April 14, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Thursday 25-Mar-2021

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

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

March 25, 2021

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

Topics: The variant problem and lack of patience

Variants, oy vey!

So here’s the problem:
Those are the daily new case numbers for the past 5 days. Do you notice a trend? 24 States have high new case numbers that are staying high and 4 states have lower cases that are now rising, according to the New York Times tracker. 

So why do we think this is happening? Why could we be entering a fourth wave? There are several factors that are contributing to this issue. The first one is the growing prominence of the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant. As you remember, this variant is 30%-50% more contagious than the original virus. So it spreads easier. There is also some data that it might be affecting more younger people although that data is not clear as there is some conflicting data. So we have a viral variant that can more easily spread due to several mutations (N501Y in the spike protein which makes it bind to the ACE-2 receptor stronger and a P681H mutation of the spike protein which may promote viral entry into cells in the respiratory tree. Let’s see if you were paying attention last week when I explained what the mutation numbering system means!).

So at the same time that we have a virus that spreads more easily, we are opening up many states by relaxing the mask mandates, opening indoor dining which is by far the most risky activity, and downplaying social distancing. 

These two items, a variant with increased contagiousness and humans closer together without protection, is leading to this plateau in new cases numbers or at worst the beginning of a rise in new cases per day.

Now you add in the kids on spring break to the mix. I’m sure many of you have seen the pictures of multiple young people partying without masks or social distancing in the name of “spring break”. They will leave the warm southern states and bring back their asymptomatic CoViD-19 infections to northern states across the country. We will see the results of this activity in 2-3 weeks.

Lastly, this past weekend saw the most people flying this year. People are on the move again. That will also help spread the virus.

So, we are at risk for a fourth wave. Parts of Europe are in it right now with countries that had opened up re-closing. Schools that had remained open having to close. Last week the CDC released new guidance recommending 3 feet of separation between students in school but that was based on data from before B.1.1.7 became prominent. 

The good news in this scenario is our outstanding vaccine program. We are vaccinating people at a rate that is not seen elsewhere in the world. We have many of our most vulnerable citizen vaccinated and that is resulting in our hospitalization rates and death rates continuing to fall. The 14 day hospitalization rate is -12% and the new death rate is -31%. Lets hope that this trend continues. 

Even with our falling death rates, we still have 1500 Americans that lost their lives yesterday due to CoViD-19. That is most unfortunate especially because if people only waited a few more weeks, we would have many more vulnerable people vaccinated and by May, we should have almost everyone who is vulnerable and wants a vaccine vaccinated. Its already April 1st (in a few days). May is right around the corner. We are averaging about 2.5 million shots per day so at this pace, we should exceed 200 million shots given by May 1st. Vaccine hesitancy may play an important role as we reach the point where we have a surplus of vaccine in this country. 

So we need to stay the course for just a few more weeks. If you live in a state that is driven by politics and a Governor who doesn’t listen to their public health leaders, then keep your family safe by taking your own actions. Continue to wear masks even when other do not. Preferably wear an N-95 or KN-95 so you are protected. If you don’t have those, create a two ply cloth mask with a vacuum cleaner HEPA bag in between the layers (see the CDC website for how to do this). Do not eat indoors yet unless you are vaccinated. It is warming up across our country so eat outdoors if you are not vaccinated. Maintain 6 feet of separation still even if no one else is doing that. Its just for a few more week until we see how the new variant does.

I know its much to ask. You are tired of the pandemic, I am tired of the pandemic. But we made it this far, we need to make it just a little further.

When you are eligible, get your self vaccinated so we can get through this together. 

Dr. Stu Weiss
iCrowd.com website
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Coronavirus update for March 25, 2021

World Wide Updates

Mexico’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000
Chile goes into new lockdown amid rapid surge in coronavirus cases
Three additional regions in France added for strictest measures
COVAX announces vaccine delivery delays from Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca
Peru records highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since pandemic began
United Kingdom extends emergency Covid-19 laws for 6 months
European Medicines Agency sets up group to examine blood clot links
Sweden and Iceland partly resume AstraZeneca vaccine rollout
Denmark extends AstraZeneca vaccine suspension for further 3 weeks
France’s Macron admits failures in vaccine rollout amid surge in Covid-19 cases
India detects new ‘double mutant’ variant as Covid-19 cases spike, raising fears of a second wave
Hong Kong and Macao suspend BioNTech coronavirus vaccine rollout due to packaging defect
Pope Francis cuts salaries for cardinals and other clerics in Vatican as coronavirus economic fallout pummels Holy See
Italy to miss EU target on vaccinations
Germany reports significant jump in infection rates
Total Cases Worldwide: 125,878,290
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,762,515
Total Recovered: 101,573,873

US Updates

North Carolina will expand Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults starting April 7
Arizona lifts remaining Covid-19 restrictions on businesses and opens vaccinations
California expands vaccine eligibility to all adults starting April 15
Pfizer begins vaccine trial for children between ages of 5 and 11
Biden announced new vaccine goal of 200 million shots by first 100 days in office
Study finds mRNA Covid-19 vaccines are effective in pregnant and lactating women 
New York City mayor suggests Broadway shows could come back in September
White House launches new program to vaccinate dialysis patients against Covid-19
Florida will allow all people over age 18 to get Covid-19 vaccinations starting April 5
The CDC is tracking a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases and the chief says spring breakers and eased restrictions concern her
US surpasses 30 million Covid-19 cases
New AstraZeneca report says vaccine was 76% effective in preventing Covid-19 symptoms
Iowa, Louisiana and Washington become latest states to expand Covid-19 vaccines to over 16 year olds
Stringer and Levine call for tax restrictions to be lifted in hardest hit NYC neighborhoods
Chicago hospital executive resigns after being accused of helping friends and associates jump COVID vaccine line 
Infamous New Jersey gym owner offers free memberships to people who don’t get vaccinated
Total US cases: 30,750,515
Total US deaths: 559,150
Total Recovered: 23,179,907
Total Tested in US: 385,820,362
Total cases in CA: 3,651,137
Total deaths in CA: 57,826
Total cases in TX: 2,769,701
Total deaths in TX: 47,927
Total cases in FL: 2,027,429
Total deaths in FL: 32,975
Total cases in NY: 1,864,143
Total deaths in NY: 50,083
Total cases in IL: 1,229,898
Total deaths in IL: 23,442
Total cases in GA: 1,051,361
Total death in GA: 18,751
Total Vaccines Administered in US: 133,305,295
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