Wisconsin’s governor on Tuesday warned of an impending crisis as the state continues to see coronavirus cases rise and its hospitals overwhelmed.
“There is no way to sugarcoat it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you and your family,” Gov. Tony Evers said.
Hospital beds in the state are 84% full, as well as 87% of intensive care unit beds, according to state data, as hospitalizations continue to escalate.
The state opened a hospital facility at the state fair grounds October 14, and five patients have been cared for there as of Tuesday.
More than 5,000 confirmed cases were reported in Wisconsin as of Tuesday, bringing the total number there to more than 200,000 — a “tragic” and “concerning” milestone, Evers said. The state’s death toll rose by 64 Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,852.
“The increasing cases, and our increase in deaths today are the largest single day increases we’ve seen throughout the course of this pandemic,” said Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services. “We must take significant and collective action.”
The state’s seven-day average of new cases has increased by more than 400%, Palm said. It took seven months for cases to reach 100,000 there, and only 36 days to hit 200,000 Evers said.
Evers’ warning comes as nearly half a million Americans tested positive for Covid-19 in just the last week as a fall surge of the contagious virus claws its way into every region of the country.
More than 8.7 million in US infected since pandemic began
The past seven days have been marked by daunting coronavirus records and upticks, with 489,769 new cases reported since October 20.
In the US, more than 8.7 million people have now been infected since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The fall resurgence has led some local and state officials to rein in their reopening plans, as hospitalization numbers increase and states report case records. Still, public fatigue and political unwillingness to require masks and restrict gatherings — exemplified by the White House chief of staff’s frank admission that “we are not going to control the pandemic” — suggest worse days to come.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday that the US was at a tipping point, where aggressive action could stem the worst of the pandemic.
“But we’re not going to do that and I understand why. There’s a lot of fatigue set in and a lot of policy resistance
The Trump administration’s testing czar, Brett Giroir, said Tuesday that the country’s increase in coronavirus cases is not just because of more testing but also a surge in the disease across the country.
His comments offer a stark contrast with those of President Trump.
“Testing may be identifying some more cases, I think that’s clearly true, but what we’re seeing is a real increase in the numbers,” Giroir, an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, said at a Washington Post Live event.
“Compared to the post-Memorial Day surge, even though testing is up, this is a real increase in cases,” he added.
“We know that not only because the case numbers are up and we can calculate that, but we know that hospitalizations are going up.”
The rise in hospitalizations is widely used as an indicator to show that the spread of the virus really is worsening in the United States.
Trump however has continued to blame testing for the increase in cases.
“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST,” he tweeted Monday. “A Fake News Media Conspiracy. Many young people who heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4th., topic will totally change. VOTE!”
Experts have widely said the increase is not just because of more testing.
There are about 43,000 people in the hospital with coronavirus, according to the Covid Tracking Project, up from about 30,000 at the beginning of the month.
The percentage of tests coming back positive is also rising, another indication that the rise in cases is not just because of increased testing.
Giroir said there are “several areas of the country where hospitals are becoming full and being stressed,” but noted that hospitalizations overall are still well below where they were during the July peak.
He offered a warning, though, that the situation can worsen and people need to wash their hands, wear masks, and maintain distance from others. The arrival of colder weather, as people move indoors, is expected to contribute to a spike.
“So you know we really have a mixed picture but we are tenuous now,” he said. “We really have to re-engage the public health measures that we know work or those hospitalizations can go up substantially.”
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
(Reuters) – The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States last week rose 24% to more than 485,000 while the number of tests performed rose 5.5%, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.
Nationally, over 5,600 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Oct. 25, up 15% from the prior week. Deaths have risen for at least two weeks straight in 16 states, compared with nine states previously.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for state-by-state details)
Deaths more than doubled in seven states — Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio and Wyoming — though they remained low compared to Texas, Florida and California, according to the Reuters analysis.
Thirty-six out of 50 states have seen cases increase for at least two weeks in a row, up from 34 the prior week. They include Florida, Ohio and Michigan — all hotly contested states for the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election. New cases doubled last week in Wisconsin, another crucial state.
The United States performed 7.7 million COVID-19 tests last week, of which 6.3% came back positive for the new virus, compared with 5.4% the prior week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
South Dakota led the nation with the highest positive test rate at 40%, followed by Idaho at 34% and Wyoming at 29%. A total of 14 states had a positive test rate of over 10%.
The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered.
Since the outbreak started, over 225,000 people in the United States have died and over 8.6 million have become infected with the novel coronavirus.
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Graphic by Chris Canipe; Editing by Tiffany Wu)
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — The number of new coronavirus cases jumped in Riverside County over the weekend, as did the death toll and the number of people admitted into intensive care units, according to figures released Monday by Riverside University Health System.
The uptick comes as Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel will ask her colleagues Tuesday to support a proposal for the Executive Office to coordinate with neighboring counties in presenting a unified request to the governor to revise or drop the state’s current color-coded coronavirus tier system.
The total number of COVID-19 infections recorded in Riverside County since the public health documentation period began in early March stands at 66,732 Monday, an increase of 975 people since Friday’s reporting, according to RUHS.
The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 was reported at 1,295 Monday, and increase of 16 people since Friday, the data showed.
The number of COVID-positive hospitalizations totaled 164 Monday, compared to 161 on Friday. Monday’s figure includes 60 ICU patients — 21 more than Friday, according to RUHS.
As numbers continue rising, Spiegel’s proposal amounts to a directive for retiring CEO George Johnson, or incoming Interim CEO Juan Perez, and Executive Office staff to “engage” Imperial, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and possibly other Southern California counties in forming a partnership focused on addressing defects in the state’s coronavirus tier structure.
Riverside County was bumped back to the purple tier Tuesday due an increased coronavirus case rate and not meeting state thresholds for testing.
“Riverside County has created or expanded 22 programs to mitigate direct and indirect impacts (of COVID-19),” Spiegel said in documents posted to the Board of Supervisors’ agenda for Tuesday. “Yet there is no number of programs that can replace someone’s livelihood or business … Entire industries are at a standstill, and public assistance is limited.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the color-coded system in August to replace the multi-phase public health de-regulation strategy originally established at the end of April.
The tier plan has four color bands — purple, red, orange and yellow — that reflect how a county is managing coronavirus impacts. Riverside County had moved into the “red” tier in the third week of September, removing barriers for some businesses and houses of worship to resume indoor operations with capacity limitations.
With Riverside County now back in the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier, many indoor services and functions are prohibited.
“Riverside County continues to make great strides in improving testing, as well as outreach within hard-to-reach groups and high spread workplaces,” Spiegel said. “Hospital capacity also remains very stable and has been for months.”
The supervisor was the foremost critic of the CDPH’s reclassification, remarking immediately after the board was informed of the change that “enough is enough. We’ve got to find a way to step forward without hurting people. My frustration has turned to anger. We are way too far beyond this.”
In her call for a united front to challenge the color-coded categorizations, Spiegel said “our residents
ATLANTA (AP) — COVID-19 infections are rising more rapidly in Georgia, in line with a national trend of increasing cases.
The broadest measure of COVID-19 cases, which includes rapid antigen tests as well as the more precise genetic tests, shows the number of confirmed and probable cases was 18% higher in the week that ended Friday compared to the week before, according to a report issued Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Health.… Read More
Trump claims the worsening U.S. coronavirus outbreak is a ‘Fake News Media Conspiracy’ even as hospitalizations rise
- President Donald Trump claimed the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is a “Fake News Media Conspiracy,” saying the nation only has the most cases in the world because “we TEST, TEST, TEST.”
- Trump has repeatedly downplayed the virus and has insisted that the U.S. has more cases than any other country because the nation tests more people.
- Public health officials and infectious disease experts dispute that claim, saying the rate of tests that are positive and hospitalizations are on the rise in several states
President Donald Trump on Monday claimed the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the United States is a “Fake News Media Conspiracy,” saying the nation only has the most cases in the world because “we TEST, TEST, TEST.”
“Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high,” Trump said in a tweet Monday morning. “On November 4th., topic will totally change,” he added, referring to the day after the presidential election.
Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy. Many young people who heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4th., topic will totally change. VOTE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
Trump’s tweet came as the U.S. is reporting a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the country has reported an average of about 68,767 new cases every day, the highest seven-day average recorded yet, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data. The U.S. reported 60,789 new Covid cases Sunday after daily cases reached 83,757 on Friday, passing the last record of roughly 77,300 cases seen on July 16, according to Hopkins data.
Trump, who tested positive for the virus earlier this month, has repeatedly downplayed the virus and insisted that the U.S. has more cases than any other country because the nation tests more people. But public health officials and infectious disease experts dispute that claim, saying the rate of tests that are positive and hospitalizations are both on the rise in several states.
The overall U.S. positivity rate, or the percentage of Covid-19 tests that come back positive, is at 6.2%, up from around 5.2% last week, according to Hopkins. Illinois, where businesses are bracing for new coronavirus restrictions amid a rise in new Covid cases, has a positivity rate of 6.3%. Wisconsin, which hit a record high in average daily cases Sunday, has a positivity rate of 16%. Kentucky, another state that hit a new high, has a positivity rate of 8.4%.
Additionally, Covid-19 hospitalizations were growing by 5% or more in 34 states as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by the Covid Tracking Project. Fifteen states hit record highs in hospitalizations. El Paso County in Texas enacted a curfew after ICUs in the area reached full capacity. The increase in hospitalizations could
LONDON (Reuters) – One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces a immune response in both young and old adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus.
The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, which is helping manufacture the vaccine, said on Monday.
A vaccine that works is seen as a game-changer in the battle against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.15 million people, shuttered swathes of the global economy and turned normal life upside down for billions of people.
“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.
“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman said, referring to the technical name of the vaccine.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate, as the world tries to plot a path out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news that older people get an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.
If it works, a vaccine would allow the world to return to some measure of normality after the tumult of the pandemic.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a vaccine was not yet ready but he was preparing logistics for a possible roll out mostly in the first half of 2021.
Asked if some people could receive a vaccine this year he told the BBC: “I don’t rule that out but that is not my central expectation.”
“The programme is progressing well, (but) we’re not there yet,” Hancock said.
COMMON COLD VIRUS
Work began on the Oxford vaccine in January. Called AZD1222 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the viral vector vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.
The chimpanzee cold virus has been genetically changed to include the genetic sequence of the so-called spike protein which the coronavirus uses to gain entry to human cells. The hope is that the human body will then attack the novel coronavirus if it sees it again.
Immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants echo data released in July which showed the vaccine generated “robust immune responses” in a group of healthy adults aged between 18 and 55, the Financial Times reported earlier.
Details of the finding are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, the FT said. It did not name the publication.
Opioid use in pregnancy has prompted new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, aimed at improving care for women and newborns affected by their mothers’ drug use.
The number of affected women and infants has increased in recent years but they often don’t get effective treatment, and the pandemic may be worsening that problem, said Dr. Stephen Patrick, lead author of the academy report released Monday.Read More