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Category Archives: Covid-19

These charts show that COVID-19 vaccines are doing their job – Science News Magazine

Posted: September 1, 2021 at 12:11 am

As the coronavirus continues to surge across the United States, hospitals are again filling up with ill COVID-19 patients. And the vast majority of those patients are unvaccinated, as two new charts help make exceedingly clear.

One of those charts shows that from January 24 to July 24, vaccinated individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 at a much lower cumulative rate than unvaccinated individuals. And the difference in rates between the two groups has only grown over time. By late July, a total of about 26 adults per 100,000 vaccinated people had been hospitalized for COVID-19. Thats compared with about 431 hospitalized people for every 100,000 unvaccinated individuals a rate roughly 17 times as high as for those who were vaccinated. The datacome from 13 states, including California, Georgia and Utah.

That trend held when the researchers charted hospitalization rates on a weekly basis too. From January to July, weekly hospitalization rates among unvaccinated people were six to 31 times as high as those in vaccinated people, the researchers report August 29 at medRxiv.org.

The accumulation of hospitalizations in each group over time, which that first chart shows, illustrates the risk of developing severe COVID-19 overall. And its message is clear: If youre vaccinated during this pandemic, your risk of hospitalization is much, much lower than if youre not vaccinated. The weekly rate, on the other hand, is a bit like the speedometer on a car providing a glimpse of whats happening week by week as the coronavirus spreads. Its message is also clear: The risk of a vaccinated person becoming hospitalized remains low at any given time, while the risk for unvaccinated people can fluctuate, probably as a result of community transmission.

The findings, along with other recent research out of Los Angeles County, remind us that if you are not yet vaccinated, you are among those highest at risk, Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said August 24 in a White House news briefing. Please do not underestimate the risk of serious consequences of this virus.

As of August 26, more than 100,000 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a level not seen since January amid the winter surge.

A separate study, described August 24 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, that focused on Los Angeles County also showed that while COVID-19 vaccines dont always stop infections, the shots still prevent people from landing in the hospital. Thats even with the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, which has raised concerns among public health officials because some vaccinated people who get infected can transmit the coronavirus to others (SN: 7/30/21).

On July 25, when the delta variant was prevalent in the county, unvaccinated people were nearly 30 times as likely to be hospitalized as vaccinated people, the researchers found. Only one vaccinated person for every 100,000 people was hospitalized for COVID-19. Among unvaccinated people, there were around 29 hospitalizations per 100,000 individuals. In that same study, unvaccinated people were five times as likely to be infected as vaccinated people.

While the vaccines dont protect against infection as well as they do against severe disease, the shots are keeping people off ventilators and from dying, Kathryn Edwards, an infectious disease pediatrician at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, said August 26 in a news briefing sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. We cannot lose the forest for the trees.

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These charts show that COVID-19 vaccines are doing their job - Science News Magazine

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South Dakota National Guard activated to help with COVID-19 testing efforts – KELOLAND.com

Posted: at 12:11 am

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) Nine soldiers with the South Dakota National Guard are helping Monument Health with COVID-19 testing in the western part of the state.

The soldiers were activated to Belle Fourche, Custer, Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis.

The soldiers are activated under FEMA Title 32, so their efforts will be federally funded.

In a statement, Governor Kristi Noem says she spoke with all three South Dakota hospital systems to ask what they needed as cases start to rise again.

Monument shared a need for help with testing efforts.

Testing efforts help us to identify and isolate cases to slow the spread of the virus, Noem said in the email.

The members began their work Tuesday morning.

Testing volume in August was 115 percent higher than it was in July, according to Emily Leech, Director of the Monument Health Laboratory Services.

The health care system says that in the last seven days, 2,856 COVID-19 PCR tests were completed and 844 were positive for a positivity rate of 29.6 percent.

Leech says assistance from the National Guard will allow Monument Health to test more patients and fully utilize testing equipment.

The latest update from the state health department said the Rapid City hospital was at 100 percent capacity.

A month ago, the Monument Health system had fewer than 10 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. As of Monday, Aug. 30, the number had increased to 110.

Dan Daly with Monument Health says as of Tuesday, the health care system has 108 COVID-19 patients. He says that is more than the 104 patients treated when COVID-19 peaked in November 2020 in South Dakota.

A Monument spokesman tells us they are not turning anyone away. He says if someone needs a bed, they will find one.

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Social Securitys funds have been significantly affected by Covid-19. Heres how that could impact your benefits – CNBC

Posted: at 12:11 am

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A new report released by the Social Security Administration on Tuesday reveals new estimates of just how much the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the program's already ailing trust funds.

The results show the funds from which the program pays benefits have been "significantly affected" by both the pandemic and the ensuing recession of 2020.

Now, the fund that pays retirement and survivor benefits known as the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will be able to pay full benefits as scheduled only until 2033. That is one year earlier than last year's projections.

At that time, the program will only be able to pay 76% of those scheduled benefits.

The Disability Insurance Trust Fund, meanwhile, will be able to pay benefits until 2057 eight years sooner than last year's estimates. At that time, Social Security will be able to pay 91% of those benefits.

Combined, both trust funds are estimated to be able to pay full benefits as scheduled until 2034, one year earlier than last year's projections, at which point 78% of benefits will be payable.

Notably, last year's projections did not take the effects of Covid-19 into account.

Though the depletion dates have been bumped up sooner, benefits will still be paid once those dates are reached.

In addition, though the cost-of-living adjustment for next year was projected to be 3.1%, that increase will likely be closer to 6% due to recent increases in the Consumer Price Index, senior administration officials said. That is in line with recent estimates.

That would be the highest increase in decades, due to recent price increases in areas like cars and energy. The COLA for this year was 1.3%.

While this report is the first to show the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Social Security, the full effect of persistent inflation likely will not be known until next year's report, said Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A sustained inflation rate of more than 2% could have a meaningful impact on the program's finances, he said.

Here's a look at more retirement news.

The Aug. 31 release date of the annual Social Security trustees report is also the latest in at least 25 years, Akabas noted. Typically, the report comes out in April, though it has been released later than that in the past.

"It's concerning from that standpoint of wanting to make sure we're keeping a close eye on the program's finances," Akabas said.

While the report's results point to the need to fix the program either through increased taxes, benefit cuts or a combination of both it is unlikely to spur lawmakers to act immediately, Akabas said.

That's because the estimates for the program are not as dire as projected in the immediate aftermath of the onset of Covid-19 last year. Prior to the economic recovery, the Bipartisan Policy Center had projected the trust fund used to pay retirement benefits could run out as soon as 2029 to 2033.

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Social Securitys funds have been significantly affected by Covid-19. Heres how that could impact your benefits - CNBC

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Opinion | The Hard Covid-19 Questions Were Not Asking – The New York Times

Posted: at 12:11 am

What if the stated goal is simply, Kids need to be in school, period. Considering the devastating costs of having children out of school last year, including dramatic and quantifiable learning loss in math and reading, this is a very reasonable and defensible goal. How might that then drive policy? Setting that goal would mean deploying more tools to keep children in school, like using rapid antigen tests and allowing kids who test negative to go to in-person class rather than mass quarantining hundreds or thousands of children who had close contact to people with the virus, as is happening now. Or, we accept that there will be more cases in children, recognizing that disease severity for a vast majority of kids is low.

Another hard question that is most likely also causing confusion and disagreement is how we define severe disease in children. Children can get Covid, but their death and hospitalization rates are much lower than for adults. The inflammatory syndrome MIS-C is rare. Long Covid has gained wide attention, but recent studies have shown that rates are low among children and not dissimilar to effects caused by other viral illnesses.

Were not being cavalier by raising these points. Consider that in Britain the government doesnt require masks for children in schools, and its not clear it will advise kids to get vaccinated, either. Britain has experts, as we do, and they are looking at the same scientific data we are; they most assuredly care about childrens health the same way we do, and yet, they have come to a different policy decision. Schools were prioritized over other activities, and the risks of transmission without masks were considered acceptable.

This reveals the crux of the problem in the United States. Its not just the C.D.C., but everyone including us public health experts who is not always connecting our advice or policy recommendations to clear goals. The conflict is not about masks or boosters, its about the often unstated objective and how a mask mandate or a boosters for all approach may or may not get us there.

We use schools as the example here, but much of the same applies to broader societal questions over mass gatherings, live entertainment and returning to offices. There are questions around how vaccinated people should live their lives if the vaccines reduce the likelihood of spread but dont absolutely and completely prevent breakthrough infections and transmission, which was never going to be the case.

If the goal is zero spread, which we think is not realistic, then the country would need to keep many of the most restrictive measures in place an approach that has serious public health consequences of its own. If the goal is to minimize severe disease, some states with high vaccination rates might already be there. Low-vaccination states would still have work to do before loosening restrictions. Treating the country as a whole just doesnt make sense right now because of the widespread differences in vaccination rates.

The emergence of the Delta variant has, understandably, caused many Americans to step back and use caution. But the same questions will be there when we emerge from this Delta surge, whether in a few weeks or next spring. We shouldnt let ourselves off the hook with easy decisions today. At some point, the country needs to have an honest conversation with itself about what our goals really are.

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Opinion | The Hard Covid-19 Questions Were Not Asking - The New York Times

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State looking at ways to speed up the COVID-19 testing process – KRQE News 13

Posted: at 12:11 am

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) As COVID-19 cases spike, testing is jumping just as quickly. This is causing a slow down in New Mexicans getting results.The New Mexico Department of Health is looking at ways to speed up the process. The amount of tests being done is way up compared to last year and even month to month. Mandatory COVID testing for employees and a surge in cases has people waiting days to get their results.

When my son had to get tested because he came into contact with somebody and that took forever. It was about five days to wait for him to get it. and I was like pacing, like please hurry you know I dont want him to have anything but luckily we were good, said Evita Sinclaire.

NMDOH says they are working on expanding testing services at the public health offices. The department is trying to balance getting people vaccinated and getting people tested.

In the last two weeks, more than 172,000 tests were done in New Mexico. That compared to less than 80,000 over the same two-week period in 2020. In the last 30 days, the state conducted more than 312,000 tests. That is 175,000 more than the previous 30 days.

In some cases tests are sent out of state, slowing down the ability for people to get their tests quicker. According to NMDOH, other in-state lab services are ramping up their testing turnaround again.

We do need to be patient and recognize with so many people testing you know we can only work so fast collectively in the health world to be able to get those test results back, you know expect to wait a few days, says David Morgan, a spokesperson with NMDOH.

If you are required to get weekly COVID tests for work the health department is recommending people use Vault testing. This allows people to have COVID tests delivered to your home every week.

The other concern is Balloon Fiesta starting the first weekend in October. The department says there are efforts underway to determine a temporary alternate site away from Balloon Fiesta Park for COVID testing.

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FAQs on COVID-19 | Visit Seattle

Posted: August 30, 2021 at 2:47 am

More to Read: COVID-19 Travel Advisory // FAQ on Seattle Street Safety

Yes, Seattle is OPEN. Thanks to increased vaccination rates, Washington state businesses were permitted to reopen at full capacity as of June 30. Seattle, the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70% of residents 12 and older, is safely welcoming back visitors.

Travelers to Seattleand all destinationsshould continue to observe the health recommendations of national and local public health officials, as they plan to travel, while in transit, and while visiting any destination. Travelers to Seattle should know that Visit Seattle is in close contact with regional public health officials and elected officials, as well as with national travel associations, and will actively communicate with visitors as the situation changes.

Washington State has reinstated a statewide indoor mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, effective Monday, August 23. This includes all indoor public settings like grocery, retail, theaters, and entertainment establishments. Exemptions to the mask requirement are limited to office spaces not easily accessible to the public and small, private indoor gatherings where everyone is vaccinated.

Please note: Businesses have the right to set their own rules and regulations for the health and safety of their customers and staff. We kindly ask visitors to determine and adhere to the individual guidelines of each business in Seattle and King County.

While there are no state or county-level mandates for vaccination IDs, business owners do have the right to enact health policies to protect their staff and customers. In addition to the statewide indoor mask mandate, a growing number of bars, restaurants, performing arts venues and events have started requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test from their customers before entering. We kindly ask visitors to determine and adhere to the individual guidelines of each business in Seattle and King County.

With the exception of large indoor events (with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants), Washington state has lifted all social distancing guidelines, however reinstated a statewide mask mandate as of August 23, 2021. For details, please reference the states Washington Ready plan.

Seattle and King County continue to follow CDC guidelines, so please be aware of these while planning travel.

Washingtonians and others who may be visiting Washington from outside the state are expected to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) current COVID-19 travel advisory guidance. This guidance recommends travelers delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, at which point they can travel safely within the United States.

If not vaccinated, travelers are expected to follow CDCs recommendations for unvaccinated people, which includes testing before and after travel, wearing a mask, continuing to socially distance and maintain good hand hygiene.

Detailed guidance for domestic and international travelers is available on the CDC website.

Please note that global travel restrictions for international visitors to the United States:

For the latest flight and airport information, refer to the SEA Airport travel advisory or contact your airline directly.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has implemented extensive new cleaning procedures to support the health and safety of travelers. Some of these measures include:

Airlines are also implementing their own stringent cleaning and safety measures. Here are two examples:

SEA Airport has provided the following resources to travelers:

As Seattle reopens, we encourage visitors and locals to be aware that all sectors of the hospitality industry are experiencing staffing shortages, and kindly ask for understanding and patience with businesses and staff. While businesses are now permitted to operate at full capacity, some may continue at limited capacity or remain closed until they are more properly staffed.

Hotels are eager to welcome visitors and implemented a wide array of cleaning and social distancing policies to keep guests and staff safe and comfortable. Some amenities, dining, and other services may be limited, so please check with your hotel on their current status before traveling.

Meeting Venues in Washington State are allowed to operate at full capacity, with the exception of large indoor gatherings.

Large indoor events are defined as any event with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants located in an indoors enclosed space. Large indoor events are restricted to 75% capacity, unless vaccination verification is occurring. If vaccination verification is occurring prior to entry and the venue requires all attendees be vaccinated, there are no capacity restrictions. Vaccinated sections, however, are not permitted as a way to exceed 75% capacityallattendees must be vaccinated. No physical distancing requirements apply and attendees must follow the current masking requirements.

Restaurants may operate at full capacity.

Museums may operate at full capacity.

Retailers may operate at full capacity.

Outdoor recreation including parks, trails, and beaches is allowed with no restrictions. Camping is available where open.

Resources and updates for some popular Seattle attractions:

Additional detailed guidance and information is available on the governors website.

As businesses reopen in the Seattle area, they are held to cleanliness protocols as outlined by King County Public Health. Many, however, are going to even further measures to help ensure the health & safety of guests and employees. Please check with individual businesses for details on their policies.

Absolutely. As with everything, please check the status of specific parks before you visit.

Official Park Websites:

Additional Resources:

Click to learn more about #RecreateResponsibly guidelines

Washington State Convention Center is actively pursuing Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Please read their Safety First Overviewfor details.

Yes! The first cruise ships arrived in Elliott Bay on June 29 to prepare for a late 2021 season with departures as early as July 24. For further details on this evolving situation, please monitor official updates from the Port of Seattle.

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A weary Australia plans reopening as COVID-19 death toll hits 1000 – Reuters

Posted: at 2:47 am

SYDNEY, Aug 30 (Reuters) - As Australia's COVID-19 deaths exceed 1,000, a grim toll but modest by global standards, a country that has used relentless lockdowns now faces perhaps its biggest health policy challenge of the pandemic - how to reopen.

The highly infectious Delta variant has breached the country's fortress-style controls and entrenched itself deep enough in Sydney, Australia's biggest city, and with a foothold in Melbourne, that authorities have dispensed with plans to eliminate it.

Instead, they plan to ramp up Australia's lagging vaccination effort and live with COVID-19, an approach that would help struggling businesses but which is opposed by states determined to crush the disease.

Australia reported four fatalities on Monday, taking the total death toll from COVID-19 to 1,003, according to government data. It has logged an average of two to three deaths a day recently, the data shows.

But while deaths are creeping higher, infections are surging to successive record highs above 1,200 a day. With more than half the population in lockdown, even those areas with little or no infections are affected.

The exuberance that accompanied Australia's early suppression success has since been replaced with community frustration at a delayed vaccine programme that has only recently picked up pace.

Just over 33% of those aged 16 and older have received two vaccine doses, well below most comparable nations, according to a Reuters tracker.

As the weary nation reopens, authorities hope to avoid the soaring infections and rising death experienced in countries such as Britain and the United States - which recently posted more than 1,000 deaths in a single day.

The lesson for Australia is that mask-wearing should not be discarded as restrictions ease and that classrooms should be better ventilated to protect students from the airborne virus, said epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre.

"Wearing a mask is a small price to pay to get that additional layer of control," said MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Research Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Medicine. "We'll need a vaccines-plus strategy as well as ventilation."

PUSHBACK AGAINST LIVE-WITH-IT PLAN

Australia plans to start easing restrictions once 70% of those aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, expected late in the year. After 80% comes a gradual reopening of international travel, according to the government-backed plan modelled by the Melbourne-based Doherty Institute.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants Australia to treat COVID-19 like the flu as vaccination rates rise. "That is our goal, to live with this virus, not to live in fear of it," he said last week.

But some largely infection-free states, including Queensland and Western Australia, are pushing back as they watch health services at the centre of the Delta outbreak in the Sydney area come under stress.

There are 840 people in hospital being treated for COVID-19 in the epicentre, with 137 in intensive care and48 requiring ventilation.

Mark McGowan, premier of Western Australia, said his iron ore-exporting state wanted to continue to "crush and kill" the virus, with lockdowns when necessary.

The outbreaks and lockdowns are devastating tourism operators, said Daniel Gschwind, chief executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

"We are not in lockdown and that's great, but tourism is like a pipeline," he said. "It doesn't matter where that pipeline is broken. If you sit at the end of the pipeline nothing is coming through."

The Australian economy, which rebounded swiftly in the pandemic's early stages, is set to contract sharply this quarter, threatening to push the country back into recession if the decline persists for the rest of the year.

In the Group of 20 big economies, Australia is the last to mark 1,000 COVID-19 deaths. Among major Asia-Pacific economies, four New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have well below 1,000 fatalities, with New Zealand having the lowest at just 26.

Australia's rising case count means it will try to reopen under a cloud of infections when, up until the Delta strain, it was largely virus-free.

Delta's high infectiousness, short incubation, and asymptomatic spread, meant it spread quickly after being first detected in Sydney in June. Caseloads are higher for younger people, who have had limited or no access to vaccines.

Reporting by Jonathan Barrett; Additional reporting by Jill Gralow and Roshan Abraham; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by …

Posted: at 2:47 am

(En espaol)

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus. We will add to this list as more resources become available.

If you are out of work, Washington State's Employment Security Department provides support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in Washington.

The Employment Security Department has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses.

Washington State Employment Security DepartmentUnemployment benefits and filing.

If you do not have enough money to cover your mortgage payment, contact your lenderimmediately. Homeowners in distress may call DFIs toll-free number 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334) to talk to a member of our team and to get assistance in how best to contact their mortgage servicer, and to learn more about their options.

Assistance for Washington HomeownersCoronavirus mortgage assistance available to Washington homeowners.

If youre having trouble making payments, there may be assistance available to you. TheCARES Actprovides relief for most federal student loan borrowers.

Federal and Private Student Loan Relief OptionsFederal and private student loan relief options.

Private Student LoansIf you have private student loans you should call your loan servicer to ask what relief options are available for you.

If you are unable to make your full rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement.

Emergency Rental AssistanceFor emergency rent assistance you may also call 2-1-1 or search the 2-1-1 website to find rent assistance near you.

If you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your credit card company rightaway. Explain your situation and ask about hardship programs that may be available. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus.

Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like ATM, overpayments, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.

What Should I Do If I Cant Pay My Credit Card Bills?Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Debt Assistance: Find A Credit CounselorA credit counselor may able to assist you with your debt problems. Contact one near you.

Local Community Services Offices (CSO) provide many DSHS services. Your local CSO can provide you with details about these services and how to apply for them.

Resources for Cash, Food and Medical AssistanceDepartment of Social and Health Services

Governor Jay Inslee has called on all public utilities in Washington state to ensure the health and safety of their employees and the public by suspending disconnection tariffs for nonpayment during this emergency; waiving late fees for customers who are out of work or offering customers payment plans; and expanding bill assistance programs for customers who are economically impacted by this emergency. Many utility companies are already doing this. For assistance, contact your utility company.

Utility COVID-19 response pages:

PSE

Avista

Cascade Natural

Pacific Power

Northwest Natural

Washington Water

City of Seattle

Tacoma Public Utilities

Additional Resources:

Utilities and Transportation CommissionWashington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Consider your options before taking out a high cost short term loan. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills, borrow from friends or family, or explore low interest loans offered by local banks and credit unions.

If you do take out a short term loan, make sure the lender is licensed with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and borrow only what you can afford to pay back.

While the COVID-19 outbreak has closed many businesses, your local banks and credit unions remain committed to providing access to banking services.

As social distancing has been implemented across our state, here are some things to consider:

Coronavirus.wa.govWashington State Coronavirus Response

COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workersInformation from the Governors office.

Employment Security Department Information for Workers Impacted by COVID-19Resources and information from the Washington Employment Security Department.

Protect Yourself Financially from the CoronavirusInformation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Job Interrupted A To-Do List for Tough TimesInformation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Financial Peace of Mind in the Age of CoronavirusInformation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Avoiding Coronavirus ScamsInformation from the Federal Trade Commission.

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COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases & 12 Deaths Reported Sunday – CBS Baltimore

Posted: at 2:47 am

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) Maryland reported 1,067 new COVID-19 cases and twelve new deaths, according to state health department data released Sunday morning.

This marks the fifth consecutive day of more than a thousand new cases.

Doctors say the new cases are fueled by dangerous strains targeting the unvaccinated. During an August press conference, Gov. Larry Hogan said the Delta variant, a strain that is reportedly two to four times more contagious than the original virus strain, accounts for nearly every new confirmed case in Maryland.

Hogan also saidless than 0.01% of vaccinated Marylanders have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and less than 0.001% of vaccinated Marylanders have died from the virus.

The vaccines are without a doubt our single most effective tool to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 and the surging Delta variant, and Marylands vaccination rate continues to outpace the nation, Hogan said.

Equally as important as getting a vaccine yourself is helping someone you know to get a vaccine. The vaccines are very safe, they are very effective, they are completely free, and they are widely available nearly everywhere.

More than 3.8 million Maryland adults are fully vaccinated. State officials also reported that the state positivity increased by 0.05 to 4.9%.

Hospitalizations decreased by 11 to 679. Of those hospitalized, 505 remain in acute care and 174 remain in the ICU.

Since the pandemic began, there were 494,982 total confirmed cases and 9,772 deaths.

There are 3,714,076 Marylanders fully vaccinated. The state has administered 7,518,231 doses. Of those, 3,804,155 are first doses with 7,737 administered in the past 24 hours. They have given out 3,430,557 second doses, 7,534 in the last day.

The state began to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again in April after the CDC and FDA lifted their pause on the vaccine due to a rare blood clot found in some women.

A total of 283,519 Marylanders have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 308 in the last day.

The state reported 80.7% of all adults in Maryland have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In August, the state launched a post-vaccination infections dashboard that is updated every Wednesday. There have been 9,079 total cases among fully vaccinated Marylanders as of last Wednesday, August 25.

Of those cases, 733 vaccinated Marylanders were hospitalized, representing 5.6% of all Covid cases hospitalized in the state. 76 fully vaccinated Marylanders have died, representing 5% of lab-confirmed Covid deaths in the state.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES:

Heres a breakdown of the numbers:

By County

By Age Range and Gender

By Race and Ethnicity

Excerpt from:

COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases & 12 Deaths Reported Sunday - CBS Baltimore

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New Zealand reports first death linked to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – Reuters

Posted: at 2:47 am

WELLINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - New Zealand reported its first recorded death linked to U.S. drugmaker Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said on Monday, after a woman suffered a rare side effect leading to inflammation of her heart muscle.

The news of the death comes as the country battles an outbreak of the Delta variant after nearly six months of being virus free. It followed a review by an independent panel monitoring the safety of the vaccines.

"This is the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days following vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine," the ministry said in a statement, without giving the woman's age.

The vaccine monitoring panel attributed the death to myocarditis, a rare, but known, side effect of the Pfizer vaccine, the ministry added.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can limit the organ's ability to pump blood and can cause changes in heartbeat rhythms.

In response, Pfizer said it recognised there could be rare reports of myocarditis after vaccinations, but such side effects were extremely rare.

"Pfizer takes adverse events that are potentially associated with our vaccine very seriously," it told Reuters.

"We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with worldwide regulatory authorities."

The health ministry said other medical issues at the same time could have influenced the outcome after vaccination.

But the vaccine's benefit outstripped risks from side effects, it added.

"The benefits of vaccination with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continue to greatly outweigh the risk of both COVID-19 infection and vaccine side effects, including myocarditis."

New Zealand has provisionally approved use of the Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines, but only the Pfizer produced vaccine has been approved for rollout to the public.

Monday's 53 new cases took New Zealand's tally of infections in the current outbreak to 562, amid a nationwide lockdown enforced this month to limit spread of the Delta variant.

Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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