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‘Hunker down’: The fall Covid-19 surge is here

As predicted, the US is now grappling with a new Covid-19 surge — one that could overwhelm hospitals, kill thousands of Americans a day by January and leave even young survivors with long-term complications.

“We went down to the lowest point lately in early September, around 30,000-35,000 new cases a day. Now we’re back up to (about) 50,000 new cases a day. And it’s going to continue to rise,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said Tuesday.

“This is the fall/winter surge that everyone was worried about. And now it’s happening. And it’s happening especially in the northern Midwest, and the Northern states are getting hit very hard — Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas. But it’s going to be nationally soon enough.”

Across the country, more than 30 states have reported more Covid-19 cases this past week than they reported the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In Denver, recent case counts are as “high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May,” Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday.

He said hospitalizations have also soared, and residents could face tighter Covid-19 restrictions if the numbers keep going up.

In Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening this week to handle a rapid rise in coronavirus patients. The state recently reported record-high numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths.

If Americans don’t turn the tide around, the US could be in for a devastating winter. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects more than 135,000 people in the US could die within the next three months.

“This winter — this November, December, January, February — could be the worst time in our epidemic,” Hotez said. “Get ready to hunker down.”

How overwhelmed hospitals can affect all patients

As we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, surges in new Covid-19 cases may lead to increased hospitalizations in the following weeks.

At least 10 states have reported record-high Covid-19 hospitalizations since Friday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

“Hospitals could again become overwhelmed,” emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen said. “And then we’re not just talking about patients with coronavirus who might be in trouble. It’s also about other patients who might be coming in for heart attacks and strokes and car accidents who may find a situation that’s really untenable.”

And some healthcare workers in the US still don’t have adequate personal protective equipment and testing supplies, emergency medicine physician Dr. Megan Ranney said.

“We’re quite fearful for what we are heading into,” she said.

13% increase in child Covid-19 cases in 2 weeks

More children are also being diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Their latest report found a 13% increase in child cases reported from September 24 to October 8 — with more than 77,000 new reported infections.

The report looked at data from health departments in 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Children represented about 10.7% of Covid-19 cases in the states that reported cases by age, the report said.

The news comes as many schools have returned to in-person instruction and are navigating challenges that come with new infections.

There’s no “one size fits all” strategy to safely returning to classrooms, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The decisions should be based on how widespread infections are in the community and how much surveillance is required, Fauci said.

“When schools are prepared, when they have a plan, when everyone is universally wearing masks, when they’re testing people in a surveillance way to get people who are infected out of the system, (and) they know what to do when they’re confronted with a person a child or older students who gets infected — it can work,” he said.

A vaccine trial is paused, but that’s ‘completely expected.

As Americans wait for a safe and effective vaccine, Johnson & Johnson has paused the advanced clinical trial of its experimental vaccine due to an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers, the company announced Monday.

The drugmaker said Tuesday that it didn’t know immediately know whether the ill volunteer had received the vaccine candidate or a placebo, and that it had little information about the illness itself.

Johnson & Johnson said that it learned of the illness Sunday and immediately informed the study’s independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), which is reviewing the illness.

“It’s not at all unusual for unexpected illnesses to occur in large studies over their duration,” and sometimes they have nothing to do with the drug candidate, Mathai Mammen, global head of research at Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division Janssen, said Tuesday during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

As of Tuesday morning, the study was still blinded, meaning neither those directly administering the drugs or placebos, nor the volunteers, know which volunteers are receiving which elements of the study, Mammen said. The DSMB can “unblind” the study to investigate the illness if necessary, he said.

This kind of pause isn’t immediately concerning, said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

“This is completely expected, and it’s just a reminder how ridiculous it is to try and meet a political timeline of having a vaccine before November 3,” Jha said, referring to President Donald Trump’s wishes to have a vaccine ready for the public by Election Day.

“The Johnson & Johnson trial is the biggest trial of the vaccine that I know of — 60,000 people,” Jha said. “Within that trial, you’d expect a few pauses.”

This is the second Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial to hit the pause button in the US. AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was paused last month because of a neurological complication in a volunteer. While that trial has resumed in other parts of the world, it remains paused in the US while health officials investigate.

National & World




    1. Exactly. One asymptomatic person can infect dozens who aren’t so lucky, resulting in numerous deaths. The fact that this virus is so difficult to identify based on symptoms is precisely what makes it so dangerous. Especially with Covidiots like you not taking it seriously, even though we are still NINE MONTHS into the first wave.
      I sincerely think KTVZ should shut down this comment section until the virus can be controlled to help prevent the spread of misinformation from troglodytes like you.

      1. How about the news out from the cdc that masks don’t work, that 85% of covid patients wore a mask, and urging no more lock-downs? Your kind are always doting on the cdc, who, science, and all that jazz….jazz that says you people are wrong….but you suck up the narrative anyway?

        1. Wow, uneducated goon at his finest.

          Masks don’t stop you from getting it. They reduce spread. You could only reduce your chance to CATCH it if you had a N95 particle filter, which most masks do not. Educate yourself.

          Japan has 1/3rd the population of the US in 4x the population density. Basically the state of California. Educate yourself.

          Japan has 1,600 total deaths because masks isn’t political in SE Asia, it’s just what happens during flu season. It doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu. It reduces spread. Educate yourself.

          Japan also implemented contact tracing effectively at porta of entry immediately. Our leader called it a democratic hoax during the same time. Educate yourself.

          Masks prevent spread you absolute goon. But seeing how allergic you are to knowledge, it’s no surprise the USA is an utter embarrassment in handling the virus when loud blatantly incorrect gorillas like you smash your keyboards and show how ridiculously and hopelessly stupid you are.

          1. LOL!!! I can see the fast food wrappers blowing around his yard where his broken down pickup sits!!!! Poor lad should’ve stayed in school!!! – fortunately their must be more morons like him being cleansed from the gene pool than normal folks since these idiots refuse to do anything to protect themslves or other people. Just following dear leaders orders like lemmings !!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. First, the *actual* CDC paper:
              Second, the full title of the table referenced: “Characteristics of symptomatic adults ≥18 years who were outpatients in 11 academic health care facilities and who received POSITIVE and NEGATIVE SARS-CoV-2 test results (N = 314)” – emphasis mine.
              This data shows that of the 314 people, 228 of them wore masks all the time when they went about their business. 108 of them tested positive 14-23 prior to their interview. Nowhere has ANYONE said that mask wearing is 100% effective in preventing the contraction of the virus. If anything, it shows that wearing a mask DOES make a difference, otherwise the symptomatic NEGATIVE (control) cases would be lower.

              1. The data shows that masks don’t work more than 75% of the time at best. SCIENCE says sunlight on a 75 degree day KILLS the virus within minutes. Why don’t your kind tout that sort of positive news? Your kind clamors on about my kind being science deniers, but you people refuse to even acknowledge fact….then call us the “deniers”

    2. “Herd immunity,” with an expected 20% loss, is a strategy applied to animals long before veterinary science provided protection and treatment. But it is a strategy that would seem to mesh with this administration’s view on loss of life – no compassion, no regrets, no responsibility. Problem too hard? Just do nothing and let people sicken and possibly die. We are nearing a quarter million dead Americans, but we’re supposed to bend over and just accept that “it is what it is ” as millions of us bury friends and family. So you can shove scoffing and your “lol” where the sun don’t shine.

  1. As predicted, the US is now grappling with a new Covid-19 surge — one that could overwhelm hospitals, kill thousands of Americans a day by January and leave even young survivors with long-term complications.

    CNN fear mongering for their uncomplicated fanbase

  2. Right, overwhelm hospitals. Just like the first hysteria in the spring when doctors and nurses were laid off because the tsunami of patients never materialized.

    One of the reasons why hospitals are reporting non virus deaths as c-h-i-n-e-s-e virus deaths. Reimbursements from the government are apparently huge and hospitals are trying to make up lost revenue when they allocated everything to the virus and beds went begging. Also sick people went begging. Diagnostics, other necessary treatments. People died from neglect because the medical establishment didn’t know what it was doing. Sad.

    1. More misinformation. The federal government funded more to hospitals for TREATMENT of patients with Covid-19, NOT per death.
      Also, we are fortunate here in Central Oregon to have such low case numbers, but other, more populated areas are having issues with overcrowded ICU’s.
      Just because YOU don’t *actually* see what happens doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. You probably think the Earth is flat, too.

      1. You ignore the fact most hospitals laid people off. in the middle of a health crisis.

        Our healthcare system literally crumbles if people cancel their plastic surgeries.

        Your observational skills seem to be lacking. It’s funny when the stupidest people on here, like you, are more aggressive and offensive than anyone making factual based points.

        1. Yes, hospitals reduced their workforce due to less elective procedures as a precaution for potential overcrowding. It didn’t happen here, thankfully, but it happened elsewhere in the country. Your statement about the healthcare industry relying on elective surgeries should be more of an issue, I think. A for-profit healthcare system doesn’t make sense when the well-being of people is at stake.
          An often overlooked fact is that an effective response to an outbreak like this is seen as an overreaction when all is said and done. That can’t be said in our country, because we are still 9 months into the first wave. I am not the all-seeing Eye of Sauron, no, but I can see how the piss-poor response to a global pandemic has, and will continue to affect our economies and lives.

    2. It takes a true genius to observe that our for-profit hospital model fell flat on it’s face in the pandemic. No hospital should be going bankrupt and laying people off during a health crisis, but some went bankrupt and many laid off nurses (SCHS did not). Everyone still thinks our current healthcare system is great, but if a critical health event comes up and people cancel their plastic surgeries, hospitals lay people off. Yeah, that’s not a problem. When you need nurses the most they’re being laid off because we’re bailing out airlines.

      To then go and blame the hospital staff for this is pretty funny. It should never have overwhelmed any hospital. That was a leadership failure for them not understanding the virus wasn’t a hoax, ports of entry should have been locked down for contact tracing and testing, and masks prevent spread and are not political. There are inbred fools in this thread that still seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around masks preventing spread, and instead think it prevents me from catching it. 6 months after the pandemic started and uneducated gorillas are commenting here bragging about how stupid they’ve managed to remain.

  3. CNN = fake news
    Do your own research folks, make your own informed decisions.
    Be smart, stay safe, don’t believe the hype…this ridiculousness was politically weaponized long ago…

  4. Hey Barney you had better be careful on what you publish! I’ve noticed over time you sure publish a ton of CNN’s lies which will show you guilty by association! Good luck, I hope and pray for you that you come correct! If not you will get what you have earned! The choice is yours, good luck my friend good luck! Do the right thing 👍🇺🇸

    1. As I have explained many times, the company I work for chose the CNN wire, which is an automated feed to our site. When you see a story of theirs in our top stories, I have reviewed it and feel it is fair and balanced. If not, I have, much of the time, not even seen the story, much less edited or posted it. Sometimes the first time I’m aware of a story is when comments are posted to it. No news source is perfect – I’m sure AP, if we had their full service, would come in for a lot of criticism, in today’s divisive, hate-filled climate.
      Have a good day.

      1. Why don’t you post the storys coming out about Obama Biden Clinton’s Benghazi and then executing seal team 6 and paying Iran 152 billion dollars cash to keep their mouths shut!? What about the story where Brennan’s hand written notes show the Russian collision was really Hillary Clinton and the FBI!? Where are those stories, I’m just wondering? You seem to out out storys that have a certain narrative not so much fair and balanced.

    2. Please prove what lies have been published in this article. On what are you basing your veiled threats to Barney? Just what punishment has KTVZ “earned” by exercising the First Amendment?

      1. When was the last time CNN told any truth? There is this thing called guilt by association. I’m not threatening anyone I’m just saying be careful with what you publish. You obviously haven’t been getting the whole story. It’s ok it’s not your fault.

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