March 8, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Wednesday 10-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 10, 2021

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

Topics: Double Masking, Change in CDC Quarantine Guidance, Too Much Time

New Testing Centers coming soon: We are close to opening testing centers in Chelsea in Manhattan and Westchester County.

So where are we with masks?

The CDC released data today showing that masks make a difference in the transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. This follows some good articles in the scientific literature recently showing that mask usage does work. There is a direct correlation between mask usage and new cases. In Arizona, during the summer 2020 surge, there was an impressive reduction in CoViD-19 transmission when a statewide mask mandate went into effect and people followed it. In Kansas, where counties imposed mandates unevenly during the summer, CoViD-19 cases decreased in counties with mask mandates and continued to increase in counties without mask mandates. A recent paper from Germany showed a 47% reduction in transmission over a 20 day period when a mask mandate was enforced. Lastly, there is a study in hamsters showing the more viral particles you inhale, the worse your disease. Wearing a mask may reduce the amount of particles you inhale if you are exposed and give you a milder case or give you a better chance of surviving.

In the CDC article today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), they looked at surgical masks and two layer masks. Recently, you have been hearing many government officials like Dr. Fauci and CDC director Dr. Walensky speaking about double masking and this is why. surgical masks tend to have gaps that let air in and out. Surgical masks blocked about 42% of the particles in the CDC simulation that was published. A plain cloth mask blocked about 44% of the particles. Here is the important part: a combination of a surgical masks covered by a tight fitting cloth mask blocked out 92.5% of the particles. The surgical masks provided good filtration while the cloth masks closed the usual gaps.

In a great summary article recently published by Monica Gandhi and Linsey Marr (HERE) they put out a couple of recommendations:
1. Wear a cloth mask tightly over a surgical mask or
2. Wear a three layer masks with two cloth layers and a middle layer made of a HEPA filter vacuum bag (the vacuum bag can filter out almost 100% of particles)
Don’t go crazy adding layers. Each layer adds to the work of breathing and after a while, you end up with an incredible filtration mask that you can’t breath through without passing out.

CDC Quarantine Guidance Change

Today the CDC changed its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and are exposed to a positive case. Vaccinated people with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed CoViD-19 are NOT required to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:
1. Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
2. Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
3. Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Its important to note that vaccinated people should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.

To Much Time On Their Hands Department

In a stunning display of having way too much time on his hands, a prominent senior lecturer in Mathematical Biology in Bath, England (who even knew there was something called Mathematical Biology?) was asked by BBC Radio 4 to calculate the total volume of all the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the world at the moment. He wrote a long explanation that you can find HERE. After lots of calculations resulting in an estimated 2 quintillion (2 x 10 to the 18th power) particles, and after considering close sphere packing criteria and the extra volume taken up by the spike protein sticking out, all the virus in the world wouldn’t even fill up a Coke can. Imagine that, all this chaos and torment for something that will easily fit into a Coke can with room to spare. Wow!

Take care of yourself and get yourself vaccinated, if your eligible, so we can get through this together.

Dr. Stu Weiss
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Coronavirus update for February 10, 2021

World Wide Updates

China seizes on lack of WHO breakthrough in Wuhan to claim coronavirus vindication
Germany’s partial lockdown extended until March, but states will decide on school openings themselves 
PAHO sees “improving trends” in a pandemic in the Americas
Boris Johnson welcomes WHO support for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and UK’s dosing regimen
WHO and UNICEF call out inequitable global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines
Norway extends border closures to the end of February
EU drug regulator says it has not received an application for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine
Denmark registers over 1,600 case numbers of UK coronavirus variant
Spain’s patients recovering from Covid-19 must wait six months for vaccine, health ministry says
WHO recommends AstraZeneca vaccine for adults over 18 and in countries where new variants are circulating
Bahrain becomes latest country to approve Russian vaccine
Japan to discard 1 in 6 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine because of its lack of specialist syringes
UK PM faces criticism from opposition over new Covid-19 border policy
Another UEFA Champions League team has moved locations due to Covid-19 travel bans
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, get first vaccine dose
BioNTech ramps up vaccine production at another production plant in Germany
Heineken to cut 8,000 jobs as pandemic hits sales
Tired and battered Portuguese paramedics fight Covid-19 in one of Europe’s worst hotspots
Ghana shuts down parliament for three weeks because of Covid-19 outbreak
WHO recommends use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as two-dose shot, 8 to 12 weeks apart
Europe is “not where we want to be” on vaccines, says EU chief
It’s not clear if British tourists will be able to travel this year, UK minister says
South Korea grants conditional approval for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
UK coronavirus variant has been reported in 86 countries, WHO says
WHO expert from Wuhan mission warns against relying “too much on US intel” around Covid-19
Covid-19 cases declined 17% worldwide last week, WHO says
Israel plans to open up some facilities to those documented as being immune to Covid
Asian share index hits all-time high
Estonia to test ‘vaccine passports’
Total Cases Worldwide: 107,782,010
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,361,753
Total Recovered: 79,835,675

US Updates

Double masking can block over 92% of potentially infectious particles from escaping, CDC study says
New York arenas and stadiums can open this month with capacity limits and negative tests for spectators, Cuomo says
White House announces new mass vaccination centers in Texas
Fully vaccinated people can skip Covid quarantines, CDC says
Only eight US states have genetically sequenced more than 1% of their total coronavirus cases during the pandemic
71% of Americans are now willing to get Covid-19 vaccines, Gallup poll finds
Dallas-Ft. Worth area drive-thru Covid-19 vaccines cancelled Thursday amid potentially icy conditions
Illinois health official, Dr. Rachel Rubin, lost both her parents within two weeks to Covid-19
Walmart will begin Covid-19 vaccinations as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
Salesforce plans to allow remote work permanently after the pandemic
White House not recommending double masking at this time, considering a “range of options” to get masks to Americans
About 20,000 pregnant women have received Covid-19 vaccines so far, ‘with no red flags,’ Fauci says
US government says it is “supportive” of WHO’s Wuhan findings but will rely on “our own intelligence community to evaluate the report”
About 1 in 10 Americans have gotten at least their first Covid-19 shot. But supply challenges remain
US reports more than 92,000 new Covid-19 cases
FDA authorizes new Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody duo
Johnson & Johnson CEO says he thinks people will need an annual Covid-19 vaccine for many years to come
Songwriters Hall of Fame induction postponed to 2022
MTA chief admits he can’t figure out how to clean subway without overnight closure
Mardi Gras 2020 linked to nearly 50,000 COVID cases in Nola and likely from single source, study says
A third of Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the coronavirus vaccine, poll finds
New Mexico will end mandatory quarantine for travelers from high-risk states
Total US cases: 27,879,445
Total US deaths: 482,447Total
Recovered: 17,776,750
Total Tested in US: 323,442,507
Total cases in CA: 3,432,137
Total deaths in CA: 45,170
Total cases in TX: 2,531,051
Total deaths in TX: 40,360
Total cases in FL: 1,798,280
Total deaths in FL: 28,208
Total cases in NY: 1,540,129
Total deaths in NY: 45,450
Total cases in IL: 1,152,995
Total deaths in IL: 21,869
Total Vaccines Administered in US: 44,769,970
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