ARLINGTON, VA —Virginia Department of Health confirmed 14 new cases Monday of COVID-19, the illness associated with the new coronavirus, in the Arlington Health District. That’s down from the 50 new cases that were reported on Sunday, which is the latest single day reporting of new cases since May 29. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Arlington stands at 4,778.
Virginia health officials also reported no new deaths due to COVID-19 Monday in Arlington. The last new death was reported on Oct. 24. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the Arlington Health District now stands at 154.
A total of 540 people have been hospitalized in Arlington due to COVID-19.
VDH confirmed Monday there have been 25 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Arlington Health District. There have been 18 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, three at a congregate setting, three in health care settings, and, one at a college or a university. The total number of cases connected with an outbreak is 646. There have been 237 reported coronavirus cases in Arlington involving health care workers.
There have been 183,418 total cases statewide, according to data reported by the Virginia Department of Health. In Virginia, there have been 3,658 coronavirus-related deaths to date. There have been a total of 12,674 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
VDH reported Monday that 85,620 COVID-19 tests have been taken in Arlington, with a 4.9 percent positivity rate. Statewide there have been 2,873,195 COVID-19 tests taken, with a 6.8 percent positivity rate, according to VDH.
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Globally, more than 46.6 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1.2 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Monday morning. In the United States, more than 9.2 million people have been infected and over 231,000 people have died from COVID-19.
VDH breaks down the number of cases and deaths in Arlington by age, race and ethnicity. The breakdown by age is as follows:
Arlington residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
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This article originally appeared on the Arlington Patch
One of the vexing things about coronaviruses like the common cold is that the immune response they induce is often short-lived. You catch a cold, recover and then catch it again six months later.
New research published Tuesday indicates fading immunity might also occur with the much more serious coronavirus, SARS CoV-2. Imperial College London scientists found that in a random sample of 365,000 adults in the United Kingdom, the presence of COVID-19 antibodies declined in all age groups by 26% from June to September.Read More
The proportion of people with antibodies against the coronavirus in England waned over the span of three months, according to new research out of the U.K. that raises new questions about the achievability of long-lasting herd immunity.
The study, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed, found that the number of people with COVID-19 antibodies declined about 26% over the study period.
Researchers examined three rounds of finger-prick tests from about 365,000 people in England from June through September. They found that about 6% of people had antibodies after the first test, which dropped to 4.4% after the last round.
The findings “suggest the possibility of decreasing population immunity and increasing risk of reinfection as detectable antibodies decline in the population,” according to the study.
Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted
“This very large study has shown that the proportion of people with detectable antibodies is falling over time,” Helen Ward, one of the authors of the study and professor at Imperial College London, said in a statement. “We don’t yet know whether this will leave these people at risk of reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19, but it is essential that everyone continues to follow guidance to reduce the risk to themselves and others.”
The finding that antibodies against COVID-19 wane is not unexpected, as declines in antibodies to other human coronaviruses after infection have been documented.
“This is consistent with evidence that immunity to seasonal coronaviruses declines over 6 to 12 months after infection and emerging data on SARS-CoV-2 that also detected a decrease over time in antibody levels in individuals followed in longitudinal studies,” researchers wrote in the study.
Still, many have questioned how strong the immune response is to the virus and how long it lasts.
A study out last month found that antibody levels rose for about two months after infection and then plateaued through the four-month mark. That research “provides hope that host immunity to this unpredictable and highly contagious virus may not be fleeting and may be similar to that elicited by most other viral infections,” experts from Harvard University and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, who did not participate in the study, wrote in a commentary published alongside the conclusions.
Massive virus surges across Europe and the U.S. are underway. Some have suggested the controversial idea of letting the virus spread to possibly reach herd immunity, which is generally considered to be around 70% of the population.
Many health officials have decried the notion, and the World Health Organization noted that “we don’t know enough about immunity to COVID-19” for it to be a viable option.
“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference earlier this month.
In the U.S., White House chief of staff Mark Meadows offered a glimpse into President Donald Trump’s coronavirus strategy on Sunday, saying the federal government would focus on developing vaccines
Flu deaths are down two-thirds from the five-year average, a drop that could indicate the most vulnerable Americans died in the first wave of COVID-19.
New federal estimates show no flu deaths for the week ending Oct. 17. The federal five-year average for the same week is 17 fatalities. New York and New York City recorded no flu deaths, which is also that week’s five-year average for each.
The city is taking a wait-and-see attitude, with the flu season just a few weeks old.
“We are still very early into this influenza season and it’s too early to make any predictions on severity,” Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza told The Post.
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A similar pattern is emerging in the UK, where flu and pneumonia took 1,132 lives last month – 28% lower than the five-year monthly average of roughly 1,500.
The country’s Office for National Statistics thinks the drop is because medically vulnerable Brits who would have died this fall from flu and pneumonia instead died this spring from the coronavirus.
But private British statistician Kevin McConway told The Post he doubts “whether it’s the whole story.”
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McConway points out that flu and pneumonia are airborne infections like the coronavirus and the safety guidelines put in place for the pandemic — masks, social distancing and handwashing — would stop them, too.
Said state health department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond: “Wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, and all the other measures put in place to slow the Coronavirus should also slow the flu and other viruses.”
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US health officials have been urging Americans for months that a bad flu season on top of the COVID outbreak could overwhelm hospitals and increase the risk of catching both infections at the same time.
Pneumonia deaths in the U.S. and across the city and state are down as well. For the week ending Oct. 17, deaths nationwide stood at 1,251 – down 60% from the five-year average of 3,106 for the same week.
The state recorded 93 pneumonia deaths, a 36% decrease from the five-year average of 146 for the same week. The city’s total stood at 51, down the five-year average of 86 — a 41% reduction.
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Average ObamaCare premiums will decline by 2 percent for the 2021 year for a benchmark plan, the Trump administration announced, marking the third straight year of declines.
Premiums for the benchmark plan have declined by 8 percent on the HealthCare.gov platform over the three-year period since the 2018 plan year, the administration said.
The announcement from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is an indication of how the Trump administration is claiming credit for its stewardship of the Affordable Care Act while at the same time backing a lawsuit to scrap the law.
“Bottom line – The President has delivered, lower cost and more choice,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Our changes to the regulations and how we have managed the Exchanges have proven to be more effective than previous administrations.”
On the other hand, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: ‘The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it’ Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE made clear last month that he still wants ObamaCare struck down.
“Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big WIN for the USA!” he tweeted.
The administration argues, however, that as long as law is still on the books, it is being managed well.
The simple passage of time is also a factor in the stabilization of the ObamaCare markets. Insurers initially underpriced their premiums when the law kicked into gear in 2014, and then had to raise them to avoid losses. As the years have gone on, insurers have more experience in the marketplaces and have priced more accurately.
More insurers are also participating in the law’s marketplaces, the administration said. Just 9 percent of counties will have only one insurer offering ObamaCare coverage, down from 50 percent of counties in 2018.
Democrats have pointed to cuts in outreach funding and the expansion of cheaper, skimpier “short-term plans” to argue that the Trump administration is undermining the law.