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Poll: Many people insist they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine – KOMO News

https://komonews.com/news/coronavirus/poll-many-people-insist-they-will-not-get-a-covid-19-vaccine

Poll: Many people insist they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine - KOMO News
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Post-COVID lungs worse than the worst smokers lungs, surgeon says – CBS News

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-lungs-scarring-smokers-lungs/

Post-COVID lungs worse than the worst smokers lungs, surgeon says - CBS News

A Texas trauma surgeon says it’s rare that X-rays from any of her COVID-19 patients come back without dense scarring. Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall tweeted, “Post-COVID lungs look worse than any type of terrible smoker’s lung we’ve ever seen. And they collapse. And they clot off. And the shortness of breath lingers on… & on… & on.”

“Everyone’s just so worried about the mortality thing and that’s terrible and it’s awful,” she told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. “But man, for all the survivors and the people who have tested positive this is — it’s going to be a problem.”

Bankhead-Kendall, an assistant professor of surgery with Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, has treated thousands of patients since the pandemic began in March.

texas-tech-university-trauma-surgeon-dr-brittany-bankhead-kendall.jpg
Lubbock, Texas trauma surgeon Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall.

CBS Dallas


She says patients who’ve had COVID-19 symptoms show a severe chest X-ray every time, and those who were asymptomatic show a severe chest X-ray 70% to 80% of the time.

“There are still people who say ‘I’m fine. I don’t have any issues,’ and you pull up their chest X-ray and they absolutely have a bad chest X-ray,” she said.

In X-ray photos of a normal lung, a smoker’s lung and a COVID-19 lung that Bankhead-Kendall shared with CBS Dallas, the healthy lungs are clean with a lot of black, which is mainly air. In the smoker’s lung, white lines are indicative of scarring and congestion, while the COVID lung is filled with white.

“You’ll either see a lot of that white, dense scarring or you’ll see it throughout the entire lung. Even if you’re not feeling problems now, the fact that that’s on your chest X-ray — it sure is indicative of you possibly having problems later on,” she said.

normal-smokers-covid-chest-x-rays.jpg
X-rays of a normal lung, a smoker’s lung and a COVID patient’s lung. 

Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall via CBS Dallas


Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CBSN that some patients with severe COVID-19 could feel the impact for years to come.

“When someone recovers from pneumonia, whether it’s a bacterial pneumonia or a viral pneumonia, it’s going to take some time for their chest X-rays to improve. Chest X-rays lag your clinical improvement. So you may be better, but your chest X-ray still looks bad,” he said. “And we know that people with COVID-19 can get severe pneumonia, and some of that pneumonia will lead to damage to the lungs that will take time to heal. And some of it may be permanent.”

He said the potential long-term health consequences are another reason people should take warnings about the disease seriously. 

“It’s not something you can blow off. This isn’t something you want to have. Because even if you survive, you still may be left with some severe complications that make it very hard for you to go back to your baseline functioning.”

Bankhead-Kendall said it’s important that if you’re experiencing shortness of breath after your COVID-19 goes away, you stay in touch with your primary care doctor.

She also points out, “There is no long-term implication of a vaccine that could ever be as bad as the long-term implications of COVID.”

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Maine records more than 800 new COVID-19 cases for third straight day, 16 new deaths reported – WMTW Portland

https://www.wmtw.com/article/maine-records-more-than-800-new-covid-19-cases-for-third-straight-day-16-new-deaths-reported/35225673

Maine records more than 800 new COVID-19 cases for third straight day, 16 new deaths reported - WMTW Portland

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 16 new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday and 823 new cases.This is the third day in a row that Maine has topped more than 800 new cases. There are now 32,781 total cases since the beginning of the outbreak.The 16 new COVID-19-related deaths bring the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 477.Aroostook County reported five new deaths, Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Penobscot and Washington counties each reported two new deaths and Oxford County reported one new death.Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah is scheduled to provide an update on coronavirus in the state at 2 p.m. Beginning next week, his briefings will switch to Tuesdays and Thursdays.MAINE CORONAVIRUS DATA: Deaths: 477 Total cases: 32,781 Confirmed cases: 26,923 Probable cases: 5,858 Cumulative positivity rate: 2.82% 14-day positivity rate: 5.6% Currently hospitalized: 193 Patients in intensive care: 63 Patients on ventilators: 23Get more detailed COVID-19 data from the Maine CDCCOVID-19 symptomsPer the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the symptoms you should watch out for: Fever or chills Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue Muscle or body aches Headache New loss of taste or smell Sore throat Congestion or runny nose Nausea or vomiting DiarrheaThis list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about the virus.Should I get tested for COVID-19? Where can I get a test in Maine?The CDC recommends that you should consider taking a COVID-19 test if you: have symptoms of COVID-19. have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19. have been asked or referred to get testing by their health care provider, local/external icon or state ​health department.You can look up where to get a COVID-19 test in Maine by visiting Get Tested COVID-19Emergency care for COVID-19 symptomsThe CDC says to look for emergency warning signs for coronavirus. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately: Trouble breathing Persistent pain or pressure in the chest New confusion Inability to wake or stay awake Bluish lips or faceThis list is not all possible symptoms. Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.Maine COVID-19 Resources StrengthenME: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services created StrengthenME to help Mainers cope with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic. The program offers a hotline that is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone in need of assistance can call the hotline at 207-221-8198. Maine Helps: The Maine Helps website offers ways Mainers can directly help nonprofits, health care and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. FrontLine WarmLine: Maine Department of Health and Human Services phone line to help Mainers who are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. The phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day by calling 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440. The service will eventually include a text option, officials said. 211 Maine: The state’s 211 system can answer general questions about coronavirus from callers. Mainers can also text 898-211 to have their questions answered. NAMI Maine Resources: NAMI Maine is offering several programs to help people with mental health concerns due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 16 new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday and 823 new cases.

This is the third day in a row that Maine has topped more than 800 new cases. There are now 32,781 total cases since the beginning of the outbreak.

The 16 new COVID-19-related deaths bring the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 477.

Aroostook County reported five new deaths, Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Penobscot and Washington counties each reported two new deaths and Oxford County reported one new death.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah is scheduled to provide an update on coronavirus in the state at 2 p.m. Beginning next week, his briefings will switch to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

MAINE CORONAVIRUS DATA:

  • Deaths: 477
  • Total cases: 32,781
  • Confirmed cases: 26,923
  • Probable cases: 5,858
  • Cumulative positivity rate: 2.82%
  • 14-day positivity rate: 5.6%
  • Currently hospitalized: 193
  • Patients in intensive care: 63
  • Patients on ventilators: 23

Get more detailed COVID-19 data from the Maine CDC

COVID-19 symptoms

Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about the virus.

Should I get tested for COVID-19? Where can I get a test in Maine?

The CDC recommends that you should consider taking a COVID-19 test if you:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
  • have been asked or referred to get testing by their health care provider, local/external icon or state ​health department.

You can look up where to get a COVID-19 test in Maine by visiting Get Tested COVID-19

Emergency care for COVID-19 symptoms

The CDC says to look for emergency warning signs for coronavirus. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all possible symptoms. Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Maine COVID-19 Resources

  • StrengthenME: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services created StrengthenME to help Mainers cope with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic. The program offers a hotline that is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone in need of assistance can call the hotline at 207-221-8198.
  • Maine Helps: The Maine Helps website offers ways Mainers can directly help nonprofits, health care and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • FrontLine WarmLine: Maine Department of Health and Human Services phone line to help Mainers who are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak. The phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day by calling 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440. The service will eventually include a text option, officials said.
  • 211 Maine: The state’s 211 system can answer general questions about coronavirus from callers. Mainers can also text 898-211 to have their questions answered.
  • NAMI Maine Resources: NAMI Maine is offering several programs to help people with mental health concerns due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Arizona Is America’s Covid-19 Hot Spot and on the Brink of Crisis – The Wall Street Journal

https://www.wsj.com/articles/arizona-is-americas-covid-19-hot-spot-and-on-the-brink-of-crisis-11610719203

Arizona Is America’s Covid-19 Hot Spot and on the Brink of Crisis - The Wall Street Journal

Arizona has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the U.S. and is on the brink of running out of space in crowded hospitals, according to public-health and hospital officials.

The state hit a record for new infections last week, with 11,324 in a single day. It has the highest per capita rate of new Covid-19 infections in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the highest rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations, according to the Covid tracking project.

As of Monday, roughly 16% of Covid-19 tests in the state were coming back positive, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and health officials estimate that one in 10 residents is currently infected.

“We’re the hottest spot in the U.S. and among the hottest spots in the entire world,” said Keith Frey, chief medical officer for hospital chain Dignity Health’s Arizona division. “If we don’t slow this down over the course of the next days and weeks, then we will be fully into that crisis zone.”

Mr. Frey spoke at a press conference Wednesday where the heads of Arizona’s largest health systems gathered to express how dire the situation has become.

As of Wednesday, 7% of Arizona’s ICU beds were available, according to state data. Nearly 60% of all people hospitalized in Arizona have Covid-19 and close to 65% of ICU beds are being used for Covid-19 patients. That means patients with other conditions are being displaced, said Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

Mr. Humble estimated that if current trends continue, the Covid-19 situation in Arizona will in a few weeks be as bad as that in nearby Southern California, where ICU availability has been at 0% since December. Arizona has 19% more ICU beds, per capita, than California, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Ross Goldberg, president of the Arizona Medical Association, said hospitals are preparing by converting nonspecialized units into Covid-19-only areas. “We’re still seeing that Christmas surge,” he said.

Throughout 2020, Arizona was home to some of the nation’s most dramatic coronavirus waves and most intense debates over whether government-imposed restrictions on activity were the solution. The state followed the rest of the country in shuttering non-essential businesses after the pandemic took hold in mid-March.

By summer, a stay-at-home order had expired and cases jumped. In June, Republican

Gov. Doug Ducey

reversed a prior order barring local officials from implementing some Covid-19 restrictions, including mandating masks be worn in public places.

As new coronavirus variants sweep across the world, scientists are racing to understand how dangerous they could be. WSJ explains. Illustration: Alex Kuzoian/WSJ

After a decline in the late summer, cases began climbing again in the fall, as they did in much of the country. On Oct. 1, Arizona had a seven-day average of 480 new cases a day. One month later, that rate had nearly tripled, and by the start of 2021, it had grown twelvefold.

In December, Mr. Ducey signed an executive order that allowed restaurants to expand outdoor dining but didn’t ban indoor dining, as other hard-hit regions have done.

Representatives for the governor declined to comment and referred to his state-of-the-state address Monday, in which he said, “If we’re really all in this together, then we have to appreciate that for many families ‘lockdown’ doesn’t spell inconvenience; it spells catastrophe: zero income, inability to make a payment, eviction, foreclosure and real personal anguish.”

Some local governments have issued their own stricter rules, however. Pima County, which includes Tucson and is the second-largest metro area in the state, issued a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in mid-December and has mandated the use of face coverings in public since June.

Arizona Is America’s Covid-19 Hot Spot and on the Brink of Crisis - The Wall Street Journal

People lined up to get their Covid-19 vaccination cards after getting the vaccine in the parking lot of State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Tuesday.



Photo:

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

In December, a group of public-health officials sent a letter to Mr. Ducey, requesting he take more measures to close businesses like bars and nightclubs, and issue a statewide mask mandate.

Mr. Ducey has repeatedly declined to issue a statewide mandate, saying in December that it wasn’t necessary, as there was “almost nowhere you can go in the state of Arizona and no part of our economy that you can participate in without wearing a mask.”

At their press conference Wednesday, the hospital officials urged members of the public to stay home, wear masks in public and avoid large gatherings. They also said in-person schooling was dangerous. Mr. Ducey on Monday encouraged schools offering virtual learning to reopen.

Stephanie Jackson, chief clinical value officer at HonorHealth, begged Arizona residents to stay away from businesses that are legally open, particularly restaurants.

“Regardless of what the various messages are from a myriad of government officials…if you want to keep your friends and family safe, indoor dining at this time is not a good idea,” Dr. Jackson said. “We have extremely widespread levels of Covid-19. So my advice to you would be to order out.”

Write to Alicia A. Caldwell at [email protected] and Ian Lovett at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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LA County is scrambling to find more space to store bodies of Covid-19 victims – CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/15/us/coronavirus-refrigerated-trucks-victims/index.html

LA County is scrambling to find more space to store bodies of Covid-19 victims - CNN

About 900 bodies are currently being held at the Los Angeles Medical Examiner Coroner’s Office, which usually has a capacity of 500, according to spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. She estimates that about 150 of the bodies are overflow from local hospitals that have run out of room.

Since the initial Covid-19 surge last spring, a dozen refrigerated storage units have been on site at the downtown location. A dozen more trailers will be in place by next week, along with six refrigerated containers, Ardalani told CNN.

National Guard members have been assisting the coroner’s office with transporting and storing bodies, but it is not enough. Ardalani said the office is working with the state to bring in more help.

The number of available ICU beds has also dropped to the lowest level recorded yet, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. This despite indications that hospitalizations are beginning to level off in the state.

There are currently 1,094 ICU beds available for California’s 40 million residents. More than 22,000 people are hospitalized with the virus, and nearly 5,000 of them are in intensive care units.

However, the positivity rate in California is maintaining a downward trend seen for the past several days and currently stands at 13.4%, compared with 14% last Friday, which marked the highest level seen since widespread testing began.

About 90% of the state’s residents are still under stay-at-home orders as projections show ICU capacity and other factors will remain at critical levels for at least the next four weeks.

But there is hope.

L.A.’s Dodger Stadium, which has been a testing site will now become a mass vaccination center. Vaccine administration at the stadium is expected to start Friday, with the capacity to vaccinate about 12,000 people a day when everything is fully up and running, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s website.

“Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the city, county, and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible,”Garcetti said.

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Survey: Social Distancing Behavior Improves But Not Enough To Stop The Surge : Shots – Health News – NPR

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/15/956760985/mask-wearing-social-distancing-improve-but-too-slowly-survey-shows

Survey: Social Distancing Behavior Improves But Not Enough To Stop The Surge : Shots - Health News - NPR
Survey: Social Distancing Behavior Improves But Not Enough To Stop The Surge : Shots - Health News - NPR

Mask-wearing and social distancing are up in the United States, a survey finds.

Noam Galai/Getty Images


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Noam Galai/Getty Images

Survey: Social Distancing Behavior Improves But Not Enough To Stop The Surge : Shots - Health News - NPR

Mask-wearing and social distancing are up in the United States, a survey finds.

Noam Galai/Getty Images

Americans are being more careful to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus but are still not being careful enough to slow the pandemic, especially with worrisome, apparently more contagious new variants looming.

That’s the conclusion of the latest findings, released Friday, from the largest national survey tracking behavior during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s good news-bad news,” says David Lazer of Northeastern University, who is helping run the survey with colleagues at Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern universities.

“The good news is we’ve improved a lot in terms of mask-wearing and social distancing. The bad news is, to bend the curve they really need to be much better,” Lazer says.

Lazer’s consortium has been surveying about 20,000 people in all 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia since last spring. The latest data come from 25,640 people who were surveyed Dec. 16 and Jan. 11.

Mask-wearing reached an all-time high of about 80%, the survey found. In addition, a wide range of other behaviors also improved. For example, there were declines in the percentages of people saying that in the past 24 hours they went to work, the gym or a restaurant or spent time in crowded places or a room with people outside their household.

The trends are encouraging, especially because many social distancing behaviors had decreased between the spring and the fall, which likely helped fuel the surge that’s currently underway, Lazer says.

But aside from mask-wearing, all the other precautionary behaviors still remain less common than in the spring, the survey shows. And some precautions actually declined, such as frequent hand-washing.

“Clearly this is not enough to keep COVID-19 from spreading,” Lazer says.

Others agree.

“It was a bit startling to see how many people spent time indoors with someone outside their household,” Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, told NPR via email.

As we wait for widespread vaccination to take place, precautionary behaviors are still vitally important, says Dr. Benjamin Linas, an associate professor of epidemiology at Boston University.

“This is a critical moment,” he says. “We are in a race between the virus and our pace of vaccination.”

Those concerns are being magnified by the emergence of the new, more contagious strains.

“We have uncontrolled spread of COVID in most of the country, and there is a reasonably high likelihood that the new, more infectious strain from the United Kingdom or other highly infectious strains may gain a foothold here and make a really bad situation even worse,” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We need to not just do more of the same. We need to do better of the same,” he adds.

The survey results come during the worst period since the pandemic began. More than 200,000 people are getting infected every day in the U.S., and more than 4,000 deaths are being reported on some days. Hospitalizations are at record highs.

The current surge was probably intensified by people traveling and gathering for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, several experts told NPR.

A second report from the survey finds that support for new measures to curb the virus’s spread is high nationwide. That includes asking people to stay home and avoid gatherings, requiring most businesses to close, canceling major sports and entertainment events, limiting restaurants to carry-out only, restricting international and domestic travel and prohibiting K-12 teaching in person.

“We found remarkably strong support across the board for increasingly strong measures,” Lazer says.

At least in some states, the very worst of the current surge may be over, according to a high-profile research group at the University of Washington in Seattle. The group released new projections for the pandemic on Thursday. The pandemic has probably peaked in 23 states and will likely peak nationally by the end of the month, the group says.

But a total of 566,720 people could die from the pandemic by May 1 unless greater efforts are made to slow the virus’s spread, the group estimates. While that’s slightly lower than the group’s previous projection, researchers say even more lives could be saved if more people took precautions.

“Definitely we need to do much better, and we can do much better,” says Ali Mokdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“The behaviors that we have right now are not good enough. We still need to do better in order to bring this virus down much faster.”

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