Friday, January 21, 2022

Hospitalization numbers reflect COVID vaccine effectiveness: Experts

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While the strong increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the U.S. raises concerns, some experts are focusing on the issue of hospitalization instead of COVID-19, which is not rising particularly rapidly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that while many infections show little or no symptoms, “unlike the total number of cases, it is more important to focus on those who are hospitalized.”

Last week, hospitalizations averaged 14,800 a day, up 63% from the previous week. It still doesn’t reach its peak of 16,500 a day a year ago, when most of the U.S. was unvaccinated. Deaths have been stable over the past two weeks, averaging 1,200 a day, well below the 3,400 last January.

Other experts point out that the number of cases is still a cause for concern.

As the super-infectious omicron variant spread across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases per day have tripled in the past two weeks, reaching an average record 480,000. Infected workers in schools, hospitals and airlines are struggling as they are isolated. Stresses in the health care system are exacerbating the shortage of medical personnel, which has reached a critical point during the pandemic.

Health experts suspect that the decrease in the number of hospitalizations reflects the ongoing effectiveness of the vaccine in the prevention of serious diseases, even against omicron, and that this option may not make many patients as sick as previous versions.

Dr. Vafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University, said the number of patients is not the most important figure at the moment.

Instead, he said, the U.S. “should focus on preventing illness, disability, and death, especially during the vaccination period, and therefore counting them.”

The number of cases has lost its relevance, said Andrew Neumer, a professor of health at the University of California, Irvin.

“Hospitalization is where rubber meets the road,” said Andrew Neumer, a professor of health at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s a more objective measure,” he said. If I had to select a single indicator, I would have selected the hospitalization data.

Monitoring COVID-19 intake can tell doctors something about the severity of the virus and the ability of hospitals to deal with the crisis. This, in turn, will help health managers determine where equipment and other resources should be transferred.

Also in the news:

► Starbucks says U.S. workers must be fully vaccinated by February 9, otherwise a weekly COVID test will be required. The Seattle-based coffee giant said it was acting in response to the Department of Labor and Health’s announcement in November that it was demanding a vaccine or test for companies with more than 100 employees.

► A New York teacher has been arrested for injecting a teenager with the COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent, Nassau County Police Department said Monday. Laura Parker Russo, 54, was charged with unlawful conduct of her profession, the report said.

📈Today’s figures: According to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 56 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., or one in six in the country, and more than 827,000 deaths. Global total: more than 292.6 million cases and 5.4 million deaths. According to the CDC, more than 205.8 million Americans – 62% – have been fully vaccinated.

📘What we read:

Keep this page updated for the latest news. Want more? Subscribe to the free Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Teachers in Chicago vote for distance learning; the city is canceling classes for most of its 330,000 students

Teachers in the country’s third-largest school district voted to switch to distance learning, prompting Chicago public schools to cancel classes for 330,000 students on Wednesday.

The Chicago Teachers’ Union voted to suspend personal study and distance learning until Jan. 18, or until COVID-19 falls below a certain threshold. The union, which has about 25,000 members, also requires the district to require negative tests from students and staff before returning to school.

“This decision was taken with a heavy heart and with a particular focus on student and community safety,” the union said in a statement Tuesday night.

It is not clear how many teachers will come in person on Wednesday. For four hours late on Tuesday, 73 percent of union members voted in favor of switching to distance learning.

At a news conference Tuesday night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the vote was an “illegal labor act” and Chicago Public Schools Director Pedro Martinez described the move as a “move.”

Teachers who do not attend will not be paid, Lightfoot said.

– Grace Hawk,

Was the test positive for COVID-19? Need isolation or quarantine?

A positive test for COVID-19 will begin a confusing, disruptive, and sometimes frightening process – something millions of Americans may experience in the coming weeks.

There is a difference between isolation and quarantine. Quarantine means keeping a person in close contact with a person infected with COVID away from others. According to the CDC, isolation means keeping a person who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 away from others without symptoms, even in their own home.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine if there are no symptoms. But the CDC insists that isolation is a necessary step if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, as well as whether you have symptoms or feel well, and give a positive result.

In late December, the CDC reduced the time it recommended to isolate people, saying, “People with COVID-19 should be isolated for 5 days, and if they are asymptomatic or have no symptoms (no fever for 24 hours), do so. Continue for 5 days. Wear a mask when others are around. ”

Read the CDC’s updated guidelines on isolation and quarantine.

Contribution: The

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