New Wave of COVID Infections Taking Hold in America | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A third surge of coronavirus cases now has a firm grip on the United States, with an average of 59,000 new infections being reported across the country every day.

That tally is the highest since the beginning of August, and the likelihood is high that the country will soon see the most new COVID-19 infections a day since the pandemic began, The New York Times reported.

This latest surge differs from the previous two: Instead of acute outbreaks in specific regions, such as the Northeast this spring and the South this summer, the virus is now simmering at a worrisome level across nearly the entire country, the Times reported. Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming each set seven-day case records on Tuesday. Even New Jersey, which managed to bring the virus under control last spring, has seen a doubling in cases in the past month, the Times reported.

“It is a really dangerous time,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told the newspaper. “The majority of states are on the rise. There are very few places where things are stable and going down.”

Even more troubling is the fact that this latest surge is coming as cooler weather is forcing people indoors and many Americans report they are fatigued by months of social distancing and travel restrictions, the Times reported.

“We’re seeing spread virtually everywhere,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a news conference Tuesday. In his state, 69 of 88 counties are now considered “high incidence,” meaning at least 100 virus cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, the Times reported.

But instead of imposing new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, Dewine said that, “The fastest way we can do it is not for me to issue some order that you can’t enforce or would be difficult to enforce, but rather for every Ohioan to take this seriously,” he said, grabbing his cloth mask and holding it up, the Times reported.

In North Dakota, which is leading the nation in new coronavirus cases per capita, hospitalizations and deaths are at a high, and just 20 intensive care beds were available statewide.

Luckily, the climbing case count has not yet translated to increased deaths: About 700 people are dying from COVID-19, on average, each day. So far, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the virus.

CDC Recommends Face Masks for Public Transportation

Seeking to slow the spread of coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that face masks be worn by everyone in all public transportation settings.

That includes both passengers and people working in stations, terminals and airports across the country, CBS News reported.

So far, the Trump administration has not issued any national mandate on face coverings, instead leaving that

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Hold teachers, schools harmless on tests

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee is calling for the temporary suspension of negative consequences for Tennessee schools and teachers related to student tests for the current school year due to adjustments and disruptions to learning caused by the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The Republican governor said Friday that while student testing will continue, he wants to “alleviate any burdens” associated with teacher evaluations and school accountability for the 2020-2021 school year.

Lee said school districts missed critical learning time when in-person classes were suspended during the spring as the virus pandemic struck. While some districts started holding in-person classes when the current school year started several weeks ago, others have maintained online learning only.

Some teachers and school district administrators have called for cancellation of tests or suspension of accountability measures. Teacher pay can be influenced by teacher evaluation scores, and poorly performing schools can be moved under state control.

Lee said he will work with the Tennessee General Assembly on his call to “temporarily pause the accountability that we have in our state that ties student testing to teacher evaluations.”

In Tennessee, students take TNReady tests in math, English language arts, social studies and science. They also take part in other types of assessments under the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, which has been the state’s testing program since 1988.

“In spite of the fact that we need to have assessment, it will have to look different this year to reflect really the fact that both teachers and students have had extended time away,” Lee said during an online news conference.

School districts have had virus cases after in-person instruction resumed. Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn reported Friday that Tennessee schools have seen 255 additional cases among students and an increase of 179 cases for staff this week.

In a statement from a state teachers union, Tennessee Education Association President Beth Brown said Lee’s call to hold teachers harmless for consequences stemming from testing is a good first step, but more needs to be done.

The union is calling for suspension of classroom observations, and Brown said the TEA disagrees with the decision to keep state standardized testing in place.

Lee, who spoke to reporters from Nashville, also addressed the recent rise in virus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Tennessee, including in rural counties.

The 10 Tennessee counties with the most new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks each have a population less than 40,000. Pickett County, with a population of more than 5,000 people and 87 cases in the past two weeks, has the highest rate.

State Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said Wednesday that the COVID-19 rural death rate is double that of urban areas.

As of Thursday, Tennessee had the 13th most new confirmed cases per capita in the past 14 days among all states, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

The state reported more than 2,200 additional cases Thursday and 666 on Friday.

Lee has lifted restrictions on businesses throughout the state, but he

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GOP’s Meuser looks to hold PA-9 Congressional seat against dentist Wegman

Dan Meuser was elected to Congress in 2018 to represent the area which includes Lebanon County.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Freshman Congressman Dan Meuser fought off a COVID-19 diagnosis in August. Now, he’s looking to fight off an election challenge from Democrat Gary Wegman.

Meuser was elected to Congress in the newly drawn 9th Congressional District in 2018 with 59% of the vote. He is one of President Donald Trump’s most staunch supporters, voting with the president’s views 97.5% of the time, according to the website

One of Meuser’s top policy points he says is maintaining law and order. He said he doesn’t personally believe systemic racism exists within police departments.

This is Wegman’s second political campaign. He ran for the same seat in 2018 and lost the Democratic primary to Denny Wolff.

Wegman’s platform is based largely on improving health care. He is a dentist and runs a family produce farm.

The 9th District includes all of Lebanon County, Carbon County, Columbia County, Montour County, and Schyulkill Counties, plus parts of Luzerne, Berks, and Northumberland Counties.

For more election coverage, where to vote, information about the candidates, and other stories about voting safety and security, visit the FOX43 Election Voting Guide.

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Take Ownership of Your Health: Hold Yourself Accountable

Over the years, I’ve conducted extensive research on health topics such as obesity, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. I have also studied theories of behavior change. What jumps out at me the most is how many of these conditions are preventable. Yes, there are non-modifiable factors however, it is our behaviors that are causing damage to our health and wellness. Essentially, we are all aware of our unhealthy behaviors and the consequences associated with them. I feel like I’m a misfit in society because I actually enjoy physical activity, going to the gym and pushing my body to its limits. I was also criticised heavily because it took me nearly two weeks to finishing watching the third season of Stranger Things. Let that sink in. We live in a society where it is the norm to watch an entire season of a television series over a weekend, let alone one day and this is completely acceptable, even encouraged. I feel like I have to justify why I don’t binge watch television, why I wake up early to exercise and why I restrict processed foods (among many other ingredients) from my diet.

My reason is simple, I do it for my health. Health is a priority to me and I want to face the daily challenges of life with the least amount of pain, discomfort and illness as possible. I’m not a machine, I get sick on occasion and I have a history of injuries. I watch television and movies and I’m known to indulge in a meal or snack of the unhealthy variety on occasion. I try to keep my immune system optimal and reduce my risk of injury through strength and flexibility training. Let’s examine exercise. Most of us know that it is beneficial to our health, not just physically but emotionally as well. Increased levels of physical activity have the potential to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (among many more) according to multiple sources. We know that being inactive increases the risk of the mentioned conditions, yet many of us choose to do nothing about it. There is a disconnect between what we know and what we do. Do we not prioritize our health and quality of life? Do we get distracted with the ease of technology and everything available at the touch of a button? Do we know how many deaths can be prevented each year by modifying our behaviors?

So much of what we experience is preventable if we take the necessary precautions. We don’t have to wait until we get diagnosed to make a change. We can make changes so that we don’t get diagnosed. We do have the time if we make it a priority. We can find a plethora of excuses why we don’t exercises of we can focus on reasons why we should. I can honestly say that I am 100% responsible for all of the injuries I’ve sustained in my lifetime. Whether it was negligence, ignorance or ego, …

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