March 2, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Monday 15-Feb-2021

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By Dr. Stuart Weiss, Intelligent Crowd Solutions – Rapid Test Center of NY

Rapid Test Center of New York
Dr. Stuart Weiss, FACEP, FAAP, CBCP

February 15, 2021

CoViD-19 News and Information you can trust.Welcome new readers from the Rapid Test Center.

Topics: Beginning of the week overview

New Testing Centers coming Friday!We are opening testing centers in Chelsea in Manhattan and lower Westchester County. Beside rt-PCR with rapid results, we do antibody testing. We hope to give vaccinations as soon as the supply increases.

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It’s not time to relax just yet
This graph from the New York Times today illustrates the steep decline in new cases since the first week of January.
As you can see, the rolling 14 day average of new cases is down 39%, the hospitalizations are down 28% and the deaths, which lag behind the most, are down 18%. Its all good news but you have not heard public officials celebrating. Everyone in public health is urging caution during this temporary lull but many governors are still relaxing guidelines and removing mask mandates. Its as if they haven’t learned anything over this past year. Yesterday, we saw the largest US sporting event take place since the pandemic started with over 30,000 fans watching the Daytona 500, many spectators shown on TV were not wearing masks. Over 4 million people flew somewhere over this past weekend.

Its not time to let our guard down. According to the CoViD Tracking Project, we had 1,088 deaths yesterday with a total of 486,106 deaths from this pandemic so far. We had 64, 938 new cases yesterday and there were still over 67,000 patients in hospitals. The CDC variant tracker shows that the UK variant has been reported in 40 states, the South African variant has been found in 8 states and the Brazilian variant has been confirmed in 2 states. And if that wasn’t enough, a group looking at variants in the US found that we are growing our own group of variants right here in the USA. Yes, we can proudly report that there are several new variants that are Made in America.

It’s hard to keep up our vigilance. We are all, me included, sick to death of the pandemic and all the disruptions in our lives. I am weary of constantly imploring my mother, a snow bird in Florida, to be mindful of social distancing and face coverings. And I’m tired of hearing from friends and colleagues that they have lost a loved one from CoViD.

But in spite of being CoViD exhausted, its not time yet to relax. We’ve made it this far and we’re almost at the home stretch. We are vaccinating more people per day each week. States are opening up criteria for vaccination. There still isn’t enough vaccine to go around but I am optimistic that this will continue to improve. We are in the eye of the storm which gives up a bit of breathing room but modeling points to a steep increase in new cases when the U.K. (B.1.1.7) variant becomes dominant in a few weeks. The best way to keep yourself safe is still social distancing and face coverings.

On “Face the Nation” yesterday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said that mask wearing and social distancing are even more important as variants become more prevalent. She cautioned governors that now is not the time to lift mitigation strategies.

So try to hang in there. Keep yourself safe even as you acknowledge that CoViD-19 sucks. Work to get yourself a vaccination appointment even as people find it extremely frustrating to make an appointment. The good news about the vaccines so far is that severe allergic reactions remain extremely rare (only 3.8 reactions per million vaccinations).

We will all get through this together and I promise not to even mention the deadly Ebola outbreak that is happening now in Africa.

Dr. Stu Weiss
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COVID-19 HEADLINES FOR TODAY

Coronavirus update for February 15, 2021

World Wide Updates

Colombia receives first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines
WHO gives emergency use listing to AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
New Zealand’s Covid-19 cases that put Auckland in lockdown confirmed to be UK variant
Novavax testing new version of its Covid-19 vaccine to specifically target variant
UK prime minister urges patience, says “threat from this virus remains very real”
Iraq reports new cases of a “rapidly spreading” coronavirus variant
Peru’s Foreign Minister resigns over Sinopharm vaccine scandal
Ski resorts in Tyrol, Austria will require visitors to present a negative Covid-19 test
France now lets workers eat at their desks under new coronavirus rules
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sharply reduces symptomatic Covid-19 in the real world, Israeli researchers say
Zimbabwe receives 200,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine
NY bars and restaurants can now stay open until 11 p.m., Governor Cuomo says
South Korea to vaccinate people at the end of February
Italy extends ski resort closures
Covid-19 cases are trending downward in Germany
England’s new border policy goes into effect
New Zealand and Australia received their first batches of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines
Quarantine hotels in United Kingdom begin taking travelers from other countries
Novavax expects full enrollment of Covid-19 vaccine trial this week
UK PM Boris Johnson says the government’s plan to lift lockdown will be “cautious but irreversible”
Australia halts quarantine-free travel from New Zealand over Auckland lockdown
Total Cases Worldwide: 109,653,552
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,417,734
Total Recovered: 84,324,391

US Updates

Las Vegas providing free Covid-19 vaccinations to utility workers and people over 70
Overnight closure of NYC subway to scale back from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
89% of US children live in “high transmission” communities under CDC guidelines for school reopening
Covid-19 deaths top 47,000 in California
West Virginia has fully vaccinated more than 140,000 people, governor says
Vaccine advisers are keeping a close watch on new variants circulating the US
Illinois surpasses 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths
More than 485,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US
Fauci was worried about contracting Covid-19 at Trump White House
28 states plus DC are now allowing teachers to receive Covid-19 vaccines
4 million people flew in the US over the weekend, despite warnings from health officials
Millions of Americans could soon lose unemployment benefits
It’s not vaccinations that have been driving down Covid-19 cases in the US, one expert says
Another 64,000-plus Covid-19 cases were reported in the US on Sunday
Batch of homegrown coronavirus mutations seen in US
Nearly 53 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, according to CDC data
NYC politicians urge 9/11 survivors to get COVID vaccine — but advocates decry late access
Not all teachers need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen, Dr. Fauci says
Total US cases: 28,311,720
Total US deaths: 498,136
Total Recovered: 18,341,237
Total Tested in US: 331,458,681
Total cases in CA: 3,474,587
Total deaths in CA: 47,083
Total cases in TX: 2,575,774
Total deaths in TX: 41,594
Total cases in FL: 1,830,988
Total deaths in FL: 28,934
Total cases in NY: 1,582,820
Total deaths in NY: 46,187
Total cases in IL: 1,163,574
Total deaths in IL: 22,166
Total Vaccines Administered in US: 52,884,356
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