Tag: Friday


COVID-19 in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Friday

The county warning list, which the state Department of Public Health issues weekly, includes Kane, McHenry and Will counties, which all came under stricter state regulations Friday aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Officials also reported 82,256 new tests in the last 24 hours. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 5.6%.

That case count of 4,942 tops the previous record of 4,554 new cases set just six days earlier and came as new restrictions, including a renewed prohibition on indoor dining and bar service, took effect in southern Illinois and a wide swath of suburban Chicago.

In addition, the city will again prohibit indoor service at traditional taverns and brewery taprooms that don’t have food licenses, and asked residents to cap any social gatherings at six people starting Friday.

Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

8:25 p.m.: Illinois hits another sad COVID-19 milestone — 5,000 deaths in long-term care — as cases rise

Illinois long-term care facilities are experiencing their biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in months, as the state passed a tragic milestone: 5,000 deaths among residents.

In the past week, Illinois recorded more than 1,400 new COVID-19 infections among residents in nursing homes, assisted living centers and other large, congregate-care facilities, according to the weekly data released by the state.

That’s the highest one-week tally since early June. The weekly tally was also notably larger than the roughly 1,100 new cases seen the week prior, and the nearly 650 cases in the week before that.

Deaths of residents climbed too: another 131 in the past week. That followed tallies the past two weeks of 96 and 95 deaths, respectively, which already was much higher than the 55 deaths seen three weeks ago.

The latest spike put the death toll in long-term care facilities at 5,019, accounting for more than half of the total statewide toll of 9,418 COVID-19 fatalities, as of Friday.

7:10 p.m.: CPS, teachers union both say other side won’t engage on school reopening plans

The Chicago Teachers Union, which has raised serious concerns about plans to resume in-person classes next quarter, has filed a new unfair labor practice charge, accusing Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot of illegally refusing to bargain over reopening and safety protocols.

“Our youngest and most medically vulnerable students deserve safety, yet that is exactly what CPS refuses to take steps to document or guarantee,” said CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates on Friday.

District spokeswoman Emily Bolton, however, said CPS is working with the union and will continue to do so “in the hopes they engage as productive partners and help us lift up the students and families who need our collective support.”

“We are disheartened that CTU continues to obstruct and mislead the public about the necessary planning measures needed to prepare for a potential return to safe in-person learning,” Bolton said.

As tension builds over the murky plan for next quarter, the union and the district still seem

New cases reported Friday are second highest since the pandemic began

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

© Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
After changing PPE, an LPN dons her face shield at an Aveanna Healthcare and Fallon Ambulance walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the continuing coronavirus pandemic in Lynn, MA on Oct. 19, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The number of new coronavirus cases across the United States surpassed 75,000 on Friday, not long after the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned it could be the worst week since the pandemic began.

The daily case count on Friday hit 77,289, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the second-highest number of cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began. The highest day for new infections was on July 16 with 77,362 cases.

“This week, we will probably have our highest number of cases that we’ve ever had on a daily basis in the United States,” Adams said earlier on Friday at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit on Global Health Diplomacy.

Friday’s case tally continues the trend from Thursday when the US reported more than 70,000 new infections. Thirty-two states have been reporting rising Covid-19 infections and cases were holding steady in 17 more, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Adams cautioned that hospitalizations are starting to go up in 75% of the jurisdictions across the country and officials are concerned that in a few weeks, deaths will also start to increase.

The good news, Adams said, is that the mortality rate in the country has decreased by about 85% thanks to multiple factors, including the use of remdesivir, steroids and better management of Covid-19 patients.

More than 41,000 people were hospitalized across the country, according to the Covid Tracking Project. This is the highest level of nationwide hospitalizations since Aug 20.

The number of people hospitalized has increased by 33% since the beginning of October, the CTP says.

Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The 7-day average of deaths continues to climb and is up to 763. That is the highest level of average weekly deaths in a month.

In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are “early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States.” And more state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Friday that he’s concerned about a massive surge in Covid-19 cases across the country and urged people to “double down” on measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The upticks on the map of more than 30 States that are having upticks is not going to spontaneously turn around unless we do something about it,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Fauci has previously said he doesn’t think a federal mask mandate would work but on Friday he said

Louisiana coronavirus: 696 cases, 21 more deaths reported Friday; see latest data | Coronavirus

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 696 more coronavirus cases and 21 more deaths in its noon update Friday.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 22, and the number of patients in need of ventilators increased by one.

Here are a few key statewide statistics as of Friday:

— Total cases: 178,870

— Total deaths: 5,614

— Currently hospitalized: 620

— Currently on ventilators: 65

— Presumed recovered: 165,282 as of Oct. 19 (updated weekly)

— Probable cases: 3,733 as of Oct. 21 (updated weekly)

Note: The Advocate and The Times-Picayune staff calculates daily case count increases based on the difference between today’s total and yesterday’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Louisiana Department of Health releases a daily case count on Twitter based on the deletion of duplicate cases. That case count can be different than the one listed here.

You can view more graphs and charts breaking down the data by clicking here.

Louisiana began reopening for Phase 1 on May 15-16 then moved to Phase 2 on June 5. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Phase 2 restrictions twice in August before moving the state to Phase 3 on Sept. 11.

This is a developing story. More details and analysis to come.

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Coronavirus Data By School In Harford County Coming Friday

HARFORD COUNTY, MD — Harford County Public Schools is expected to release data Friday showing where suspected cases of the coronavirus are within the school system.

“HCPS will post an updated COVID-19 Dashboard on Friday of each week, beginning this Friday, October 23, 2020, that will notify our community about how schools and offices are impacted by community transmission,” Jillian Lader, spokesperson for Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), told Patch.

At the Oct. 12 school board meeting, administrators said 12 HCPS employees had tested positive for the virus, and no students had. On Monday, Superintendent Sean Bulson told WBFF there were still zero students who had contracted the virus.

If a student or staff member at HCPS has an illness that is like coronavirus, officials say there is a protocol to communicate that with those who may be at risk.

Notification Of Potential Exposure

“When the school system is notified about a positive case of COVID-19 or students/staff display COVID like illness as per the Maryland Department of Health Decision Aid, the school nurse works with the staff and family to identify close contacts (as defined by the Centers for Disease Control),” Lader said in a statement to Patch.

Close contacts are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as those who have been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. The contact must come two days before the onset of illness or two days before a test was collected, in the case of an asymptomatic person who is now isolated.

Once potential contacts are identified, Lader said: “School nurses work in collaboration with our local health department to institute appropriate isolation/quarantine procedures.”

Below is the “decision aid” to guide school systems through how to handle potential infections of the coronavirus. It was released by the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education.

Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education.
Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education.

“We believe we have a very safe plan, but everyone needs to do their part and stay safe,” HCPS Superintendent Sean Bulson told WBFF this week about the return to in-person learning. “There have been modifications for everything.”

Kindergarten, first and second-grade students and special education students as well as some other special populations returned to school Monday, Oct. 19.

“We just need to watch our numbers,” Bulson told WBFF on Monday, noting while some adults had tested positive in the school system, no students had tested positive for the virus.

If people are potentially exposed to the virus, he said they are isolated.

“They are sent home to get tested, then we do all the contact tracing,” Bulson told WBFF, saying potential close contacts receive both a phone call and a letter to notify them. A negative test result is required before returning to school, he said.

The plan is to bring in grades three through five starting Nov. 2 for in-person learning.

These 10 states reported their highest number of new coronavirus cases on Friday

Ten states reported their highest single-day tallies of new Covid-19 infections Friday, and the country reported its highest one-day total since July, as experts say a dangerous fall surge of coronavirus infections is well underway.

a person sitting at a table with a cake: Nursing assistant Monica Brodsky, left, and nurse Taylor Mathisen work at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 in the parking lot at UW Health Administrative Office Building in Middleton, Wis., Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. A surge of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and the Dakotas is forcing a scramble for hospital beds and raising political tensions, as the Upper Midwest and Plains emerge as one of the nation's most troubling hotspots. (Amber Arnold/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Nursing assistant Monica Brodsky, left, and nurse Taylor Mathisen work at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 in the parking lot at UW Health Administrative Office Building in Middleton, Wis., Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. A surge of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and the Dakotas is forcing a scramble for hospital beds and raising political tensions, as the Upper Midwest and Plains emerge as one of the nation’s most troubling hotspots. (Amber Arnold/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

“This really is a harrowing time, and people have to be careful,” epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed told CNN on Saturday.

“When we saw this kind of transmission earlier in the pandemic, in March and April, the virus hadn’t seeded everywhere … This surge has the potential to be way worse than it was than either the spring or the summer,” El-Sayed, Detroit’s former health director, said.

The US reported more than 69,100 new Covid-19 infections Friday — the most in a single day since about 71,300 were reported July 29, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Ten states Friday reported their highest one-day case counts: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to Johns Hopkins.

As for the entire country, cases are swinging up after a summer surge waned.

Daily US case averages had dipped to around 34,300 by September 12. But now, the country is averaging more than 55,000 new cases daily over the past week — up more than 60% since mid-September’s dip.

Covid-19 hospitalizations also are climbing nationwide. And they’ll likely be followed by a rise in daily coronavirus deaths, says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

“This is a good moment for people to stop and ask themselves, ‘What can I do to try to be sure that we limit the further infections that otherwise seem to be looming in front of us as cold weather is kicking in and people are indoors, and those curves are going upward, in the wrong direction?’ ” Collins said Friday.

The country recently has averaged about 700 Covid-19 deaths a day, below the daily tolls above 1,000 from late July to mid-August.

But University of Washington researchers project more than 2,300 Americans could die daily by mid-January, and a total of more than 389,000 people could die from the virus in the US by February 1.

More than 218,000 people have died from Covid-19 nationwide since the start of the pandemic. Just over 8 million US cases have been reported.

‘We are in a new wave of rising positivity in Covid-19 cases’

More than 30 states — scattered across the US — have accumulated more new cases in the last week than they did in the previous week, according to data

Maryland adds 781 coronavirus cases, four deaths Friday

Maryland officials reported 781 new coronavirus cases on Friday and four new deaths associated with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

With Friday’s additions, Maryland has confirmed 134,329 cases and 3,887 deaths in total since state officials began tracking the spread of the virus in March. Through Thursday’s data, Maryland had the 29th most cases per capita and the 16th most deaths per capita in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

According to the university, it had conducted the 32nd-most tests per capita in the country. Maryland officials reported a total testing volume of just over 3 million on Friday, up by over 27,000 from Thursday. Officials also reported that nearly 11,000 additional people had tested negative on Friday.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased slightly from the previous day, sitting at 3.09% heading into the weekend.

Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, reported the state’s seven-day positivity rate to be 5.53%. Rather than calculate this rate by looking at the percentage of tests conducted that return a positive result — as state officials do — the university uses the percentage of people who test positive for the virus in a weeklong span, meaning individuals who are tested multiple times, regardless of results are only counted once in its measure.

This difference is significant because the World Health Organization says governments should wait until their positivity rates measure below 5% for 14 straight days before beginning to ease back virus-related restrictions.

According to state officials, Maryland has been under this threshold since July — the last day the state reported a daily positivity rate higher than 5% was July 28 — but Johns Hopkins hasn’t reported a rate lower than that bench mark for weeks.

After the number of people hospitalized from the virus’s effects dropped slightly on Thursday, this number increased again on Friday. Maryland reported four new COVID-19 patients on Friday, bringing the total to 416. According to state officials, 111 patients are currently being treated in intensive care units, up by two from Thursday.

As of Friday, 7,869 total people had been released from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.


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What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, October 16

The President was non-committal at the NBC town hall on a question about whether he took a Covid-19 test on the day of his debate with Biden at the end of September — even though he was required to do so. He was airlifted to hospital with Covid-19 days later. Nor did he express any regret for holding a Rose Garden ceremony for his Supreme Court nominee several days before that debate, a gathering now widely viewed as a “super-spreader” event. Trump also made the false claim that “85% of the people that wear masks catch it.”

At the ABC town hall, Biden excoriated Trump’s pandemic response in a number of long-winded answers, underscoring his efforts to focus on policy issues. It’s the implicit contrast Biden has long sought to offer voters: Sobriety in the face of Trump’s bombast, Eric Bradner and Kevin Liptak write.
“He [Trump] missed enormous opportunities and kept saying things that weren’t true,” Biden said, noting that the President said the virus would go away by Easter or when “summer comes.” He accused Trump of being more concerned with the stock market than the pandemic and promised, if elected, that he would push governors, mayors and local officials to mandate mask wearing — one of the best ways to reduce transmission.


Q. Do airplanes ventilation systems circulate Covid-19?

A: While much is unknown about Covid-19 transmission aboard airplanes, a US Department of Defense study, released Thursday, suggests that people don’t need to worry about circulating air spreading the virus on planes — supporting earlier research showing the ventilation systems on planes filter the air efficiently and remove particles that could transmit viruses.

The study, which was released without peer review, did not take into account other ways that people could catch the virus on a plan: by people coughing or breathing directly on them, from surfaces or from confined spaces such as restrooms.​

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.


Big global study finds remdesivir doesn’t help Covid-19 patients

The antiviral drug remdesivir has “little or no effect on mortality” for hospitalized Covid-19 patients, nor does it help patients recover any faster, the World Health Organization found in a pre-print study that it described as both conclusive and disappointing.

Until now, remdesivir has been the only drug that appeared to have specific positive effects on the coronavirus. It was the only drug with an Emergency Use Authorization for Covid-19 from the FDA.

The WHO study reviewed remdesivir and three other repurposed drugs — hydroxychloroquine, the HIV combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, and interferon — in 11,000 Covid-19 patients in 30 countries. None of them helped patients live any longer or get out of the hospital any sooner, WHO said.

Europe’s Covid deaths could be up to 5 times higher in January than April, WHO says

The WHO’s regional director for Europe issued