Alabama statewide school COVID tracker to debut Oct. 30; Here’s how it works

Alabamians anxious to get a look at the prevalence of COVID-19 among students, teachers, and staff in schools statewide will get their chance on Friday.

The dashboard, in the works since late August, will be published on the Alabama Department of Public Health website and will include the number of self-reported positive COVID-19 cases in each school system, but will not be broken down by school.

After discussion between Alabama State Department of Education officials during a Monday afternoon training session for school nurses about whether to report only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases or whether to report all known self-reported positives among students and faculty, Alabama State Superintendent Eric Mackey told AL.com the school tracker will follow the same reporting protocol school nurses follow now on the ADPH report card.

“The (Alabama Department of Public Health) school dashboard will use the same protocols for reporting as the ADPH report card,” Mackey wrote to AL.com.

Currently, the ADPH report card—the mechanism through which school nurses report positive cases to ADPH for contact tracing—does not require laboratory confirmation of positive cases.

Schools currently rely on parents and staff to report positive cases of COVID-19, but schools are not required to collect laboratory results before reporting a positive case.

K-12 schools have not appeared to be the source of community spread of coronavirus, something many feared prior to the opening of schools in August. The school tracker, Mackey said earlier this month, is important for two reasons, Mackey said: “So people take it seriously, and so they don’t overreact.”

“We want to be fully transparent so that people know that there are cases in the community,” Mackey said. Knowing the level of spread, he added, helps people to continue to do the things needed to mitigate that spread.

The school tracker will include positive cases for the week ending each Tuesday evening, officials said. State department of education nurses will review the data, and it will be published online by 10 a.m. each Friday morning.

A school district’s lead nurse is the only school official who can complete the school tracker report for the district, and while student and faculty cases will be reported separately, only a total will be reported to the public. Five cases or fewer will not be reported by number for privacy reasons, officials said.

While there is no national template or standard for reporting cases in schools, some states provide a more detailed breakdown than Alabama is planning to report.

Florida reports positive cases by school and whether the person is a student, teacher, or other staff member. Their report also includes whether persons were showing symptoms. Louisiana reports cases weekly but only by parish, or county. Utah breaks case data down into three age groups, 5 to 10 years old, 11 to 13 years old and 14 to 18 years old.

For its school reporting dashboard, New York’s public health department not only relies on self-reporting, but also uses official lab results, matching the lab results to the

Read more

Health officials ramp up flu shot efforts, including free vaccines at Audubon Zoo on Oct. 26 | The Latest | Gambit Weekly

Health officials at the Louisiana Department of Health and the City of New Orleans are asking Louisianans to roll up their shirt sleeves and get flu shots as they ramp up efforts to distribute these essential vaccines.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for which there is still no vaccine or cure, health officials say it’s more important than ever to get the shot, especially because COVID-19 and the flu sometimes have similar symptoms and both can be fatal. They have for months warned of a “twin-demic” this fall and are concerned about overwhelmed hospitals, as the flu can also lead to lengthy stays and require medical care around the clock.

Dr. Gina Lagarde, the LDH’s regional medical director for the Northshore, said the health department will be conducting “mass vaccination exercises in each of the state’s regions” over the next several weeks, in partnerships with local pharmacies. The department will be making an extra effort to reach out to historically under-vaccinated populations, including low-income, rural and minority communities that frequently lack access to health care.

On Oct. 26, free vaccines will be available at the Audubon Zoo from 1 to 6 p.m., in partnership with New Orleans Health Department, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Audubon Zoo. 

 “It is critical,” Lagarde told Gambit. “We worry about the surge to our emergency rooms. With the cold and flu season, we know the impact on our emergency rooms and in our hospitals. We need to get as many people as vaccinated as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the LDH have long recommended a yearly flu shot for everyone over 6 months of age and note that it’s especially crucial for people at higher risk of serious complications, including babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and citizens aged 65 years and older.

Most seasonal flu activity occurs between October and May, peaking between December and February. The LDH notes that the flu shot will not prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce the burden of the flu illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Though the flu is less fatal than COVID-19, both are highly contagious illnesses that can impact long-term health and require lengthy recovery periods.

NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS.

For almost 40 years Gambit has reported on the city we love, connected you to New Orleans, and covered the issues that matter to New Orleanians—all for free.
We need YOUR help to keep doing it. Become a Gambit Member and support local journalism.

Source Article

Read more

Quidel Corporation Joins Global Lyme Alliance as Sponsor for the GLA ‘Fight Lyme With Avril Lavigne and Friends’ Virtual Concert Oct. 24

As part of its commitment to help educate Americans on the perils of Lyme disease, Quidel Corporation announced today that it will be one of the sponsors of the inaugural Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) “#FightLyme With Avril Lavigne & Friends” concert being held on Oct. 24. Quidel is the diagnostic health care manufacturer behind the industry’s most rapid and reliable in-office test for Lyme disease, the Sofia 2 Lyme FIA test.

“The Global Lyme Alliance has been a passionate and important partner for Quidel in our fight against Lyme disease,” said Judi Tilghman, Ph.D., vice president of technology assessment at Quidel. “Over the years they have helped fund the most urgent and promising research in the field, while expanding education and awareness programs for the general public and physicians. We’re honored to be their partner for this wonderful upcoming event.”

Being held in lieu of its annual gala, GLA will be presenting the inaugural #FightLyme With Avril & Friends virtual concert featuring Avril Lavigne, Rob Thomas, OneRepublic, Alessia Cara and host Wilmer Valderrama. The concert is designed to raise awareness and funds for GLA and The Avril Lavigne Foundation in support of their fight to conquer Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases through research, education, awareness and patient services. Both Lavigne and Thomas have experienced Lyme disease on a personal level, and Lavigne is also a GLA board member who has been extremely vocal about the fight against Lyme disease.

The Oct. 24 concert will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets can be purchased and more information is available at https://tinyurl.com/y54dn89a. More information on the Global Lyme Alliance can be found at GLA.org.

Lyme disease afflicts as many as 400,000 Americans every year and can lead to a number of serious, life-threatening problems if not caught early. Leading the way in Lyme disease testing is Quidel’s innovative Sofia® 2 Lyme FIA test. This test provides a patient as well as his or her physician with indicative results within minutes as opposed to days, which has historically been the norm. Performed in the privacy of a doctor’s office or local clinic, it is also the only test that can get results from a simple finger prick of blood. Given that the vast majority of patients tested are negative, not having to wait days for test results allows physicians and nurse practitioners to more rapidly treat those patients with positive results while more quickly pursuing other diagnosis and treatment for those who test negative.

About Quidel Corporation

Quidel Corporation (Nasdaq: QDEL) is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic solutions at the point of care delivering a continuum of rapid testing technologies that further improve the quality of health care throughout the globe. An innovator for over 40 years in the medical device industry, Quidel pioneered the first FDA-cleared point-of-care test for influenza in 1999 and was the first to market a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in the U.S. Under trusted brand names Sofia®, Solana®, Lyra®, Triage® and QuickVue®, Quidel’s comprehensive

Read more

Drive-Thru Flu Clinic For Lawrence Township Residents On Oct. 28

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Lawrence Township is hosting a drive-thru flu clinic for residents on Oct. 28.

Residents need to register for the clinic and an appointed time will be designated for each registrant.

Vaccines will be administered by a Rite Aid pharmacist. Please bring your Medicare and/or health insurance card.

Without insurance information, you will be charged $32. Vaccines will be available for children between 13-18 years, when accompanied by a parent, and for individuals over the age of 18. Wear clothes that will easily expose your upper arm.

The township has implemented new safety procedures for the upcoming clinics due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

All attendees will be expected to adhere to the following regulations when they arrive at the clinic:

Contact the Lawrence Township Health Department at 609 844-7089 for more information. Once registration closes all those who registered will receive an email with a time slot to arrive for their flu vaccination.

To register, click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/…

Location:
Lawrence Township Senior Center – Parking Lot 30
East Darrah Lane
Lawrence Township
New Jersey 08648

This article originally appeared on the Lawrenceville Patch

Source Article

Read more

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 16 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

The state also said the seven day-average of coronavirus tests coming back as positive has climbed to 5.1%, surpassing a threshold recommended by the World Health Organization for safely reopening economies.

The record comes as the state also reports the highest number of test results returned in a 24-hour period. The 87,759 results reported Friday outstrips the previous high of 74,286 on Sept. 19. There were 2,529 newly confirmed cases that day.

There also were 38 more fatalities reported Friday, bringing the statewide death toll to 9,165 since the pandemic began. In all, there have been 336,174 known cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.

Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools announced Friday that all students will continue with remote learning when the second quarter starts in November but that some of the district’s “most vulnerable” children will have the option to begin returning to schools before the end of the calendar year.

In explaining their rational for offering in-person classes first to pre-kindergarten and some special education students, CPS officials cited enrollment figures they released Friday that show a drop of 34% in total preschool enrollment from last year.

Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

5:40 p.m.: Lake County moved off COVID-19 warning status, but officials warn return to all-remote schooling is a possibility

Lake County was removed from orange COVID-19 warning status by the Illinois Department of Public Health Friday, and is now the only county along the Wisconsin state line not so situated, according to department’s website.

While the reclassification may give residents a temporary sigh of relief, Hannah Goering, the marketing and communications manager for the Lake County Health Department, said it could be short-lived.

5:25 p.m.: COVID-19 numbers are rising in Illinois. How worried should the Chicago area be?

Illinois just announced a record number of new COVID-19 cases. Positivity rates for coronavirus testing are up too. So are hospitalizations and deaths.

But a deeper look at the data can soften the sense of alarm somewhat — at least for the Chicago area, where many pandemic metrics have remained steady for months until some recent upticks. And the state as a whole is still in better shape than its neighbors on most of those same statistics.

As a pandemic-weary public braces for winter, the latest Illinois figures have prompted researchers and public health officials to offer a mix of warnings and reassurance. They worry a second surge may be starting in Illinois while also noting that the shifting pandemic threatens some areas more than others.

3:45 p.m.: Kane, Will counties back on state COVID-19 warning list; Kane health director outlines ‘concerning’ trends

Kane and Will counties have returned to the state’s list of those showing “warning signs” of increased coronavirus risk.

They were among 34 counties statewide on the list Friday, based on measures of the virus’ spread. Their addition to the warning list came the same day Illinois public health officials announced a record-high number of new COVID-19 cases for the second

Read more
  • Partner links