Prison Workers Not Owed Hazard Pay For Being Exposed To Covid: Court
Federal employees of a Connecticut prison said they deserved hazardous pay because they worked with people who had covid. But the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 10-2 that the federal Office of Personnel Management does not address extra pay for people who work in contagious situations, and that it was up to Congress to step in.
Federal Workers Not Entitled To COVID Hazard Pay -U.S. Appeals Court
A divided U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said federal workers are generally not entitled to extra pay for being exposed to COVID-19 through their jobs .In a 10-2 decision with potentially "far-reaching" ramifications, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against 188 current and former correctional employees at a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. (Stempel, 2/14)
The WHO has stopped its covid investigation —
San Francisco Chronicle:
WHO Shelves Its Investigation Into Origins Of COVID-19 Pandemic
The World Health Organization has quietly shelved the second phase of its investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic due to a lack of cooperation from the Chinese government. “Their hands are really tied,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, told the scientific journal Nature. Without access to China, researchers said it may be impossible to understand how the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 first infected people. (Vaziri, 2/14)
More on the spread of covid —
COVID Antivirals Not Tied To Rebound Or Worse Outcomes
Rates of COVID-19 rebound were similar among hospitalized patients infected with the Omicron BA.2.2 variant who did and didn't receive oral antiviral drugs, and relapse wasn't tied to worse clinical outcomes, suggests a study published yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Rebound is a re-emergence of symptoms and an uptick in viral load after a period of recovery. The antiviral drug nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) was associated with COVID-19 rebound in some previous research, while some newer research has concluded that it is not unique to Paxlovid. (Van Beusekom, 2/14)
Los Angeles Times:
What Happens To COVID Vaccines And Drugs After Health Emergency?
On May 11, the central pillar of the country’s pandemic response — the declaration of a national emergency that began March 1, 2020 — will come down. But Americans will continue to have access to the vaccines, drugs and medical devices that were authorized for emergency use against COVID-19, so long as they remain sufficiently safe and effective in the view of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Healy, 2/14)
COVID Deaths Will Stay High Unless Most Get Annual Vaccine, Penn State Researcher Project
Public health experts warned from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that the disease was “not like the flu,” resulting in far more deaths and hospitalizations each year. Unless most people get annual booster shots, that grim tide is not going to let up anytime soon, a new Pennsylvania State University study finds. (Avril, 2/14)
How To Prevent The Next Pandemic Virus: Scientists Have A New Strategy
The illness struck the little baby suddenly. It was a hot, sticky day late in the summer of 2017. Only 5 months old at the time, her little boy was a peaceful infant, his mother recalls. "He didn't make much of a fuss." The family lives in a small fishing town near the South China Sea in Sarawak, Malaysia, at the mouth of the Rajang River. Their tidy home sits atop stilts, above a maze of canals and families' rowboats tied to piers. (Doucleff, 2/15)
The Washington Post:
Biden Linked Covid To A Spike In Violent Crime. He Omitted Factors.
“Covid left its scars, like the spike in violent crime in 2020 — the first year of the pandemic.”— President Biden, remarks in the State of the Union address, Feb. 7. We quickly fact-checked various claims in the president’s address to Congress last week, but there’s usually something that requires a bit more digging. That’s the case with this line, which appeared to make a direct connection between an increase in violent crime and the coronavirus pandemic. (Kessler, 2/15)