Michigan Medicine restricts visitors for adult patients as COVID-19 cases climb

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine has updated its visitor policy with tightened restrictions in order to keep patients and staff safe as COVID-19 cases surge around the state.

As of Wednesday, no visitors will be permitted with adult patients in the health system’s hospitals, unless medically necessary.

Exceptions to the new restrictions include end-of-life care, labor and delivery and other scenarios which are listed here.

According to Michigan Medicine, the new policy change includes restrictions already announced:

  • No visitors are allowed with adult emergency department patients, except when medically necessary.
  • At C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, two visitors are allowed for pediatric patients. But family and other visitors are required to wear a mask (covering their mouth and nose) at all Michigan Medicine properties. This includes in a patient room and throughout the facility. Patients who can tolerate a mask must wear one when a health care worker is present in their room.
  • In clinics, no visitors will be allowed for adult patients unless the patient has a cognitive or physical impairment that requires assistance. One primary caregiver is allowed to accompany each pediatric patient to an appointment, unless an additional aide or assistant is required.

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“COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb in the community,” Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology said in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff, and to minimize the spread of disease, we need to take this additional step.

“We know this is difficult for our patients and their families and friends. But we need to continue to keep our Michigan Medicine facilities safe for all of our patients.”

Since the pandemic began in March, Michigan Medicine has been taking steps to keep staff and patients safe, including screening patients for symptoms, cleaning and disinfecting facilities, moving furniture to observe social distancing and following the latest guidelines to minimize infections.

“Limiting the risk of transmission of infection has always been a critical priority at Michigan Medicine,” Washer said in a statement. “And I want to reassure the public that if you need health care for a new problem or for continuing care of a chronic problem, you should not put it off.

“We have teams dedicated to keeping our patients and staff safe in our buildings. It is important to not delay emergency or chronic care.”

Washer urged people to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings this year with those outside your household.

“The best advice to limit risk is to continue to avoid gathering with people outside your household even if it is Thanksgiving,” she said in a statement. “If you are reporting to work, don’t have potlucks or share meals in close proximity with your co-workers: you can’t eat without taking off your mask, and that brief period of not wearing a mask could be enough to open the door to disease spread.

“We need everyone’s help with this. A large surge of

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UW Medicine postponing some non-urgent procedures amid rising COVID cases

UW Medicine and other hospitals are starting to postpone non-urgent procedures to free up more space as coronavirus cases surge in Washington state.

SEATTLE — UW Medicine in Seattle is delaying some non-urgent procedures to free up more space in its hospitals for coronavirus patients. 

Hospital staff are identifying non-urgent surgeries that would require hospitalization and postponing them “unless it would cause medical harm to the patient,” said Susan Gregg, spokesperson for UW Medicine on Saturday. 

“We are implementing this process to increase our bed capacity and available personnel based on the current increase of COVID-19 cases in our region and increased hospitalizations,” Gregg said via email. 

UW Medicine isn’t the only hospital choosing to postpone certain procedures. 

During a briefing with state and local health officials earlier this week, Chief Operating Officer at Swedish First Hill, Dr. Elizabeth Wako, said her hospital is reducing elective surgeries to make room for more COVID-19 patients.

The latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported 141,260 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, including 2,619 deaths as of Saturday. There are currently 9,765 hospitalizations, according to the DOH. 

In King County, there are 2,930 hospitalizations, in Snohomish County there are 1,041 hospitalizations, and in Pierce County there are 1,192 hospitalizations, according to DOH data that was last updated Saturday afternoon.

Hospitals in western Washington are preparing for what could be a surge in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday if people choose to ignore state and local warnings to not gather with people outside their household. 

A new national survey by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found nearly two in five people report they will likely attend a gathering with more than 10 people for Thanksgiving.

“If you gather with 15 people for Thanksgiving dinner, there will be an 18% chance that one of the individuals will be infected with COVID,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy during a briefing this week.

Deputy Secretary of Health Lacy Fehrenbach added, “There’s risk for further transmission. Those guests who become infected may go on to do other things the following week. They may go to a religious service. Another might work in a nursing home. A child who attended could go to school leading to outbreaks in these locations.”

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Cases of Covid-19 in children on rise in the US, with highest 1-week spike yet

Soaring case counts around the country are impacting children at “unprecedented levels,” according to new numbers released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which are tracking data reported by state health departments.



a police car parked in a parking lot: An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site October 31 in El Paso, Texas.


© Cengiz Yar/Getty Images
An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site October 31 in El Paso, Texas.

There were 61,000 new cases in children during the last week of October, “which is larger than any previous week in the pandemic,” the AAP said in a statement. From the onset of the pandemic through October 29, more than 853,000 children have tested positive for Covid-19, the AAP said, including nearly 200,000 new cases during the month of October.

“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone — including our children and adolescents,” said AAP President Dr. Sally Goza in the statement.

“This virus is highly contagious, and as we see spikes in many communities, children are more likely to be infected, too,” Goza said.

Yet these numbers are likely an undercount, the AAP said. Because symptoms in children are often mild and can look like common colds or viruses, many children go untested.

Symptoms in children

Typical symptoms of Covid-19 in both children and adults include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, a dry cough, difficulty breathing, headaches, digestive issues, body aches and fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and sneezing.

Unusual symptoms can include “Covid toes” — a reddish tinge to toes and other extremities, a sudden loss of taste and smell and conjunctivitis, a highly contagious condition also known as pink eye.

However, early research has suggested children may not get fever, cough or shortness of breath as often as adults. Fever and cough was found in 56% and 54% of children in one study, compared to 71% and 80% of adults, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shortness of breath was found in only 13% of pediatric patients, compared to 43% of adults. Sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and diarrhea were also less commonly reported in children.

While cases of severe illness due to Covid-19 appears to be rare among children, severe illness has been reported, most often in infants less than a year.

When children did need to be hospitalized, the CDC found, one in three needed to be treated in the intensive care unit — the same rate as for adults.

Long-term effects not known

Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, according to an early October report by the CDC, were about twice as likely to test positive for Covid-19 than kids between 5 and 11 years old.

More severe cases of Covid-19 were most likely to be found in children with underlying health conditions, the CDC said, with chronic lung disease, including asthma, the most commonly reported condition (55%). While in smaller percentages, children with disability (9%), immune disorders (7%), diabetes (6%), psychological conditions

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Brampton’s coronavirus positivity rate more than double national average; B.C. cases soar over the weekend

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.

‘Concerning’ number of cases over the weekend in B.C.

Dr. Réka Gustafson, British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, said the province is dealing with a “concerning” number of COVID-19 cases, after 1,120 new cases were reported over a three-day period.

She said the most common places of transmission are private “uncontrolled” gatherings in a private residence, with too many many and no safety protocols in place.

Health minister Adrian Dix recognized that it can be incredibly frustrating for British Columbians who are following the public health rules to see individuals who aren’t doing the same, specifically after reports of large crowds of people on Halloween.

“We’re facing COVID-19 for a long time to come, for months and months and months and months and month and months and months to come,” Dix said. “We need to follow public health guidance and public health advice.”

The health minister said it’s even more important to follow the rules in the winter months, compared to summer, and suggested that upcoming holiday gatherings will have to be virtual this year.

Dr. Gustafson also spoke about the federal COVID Alert app and why B.C. hasn’t adopted it yet. She said it was carefully reviewed with contact tracers in the province and the information that the app provides wouldn’t have any “additional benefit.”

“It isn’t able to notify and tell them…how intense that contact was,…when it occurred and what they need to do about it,” she said. “In order to act in a meaningful way…you need to have some details about it.”

‘You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people’

The Ontario government announced it is increasing the hours of direct care for long-term care residents to an average of four hours per day.

“I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “Today, we are delivering on that promise and acting on the early recommendations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.”

“By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe.”

At a press conference on Monday, Ford called out Rexall pharmacies for overbooking influenza vaccine appointments after it was announced the chain is pausing the flu shot program due to supply issues.

“You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people,” the premier said. “If you know you have X amount of flu shots, book X amount of flu shots.”

The premier also defended the decision to move Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa into modified Stage 2 restrictions.

Ford said he would rather err on the side of caution than let everything go “hog wild” and open up.

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CT Sees 2,600+ Coronavirus Cases Over Weekend

CONNECTICUT — Connecticut reported another 2,651 positive coronavirus tests over the weekend along with a 3.4 percent positive test rate.

“There’s no question about it, the trend line is continuing to trend up,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during a Monday news conference.

The trend of more cases, a higher positive test rate and increased hospitalizations caused Lamont to roll back some guidelines to phase 2 levels in a new phase dubbed “2.1.”

Coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 11 patients up to a net of 340. Hospitalizations are now at early June levels.

Another 11 coronavirus-related deaths were reported over the weekend for a total of 4,627 during the pandemic to date.

Click on county names below to see how cases have grown over the past two months in your county:

The towns with the most new cases since Friday are:

  1. Bridgeport: 237

  2. Waterbury: 169

  3. Hartford: 153

  4. Norwalk: 139

  5. Danbury: 138

  6. Stamford: 111

  7. Meriden: 79

  8. New Haven: 71

  9. New Britain: 61

  10. East Hartford: 55

The towns with the most new cases since Oct. 25:

  1. Bridgeport: 444

  2. Norwalk: 374

  3. Danbury: 365

  4. Waterbury: 342

  5. Stamford: 301

  6. Hartford: 294

  7. New Haven: 165

  8. New Britain: 145

  9. Meriden: 133

  10. East Hartford: 126

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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U.S. adds 81K COVID-19 cases; more than 260K sickened over last 3 days

Nov. 2 (UPI) — The United States has added more than a quarter-million new COVID-19 cases over the last three days — by far the largest national three-day tally of the pandemic. About 2,300 patients died.

According to updated data from Johns Hopkins University, 81,500 cases were reported Sunday — the most ever recorded for a Sunday, when figures are typically lower because of slower reporting over the weekend.

The United States obliterated its single-day record on Friday with almost 100,000 new cases. The three-day total ending Sunday was about 262,000. The five-day total is about 430,000 and the seven-day total close to 570,000.

There were also about 450 new deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 6,000 patients have died of the virus in the United States over the past week.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 9.21 million cases and 231,000 deaths nationwide.

With the disease surging in the Midwest, hospitalizations nationwide are close to 50,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

In Iowa, state health officials have seen seven straight days of increases of seriously ill patients. The state has averaged more than 2,000 new cases per day, a record high.

In Wisconsin, officials say a record number of patients are receiving hospital care, with about a fifth of them in intensive care. Several patients are being treated at a newly created field hospital at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

The state saw a record number of new cases over the weekend. Wisconsin’s positivity rate is about 19%.

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As U.S. COVID-19 Cases Break Records, Weekly Deaths Rise 3% | Top News

(Reuters) – The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States hit another record high last week, rising 18% to more than 575,000, while deaths inched up 3%, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

The number of new cases reported each week has risen for four straight weeks, with the biggest increases seen in the last two weeks.

Nationally, nearly 5,800 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Nov. 1, bringing the total to over 230,000. Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after a surge in infections.

(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for state-by-state details)

Thirty-four out of 50 states have seen new cases increase for at least two weeks in a row, down from 36 the prior week. They include Florida, Ohio and Michigan — all hotly contested states for Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election. New cases rose 60% in Pennsylvania, another crucial state.

Texas reported the most new cases last week with over 45,600, followed by Illinois, which has half as many people, with over 44,500 new cases.

The United States performed 8.5 million COVID-19 tests last week, of which 6.8% came back positive for the new virus, compared with 6.3% the prior week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

South Dakota led the nation with the highest positive test rate at 50%, followed by Iowa at 44% and Wyoming at 43%. A total of 17 states had a positive test rate of over 10%.

The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.

(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Graphic by Chris Canipe; Editing by Tiffany Wu)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Coronavirus cases in Texas surpass 900,000, state data shows

Coronavirus cases in Texas surpassed 900,000 over the weekend, according to state estimates.

As of Sunday, some 904,855 cases of the novel virus were reported in the Lone Star State, with more than 4,000 new cases reported on Sunday alone. Overall, more than 18,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19 in Texas, including the 53 new fatalities reported on Sunday. 

As of Sunday, some 904,855 cases of the novel virus were reported in the Lone Star State. (iStock)

As of Sunday, some 904,855 cases of the novel virus were reported in the Lone Star State. (iStock)

Additionally, more than 5,600 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. 

Texas is No. 2 in the nation for the most cases of the deadly virus reported in the past seven days, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illinois has reported the most in the past week, with 44,570 cases. Texas, meanwhile, has reported 42,480 cases in the past seven days, per the CDC. 

WAYS TO REDUCE ELECTION DAY STRESS, ANXIETY

The news comes as some states are encouraging, but not requiring, face masks at the polls ahead of Election Day on Tuesday. While officials in some states have said they will require voters who refuse to wear a mask to cast their vote either curbside or at an isolated location, a federal appeals court in Texas halted an order that would’ve required voters to wear a face mask while at the polls.

ARE POLL WORKERS AT AN INCREASED RISK FOR CORONAVIRUS?

As of Monday, the U.S. had tallied over 9.2 million cases of coronavirus and more than 231,000 deaths. A number of regions are seeing a surge in cases, as health officials have urged the public to refrain from letting so-called “coronavirus fatigue” set in, especially as the U.S. heads into flu season.

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report. 

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Gov. Mike DeWine pleads for Ohioans to rally to fight ‘common enemy’ as COVID cases surge

ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

Ohio records a record number of new coronavirus cases on Friday.

Facing an alarming increase in new COVID-19 cases in his state, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine pleaded in an open letter for residents to come together, regardless of political affiliation, to fight a “common enemy” that has claimed nearly 230,000 lives in America.

DeWine released a video Sunday reading a letter he penned to Ohioans stressing the urgency of joining forces to keep the virus at bay until there is a vaccine.

The Republican governor began the video by appearing in a face mask and conceded that his request comes as Americans are “more divided than any of us can ever remember.”

“Today and for some time to come we also share a common enemy, one that cares not whether we vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden, an enemy that is relentless and now clearly on the march,” DeWine said.

He implored Ohioans to immediately pull together and focus on fighting the virus, saying “the stakes could not be higher” and that “time is not on our side.”

PHOTO: Republican Gubernatorial-elect Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio gubernatorial race at the Ohio Republican Party's election night party on Nov. 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

DeWine’s call to arms came after Ohio posted a record high 3,845 newly reported cases of coronavirus on Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In the past month, the state has more-than-doubled its number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and seen its positivity rate for cases nearly tripled from 2.7% in mid-September to nearly 7% now.

Even as DeWine released his video, Ohio reported another 3,303 new cases on Sunday with two additional deaths and 88 more hospitalizations. DeWine said the contagion has killed nearly 5,300 Ohioans.

“Now it’s been said one can find common ground only by moving to higher ground. Now is the time to move to that higher ground,” DeWine said. “We must come together, come together as Ohioans have always done. We must put the past behind us to move forward.”

DeWine also called on Congress to quickly pass a new bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that has been stalled due to a disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over the amount of money needed to prop up the sluggish U.S. economy and fund efforts to slow the virus, which has been raging across the country.

October marked the second-highest month on record for daily cases in the United States with more than 1.8 million new cases, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The nation reported 99,321 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a record-high for single-day new cases, according to the Johns Hopkins data.

Ohio’s seven-day average of new cases is 2,984.

The data from October shows that 30 states and Puerto Rico reported record-high COVID-19 cases, 22

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Texas records highest number of total COVID-19 cases in US

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has surpassed California in recording the highest number of positive coronavirus tests in the U.S. so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As the coronavirus pandemic surges across the nation, the data from Sunday — the most recent available — says that there have been 937,317 cases in Texas, the nation’s second-largest state.

California, the most populous state, has had 936,198 cases, followed by Florida with 807,412.

The true number of cases is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.


In cases per 100,000 population, Texas ranks 19th.

The Johns Hopkins data shows that Texas’ seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate has risen over the last two weeks from 7.12% to 10.72%, while the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose from about 4,470 new cases per day to about 6,070.

Texas health officials have reported more than 18,000 deaths so far from COVID-19.

In recent weeks new hot spots have emerged in places including the rural upper Midwest and along the U.S.-Mexico border El Paso, where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent additional medical personnel and equipment.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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