Suspected Covid Cases May Soon Not Be Reported By CDC
Bloomberg says it has seen a draft of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan on reporting covid cases, and it includes changes to data collection habits that may now be outdated or redundant — including hospitals reporting suspected but untested covid cases.
CDC Plans To Stop Reporting Suspected Covid Cases To Ease Burden
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to simplify the Covid-19 hospital data it collects as the demands of the pandemic evolve and some assembled information has become outdated or redundant. The agency is likely to stop collecting data from hospitals on suspected Covid cases that haven’t been confirmed by tests, for example, and may also wind down federal reporting from rehabilitation and mental health facilities that aren’t major intake points for virus cases, according to a draft of the plan that was viewed by Bloomberg News. (Griffin and Armstrong, 5/26)
COVID Rates May Be Much Higher Than Reported. How Bad Is The Current Surge?
Cases of COVID-19 are – yet again – on the rise. The U.S. is seeing an average of more than 100,000 reported new cases across the country every day. That's nearly double the rate a month ago and four times higher than this time last year. And the real number of cases is likely much higher than that, according to health officials. Because many people now rely on at-home tests, "we're clearly undercounting infections," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters at the most recent COVID press briefing. Hospitalizations are trending upwards too, though only gradually in most places. (Simmons-Duffin, 5/27)
CMS Turning Attention To Hospitals With Covid Outbreaks
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is probing hospitals where a high rate of patients have gotten Covid-19 infections after cases spiked to record highs this year. Jon Blum, the agency’s principal deputy administrator and chief operating officer, told POLITICO on Wednesday that the regulator is focusing on facilities with Covid outbreaks, taking into account patient and health workers’ safety complaints, a change from the agency’s “less rigorous” process early in the pandemic. (Levy, 5/26)
Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah COVID-19 Case Counts Jump, And 12 More Die — Including A Child, State Reports
This week Utah reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases, more than 100 new hospitalizations and a dozen more deaths — including one girl between the ages of 1 and 14. The Department of Health said it had no additional information about her death. Last week, state health officials and doctors told reporters Utah was in the midst of a coronavirus surge and would likely see rising case counts and other metrics for several more weeks. Intermountain’s Dr. Brandon Webb said high positivity rates suggested case counts showed a “significant undercount.” (Harkins, 5/27)
More on the spread of covid —
Dominant Coronavirus Mutant Contains Ghost Of Pandemic Past
The coronavirus mutant that is now dominant in the United States is a member of the omicron family but scientists say it spreads faster than its omicron predecessors, is adept at escaping immunity and might possibly cause more serious disease. Why? Because it combines properties of both omicron and delta, the nation’s dominant variant in the middle of last year. A genetic trait that harkens back to the pandemic’s past, known as a “delta mutation,” appears to allow the virus “to escape pre-existing immunity from vaccination and prior infection, especially if you were infected in the omicron wave,” said Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist in Texas. That’s because the original omicron strain that swept the world didn’t have the mutation. (Ungar, 5/26)
When Will We Know If COVID Is Seasonal?
COVID-19 may indeed become a seasonal illness with predictable patterns of infection -- but it's not there yet, epidemiologists and infectious disease experts say. While the virus has had some element of seasonality since it first came into the world more than 2 years ago, other factors -- including variant evolution, population immunity, and behavioral changes -- have made seasonality less apparent. (Fiore, 5/24)
The New York Times:
Why Covid Is More Likely To Spread At The Gym
Many gyms and health clubs seem to be filling up again with people eager to return to their old routines and communities or get in shape for summer, at the same time that new Omicron variants are pushing Covid infections up. So, how safe is it to go back to the gym? Put another way, how many microscopic aerosol particles are the other cyclists in your spin class breathing out into the room? How many is the runner on the nearby treadmill spewing forth? A small study about respiration and exercise published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides some rather startling answers. (Reynolds, 5/24)
Burned Out By Covid And 80-Hour Workweeks, Resident Physicians Unionize
In the early weeks of the pandemic, Dr. Lorenzo González, then a second-year resident of family medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, ran on fumes, working as many as 80 hours a week in the ICU. He was constantly petrified that he would catch the covid-19 virus and guilt-ridden for not having enough time to help his ailing father. In April 2020, his father, a retired landscaper, died of heart and lung failure. González mourned alone. His job as a doctor-in-training put him at high risk of catching the virus, and he didn’t want to inadvertently spread it to his family. Financial stress also set in as he confronted steep burial costs. (Kwon, 5/27)