The city of Houston released guidelines for celebrating Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic while case numbers continue to rise around Harris County and the state.
Numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed a total of 5,760 new cases in Texas as of Friday, with an estimate of 88,206 active cases statewide. Harris County Public Health Data showed a total of 157,392 confirmed cases.Read More
By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
SATURDAY, Oct. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The United States broke a bleak record on Friday, logging the highest daily number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
The tally of over 80,000 new infections eclipses the previous record of 76,533 new cases set on July 17, during a surge in cases across the Sun Belt, the Washington Post reported.
The country could soon be facing its worst stretch of the pandemic, with some hospitals in the West and Midwest already overwhelmed and death counts beginning to rise, the Post reported.
This latest spike in cases is far more widespread than the waves that hit America in the spring and summer. The geographic spread of this latest surge makes it more dangerous, with experts warning it could lead to dire shortages of medical staff and supplies, the Post said. Already, hospitals are reporting shortfalls of basic drugs needed to treat COVID-19 infections.
COVID-19 hospitalizations increased in 38 states over the past week. The number of deaths nationally has crested above 1,000 in recent days, the Post reported.
In July, just four states accounted for more than 40,000 cases: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, according to a Post analysis. On Friday, 11 states accounted for that same lion’s share of cases.
“One key way we got through previous waves was by moving health care workers around. That’s just not possible when the virus is surging everywhere,” Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, told the Post. And no one knows how high this wave will crest before peaking, she added.
“We are starting this wave much higher than either of the previous waves,” she explained. “And it will simply keep going up until people and officials decide to do something about it.”
The Midwest and Rocky Mountains are struggling to contain major outbreaks, while new hot spots are emerging in other parts of the country, The New York Times reported. Kentucky announced more than 1,470 cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day jump ever in that state. And Colorado reported more than 1,300 cases, setting another single-day record, the Times said. In Chicago, a nightly curfew started on Friday, after officials reported an average of 645 new cases a day this past week, the newspaper said.
Things are likely to get worse. The country has not even hit the stretch of holidays and cold weather that is coming. More interactions could mean more transmission during celebrations of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. The winter’s cold, dry air will also help the virus stay stable longer, just as people start to spend more time indoors where ventilation may be poor.
Remdesivir gets full FDA approval to treat COVID-19
Remdesivir’s full approval Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration comes after the agency granted it emergency use authorization last spring. It is given intravenously to hospitalized patients.
California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is selling the drug under the brand name Veklury.
By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The United States on Thursday recorded its second highest daily total of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 75,000 new infections, while eight states broke single-day records of new cases.
Also on Thursday, the antiviral medicine remdesivir became the first drug to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to fight COVID-19.
Such drugs are urgently needed: Adding to bleak national numbers, 13 additional states have added more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch, The New York Times reported.
The Midwest and Rocky Mountains are struggling to contain major outbreaks, while new hot spots are emerging in other parts of the country. Kentucky announced more than 1,470 cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day jump ever in that state. And Colorado reported more than 1,300 cases, setting another single-day record, the Times reported. In Chicago, a nightly curfew will start on Friday, after officials reported an average of 645 new cases a day this past week, the newspaper said.
The current record for new daily cases was recorded in mid-July, when over 77,000 infections were recorded in one day.
Coronavirus cases have also been climbing on college campuses, where more than 214,000 infections have been diagnosed this year, a Times survey showed. More than 35,000 of those cases have been reported since early October.
While some colleges moved all classes online for the fall, many campuses remained open as positive tests accumulated, the Times reported. Of more than 1,700 institutions surveyed, more than 50 reported at least 1,000 cases while over 375 colleges have reported at least 100 cases.
The 214,000 cases account for 2.5 percent of all known cases in the United States, the Times reported. That tally is likely an undercount because some colleges have refused to provide any case data or have stopped giving updates. Large universities in the South and Midwest reported the highest case totals, including seven campuses where there have been more than 3,000 cases, the Times said.
Remdesivir gets full FDA approval to treat COVID
Remdesivir’s full approval Thursday by the FDA comes after the agency granted it emergency use authorization last spring. It is given intravenously to hospitalized patients.
California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is selling the drug under the brand name Veklury. It cut the time to recovery from COVID-19 by five days — from 15 days to 10, on average — in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the FDA announced in a statement.
“Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in the news release.
Veklury is approved for people aged 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds and are hospitalized for a COVID-19 infection. For patients younger than 12, the FDA will still allow the drug’s use
BERLIN — Germany’s disease control center says the number of new daily coronavirus cases remains near a record high, as the pandemic continues to spread.
The Robert Koch Institute said Friday that 11,242 new cases were reported over the last 24-hour period, just shy of the record 11,278 mark set the day before. The nationwide infection rate over the last seven days rose to 60.3 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 56.2 the day before.… Read More
AUSTIN, TX — The number of cases of the coronavirus is now well past 30,000 since the onset of respiratory illness across Travis County, heightening city officials’ pleas for residents to mask up as a way of mitigating further spread of the respiratory illness.
To that end, Austin Mayor Steve Adler points to a number of locations across the city offering free PPE — the acronym for “personal protective equipment” that is now an often=repeated part of our lexicon in an age of pandemic — that is key in blunting the spread of further illness. These centers offer the range of PPE — masks, hand sanitizers and educational material — those those in need.
“We’ve passed 30,700 total positive cases in our city,” Adler wrote in an email. “Our number of hospitalizations is now at 15 for our seven-day moving average. It’s a difficult reality, but we know that masking works.”
The wearing of protective face coverings has implausibly metamorphosed into a political issue creating an ideological fissure between conservative and progressive people in many cases — despite scientific evidence of the effectiveness of masks in blunting the spread of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses the wearing masks is the most effective tactic in combating spread of respiratory illness that is transmitted by respiratory droplest through the air.
Adler agrees, urging people to wear masks while practicing other CDC recommendations: “What we can control is making sure we continue to abide by CDC guidelines and do our part to drive down the numbers consistently by wearing a mask, washing our hands, keeping a distance of 6 ft between us, and taking care of each other,” the mayor wrote. “Most Texans are still susceptible to the virus, so we must remain vigilant to protect our students, teachers, and the general population.”
The latest round of community distribution points for PPE has yet to be announced by the city. In the meantime, a number of health centers offer PPE to those in need:
CommUnityCare patients can request PPE at the following sites.
CommUnityCare – Hornsby Bend Health Center, 14312 Hunter’s Bend Rd.
CommUnityCare – Southeast Health and Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Dr.
CommUnityCare – Del Valle Health Center, 3518-A FM 973 Del Valle, Texas.
CommUnityCare – Manor Health Center, 600 W. Carrie-Manor St., Manor, Texas
CommUnityCare – Rundberg Health Center, 825 E. Rundberg #B1.
CommUnityCare – North Central Health Center, 1210 W. Braker Lane.
CommUnityCare – Pflugerville Health Center, 15822 Foothill Farms Loop, Pflugerville, Texas.
CommUnityCare – Ben White Dental Clinic, 1221 W. Ben White, #112B.
CommUnityCare – William Cannon Health Center, 6801 S. Interstate 35, #1.
Prenatal Care Sites
Carousel Pediatrics – Round Rock, 1201 S. 1-35, Suite 303, Round Rock, Texas.
Carousel Pediatrics – North Lamar, 9411 North Lamar Blvd., Suite 120.
Carousel Pediatrics – Riverside Plaza, 2237 East Riverside Dr., Suite 101-C.
Carousel Pediatrics – Southbrook, 6425 S. 1nterstate 35 Ste 100.
Carousel Pediatrics – Springdale, 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., Suite