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How Risky is it to Attend a Group Event during Covid Spread? Editor's Pick

How risky is it to attend a group event (of any size) while COVID-19 is still spreading? This tool from Georgia Tech lets you check any county in the US. The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event. You can check any group size from as few as 10 people, to 10,000 people. Adjust the default level of 100. The tool uses real-time COVID19 data from the COVID Tracking Project. County-level risk assessment was added to the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool in July 2020.

What’s your local risk of Covid and Flu, by Zip Code? Editor's Pick

Put in your zip code to see what the latest risk is for COVID and Flu. Site by Kinsa HealthWeather uses Johns Hopkins data and other modeling. Easy to use. Updated nightly.

Case Numbers for COVID-19 Coronavirus in the United States (KFF) Editor's Pick

Discover the COVID-19 case count numbers by state, and total for the United States. This quick summary table by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) shows number of coronavirus cases and deaths by state. Updated most weekdays in 2021. Cases have increased 4% in the past two weeks. A majority of states (29) are reporting increases. As of April 20, the top five states for recent daily Covid cases per million population were Michigan, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Florida continues to lead the states with the highest test positivity rates at 36.5%, compared to the national average of 15.7%. Select data table. Deaths in long term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living facilities) represented 33% of total deaths, and 1,419,000 cases as of April 12, 2021. In New Hampshire, the long term care share of deaths was 69%. Total long term care deaths in the states and DC topped 182,000. Nearly 34,500 long term care facilities had Covid cases; New York is the only state reporting LTC deaths but not cases.

CDC Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 Editor's Pick

CDC (Centers for Disease Control), our US health authority, provides valuable information on the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Find out what you should know to protect yourself, get situation updates, read information about travel and social gatherings. Read explanations of what the general public should be doing right now: washing your hands, avoid touching your face, maintain a six-foot distance between people, wear a cloth face covering in public, cover your cough, clean and disinfect surfaces, and monitor your own health – making sure you don’t go out if you have any symptoms. CDC is also an authority for healthcare professionals. The virus that causes COVID-19 is  named SARS-CoV-2, for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. This new virus was formerly known as 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

CDC Vaccine Doses Delivered vs Received (shots in the arm), COVID-19

CDC reports the overall Covid-19 vaccine doses that are actually administered (shots in the arm) or received by people, compared to the number of doses delivered. As of the morning of Apr. 22, 2021, the percent of delivered/distributed doses that had been given as shots in the arm, was 78%: 219 million of 282 million doses. Doses administered Wednesday were 3 million. So far, 136 million people have gotten at least one shot; 89M people are reported as receiving both doses. For the week ending April 17, 3.2 million doses were administered on average per day, about 2% more than the prior week. However, shots given (22M for the week) were less than supply deliveries (27M). Long-term care vaccines administered to date were 7.8 million. Nearly five (4.9) million in LTC have received at least the first dose. Over 60 million doses are “un-administered”; i.e. still on the shelf. Just 45% of J&J delivered vaccine supply have been given as shots in the arm, with further J&J doses on pause. However, most of the un-administered doses are of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Nearly all states have opened up vaccinations to all ages 16 and up. As of April 19, all states are expected to make vaccines available to all adults. Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech, and the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are counted. Both vaccine and ancillary kits (syringes, etc.) are shipped. UPS, FedEx and McKesson are the national distributors. Although early vaccination rollout was slower than expected, it has gained speed. Instead of the 1 million doses per day (vaccinations) expected in December, that cumulative milestone was reached two months later, on March 1.

Coronavirus Tracker for COVID-19 Cases: Johns Hopkins Map Editor's Pick

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker maps confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe. The dashboard shows number of cases, deaths and numbers who have recovered from the coronavirus pandemic that started in late 2019. As of April 22, 2021, 3:21pm, 144.2 million coronavirus COVID-19 cases have been confirmed worldwide. Thursday’s cumulative confirmed cases in the US topped 31.9 million, up 59,000 from yesterday afternoon. US cases are higher now than in early March. A record of 302,506 daily cases in the US was reached January 2, 2021. There are 15.9 million cases in India (2nd in the world, adding over 200,000 cases per day for the past 8 days, total 185,000 deaths); 14.1 million in Brazil (3rd highest in the world; total 381,000 deaths); 5.5 million in France, 4.7 million in Russia, Turkey (4.5) and 4.4 million in the United Kingdom (128,000 deaths). Nearby, Mexico has more than 2 million cases (214,000 deaths). Canada reached the 1 million cases milestone on April 3, 2021; 24,000 deaths.

There were 3.1 million COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide. The US reports the world’s highest death toll, 570,006 deaths as of April 22. Italy led the list of the most Covid deaths of any country from March 19 through April 10, 2020. Since then, the US has led the world in number of deaths due to COVID-19, and exceeded 100,000 deaths on May 27. The US reached 200,000 deaths by Sept. 22, 300,000 on Dec. 14, 400,000 deaths on January 19, 2021, and milestone 500,000 on February 20, 2021. We should expect US deaths to rise as hospitalizations continue and new cases arise. Daily deaths in the US (5,443) on February 12, 2021 were the highest ever, partly due to an adjustment in Ohio’s death count. Nearly 12,700 people died in 3 days from Covid in the US on Feb. 3-5, 2021. The US is at 173 deaths per 100,000 population, with a case fatality rate of 1.8%. Brazil has the second largest number of reported deaths, with 181 deaths per 100,000, and a case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.7%. Mexico’s CFR is 9.2%. Over 80 million people are listed as recovered worldwide, excluding the US.

Growth of coronavirus spread: Since March 26, the United States has lead the world in number of confirmed cases, topping 1 million cases on April 28. US daily cases rose from about June 18 through July 16, after being fairly flat for about 4 weeks after the exceptional first wave in the New York area. The US hit the 6 million mark on August 31, less than 6 months after the pandemic was declared. Daily case counts that declined after a mid-July peak, stagnated by mid-August. From early September, there was a steady rise in cases to record levels, to 10 million on November 9. Cases then accelerated to reach 20 million on January 1, 2021. Case growth then declined in the US, but stagnated since mid-February. The 30 million milestone was reached on March 24, 2021. Numbers of tests in the US for presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 have exceeded 420 million.

Worldwide, the 1 million mark in global cases was hit on April 2. The world hit the 10 million mark in cases on June 28, adding an average of 1 million cases per week. The spread accelerated worldwide. The 20 million mark was hit on August 10. As the world hit 30 million cases Sept. 17, 2 million cases were added every week. The pace reached 40 million on October 19, 2020, 80M on Dec. 26, and 100 million a month later on January 26, 2021. After a substantial decline, world cases began to tick up in mid-February. Over five million cases were added worldwide last week, with about 1 million new cases every day or two. By September 28, 2020, 1 million Covid deaths occurred worldwide; 2 million on January 15, 2021, and 3 million on April 17, 2021. Coronavirus disease is named COVID-19. This tracking tool provides a quick snapshot of how the COVID-19 disease caused by Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly called 2019-nCoV) is spreading.

FDA Updates on Coronavirus Disease COVID-19

The FDA, the federal Food and Drug Agency, provides updates on COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. The FDA regulates lab testing, drugs requiring approval, medical devices (like N95s and other personal protective equipment PPE) and vaccines. They post regular updates, sometimes multiple times per day. In addition, the FDA has listed a few of the likely many fraudulent products with claims to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease.

Health Insurance Resources on Coronavirus COVID-19 – AHIP

If you’re wondering about what health insurance companies are doing about Coronavirus and COVID-19 coverage, this website by AHIP – America’s Health Insurance Plans – tracks health plan resources, actions, and news.  Search by the company’s name – such as Aetna, CVS Health, Anthem, Centene, Cigna, Blue Cross, Humana, Molina, UnitedHealth, WellCare. Smaller regional plans such as Harvard Pilgrim, Dean, Avera, Kaiser, Magellan, Medica, Peach State, Sanford, Sharp, Sutter, are also listed. Health insurance companies may explain Covid test coverage policies, cost-sharing, telemedicine visits, and treatment copays for commercial plans, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. Insurance is regulated on a state-by-state basis, except for traditional Medicare. Updated March 2021.

Resources on Coronavirus for US Hospitals – AHA

Numerous resources about handling coronavirus (COVID-19) cases for US hospitals, from the American Hospital Association (AHA).

World Health Organization (WHO) Situation Reports: Coronavirus

Track the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with weekly situation reports by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Other Helpful Listings

American Lung Association (lung.org)

American Lung Association (lung.org) site includes extensive references for chronic lung disease such as asthma, COPD emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as lung cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and other factors, such as smoking, that affect the lungs. Special feature on e-cigarettes and vaping. The organization also maintains a HelpLine staffed by Registered Nurses and Registered Respiratory Therapists to answer your lung health questions at 1-800-LUNGUSA (or 800-548-8252). Or submit a question via online chat to the ALA. Regarding Covid, here’s what the Association says: “There is currently no specific treatment other than supportive care available. The majority of people recover from COVID-19 within a few weeks, but it can be life-threatening. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.”

Covid 19 Surge Capacity: Converting Hotels for Coronavirus Patients (ASHE)

Surge capacity resource for hospitals looking at converting hotels in order to serve more coronavirus COVID-19 patients. Prepared by ASHE, the American Society for Health Care Engineering, through the American Hospital Association. This “COVID-19 Response Concept Study” identifies the types of patients suitable to this setting. It lays out a 10 to 14-day timeline to take advantage of hotel ballroom space for patient wards and guest rooms for for patients or staff. Conference rooms and meeting spaces become medication areas, mini-labs,  nursing support and command center. Paper records may get chosen in lieu of unfamiliar (or impractical, given the timing) electronic record systems. This short resource guide covers a wide spectrum of dimensions. Excellent overview.

Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care highlights the wide variations in how health care is delivered across the United States. The project is run by Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth Medical School. Online tool provides comparisons by geographic region (state, HSAs-Hospital Service Areas, or HRR-Hospital Referral Region) for Medicare healthcare use (data through 2015). While the tool is relatively easy to use, the conceptual understanding of the reports requires technical sophistication. In 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days is shown for each region. A timelapse map of the growth in COVID cases in the US, total  cases and deaths are also shown by region.

Factors Expected to Impact Health Insurance Premiums 2021 – AHIP

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) identifies factors that are expected to impact premium costs for individual plans in the Health Insurance marketplace for 2021. AHIP did not project increases for 2021. Instead, they identified aspects of COVID costs – such as testing, treatment, vaccine availability, how long the outbreak and pandemic lasts, how many people get sick, etc. Overall, there has been a large delay in “regular” care, which lowers insurance company costs. Some of that care is foregone, some will happen later, if there is capacity in healthcare systems to deliver it. For most insurance companies, 2020 is likely to be a profitable year. What happens in 2021 is yet to be seen. Published May 2020.

Hand Washing Hand Hygiene Video (one minute) Editor's Pick

Hand Washing, Hand Hygiene video by the CDC. Take one minute to view the online youtube video for proper handwashing technique and guidelines to help prevent infections. CDC epidemiologist presents the basics – really fast. People often miss washing the thumb and index finger, as well as the finger tips on both hands. Plan to wash and scrub for 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to hum your favorite school fight song.

Travel and Health | CDC

Extensive site by the CDC that covers travel injuries and illnesses abroad, vaccinations, health warnings and precautions, cruise ship and air travel, advice for pregnant women. See travel notices for COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic. While CDC does not generally issue advisories for domestic travel, it has written recommendations for travel inside the US. The website allows search by international destination location. Useful for missions and disaster relief, as well as avoiding unnecessary travel. Sections for Cholera, Coronavirus, Ebola, Measles, Polio, Yellow Fever, Zika and any new outbreaks CDC is monitoring

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