San Antonio among the worst cities for allergies, report says

A recent report from an air filter brand listed San Antonio as one of the worst cities in the country to live in for allergy sufferers.

In a report last week, Filterbuy ranked the Alamo City as the seventh-worst city for allergies out the top 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. On a 100-point scale in which a higher score will land a city among the worst, San Antonio received a score of 87.21.

Researchers ranked the cities based on three key factors: pollen counts, allergy medicine use, and the number of allergists in the area. In the report, the data also ranked which city had the worst allergy season during the spring and fall.

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According to the report, San Antonio is the fourth-worst city for allergies during the fall and the 12th-worst for spring.

Overall, the report listed Richmond, Virginia as the worst city in the country for people with allergies. Scranton, Pennsylvania followed in second, Springfield, Massachusetts claimed the third spot and Hartford, Connecticut was No. 4. McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley and New Haven, Connecticut, were No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

Filterbuy used data from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2020 Allergy Capitals report, which also listed San Antonio as the seventh-worst city for allergies in March. Researchers also used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the report.

For more information on the report, visit

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre

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The politics of the pandemic lead Elkhart County, Ind., to face its worst covid-19 outbreak alone

But they also know that’s not going to happen now.

“There’s no help coming before the election,” said Lydia Mertz, the county’s health officer, calling the current situation “extremely alarming.”

“I think right now some elected officials are just looking to get through the first weeks of November before they do anything unpopular,” said Dan Nafziger, chief medical officer at Goshen Hospital, referring to the restrictions seen in the state earlier this year that he believes are needed again.

“Without a doubt the election is a factor,” said Mike Yoder, a Republican county commissioner.

The pandemic has become politics. And on the eve of a contentious national election, with cases of the novel coronavirus surging in many parts of the country, places like Elkhart County — where President Trump is popular — feel they are being left alone to face outbreaks spiraling out of control. Trump has long disparaged efforts to fight the virus, clashing at times with his own public health officials. On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reinforced the president’s message, saying during a CNN interview, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.”

The result, according to officials in Elkhart County, is that state and federal authorities in recent weeks have showed little interest in helping them push for the tougher measures needed to control the pandemic — a change from earlier this year, when they worked together on encouraging mask-wearing or limiting public gatherings. And local officials worry they lack the authority or support to go it alone.

“I’ve talked with the mayor, county officials and corresponded with the Indiana State Health Department and the governor, and I’ve asked them to make stronger interventions,” said Rebecca Stoltzfus, president of Goshen College, who is part of the county’s coronavirus fight. “There’s not been much of a response.”

The business community, too, has noticed the lack of action, said Levon Johnson, president of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce.

“Unfortunately, politics has gotten in the way of the common-sense things that need to be done,” said Johnson.

A spokeswoman for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, referred questions from The Washington Post to the state health department. A statement from the state health agency said cities and counties are free to impose, “ANY additional health emergency restriction they determine necessary to control the spread of the virus.” The agency said it has provided advice and funding for testing clinics and education campaigns in Elkhart and across the state.

Elkhart County is rural and conservative, home to 200,000 people, 150 miles north of Indianapolis and best known for a manufacturing base that makes it part of the “RV Capital of the World.” A Democrat hasn’t been elected to county office in years. Trump won nearly 57 percent of the vote here in 2016.

And the area is accustomed to serving as a stage for presidential politics. Barack Obama, when he was president, visited the county in 2009 to highlight how much work was needed to get the

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It Was the Worst Day of the Pandemic. The Nation Is Almost There Again.

Raymond Embry saw the worst of the coronavirus pandemic up close.

His small Arizona medical clinic had been giving about five coronavirus tests a day. That grew to dozens a day, and then came the surge: There were 4,192 people lined up for tests to find out if they had the coronavirus in a single day.

That was on July 16.

That day, arguably the worst of the pandemic in the United States to that point, set records nationwide. By the end of that 24-hour period, a staggering 75,687 new cases had been reported around the country, the highest count on a single day over the past seven months.

Now the nation is approaching that record once more.

Thursday ended with 75,064 new cases, the second-highest number of cases on a single day, and the cases continued to mount on Friday, nearing the record amid a new surge of outbreaks as cold weather sets in. The latest cases, tracked by The New York Times using reports from state and local health departments, were scattered across the country in states like Illinois and Rhode Island, experiencing a second rush of cases, and in places like Montana and South Dakota, enduring their first.

Thirteen states have added more new cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch. Two states have set weekly records for new deaths. Wisconsin had its deadliest day of the pandemic on Wednesday, with 47 total deaths announced.

Testing has become more available since months ago, and more testing often uncovers cases that might otherwise go unnoticed. But indications of a new surge of the virus have grown clear in recent days.

The geography of the coronavirus has constantly changed since the first cases showed up in this country last winter. It struck the Northeast in the spring, the Sun Belt in the summer and now the states of the Midwest and the West, which hold the 10 counties in the country with the most recent cases per capita.

Mr. Embry knows all too well what some of those other places are now going through. By July 16, as the nation was hitting its worst day, Arizona was leading the nation in recent deaths per capita.

“It was just overwhelming trying to find gloves and masks, when especially back then people are telling you P.P.E. is widely available and that’s just a lie,” Mr. Embry said, referring to shortages of the personal protective equipment that health workers need to safely do testing.

On the Texas-Mexico border, mid-July was a nightmare. Johnny Salinas Jr., the owner of Salinas Funeral Home, was handling six to seven funerals a day, a number he would usually see over a week before the pandemic. Some of those included family members and relatives of employees.

Local health officials had said they had managed to control the spread of the virus through the spring, until Texas lifted social distancing restrictions right before Memorial Day. Then the numbers skyrocketed. In July, Hidalgo County, where

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US Coronavirus: The US topped 1,000 daily Covid-19 deaths and experts worry the worst of the fall surge is yet to come

At least 31 states are now reporting more new Covid-19 cases than the previous week and only one state — Hawaii — is trending in the right direction. Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with tens of thousands of patients nationwide and hospital systems already taking a hard hit.

In other words, it’s going to be “a horrible winter,” according to Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Experts say the coming months will be especially challenging for several reasons. The country never got down to a low daily case baseline before entering the colder seasons, meaning new infections will be building on an already rampant spread of the virus. As gatherings move indoors, the virus is more likely to spread.

The surge also comes after many schools and universities reopened, and college towns and campuses all over the country reported outbreaks.
And then, there are the upcoming holidays that are making public health officials nervous. With household gatherings already helping drive the surge of cases, experts worry large celebrations will continue to fuel the spread within American communities. Virtual celebrations are the safest route, infectious disease experts said Wednesday.
Passengers prepare to board a plane at the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona on October 13, 2020

States announce bleak milestones

As the country’s cases move in an upward trajectory, more states reported grim new milestones this week.

Ohio reported more than 2,300 new infections Wednesday, the highest number since the pandemic began, state health officials told CNN.

Utah heart attack victim competes for medical care amid surge in Covid-19 cases
In Wisconsin, the governor announced the first patient was admitted Wednesday to the field hospital that opened in response to a surge of Covid-19 patients.

“We are thankful to have this facility available to Wisconsinites and our hospitals, but also saddened that this is where Wisconsin is at today,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news release.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday the state added more than 1,000 daily infections and its hospitalizations are at the highest they have been in three months.

And there are alarming patterns coming out of the Dakotas as well.

North Dakota is seeing an average of more than 101 new cases per 100,000 people every day — the highest per capita new case rate of any state so far in the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project. To put that into perspective: that would be like California averaging nearly 40,000 new cases daily.

South Dakota holds the second highest rate of new cases per 100,000 in the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

It doesn’t have to be this way

There’s still time to turn things around, officials have said, with the help of basic public health measures touted by experts for months.
Covid-19 vaccine trials won't tell us if the shots save lives, expert notes

Those include masks and social distancing. Updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on close contact emphasize just how critical face coverings are.

The CDC’s new definition of a close contact with a Covid-19 patient includes exposures adding up to a total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to an infected

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