WHO] to make this claim for asymptomatic transmission and given the confusion b/w pre-symptomatic and truly asymptomatic it’s a misleading PR disaster,” said Kilpatrick.

Andy Slavitt, the former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Obama, said he thought WHO’s announcement was “an irresponsible statement even though it was based on legitimate observations.”

After speaking to WHO, he clarified that it wasn’t recommending people change their behavior based off these findings. People should still wear masks, according to WHO, to prevent the possibility of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic spread.

But the damage may already be done. A small amount of misinformation can spread quickly, and it can be much harder to get the truth out. This is especially true for a topic like COVID-19, which has prompted extensive criticism of experts, some of it justified and some of it spurious, as well as rampant conspiracy theories. WHO’s botched announcement will only add to the confusion and rancor.

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health World

World Health Assembly Applauds Nurses, Midwives As ‘True Health Heroes’ | NBC News – NBC News











Published on 18-May-2020

President Xi Jinping told a virtual gathering of the World Health Assembly that China had “turned the tide” against the coronavirus pandemic.

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World Health Assembly Applauds Nurses, Midwives As ‘True Health Heroes’ | NBC News

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Brazil health

Brazil health minister Teich resigns just weeks into the job – Al Jazeera English

In Brazil, a second health minister has resigned in less than a month.

Nelson Teich quit after criticising President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil has reported more than 200,000 cases.

And it is not the only country in Latin America that is suffering.

Infections are rising faster than ever in Mexico, but the lockdown is being eased there.

Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti reports.

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Colorado health

Colorado health officials under fire for saying drunk man died of coronavirus – Daily Mail

Colorado health officials claimed drunk man died of coronavirus when his blood-alcohol content was seven times the legal limit

  • Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers found that Sebastian Yellow, 35, who tested positive for COVID-19, had died of acute alcohol poisoning
  • Deavers’ investigation determined Yellow’s blood alcohol content was .55, which is about seven times the legal limit
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, however, categorized Yellow’s death as being due to COVID-19  and updated its daily tally
  • There have been 20,475 confirmed cases in Colorado of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 1,062 deaths
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By Ralph R. Ortega For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

Colorado state health officials are being challenged by a county coroner for saying that a man who tested positive for the coronavirus succumbed to the deadly infection when an investigation showed he had literally drunk himself to death.

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers conducted an investigation that determined Sebastian Yellow, 35, had died of acute alcohol poisoning after his blood alcohol content came back at .55. That’s about seven times the legal limit. 

Yellow’s body was found by police lying in a public park in Cortez on May 4. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, however, categorized Yellow’s death as being due to COVID-19, and the information was used to update the state’s death tally from the virus. 

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers (pictured) conducted an investigation that determined Sebastian Yellow, 35, had died of acute alcohol poisoning after his blood alcohol content came back at .55. That’s about seven times the legal limit

The body of Sebastian Yellow body was found by police lying in a public park in Cortez on May 4. Yellow is pictured in an undated photo

‘I can see no reason for this’, Deavers told KCNC.  

There have been 20,475 confirmed cases in Colorado of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 1,062 deaths. 

Across the country there have been 1,451,988 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 86,719 deaths.

The coroner’s challenge of how Yellow’s death was blamed on the coronavirus, when in fact he died from drinking, comes as the state has come under scrutiny for reclassifying deaths contrary to what doctors already have determined. 

An investigation found state health officials reclassified three deaths at a Centennial nursing home as COVID-19 deaths after attending doctors ruled they were not related to coronavirus, reports KCNC.

Each of the dead residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, but their passing was blamed on other causes by the physicians, KCNC, which conducted the investigation, reports. 

The state’s official tally then increased the number of coronavirus deaths at the Someren Glen facility from four to seven, based on the disputed deaths.

On Thursday, Rep. Mark Baisley, a Republican representing Douglas and Teller Counties, wrote to District Attorney George Brauchler of the 18th Judicial District, calling for a criminal investigation into the reclassification of the deaths as well as criminal charges against state health department director Jill Ryan.

Baisley charged in a letter to Brauchler that the reclassificaitons were ‘deliberate acts of certificate falsification.’

‘I believe these acts of falsely altering death certificates to be criminal acts of tremendous concern to you and my constituents. I hereby request that you investigate this matter with the intent of bringing criminal charges against Jill Ryan.’

At an April 7 news conference, Dr. Deborah Birx of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force compared how other countries classify the deaths to US reporting.

At an April 7 news conference, Dr. Deborah Birx (pictured) of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force compared how other countries classify the deaths to US reporting

‘There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem – some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death,’ Birx first said. 

‘Right now … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death,’ she added, about the US reporting. 

That statement left some in the medical profession questioning whether COVID-19 data will be skewed when counting the actual number of people who died from the virus. 

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County health

Kern County health officer revokes emergency order that assisted with shelter-in-place orders – KERO 23ABC News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County health officer has revoked public health’s emergency order Saturday evening, according to the Kern County Public Health Services Department.

The order was passed on April 2, which expanded the powers of county health officer Kirstopher Lyon, to assist shelter-in-place orders instituted by governor Gavin Newsom.

“Over the past several weeks, Kern County Public Health has been working with local businesses to provide education and resources during the Governor’s stay at home order. We have responded to complaints from our residents and have been pleased with the cooperation from our local business community.”

The decision to end the order follows Newsom’s announcement Saturday, that the state is “days, not weeks,” away from changes to the stay-at-home orders, according to public health.

“In anticipation of the Governor’s transition of re-opening the economy, we want the county to be positioned so we can quickly maximize our local response and clear the way for the changes ahead,” a public health press release said.

“We want businesses to open safely and responsibly and as quickly as possible when the Governor lifts or modifies his orders.”

The release states that public health will collaborate with Kern County Board of Supervisor’s new committee, which aims towards safely re-opening local businesses.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove of Bakersfield praises Lyon’s decision to revoke the order.

“Tonight’s action is a first step to allow families to get out more while still practicing proper physical distancing and is also a critical step to ensure that our local businesses can gradually start to resume operations again,” Grove said in a statement sent to 23ABC News.

For now, public health is asking the public to abide by Newsom’s shelter-in-place order, until he announces changes to the order.

Health officials are not expected to provide any other details until Monday.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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