Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Sunday that the state will establish an alternate care site to expand care in El Paso as the region deals with surging COVID-19 cases. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday issued a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., saying all El Paso hospitals are filling to capacity.
“We are at a crisis stage,” Samaniego said.
El Paso officials said Sunday there were 517 new cases, as well as 55 delayed testing results reported by the state, for a total of 11,321 active cases in the area. Three additional deaths were reported.
“In less than three weeks we’ve spiked from 259 to 786 COVID-related hospitalizations — a 300% increase. If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire healthcare system,” said El Paso public health director Angela Mora in a statement on Sunday.
The new alternate care site will open this week at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center with 50 beds and the ability to expand to 100 beds if needed.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services will also be deploying two 35-person disaster teams, Abbott said. The state has already deployed 900 additional medical personnel to El Paso, some of which will staff the auxiliary care site.
“The alternate care site and auxiliary medical units will reduce the strain on hospitals in El Paso as we contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region,” Abbott said.
A report by UT-Austin released Thursday said “the El Paso region has the most threatening projections, with an estimated 85% probability that COVID-19 cases will exceed local hospital capacity by November 8th, 2020.”
According to the same report, five other regions have a more than 25% chance of hospitals being overwhelmed with in 3 weeks: Amarillo (28%), Lubbock (29%), Wichita Falls (30%), San Angelo (29%) and Galveston (33%).
Abbott announced on Saturday that he had requested the use of a medical center at Fort Bliss for non-COVID-19 patients. Officials with the University Medical Center of El Paso said Saturday they are working to coordinate airlifting patients requiring critical care to other hospitals in the state. This will be a strictly voluntary decision by the patients and arrangements will be made to bring all patients home to El Paso, CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC reported.
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise both throughout Texas and nationwide. On Friday,than any other single day since the pandemic began.
Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 830 new coronavirus cases and four related deaths.
The lower number of deaths reflects weekend reporting delays, officials said; case numbers are also usually lower on the weekends because not all laboratories submit reports.
There have now been nearly 300,000 cases of the virus in L.A. County, and nearly 7,000 people have died. Statewide, California surpassed 900,000 confirmed cases of the virus Saturday, and more than 17,300 people have died.
Hospitalizations have ticked upward slightly in L.A., with the most recent three-day average reported by the county representing an increase of 8%, according to data from the Department of Public health. There were 785 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Friday, an increase of about 100 compared with earlier in the month but still far below the more than 2,200 patients reported at the peak of the crisis in mid-July.
The proportion of tests coming back positive also has increased from earlier in the month, with the seven-day average up from 3% to 3.4%. Experts say an increase in the positivity rate can indicate increased community transmission. In July, about 8% of tests were coming back positive.
When it comes to reopening business sectors, Los Angeles remains in the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-phase reopening plan, meaning that risk of transmission of the virus remains widespread and many businesses must remain closed for indoor services.
Although its positivity rate qualifies L.A. to move into a less restrictive reopening tier — as does the rate of positive tests in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, 5.9% — the county’s adjusted rate of cases per 100,000 residents remains too high at 7.6. In order for the county to move into the less restrictive red tier, it must report an adjusted daily average of no more than 7 cases per 100,000 residents.
The number of daily confirmed coronavirus infections in L.A. County swelled significantly last week, reaching 3,600 Thursday and topping 2,000 Friday and Saturday, but officials said the increase was the result of a sizable backlog in the reporting of test results because of technical glitches.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
MANISTEE COUNTY — Manistee County has had 118 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday’s data from the state.
District Health Department #10 does not update case counts over the weekend, although Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported over 3,300 positive test results for the state on Saturday.… Read More
Jenny Rodriguez is most often the person parents talk to when they call the Manatee County School District’s phone line for Spanish-speakers. (Photo: Provided by Debra Estes)
When students have problems at schools, parents can often intervene, working with teachers and administration to try to find solutions.
But what happens when a parent doesn’t speak English and cannot communicate with the school? Language barriers can make problems worse, as a student also loses an advocate who could help resolve a situation.
In Manatee County, the school system has created a comprehensive communication plan that makes all the information that’s available in English also available in Spanish. This includes information on its website in Spanish, a Spanish-language Facebook page and advertising in Spanish.
The school system also set up a dedicated phone line for Spanish-speaking parents to use if they have questions or need information.
“I think what’s important is that we are working very hard to improve and expand … ways to reach our families and also help our Spanish-speaking students,” said Kevin Chapman, director of strategic planning and district initiatives at Manatee Schools. “It’s a real concerted effort and, I think, it’s been pretty successful so far.”
While officials say there are about 90 different languages spoken in county schools, Latino students make up about 34% of the district’s population. School officials believe it is essential that the parents of these students are involved in their child’s education because it has been shown that the more engaged a parent is, the better the child performs in school.
Geri Chaffee, an education advocate for Latinos and founder of Dreamers Academy, said Latino parents – a “consumer of educational services” – and schools – a “provider of educational services” – have different cultures but are aching to connect with one another.
She worked with Manatee schools on the effort and says what the county has done accomplishes that and she hopes it becomes a model for other school districts.
“Latinos’ number one policy issue, consistently, is education. Number one. Above immigration, deportation, economics,” President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden, she said.
“So, you’ve got a community that’s desperate for their kids to do well in school, and then you’ve got a district that’s desperate for these kids to do well.”
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Chapman said the school system began working on how to better communicate with Latino parents last year, as the district worked on the strategic plan that was approved in September. He said among the goals was to both improve communication with parents and to improve diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
While those were the broad goals, it made sense that an effort be made to reach out to Latino families.
That need came into focus in August as the school system began planning its
The number of California’s confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 900,000 on Saturday, with total related deaths topping more than 17,300, public health officials reported.
Across the state’s 58 counties, Los Angeles County remains by far the hardest hit, with nearly 300,000 cases and 6,989 deaths. On Saturday, the L.A. County Department of Public Health confirmed 2,173 new cases and 17 new deaths.
“As we move closer to the tragic milestone of 7,000 deaths in L.A. County and are seeing an increase in cases, please remember the choices we each make every day have a significant impact on whether we slow the spread of the virus,” public heath director Barbara Ferrer said in a press release. “The virus doesn’t take a break for parties or celebrations.”
Of the 17 new deaths reported in L.A. County, the department said 16 were over the age of 50 and most had underlying health conditions. The one under-50 fatality also had underlying health problems, the department said. The department said 29% of the 770 people now hospitalized with COVID-19 are being treated in intensive care units.
Statewide, the total number of confirmed cases reached 901,152 on Saturday, with a total of 17,323 related deaths, according to state health officials. But the number of new cases statewide has plateaued and remains near levels seen in the spring, officials said.
The novel virus is considered widespread in 12 counties that together comprise 42% of California’s population. Other hard-hit counties include: Riverside, with 65,757 cases and 1,279 deaths; San Bernardino with 62,353 cases and more than 1,000 deaths; Orange with 58,326 cases and 1,444 deaths; San Diego with nearly 54,000 cases and 867 deaths; Kern with nearly 34,000 cases and 416 deaths; Fresno with 30,590 case and 436 deaths; Sacramento with 25,264 cases and 484 deaths.
In the spring and summer, the state saw a surge in cases following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to rapidly lift shutdown restrictions, prompting another shutdown. In late August, the governor introduced what he called “more stubborn” reopening rules, with a data-based four-tier system — Tier 1 indicated widespread transmission, while Tier 4 meant minimal transmission. The plan hinged on counties demonstrating success in slowing the virus before business and group activities were allowed to resume.
Health experts have credited the tiered system with allowing California to open some segments of its economy without experiencing a spike in deaths comparable to that seen earlier this year. California has managed to avoid what health officials call a nationwide “third wave” of infections, but they worry about the temptations of social gatherings amid the approach of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The nationwide death toll of COVID-19 is now more than 223,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has claimed the most lives in New York state, which has seen more than 33,000 fatal infections.
Cases of the coronavirus in Palm Beach County since the pandemic began surpassed 50,000 Saturday, rising to 50,316 cases.
The 328 new cases reported in the county is the fourth time in five days that new cases have topped 200, a spike not seen since Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the full reopening of businesses on Sept. 25.
Statewide cases soared by 4,471 to 776,251. That raises new cases in the past week to 23,770, the most since early September.
More: Cerabino: Florida’s response to pandemic? Just stop it (from being reported)
The numbers are even more staggering when you consider the ripples they set off.
The pandemic numbers do not simply tell the stories of individuals affected by a disease — they are indicators of COVID’s domino effect on families and communities, said one social service strategist working with hard-hit families.
“It’s impacting every part of people’s lives. That’s what we’re seeing,” said Jaime-Lee Bradshaw, chief strategic initiatives officer at Community Partners of South Florida in Riviera Beach. “What we’re seeing is not just that they’re getting sick — they’re getting sick and losing their jobs. They’re getting sick and losing their homes.”
The impact of the pandemic and the efforts to curb it is even greater in communities where access to healthcare and technology is limited, she said.
“We are seeing families that were already on the brink and now have no income. We’re seeing people who are six months behind on their rent, just praying they can access the funds to catch up. We’re seeing children that are lagging because they don’t have adequate access to technology,” Bradshaw said.
More: Coronavirus Florida: Latest charts and case counts
She pointed to the case of one Belle Glade family served by her agency. There are 14 children in the home and one computer provided by the school district.
“Tell me what one Chromebook is going to do for that family,” she said.
A broader approach is required to prevent further damage to communities, Bradshaw said.
“We’ll continue to see as these numbers plummet and skyrocket and those families are going to experience that up and down,” she said. “How do we stabilize families? It doesn’t come from serving silos, it comes from serving systems.”
Demand jumps for mental health services
From last year to this pandemic year, visits to therapists and psychiatrists have doubled at Caridad Center, a suburban Boynton Beach social service agency that operates the largest free clinic in Florida, one frontline manager
Albany County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, with yet another death blamed on the virus.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Saturday said a woman in her 90s, who was a resident of an undisclosed congregate setting, died. She is the 140th person in the county to succumb since the outbreak.Read More
COOK COUNTY, IL — Suburban Cook County’s coronavirus positivity rate reached its highest level since June, with its average number of new daily hospitalizations with coronavirus symptoms at the highest point since public health officials began publishing data earlier this year.
In the third week of October, positivity rates continued rising across all but one of the state’s 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions. As of Friday, four of the regions are subject to state-ordered mitigation measures restricting indoor dining and other activities, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.
In the Cook County suburbs, Region 10, the positivity rate reached 7.3 percent Tuesday, the most recent day where the seven-day rolling average is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The region had seen eight days of increases in the previous 10.
If a region’s positivity rate reaches a threshold of 8 percent and remains there for three days, state public health officials order the imposition of additional mitigation measures.
The average number of new daily hospitalizations suburban Cook County continued to rise. The rounded, rolling seven-day average of admissions to hospitals with “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI, rose to 42 people a day compared to 23 a month earlier and up by 35 percent in the past week.
Meanwhile, the number of counties considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, meaning two or more county-level risk indicators show an increasing risk of the virus’ spread, has also set a new record.
Half Illinois counties are now at the “orange” warning level: Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson and Winnebago.
Public health officials said some businesses continue to disregard social distancing and face covering requirements, noting in a statement that “mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices.”
On Friday, the state public health agency reported and 3,874 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 31 deaths.
As of Thursday night, there were 2,498 people in Illinois reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19, up by 482 from a week earlier and 38 percent more people than were hospitalized with the virus two weeks ago.
Of those currently in the state’s hospitals, there were 511 patients in intensive care units, 111 more people in the ICU than a week earlier. There were 197 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 46 more than a week earlier.
Less than 83,000 tests were reported in the previous 24 hours. The statewide preliminary seven-day average positivity rate, as a percentage of total tests, is 5.6 percent for the week ending Thursday, up by 0.5 percentage points from a week earlier.
Illinois Coronavirus Update Oct. 23: More Than Half Of
ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Orange County officials reported 262 new cases Wednesday, 302 on Tuesday, and 203 on Monday.
Hospitalizations related to the virus ticked down from 174 Wednesday to 168 Thursday, with the number of intensive care unit patients dropping from 66 to 56.
The change in the three-day average of hospitalized patients went from 3.9% to 4.3%. The county has 33% of its intensive care unit beds and 68% of its ventilators available.
According to OCHCA data, 1,032,862 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 6,797 reported Thursday. There have been 51,769 documented recoveries.
Since Sunday, the county has reported 25 COVID-19 fatalities.
Last week, the county reported 69 fatalities. The previous week, 54 coronavirus deaths were reported, down from 72 the week before and 77 the week before that.
According to the OCHCA, 535 of the county’s coronavirus deaths have involved skilled-nursing facility residents, and another 114 resided in assisted-living facilities. Of Thursday’s reported fatalities, three resided in skilled-nursing facilities and three were assisted-living facility residents.
Of Wednesday’s reported fatalities, one was in the 18-to-24 age group. That person died on Sept. 11; the last time someone in that age group succumbed to COVID-19 was Sept. 4, OCHCA officials said.
The current case count by city, as of Thursday was:
Aliso Viejo – 413 Total Cases
Anaheim – 9898 Total Cases
Brea – 541 Total Cases
Buena Park – 1651 Total Cases
Costa Mesa – 1969 Total Cases
Coto de Caza – 50 Total Cases
Cypress – 588 Total Cases
Dana Point – 306 Total Cases
Fountain Valley – 554 Total Cases
Fullerton – 2764 Total Cases
Garden Grove – 3174 Total Cases
Huntington Beach – 2539 Total Cases
Irvine – 1822 Total Cases
La Habra – 1563 Total Cases
La Palma – 169 Total Cases
Ladera Ranch – 185 Total Cases
Laguna Beach – 242 Total Cases
Laguna Hills – 335 Total Cases
Laguna Niguel – 488 Total Cases
Laguna Woods – 70 Total Cases
Lake Forest – 896 Total Cases
Los Alamitos – 222 Total Cases
Midway City – 130 Total Cases
Mission Viejo – 930 Total Cases
Newport Beach – 1202 Total Cases
Orange – 2691 Total Cases
Placentia – 1011 Total Cases
Rancho Mission Viejo – 76 Total Cases
Rancho Santa Margarita – 377 Total Cases
Rossmoor – 69 Total Cases
San Clemente – 584 Total Cases
San Juan Capistrano – 615 Total Cases
Santa Ana – 11168 Total Cases
Seal Beach – 296 Total Cases
Silverado – 43 Total Cases
Stanton – 704 Total Cases
Trabuco Canyon – 216 Total Cases
Tustin – 1414 Total Cases
Villa Park – 60 Total Cases
Westminster – 1129 Total Cases
Yorba Linda – 813 Total Cases
Dr. Matthew Zahn, the medical director of the county’s communicable disease control division, said at Thursday’s weekly news conference on the county’s response to the disease that while coronavirus is particularly risky for people with underlying health conditions and the elderly, “We have certainly seen significant illness and
An Idaho county health board on Thursday voted to overturn a mandatory mask mandate just one day after the area’s main hospital reported that it was at 99 percent capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The board struck down the mandate in a 4-3 decision Thursday, with the county now recommending residents wear masks without imposing fines for noncompliance.
According to the Spokesman-Review, the mandate was first implemented in Kootenai County in July following a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, the outlet reported that the mandate was largely ignored and not properly enforced by local authorities.
Health board member Glen Bailey had proposed ending the mandate, arguing that it “restricts people’s right of choice and ability to comply or not comply under penalty of law,” according to the Spokesman-Review.
The decision came after officials from area hospital Kootenai Health on Wednesday issued a press release saying that it was almost at capacity, adding that nearby hospitals were also almost full and would not accept new patients.
The press release added that based on tests at Kootenai Health, the county is “seeing the highest rate of positivity since the start of the pandemic,” and that it was “looking at hospitals beyond our normal transfer area to see what is available” to accommodate additional patients.
“Our hospitals, health district and emergency responders are relying on our community for support,” the statement read. “The best way forward is to keep up with efforts that will flatten the uptick in cases in our region.”
The press release then outlined several actions it recommended for people to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the area, including wearing face masks around people outside of one’s household, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, avoiding public areas and cleaning frequently touched surfaces often.
Amid public backlash on the health board’s decision, the Panhandle Health District issued a public statement alerting people that its coronavirus hotline “is mainly staffed with volunteers that have nothing to do with the Board’s decisions.”
“They manage their fair share of angry callers with grace and patience, but please direct comments about the board meeting to the board,” the notice said.
Idaho has been one of several states experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reporting 950 newly confirmed cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s confirmed case total to 56,600.
Kootenai County is now in the Panhandle Health District’s highest risk coronavirus category. According to The New York York Times COVID-19 database, the county had 96 newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 3,724 infections and 48 deaths.