Hospitalizations Surge in Upper Midwest

The number of people now hospitalized for Covid-19 in the U.S. has jumped 46% since the beginning of October, with a 12% rise in the last week alone, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

Some 45,045 people are hospitalized across the U.S., a high not seen since mid-August. Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 28, hospitalizations have more than doubled in North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. For the same time period, hospitalizations are up 77% in both Texas and New York.

A number of factors are fueling the virus’s spread across the U.S.

More rural communities that evaded surges in cases in the early months of the pandemic have been hit this fall.

The U.S. reported nearly 79,000 new coronavirus cases for Wednesday, the second day in a row the total has come in over 70,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In total, the nation has recorded more than 8.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Illinois reported more than 6,100 new cases for Wednesday, just below a record set Saturday. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia also reported totals that were the second-highest since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The peaks in hospitalizations for earlier surges across the U.S. was about 58,000 people. The U.S. had a record number of reported cases on Wednesday, and typically Thursday through Saturday are peak days of the week, said Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“This is the fall surge we have been worried about—we’ve had record high numbers of cases reported, and hospitalizations are beginning to climb,” said Dr. Shaman. “As the weather gets colder, drier and with less sunlight, people spend more time indoors and the virus may remain viable longer once expelled from an infectious host.”

“I think this could be a very rough fall through winter,” he said.

The increases in cases and hospitalizations are pushing some states and cities to step up restrictions on business, social and schooling activities.

Nearly the entire state of Illinois has reintroduced mitigation efforts to stop the resurgence, with eight of the state’s 11 regions enforcing increased limitations for business, dining and social gatherings. Starting on Friday and in response to a growing positivity rate, Chicago restaurants will suspend indoor dining at the city’s restaurants and limit the size of gatherings to 25 people.

In Denver, where the positivity rate is now over 7%, local officials said this week that restaurants and places of worship will be limited to 25% capacity, with similar limitations on workplaces and retail establishments. Denver public schools are also rolling back in-person learning for some elementary-age students.

This week, Idaho’s Gov. Brad Little signed an order limiting the size of gatherings and mandating the use of facial coverings in long-term care facilities. And new restrictions are expected to be announced on Friday for Rhode Island, according to Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Thursday the rate of spread of Covid-19 is out

Read more

White House advisers warn COVID-19 spread in Midwest and West is ‘unrelenting’

The White House Coronavirus Task Force has reportedly warned of a “persistent and broad spread” of COVID-19 infections across the U.S. West, advocating stricter prevention efforts to help slow the spread of transmission, per Reuters.

“We are on a very difficult trajectory. We’re going in the wrong direction,” Anthony Fauci, the most prominent task force member, said.


PROPOSAL TO LET CORONAVIRUS SPREAD NATURALLY THROUGH US POPULATION INTERESTS WHITE HOUSE, ALARMS MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT

EUROPE REENTERS LOCKDOWNS AS COVID-19 CASES SURGE

THE FIRST DEATH FROM A CORONAVIRUS REINFECTION HAS BEEN REPORTED

US SENATOR TOOK OFF MASK REPEATEDLY ON FLIGHT. HE CHAIRS COMMITTEE THAT OVERSEES AIRLINE SAFETY


Data reveal that cases are high and remaining high in states like Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas and Minnesota, among dozens of others. Many of these states are key battleground states that have potential to determine the outcome of the competitive election between incumbent President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Fauci confirmed that new cases are increasing in 47 states, along with hospitalizations.

Wisconsin, in particular, is on track to run out of intensive care unit beds.

“Every single positive increases the probability or likelihood of having another patient who is hospitalized,” Bill Melms, chief medical officer for Marshfield Clinic Health System, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

On a national level, the two-week change in new cases is up by 41 percent, with fatalities increasing by nine percent on average. 

Roughly 1,016 new COVID-19 deaths and 81,457 new cases were reported on Oct. 28, per The New York Times.

“We continue to see unrelenting, broad community spread in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and West. This will require aggressive mitigation to control both the silent, asymptomatic spread and symptomatic spread,” one state report said.

A nationwide lockdown has still not been issued, and some states do not have a mandatory mask order, such as Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Most of these states are experiencing surges in new cases.


KANSAS’S COVID-19 POSITIVITY RATE SURPASSES 20 PERCENT

MOST VOTERS BELIEVE THE CORONAVIRUS IS OUT OF CONTROL IN THE US, POLL SAYS

CDC ‘STRONGLY RECOMMENDS’ ALL PASSENGERS ON PLANES, TRAINS, BUSES WEAR MASKS TO SLOW SPREAD OF COVID-19

THE COMING WEEKS WILL BE ‘DARKEST OF THE ENTIRE PANDEMIC,’ INFECTIOUS DISEASES EXPERT SAYS

Source Article

Read more

Coronavirus US: More than 40 states are reporting an increase in Covid-19 cases and many in the Midwest are seeing record hospitalizations

The seven-day average is part of a fall surge that has brought the national case count to more than 8.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Four of the five highest number of cases in a single day were recorded in the last seven days, with the top two reported on Friday and Saturday. And 41 states are reporting at least 10% more cases compared to the week before.

When it comes to the climbing metric, the US is “not in a good place,” director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a virtual Q&A on Wednesday. Health experts have pushed measures against the virus to bring the baseline of infections down before colder months drove them back up. But rising records of cases and hospitalizations are making up “a bad recipe for a tough time ahead,” Fauci said.

In the Midwest, residents are being impacted by the rising cases with spiking rates of hospitalizations.

Indiana and Wisconsin reported their peak levels of coronavirus hospitalizations. And Kansas saw the most ICU hospitalizations of the virus in one day, the same day the state surpassed 1,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

“Each one of these Kansans was someone’s child, parent, or grandparent,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a release. “They were part of a community.”

On Wednesday, 13 states reported more hospitalization records, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Mask mandates lower hospitalizations, study says

Mask mandates may be a key strategy to lowering rates of hospitalization, according to the findings of a study from Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

In hospitals where more than 75% of the patients came from counties that required masks, rates of hospitalizations did not rise between July and October, while hospitals with fewer than 25% of patients from those counties saw an increase over 200%.

Fact check: Trump falsely claims California requires people to wear 'special' and 'complex' mask at all times

Other mitigation factors likely came into play, as areas with mask requirements are more likely to have residents who follow other mitigation strategies, the authors wrote.

“The good news is that we have learned a great deal since the beginning of the pandemic,” they said. “An important takeaway from this analysis is that areas with virus mitigation strategies … have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months; hospitals in these areas are in a much better position to serve the entire spectrum of community health needs, not just COVID-19 patients.”

As the weather continues to grow colder, Fauci said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday that he supports a national mask mandate.

“We’re going to have many more hospitalizations and that will inevitably lead to more deaths. So, this is an untenable situation. That’s the reason why I say we have got to do these things,” Fauci said.

While he is in support of a mask mandate, Fauci said he doesn’t think it will happen nationally “because it might not come from the White House to do it.”

States concerned over alarming hospitalization rates

Many state leaders are putting measures

Read more

Covid cases increase across US as upper midwest sees rapid rise

Covid-19 cases are increasing across the United States and surging in the upper midwest, in what appears to be a third pandemic peak. In North Dakota, cases are increasing at a higher and faster rate per capita than in any other state throughout the pandemic so far.



a group of people performing on a counter in a store: Photograph: Bing Guan/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Bing Guan/Reuters

Experts have long predicted cooler weather and pandemic fatigue would increase the spread of Covid-19 this fall. That now appears to be coming to pass, coupled with the longer and higher levels of death and disease the US has seen throughout the pandemic compared to peer countries.



a group of people performing on a counter in a store: Jake’s Deli in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Widespread distribution of an approved vaccine is unlikely to take place before the middle or third quarter of next year.


© Photograph: Bing Guan/Reuters
Jake’s Deli in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Widespread distribution of an approved vaccine is unlikely to take place before the middle or third quarter of next year.

Related: Republican senator ‘personally benefited from tax change he sought’

“Everyone who knew anything about infectious disease and epidemiology predicted this six to eight months ago,” said Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, vice-provost for global initiatives at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Yes, it will surge in the fall, and the reason it will surge is because we are moving indoors,” said Emanuel. “Our surge is much higher than the surges in general,” he said, because the US has started, “from a higher baseline”.

Surges are especially pronounced in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to the Covid Tracking Project, but states from Wisconsin to Kentucky to Massachusetts are also seeing the curve bend upwards.

Last week, the Democratic governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, activated a field hospital on state fairgrounds to expand treatment capacity. Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, called increasing cases “grim” and said officials were now revisiting surge plans made last spring.

“We are now going back to our plans about capacity in hospitals, looking if we have to at hotel options and the use of state parks,” Beshear said during a press briefing. “Ensuring that we have the operational plans to stand up the field hospital, if necessary.”

In Massachusetts, Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, said children would return to virtual learning until the city’s positivity rate – the percentage of all Covid tests that come back positive – decreased for two weeks in a row.

But far and away North Dakota leads in increasing Covid-19. The state has the highest per-capita rate of Covid-19 infections anywhere in the nation, at 1,350 cases per 1 million residents. That is nearly double the rate of the second hardest-hit state, Wisconsin, where there are 805 new cases per 1 million residents.

Video: Pandemic Caused ‘A Lot of Consumer-Driven Innovation’: Harvard’s Herzlinger (Bloomberg)

Pandemic Caused ‘A Lot of Consumer-Driven Innovation’: Harvard’s Herzlinger

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Nearly three weeks ago, the state loosened public health guidance, telling residents they no longer needed to

Read more

Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle coronavirus surge: “It just exploded”

Rural Jerauld County in South Dakota didn’t see a single case of the coronavirus for more than two months stretching from June to August. But over the last two weeks, its rate of new cases per person soared to one of the highest in the nation.

“All of a sudden it hit, and as it does, it just exploded,” said Dr. Tom Dean, one of just three doctors who work in the county.

Virus Outbreak Rural Spread
Dr. Tom Dean poses at his clinic in Wessington Springs, S.D., on Friday. Oct. 16, 2020.

Stephen Groves / AP


As the brunt of the virus has blown into the Upper Midwest and northern Plains, the severity of outbreaks in rural communities has come into focus. Doctors and health officials in small towns worry that infections may overwhelm communities with limited medical resources. And many say they are still running up against attitudes on wearing masks that have hardened along political lines and a false notion that rural areas are immune to widespread infections.

Dean took to writing a column in the local weekly newspaper, the True Dakotan, to offer his guidance. In recent weeks, he’s watched as one in roughly every 37 people in his county has tested positive for the virus.

It ripped through the nursing home in Wessington Springs where both his parents lived, killing his father. The community’s six deaths may appear minimal compared with thousands who have died in cities, but they have propelled the county of about 2,000 people to a death rate roughly four times higher than the nationwide rate.

Rural counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana sit among the top in the nation for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. Overall, the nation topped 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the university’s count on Friday; the true number of infections is believed to be much higher because many people have not been tested.

In counties with just a few thousand people, the number of cases per capita can soar with even a small outbreak – and the toll hits close to home in tight-knit towns.

“One or two people with infections can really cause a large impact when you have one grocery store or gas station,” said Misty Rudebusch, the medical director at a network of rural health clinics in South Dakota called Horizon Health Care. “There is such a ripple effect.”

Wessington Springs is a hub for the generations of farmers and ranchers that work the surrounding land. Residents send their children to the same schoolhouse they attended and have preserved cultural offerings like a Shakespeare garden and opera house.

They trust Dean, who for 42 years has tended to everything from broken bones to high blood pressure. When a patient needs a higher level of care, the family physician usually depends on a transfer to a hospital 130 miles (209 kilometers) away.

As cases surge, hospitals in rural communities are having trouble finding beds. A

Read more

Rural hospitals in Midwest face viral surge

WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. — Rural parts of the American Midwest that had previously escaped the worst of the coronavirus are now seeing a surge — and hospitals are struggling to keep up.

Counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana sit among the top in the nation for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. In counties with just a few thousand people, the number of cases per capita can soar with even a small outbreak — and the toll hits close to home in tight-knit towns.

As the brunt of the virus has blown into the Upper Midwest and northern Plains, the severity of outbreaks in rural communities has come into focus. Doctors and health officials in small towns worry that infections may overwhelm communities with limited medical resources. And many say they are still running up against attitudes on wearing masks that have hardened along political lines and a false notion that rural areas are immune to widespread infections.

Even as outbreaks threaten to spiral out of control, doctors and health officials said they are struggling to convince people of the seriousness of a virus that took months to arrive in force.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Britain’s Space Agency is backing a medical drone delivery service that aims to move virus samples, test kits and protective equipment between hospitals.

— A spike in cases in Europe deals a bitter blow to the economy.

— In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “difficult months” ahead as the nation posted another daily record of new cases Saturday.

— Iran announces its virus death toll has reached 30,000.

— AP PHOTOS: India holds digital fashion week amid pandemic.

___

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ROME — The Vatican says someone who lives in the same Vatican hotel as Pope Francis has tested positive for coronavirus, adding to the 11 cases of COVID-19 among the Swiss Guards who protect him.

The Vatican said Saturday that the resident of the Domus Sanctae Marthae has moved out temporarily and is in isolation, as are all the people who came into direct contact with him.

The hotel serves as a residence for Vatican-based priests as well as visiting clerics and lay people. Francis chose to live there permanently after his 2013 election, shunning the Apostolic Palace, because he said he needed to be around ordinary people. The hotel has a communal dining room and chapel where Francis celebrates Mass each morning.

The Vatican, a tiny city state in the center of Rome, has beefed up its anti-COVID-19 measures amid a resurgence of the outbreak in Italy. Protective masks are required indoors and out, but Francis has largely shunned them even when holding audiences with the public.

At 83 and with part of a lung removed when he was in his 20s due to illness, the pope would be at

Read more

Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge

WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) — Rural Jerauld County in South Dakota didn’t see a single case of the coronavirus for more than two months stretching from June to August. But over the last two weeks, its rate of new cases per person soared to one of the highest in the nation.

“All of a sudden it hit, and as it does, it just exploded,” said Dr. Tom Dean, one of just three doctors who work in the county.

As the brunt of the virus has blown into the Upper Midwest and northern Plains, the severity of outbreaks in rural communities has come into focus. Doctors and health officials in small towns worry that infections may overwhelm communities with limited medical resources. And many say they are still running up against attitudes on wearing masks that have hardened along political lines and a false notion that rural areas are immune to widespread infections.

Dean took to writing a column in the local weekly newspaper, the True Dakotan, to offer his guidance. In recent weeks, he’s watched as one in roughly every 37 people in his county has tested positive for the virus.


It ripped through the nursing home in Wessington Springs where both his parents lived, killing his father. The community’s six deaths may appear minimal compared with thousands who have died in cities, but they have propelled the county of about 2,000 people to a death rate roughly four times higher than the nationwide rate.

Rural counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana sit among the top in the nation for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. In counties with just a few thousand people, the number of cases per capita can soar with even a small outbreak — and the toll hits close to home in tight-knit towns.

“One or two people with infections can really cause a large impact when you have one grocery store or gas station,” said Misty Rudebusch, the medical director at a network of rural health clinics in South Dakota called Horizon Health Care. “There is such a ripple effect.”

Wessington Springs is a hub for the generations of farmers and ranchers that work the surrounding land. Residents send their children to the same schoolhouse they attended and have preserved cultural offerings like a Shakespeare garden and opera house.

They trust Dean, who for 42 years has tended to everything from broken bones to high blood pressure. When a patient needs a higher level of care, the family physician usually depends on a transfer to a hospital 130 miles (209 kilometers) away.

As cases surge, hospitals in rural communities are having trouble finding beds. A recent request to transfer a “not desperately ill, but pretty” sick COVID-19 patient was denied for several days, until the patient’s condition had worsened, Dean said.

“We’re proud of what we got, but it’s been a struggle,” he said of the 16-bed hospital.

The outbreak that killed Dean’s dad

Read more