N.C. maintains reopening guidance as COVID numbers worsen

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the state will keep its reopening guidelines in place for three more weeks, at a time when key coronavirus metrics worsen.

Since Cooper increased mass indoor and outdoor gathering limits and allowed bars, movie theaters, amusement parks and other businesses to partially reopen earlier this month, the spread of the virus has increased.

The state on Wednesday eclipsed 4,000 deaths and 250,000 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, noted that North Carolina saw its highest single-day increases in COVID-19 cases to date on two occasions last week.


Current hospitalizations have also hit monthslong highs, with more than 1,200 patients being treated now for the virus. Daily deaths also have climbed. The 53 virus-related deaths North Carolina reported on Tuesday amounted to the highest one-day total during the pandemic.

For the first time this month, the state on Wednesday reported that the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive surpassed 7% on consecutive days.

“Because several of our trends are moving in the wrong direction, North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 for the next three weeks,” Cooper said. “We hope that greater enforcement, strong community leadership and more people doing the right things can lower these numbers.”

Cooper, who has long said science is driving his decision-making process, insisted the metrics do concern him, which is why he decided not to go forward with reopening more parts of the state’s economy. Still, he was adamant that the state isn’t facing a dramatic surge in coronavirus spread.

“We aren’t in the middle of a spike and we haven’t seen one yet in this process largely due to the people’s persistence out there and to the strong action that we’ve taken, but we will continue to watch these trends and we’ll do whatever is necessary,” Cooper said.

Cohen said Cooper’s transition to Phase 3 that took effect on Oct. 2 and was extended on Wednesday from Oct. 23 to Nov. 13 is not the only thing causing the increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Still, she said looser restrictions may be contributing to growing complacency among North Carolinians tired of following public health protocols, such as mask wearing and maintaining 6 feet (1.8 meters) of physical separation from one another.

“Moving forward in Phase 3 may have not just eased restrictions on a few businesses but may have folks put their guard down a bit,” Cohen said. “I think that’s the thing we want to make sure that folks are putting their guard back up (and) being vigilant as we go forward here.”

Cohen sent a letter to local officials in 36 counties on Wednesday calling for law enforcement agencies and public health officials to fine businesses that don’t enforce the statewide mask mandate and go above and beyond current health public guidelines. She encouraged the counties to reduce gathering limits, close off alcohol

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DVIDS – News – Army Medicine Europe maintains robust COVID testing and reporting process


SEMBACH KASERNE, Germany – Army Medicine Europe maintains a robust COVID testing and reporting process, ensuring the health and safety of the entire military community across the European theater. At the same time, Army health officials maintain open lines of communication with host nation public health officials responsible for tracking COVID cases.

According to Army health officials, the COVID reporting process in Europe has matured over the past several months and has proven to be an effective tool in providing military leadership an overall picture of how the epidemic is impacting the DOD population in Europe.

“There are multiple mechanisms and systems in place to ensure senior leadership at MEDCOM and USAREUR are promptly notified about positive COVID cases,” said Col. Scott Mower, force health protection officer for Regional Health Command Europe. “These processes have grown better over time and we are continuously searching for ways to further improve them.”

“The reporting of this critical information through operational channels allows senior Army leaders in Europe to make better decisions when it comes to force health protection of the overall military population.”

Army health officials emphasize that maintaining close relations with the host nation medical offices is critical.

“The Departments of Public Health and the Public Health Emergency Officers at RHCE clinics are at the tip of the spear in executing these vital reporting missions,” Mower added. “The PHEOs work closely with their German counterparts at the community level to ensure COVID cases are reported in a timely and accurate fashion. They also immediately alert installation leadership when new cases are discovered.”

“COVID is, by regulation, a reportable medical event and must be inputted into an electronic disease reporting system just like other serious communicable diseases of public health interest,” said Mower. “The bulk of the COVID reporting work is being done by MTFs and their Departments of Public Health. They are the true worker bees in executing this mission.”

Reporting COVID cases to German health authorities is handled at the local level by each of the respective Army health clinics.

“Army medical treatment facilities from each respective military community across the region submit routine COVID reports to their local German Public Health office (Gesundheitsamt),” said Dr. Robert Weien, public health emergency officer for U.S. Army Garrison Rhineland-Pfalz. “Here in Rhineland-Pfalz, we submit our reports to the local German Public Health Department on a daily basis.”

When it comes to COVID reporting processes across the theater, there is no one size fits all approach and each garrison does it differently, according to Col. (Dr.) Jon Allison, chief of preventive medicine for MEDDAC Bavaria.

“The reporting process and timelines vary from installation to installation depending on the local German Gesundheitsamt,” said Allison. “For example, the COVID-19 total positive numbers for Grafenwoehr are sent to the Neustadt (Weiden) Gesundheitsamt and the total numbers for Vilseck are sent to the Amberg-Sulzbach Gesundheitsamt. This is done on a weekly base with the assistance of the community health nurses.”

Allison says that one of the

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Army Medicine Europe maintains robust COVID testing and reporting process | Article

By Kirk FradyOctober 20, 2020

SEMBACH KASERNE, Germany – Army Medicine Europe maintains a robust COVID testing and reporting process, ensuring the health and safety of the entire military community across the European theater. At the same time, Army health officials maintain open lines of communication with host nation public health officials responsible for tracking COVID cases.According to Army health officials, the COVID reporting process in Europe has matured over the past several months and has proven to be an effective tool in providing military leadership an overall picture of how the epidemic is impacting the DOD population in Europe.“There are multiple mechanisms and systems in place to ensure senior leadership at MEDCOM and USAREUR are promptly notified about positive COVID cases,” said Col. Scott Mower, force health protection officer for Regional Health Command Europe. “These processes have grown better over time and we are continuously searching for ways to further improve them.”“The reporting of this critical information through operational channels allows senior Army leaders in Europe to make better decisions when it comes to force health protection of the overall military population.”Army health officials emphasize that maintaining close relations with the host nation medical offices is critical.“The Departments of Public Health and the Public Health Emergency Officers at RHCE clinics are at the tip of the spear in executing these vital reporting missions,” Mower added. “The PHEOs work closely with their German counterparts at the community level to ensure COVID cases are reported in a timely and accurate fashion. They also immediately alert installation leadership when new cases are discovered.”“COVID is, by regulation, a reportable medical event and must be inputted into an electronic disease reporting system just like other serious communicable diseases of public health interest,” said Mower. “The bulk of the COVID reporting work is being done by MTFs and their Departments of Public Health. They are the true worker bees in executing this mission.”Reporting COVID cases to German health authorities is handled at the local level by each of the respective Army health clinics.“Army medical treatment facilities from each respective military community across the region submit routine COVID reports to their local German Public Health office (Gesundheitsamt),” said Dr. Robert Weien, public health emergency officer for U.S. Army Garrison Rhineland-Pfalz. “Here in Rhineland-Pfalz, we submit our reports to the local German Public Health Department on a daily basis.”When it comes to COVID reporting processes across the theater, there is no one size fits all approach and each garrison does it differently, according to Col. (Dr.) Jon Allison, chief of preventive medicine for MEDDAC Bavaria.“The reporting process and timelines vary from installation to installation depending on the local German Gesundheitsamt,” said Allison. “For example, the COVID-19 total positive numbers for Grafenwoehr are sent to the Neustadt (Weiden) Gesundheitsamt and the total numbers for Vilseck are sent to the Amberg-Sulzbach Gesundheitsamt. This is done on a weekly base with the assistance of the community health nurses.”Allison says that one of the benefits of Germany’s decentralized local health

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