Covid Cases Back Down To Mid-October Levels
That's still around 58,000 new cases a day. Dr. Anthony Fauci worries that new coronavirus infections on the U.S. may “plateau again at an unacceptably high level.” Hospitalizations are also down.
Fauci Warns U.S. Cases May 'Plateau Again At An Unacceptably High Level'
White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that Covid-19 cases in the United States may plateau again at a very high level, even as the nation rapidly administers three vaccines. The decline in cases seen since early January now appears to be “going down a little more slowly,” Fauci told the Center for Strategic and International Studies during an interview Tuesday afternoon. “Which means we might plateau again at an unacceptably high level.” (Lovelace Jr., 3/9)
Hospitals Report Worst Of COVID-19 Pandemic's Third Wave Has Past
Detailed data released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services illustrates just how much the nation's hospitals have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic's third wave. Although more than 1,500 Americans are dying from COVID-19 every day, the new data show COVID-19 patients comprising a smaller and smaller share of hospital admissions around the country, most drastically in the West and South, regions hit hard by the disease through the holidays. "Overall we are seeing the numbers of COVID patients in our hospitals at the lowest levels in more than a year," said Bart Buxton, president and CEO of McLaren Health Management Group in Michigan, in an email. "We currently have fewer than 80 patients total in our 15 hospitals with SARS-COV-2 primary diagnosis and very few of those patients are in our ICUs." (Bajak, 3/9)
The Washington Post:
New Daily Coronavirus Cases Drop In The U.S.; Experts Warn About Spring Break
The seven-day average for new daily coronavirus cases in the United States fell below 58,000 for the first time since mid-October, after weeks in which a steady decline in new infections appeared to have plateaued. The drop comes as the United States is administering an average of 2.15 million vaccine doses per day, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. But even as more Americans are immunized against the virus, public health experts are warning against the loosening of restrictions in states such as Florida and Texas. This month, spring break starts for tens of thousands of college students in the United States, which scientists worry could accelerate the spread of new variants. (Cunningham, 3/10)
WUSF Public Media:
Florida Deaths Down, Hospitalizations Up In Monday's COVID Report
The Florida Department of Health reported Monday that 3,312 people tested positive for the coronavirus since Sunday. The total number of people who have tested positive is 1,948,307. Florida is averaging 5,111 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University analyzed by NPR. That’s a 12 percent drop from the week prior – and less than half of Florida’s daily average from a month ago. (Newborn, 3/9)
In related news about the spread of the coronavirus —
Higher Pollen Concentrations Correlate With COVID-19 Cases
Higher pollen concentration is correlated with an increase in COVID-19 cases in early spring 2020, reports a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the data indicate that high pollen concentrations could add an extra 10% to 30% to SARS-CoV-2 infection rates, the researchers reiterate that viral transmissions will not occur unless you are exposed to someone with COVID-19.Previous studies have shown that pollen exposure can impair immunity against some seasonal respiratory viruses, and so the researchers tried to identify a relationship with SARS-CoV-2. From early- to mid-March through Apr 8, 2020, they looked at data from 130 regions in 31 countries across all inhabited continents, synthesizing pollen concentration (in density and taxa classifications) and weather conditions such as temperature and humidity with COVID-19 data, population data, and lockdown effects. (3/9)
Online Self-Reported COVID-19 Symptom Checkers May Delay Treatment
The US and UK digital COVID-19 symptom checkers consistently suggest less healthcare contact than Singapore's and Japan's, which may cause more serious outcomes, according to a study released yesterday by BMJ Health & Care Informatics. While all four checkers failed to appropriately triage neutropenic sepsis, or sepsis in those with low white blood cell count, the US and UK checkers consistently suggested no or delayed medical care for severe COVID-19, bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis. (3/9)
How Pandemic Unfolds From Here Depends On How Americans Act In Critical Weeks Ahead, CDC Director Warns
Nearly one in 10 Americans -- more than 32 million people -- are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The progress offers hope that the brutal battle against the virus is slowly nearing its end. But we're not there just yet. The growing number of vaccinations is still not high enough -- and likely won't be for a few more months, according to experts -- to help suppress the spread of coronavirus. (Maxouris, 3/10)
The Vaccines Are Working. That's Why We Shouldn't Panic About Variants.
Several new coronavirus variants have been identified in the United States in recent weeks, and scientists are grappling with whether these strains threaten the country — and, if so, how. One thing experts agree on, though, is that the available vaccines have outperformed expectations — even when it comes to what are known as the "variants of concern." "This virus is not invincible, and despite all these variants, the vaccines are working great," said Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport. "That is really outstanding and people should be celebrating that." (Chow, 3/9)
7 Experts Describe The Day They Realized Covid-19 Was Here To Stay
This week marks two pandemic “anniversaries” — the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and former President Trump declared it a national emergency two days later... To mark these dates, I asked a range of people, from clinicians on the frontlines to virus watchers, vaccine makers, and public health specialists, to share their answers to this question: What was the moment last year when you realized we were in real trouble? (Skerrett, 3/10)