Saturday, June 19

Coronavirus updates: 56 infected, 300 quarantine after New York superspreader events; India surpasses 8M infections; 227K US deaths – USA TODAY

Daily U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations surpassed 45,000 for the first time since mid-August this week as the autumn pandemic surge continued unabated

Two “superspreader” events in New York, a wedding and birthday party, left 56 people infected with the virus and nearly 300 in quarantine. Long Island officials said the wedding violated the state’s 50-person limit while the birthday party did not.

“These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery,” Steve Bellone, Suffolk County county executive, said at a news conference. 

On Twitter, Bellone added, “This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointing — it will not be tolerated.”

Globally, India surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, moving closer to surpassing the U.S. for the most infections in the world.

While India’s daily infections have dropped to their lowest level this week, health experts are worried that a major Hindu festival and winter will increase the spread of the virus. The Health Ministry reported 49,881 infections and 517 fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 120,527.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.8 million cases and more than 227,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 44.4 million cases and 1.17 million deaths. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 20 states set records for new cases in a week, while three states (Nebraska Tennessee and Wyoming) had a record number of deaths in a week.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

Few Black Americans interested in participating in clinical trials

Black Americans distrust the government so much they’re not participating in large numbers in COVID-19 clinical trials, and many say they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine – at least not until many others get it. Although the first two, large clinical trials of candidate vaccines have managed to include about 3,000 Black participants each, it hasn’t been easy. And later trials might have even more trouble. 

Polls show that among racial and ethnic groups, Black Americans are the most hesitant to get a vaccine once one becomes available, and their skepticism is rising fast. In one September survey, only 32% of Black adults said they would get a vaccine, down from 54% in May.

Alexandre White, a historian of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said mistrust needs to be addressed urgently. “We’re seeing a deeply uncoordinated strategy,” he said. 

Karen Weintraub

COVID-19 cases are surging: An American dies every 107 seconds

The U.S. set a record this week for new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period with more than 500,000 infections. An American is testing positive every 1.2 seconds. Daily deaths are also climbing — one of us is dying every 107 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins data. And daily hospitalizations have been rising steadily for more than a month, from 28,608 on Sept. 20 to more than 44,000 on Tuesday.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it: We are facing an urgent crisis, and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors and the people you care about,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, whose state is seeing one of the nation’s worst outbreaks.

As winter approaches, America is facing a crucial fork in the road, said Melissa Nolan, an infectious disease expert and professor at the University of South Carolina.

“We might see a larger surge due to the pandemic fatigue Americans are experiencing,” Nolan told USA TODAY. “Americans are tired of adhering to public health guidelines and getting tested.”

– John Bacon

CVS Health to add nearly 1K more rapid coronavirus testing sites by end of year

CVS Health announced Wednesday that it will add nearly 1,000 rapid COVID-19 testing sites throughout the country by the end of the year. The company said about 100 testing sites will be running this week in 22 states, including California, Arizona, Florida and New Jersey.

The tests will be free for people who meet the CDC’s criteria, which includes symptoms and contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. People with insurance can get tested at no cost. A federal program will pay for people without insurance, the company said.

Customers must register on their website in advance to schedule an appointment.

Indiana could get some COVID vaccine next month, state health official says

The first people in Indiana to receive the first coronavirus vaccine could be immunized as early as November, state health officials said Wednesday.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said that federal officials have told her a vaccine could be shipped to the state by mid to late November. Under the state’s vaccination plan, health care workers would be the first to receive it.

The Food and Drug Administration at this point has yet to approve any of the multiple vaccine candidates undergoing trials.

Pfizer’s vaccine will likely be the first available in the state sometime in mid to late November, followed by Moderna’s in December, Box said, though she also acknowledged that the vaccine timeline is a “rapidly developing situation, so a lot is subject to change.”

– Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star

‘COVID toes’ could last days to months after initial infection, report finds

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that some COVID-19 longhaulers had skin conditions ranging from rashes to “COVID toes” last from days to weeks to months, according to a report released Thursday.

COVID toes, pernio-like lesions characterized by redness and swelling in the hands and feet, lasted a median of 15 days in patients with suspected COVID-19 and 10 days in lab-confirmed cases. However, six patients had toe symptoms last at least 60 days and two lasted longer than 130 days.

Among 224 suspected cases and 90 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, the median duration of skin symptoms was 12 days. Some rashes and hives lasted as long as 28 days.

“This data adds to our knowledge about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in different organ systems,” said Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The skin is potentially a visible window into inflammation that could be going on in the body.”

– Adrianna Rodriguez

California Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t budge on reopening theme parks

As California theme park operators and employees pleaded for the state to allow the parks to reopen with coronavirus precautions, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave them a firm answer on Tuesday: No.

Though Disney and Universal parks have been open again since the summer in Florida, Newsom said California would not budge on its recently issued guidelines that require counties to achieve a low rate of infection before large theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm could reopen.

“We as a state are going to be driven by data and science,” Newsom said at a news conference Tuesday. “And we’re going to be driven by public health first.”

California classifies its counties in four tiers of coronavirus spread: purple, red, orange and yellow. Purple indicates the highest spread, yellow the lowest. Orange County, the home of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, is in the red tier, the second-highest. Los Angeles County, home of Universal Studios Hollywood, is in the purple tier.

– Curtis Tate

Boeing reports $449M loss, plans to to cut 7,000 more jobs

Boeing will cut more jobs as it continues to bleed money and its revenue fades during a pandemic that has smothered demand for new airline planes.

The company said Wednesday that it expects to cut its workforce to about 130,000 people by the end of next year, or 30,000 fewer than it began with in 2020. That is a far deeper cut to its workforce than the 19,000 jobs the company said it planned to trim just three months ago.

Boeing Co. talked about the more severe job cuts on the same day it reported a $449 million loss for the third quarter, a swing from the $1.17 billion it earned in the same period last year. The loss was still not as bad as feared.

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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