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Michigan Medicine restricts visitors for adult patients as COVID-19 cases climb

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine has updated its visitor policy with tightened restrictions in order to keep patients and staff safe as COVID-19 cases surge around the state.

As of Wednesday, no visitors will be permitted with adult patients in the health system’s hospitals, unless medically necessary.

Exceptions to the new restrictions include end-of-life care, labor and delivery and other scenarios which are listed here.

According to Michigan Medicine, the new policy change includes restrictions already announced:

  • No visitors are allowed with adult emergency department patients, except when medically necessary.
  • At C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, two visitors are allowed for pediatric patients. But family and other visitors are required to wear a mask (covering their mouth and nose) at all Michigan Medicine properties. This includes in a patient room and throughout the facility. Patients who can tolerate a mask must wear one when a health care worker is present in their room.
  • In clinics, no visitors will be allowed for adult patients unless the patient has a cognitive or physical impairment that requires assistance. One primary caregiver is allowed to accompany each pediatric patient to an appointment, unless an additional aide or assistant is required.

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“COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb in the community,” Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology said in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff, and to minimize the spread of disease, we need to take this additional step.

“We know this is difficult for our patients and their families and friends. But we need to continue to keep our Michigan Medicine facilities safe for all of our patients.”

Since the pandemic began in March, Michigan Medicine has been taking steps to keep staff and patients safe, including screening patients for symptoms, cleaning and disinfecting facilities, moving furniture to observe social distancing and following the latest guidelines to minimize infections.

“Limiting the risk of transmission of infection has always been a critical priority at Michigan Medicine,” Washer said in a statement. “And I want to reassure the public that if you need health care for a new problem or for continuing care of a chronic problem, you should not put it off.

“We have teams dedicated to keeping our patients and staff safe in our buildings. It is important to not delay emergency or chronic care.”

Washer urged people to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings this year with those outside your household.

“The best advice to limit risk is to continue to avoid gathering with people outside your household even if it is Thanksgiving,” she said in a statement. “If you are reporting to work, don’t have potlucks or share meals in close proximity with your co-workers: you can’t eat without taking off your mask, and that brief period of not wearing a mask could be enough to open the door to disease spread.

“We need everyone’s help with this. A large surge of

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health

The Latest: Cases Climb, Protests Break Out in Spain | World News

MADRID — Spain’s total number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to more than 1,240,000, but the government said Monday it won’t be introducing stricter lockdown conditions for now.

Over the weekend, a spate of violent protests in a dozen cities were held in response to a nightly curfew introduced last week in Spain. Mostly young protesters set fire to vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.

Spain’s Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is to be expected” as people grow weary of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry reported just over 55,000 new cases in Spain since it last published official figures on Friday. More than 36,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began.

Asturias, a region on the north coast, asked the national government to order people in the province to stay at home for two weeks.

The Health Ministry refused, saying it is waiting to see the results of the central government’s latest restrictions, introduced last week. A strict lockdown from March to June brought down the number of cases but hit the economy hard.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— America stands at a crossroads the day before Election Day, facing a stark choice between candidates in the midst of historic pandemic

— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs.

— Germany kicks off a partial lockdown, as several European countries tighten restrictions this week

— The BBC says Britain’s Prince William had the virus in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization scientist focusing on the coronavirus response says there has been no transmission or clusters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, made the comments to reporters after the U.N. agency’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that he was starting a self-quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.

“I am well and without symptoms, but will self quarantine in the coming days in line with WHO protocols,” Tedros said via video conference from his home during a regular WHO news conference on Monday.

Van Kerkhove said the agency was tracking all cases among staff and carrying out contact tracing to ensure that transmission wasn’t taking place at its Geneva headquarters.

“We haven’t had any transmission take place on the premises, and we have no clusters on the premises,” she said. “But it is something that we’re monitoring every day.”

O’FALLAN, Mo. — Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask mandate.

Meanwhile, an eastern

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health

October Coronavirus Cases Climb In Oak Lawn

OAK LAWN, IL — October is officially behind us, but COVID-19, not so much. The pandemic has been upon us for over seven months and cases continue to rise here in Illinois.

Indoor dining at restaurants in nearly every region in Illinois was put on pause last week, as state public health officials announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Indoor service at bars and restaurants in suburban Cook County are now off-limits, all outdoor eating or drinking has to stop by 11 p.m. and gatherings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

This action marks the first time the additional mitigation measures are applied to suburban Cook County. Similar restrictions are already in place in Regions 7 and 8, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.

Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reports there have been a total of 46,509,232 COVID-19 cases around the world— as of Nov. 1. Over 9 million of those cases are here in the United States.

As of Oct. 30, Cook County has had a total of 76,070 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Cook has also reported 2,062 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and a 9.2 percent test positivity rate in the last week.

A total of 2,067 cases have been reported in Oak Lawn. The county health department reported 102 new cases in Oak Lawn over the past 14 days. The village showed an 18.4 percent increase in confirmed cases as of Oct. 24, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Numbers are updated every Wednesday.

Across suburban Cook County, the positivity rate and the rate of hospital admissions has been rising sharply. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that there are 3,294 people across Illinois in the hospital for COVID-19 or are under investigation. About 14 percent of hospital beds are being occupied by these patients and 692 of these patients are in the ICU, as of Oct. 31.

This article originally appeared on the Oak Lawn Patch

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health

Coronavirus Live Updates: New Cases Climb Above 70,000

The world-wide total of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 44 million, with more than 1.16 million dead, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

India: New cases climbed, a day after dipping to the lowest daily level in more than three months. On Wednesday, India reported 43,893 new cases, as the total number neared eight million, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The country’s death toll rose by 508 to 120,010.

China: Health authorities reported 22 symptomatic, locally transmitted cases for Tuesday, the highest single-day increase since early August. The rise comes as a cluster of cases in the city of Kashgar, in the far-western region of Xinjiang has emerged. As of Tuesday, authorities said the city had identified a total of 183 coronavirus cases after completing a mass testing program.

Japan: Starting Nov. 6, Hawaii plans to allow travelers from Japan who test negative for the coronavirus to enter the state without a two-week quarantine. Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations for Japanese tourists. Travelers will still have to be tested and quarantine when they return to Japan, a Japanese Health Ministry official said. Japan on Wednesday reported 629 new cases, bringing the nation’s total to more than 98,100. The death toll stands at 1,730, including five additional fatalities logged Wednesday.

Australia: Victoria state recorded two new coronavirus cases and two deaths, as the capital, Melbourne, emerged from one of the world’s longest lockdowns. People flocked to the city’s bars and restaurants, some of which opened at midnight, when restrictions that have shuttered shops, cafes and hairdressers for months to stamp out a second wave were finally lifted.

Guam: Hospitalizations in Guam have risen to 81, the highest number since the pandemic began, adding more stress on the U.S. territory’s health-care system. Guam recorded 82 new cases, bringing the total to 4,418.

South Korea: The country added 103 cases, with many linked to clusters of infections at health-care facilities and other spots that have emerged in recent days. Health officials have ordered nightclubs in Seoul to close over Halloween weekend to avoid further potential spread of the virus.

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health

Covid cases continue to climb in almost every state, as U.S. braces for possible ‘third peak’

Texas, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands stand alone in recorded decreases in Covid-19 cases over the last two weeks, as the country braces for a possible “third peak” of the disease.

Although the Lone Star State reported a “slight decrease” in cases over a 14-day period that ended Saturday, its news was better than most: 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam are all seeing increases in cases over the past 14 days, and nine states have plateaued, according to NBC News tallies. Rhode Island, which like Texas has also seen a net decrease, does not report data over the weekend, and Missouri is not currently reporting data due to a technology issue.

In Vermont and New Mexico, cases have spiked, as both battle around a 117% spike in cases over the past two weeks.

“We are really struggling,” Dr. Todd Vento, director of the Telehealth Infectious Disease Program of Utah-based Intermountain Health, told NBC”s “TODAY” show. “People are doing heroic work, but they are really getting to the point where it’s going to be literally unsustainable.”

On Saturday, thousands of people, many without masks, attended a Trump rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, as health officials urge residents not to gather with anyone outside of their immediate families. The state, which does not release case counts over the weekend, saw a record 3,861 new cases on Friday, according to the state’s health department.

In North Dakota, a whopping 4% of the state has contracted Covid-19 since March, most of those cases coming within the last few weeks.

North and South Dakota lead the United States in weekly virus cases per capita, according to an NBC News tally, and ICUs are filling up across the state. According to the most recent data released by the North Dakota Department of Health, there are 16 ICU open beds in the state, just one in the capital city of Bismarck. The state, which does not have a mask mandate, only recommends that its residents cover their faces.

“You know, from my perspective, the mask mandate, it’s gonna be hard to enforce,” Kirby Kruger, the North Dakota director of Disease Control, said. “I think there’s a segment of the population that doesn’t want to do this…it’s not something that they feel that the government should be forcing on them.”

Gov. Doug Burgum has continued to stress individual responsibility as the state sees cases rise. “I think it’s important to the future of our state that we do understand there is something that is more powerful than an executive order — infinitely more powerful than a mandate — and these are the beliefs that individuals hold in their hearts,” he said in a press conference.

Burgum said he was “amazed” people were still debating the mask mandate because “there is no other way to get someone to wear a mask other than for that person to choose to do that.”

Texas, where illness is slightly declining, has seen more than 860,000 cases and almost 17,500

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Maryland Coronavirus Cases Climb By Nearly 800 In One Day

MARYLAND — Nearly 800 confirmed cases of the coronavirus were added to the count in Maryland in the past day, state health officials reported Saturday. On Oct. 1, there were more than 125,000 cases; as of Saturday, Oct. 17, there were more than 135,000.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that fans would again be allowed at sporting events in the state, including NFL games.

Both M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field may host crowds of up to 10 percent capacity.

“With our key health metrics low and stable, we are taking steps to allow more spectators,” Hogan said in a statement Friday. He said the positivity rate was stable, “cases per 100K have declined, and zero counties are in the federal government’s ‘red zone.'”

The positivity rate is at 3.15 percent on a seven-day rolling average, according to the Maryland Department of Health.

In the past two weeks, hospitalizations have risen by about 100; there were 323 people hospitalized with the virus as of Saturday, Oct. 3, and officials said there were 422 Saturday, Oct. 17.

Here is the data about the coronavirus in Maryland from the state health department as of Saturday, Oct. 17:

Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.

This article originally appeared on the Baltimore Patch

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Southwest Virginia Coronavirus Hospitalizations Climb Past NoVA

VIRGINIA — Southwest Virginia has surpassed population centers in Northern Virginia and the Tidewater area in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Statewide, cumulative hospitalizations stood at 11,831 as of Saturday, while current patient numbers totaled 993, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That includes 218 hospitalizations in the state’s southwest region, compared to 216 in the northern region and 187 in the eastern region. The central region led the state with 238 hospitalizations on Saturday and the northwest region had the fewest hospitalizations at 134.

The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations in the southwest region has grown from 161.7 a month ago on Sept. 17 to an average of 204.6 hospitalizations on Saturday. In Northern Virginia, the seven-day moving average of hospitalizations has dropped from 237.7 on Sept. 17 to 221.7 on Oct. 17.

Southwest Virginia also has seen a growing number of positive coronavirus cases since July 1. The region was reporting a seven-day moving average of 79.6 positive cases on July 1 compared to an average of 292.4 on Oct. 17.

The VDH reported 1,114 additional coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the cumulative total to 165,238 cases. Saturday’s new cases included 348 in the southwest region, 273 in the central region, 216 in the northern region, 152 in the eastern region, and 125 in the northwest region.

Health officials had viewed the rise in cases in southwest Virginia since August as predominantly student-related, with students at Virginia Tech, Radford University and other colleges returning to school.

But an increase in hospitalizations in southwest Virginia may indicate the disease is spreading to older populations in the region.

At a news conference last month, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state needs to keep an eye on the southwest region due to its high positivity rate. “Since Southwest Virginia has fewer people and fewer hospitals with fewer ICU beds and capabilities, this continues to be concerning to us,” the governor said at the time.

The latest statewide seven-day average is 4.9 percent on Oct. 13, with the southwest region still far above the rest of the state at a 7.2 percent average. The rest of the state is in the 4-percent range: central region at 4.7 percent, eastern region at 4.5 percent, northwest region at 4.3 percent and northern region at 4.1 percent.

According to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, there are 100 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 219 in the intensive care units. Ventilator use among all hospital patients is at 23 percent of capacity as of Friday, while ICU occupancy stands at 82 percent. No hospitals are reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment or other medical supplies in the next 72 hours.

As for the positive rate of PCR tests, the latest statewide seven-day average is 4.9 percent on Oct. 13. Regions in the 4-percent range are the central region (4.7 percent), eastern region (4.5 percent), northwest region (4.3 percent) and northern region (4.1 percent). The southwest region’s average is 7.2 percent.

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