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US COVID-19 cases rising again, doubling over three weeks (apnews.com)

The COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline, with the number of new cases per day doubling over the past three weeks, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.

Confirmed infections climbed to an average of about 23,600 a day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data. And all but two states — Maine and South Dakota — reported that case numbers have gone up over the past two weeks.

“It is certainly no coincidence that we are looking at exactly the time that we would expect cases to be occurring after the July Fourth weekend,” said Dr. Bill Powderly, co-director of the infectious-disease division at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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Yet another example of .................. (fill in the blank)

 

Norwegian cruises sues Florida over virus vaccination law

Published Wednesday, July 14, 2021 11:02AM EDT
  •  

MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line is challenging a new Florida law that prevents cruise companies from requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Miami federal court, contends that the law jeopardizes safe operation of cruise ships by increasing risk of contracting the virus. Norwegian intends to restart cruises from Florida ports Aug. 15 with vaccinations required for all passengers.

Norwegian wants a judge to lift the ban by Aug. 6. The law imposes a fine of US$5,000 each time a cruise line mandates that a passenger provide vaccination proof. Norwegian claims it violates federal law and several constitutional rights.

The company, officially known as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings or NCLH, says it won't be able to sail from Florida unless a judge acts to block the law.

"The result would be a devastating, unrecoverable loss for everyone -- not only for NCLH's business but also for tens of thousands of passengers, employees, and stakeholders who all benefit from NCLH resuming safe operations as planned," the lawsuit says.

"The only way NCLH could maintain its protocols and operations as currently planned is by abandoning Florida altogether," the lawsuit adds.

The lawsuit names as a defendant Florida's surgeon general, Dr. Scott Rivkees, who is head of the state Health Department. Rivkees is an appointee of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose spokeswoman said the cruise line's policy discriminates against children under 12 and others who are not vaccinated.

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw noted in an email that Florida recently won a lawsuit challenging several cruise industry regulations imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Florida already fought and won its case so that Norwegian and all other cruise lines can invite and serve all Americans on its vessels," Pushaw said. "But apparently Norwegian prefers the shackles of the CDC to the freedom offered by Florida."

The CDC is appealing that earlier decision by a Tampa federal judge.

Other cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, have already begun voyages from Florida with a variety of policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

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". . . the shackles of the CDC to the freedom offered by Florida."

When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent. - Isaac Asimov

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacutring industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowlegeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distingquish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into supersitution and darkeness.

The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudo-science and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark, p.25

Carl Sagan, like Tony Fauci today, would be in danger.

I believe that view reflects a minority and that it is the media-megaphone that makes ignorance and stupidity appear larger than it is - it sells. Nothing succeeds like failure however, and it remains dangerous as people lose their "center", (ref. to Yeats' poem, The Second Coming)

"Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." - Sagan

Edited by Don Hudson
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The American Surgeon-General’s Advisory Report on Confronting Health Misinformation:

I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.

Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Surgeon General of the United State

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-misinformation-advisory.pdf

 

Edited by Don Hudson
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On 7/14/2021 at 4:22 PM, Don Hudson said:

When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent. - Isaac Asimov

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacutring industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowlegeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distingquish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into supersitution and darkeness.

The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudo-science and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark, p.25

Carl Sagan, like Tony Fauci today, would be in danger.

I believe that view reflects a minority and that it is the media-megaphone that makes ignorance and stupidity appear larger than it is - it sells. Nothing succeeds like failure however, and it remains dangerous as people lose their "center", (ref. to Yeats' poem, The Second Coming)

"Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." - Sagan

Good Afternoon Don:

Thank you for your excellent posts which are a perfect examples of critical thinking. 

I will add a story related to us by dear friends in YYZ. Mother is in late 80's and initially refused a COVID vaccine as she never went out. Her son convinced to have the first dose as she had several PSW's come in to assist. One of the PSW's was a born again type who had told her God will protect me better then a vaccine. A week later Mother is taken to the hospital fever etc and test confirmed you guessed it COVID. Oh the PSW got COVID as well..

In Ontario Premier Ford is against a vaccine passport as it would create two classes of citizens! In my thinking the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.   

To quote Trudeau senior about bleeding hearts let them bleed....

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On 7/14/2021 at 10:19 AM, Kargokings said:

Link to complete article:

US COVID-19 cases rising again, doubling over three weeks (apnews.com)

The COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline, with the number of new cases per day doubling over the past three weeks, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.

Confirmed infections climbed to an average of about 23,600 a day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data. And all but two states — Maine and South Dakota — reported that case numbers have gone up over the past two weeks.

“It is certainly no coincidence that we are looking at exactly the time that we would expect cases to be occurring after the July Fourth weekend,” said Dr. Bill Powderly, co-director of the infectious-disease division at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Good Afternoon KK.

Thank you for your articles on COVID.

From the front page of the New York Times they have a daily graph show changes of infections and deaths which are in ascendency. In the last 14 days cases are up 32% and deaths up 8 %

The New York Times - Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos (nytimes.com)

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With pandemic worsening in U.S., surgeon general worried

Jay Reeves Published Sunday, July 18, 2021 2:50PM EDT
  •  

The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he's concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly.

Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of people who haven't received shots, despite widespread vaccine availability, Dr. Vivek Murthy painted an unsettling picture of what the future could hold.

"I am worried about what is to come because we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated in particular. And while, if you are vaccinated, you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately that is not true if you are not vaccinated," Murthy said on CNN's "State of the Union."

.S. cases of COVID-19 last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall, and an increase in death historically follows a spike in illness. Much of the worsening problem is being driven by the Delta variant first identified in India, that has since hit the United Kingdom and other countries, said Murthy.

While U.S. case numbers and hospitalizations are still far below levels from the worst of the pandemic early this year, Murthy said the worsening situation shows the need to convince more people to get inoculations.

"It is our fastest, most effective way out of this pandemic," he said.

About 186 million Americans have received at least one shot, but another 90 million eligible Americans haven't. Officials are trying to overcome a stubborn refusal among some -- particularly conservative, rural white people -- to get vaccinated, but it's unclear how to do that. So, for the meantime at least, some places have reverted to health precautions that had been cast aside.

In Las Vegas, some resorts and casinos are again requiring employees to wear masks in response to a recommendation issued by health officials amid rising COVID-19 case rates in Nevada; it ranks fifth among U.S. states for the most new cases per capita over the last two weeks.

Around San Francisco's Bay Area, which has some of the highest vaccination rates in California, health officials have recommended that everyone again wear masks inside public buildings, regardless of their vaccination status.

But in conservative Alabama, where COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in a month and only about a third of the population is fully vaccinated, officials have refused to reinstitute statewide health rules or use gimmicks such as lotteries to boost immunizations.

"I think the best thing for us to do is just encourage everyone to use their common sense and practice personal responsibility and make themselves and their families safe," Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters last week.

Cases also are on the rise in Springfield, Missouri, where Mayor Ken McClure told CBS-TV's "Face the Nation" that false information about the pandemic was hampering the fight to get people vaccinated.

"I think we are seeing a lot spread through social media as people are talking about fears which they have, health related fears, what it might do to them later on in their lives, what might be contained in the vaccinations," he said.

Murthy, the surgeon general, said "not nearly enough" progress was being made in the fight against misinformation spread through social media about COVID-19 and vaccines. Individuals, not just platforms such as Facebook, need to combat the problem, he said.

"Each of us has a decision that we make every time we post something on social media, and I'm asking people to pause and to see, is a source accurate? Is it coming from a scientifically credible authority? And if it's not, or if you're not sure, don't share," he said.

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Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens can enter Canada Aug. 9, rest of world Sept. 7

14 mins ago

WASHINGTON — Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada as of Aug. 9, joined by the rest of the world Sept. 7, federal officials announced Monday as the country prepares to lower border barriers that were erected to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

© Provided by The Canadian Press

Officials say the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived beginning the second week of August for eligible travellers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. 

The move comes two weeks after the Canada Border Services Agency began waiving quarantine rules for fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It remained unclear Monday if or when the Biden administration plans to reciprocate for visitors to the U.S. 

"This preliminary step allows for the government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of Sept. 7, 2021, and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans," the government said in a news release. 

Children under 12 who are accompanied by fully vaccinated and eligible family members will also be exempt from quarantine, provided they wear a mask in public places and avoid indoor group settings. 

All travellers will still be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result and proof of vaccination prior to arrival by way of the ArriveCAN smartphone app or web portal, but post-travel test results will no longer be necessary.

Canada Border Services Agency officials will also be subjecting random travellers to a mandatory molecular test upon arrival. 

"This strategy allows the government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness," the release said. 

"Using these layers of protection, the government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats and guide decisions on restricting international travel."

As of Aug. 9, airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton will also be added to the list of Canadian cities where international flights are permitted to land. Air travellers will no longer be required to spend the first three nights of their quarantine at a government-approved hotel. 

"However, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2021.

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U.S. border to remain closed until at least Aug. 21

Elizabeth Thompson  1 hour ago

 

The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government Wednesday.

In a notice pre-published in the U.S. Federal Register, the government says while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too high a risk.

"Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada poses an ongoing "specific threat to human life or national interests," the government wrote.

The new order expires one minute before midnight on Aug. 21.

The American order comes only a few days after the Canadian government announced its land border would open to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens on Aug. 9 and to fully vaccinated travellers from other countries on Sept. 7.

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So much for Florida being safe, at least Miami

Miami health system raises COVID threat to high

Duration: 00:47 19 hrs ago

Like4 Comments|4

Florida's Jackson Health System, a nonprofit academic medical system, announced Tuesday that it's upgrading its COVID threat level to 'high' at most of its facilities COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are again increasing. (July 20)

Miami health system raises COVID threat to high (usatoday.com)

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1 hour ago, Kargokings said:

U.S. border to remain closed until at least Aug. 21

Elizabeth Thompson  1 hour ago

 

The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government Wednesday.

In a notice pre-published in the U.S. Federal Register, the government says while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too high a risk.

"Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada poses an ongoing "specific threat to human life or national interests," the government wrote.

The new order expires one minute before midnight on Aug. 21.

The American order comes only a few days after the Canadian government announced its land border would open to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens on Aug. 9 and to fully vaccinated travellers from other countries on Sept. 7.

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One of the bigger issues to be resolved is vax status of those who mixed vaccines.

Many fine Canadians took the advice of their government and got AZ, only to cross-vax with one of the others for second jab.  Some jurisdictions are NOT going to consider this fully vaxxed. 

 

 

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From the Seattle Times:

Don’t look now but our Canada problem is showing again.

Our neighbors to the north are making us look bad one more time, and also shrewdly putting us in a bit of a political pickle.

This week the Canadian government announced, unilaterally, that it would open its border to Americans hoping to visit. Not to just any Americans, though. Starting Aug. 9, the crossing at Blaine and the entire 5,500-mile border will be open only to … vaccinated Americans.

Meaning: About half of us.

Canada’s doors are open halfway. If you haven’t gotten both shots, which about half of Americans have not, then you are barred — even if you have a negative COVID-19 test, or have previously had the respiratory disease.

The Canadians are not messing around, either: “A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act,” the country’s public health agency announced.

Meanwhile our borders remain locked to Canadians who want to come south. Eventually we will open them — maybe soon, as the U.S. government’s recurring border closure order technically expires Wednesday. But the fact that the Canadians went first, and then dropped a vaccine passport system on us, is awkward for all sorts of reasons.

For starters, the reason they did this now is because they have rocketed past us into first place in the vaccination race.

“Canada has gone from a vaccine laggard to a world leader in COVID-19 immunizations in just a few months’ time,” the Canadian public broadcaster CBC trumpeted the other day.

Canada is now number one in the world in COVID-19 protection, with 70% of the population having received at least one vaccine shot. The U.S. has slipped to seventh, 14 percentage points behind Canada, according to the Our World in Data vaccine tracker.

Despite already being that far ahead, the Canadians’ daily vax rate, adjusted for population, remains six times higher than it is here in the U.S., where the vaccine program has flatlined.

This has all led to a flood of new exports from up north — of smack talk.

“Why would some people rather risk death than get vaccinated? It’s the American way,” the Toronto Star heckled us on Tuesday.

It’s a “tragedy of belligerent self-destruction,” it went on. “The U.S. is among the few countries in the world with the means to quickly extinguish the pandemic within its borders. It lacks only the will.”

That’s cold, Canada. Not wrong, but cold.

Anyway, Canada put the screws to us politically, too. By requiring vaccination for entry, Canada is saying: We’re now number one in the civilized world. If you want to come here, you have to be civilized, too.

As an economics columnist in Canada put it: “When it comes to businesses trying to navigate a high-risk pandemic, Canada looks safer and steadier than most other places — and that’s of great value during a period of so much fear. The extensive precautions and our rising vaccination rates serve us well, as marketing tools as well as in pandemic management.”

In the U.S., though, the vaccine has become another flash point in a culture war. On our side of the border, in Bellingham, it was reported on Tuesday that the sheriff had to be notified because the Whatcom County health director started getting threats after a council member posted her cellphone number on social media and said she needed to be “reined in.” Her crime? Running a campaign to encourage vaccination among 18- to 26-year-olds.

This earned her a slew of angry calls comparing her to the Nazis during the Holocaust. Safe and steady? That’s so Canadian.

Look, I’m against mandatory vaccination. But asking that we do it as a ticket for certain things like travel seems reasonable as part of a global community during an infectious disease pandemic. What Canada is saying is “no shirt, no shoes, no service, America.”

Meanwhile we are paralyzed on this issue. Legislators in 40 states, led by Republicans, have now introduced bills to ban vaccine passports or passes like this (the states have no say over border policy; the principle though is clear, which is that they’re against the idea). The Biden administration seems rudderless on it one way or another. So increasingly other countries are going to be following not our lead on this, but Canada’s.

That’s only going to hurt our border-town businesses, and will leave Americans behind in the recovery.

Being dictated to by Canada? That wasn’t in the cards even a few months ago. Get used to it. Because like Canada, other countries likely will soon pass us in the vaccination race, and then they will be in a strong position to dictate to us, too.

Danny Westneat:  dwestneat@seattletimes.com;Danny Westneat takes an opinionated look at the Puget Sound region's news, people and politics

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In the end, no one makes you look bad. A friendship is honesty between friends. Its a duty and a favour.

It isn't easy living beside a crazy friend but we try, not by following that friend around with a self-help book or Mom's advice, but by example.

Tuum Est; It's up to you, no one else.

The world's patience and tolerance is not unlimited. There are far bigger problems around to solve.

Edited by Don Hudson
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Only reasonable as the unvaccinated travelers will require more staff and processing times.

Pearson Airport to separate vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers upon arrival

By
 Harrison Faulkner - 24, 2021nk
 

Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport will be separated into two queues for Canadian customs – vaccinated people in one and non-vaccinated people or partially vaccinated people in another.

A spokesperson for the airport told the CBC this measure is intended to streamline the border clearance process. 

“There are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non-/partially vaccinated travellers, which have been broadly communicated by the Government of Canada,” airport spokesperson Beverly MacDonald said.

Travellers are asked to provide proof of vaccination in ArriveCan – the Government of Canada’s app for inbound travellers to log details such as quarantine plan, testing results, and symptom checks.Vancouver International Airport has already implemented separate queues for travellers based on their vaccination status.

“For vaccinated passengers, if they meet the criteria of having had a Canadian-approved vaccine, at least 14 days prior to travel, then they don’t have to do the two weeks of quarantine upon arrival into Canada. Additionally, there’s no longer a government-approved hotel that they have to stay at,” Vancouver airport’s vice-president of passenger journey, Robyn McVicker, told CityNews.

The government recently announced that as of July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians are exempted from quarantine measures. Starting August 9, fully vaccinated US citizens are also able to enter Canada without quarantine measures.

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Maybe.... but if you are offered a free insurance policy to protect you from said virus and refuse, should you then be held responsible to cover all costs (medical) related to catching said virus you refused to insure against?

Musing, thats all!

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Opening the borders but:::::
 

By JOSH FUNKyesterday
 
 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities.

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota marked a notable shift during a pandemic in which coronavirus dashboards have become a staple for Americans closely tracking case counts and trends to navigate a crisis that has killed more than 600,000 people in the U.S.

In Nebraska, the state actually stopped reporting on the virus altogether for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the official virus emergency, forcing news reporters to file public records requests or turn to national websites that track state data to learn about COVID statistics. The state backtracked two weeks later and came up with a weekly site that provides some basic numbers.

Other governments have gone the other direction and released more information, with Washington, D.C., this week adding a dashboard on breakthrough cases to show the number of residents who contracted the virus after getting vaccines. Many states have recently gone to reporting virus numbers only on weekdays.

When Florida changed the frequency of its virus reporting earlier this month, officials said it made sense given the decreasing number of cases and the increasing number of people being vaccinated.

Cases started soaring soon after, and Florida earlier this week made up up one-fifth of the country’s new coronavirus infections. As a result, Florida’s weekly releases — typically done on Friday afternoons — have consequences for the country’s understanding of the current summer surge, with no statewide COVID stats coming out of the virus hotspot for six days a week.

In Florida’s last two weekly reports, the number of new cases shot up from 23,000 to 45,000 and then 73,000 on Friday, an average of more than 10,000 day. Hospitals are starting to run out of space in parts of the state.

With cases rising, Democrats and other critics have urged state officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis to resume daily outbreak updates.

“There was absolutely no reason to eliminate the daily updates beyond an effort to pretend like there are no updates,” said state Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from the Orlando area.

The trend of reducing data reporting has alarmed infectious disease specialists who believe that more information is better during a pandemic. People have come to rely on state virus dashboards to help make decisions about whether to attend large gatherings or wear masks in public, and understanding the level of risk in the community affects how people respond to virus restrictions and calls to get vaccinated.

“We know that showing the data to others actually is important because the actions that businesses take, the actions that schools take, the actions that civic leaders take, the actions that community leaders take, the actions that each of us individually take are all influenced by our perception of what the risk is out there,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who leads the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

But reporting the numbers on a weekly basis still allows people to see the overall trends while smoothing out some of he day-to-day variations that come from the way cases are reported and not the actual number of new cases. And experts have long advised that it makes sense to pay more attention to the seven-day rolling average of new cases because the numbers can vary widely from one day to the next.

And Florida health officials say that they have not curtailed the sharing of data with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maintaining daily updates on the virus does require significant resources for states. For instance, Kansas went to reporting virus numbers three times a week in May because the state health department said providing daily statistics consumed too much time for its already overwhelmed staff.

In Nebraska, officials decided that continuing to update the virus dashboard daily wasn’t the best use of state resources now partly because there had been a steady decline in the number of views of the website indicating less interest in the numbers, spokeswoman Olga Dack said. The state could return to providing daily updates if the governor’s office decided that was needed, she said.

“Now that Nebraska is back to normal, some of the staff that has been dedicated to the dashboard has been able to focus on some of the other important issues,” Dack said.

State health departments have a long history of providing the public regular updates on other diseases like flu and West Nile, but those viruses have none of the political baggage associated with COVID-19.

In Florida, a former health department employee was fired last year after publicly suggesting that managers wanted her to manipulate information on coronavirus statistics to paint a rosier picture. The employee, Rebekah Jones, did not allege any tampering with data, but her comments sowed doubts about the reliability of the metrics.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. David Brett-Major said that for many people, national websites such as the one run by the CDC can be a good source of data on the latest state trends and weekly updates could be OK. The World Health Organization often uses weekly updates, but he said they do that for practical data management reasons, not political ones.

He said the message Nebraska sent when it ended its dashboard that the state emergency was over and conditions were returning to normal was troubling.

“The main problem is that it reflects a disinterest in pandemic risk management,” said Brett-Major, with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Janet Hamilton, executive director of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, said part of the problem is that public health officials generally don’t have sophisticated data systems so it is more labor intensive to produce the daily dashboards. Even though public health agencies have money for operations at a time when pandemic government spending is flush, they haven’t necessarily had the chance to upgrade.

“It would be great if daily reporting could be made widely available, but public health would have to be funded better to do that and right now that is just not the case,” said Hamilton.

And even in states where virus numbers aren’t being reported publicly every day health officials are still looking at the latest data, Hamilton said.

But at a time when the delta variant is, in the words of the CDC director, “spreading with incredible efficiency,” Bibbins-Domingo said it is important that everyone can see the latest trends and understand the risks.

“Even if we know that they are available to decisionmakers on a daily basis, there is considerable value to providing the data to the public,” she said.

—-

Associated Press Writer Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this report.

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CORONAVIRUS | News
 

Fauci says U.S. headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus

Published Sunday, July 25, 2021 11:58AM EDTLast Updated Sunday, July 25, 2021 12:25PM EDT
 
New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging in Florida as hospitals say 99% of their patients are unvaccinated.
 

WILMINGTON, DEL. -- The United States is in an "unnecessary predicament" of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation's top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

"We're going in the wrong direction," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as "very frustrated."

He said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks is "under active consideration" by the government's leading public health officials. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated, Fauci said.

Fauci, who also serves President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, told CNN's "State of the Union" that he has taken part in conversations about altering the mask guidelines.

He noted that some local jurisdictions where infection rates are surging, such as Los Angeles County, are already calling on individuals to wear masks in public regardless of vaccination status. Fauci said those local rules are compatible with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that the vaccinated do not need to wear masks in public.

Nearly 163 million people, or 49% of the eligible U.S. population, are vaccinated, according to CDC data.

"This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we're out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated," Fauci said.

Fauci said government experts are reviewing early data as they consider whether to recommend that vaccinated individuals to get booster shots. He suggested that some of the most vulnerable, such as organ transplant and cancer patients, are "likely" to be recommended for booster shots.

He also praised Republicans, including Govs. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, and the second-ranking House leader, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, for encouraging their constituents to get vaccinated. Their states have among the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

"What I would really like to see is more and more of the leaders in those areas that are not vaccinating to get out and speak out and encourage people to get vaccinated," Fauci said.

Hutchinson, also speaking on CNN, said he did not know whether he might have underestimated the hesitancy of people to get the vaccine, but acknowledged that "the resistance has hardened in certain elements and is simply false information. It is myths. As I go into these town hall meetings, someone said: `Don't call it a vaccine. Call it a bioweapon.' And they talk about mind control. Well, those are obviously erroneous. Other members of the community correct that."

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Different Rules for Different Folks in Canadians Provinces.

Quebecers can get a 3rd COVID vaccine ‘at their own risk’ to travel to a country that requires it

Alessia Simona Maratta  1 hour ago
 
 
 
 
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Quebec travellers can get a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine if they are travelling to a destination that requires it, the provincial government says.

%7B© The Canadian Press file Peterborough Public Health reports five active cases of COVID-19 on July 22, 2021.

The health department announced Saturday that third doses of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are available but people who wish to get an additional shot can do so at their own risk.

"This measure is exceptional and the person should be properly counselled to be informed of the potential risks associated with this additional dose, compared to the benefits of the planned trip," the statement from the health department reads.

READ MORE: Quebecers vaccinated against COVID-19 can register in Loto-Québec draws

Some countries that are currently mulling the recommendation and possible requirement of a third vaccine dose include France, Britain and Finland.

The statement adds that the two vaccine doses that the provincial government currently recommends provides "adequate protection."

There is, however, no international consensus on how many vaccine doses are necessary to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

People that wish to get a third dose can get it at any vaccination centre via walk-in or they can make an appointment on the Clic Santé website.

As of Thursday, 83 per cent of Quebecers over the age of 12 had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 59.8 per cent were fully vaccinated with two doses, according to Quebec’s public health institute.

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WASHINGTON -- The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions "at this point" due to concerns over the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases, a White House official told Reuters.

The decision, which comes after a senior level White House meeting late Friday, means the long-running travel restrictions that have barred much of the world's population from the United States since 2020 will not be lifted in the short term.

"Given where we are today with the Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," the official told Reuters, citing the spread of the Delta variant in the United States and abroad.

 

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Does anybody have the information ( knowledge) required to answer the question; ....if one had the virus and recovered, is that person more or less susceptible to re-infection than is a fully vaccinated individual vulnerable to a "breakthrough" infection?

There was a period of time when the rate of infection in Ontario was comparable to that in Florida but Florida had no lockdowns.

I sincerely hope and pray that this does NOT come to pass but I confess I will not be shocked if Ontario has another "surge"...and it won't be because the border re-opened.

 

 

 

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One other question of the cogniscenti ( IFG?)...

If 10% of the population is vulnerable to Covid and the (a) vaccine is 90% effective, is it the same 10% who are at risk?

It seems as though it is acknowledged that if you have a " breakthrough" infection, the likelihood of serious illness is greatly diminished but it seems to me that we are collectively striving to protect that 10% without any real understanding of the genetic fingerprint of that 10%.

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46 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

Does anybody have the information ( knowledge) required to answer the question; ....if one had the virus and recovered, is that person more or less susceptible to re-infection than is a fully vaccinated individual vulnerable to a "breakthrough" infection?

There was a period of time when the rate of infection in Ontario was comparable to that in Florida but Florida had no lockdowns.

I sincerely hope and pray that this does NOT come to pass but I confess I will not be shocked if Ontario has another "surge"...and it won't be because the border re-opened.

 

 

 

The vaccination rate in Florida isn't high.  That is the likely reason for the current surge in cases there.

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