BOISE, Idaho — Idaho is seeing its largest coronavirus spike since the pandemic began, with the number of new cases increasing 46.5% over the past two weeks.
That has some health care experts urging Gov. Brad Little to take additional action to slow the spread of the virus.… Read More
Daily case numbers are at levels not seen since the summer, and 14 states recently have set hospitalization records
Daily coronavirus case numbers in the US are at levels not seen since the summer, and more than a dozen states set record highs for Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past week — yet more evidence, experts say, of a difficult fall and winter ahead.
The country’s seven-day average of new daily cases was above 58,300 as of Monday — a level not seen since the first week of August, and climbing closer to the summer’s peak of 67,200 on July 22.
Average daily cases have soared 70% since September 12, when the country was at a two-month low of about 34,300.
As cold weather is likely to drive more gatherings indoors, the case level appears too high to avoid dangerous levels of infections and hospitalizations in the coming weeks, experts have said.
“(With) the fact that we’re only going to see more transmission occur with indoor air, people inside, this is going to be a rough fall,” Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN on Tuesday.
Case rates and hospitalizations are rising especially in the Midwest, Great Plains and parts of the West.
Fourteen states reported their peak Covid-19 hospitalizations in the last week: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The virus’s prevalence is bad enough that the director for the National Institutes for Health says his family won’t gather for Thanksgiving this year.
“It is just not safe to take that kind of chance with people coming from different parts of the country of uncertain status,” Dr. Francis Collins told National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Tuesday. “The problem with this disease is it is so easy for people to be infected and not know it, and then spread it to the ones next to them without realizing it.”
“All of this, I’m afraid, happens because we have not succeeded in this country in introducing really effective public health measures,” Collins said.
“Simple things that we all could be doing: Wear your mask, keep that six foot distance, and don’t congregate indoors, whatever you do, and wash your hands. And yet people are tired of it and yet the virus is not tired of us,” Collins said.
The country has now topped 220,000 Covid-19 deaths, a number some experts worry may also begin to climb faster.
“The numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins
WALLINGFORD, CT — Another coronavirus case has been confirmed at Parker Farms Elementary School in Wallingford, according to officials.
Officials notified families Monday that a person associated with Parker Farms tested positive for COVID-19. Health and school officials determined that the person was “not in close contact with anyone while in a school setting,” according to a message sent to parents.
Parker Farms also had a confirmed coronavirus case last Wednesday. Families were notified Sunday night that a person at James H. Moran Middle School tested positive for the virus. That person was determined to be in “close contact with one or more people while in a school setting” and one cohort at Moran was switched to distance learning for this week as a result.
“The Wallingford Public School District and Wallingford Health Department are committed to maintaining a safe environment for students and staff,” officials wrote in a message to parents. “We continue to proactively monitor illness of students and staff, apply cleaning protocols, and social distancing practices. We will continue to review the circumstances of this case and will make any necessary adjustments in our plans.”
This article originally appeared on the Wallingford Patch
LOS ANGELES (CN) — A federal judge indicated Monday she’s likely to advance a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a Los Angeles Police Department officer, saying a jury should determine whether police were justified in killing a Black man who attorneys say was unarmed and posing no threat to anyone.
Police entered a 24 Hour Fitness in Hollywood on the morning of Oct. 29, 2018, after reports of a man causing a disturbance inside the gym.
Once inside, LAPD officers Edward Agdeppa and Perla Rodriguez found Albert Ramon Dorsey standing naked in the locker room and drying himself off.
The facts surrounding the subsequent events that resulted in the fatal police shooting of Dorsey are heavily disputed.
Paulette Smith, Dorsey’s mother, said in her 2019 lawsuit against the city of LA and Agdeppa that officers began assaulting and battering Dorsey immediately after attempting to unjustifiably detain him.
Dorsey was unarmed and posed no threat that would justify Agdeppa firing the bullets that killed Dorsey, according to the lawsuit, which sought funeral and burial expenses and punitive damages determined by a jury.
Responding to the lawsuit, Agdeppa’s attorneys filed for summary judgment, arguing that Smith’s claims were precluded as a matter of law because Dorsey assaulted gym employees and fought with police after refusing their verbal commands to leave the gym.
Dorsey pinned officer Rodriguez to the ground and struck her multiple times, forcing Agdeppa to use “lethal force in an effort to save his partner’s life,” attorneys said in the summary judgment motion.
“While the taking of a life is never preferred, there are circumstances where such drastic measures are necessary to protect the lives of others — this is such a situation,” the motion said.
The LA Police Commission, an appointed civilian oversight panel, determined in September 2019 that the shooting violated LAPD policy. The finding contradicted the assessment of the case by LA Police Chief Michel Moore.
Commissioners said the officers should have deescalated the situation or not have confronted Dorsey on their own to begin with.
Despite the commission’s finding, a July report by LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey determined Agdeppa’s actions were lawful and that the shooting was in self-defense.
Lacey’s report noted Agdeppa suffered a concussion and a laceration to the bridge of his nose and that Rodriguez had swelling on the left side of her face.
Dorsey was found with Rodriguez’s Taser in his left hand and a handcuff on his right wrist, the report said.
In a telephonic hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder heard arguments on whether the facts established so far entitle Agdeppa and the city of LA to judgment as a matter of law. Granting Agdeppa’s motion would strip a jury of its role in determining judgment in the case.
Snyder said she’s inclined to deny summary judgment because the facts presented so far fail to establish a clear justification for Agdeppa’s use
ATLANTA, GA — The Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta reported a total of 341,310 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. According to the health department’s website, that includes 766 newly confirmed cases over the last 24 hours.
Georgia also reported 7,657 deaths so far from COVID-19, with 19 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. In addition, the state reported 30,388 hospitalizations — 12 more than the day before — and 5,665 admissions so far to intensive-care units.
Georgia coronavirus numbers announced over weekends aren’t always indicative of trends because of lags in reporting. They tend to be lower on Sunday and Monday, then catch up on Tuesday and Wednesday.
No information is available from Georgia about how many patients have recovered.
Counties in or near metro Atlanta and other metropolitan areas continue to have the highest number of positives, with Fulton County still in the lead.
Fulton County: 29,885 cases — 66 new
Gwinnett County: 29,748 cases — 59 new
Cobb County: 21,196 cases — 38 new
DeKalb County: 20,306 cases — 31 new
Hall County: 10,345 cases — 14 new
Chatham County: 9,125 — 24 new
Clayton County: 7,859 — 17 new
Richmond County: 7,728 — 20 new
Cherokee County: 6,756 — 10 new
Bibb County: 6,474 — 16 new
Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19.
Fulton County: 607 deaths — 1 new
Cobb County: 448 deaths — 1 new
Gwinnett County: 434 deaths — 1 new
DeKalb County: 390 deaths
Dougherty County: 190 deaths
Bibb County: 188 deaths
Chatham County: 182 deaths — 1 new
Clayton County: 174 deaths
Richmond County: 174 deaths
Muscogee County: 173 deaths
All Georgia statistics are available on the state’s COVID-19 website.
Globally, more than 40 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 1.1 million people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Monday.
In the United States, nearly 8.2 million people have been infected and nearly 220,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Monday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world’s population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.
This article originally appeared on the Douglasville Patch
A 20-year-old Colorado resident who battled the novel coronavirus later developed a rare but serious condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), according to local health officials in the state.
The resident, of Boulder County, suffered only mild symptoms of COVID-19 and “appeared to have fully recovered,” said county officials in a news release. But three weeks later, the resident fell ill once more — this time with “severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, and fever,” all of which are signs of MIS-C.
Since the pandemic began, there have been various reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, but most cases have occurred in children, which is known as MIS-C.
The syndrome is an inflammatory condition that is similar to Kawasaki disease, which causes swelling in arteries throughout the body. Many children with MIS-C — which causes inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs — have either been infected with the novel coronavirus or had been exposed to someone with a COVID-19 infection, health officials have sad. MIS-C can also cause persistent fever, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms such as a red tongue and eyes.
LOUISIANA CHILD’S POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS-LINKED MIS-C DEATH THE FIRST IN STATE
However, earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the condition among adults, drawing on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A).
“Findings indicate that adult patients of all ages with current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome resembling MIS-C,” the authors wrote at the time, adding that measures to limit COVID-19 spread may help prevent MIS-A.
SERIOUS CORONAVIRUS-RELATED INFLAMMATORY CONDITION AMONG CHILDREN NOW REPORTED IN ADULTS: CDC
The Colorado patient required hospitalization and intensive care before they improved and were eventually discharged from the hospital. However, “while most young adults experience mild symptoms from COVID-19,” officials warned, “this case is an example of how the disease can progress and how little is known about the long-term impacts of the illness.”
RARE CORONAVIRUS-LINKED SYNDROME AFFECTS 11 CHILDREN IN WASHINGTON STATE: OFFICIALS
“I hope sharing the information about this patient’s experience will help others to better understand how serious COVID-19 can be, even for young people,” said Dr. Heather Pujet, an infectious disease doctor at Boulder Community Health, in a statement. “The patient became extremely ill very quickly with multi-organ system involvement; they fortunately recovered after a period of severe illness. However, this should serve as a warning for the younger people in the community to please not disregard their own personal risks with COVID-19.”
“Much remains unknown about how this condition develops, but it’s related to the body’s attempts to fight an invader,” added Dr. Sam Dominguez, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s
A former Montgomery physician has been sentenced to federal prison for convictions on drug distribution, health care fraud and money laundering.
Richard A. Stehl, 60, was sentenced Friday to 15 years, according to a joint statement Monday by Middle District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr., DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sean Stephen, HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson, and Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners Executive Director William Perkins.
Stehl was convicted in December 2019 on 94 counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, two counts of health care fraud, and five counts of money laundering.
The trial evidence showed that from 2010 through 2018, Stehl operated a medical practice, Healthcare on Demand. For most of that time, the practice was located at 201 Winton M. Blount Loop in Montgomery—just off of Taylor Road.
At his practice, Stehl prescribed addictive, controlled substances—including hydrocodone cough syrup, Adderall, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan—despite knowing no legitimate medical purposes existed to support these prescriptions.
During the trial, the jury heard from ten of Stehl’s former patients. Each patient received multiple controlled substances prescriptions from Stehl. Several of the patients either developed addictions while seeing Stehl or had existing addictions worsened as a result of the supposed medical treatment Stehl provided.
One patient testified she would wait four hours to see Stehl and, by the time she made it to the examination room, she would demand that Stehl give her a prescription and let her leave—which he would then do. Another described driving more than four hours to see Stehl because she knew that Stehl would give her the drugs that she wanted. A third patient stated that Stehl gave her routine steroid injections—even though she reported to Stehl that she was allergic to steroids. After receiving several injections from Stehl, this patient wound up in the hospital.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Terry F. Moorer emphasized the harm that Stehl inflicted upon his patients, the fact that he prioritized profit over patient care, and Stehl’s complete lack of remorse as grounds for imposing the 15-year sentence.
The Drug Enforcement Agency and Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General investigated this case. They were aided by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. Additionally, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Millbrook Police Department, the Opelika Police Department, the Montgomery Police Department, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, and the United States Marshals Service all assisted in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross, Alice LaCour, and Megan Kirkpatrick prosecuted the case.
“The criminal conduct that occurred under the guise of Stehl’s medical practice was appalling,” stated Franklin said. “Stehl caused his patients to become addicted to powerful controlled substances all in the name of profit. In doing so, he inflicted immeasurable harm in the lives of his patients and his patients’ loved ones. The significant sentence imposed in this case reflects a just reward for Stehl’s drug dealing.”
“Stehl was the kingpin of taking advantage
By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Three weeks after becoming the first big urban area to reopen public schools since the pandemic began, New York City is not seeing a feared surge in cases among students and staff.
Instead, health officials are seeing a surprisingly small number of COVID-19 cases, The New York Times reported.
Of 15,111 staff members and students tested randomly in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results for 10,676. There were only 18 positives: 13 staff members and five students, the Times reported. Even better, when officials put mobile testing units at schools near the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that have had new outbreaks, only four positive cases surfaced in more than 3,300 tests conducted since the last week of September, the newspaper said.
New York City is facing fears of a second wave of the virus fueled by local spikes in Brooklyn and Queens, and official have closed more than 120 public schools as a precaution, the Times reported.
Still, the sprawling system of 1,800 public schools is a bright spot as the city tries to recover from a pandemic that has killed more than 20,000 people and severely weakened its economy.
When the city reopened its school system in September, roughly half of the city’s students opted for hybrid learning, where they are in the building some days, but not others. The approach has enabled the city to keep class sizes small, the Times reported.
“That data is encouraging,” said Paula White, executive director of Educators for Excellence, a teachers group. “It reinforces what we have heard about schools not being super spreaders.”
Things are not going as well in other parts of the country, however. Last week, at least 20 states set record seven-day averages for infections, and a dozen hit record hospitalization rates, according to health department data analyzed by the Washington Post.
The jump in cases and hospitalizations has been followed by a more modest rise in COVID-19 deaths, most likely due to better patient care from now-seasoned medical workers. The widespread use of powerful steroids and other treatments has also lowered mortality rates among people who are severely ill, the Post reported.
Still, experts caution that most Americans remain vulnerable to COVID infection and the virus will likely spread more easily as colder weather sends more people indoors, where they might be exposed to larger amounts of the virus in poorly ventilated spaces.
“Inevitably, we’re moving into a phase where there’s going to need to be restrictions again,” David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Post.
Second COVID vaccine trial paused
A second coronavirus vaccine trial has been paused after an unexplained illness surfaced in one of the trial’s volunteers.
Johnson & Johnson, which only began a phase 3 trial of its vaccine last month, did not offer any more details on the illness and did not
Covid-19 cases continue to soar across the country and one top infectious disease expert warned Americans that the next few months will be the “darkest of the pandemic.”
Health experts say the predicted fall surge is here, and rising cases across the US appear to bear that out. The US is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, and 10 states reported their highest single-day case counts on Friday. At least 27 states are showing an upward trend in the number of cases reported, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
“The next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC’s”Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Osterholm highlighted the 70,000 cases of Covid-19 reported on Friday, which matched the largest number seen during the peak of the pandemic. Between now and the holidays, the US will see numbers “much, much larger than even the 67 to 75,000 cases,” he said.
Despite the climbing totals, Dr. Anthony Fauci, nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said a nationwide lockdown is not the way forward unless the pandemic gets “really, really bad.”
“No, put shut down away and say, ‘We’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go,'” he said during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
Instead of seeing restrictions as a roadblock to an open economy, Fauci said that the fatigued American public should see public health measures as a way to safely keep it open.
Americans can help get the virus under control, experts say, by heeding guidelines touted by officials for months: avoiding crowded settings, practicing social distancing, keeping small gatherings outdoors and wearing a mask.
Osterholm, however, said the lack of a coordinated government response is hampering efforts to stem the pandemic.
“So, what we have right now is a major problem in messaging,” he said. “People don’t know what to believe, and that’s one of our huge challenges going forward, is we’ve got to get the message to the public that reflects the science and reflects reality.”
As of early Monday morning, there were more than 8.1 million cases and 219,674 coronavirus deaths in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Fauci looks to the FDA for vaccine safety
Public health measures will need to remain in place at least until a safe and effective vaccine is available.
When one is made available, Fauci said he will take it after looking at the data — and if it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
At least seven states have set new records for single-day increases in coronavirus cases, prompting some to set new restrictions as concerns mount over possible “superspreader events” during the upcoming holiday season.
Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and West Virginia all set records Friday in the number of new cases of the virus, NBC News’ tally shows.
Colorado recorded 1,312 cases Friday, the same day Denver’s mayor announced both a tougher mask mandate that requires residents to wear face coverings outdoors and a limit on gatherings in “unregulated settings” to no more than five people.
“Over the past several weeks, we have worked hard to reduce our caseloads and keep hospitalizations from increasing,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a press release. “But we need to do more. With the holidays on the horizon, we must take these additional steps over the next 30 days and knuckle down together to do the hard work that needs to be done so we can all enjoy this upcoming holiday season.”
Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
The mask mandate remains in effect until further notice, while the limit on gatherings is through Nov. 16.
Idaho recorded 1,094 new cases Friday, while Indiana and Minnesota each reported more than 2,200 cases, according to NBC’s data.
The governor of Idaho, Brad Little, said Thursday that the state was going to stay in stage 4 of his reopening plan after having failed to meet the criteria for a full reopening for the ninth time in a row, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Little urged residents to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“Our personal actions work better to slow the spread of coronavirus than anything else,” the governor said, according to the outlet. “This is about personal responsibility, something Idaho is all about.”
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said she was “very saddened” about the rise in cases, although she said some of it can be attributed to more testing.
“Some of the things that we maybe thought was O.K. to do a month or so ago is much, much riskier today just given this level of viral spread around our state,” she told MinnPost.
North Dakota and New Mexico also broke daily records Friday with 859 cases and 812, respectively. West Virginia and Wyoming each reported just under 500 new cases that day.
A spokeswoman for the New Mexico governor’s office called the increase in that state a “Covid-19 wildfire,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
“The virus spreads when people give it the opportunity to spread, and New Mexicans are doing just that,” spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said.
In Wisconsin, health officials urged residents not to gather with anyone outside of their immediate families.
“I think people should think about all of the things that they’re doing outside of the confines of their immediate families as a potential place that they could be coming into contact with Covid-19,” said Andrea Palm, with the state’s Department of Health Services. “Now