Tag: coronavirus

 

2 people who attended Trump’s rally in North Carolina have tested positive for coronavirus

The Gaston County Health & Human Services Department said in a statement Thursday that there have been two positive Covid-19 cases “involving individuals attending the recent campaign rally in Gastonia.”

The department stressed that the cases are “not thought to be an indication of spread from the rally at this time, but rather two independent cases among individuals who were in attendance.” The event took place at Gaston Municipal Airport on October 21.

Trump rallied last Wednesday in the Charlotte suburb, where he told attendees the pandemic was “rounding the corner.” Trump was due to return on Thursday but postponed that rally citing “gusts reaching 50 miles per hour and other weather conditions,” according to an email sent by his campaign.

Health officials said that due to the number in attendance last week they are unable to properly contact trace those who may have been exposed.

“Because of the large number of potential contacts from the rally, and the inability to alert them directly, the community is being notified so they can assess their own risk and take appropriate actions,” the health department statement said. “Anyone who was in attendance at the rally is encouraged to monitor their symptoms and seek testing if needed.”

One of the people who tested positive, a reporter who covered the rally for a local TV station, confirmed his positive test on Twitter.

“Full disclosure: I’m one of the two people who tested positive after covering Pres. Trump’s Gastonia rally. Thankfully, I feel okay though I’m quarantining per county guidelines,” Brandon Goldner, a reporter with WCNC Charlotte, wrote on Twitter.

Goldner said that he has contacted everyone who he “interviewed or interacted with” before the positive test result, and that he was wearing a mask at the entire rally, but “Secret Service protocols” occasionally made social distancing not possible.

WCNC Charlotte confirmed the positive test in a statement on its website.

CNN reached out to the Secret Service for comment.

When reached by CNN, the Trump campaign pointed to the county health department’s statement.

Cases on the rise

North Carolina is seeing high case counts and hospitalizations from Covid-19 as the virus continues spreading throughout the state, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said Wednesday.

The state has seen nearly 270,000 cases of Covid-19 resulting in 4,283 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases in the United States.

Cooper said the state continues to monitor hospitalizations, adding, “We have plenty of hospital capacity, plenty of ICU capacity, plenty of labor capacity, but you are concerned when you see it creep up, and (Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state health department) continues to be concerned about some smaller hospitals that are already feeling a little bit of the pinch here.”

Contact tracers are finding that many Covid-19 cases come from smaller gatherings of extended family and friends, youth group outings, family meals or church, Cooper said.

“We too often let our guard down when we are with people we know and trust. But

Daily coronavirus caseload surpasses 2,000 in D.C. region again, as infection rates continue to rise

A national spike in coronavirus infections continued to make its presence felt Thursday in the greater Washington region, which recorded its ninth-highest number of new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

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The 2,492 new infections in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. lifted the seven-day rolling average of daily cases above 2,000 for the first time since early August. Local leaders say the spike is halting any possibility of lifting more pandemic-related restrictions anytime soon.

The seven-day average of new infections across the region stands at 2,003 cases, the highest since it reached 2,007 cases Aug. 8. It comes as each jurisdiction has seen a rise in infections this month that health experts attribute to colder weather, family gatherings and pandemic fatigue.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) said Thursday that the county will stay in the second phase of reopening, citing an uptick in the number of new cases and increases in the county’s test positivity and infection rates.

The suburb, which has reported the most coronavirus cases in Maryland, reported 852 new infections from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24 — the most in a week since the beginning of August, Alsobrooks said.

[D.C. region hits 11-week high in coronavirus infections but avoids spikes seen elsewhere]

The county’s weekly test positivity rate ticked up from 3.9 percent a week earlier to 4.3 percent last week, while the rate of infection — measuring the number of people, on average, infected by someone with the virus — ticked up to 1.07.

“These increases are not unique to us,” she said. “We will continue to do everything we can to keep Prince Georgians safe.”

Alsobrooks urged residents not to let their guard down during the holiday season and to avoid large gatherings at Halloween — including trick-or-treating — and Thanksgiving, warning that contact tracing has found that many new cases originate from family gatherings.

“This is a holiday season like no other,” she said. “These large holiday gatherings with people outside your household are just dangerous.”

County Health Officer Ernest L. Carter said he is concerned about the numbers, adding that officials are “bracing” for another potential spike in cases.

Maryland’s seven-day average of new infections Thursday jumped to 773 cases — the state’s highest since Aug. 7 — while the 962 new cases was the most in a single day since Aug. 1. D.C.’s average rose to 76 new cases — the highest since Aug. 14 — while the 101 new cases was the most in a day since Oct. 6.

[D.C. region’s coronavirus caseload hits two-month high; officials say small gatherings are fueling rise]

Virginia’s daily average Thursday approached a record.

The state’s seven-day average stood at 1,154 cases, which is 44 cases short of a record set Aug. 8. The 1,429 new cases reported Thursday was the sixth-highest in a single day in Virginia since the start of the pandemic.

More than 30 percent of Virginia’s cases in recent days

States say they lack federal funds to distribute coronavirus vaccines as CDC tells them to be ready by Nov. 15

State officials have been planning in earnest in recent weeks to get shots into arms even though no one knows which vaccine will be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, what special storage and handling may be required and how many doses each state will receive.

Despite those uncertainties, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to be prepared to “preposition” doses in key locations throughout the country. Officials want to move quickly once the FDA authorizes a vaccine and a CDC advisory panel issues recommendations on which populations should be vaccinated, according to a letter the CDC sent Monday to state preparedness and immunization officials.

As part of that effort, the CDC is asking states to provide by Tuesday critical information, including a list of each jurisdiction’s top five sites capable of receiving and administering a vaccine that must be stored at ultracold temperatures of minus-70 Celsius (minus-94 Fahrenheit). The letter refers to the vaccine only as Vaccine A, but industry and health officials have identified it as Pfizer’s candidate.

Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said Tuesday that “hundreds of thousands” of doses had already been produced and that a first look at the data would occur soon. Pfizer will not apply for any authorization of its vaccine sooner than the third week of November, when it will have sufficient safety data.

“We acknowledge that you are being asked to do unprecedented work,” wrote Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, which is leading the CDC’s role in vaccine distribution. She added: “This is a new planning ask.”

State officials say they have been trying to raise the issue with federal officials but have received little response.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that the administration, after spending $10 billion for a Warp Speed effort to develop a vaccine, has no interest in a similar investment in a Warp Speed campaign to get the vaccine to every American as quickly as possible after it is approved,” said Michael Fraser, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Operation Warp Speed is the federal initiative, funded by more than $10 billion of taxpayer money, to fast-track development of coronavirus countermeasures.

“The now accelerated timeline underscores the need to address the issue of funding for state and territorial health agencies to make this all work,” Fraser said. “There are many other costs that have no clear way to be paid for at this point.”

Local officials still need to recruit thousands of people to staff vaccine clinics and enroll and train providers. They also have to ramp up information technology and data systems to track vaccine inventory and ordering to ensure people get the correct doses at the right times — most vaccines will require two shots — and to monitor for adverse events. They will need to develop locally tailored vaccination communications campaigns, too.

“States have received some funding, but it’s not nearly enough” to support the scale, scope and

A new coronavirus variant is seen spreading across Europe, research says

  • A new variant of the coronavirus, identified as 20A.EU1 by researchers from Switzerland and Spain, was first observed in Spain in June.
  • It has been recorded in Spain at frequencies of above 40% since July, the study said.
  • Elsewhere, the new variant of the coronavirus has increased from “very low” values prior to July 15 to 40% to 70% in Switzerland, Ireland, and the U.K. in September.
  • It was also found to be prevalent in Norway, Latvia, the Netherlands, and France.



a person walking down a street next to a building: A waiter sweeps the street of a tapas bar area near Elvira street on October 24, 2020 in Granada, Spain.


© Provided by CNBC
A waiter sweeps the street of a tapas bar area near Elvira street on October 24, 2020 in Granada, Spain.

LONDON — A variant of the coronavirus that is believed to have originated in Spain has spread across Europe and now accounts for most of the new cases reported in several countries in the region, according to the findings of a new study.

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The research, which is due to published on Thursday and has not been peer reviewed, details how an international team of scientists has closely monitored the coronavirus through its genetic mutations.

Each variant of the coronavirus has its own genetic signature, meaning it can be traced back to the place it first emerged.

It says a new variant of the disease, identified as 20A.EU1 by researchers from Switzerland and Spain, was first observed in Spain in June. The new variant has been recorded in Spain at frequencies of above 40% since July, the study said.

Elsewhere, the new variant of the coronavirus has increased from “very low” values prior to July 15 to 40% to 70% in Switzerland, Ireland, and the U.K. in September. It was also found to be prevalent in Norway, Latvia, the Netherlands, and France.

New lockdowns will lead to ‘severe’ economic contractions, economist says, particularly in France

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Researchers of the study said they had no direct evidence to suggest the new variant of the virus spreads faster than other mutations, despite the rise in frequency across multiple countries.

It also said there was currently no data to assess the severity of the disease, and while 20A.EU1 was dominant in some countries, it had not taken over everywhere and diverse variants of the coronavirus “continue to circulate across Europe.”

The authors of the study comprised of researchers from the University of Basel, the Biomedicine Institute of Valencia, and the University of Valencia, among others.

What are the implications?

The findings of the study indicate that people returning from vacations in Spain may have played a role in spreading the new variant of the virus across Europe.

It also raises questions about whether a recent upsurge in the number of new reported Covid-19 infections across the region could have been capped by stricter travel measures and improved screening at airports and other transport hubs.

“It is currently unclear whether this variant is spreading because of a transmission advantage of the virus or whether high incidence in Spain followed by dissemination through tourists is

Positive Coronavirus Case At Clark’s Trunk Or Treat

CLARK, NJ — A person who attended Clark’s Trunk or Treat event has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Clark Health Department stated.

The event was held on Saturday at the Clark Municipal Building.

The Clark Health Department is warning anyone who went to the event to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, fever, chills, muscle aches/pains, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, abdominal pain, and diarrhea to name a few.

Anyone with questions or concerns should speak with their primary care physician or pediatrician.

“If you are feeling ill, stay home from school, work and limit exposure with other people,” Clark Health Officer Nancy Raymond said. “Continue to practice social distancing, good hand hygiene, sanitize high hand contact surfaces and wear face coverings that cover your nose, mouth and chin.”

Those who are being tested for the COVID-19 virus, must stay home until they receive their result.
Those who may test positive will be contacted by the Clark Health Department for further guidance and contact tracing.

As of Friday, the Clark Health Department reports a total of 337 COVID-19 cases in Clark with 333 closed and 4 cases pending.

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This article originally appeared on the Clark-Garwood Patch

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Taiwan celebrates record 200 days with no confirmed local coronavirus transmission

The United States recorded more than 80,000 new novel coronavirus infections and more than 1,000 related deaths on Wednesday amid a nationwide surge in new cases. Taiwan, meanwhile, reached a milestone: 200 days without recording a single locally transmitted coronavirus infection.



Pedestrians with face masks in Taipei on Oct. 29. (Chiang Ying-Ying/AP)


© Chiang Ying-Ying/AP
Pedestrians with face masks in Taipei on Oct. 29. (Chiang Ying-Ying/AP)

The island of more than 23 million people has officially confirmed just 550 cases and seven covid-19 fatalities. Given Taiwan’s density and proximity to China — they are neighbors, and locked in a sovereignty dispute — Taiwan’s successful handling of the pandemic has been closely analyzed by health experts.

Would the U.S. protect Taiwan from China? Taiwan’s new envoy hopes for ‘clarity.’

Early in the year, as the virus spread in China, scientists anticipated that Taiwan could have the world’s second-worst outbreak given its location and the frequency of daily flights and travelers from China, according to a March article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Video: Health panel proposes colon cancer tests start at 45, not 50 (Associated Press)

Instead, the opposite happened, as Taiwan harnessed lessons from past epidemics and took the virus seriously from the start. And while many countries that initially averted large outbreaks in the spring saw cases surge this summer or autumn, Taiwan in has continued to stave off the worst of the pandemic.

As soon as China first reported to the World Health Organization in late December that a mysterious pneumonia-like virus was circulating in Wuhan, Taiwan began screening passengers on flights from the city. Having already experienced the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, which also originated in China, the island had the foresight and infrastructure to mobilize a fast response.

On China’s front line, emerging cold war haunts battle-worn Taiwanese islands

During this high-stakes period, when the virus was gaining

CT Coronavirus Updates: Town-By-Town Cases Reported

CONNECTICUT — As of Tuesday night, the total number of laboratory-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported among Connecticut residents is 69,127, including 66,357 laboratory-confirmed and 2,770 probable cases. Three hundred nine patients are currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. There have been 4,604 virus-associated deaths.

The state Department of Public Health reported 490 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. There were another nine coronavirus-associated deaths. Seventeen additional hospitalizations were reported.

An additional 14,305 coronavirus tests were performed in the past 24-hour reporting period. A total of 2,232,603 tests have been performed.

The towns with the most new cases reported over the past 24 hours are:

1. Bridgeport: 57

2. Waterbury: 32

3. Danbury: 32

4. Norwalk: 22

5. Hartford: 22

6. Greenwich: 17

7. New Britain: 16

8. Wallingford: 16

9. East Hartford: 12

10. Stamford: 11

See Also: Dramatic Spike In Virus Concentration In New Haven Wastewater

The towns with the most coronavirus cases reported over the past week are:

1. Bridgeport: 277

2. Norwalk: 242

3. Hartford: 204

4. Waterbury: 173

5. Stamford: 159

6. New Haven: 158

7. Danbury: 136

8. New Britain: 109

9. New London: 81

10. East Hartford: 72

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Cases Surge in Several States

Nearly 44.5 million coronavirus cases have been reported world-wide, and the global death toll is approaching 1.2 million.

India: Total coronavirus cases in India surpassed eight million as the country reported 49,881 new cases. India has the second highest number of infections in the world behind the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The country’s death toll rose by 517 to 120,527.

China: Health authorities on Thursday reported 23 locally transmitted cases for the previous day, all in Kashgar, a city in the far-western Xinjiang region. Since last Sunday, the Kashgar government has tested 4.7 million of its residents and reported more than 100 local cases, most of which are tied to a local garment factory, according to local officials.

Australia: A day after lifting its strict lockdown, Australia’s Victoria state recorded three new coronavirus cases. New South Wales, home to Sydney, added four new locally acquired cases and a school closed after a student tested positive. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wanted to see the southern state’s contact-tracing system tested before she would consider reopening the state border. She said she received economic advice that it would be more prudent to reopen to all of Australia, New Zealand and possibly other overseas places than Victoria until the risk of another outbreak there was proven to be low.

Guam: The U.S. territory reported 48 new cases, bringing the total to 4,466. The number of hospitalized patients rose to 88, as the hospitals on the island start to reach capacity. Guam’s governor on Wednesday extended a public health emergency until Nov. 29 and a partial lockdown remains in place.

Japan: New cases topped 700 for the third time in the past seven days, as Japan reported 731 new infections. The country’s death toll stands at 1,733, including three fatalities logged Thursday.

South Korea: South Korea added 125 more cases, with many linked to clusters at nursing homes and other medical facilities. Health officials have shut down Seoul night clubs for the Halloween weekend and warned there could be more upticks as South Koreans travel during the fall.

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US opioid deaths rising amid coronavirus lockdowns, state health officials say

Opioid deaths are spiking in places across the U.S. as states remain locked down during the ongoing battle against the coronavirus, state and county health officials reported this month.

While national data isn’t available for most of 2020, several individual states are reporting an increase in opioid overdose deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic.

TRUMP ADDRESSES ADDICTION, DEPRESSION DUE TO COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS

Health officials and experts have cited increased isolation and job loss due to statewide shutdowns as possible factors for the surge in drug-related deaths.

“The pandemic has really increased risk factors for substance abuse disorder,” Rebecca Shultz, director of community health at the Onondaga County Health Department, told Syracuse.com.

Opioid deaths in Onondaga County, N.Y., jumped to 86 in the first six months of 2020, according to the county health department. This number was nearly double the reported 44 fatalities in the first half of 2019, the outlet reported, citing the county medical examiner’s office.

Oregon saw a 70% increase in opioid overdose deaths in April and May 2020 compared to the same time last year, the Oregon Health Authority said.

While the department called the rise an “alarming spike,” it also said it was “premature to say how much of the spike in overdose deaths is attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“However, the realization that we will be dealing with COVID-19 for some time, and other stressors related to jobs, school, and social isolation, may increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and that can lead to a harmful level of alcohol or other drug use,” said Tom Jeanne, deputy state health officer and deputy state epidemiologist.

NJ GOVERNOR WHO IS AGGRESSIVELY PUSHING FOR LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA STEPS UP EFFORTS TO BATTLE OPIOID ADDICTION

In Maine, which saw 258 overdose deaths from January through June, there was a 27% increase over the second half of 2019. Officials cited increased isolation as a partial factor for the rise.

“It is clear from the data that the increase in deaths from the opioid epidemic can be partially attributed to the increased isolation of living through the pandemic,” Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a report on the state’s drug deaths for the second quarter.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told FOX40 Sacramento that “in some of our counties, there are more deaths from overdoses than there are from COVID-19.”

TUCKER SLAMS CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWNS AS ANOTHER BLOW TO ‘THE WRONG PEOPLE’ IN RURAL AMERICA

Becerra said that in San Diego there was a 50% increase in overdose deaths in July and August compared to the months leading to the pandemic. He said “the effects of these plagues are exacerbating” due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, preliminary overdose death counts were up in Connecticut more than 19% through the end of July, compared with the same period last year. They were up 9% in Washington through the end of August, 28% in Colorado, and 30% in Kentucky during that same time.

After a one-year drop in 2018, U.S. opioid overdose deaths increased again in

EU won’t see full coronavirus vaccination until 2022, official reportedly warns

Despite several deals securing more than 1 billion doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine, government officials do not expect to be able to vaccinate the full European Union population until 2022, officials reportedly said at a meeting on Monday.  

“There will not be sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021,” a European Commission official told diplomats during a closed-door meeting on Monday, according to Reuters.

ITALY PROTESTS OVER LATEST CORONAVIRUS CRACKDOWN TURNS VIOLENT

The majority of nations in the EU, including Belgium, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are implementing or considering restrictions on travel, dining, gatherings and more due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly warned that the country’s health system is being pushed to the brink amid the recent increase in cases. Spain has instituted a nationwide curfew and is mulling potential travel bans to hard-hit areas. In France, a doctor told a radio station that the country has “lost control” of the epidemic and should consider another lockdown.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT WARNS FRANCE HAS ‘LOST CONTROL’ 

“We lost control of the epidemic but that doesn’t date from yesterday,” Dr. Eric Caumes, head of infections and tropical disease at Paris’ Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, said, according to the Associated Press. “We lost control of the epidemic several weeks ago already.”

Several challenges to distributing a potential vaccine have been voiced by regulators and experts all over the world. Storage demands and application training are among the chief concerns, with some cautioning that such hurdles could delay delivering the vaccine in remote or hard-to-reach regions. As a result, officials have been asking governments to devise a plan to distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable populations.

SPAIN ORDERS SECOND NATIONWIDE STATE OF EMERGENCY

The European Medicine Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, has previously stated that it would approve a coronavirus vaccine even if it was below 50% effective but proved safe to use. The EU has already secured doses of potential vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson, according to Reuters.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

As of Tuesday, the world had seen more than 42.6 million cases of coronavirus, with the U.S., India, Brazil, Russia and France seeing the highest amount of infection.

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