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medicine

Wear masks, Michigan Medicine leaders tell public as hospitalizations surge

ANN ARBOR, MI — Michigan Medicine leaders are calling on the public to not let its guard down as hospitals across the state experience rapid surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

It’s imperative Michigan caregivers stay healthy so they can take care of an expected surge in cases this winter, Marschall Runge, Michigan Medicine CEO and dean of the University of Michigan’s medical school, said in a Thursday, Nov. 18 news conference that also announced a joint nationwide campaign to encourage mask wearing.

Michigan Medicine has joined around 100 of the nation’s top health care systems in the #MaskUp campaign, which urges all Americans to mask up, in an effort to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Runge said.

A large surge in cases requiring hospitalizations for COVID-19 due to the lack of adherence to mitigation strategies has the potential to overwhelm health systems, said Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology.

“I’m very glad that we at Michigan Medicine are joining with healthcare systems nationwide to encourage the simple behaviors that are proven to work: Mask up, socially distance, wash your hands,” Washer said.

Like many other hospitals across the state, Michigan Medicine is facing short staffing, Runge said, adding the healthcare system is developing a plan to make sure it can provide necessary care.

“Given the widespread community transmission, hospitals are also managing staffing limitations due to employee illness, absences and responsibilities for childcare,” Washer said.

During the past three weeks, Michigan Medicine has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients, Runge said. This week alone, Michigan Medicine had as many as 75 COVID-19 positive patients at one time, with up to 20 of them being critically ill and requiring ICU care, officials said.

“Following the spring and early summer COVID surge — the first wave, so to speak — we resumed care of many non-COVID patients that need hospitalization, and our hospitals are about 90% full as a result,” Runge said. “With that high occupancy, which we did manage pre-COVID, that puts additional strain on our response to the pandemic.”

The health system’s testing capacity is approximately 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, while its laboratories continue to develop new strategies to implement different types of COVID tests, officials said.

Michigan Medicine’s testing results recently showed about 14% of those tested are testing positive for COVID, well above the 5% mark reported for most of the summer months, Runge said.

“At Michigan Medicine, and all of Michigan’s healthcare providers, we need your help,” Runge said. “To combat a pandemic we need supplies, we need space and most importantly staff.”

The increased hospital capacity is putting a burden on the number of beds, as well as staff and healthcare providers, Runge said. A large surge of cases also carries a risk of challenging the amount of personal protective equipment required to keep healthcare workers safe, health officials said.

The number of confirmed cases in Michigan reached more than 277,800 this week, including 8,190 deaths.

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health

What European leaders need to get right during second wave of lockdowns

Fearing all of its intensive care beds could be full by mid-November, France implemented nationwide restrictions at the end of October — as did Belgium and Ireland. Germany’s softer, so-called “lockdown light,” restrictions began on Monday, and Austria is following suite on Tuesday.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a second lockdown to begin in England later this week, while daily record increases of coronavirus infections in Italy appear to foreshadow another round of severe restrictions.

As countries attempt to beat back the virus before the Christmas holiday season, experts are calling on European governments to rethink their pandemic approach, fix its blind spots, and prevent another spiraling rise in illness next year, further derailing economies in the process.

“We have gone so far down the track with our very indirect measures like lockdowns and we haven’t even sorted out the two basics: We’re not finding all the cases, and when we do, people are not fully complying with self-isolation and quarantines,” Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, told CNN.

“I do think we’ve jumped several steps ahead of ourselves in solving the immediate problem in the UK and the rest of Europe,” Woolhouse added.

Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that the “missing link” in Europe’s handling of coronavirus is the management of self-isolation. “That’s not just isolation of people who are sick — it’s isolation of people who have contacts and are first-degree contacts,” she said.

Compliance

The WHO does not advocate for lockdowns as the primary means of controlling the virus. But if lockdowns happen, governments must use the “extra time granted” by the restrictions “to build their capacities to detect, isolate, test and care for all cases; trace and quarantine all contacts; engage, empower and enable populations to drive the societal response and more,” the health organization wrote in October.
After the first round of lockdowns in spring, countries across Europe reopened their economies prematurely, according to experts, without nailing down major safeguards, like contact tracing and quarantines.
By July 1, Spain had fully reopened its borders to all countries and lifted quarantine periods. Over the summer, the UK required travelers from certain high-risk countries to self-isolate, but others were allowed to come and go without checks.
Polling suggests that the majority of Brits say they would comply with self-isolation measures — but the evidence suggests that is just not happening in reality. According to a preprint study between March and August 5, less than 20% of people who reported Covid-19 symptoms in England complied with the country’s self-isolation regulations.
What it's like inside a Hong Kong coronavirus quarantine camp

Harris says reinforcement is key: “So for instance, in a place like Hong Kong, you would be called every day, or the police come to your house,” she told the Guardian.

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region have become the gold-standard on how enforce this. In Australia, which remains closed to most non-Australians, almost all travelers coming into
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health

Cuomo, other leaders say federal vaccine plan shortchanges minority areas

The federal plan to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine is woefully inadequate and will shortchange communities of color, said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and leaders of two prominent national civil rights organizations Sunday.

“COVID has revealed from the very beginning the underlying injustice and inequity in this society,” Cuomo said during a teleconference with reporters where he also gave an update on the state’s ongoing effort to tamp down the coronavirus.

The governor was joined by on the call by James, National Urban League President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Morial and NAACP President and Chief Executive Officer Derrick Johnson.

James pointed out that while the federal government has given pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars to help develop vaccines for COVID-19, very little has been set aside to help states administer the vaccine when it becomes available.

Statistics show COVID-19 infection and death rates have been higher among communities of color for a myriad reasons, including poor access to health care, according the leaders on the call.

The federal plan to distribute vaccine relies on chain pharmacies and other sites where flu shots are currently available.

“You might see big chain pharmacies … every other block in communities in Manhattan but let’s be clear,” James said, “the neighborhoods where more of our communities of color live do not have this type of access and that’s the core of the federal plan.”

Morial and Johnson both said the federal government needs to explore the use of other sites for vaccinations, such as schools and community centers.

There were 2,255 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide Saturday including 141 in Nassau and 142 in Suffolk, according to statistics released by the state.

“Despite this week being the worst on record for new COVID-19 cases nationwide, Nassau continues to hold the line below 2% positivity — 1.4% today,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement on Sunday. ” It won’t be easy to keep this position, so we need to continue using the common sense that got us here.”

Curran also encouraged residents to be aware of new guidelines announced Saturday by Cuomo requiring COVID-19 tests for out-of-state travelers.

New York’s overall COVID-19 positivity rate is 1.5%, Cuomo said. In the red zones, neighborhoods with high infection rates, the positivity rate is 3.1%.

Across the state, 17 people died from COVID-19, including one person in Nassau and another in Suffolk, Cuomo said. There are 1,125 COVID-19 patients in hospitals statewide including 125 in intensive care units.

Cuomo said only less-densely populated Maine and Vermont have lower COVID-19 rates than New York.

“New Yorkers should be very proud of that,” he said. “We expect an increase in the fall but it’s managing the increase which is what this is all about.”

Both Cuomo and Curran said they were concerned COVID-19 cases will spike after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“If you have family or friends coming from a high-risk state for Thanksgiving, make sure plans are in place for COVID-19 tests

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fitness

24 Hour Fitness COO touts COVID-19 protocols; asks California leaders to ease restrictions

24 Hour Fitness Chief Operating Officer Karl Sanft gave state and local officials a guided tour of the chain’s downtown Sacramento location Wednesday, highlighting the facility’s COVID-19 provisions while asking policymakers to consider easing capacity restrictions.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg asked questions of Sanft and his staff as they made their way through the 48,000-square-foot facility, which is next to Golden 1 Center in the Downtown Commons. City Council members Angelique Ashby and Eric Guerra, Assemblyman Jim Cooper and Danielle Stumpf from the California Department of Health and Human Services also participated in the tour.

“It’s more important than ever to take care of your physical health and your mental health,” Steinberg said. “I’ve said oftentimes over the past seven or eight months that COVID-19 is the pandemic, but mental health and mental illness might be the epidemic because this has been an extraordinarily difficult time for people.”

Sanft said 24 Hour Fitness is adapting after its industry and so many others were decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. He noted the company has closed more than 140 gyms since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is June, including the Carmichael location on Arden Way.

“The impact to the business has been tragic,” Sanft said. “… The impact on our team members and members alike has been nothing short of tragic.”

Sanft said protocols put in place at 24 Hour Fitness locations have been effective. He pointed to the fitness center’s touchless check-in system, social distancing measures and safety-first approach to reopening amid the pandemic. General manager Tony Cigliutti said staff and members undergo temperature checks and health screenings before entering the facility. Masks are required at all times and areas including the swimming pool, steam room and sauna are closed.

The downtown location is currently limited to a capacity of 102 members under red-tier restrictions, 10% of the building’s normal capacity. Sanft is asking state and local leaders to increase that number to 25%, saying the building is big enough to safely accommodate 250 members while maintaining proper social distancing.

“We believe that we can operate at higher levels of occupancy,” Sanft said. “Our request, candidly, is 25%” within the red tier.

24 Hour Fitness provided data showing nearly 9.5 million people have checked in at 24 Hour Fitness locations across the country since the pandemic began in March. From June 12 to Oct. 15, 44 employees and 38 members of 24 Hour Fitness tested positive for COVID-19, but none of those cases were contracted at 24 Hour Fitness facilities, the company said.

“What’s really interesting about the fitness industry is, unlike many other businesses, everybody checks in,” Sanft said. “So it’s really simple for us to not only know who was here, but know who was here at the same time.

“Contact tracing is very easy for us to do. Across the clubs that we operate in the 13 states where we do business, we have yet to have a COVID case be traced back to one of our clubs,

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health

State and local leaders order new restrictions amid autumn’s coronavirus surge

In Massachusetts, a spike in cases prompted Boston Public Schools to suspend in-person learning last week, and it has forced more than a dozen smaller cities and towns labeled “high-risk” to close businesses, including theaters and roller rinks, and reduce capacity at gyms, libraries and museums.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said at a weekly briefing Wednesday that she would announce new restrictions Friday.

“We’re in a bad place,” Raimondo said. “It’s more than a wake-up call, really, for every single one of us to ask ourselves, ‘What am I going to do differently?’ ”

One forecast published Wednesday, by modelers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, warned that the virus is spreading at exponential rates across at least half of the states and that only Hawaii will not see a rise in hospitalizations during the next four weeks.

“Exponential growth is like what we saw in March and April, and we are now seeing that in half the states in the country,” said David Rubin, director of the hospital’s PolicyLab. “This is like a tidal wave.”

Resistance persists to anything resembling the shutdowns imposed during the frightening viral assault in March and April. But the Children’s Hospital researchers say the trends in infections could soon force many schools, particularly those serving older students, to revert to remote learning until the fall wave passes.

A federal government briefing document circulated to top officials and obtained by The Washington Post rates the 3,141 counties in the country by levels of “concern” and suggests it would be theoretically possible to travel from the Canada border all the way to northern Mississippi without exiting a “sustained hotspot” county.

Another forecast, updated Oct. 22 by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, projected that by Nov. 11, the country would once again surpass 1,000 deaths a day from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That same projection said the country would exceed 2,000 daily deaths Dec. 28. Those numbers are slightly less grim than the models projected in September, but they still envision close to 400,000 cumulative deaths from the virus by Feb. 1.

Such models are not predictions so much as ways of framing the likely trajectory of the pandemic, assisting the planning of the medical community and government leaders. Infectious-disease experts say the future of the pandemic is not fixed, and human behavior is the key variable.

But the models also show the current rates of infection, already at record levels — averaging above 70,000 newly confirmed cases a day and sometimes rising higher — are likely to increase. Infections are a leading indicator of a likely rise in hospitalizations and deaths.

“It will get progressively worse,” said Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington institute. “Look at Europe. Europe is about four weeks ahead of us.”

That continent has seen such a dramatic new wave of infections and hospitalizations that many countries are imposing restrictions and mandates to wear facial coverings.

The pandemic is showing clear

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medicine

Kevin Hrusovsky to Speak at Precision Medicine Leaders Summit’s Precision Oncology Conference

Quanterix Corporation (NASDAQ: QTRX), a company digitizing biomarker analysis to advance the science of precision health, today announced that its Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President and Founder, Powering Precision Health (PPH), Kevin Hrusovsky, will speak today at the Precision Medicine Leaders Summit’s (PMLS) Precision Oncology Conference. Hrusovsky’s keynote presentation, “Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment and Detection with Biomarkers,” will take place at 3:15 p.m., EDT. To register for today’s event visit, https://www.engagez.net/pmls-precisiononcology.

During his presentation, Hrusovsky will discuss advances in highly sensitive multiplex assays, which are enabling researchers to identify and quantify multiple oncology biomarkers simultaneously. This insight paired with the unprecedented ability to see biomarkers in minute concentrations in the blood, as enabled by ultra-sensitive biomarker platforms, is creating new pathways for detecting cancer at its earliest stages. Hrusovsky’s keynote will also speak to the important role of biomarkers in improving the efficacy and safety of immuno-oncology-based treatments by empowering researchers to optimize dosing and minimize toxicity associated with severe side effects.

For more information on Quanterix, please visit www.quanterix.com.

About Quanterix

Quanterix is a company that’s digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health. The company’s digital health solution, Simoa, has the potential to change the way in which healthcare is provided today by giving researchers the ability to closely examine the continuum from health to disease. Quanterix’ technology is designed to enable much earlier disease detection, better prognoses and enhanced treatment methods to improve the quality of life and longevity of the population for generations to come. The technology is currently being used for research applications in several therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, cardiology, inflammation and infectious disease. The company was established in 2007 and is located in Billerica, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit https://www.quanterix.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release are based on Quanterix’ expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Factors that may cause Quanterix’ actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Quanterix’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Risk Factors” sections contained therein. Except as required by law, Quanterix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201028005851/en/

Contacts

Media Contact:
PAN Communications
Staci Didner, 407 734 7325
[email protected]

Source Article

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health

DentaQuest Partnership and 120 Industry Leaders Create New Framework For More Sustainable Oral Health System

Three Domain Framework is the future of dentistry

Boston, Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Even as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the nation’s broken oral health care system, it has created an opportunity for the industry to move toward a new, more sustainable model centered around the patient, primary care and prevention. The DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement released a report today — based on the work of the Community Oral Health Transformation Initiative learning community — that establishes a primary care-like structure for oral health care delivery, facilitates value-based payment models and enables patients to invest in their own oral health.

120 of the industry’s most prominent organizations and leaders contributed to the development of the Three Domain Framework, which lays out a clear path for providers and practices to expand access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce the cost burdens associated with poor quality of life due to oral disease.

The framework gives patients and dental and medical providers the freedom to collaborate on treatment plans that work best for a given situation within the context of overall health. And it emphasizes patient and provider safety while addressing critical gaps in both patients’ access to care and providers’ financial viability.  

“Oral health is directly linked to overall health, but our current system doesn’t reflect that reality,” said Dr. Sean Boynes, vice president of health improvement for the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement. “And COVID-19 has shined a bright spotlight on this flaw. The Three Domain Framework outlines a new approach for oral health — one that focuses on prevention and healthy outcomes, facilitates value-based payment models, and will help address deep disparities in care and access. We are grateful to the many contributors who are working together to put our oral health system on a new and better path. This is the future of dentistry.”

The three domains can be adopted in any order, meaning the care team can determine where to begin. Providers can safely begin shifting their models of dentistry by starting in a domain that supports their unique needs and those of their patients. 

Domain One: Advancements in Teledentistry

The pandemic has increased interest in and utilization of teledentistry, but widespread adoption requires defining new treatment codes and rethinking the flow of care for a variety of dental visits. Domain One focuses on the identification, development and adoption of telehealth strategies and builds an accessible evidence-based virtual delivery approach specific to oral health that can enhance disease prevention and whole-person health.

Domain Two: Prioritization of Minimally Invasive Care

The pandemic also sparked interest in Minimally Invasive Care (MIC), as providers sought treatment methods, like sealants and silver diamine fluoride, that limit aerosols and the spread of COVID-19. MIC can reverse or slow early disease stages using a program of anticipatory guidance and collaborative decision-making with patients. Domain Two prioritizes the use of MIC for oral health management and maintenance.

Domain Three: Integration and Personalization of Oral Care Delivery

Domain Three

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health

Leaders in US, Europe divided on response to surging virus

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Virus cases are surging across Europe and many U.S. states, but responses by leaders are miles apart, with officials in Ireland, France and elsewhere imposing curfews and restricting gatherings even as some U.S. governors resist mask mandates or more aggressive measures.

The stark contrasts in efforts to contain infections come as outbreaks on both sides of the Atlantic raise similar alarms, including shrinking availability of hospital beds and rising deaths.

Governors of states including Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska and North Dakota are all facing calls from doctors and public health officials to require masks.

In Utah, a spike in cases since school reopened has created a dynamic that Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has called “unsustainable.”

But schools remain open and Herbert, who has been pressured by an outspoken contingent of residents opposed to masks, has resisted a statewide mandate. Instead, he announced last week that they would be required only in six counties with the highest infection rates, while leaving it to others to make their own rules. Meanwhile, many hospitals are being pushed to the breaking point.

“We are not just managing COVID. We are also managing heart attacks and strokes and respiratory failure and all those other things that need ICU-level care,” said Dr. Kencee Graves, chief medical officer for inpatient care at the University of Utah Health hospital in Salt Lake City. The hospital’s intensive care unit was filled by the end of last week, forcing the reopening of a backup intensive care unit.

“The sooner we take care of each other, wear masks, physically distance, the sooner we can have some gatherings in a safe way,” Graves said.

In Oklahoma, where the number of people hospitalized for the virus has reached record levels, doctors have called on officials to do more.

“We need face mask mandates to protect more of our Oklahoma citizens,” Dr. George Monks, the president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, said in a tweet Sunday.

But Gov. Kevin Stitt has said repeatedly he has no plans to do so, citing concerns about how such a mandate would be enforced.

Oklahoma health officials reported a record high of 821 people hospitalized Tuesday with the virus or under investigation for the infection. Wyoming also reported a record high number of patients hospitalized for the virus.

New virus cases in the U.S. have surged in recent weeks from a daily average of about 42,000 in early October to about 58,000 — the highest level since late July, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In one of the most troubling outbreaks, 10 residents of a nursing home in northwest Kansas have died from the virus, health officials said. All 62 residents of the Andbe Home in Norton County, as well as an unspecified number of employees, have tested positive for the infection.

The surge in new cases prompted a change of heart Monday from the mayor of North Dakota’s largest city, in favor of a mask mandate.

Tim Mahoney, who in

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