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3/20/2023 Covid-19 Update - We are experiencing high call volume. To find a certified cleaning service near you please click here.
IJCSA Updates & Industry News
Cases of COVID-19 are – yet again – on the rise. The U.S. is seeing an average of more than 100,000 reported new cases across the country every day. That's nearly double the rate a month ago and four times higher than this time last year.
And the real number of cases is likely much higher than that, according to health officials. Because many people now rely on at-home tests, "we're clearly undercounting infections," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters at the most recent COVID press briefing. Hospitalizations are trending upwards too, though only gradually in most places.
Yet in most places, health officials haven't called for any new COVID restrictions. So how big is the surge, really? And is there anything you should be doing about it?
More at source: NPR
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STATE OF THE PANDEMIC - Let's Pretend It's Not Happening
The problem we have is this illusion or deception that the pandemic is over, when, in fact, these variants that we're seeing are coming at a much faster clip. There's an accelerated evolution of the virus. And these are more troubling variants. They're not more mild.
In fact, they have more immune escape. So they're transmitting at levels that is really inconceivable and starting to approach the level of measles, one of the most spreadable pathogens we have ever encountered.
So we have trouble right now. As you mentioned, we are seeing at least 600,000, 700,000 real cases a day, and, likely, it's going to continue to increase in this country as we confront this so-called BA.2.12.1 variant, one of the several of the Omicron family.
More at source: PBS
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - The United States has now recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, crossing a once-unthinkable milestone about two years after the first cases upended everyday life and quickly transformed it.
The 1 million mark is a stark reminder of the staggering grief and loss caused by the pandemic even as the threat posed by the virus wanes in the minds of many people. It represents about one death for every 327 Americans, or more than the entire population of San Francisco or Seattle.
More at source: Reuters
New York City raised its COVID alert level to medium on Monday as cases surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs, health officials said. It marks the first time the health department has adjusted that level since debuting the new system under Mayor Eric Adams' administration earlier this year.
Manhattan and Staten Island, respectively, have the highest transmission rates per 100,000 residents, the latest health data show, but it's the first borough that is having a disproportionate impact on the city's overall rolling new case rate.
Those two boroughs are also now classified as "medium" COVID alert counties by the CDC. And while the new case rates are clearly ascending, they remain well below what they were during omicron's peak surge in January.
More at source: NBC New York
A possible contributor of Long COVID -19 may actually be an abnormally suppressed immune system, and not a hyperactive one, according to a UCLA- led research group. The study, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
It contradicts what scientists previously believed, which was that an overactive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, often referred to as a "cytokine storm," was the root cause of the perplexing syndrome. Health experts told Fox News this "cytokine storm" is an over-reactive inflammatory response in the infected person that can potentially cause damage to lungs and other organs, possibly creating severe illness or even death....
More at source: Fox News
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Of the 309 people with long COVID studied, the most persistent symptoms were fatigue and shortness of breath (31% and 15%, respectively) in hospitalized persons, and loss of sense of smell (16%) in outpatients.
The incidence and risk factors of Long COVID, and even how to define the syndrome, have remained unclear throughout the pandemic. The researchers sought evaluate its association with demographics and clinical characteristics in order to devise the most effective treatments.
The UCLA researchers studied 1,038 people who were enrolled in the UCLA COVID Ambulatory Program between April 2020 and February 2021. Of those, 309 developed Long COVID. A person was determined to have the syndrome if they reported persistent symptoms on questionnaires 60 or 90 days after infection or hospitalization.
More at source: Science Daily
Happy Easter! IJCSA Offices will be closed April 17th & 18th
The spirit of Easter is all about hope, love, and joyful living. Your staff and friends at IJCSA are wishing all members and their families have a blessed day!
The United States on Wednesday renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency, allowing millions of Americans to keep getting free tests, vaccines and treatments for at least three more months.
The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. It has been renewed each quarter since and was due to expire on April 16.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a statement said it was extending the public health emergency and that it will give states 60 days notice prior to termination or expiration.
This could be the last time HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra extends it, policy experts have said.
"We've all had access to coverage and we've been able to tap into the availability of COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines, largely at no cost during the public health emergency, but not all of these items will continue to be free....
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By resuming the indoor mask mandate, city officials hope to stave off another surge in hospitalizations and deaths that could accompany the current case increase that appears to be caused by the BA.2 omicron subvariant.
“If we fail to act now, knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations and a wave of deaths, it’ll be too late for many of our residents,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said during a briefing Monday.
“We don’t know if the BA.2 variant in Philadelphia will have the kind of impact on hospitalizations and deaths that we saw with the original omicron variant this winter,” Bettigole said. “I suspect that this wave will be smaller than the one we saw in January.”
Hospitalizations may be the key in determining how long the masks will stay on, Bettigole said.
“This is our chance to get ahead of the pandemic, to put our masks on until we have more information on the severity of this variant.”
More at source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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A crowd of janitorial workers and supporters marched from Bovard Auditorium to USC Village Thursday in a continued demonstration calling for higher wages and better health care benefits. The protest follows last Thursday’s negotiations with contractor Aramark, which protesters felt did not adequately address the concerns expressed by the Service Employees International Union.
Demonstrators carried a banner that read: “Janitors READY 2 STRIKE,” a sentiment also expressed at SEIU-organized protests that took place March 31 on campus and April 1 at Union Hall while negotiations were ongoing.
More at source: Daily Trojan
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