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Hospitals across 38 states report increase in coronavirus patients

The coronavirus is spreading faster than ever in the U.S., with the highest one-week average of new cases since the pandemic began. Thirty-eight states are reporting increases in the number of hospitalized patients compared to two weeks ago.



a group of people in a room: Hospital


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Hospital

The situation is especially dire in seven states — Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas — where many intensive care units are near or at capacity. Average daily deaths have also edged back up to about 800 Americans per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. It’s a level not seen in more than a month.

In Utah, hospitals pushed to the brink are preparing to ration care. 

Dr. Todd Vento, the top infectious disease doctor at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, told CBS News, “I would say that if you don’t think that your daily actions affect others that you’ve never met, you’re wrong. Everything we do that circulates the virus eventually makes it so that it might get to someone who ends up in the hospital.”

Coronavirus patients flooding hospitals as infections spread in 43 states

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In the Midwest, the surge has been especially hard. Wisconsin saw 5,262 new cases, according to state health officials, which is its highest daily uptick in cases since the pandemic began. Illinois saw 4,000 new cases, and daily deaths have risen 58.3%, the state Department of Public Health reported.

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“We have got to reverse the trend and slow the spread of this virus,” said Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

COVID-19 cases in kids are also rising — up more than 14% in two weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. And now, a British study suggests coronavirus antibodies might only last months — similar to those for the common cold.

The average number of new COVID-19 cases in New Jersey has jumped by more than 45% in the last two weeks. In the city of Newark, where the coronavirus positivity rate is topping more than 11%, new restrictions are in effect.

“It’s not panic. It’s calculated strategies to do what we know works here in Newark,” Dr. Mark Wade, director of the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness, told CBS News.

Starting Tuesday night, all non-essential businesses and indoor dining in Newark will shut down at 8 p.m. until at least November 10.

Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, drugmaker Pfizer announced Tuesday that it plans to apply for emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine in November.

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Coronavirus cases break records as states around U.S. reel under surge

As the United States set records for the number of new coronavirus cases, states in every part of the country are reeling under the surge.

Two back-to-back daily records for single-day increases in U.S. cases were set on Friday, with 79,303 new cases, and on Thursday with 77,640, according to NBC News’ tally. The previous high of 75,723 was set July 29.

The total number of cases has reached 8.6 million, with over 225,000 deaths.

And the toll is being felt around the country.

  • Among the dead is an 18-year-old who was a student at University of Dayton in Ohio. “I think it is a wake-up call,” said a fellow student of the death of the teen, who had gone home to Illinois in September for remote study.

  • Illinois’ top public health official broke down in tears during a news conference Friday as she reported over 3,800 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total to more than 370,000.

  • Ohio set another single-day case record after reporting 2,518 new cases Friday, bringing its total to 192,948, according to NBC News’ tally. “We can’t let this situation continue to domino out of control,” the governor said this week as the state put out a new ad with a visualization of how the virus spreads.

  • New Mexico has seen its cases double over the past two weeks to more than 40,000. “The threat of this virus remains very real”, the governor reminded residents.

  • South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was put under a one-week lockdown by the Oglala Sioux Tribe to slow the spread of the virus.

  • Idaho is also experiencing an uptick in cases that is starting to overwhelm hospitals in the state. “Our hospital is not built for a pandemic,” said a pulmonologist at a hospital in Coeur d’Alene.

  • New Jersey’s governor said Saturday he extended a public health emergency in the state for an additional 30 days in light of an “alarming rise in cases,” the highest since May.

  • And the top health official in one of Florida’s most populous counties discouraged parents from hosting birthday parties for their children, no matter the size.

The University of Dayton student died Thursday after a lengthy hospitalization, the school’s president said in a letter to the university community, reported NBC affiliate WDTN in Dayton. The university didn’t say whether the student, who was in his first year, was believed to have contracted the virus at the school or elsewhere. He had left campus on Sept. 13 to study remotely from home.

In Illinois, the state’s top health official, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, became emotional at a news conference where she noted the increase in the case count and that over 9,400 people have died of the virus in the state. “These are people who started with us in 2020 and won’t be with us at the Thanksgiving table.”

“We are seeing the number of people with Covid-19 continue to increase,” Ezike said. “We are seeing the number of individuals in the

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Illinois Health Official Breaks Down Crying While Giving Update on State’s Rising COVID-19 Deaths

Gov. JB Pritzker/Twitter

The Illinois Director of the Department of Public Health broke down in tears during Friday afternoon’s press briefing on the coronavirus in the state.

While updating the public on the state’s rising numbers of COVID-19 deaths, Dr. Ngozi Ezike took a moment to herself, turning away from the podium as she was unable to hold back her tears.

“Since yesterday we have lost an additional 31 lives, for a total of 9,418 deaths. These are people who started with us in 2020 and who won’t be with us at the Thanksgiving table,” she said. “Today, we are reporting 3,874 new cases, for a total of 364,033 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.”

“Excuse me, please,” Ezike said as she paused to compose herself before someone brought over a box of tissues. “I’m sorry.”

Gov. JB Pritzker/Twitter Dr. Ezike

RELATED: U.S. Breaks Record for Most COVID Cases in a Single Day with More Than 75,000 New Infections

As of Saturday, an additional 286 people have died, bringing the total to 9,704, according to a New York Times database.

During her speech, Ezike told Illinois residents that she understands “the mental, social and the emotional toll that this pandemic continues to have on people.”

“Not just because I’m asking people, it’s because I’m feeling it and living it myself. I don’t get to live in some COVID-free bubble, exempt from all the pain and tragedy of this pandemic. So I understand how pandemic fatigue is striking everyone. It’s real,” she said.

“The way we work, the way we live, the way we play has changed, and the harsh reality is that the sacrifices we’ve made, that we continue to make do not have a future expiration date,” Ezike added. “And I know that that’s difficult.”

Illinois has been experiencing a rising number of COVID-19 cases, reporting an average of 4,131 cases per day, an 81 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. As of Saturday, there have been at least 370,134 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

“My message to you is to stay strong,” Ezike said. “I have never run a marathon but I have the utmost regard for those who have been able to train and plan and finish a marathon. But this is a difficult race when you can’t actually see the endpoint and I’m sorry that that’s the message I have for you. Nevertheless, I’m asking you to fight the fatigue. Fight the urge to give up on social distancing.”

Ezike added that residents need to continue wearing a mask, maybe reconsider attending large gatherings and continue to opt for virtual hang-outs.

RELATED: ‘Long Hauler’ COVID Patients Still Have Symptoms Months Later — and Most Are Women and the Elderly

“This is what we will have to do to bring the spread down in our community… Let’s please work together. I know many of you are healthy and don’t have a concern in the world of dying from

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42 states, territories in upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases: HHS memo

Only nine jurisdictions are improving. Just five jurisdictions are at a plateau.

Forty-two states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, while only nine jurisdictions are improving, according to an internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.

Just five jurisdictions are at a plateau.

There were 5,530 deaths recorded from Oct. 16 to Oct. 22, marking a 15.1% increase in new deaths compared with the previous week, according to the memo.

The national test-positivity rate increased from 5.1% to 5.9% in week-to-week comparisons.

Across the country, 24% of hospitals have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17 to 18% during the summertime peak.

In Florida, new cases are up 30% among high school students compared to two weeks ago, and up 42% among young adults ages 18 to 24, the memo said.

In Kentucky, new deaths have been increasing over the last two weeks. Kentucky reported its second-highest daily fatality count on Wednesday, the memo said.

The state is preparing its surge capacity as hospitalizations rise.

Mississippi reported a 26.2% increase in cases over the last week, according to HHS.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Mississippi are up 24% since last week, with COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations up 7%.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, who primarily live in Neshoba County, are disproportionately affected by the virus. The tribe reported 22 new cases this past week with

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Coronavirus outbreaks connected to hockey are happening in New England states

Multiple New England states are experiencing issues with the coronavirus for hockey players, prompting suspensions in play.

Some states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have paused ice skating and hockey activities for two weeks as facilities find ways to better prevent COVID-19 among people visiting and using the rinks.

Above video: Hockey parents speak out prior to mandatory COVID-19 testing announcement in New Hampshire

A rink is Vermont was linked to dozens of cases, and earlier this month, New Hampshire’s governor said over 150 cases in recent months were linked to hockey.


Hockey organizers and health experts in states have detailed ways to reduce risks in spreading the virus, stressing physical distancing and other measures. Materials typically cite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Health officials have also noted an adult recreational game being connected with the virus, saying it happened in Florida and led to around a dozen positive cases.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” a Florida health official said.

NH introduces testing requirement for players

A new requirement says rink staff, players and coaches must undergo a COVID-19 test before Nov. 6.

It comes as New Hampshire is “pausing” all hockey activities in indoor rinks for two weeks following positive COVID-19 tests for 158 people associated with the sport over the last two months, Gov. Chris Sununu and health officials said Oct. 15.

The suspension, which also affects ice skating in general, is in effect until Oct. 29. Play can resume Oct. 30, and the state’s reopening task force has provided guidance, which includes wearing face coverings when people are not playing.

Dr. Ben Chan, state epidemiologist, previously said the cases are from 23 different hockey-related New Hampshire organizations and teams, “and there are additional connections with out-of-state ice hockey organizations.”

Chan said people who have acquired the virus through hockey have been associated with, and potentially exposed others, in at least 24 different K-12 schools throughout the state.

“This type of spread and exposure to other facilities and organizations within the community increases the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 in other settings outside of hockey,” Chan said.

Rinks will be cleaned and sanitized and guidance on the sport will be revised and more testing will be conducted.

College team activity is on hold, in addition to youth and amateur organization activities.

“We don’t know exactly where the pinpoints are here, whether it’s something on the ice or something in the locker rooms,” Sununu said.

Indoor hockey, skating suspended for 2 weeks in Mass.

Suspended play comes as outbreaks have been linked to 108 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, according to the Massachusetts health department.

Indoor ice hockey and skating have been suspended as of 5 p.m. Oct. 23, to at least Nov. 7 for youth hockey and adult leagues at both public and private facilities.

“This order is

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Rocky Mountain States Emerge as New Covid-19 Hotspot

In mid-July, Montana was far from the fast-moving Covid-19 outbreaks that were overwhelming other states, reporting about 150 new cases a day. It is now a national hot spot.

The coronavirus is triggering more than 900 cases a day in Montana, health officials say, driven in large part by people fed up with face masks, as well as a resurgence of weddings, parties and other social gatherings. The state, which has one of the highest rates of infection in the U.S., has surpassed 25,000 cases and 275 deaths.

“I think a lot of it is people got tired of not having their regular life,” said John Felton, the health officer in Yellowstone County, where officials say the number of hospital patients requiring intensive care now exceeds the county’s 41 ICU beds.

Montana and other Rocky Mountain states are the latest region to get swept up by a surge in Covid-19 cases, which are nearing or at peak levels in Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. New patients have left hospital beds in short supply, and state officials have renewed efforts to slow the spread.

So far, deaths from Covid-19 haven’t risen significantly across the region, but the wave of cases likely foreshadows an uptick similar to other outbreaks across the U.S., public-health officials said.

From September to October, there has been a big rise in new Covid-19 cases in several states, as well as a rise in hospitalizations resulting from the virus.

New cases vs. hospitalizations per 100,000

Note: Values are an average of the entire month.
Source: COVID Tracking
Project

In New Mexico, where new cases have shot up to more than 800 a day from 108 on Sept. 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said Tuesday that restaurants, bars and other businesses where people gather would have to close for two weeks if four or more of their workers test positive over 14 days.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, has directed the National Guard to help with contact tracing. New daily Covid-19 cases on Wednesday grew to 322 from 24 on Sept. 1.

More than 600 Idaho teachers called in sick Monday and Tuesday in the West Ada School District over what they say are unsafe working conditions, citing little room for social distancing in classrooms and some students ignoring mask-wearing rules in the Boise-area district. Over the past month, daily cases in Idaho have reached more than 900 a day from about 200.

“At the end of the day, we are just screaming the conditions they are having to work in are intolerable,” said Eric Thies, president of the West Ada Education Association, a teachers union.

A high school in Idaho Falls. Hundreds of Idaho teachers in another school district called in sick this week to protest what they say are unsafe working conditions.



Photo:

JOHN ROARK/Associated Press

In Utah, where new cases rose from 300 a day at the start of September to more than 1,300, a hospital in Salt Lake City

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A Manatt Health Report Analyzing Effective Strategies from Medicaid Managed Care States

Comprehensive review of state managed care contracts and 1115 waivers detail effective SDOH integration strategies

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, announced today the release of its latest survey, which provides a comprehensive review of states’ social determinants of health (SDOH) initiatives through Medicaid managed care contracts and 1115 waivers. The report, titled “In Pursuit of Whole Person Health: A Review of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Initiatives in Medicaid Managed Care Contracts and 1115 Waivers,” was conducted by Manatt Health, the firm’s healthcare legal and consulting group. With Medicaid being the largest payer of healthcare for the low-income populations that are disproportionately impacted by social and economic challenges, this report takes a deep dive into the ways states can effectively integrate SDOH into the Medicaid delivery system and leverage 1115 waivers to foster innovation.

“This pandemic—and its disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color—has brought the need to address SDOH into sharp focus,” said Melinda Dutton, partner with Manatt Health, who coauthored the report alongside director Naomi Newman, manager Mandy Ferguson and partner Cindy Mann. Newman added: “Our report serves as a resource for states, health plans, provider organizations and other stakeholders looking to improve overall health for their most vulnerable populations.”

This report details how states are using their Medicaid managed care contracts and 1115 waivers to address unmet social needs and drive innovation in this space. Through an in-depth review of the contracts of each state and territory with Medicaid managed care (41 in total), Manatt identified the provisions and subsequent intervention methods related to SDOH, and categorized them by type of service or intervention (e.g., screening and referral requirements, quality metrics); targeted populations (e.g., pregnant women, children, people experiencing homelessness); and targeted domains (e.g., housing, food/nutrition, employment).

An infographic to help illustrate the findings can be found here. The full report, including detailed state profiles with contract language, can be located through a subscription to Insights@Manatt Health, an original content information service providing a wide range of premium analysis and data on breaking industry news and trends; in-depth evaluation of state and federal health policy changes; detailed summaries of Medicaid, Medicare and Marketplace regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance; and 50-state surveys on critical industry issues.

This report was compiled through an analysis of the contracts and 1115 waivers of each of the 41 states and territories with Medicaid managed care conducted between October 2019 and June 2020. In certain instances when states’ managed care organization (MCO) model was not released, Manatt utilized the state’s MCO “request for proposals” to understand the scope of SDOH-related requirements on plans. Of the 41 states and territories, two requested that their profiles be withheld from this publication due to ongoing MCO procurements and contract amendments.

About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is a leading professional services firm, providing integrated legal and consulting services to a global client base. With offices strategically located in California (Los Angeles, Orange

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‘It Has Hit Us With a Vengeance’: Coronavirus Surges Again Across the United States

“We were hoping we had escaped the Covid-19,” Mayor Tim Mahoney of Fargo, a practicing surgeon, said in an interview. “Now we’re just like everybody else in the country. It has hit us with a vengeance.

“We kind of thought we’d outsmart it, and you can’t outsmart this virus.”

In other parts of the country, officials are also returning to another tried-and-true method of containing the virus: stay-at-home orders. On Tuesday, local health officials ordered students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to stay in their residences except for essential activities effective immediately, in an effort to control an escalating community outbreak.

Since Oct. 12, cases associated with the university have made up about 61 percent of confirmed and probable local infections, said Jimena Loveluck, the health officer for Washtenaw County, who warned that many cases have been tied to parties and other big gatherings.

“During the day, on campus, everyone’s fine and following the rules,” said Emma Stein, a senior news editor at The Michigan Daily, the student paper, who is now confined at home with her eight roommates. “But at night, on weekends, they don’t.”

The order could leave the campus unusually quiet ahead of Oct. 31, when the university is expected to play its first home football game of the season against its biggest in-state rival, Michigan State. For added deterrence, health officials are considering an extra kick: Within the week, officials said, the health department may start fining people who violate the order to stay at home.

In a sign of how quickly the virus is spreading in many parts of the Midwest and the Great Plains, infections recently overtook a private nursing home in northern Kansas.

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States prepare for their own vaccine safety reviews amid worries about Trump’s influence on the FDA

“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in announcing his state’s vaccine review panel. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who announced his state’s 11 member panel of doctors and scientists on Monday said: “Of course we won’t take anyone’s word for it.”

President Donald Trump’s intense push for a vaccine before the election – which is now virtually impossible given that none of the leading vaccine candidates will be ready by then — on top of administration pressure on the FDA and Centers for Disease Control, have sowed growing public doubt about vaccine safety, particularly as the research into the shots has progressed at an unprecedented breakneck pace.

A CNN poll from earlier this month showed only about half of Americans might get a vaccine, while a more recent Stat News poll revealed 58 percent of the U.S. public said they would get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine was available – a big decline over its prior poll. If large numbers of people spurn the shot, its power to beat back the pandemic is diminished.

States have not yet released a lot of details about their vaccine reviews. The additional layer of oversight raises questions about whether a state agency could impede use of a federally-approved vaccine, and whether they could end up slowing down the pandemic response, rather than enhancing it.

Even though governors say they are protecting their residents in case pressure from the White House leads the FDA to approve a flawed vaccine, some officials and public health advocates are warning that these state interventions could confuse the public and prevent people from seeking a shot even if it is safe and effective.

It is “hard to see how any state could replicate anything like the national, gold standard system” of FDA approval, said former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan, who now heads a major health policy center at Duke.

Critics of the state review panels include both Republicans in Congress as well as nonpartisan public health experts in both the advocacy and academic worlds.

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the outgoing top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FDA, called the state vaccine panels a “reckless” idea that would “dangerously undermine the FDA” and increase public vaccine hesitancy.

Walden told a recent committee hearing that the FDA had ample safeguards, including an independent data safety monitoring board for each vaccine trial, as well as the outside experts that serve on the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has said the advisory panel, which meets for the first time to discuss Covid-19 vaccines this Thursday, will review every vaccine prior to an emergency authorization or approval.

States “would be hard-pressed to find more qualified experts” than those already on the FDA and CDC advisory panels, said Amy Pisani, executive director of the nonprofit Vaccinate Your Family. Their “recommendations will speak for themselves,” she said.

Traditionally the states have

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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on state’s vaccine distribution plan

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday the state is developing a plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The plan lays out the initial steps for a “robust, comprehensive and equitable” vaccine distribution system once one or more vaccines become available.

Officials anticipate limited supply in the early phase and plan to prioritize some health care workers, people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – including people with underlying medical conditions and those older than 65 – and other essential workers, Baker said.

“The plan also outlines our messaging efforts to make sure people know once there is a vaccine available, that it has been approved by the federal government and is safe and effective,” he said.

“We’ll also make it a priority to reach out specifically to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including people and communities of color.”

Baker called it an interim plan “that will probably change as more information becomes available.”

Massachusetts is among the states that has recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. As of mid-last week, a total of 63 communities in the state, including Boston, were considered high risk for virus infections, up from 40 a week before. The designation is based on average daily cases per 100,000 residents, CBS Boston reported. High risk communities are those with over 8 cases per 100,000 residents during the last 14 days.

“While we continue to plan for distribution of a vaccine, we can’t take our eyes off the measures that we’ve been talking about for the last several months to keep people safe,” Baker said Tuesday.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said late last week that officials are now giving “special attention” to gatherings and house parties “that are putting other people at risk,” as the city sees a rise in coronavirus cases. 

“We are tracing locations where house parties continue to happen,” Walsh said, adding they are working with Boston’s Inspectional Services department “to curtail these events.”

Roughly half of new cases in the city continue to be in people who are under 30, said Walsh, who advised people to “get on Zoom” and socialize digitally.

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