Coronavirus updates: CDC says people who test positive for covid-19 can still vote in person

Here are the latest developments:

As the presidential election collides with a global pandemic, the CDC says that people who are sick with the coronavirus can still vote in person on Tuesday.

In newly-updated guidance published Sunday, the agency says that voters who have tested positive or may have been exposed to the coronavirus should follow the standard advice to wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from others and sanitize their hands before and after voting. “You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” the CDC’s website states.

For tens of thousands of Americans, that may be the only option: People who received their test results in the past few days missed the cutoff to request an absentee ballot in most states, and getting an exemption typically requires surmounting arduous logistical hurdles, as The Post previously reported. But the prospect of casting a ballot alongside someone who’s sick is unlikely to defuse the tension surrounding mask-wearing at polling places — something that remains optional in multiple states.

While turnout numbers and exit polls consume much of the national attention, the steady rise of new infections across the country shows no sign of abating. The United States reported more than 86,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing the total count to nearly 9.3 million, according to data tracked by The Post. Twelve states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming — recorded record numbers of hospitalizations.

Rural areas are feeling the strain. In Utah, overwhelmed hospitals are repurposing pediatric beds for adult patients, and plan to soon start bringing in doctors who don’t typically work in hospitals, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We’re asking people to do things that they trained for, maybe when they were a resident, but they haven’t done in three years,” Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at University of Utah Health, told the paper on Monday.

Jacqueline Dupree contributed to this report.

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People With COVID-19 Can Still Vote In Person, CDC Says

KEY POINTS

  • The CDC said people infected with COVID-19 may still exercise their right to vote
  • Sick voters would be asked to follow safety guidelines
  • The recommendations come as case numbers continue to increase in 40 states

People who have been infected or are currently sick with the novel coronavirus may vote in person, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In an email written on Monday, the health agency said Americans who are or have been infected with COVID-19 can exercise their right to vote as long as they follow proper safety guidelines, CNN reported.  

“CDC’s recommendations for isolating someone who has COVID-19 or quarantining someone who was in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would not preclude them from exercising their right to vote,” the email read. 

“In-person voting can be carried out safely following CDC’s recommendations for polling location and voters,” it continued. 

Voters who are sick are required to disclose their health condition to on-site poll workers. They also must follow coronavirus safety protocols, including wearing face masks, social distancing, and washing their hands before and after casting ballots. 

Poll workers will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and receive training to use them. 

The CDC recommended designating a voting site for those who are ill, extending voting hours, or organizing curbside voting. The health agency also suggested offering coronavirus-infected individuals with alternative voting options, The Hill reported.  

“When possible, alternative voting options — which minimize contact between voters and poll workers — should be made available for people with Covid-19, those who have symptoms of Covid-19, and those who have been exposed,” a CDC spokesperson said. 

The guidelines come as the number of new coronavirus cases reported weekly had seen an upward trend for four weeks. Last week, the U.S. broke another record-high number of cases after health officials reported 98,500 infections on Friday. 

Case numbers also climbed by at least 25% in 40 states, with battleground states seeing the most significant increase. Michigan has seen a 115% increase in COVID-19 cases, while Rhode Island’s case number increased by 221%, an NBC News analysis showed.  

Nearly 5,800 people have died due to the coronavirus pandemic in the week ending on Nov. 1. The U.S. has now reported more than 9.2 million COVID-19 cases and 231,486 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. 
A voter drops a ballot for the 2020 US elections into an official drop box in Norwalk, California A voter drops a ballot for the 2020 US elections into an official drop box in Norwalk, California Photo: AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

 

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CDC: Pregnant women with COVID-19 have higher risk for preterm birth

Nov. 2 (UPI) — Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are about 25% more likely to deliver their babies preterm, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 13% of babies born to mothers with the disease were delivered preterm, or at less than 37 weeks, the data showed.

Just over 10% of babies in the United States are born preterm, according to the CDC.

“The proportion of preterm live births among women with [COVID-19] infection during pregnancy was higher than that in the general population in 2019, suggesting that pregnant women with [the disease] infection might be at risk for preterm delivery,” agency researchers wrote.

Still, the findings are “preliminary and describe primarily women with second and third trimester infection, and … subject to change pending completion of pregnancy for all women in the cohort,” they said.

For the analysis, the CDC researchers reviewed data on pregnancy and infant outcomes among 5,252 women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from 15 states and Puerto Rico reported between March 29 and Oct. 14.

Among 3,912 live births with known gestational age, 12.9% were preterm, the agency said.

However, fewer than 3% of infants for whom test results were available had evidence of the virus, and most of them were born to mothers who had been infected within one week of delivery, the agency said.

Among 610 infants with reported test results, 2.6% tested positive for COVID-19, the data showed.

Previous studies have shown that pregnant women are unlikely to pass the disease on to their children.

However, data released by the CDC in June indicated that expecting mothers may be at increased risk for severe illness from the virus.

These concerns appear to have been confirmed in a separate analysis the agency released Monday, which found that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to require treatment in a hospital intensive care unit and nearly three times as likely to need mechanical ventilation than “non-pregnant” women.

However, “the absolute risks for severe outcomes for women were low,” according to the CDC.

“Pregnant women were at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness,” the CDC researchers said.

“To reduce the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they have symptom sand measures to prevent [coronavirus] infection should be strongly emphasized for pregnant women and their families,” they said.

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Coronavirus transmission at home ‘common,’ over 50% household contacts infected, CDC finds

Coronavirus spread within households is common, and “substantial transmission” occurs from both children and adults, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health officials have been warning about virus transmission occurring inside homes. Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, for instance, has warned that coronavirus-related closures of public places won’t stop virus spread in this phase of the pandemic, where at-home gatherings are contributing to cases, reported the Chicago Tribune. 

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 Also, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has said: “In fact where we see the spread of COVID-19 is where we let down our guard, where we literally let down our mask because we feel comfortable with those we love, but the virus is just looking for opportunities to spread.”

In its latest report, the CDC assessed 101 households in Nashville, Tenn., and Marshfield, Wis., from April to September. The households included 101 index patients (or the believed source of infection) and 191 household contacts. These people took self-samples for the virus everyday for two weeks.

Over half (53%) of all household contacts were infected and “secondary infections occurred rapidly, with approximately 75% of infections identified within 5 days of the index patient’s illness onset,” the health agency wrote.

Younger index patients aged 12 to 17 years infected about 38% of household contacts, according to the data.

CORONAVIRUS IN THE US: STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN

The CDC advises using separate bathrooms and bedrooms, if possible, to reduce virus spread at home, among other measures. (iStock)

The CDC advises using separate bathrooms and bedrooms, if possible, to reduce virus spread at home, among other measures. (iStock)

To lower the risk of virus spread at home, the CDC recommends isolating immediately upon coronavirus-like symptoms, testing positive, or testing due to high-risk exposure, whichever happens first. Also, everyone should wear masks in shared spaces at home.

Members of the same household should use separate bedrooms and bathrooms if possible, the CDC wrote. Finally, a significant number of infected people in the study were asymptomatic, which further emphasizes the importance of isolation, the agency wrote.

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CDC report shows how a Wisconsin summer retreat became a ‘superspreading’ event

A coronavirus outbreak raged through an overnight school retreat in Wisconsin during the summer, beginning with one student before ultimately infecting more than 90 percent of the teens and the counselors, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The six-week faith-based camp had required all attendees from 23 states and territories and two foreign countries to be tested and quarantined for the week prior to the retreat, which ran from July 2 to Aug. 11. However, shortly after arriving at the camp, a ninth grader who had tested negative for the virus at home developed symptoms including a sore throat, cough and chills. The student was then given a PCR test which came back positive, the CDC reported.

Excluding 24 attendees who had provided evidence through antibody testing of having already been infected with and recovered from the virus, 91 percent, or 116, of the 128 students who had not previously been infected with the virus were determined to have Covid-19 either with a positive PCR test or a diagnosis based on symptoms.

Although the boys, all of high school age, were required to wear masks when traveling to the camp, they were allowed to go without them once they arrived and to mingle freely. The students and 21 counselors slept in close quarters: the students living four to six per room in dormitories or eight per room in yurts, and the counselors staying together in dormitories and yurts.

After the ninth grader tested positive, he was quarantined with 11 of his close contacts. After the 11 contacts tested negative by rapid antigen tests, they were released from quarantine. However, during the first week of the camp, six of the 11, as well as 18 others, reported a new onset of mild symptoms. These students were given masks, but not isolated, and there was no contact tracing, the researchers wrote.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services was notified of the outbreak July 15, and on July 28, the department tested 148 of the 152 retreat attendees. Antibody tests showed that91 percent of those who had not been infected prior to arriving at the camp, 116 out of 128, had developed an infection while there.

None of the teachers, who were quartered separately from the students and the counselors and wore masks during class and practiced social distancing at all times, tested positive for the disease.

All the illnesses were mild and there were no deaths or hospitalizations reported among those who caught the virus.

“The attack rate was extraordinary both in terms of the number infected, as well as the pace at which they were infected,” Dr. Stuart Ray, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, said.“It illustrates how hard it has been to control,” he said.

Given that the students and the counselors were allowed to mix freely and were not required to wear masks or practice social distancing, an outbreak

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CDC: household COVID-19 transmission common, usually within 5 days

  • A new CDC study suggests it’s very easy to get the coronavirus from someone who’s living in your household.
  • The report showed that roughly half (53%) of people surveyed who were living with a COVID-19 positive person wound up sick within a week, according to their daily self-administered tests.
  • Illnesses were transmitted quickly, with 75% of infections being passed along in five days. 
  • The study authors said that people “who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Friday suggests that getting the coronavirus from someone you live with can be quick and easy, no matter their age.

The study, which is ongoing in over 100 households in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin since April, found that roughly half (53%) of study participants living with a sick person who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, wound up sick themselves within a week. 75% of those secondary cases tested positive for the virus within five days or less, according to their daily, self-administered tests.

“Persons who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible,” the study authors wrote in their report, stressing that isolation should start as soon as the person suspects that they might be sick, even before any testing is done.

Being in the same room with a sick person is dangerous

In the study, most sick patients said they had spent many hours (four or more) together in the same room with the people they live with on the day before they started feeling unwell. That pre-symptomatic period is exactly when health experts suspect that people with the virus are at their most infectious.

Read more: Biotech execs hunting for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments have raked in more than $1 billion by selling company stock this year. Here are the 27 leaders who’ve cashed in the most.

“It’s because the disease can spread at that moment that the disease is so contagious,” the World Health Organization’s Executive Director of Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, said earlier this year. “That’s why it’s spread around the world in such an uncontained way.”

Another factor working against people who share a home with sick patients: airflow. The coronavirus spreads well between people who are indoors, and gathered close together, in poorly-ventilated spaces, so it makes sense that people would be getting infected from those they live, breathe, sleep, and eat with every day.

“We know that the biggest risk is these closed, indoor environments,” University of Maryland virologist Don Milton previously told Insider.

(However, as the study authors noted, it is always possible that some of the participants might’ve gotten infected in some other way.)

In the study, 40% of sick patients were sleeping in the same room as another person in their household, before they

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COVID Can Tear Through a Household: CDC | Health News

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 can spread through a family like wildfire, frequently infecting other people in a household within days of someone carrying the coronavirus home with them, new research shows.

More than half of people in households with COVID-19 patients wound up contracting the virus themselves, usually within five days of the first patient developing symptoms, according to findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study tracked 101 people initially diagnosed with COVID-19 in the cities of Nashville, Tenn., and Marshfield, Wis., between April and September, according to a report published Oct. 30 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Those initial patients lived with a total 191 other people in their households, and researchers took specimens from the others in the house to track the infectiousness of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Out of those 191 secondary household contacts, 102 tested positive for the coronavirus — about 53%, the researchers said.

Three out of four (75%) of these secondary infections occurred within five days of the first person falling ill. During seven days of follow-up, two-thirds (67%) of infected household members reported symptoms of COVID-19.

“We observed that after a first household member became sick, several infections were rapidly detected in the household,” lead researcher Dr. Carlos Grijalva, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said in a university news release. “Those infections occurred fast, whether the first sick household member was a child or an adult.”

The age of the first patient didn’t seem to make much difference in whether or how rapidly COVID-19 spread through a home, researchers found. Of the initial patients, 14 were age 17 and younger, 65 were between 19 and 40, and 22 were 50 or older.

“Understanding that children may also serve as a vector within a household was an important finding to emerge from this CDC report,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

About 70% of the initial COVID-19 patients reported spending more than four hours in the same room with one or more household members the day before they fell ill, and 40% said they spent as much time in the same room with others even after developing symptoms.

Similarly, 40% of the first patients said they slept in the same room with at least one other person before they developed COVID-19, and 30% did so after they fell ill.

The data highlight the risk of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, the researchers said. Fewer than half of household members with confirmed infections reported symptoms at the time they tested positive, and about a third reported no symptoms during seven days of follow-up.

“These findings suggest that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households is high, occurs quickly and can originate from both children and adults,” the researchers concluded.

“Recognizing the home as a potential source of spread is vital to controlling the

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Connecticut Department of Public Health receives five-year, $3.5M grant from CDC to fund suicide prevention efforts

The Connecticut Department of Public Health has received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance statewide suicide prevention efforts, Gov. Ned Lamont announced at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford Thursday morning.

The grant, which runs through Aug. 31, 2025, will be a joint effort between DPH, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and UConn Health. The prevention efforts will concentrate on populations that are disproportionately impacted by suicide or attempted suicide, including middle-aged adults, particularly men with mental illness or substance use disorder, and adolescents and young adults (ages 10-24).

State officials at the news conference spoke about the intense mental health toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on Connecticut residents.

With COVID-19 cases increasing and the winter approaching, “I can feel the stress building again,” Lamont said. He described a “witches’ brew” of health concerns, economic distress and social isolation.

“I hear a lot of, ‘I thought we had a light at the end of the COVID tunnel and it looks like it’s receding,’ ” Lamont said. “I hear the economic anxiety every day.”

Dr. Steven Wolf, chairman of emergency medicine at St. Francis, said that social isolation has exacerbated local residents’ experiences of mental illness and substance use disorder.

Seven people under the age of 18 have died by suicide in Connecticut this year, including four since October, according to Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, the commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Connecticut averages about eight suicides of children under the age of 18 annually, Vannessa Dorantes, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Children and Families, said. She emphasized that the state must “work together to get that number to zero.”

On average, 403 Connecticut residents died annually of suicide between 2015 and 2019, a 14% increase from the annual average of 351 residents between 2010 and 2014, according to state officials.

“Though Connecticut has one of the lowest suicide rates in the United States, we know even one death is too much,” Delphin-Rittmon said.

Karen Jarmoc, president & CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said that calls to CTSafeConnect, the organization’s domestic violence hotline, rose by 30% due to the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic violence advocacy groups across the state faced increased demand for their services.

“When the pandemic hit in March in our state, understandably there were shut-in orders to keep people safe from a public health standpoint,” Jarmoc said. “From our perspective, it created a precarious situation where victims of domestic violence were shut in with their abusive partner.”

Early in the pandemic, 18 sites across the state that house victims of domestic violence had to send some people to hotels in order to reduce capacity and the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, she said. That resulted in more than $390,000 in unexpected fees to house about 200 adults and 200 children in hotels, from March through

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US death toll could rise to 256,000 by Thanksgiving season, CDC says

As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States nears 9 million, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast the death toll from Covid-19 could rise to as high as 256,000 just before Thanksgiving.



a group of people sitting in a chair: AUSTIN, TEXAS - AUGUST 04: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a man with potential COVID-19 symptoms to a hospital on August 04, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas has had the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, following Florida and California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


© John Moore/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
AUSTIN, TEXAS – AUGUST 04: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a man with potential COVID-19 symptoms to a hospital on August 04, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas has had the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, following Florida and California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The ensemble forecast, published by the CDC Thursday, projects the best-case scenario is 243,000 deaths — and the worst-case is 256,000 deaths — by November 21.

At least 228,143 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and about 8.92 million cases have been reported as of Thursday afternoon.

Across the country, 41 states had at least 10% more new Covid-19 cases this past week compared to the previous week, according to data from the university.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said he believes 100,000 new cases per day in the US is imminent.

“We’ll cross 100,000 infections at some point in the next couple of weeks, probably. We might do it this week, if all the states report on time,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the FDA in 2017, said this surge is due to the public’s behavior and lack of caution.

“The reality is that I think we’re not going to start to see a slowdown in the pandemic until you see consumer behavior change, and until you see mobility data start to decline,” he said.

“That’s been the lesson of the past surges in the virus.”

States continue to see Covid-19 cases at all-time highs

These days, many Covid-19 high marks are short-lived as states grapple with skyrocketing infections and hospitalizations.

For the second time in five days, Ohio set a new high for most new Covid-19 cases in one day — 3,590, Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.

Ohio also saw its third-highest day of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours.

“The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” DeWine said.

“We must face this virus head-on with the tools that we know can beat this virus back: masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and good ventilation when inside.”

North Dakota broke its record for daily new cases Thursday — the second time in a week — with 1,222 new infections reported. About 13% of staffed hospital beds remain available in the state.

The number of new cases keeps outpacing the number of new tests.

The average number of daily new cases this past week is up 24% compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins.

But testing has increased only 8.52% over the same time frame, according to

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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

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