Friday CoronaBuzz, September 10, 2021: 41 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

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Friday CoronaBuzz, September 10, 2021: 41 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.

NEW RESOURCES – STATE-SPECIFIC

KRDO: State adds new vaccine breakthrough data tool. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated its COVID-19 website to include a new vaccine breakthrough data visualization. The new vaccine breakthrough data, released Wednesday, provides proportional case, hospitalization, and death rates by vaccination status. It also allows the user to display breakthrough data by vaccine type and demographic information like age, gender, and race/ethnicity.”

ABC 12: Michigan launches online portal with adults’ vaccination records. “Michigan adults will have easier access to their vaccination records with a new website from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Michigan Immunization Portal shows all vaccinations that people age 18 and older have received in their lifetime as long as they were entered into the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. The portal also will show COVID-19 vaccine status.”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

GR+: Animal Crossing: New Horizons online exhibition opens at the National Videogame Museum. “Created with the intention of acting as a time capsule, documenting fans’ experiences with the game during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Animal Crossing Diaries exhibition features a tonne of fan-written letters all of which detail how impactful the game has been over the last 18 months. ”

UPDATES

Washington Post: In Florida, a summer of death and resistance as the coronavirus rampaged. “As Florida appears to be turning the corner from a coronavirus rampage that fueled record new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, its residents and leaders are surveying the damage left from more than 7,000 deaths reported since July Fourth and the scars inflicted by feuds over masks and vaccines. New infections were averaging more than 22,000 a day in the last days of August but have fallen to about 19,000. Yet recovery could prove fleeting: Holiday weekends such as Labor Day have acted as a tinderbox for earlier outbreaks, and late summer marks the return of students to college campuses.”

MISINFORMATION / FACT-CHECKING

Poynter: Another air quality monitor demonstration fails to show masks reduce oxygen to children. “The air we breathe is made up of about 78% nitrogen by volume, 21% oxygen and much smaller amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and other gases. In the video, the man apparently alludes to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates workplaces. OSHA defines an atmosphere that is less than 19.5% oxygen as oxygen-deficient, and potentially unsafe. So the reference to ‘19.5 parts per million’ in the video misstates the safety threshold. That unit of measurement is typically used to describe the concentration of chemical contaminants in water or soil, or trace amounts of a gas; 19.5 ppm is not a plausible reading of oxygen concentration in the atmosphere at a school board meeting.”

Techdirt: Impossibility Of Content Moderation: Scientist Debunking Vaccine Myths Gets A YouTube Strike For Medical Misinfo. “This involves a scientist who streams on YouTube as Scientist Mel, and tries to educate people about science, including debunking bad science takes. This included a recent two hour episode debunking anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. The video does look at a bunch of ridiculous conspiracy theories and scientific claptrap and nonsense… and then debunks it. But, YouTube dinged her channel for misinformation.”

MISINFORMATION / FACT-CHECKING – IVERMECTIN

WFLA: Ivermectin causes sterilization in 85 percent of men, study finds. “The effects of Ivermectin therapy on human males can have an effect on men’s reproductive health. Researchers at three universities in Nigeria studied the effects of Ivermectin, which is used to treat river blindness and other medical conditions in humans, on men’s sperm counts. According to their study, 85 percent of men who take Ivermectin become sterilized.” Note there’s nothing here about long-term or anything else, so don’t lose your mind. I’m including here because it keeps circulating.

PolitiFact: A Nobel Prize and a horse dewormer: Explaining the controversy over ivermectin and COVID-19. “Even as prescriptions for ivermectin have risen 24-fold since before the pandemic, and some people have resorted to pressuring hospitals to use it on COVID-19 patients, public health authorities strongly recommend against using ivermectin for COVID-19. There is no conclusive evidence that it is effective, and it carries physical risks. At the same time, those dubiously touting ivermectin aren’t wrong about the Nobel Prize or the drug’s proven but limited uses for humans. ”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Bloomberg Government: Food Insecurity for Children Spiked in 2020, New Report Says (1). “Kids in about 2.9 million homes nationwide went hungry at some point last year during the coronavirus pandemic, new Agriculture Department data show. That’s children in about 7.6% of U.S. households with kids, an uptick from 6.5% in 2019, the latest Economic Research Service study on food security reported. The annual survey helps the agency determine the extent of food access across the country.”

The Register: Biggest takeaway from pandemic lockdowns for Microsoft? Teams stopped talking to each other. “As the majority of the desk-based workers lurched to working from home during the pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, communication between teams fell and working hours increased. In a peer-reviewed study published in Nature Human Behaviour today, researchers from Microsoft showed how colleagues at the Redmond-based software biz changed their communication and collaboration patterns during the first months of isolation.”

HEALTH CARE / HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

Ohio Capital Journal: Judge reverses order forcing hospital to give ivermectin to COVID-19 patient. “A Butler County judge sided with a local hospital and reversed a previous court order forcing it to honor a prescription of ivermectin, which infectious disease experts have warned against as a COVID-19 treatment, for a patient who has spent weeks in the ICU with the disease.”

Idaho Capital Sun: Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: A hospital bed opens. Because someone died.. “Health care workers across the state are fighting an internal battle, on top of their fight to keep people alive and healthy. Dr. Patrick ‘Paddy’ Kinney, a family physician in rural McCall, is one of them. He is distraught when his patients choose not to be vaccinated against a fast-spreading virus. He is distraught when those patients later get COVID-19.”

HEALTH CARE – PEDIATRICS

Mississippi Free Press: Mississippi Baby Dies of COVID; Child Deaths In Past 45 Days Exceed Prior 17 Months. “For the first time in Mississippi since the pandemic began, a baby has died of COVID-19, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported today. State health leaders confirmed only that the latest child victim is an infant less than a year old. With this latest death, Mississippi’s COVID-19 pediatric death toll for the past six weeks is now four, exceeding the first 17 months of the pandemic when three Mississippians younger than 18 died of COVID-19. The delta variant surge brought with it the worst wave of child infections and hospitalizations yet.”

HEALTH CARE – CAPACITY

KSL: Utah reports 1,539 new COVID-19 cases as hospitals prep for Labor Day surge . “As Utah continues confirming high rates of COVID-19 cases after the Labor Day weekend, hospital officials say they are preparing for a potential surge on hospitals. ‘We’re at capacity or above capacity at all of the major COVID hubs across the Intermountain system. Some of our major COVID hospitals are actually well above capacity and are having to use creative means of maintaining access for patients in the ICU,’ Dr. Brandon Webb, Intermountain Healthcare infectious disease physician, said Wednesday during a news conference.”

Los Angeles Times: California’s coronavirus hot zone: Hospitals full, ambulances diverted, patients moved out. “The San Joaquin Valley, the Sacramento area and rural Northern California are now the regions of the state being hit the hardest by COVID-19 hospitalizations on a per capita basis, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis. The regions have lower vaccination rates than in the highly populated coastal areas of Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The worst may not be over. According to COVID-19 computer models published by the state Department of Public Health, the number of patients in intensive care units in the San Joaquin Valley is expected to increase for the rest of September, and hundreds more people could be dead by the end of the month.”

Associated Press: COVID-19 Deaths Overwhelm Morgue in Cowlitz County. “A recent increase in COVID-19 deaths has overwhelmed a southwest Washington county’s storage capacity, prompting the coroner to ask the commissioners declare an emergency to allow the county to bring in a refrigeration trailer. Cowlitz County commissioners agreed Tuesday to the request to help expand capacity until the new morgue is ready for staff to move into in about a month.”

HEALTH CARE – CAPACITY – FLORIDA

CBS 12: Palm Beach County hospitals dealing with full ICUs, staffing shortages. “The latest COVID-19 hospital report shows -20 ICU beds available in the county and -12 percent total capacity. The hospitals in the county are packed with patients and the state is also dealing with a nursing shortage. Statewide there is a need for 8,000 nurses. A lot of them leaving the profession, others moving to states where they get paid more.”

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando VA opens mobile ICU amid a surge of hospitalizations, deaths. “The Orlando Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center began treating patients in a mobile intensive care unit on Tuesday after increases in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, a hospital spokesperson confirmed.”

BUSINESS / CORPORATIONS

Reuters: Moderna developing single-dose booster shot for COVID-19 and flu. ” Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Thursday it was developing a single-dose vaccine that combines a booster dose against COVID-19 and a booster against flu.”

MarketWatch: Delta Air Lines joins peers in warning of revenue weakness as COVID cases rose, stock slips. “Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. slipped 0.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier joined its peers in warning that third-quarter revenue would be hurt by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.”

Associated Press: United lays out employee rules as vaccine requirement looms. “United Airlines says that more than half its employees who weren’t vaccinated last month have gotten their shots since the company announced that vaccines would be required. The airline’s 67,000 U.S.-based employees face a Sept. 27 deadline for getting vaccinated. United said Wednesday, however, that employees whose bids for exemptions based on medical reasons or religious beliefs are denied will get five more weeks to get vaccinated.”

Business Insider: Ikea has run out of 10% of its products in its UK and Ireland stores, amid the truck driver shortage and shipping crisis. “Ikea is struggling to stock popular products and meet high customer demand amid the UK’s truck driver shortage, the BBC first reported on Sunday, with 10% of its products unavailable. A lack of truckers and global shipping delays have disrupted supply chains, the Swedish retailer told Insider.”

CNBC: Microsoft indefinitely postpones return to U.S. offices as Covid cases surge. “Microsoft said Thursday it will indefinitely delay the reopening of its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and its other U.S. offices as the coronavirus continues to proliferate in the country. The software and hardware maker did not provide a new date to replace the Oct. 4 target it had announced in early August.”

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

New York Times: Biden is expected to require the vast majority of federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated.. “President Biden on Thursday will sign executive orders requiring the vast majority of federal workers and contractors who do business with the government to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, as part of an aggressive new plan to that will also put pressure on private businesses, states and schools to enact stricter vaccination and testing policies as the Delta variant continues its spread across the United States.”

WORLD/COUNTRY GOVERNMENT

BBC: Covid: Sydney reveals plan to end months-long lockdown. “Australia’s biggest city Sydney is likely to ease out of lockdown from next month, provided a vaccination threshold is reached. The New South Wales (NSW) state capital has been in lockdown since July due to a Delta variant outbreak. The state government released its much-anticipated ‘roadmap to freedom’ on Thursday.”

Washington Post: What’s happening inside North Korea? Since the pandemic, the window has slammed shut.. “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump were sitting across a circular wooden table for a brief photo opportunity at their 2019 summit in Vietnam when a U.S. reporter asked a question of Kim. To the world’s surprise, he responded — the first time Kim, the leader of the world’s most closed society, engaged with the foreign media. In the 2½ years since, North Korea has basically clammed up again. It has become so opaque that Kim’s stunning exchange in Hanoi seems unimaginable in the current information vacuum.”

CNET: Israel’s national coronavirus czar encourages country to prepare for a fourth vaccine dose, report says. “More than 2.5 million Israelis had reportedly received a third dose of the vaccine by Sept. 3, but the country’s coronavirus czar is already talking about a potential fourth dose.”

Associated Press: Japan extends virus emergency until end of September. ” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday announced an extension of a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other areas until the end of September, saying healthcare systems remain under severe strain, and that the continuing challenges of fighting the virus had led to his decision not to seek another term.”

The Star (Malaysia): Health Ministry launches new Covid-19 website. “The Health Ministry has launched a new website known as CovidNow to give the latest simplified data on Covid-19, says Khairy Jamaluddin. The Health Minister said the new website will provide new data, including the details of new cases as well as the status of vaccination and the type of vaccine.”

STATE GOVERNMENT

Washington Post: GOP West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done with all that nonsense on vaccines. “Many of Justice’s GOP colleagues have trodden gently around promoting the vaccines. Some have raised speculative and baseless allegations that the vaccines might be unsafe. Former president Donald Trump promoted them, but only after months of conspicuously declining to do so and not disclosing his own vaccination. Even many who have encouraged vaccination have focused more on their opposition to mandates. They have also made a point to frequently either attach qualifiers that it’s a choice or to suggest that it doesn’t really matter to the vaccinated. And they’ve occasionally suggested that they can’t do much about the vaccine misinformation from allies in their midst. And then there’s Justice, the governor of the second-Trumpiest state in the country. As the team at the Recount has documented, he has made clear over the past six months-plus that he has no time for all that nonsense.”

State of New York: Governor Kathy Hochul Announces #VaxtoSchool Campaign to Drive COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Among School-Aged New Yorkers Statewide. “Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of the multi-faceted statewide #VaxtoSchool campaign to support increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers, furthering the administration’s commitment to making the health and well-being of students, teachers and families a top priority.”

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

News Australia: NSW Health limits residents of locked-down tower block to six beers per day. “Residents in apartment blocks locked-down by NSW Health are having their alcohol deliveries policed as part of a policy to limit the number of drinks being consumed each day. NSW Health has imposed rules limiting people in ‘NSW Health controlled buildings’ to a certain amount of alcohol each day in a bid to “ensure the safety of health staff and residents”.”

INDIVIDUALS / BANDS / GROUPS

BBC: The models that turned Instagram into their DIY catwalk. “For the first time since Covid, this week New York Fashion Week will take place largely in-person, marking a tentative return to the runway and normal business for the fashion industry. Here four leading models talk about their experiences over the past 18 months, and why social media, and especially Instagram, has become more important than ever.”

Newsweek: Janene Hoskovec, Woman Filmed Coughing on Shoppers in Nebraska Grocery Store, Fired by SAP. “A maskless woman who was recorded deliberately coughing at a mother and her child at a grocery store in Nebraska has been fired from her job. A clip of the incident involving the woman, identified as 54-year-old Janene Hoskovec, at a Super Saver in Lincoln went viral after it was posted onto Reddit on September 3.”

NBC News: Patton Oswalt cancels shows in Florida, Utah after venues fail to comply with his Covid requests. “Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt canceled his upcoming tour dates in Florida and Salt Lake City because the venues would not comply with his request that attendees either show proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.”

INDIVIDUALS – DEATHS

WFLA: Florida dad regrets not getting vaccinated after daughter, 15, dies of COVID-19. “A Pensacola family is grieving after a 15-year-old girl with COVID-19 died at a local hospital. Victoria Ramirez was a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School.”

AL. com: Bob Jones graduate, just hired as Shorter University coach, dies of COVID at 24. “A Bob Jones High School graduate who had just been hired as an assistant basketball coach at Shorter University died of COVID-19 only a day after being diagnosed. Ryan Dupree died Saturday at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga., from COVID-related pneumonia. He was 24.”

K-12 EDUCATION

Tennessee Lookout:8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school. “At least eight Tennessee public school employees – three elementary school teachers, one pre-k assistant, a cafeteria worker, a bus driver and two high school teachers – have died since the school year began after contracting COVID-19. The total is an imperfect tally of a grim statistic that no one government agency or private entity is currently monitoring in a systematic way.”

Alabama Political Reporter: Alabama schools likely added more than 10,000 COVID cases this week. “Alabama State Superintendent Eric Mackey said Thursday that the state’s K-12 schools will likely see “well over 10,000” new COVID-19 cases among students and staff this week. Mackey said the most cases in a week that Alabama schools recorded last school year was under 4,000.”

HIGHER EDUCATION

Michigan Daily: UMich grants vaccine exemptions to 2% of student body, majority are religious. “The University of Michigan has approved 662 vaccine exemptions, less than 2% of the Ann Arbor campus’ student population, and denied an additional 95 exemptions, according to University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

BBC: London transport staff warned of anti-mask posters with razor blades. “London transport staff have been warned after anti-mask posters with razor blades on the back were found, a union has said. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it had raised the issue of ‘Masks Don’t Work’ posters with Transport for London (TfL). TfL said it was not aware of any incidents involving blades but had given advice to its workers. A similar poster was found in Cardiff where a woman was injured removing it.”

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