The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Los Angeles County swelled significantly this week — the result, officials said, of a sizable backlog in the reporting of test results because of technical glitches.
While the full extent of the problem, and how much it will ultimately affect the county’s COVID-19 case counts, remains to be seen. Public health officials said Thursday that they’ve addressed the issues, though they expect to receive more accumulated results in the coming days.
Of the 3,600 new cases reported in the county Thursday, officials said roughly 2,000 were from the backlog.
“In addition to processing issues in the state’s reporting system that resulted in a large volume of duplicate records being sent to L.A. County, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a real-time build out of reportable disease surveillance systems that were not initially set up for the sheer volume of data nor the real-time demand for highly processed data necessary to respond to COVID-19,” the county Department of Public Health told The Times in a statement. “As we build out additional capacities and solutions while continuing to process, sometimes there are technical issues with one of the numerous functionalities in the pipelines.”
Reporting issues have popped up periodically throughout the pandemic. The most significant snafu came to light in August, when state officials announced that a series of data failures had created a backlog of 250,000 to 300,000 test results in California.
While always essential, access to complete, trustworthy data is all the more vital now as California works to ward off the kinds of coronavirus surges that are striking many other states.
Already, more than 893,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in California — the most of any state — and over 17,200 people have died from the disease.
L.A. County alone accounts for more than 294,000 cases and is nearing 7,000 deaths.
Separate from the data issues, the county has also seen a slight uptick in its daily number of reported cases since mid-September, “and this is a cause for some worry,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said earlier this week.
The latest data logjam comes as L.A. County is looking to relax some coronavirus-related restrictions to bring local rules in line with wider state guidelines.
The changes, expected to be incorporated into a revised health officer order Friday, would eliminate a requirement that customers at wineries and breweries make reservations, remove the food service requirement for wineries, and allow family entertainment centers to reopen outdoor attractions such as go-kart tracks, miniature golf courses and batting cages.
State officials also announced this week that all personal care services — which include hair removal and massage and tattoo parlors — will now be allowed to resume modified indoor operations.
Officials also said that all L.A. County schools will be allowed to bring on campus up to 25% of their
By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The United States on Thursday recorded its second highest daily total of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 75,000 new infections, while eight states broke single-day records of new cases.
Also on Thursday, the antiviral medicine remdesivir became the first drug to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to fight COVID-19.
Such drugs are urgently needed: Adding to bleak national numbers, 13 additional states have added more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch, The New York Times reported.
The Midwest and Rocky Mountains are struggling to contain major outbreaks, while new hot spots are emerging in other parts of the country. Kentucky announced more than 1,470 cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day jump ever in that state. And Colorado reported more than 1,300 cases, setting another single-day record, the Times reported. In Chicago, a nightly curfew will start on Friday, after officials reported an average of 645 new cases a day this past week, the newspaper said.
The current record for new daily cases was recorded in mid-July, when over 77,000 infections were recorded in one day.
Coronavirus cases have also been climbing on college campuses, where more than 214,000 infections have been diagnosed this year, a Times survey showed. More than 35,000 of those cases have been reported since early October.
While some colleges moved all classes online for the fall, many campuses remained open as positive tests accumulated, the Times reported. Of more than 1,700 institutions surveyed, more than 50 reported at least 1,000 cases while over 375 colleges have reported at least 100 cases.
The 214,000 cases account for 2.5 percent of all known cases in the United States, the Times reported. That tally is likely an undercount because some colleges have refused to provide any case data or have stopped giving updates. Large universities in the South and Midwest reported the highest case totals, including seven campuses where there have been more than 3,000 cases, the Times said.
Remdesivir gets full FDA approval to treat COVID
Remdesivir’s full approval Thursday by the FDA comes after the agency granted it emergency use authorization last spring. It is given intravenously to hospitalized patients.
California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is selling the drug under the brand name Veklury. It cut the time to recovery from COVID-19 by five days — from 15 days to 10, on average — in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the FDA announced in a statement.
“Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in the news release.
Veklury is approved for people aged 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds and are hospitalized for a COVID-19 infection. For patients younger than 12, the FDA will still allow the drug’s use
BERLIN — Germany’s disease control center says the number of new daily coronavirus cases remains near a record high, as the pandemic continues to spread.
The Robert Koch Institute said Friday that 11,242 new cases were reported over the last 24-hour period, just shy of the record 11,278 mark set the day before. The nationwide infection rate over the last seven days rose to 60.3 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 56.2 the day before.…
Trudeau debunks COVID-19 ‘internment camp’ misinformation and rumours; Ontario’s daily case count jumps up over 800
For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.
PM addresses disinformation, misinformation around COVID-19
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on the amount of misinformation circulating about COVID-19 and the government’s response, including claims that there will be coronavirus internment camps in Canada.
The rumour began during Question Period on October 7, when Ontario MPP Randy Hillier asked if quarantine sites meant for incoming travellers who have no other place to quarantine were to be turned into “internment camps.”
Buzz spread of the false allegation, which was debunked by Trudeau today.
“We’ve seen over the past number of years a rise in concerted efforts around misinformation and disinformation on a broad range of subjects, designed to undermine people’s confidence in their institutions, in their democracies,” Trudeau said. “Some are foreign actors trying to disrupt successful democracies, others are people with extremist agendas.”
“As a government, we need to continue to stand strong, particularly during a public health crisis where the best thing Canadians can do is listen to experts, listen to doctors.”
The prime minister added that there is a “tremendous amount of noise and harmful misinformation” on the internet but Canadians need to continue to look to trusted sources of information, like Canada’s chief public health officer and regional health authorities.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said misinformation and disinformation does not help public health officials and the collective system has tried, through various means, to provide credible information to the public.
“I think there’s a part for almost everyone,” Dr. Tam said. “There’s a part for journalists who are in this room to help reveal the sort of tactics and measures that are at play, including bots and other aspects of what’s actually happening in the social media space.”
She added that there is also a role for social media platforms, who have put some measures in place like directing people to credible sites if people are using certain searches and taking down some “outrageous” disinformation.
Dr. Tam stressed that when individuals are looking at information, they need to ask themselves where it came from and if it’s credible.
“Be media smart as well as science smart,” Canada’s chief public health officer said.
In advance of a viable COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Tam indicated Canada needs to “immunize the population against [misinformation and disinformation] before the vaccine arrives.” This includes providing information on the safety measures and rigorous processes of regulatory authorities.
She added that getting a better understanding of why people spread misinformation and disinformation is also important.
CASES AND OUTBREAKS
Ontario sees spike in daily COVID-19 cases
Ontario reported 821 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest daily total since surpassing 900 cases in early October. The province also identified three more COVID-19 deaths.
Of the new cases, 327 are Toronto, 136 in Peel, 64 in
AUSTIN, TX — The number of cases of the coronavirus is now well past 30,000 since the onset of respiratory illness across Travis County, heightening city officials’ pleas for residents to mask up as a way of mitigating further spread of the respiratory illness.
To that end, Austin Mayor Steve Adler points to a number of locations across the city offering free PPE — the acronym for “personal protective equipment” that is now an often=repeated part of our lexicon in an age of pandemic — that is key in blunting the spread of further illness. These centers offer the range of PPE — masks, hand sanitizers and educational material — those those in need.
“We’ve passed 30,700 total positive cases in our city,” Adler wrote in an email. “Our number of hospitalizations is now at 15 for our seven-day moving average. It’s a difficult reality, but we know that masking works.”
The wearing of protective face coverings has implausibly metamorphosed into a political issue creating an ideological fissure between conservative and progressive people in many cases — despite scientific evidence of the effectiveness of masks in blunting the spread of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses the wearing masks is the most effective tactic in combating spread of respiratory illness that is transmitted by respiratory droplest through the air.
Adler agrees, urging people to wear masks while practicing other CDC recommendations: “What we can control is making sure we continue to abide by CDC guidelines and do our part to drive down the numbers consistently by wearing a mask, washing our hands, keeping a distance of 6 ft between us, and taking care of each other,” the mayor wrote. “Most Texans are still susceptible to the virus, so we must remain vigilant to protect our students, teachers, and the general population.”
The latest round of community distribution points for PPE has yet to be announced by the city. In the meantime, a number of health centers offer PPE to those in need:
CommUnityCare patients can request PPE at the following sites.
CommUnityCare – Hornsby Bend Health Center, 14312 Hunter’s Bend Rd.
CommUnityCare – Southeast Health and Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Dr.
CommUnityCare – Del Valle Health Center, 3518-A FM 973 Del Valle, Texas.
CommUnityCare – Manor Health Center, 600 W. Carrie-Manor St., Manor, Texas
CommUnityCare – Rundberg Health Center, 825 E. Rundberg #B1.
CommUnityCare – North Central Health Center, 1210 W. Braker Lane.
CommUnityCare – Pflugerville Health Center, 15822 Foothill Farms Loop, Pflugerville, Texas.
CommUnityCare – Ben White Dental Clinic, 1221 W. Ben White, #112B.
CommUnityCare – William Cannon Health Center, 6801 S. Interstate 35, #1.
Prenatal Care Sites
Carousel Pediatrics – Round Rock, 1201 S. 1-35, Suite 303, Round Rock, Texas.
Carousel Pediatrics – North Lamar, 9411 North Lamar Blvd., Suite 120.
Carousel Pediatrics – Riverside Plaza, 2237 East Riverside Dr., Suite 101-C.
Carousel Pediatrics – Southbrook, 6425 S. 1nterstate 35 Ste 100.
Carousel Pediatrics – Springdale, 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., Suite