Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

‘Hunker down’: The fall Covid-19 surge is here

CNN - October 14, 2020

As predicted, the US is now grappling with a new Covid-19 surge -- one that could overwhelm hospitals, kill thousands of Americans a day by January and leave even young survivors with long-term complications. "We went down to the lowest point lately in early September, around 30,000-35,000 new cases a day. Now we're back up to (about) 50,000 new cases a day. And it's going to continue to rise," Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said Tuesday. .. Across the country, more than 30 states have reported more Covid-19 cases this past week than they reported the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Americans Are Dying In The Pandemic At Rates Far Higher Than In Other Countries

NPR - October 14, 2020

A new report in JAMA finds that over the last 5 months per capita deaths in the U.S., both from COVID-19 and other causes have been far greater than in 18 other high-income countries. … The study looks at per capita death rates in 2020 in 18 countries with populations larger than 5 million people and per capita gross domestic product levels above $25,000 per year. … Overall deaths in the US this year are more than 85% higher than in places such as Germany, Israel and Denmark after adjusting for population size.

Possible safety issue spurs pause of COVID-19 antibody study

AP - October 14, 2020

Independent monitors have paused enrollment in a study testing the COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir plus an experimental antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly that’s similar to a treatment President Donald Trump recently received. Lilly confirmed Tuesday that the study had been paused “out of an abundance of caution” and said safety is its top concern. The company would not say more about what led to this step.

Fauci: Trump’s rapid recovery from Covid-19, while welcome, ‘amplifies’ public misunderstanding of disease

STAT - October 14, 2020

Health officials have struggled to convey the seriousness of Covid-19 to many Americans. President Trump’s rapid recovery from the disease, while welcome by all, makes the challenge even more difficult, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases acknowledged. Trump’s quick bounce-back from his infection will likely underscore the mistaken belief some people have that the disease does not present significant health risks, Fauci said in an interview with STAT. “We’re all glad that the president of the United States did not suffer any significant consequences of it,” Fauci said. “But … because he is such a visible figure, it amplifies some of that misunderstanding that people have that it’s a benign disease and nobody has anything to worry about.”

Dutch woman dies after catching Covid-19 twice, the first reported reinfection death

CNN - October 14, 2020

An elderly Dutch woman has become the first known person to die from catching Covid-19 twice, according to experts, raising serious questions about how long immunity and antibodies can last. The woman, 89, suffered from a rare type of bone marrow cancer called Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Her immune system was compromised due to the cell-depleting therapy she received … However, the researchers said her natural immune response could still have been "sufficient" to fight-off Covid-19, as the type of treatment she received for cancer "does not necessarily result in life threatening disease."

Pfizer to start testing its Covid-19 vaccine in children as young as 12

CNN - October 14, 2020

Drugmaker Pfizer has plans to start testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine in children as young as 12, and parents have already expressed interest in enrolling their kids, the researcher leading the trial told CNN Tuesday. It will be the first coronavirus vaccine trial to include children in the United States.

AP-NORC poll: New angst for caregivers in time of COVID-19

AP - October 14, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has thrust many Americans into the role of caring for an older or disabled loved one for the first time, a new poll finds. And caregivers on the whole say they’re encountering unexpected risks and demands as a result of the virus, requiring greater time and effort. Still, they’re more worried about the relatives and friends they are helping than about themselves. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds that 17% of Americans say they are providing ongoing caregiving, part of an informal volunteer corps. About 1 in 10 caregivers has begun since the virus outbreak, and about half of those say they are providing care specifically because of the pandemic.

New reports show coronavirus immunity can last for months

CNN - October 14, 2020

Three new reports show coronavirus immunity can last for months -- and maybe even longer. The findings suggest that many, if not most, people who recover from coronavirus infections are protected for at least a period of time. They also suggest that coronavirus vaccines may be able to protect people for more than just a few weeks. One study found that people produce antibodies that protect against infection and last for at least five to seven months.

After two lost decades, U.S.’s weakest local economies may face worse from pandemic

Reuters - October 14, 2020

New analysis from the Economic Innovation Group studying economic patterns across roughly 25,000 zip codes showed that from 2000 through 2018, already prosperous areas pulled further ahead, capturing disproportionate shares of the jobs created and the new businesses that were formed. For 5,000 or so “distressed” zip codes it was by contrast a period of lost opportunity as they fell further behind, with the number of jobs declining even deep into the recovery, and those that remained more concentrated in industries and occupations likely to have been disrupted by the pandemic.

NFL will test for COVID-19 on game days, has no bubble plans

Fox News - October 14, 2020

The NFL has no plans to move into a bubble as it takes several new steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The league will begin PCR testing for COVID-19 on game days starting this week, use of masks in walkthroughs are now mandatory and only play-callers will be permitted to wear face shields in lieu of masks or gaiters on the sideline. … The updated protocols sent to teams Monday night also require anyone identified as a “high risk” close contact to be isolated and not permitted to return to the team’s facility for at least five days.

Theater chain AMC warns that it’s running out cash

CBS News - October 14, 2020

Theater chain AMC Entertainment is warning that it could run out of cash by year-end, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to slam the cinema business. Although AMC has reopened most of its theaters, they are operating at reduced capacity to permit social distancing. The Leawood, Kansas-based company said in a government filing on Tuesday that it has seen an 85% drop in attendance since reopening.

Cristiano Ronaldo Tests Positive For Coronavirus

NPR - October 14, 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer star and one of the world's most famous athletes, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Portugal's soccer federation said Tuesday. Ronaldo, 35, will isolate himself from teammates. … The federation said he "is doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation."

Panicked Europe battens down against COVID second wave

Reuters - October 14, 2020

European countries have begun to close schools and cancel surgeries, going well beyond curbs on social life, as overwhelmed authorities face their nightmare scenario of a COVID-19 resurgence right before the onset of winter. … the return of normal activity - from packed restaurants to new university terms - fuelled a sharply-rising spike in cases all over the continent.

Germany agrees $662 million to aid Holocaust survivors

AP - October 14, 2020

Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday. … With the end of World War II now 75 years in the past, Holocaust survivors are all elderly, and because many were deprived of proper nutrition when they were young today they suffer from numerous medical issues. In addition, many live isolated lives having lost their entire families and also have psychological issues because of their persecution under the Nazis.

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine study paused due to unexplained illness in participant

STAT - October 13, 2020

The study of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine has been paused due to an unexplained illness in a study participant. A document sent to outside researchers running the 60,000-patient clinical trial states that a “pausing rule” has been met, that the online system used to enroll patients in the study has been closed, and that the data and safety monitoring board — an independent committee that watches over the safety of patients in the clinical trial — would be convened. … The company declined to provide further details.

About 75,000 more Americans died from COVID-19 pandemic than reported in spring and summer, study finds

USA Today - October 13, 2020

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond found nearly 75,000 more people may have died from the pandemic than what was recorded in March to July, according to the report published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA. By examining death certificates, the study found more than 150,000 deaths were officially attributed to COVID-19 during that period. But researchers determined that nearly 75,000 additional deaths were indirectly caused by the pandemic, bringing the total number of deaths for those four months to more than 225,000.