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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) New cases and hospitalizations are down and vaccination rates are up across the Evergreen state but for 9,028 Washingtonians progress came too late as the state crossed another grim milestone.
New cases continue to drop statewide and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported 80% of all residents 12 or older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Despite the success, Washington ranks about 14th nationally for the most vaccinated population. The DOH also reported that hospitalizations are down significantly from last week.
A report from the DOH indicated that children and adolescents in Eastern Washington have the highest incidents of Covid-19 infections in the state during the last two weeks of October.
Kaiser Peramente reported 828 Washington residents received an expired dose of the Moderna vaccine between October 25 and 27 and they are reaching out to impacted patients. If you have concerns you can call (206) 630-2080.
State Senator Doug Ericksen (Ferndale-R) reported he had COVID and was stuck in the Latin American nation of El Salvador. Ericksen, who has tried to block vaccination programs is reported to have flown out of the country by air ambulance tonight.
Locally, King County has updated how they report vaccination rates to include children 5 to 11 and the initial data is very encouraging. In the Bellevue-Kirkland-Woodinville region along with the supporting school districts, first dose vaccination rates ranged from 81.7% to 95.0% for all residents. In little more than a week, 18.5% to 35.5% of children 5 to 11 got their first dose of the COVID vaccine, depending on the zip code they live in.
Covid-19 cases in the Bellevue, Lake Washington, and Northshore School Districts remain under control.
Nationally, Dr. Anthony Fauci has called for boosters for all and the states of Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, West Virginia, along with New York City decided not to wait for FDA authorization. The DOH reported they will continue to follow existing federal guidelines.
When it comes to boosters, Mr. T. (yes, that Mr. T.) pity the fool who doesn’t get their booster shot. The 69-year old actor and former wrestler got his booster shot on November 13.
Pfizer has formally requested for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for the antiviral drug Paxlovid. In Phase 2 and 3 testing and when combined with another HIV drug, Paxlovid reduced hospitalizations by 89% for people infected with COVID, if taken within the first five days of early symptoms.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced new guidelines for residents of nursing homes. The sweeping changes essentially eliminates all visitation restrictions at any facility that receives federal funding.
In other national news, a Connecticut nursing home is reporting an outbreak of Covid-19 sickened 89 and killed eight. A grieving Georgia husband is accusing a school district of working his COVID positive wife to death because she didn’t have any sick time left. Brad Little, governor of Idaho got his Covid-19 booster and shared it on Twitter as the Gem State enters the third month under crisis standards of care. COVID cases are exploding in Maine, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania while hospitals in Alaska, Colorado, and Montana continue to struggle with resources.
A Texas doctor has had their privledges suspended for sharing COVID disinformation, while a doctor turned legislature in Maryland is facing disciplinary action for prescribing invemectin. In Michigan, a third lawmaker is facing criminal charges for groping a nurse practioner while seeking a prescription for his COVID infection.
This update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on November 16, 2021.
Washington State Update for November 16, 2021
Washington state Covid-19 update
The Washington State Department of Health has updated the vaccination rate data, shifting the brackets again. With 31.8% of the total population vaccinated, Stevens County remains the least vaccinated county in Washington while San Juan County at 74.5% is at the top of the pile.
Several counties with higher case rates moved into new brackets on Monday. We start to see a decline in these numbers at 55% vaccinated so some of the anomalies in the data will shift in the next 7 to 10 days. The least vaccinated counties are rural and largely agricultural. With the end of farming and harvest season and poor weather, people are congregating less often.
There remains a significant difference between lower-vaccinated counties and counties where at least 70% of the total population is fully inoculated.
|Percent of Total Population Fully Vaccinated||Total Population in Group||Average 14-Day New Case Rate|
|70.00% or above (3 counties)||2,343,250||166.6|
|60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)||1,242,200||323.2|
|50.00% to 59.99% (17 counties)||3,664,000||302.3|
|40.00% to 49.99% (9 counties)||375,575||362.5|
|31.80% to 39.99% (6 counties)||151,850||300.3 (down)|
Through November 15, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 267.0 Covid-19 cases per 100K.
Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Skagit, and Spokane counties have new case rates between 400.0 and 599.9. Cowlitz, Mason, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties were just under 400.
Fourteen counties representing 3.14 million Washingtonians have a 7 day moving average case rate under 100.
The 7 day new case rate and hospitalization rate has decreased from last week.
|Age Group||7-Day Case Rate||7-Day Hospitalization Rate|
The USA Today COVID Tracker reported 56 deaths on Monday. As of Monday, 9,028 Washingtonians have died from Covid-19 related illness.
IHME forecast points to a sixth wave and 13,530 Washingtonians dead by March 1
The updated IHME forecast points to a sixth wave for Washington with hospitalizations peaking on February 3, 2022. Although the forecast model shows a significant increase in confirmed cases, hospitalizations would not exceed the fifth wave that is currently winding down, and mortality is projected to be much lower due to the high vaccination rate.
If everyone in Washington were to wear a mask, the IHME model predicts we could save 1,500 lives.
Many hospitalists have reported they would not be capable of handling the stress and trauma of another wave, and feel unsupported by the community.
80% of Washingtonians 12 and above have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine
The Washington State Department of Health reported 80.0% of Washingtonians 12 and older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 73.9% of the state is fully vaccinated.
According to the Mayo Clinic and through November 7, Washington state ranks eleventh in the United States for children ages 12 to 17 fully vaccinated, ninth for adults 18 to 64, and eight for seniors 65 and older.
When you consider at least a single dose, Washington drops to 14th place for children ages 12 to 17, 14th for adults 18 to 65, and in a 32-way first-place tie for seniors 65 and older.
The red-blue political divide is also strong in the data. Among children 12 to 17 and adults 18 to 64 the first red state is Utah in 19th place. For seniors over 65, Washington is tied with 31 other states that have achieved >99% vaccinated.
Vermont leads for the most vaccinated adolescents while Massachusetts leads with the most vaccinated adults and seniors.
Over 800 Kaiser Peramente patients received expired Moderna vaccine doses
Kaiser Permanente is contacting 828 patients across Washington state that were inadvertently given expired doses of the Moderna vaccine between October 25 and October 27. Both Kaiser Permanente and Moderna have stated that there is no impact on patient safety or efficacy.
“After consultation with Kaiser Permanente clinical experts, there is no evidence that the vaccine administered is ineffective or unsafe,” according to a statement from Kaiser Permanente. “Our clinical experts do not recommend a repeat vaccine dose for patients who were administered these doses.”
Patients with questions about their vaccines can call (206) 630-2080.
Eastern Washington children have the highest case rate in Washington
The Washington State Department of Health released a report on November 10 that showed an alarming 14 day new case rate among children and adolescents from birth to 19 years old during the last two weeks of October.
Education Service District (ESD) 101 encompasses Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, and Whitman Counties and had a 14 day new case rate of 569.5 per 100,000 children and adolescents.
King and Pierce Counties comprise ESD 121 and had a new case rate of 303.1 per 100,000. The lowest rate in the state was on the Olympic Peninsula, known as ESD 114 with a new case rate of 290.0.
Although severe COVID is uncommon in children and adolescents, Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma reported that 40% of their hospitalized Covid-19 patients in September developed MIS-C, which can be fatal.
There is little Information about long COVID among children and adolescents and most studies available currently are highly flawed. Among the limited studies that are credible, there isn’t significant evidence that long COVID symptoms last more than 12 weeks among pediatric patients.
State senator Doug Ericksen who fought against vaccine mandates infected with Covid-19 in El Salvador
Washington State Ultra-Conservative Freedom Caucus creator state senator Doug Ericksen (Ferndale-R) reached out to his Washington legislature allies requesting assistance after becoming Covid-19 positive in El Salvador. Ericksen was in the Latin American country as an election observer when he tested positive for COVID.
“I took a trip to El Salvador and tested positive for COVID shortly after I arrived. I cannot get back home, and it’s to the point that I feel it would be beneficial for me to receive iv monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron).”
Over 60% of the residents of El Salvador are fully vaccinated, however, hospitalized treatment for Covid-19 is mostly limited to comfort care and oxygen therapy. Ericksen has not shared if he is vaccinated, nor did he share if he was attempting unproven therapies such as Ivermectin, zinc, Vitamin C or Vitamin D, which would be available.
On October 19, Ericksen called for the resignation of Governor Jay Inslee (WA-D) due to the statewide vaccine mandate.
“Inslee has done significant damage to the credibility of state government and has eroded the public’s trust. Now he is firing thousands of public employees without regard to the harm it will cause. This effort to punish can only be seen as the willful act of a failed governor. Inslee has failed miserably. We don’t take this lightly. But the only thing that can allow our state to heal and move forward is for Jay Inslee to resign.”
On November 1, Ericksen indicated he would try to reintroduce Senate Bill 5144, which would “prohibit discrimination against those who are not vaccinated.”
“Washington state is number one in government coercion, but I don’t think that is an honor the people of Washington want,” Ericksen stated. “This is a natural result of a system that allows the governor to declare an emergency and then keep his sweeping emergency powers as long as he wants.”
There is an unconfirmed report that Ericksen was flown out of El Salvador on an air ambulance today.
We are lifting the travel advisory to Eastern Washington. Hospital resources and new case rates have dropped to a level where there are adequate medical resources to support a health emergency.
Due to severe flooding and strained hospital resources, we are maintaining the travel advisory for the Northwest Hospital Region. The region includes Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Mason counties.
We continue to advise to avoid all nonessential travel to Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. Hospital resources in these states remain constrained, and you may receive inadequate care if you experience a serious medical emergency.
Finally, we continue to recommend to avoid recreational travel to Wyoming. The situation continues to improve but hospital resources remain constrained. Wyoming transfers critical patients to Colorado and Utah, and both states have limited to no capacity to take transfer patients.
Thank you to our new subscribers and those of you who have made one-time contributions. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for helping us keep the lights on!
Fauci calls for boosters for all
Speaking at the Reuters Total Health Conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called for the United States to authorize boosters for all.
“To me, if you want to get to endemic, you have got to get the level of infection so low that it does not have an impact on society, on your life, on your economy,” Fauci said. “People will still get infected. People might still get hospitalized, but the level would be so low that we don’t think about it all the time and it doesn’t influence what we do.”
To get there, he said, would take a lot more people rolling up their sleeves for initial COVID-19 shots and boosters.
If the United States makes boosters available for everyone, it is possible the country can get control of the virus by spring of 2022, Fauci added.
Editor’s Note: Although we agree with Dr. Fauci, we believe it will be near impossible to convince the remaining 62 million American adults who are unvaccinated, to get vaccinated.
Get Your Booster
If you are eligible for a Covid-19 booster shot Malcontent News strongly encourages you to not delay getting your second or third dose. It is fast, free, and easy. There is growing evidence that the half-life of Covid-19 vaccines is six to ten months, and the half-life for so-called natural immunity is 5 to 7 months.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, through November 7, 675,000 residents have received their Covid-19 booster. Over 1.8 million adults in Washington have a BMI of 25 or higher or are older than 65.
There is significant data that shows natural and vaccine-based immunity starts to fade after four to seven months and countries that implemented aggressive Covid-19 booster shot programs significantly reduced new cases and hospitalizations.
There has been significant improvement for Hospital Readiness across Washington state except on the Olympic Peninsula. Many hospitals have restarted elective procedures and seasonal illness has returned to Washington state, adding to the overall patient load.
According to the DoH COVID Dashboard, 91% of all staffed acute care beds are occupied, and 12.8% of patients have Covid-19. Statewide, hospitals have the staff to support approximately 621 additional acute care patients.
ICUs are at 88.4% of capacity statewide, with 20.0% of ICU patients fighting Covid-19 – an estimated 236 patients with 44.9% on ventilators. The state has the staff to support approximately 153 additional ICU patients.
On Tuesday, the 7-day rolling average hospital admission rate for new COVID patients was 84. The Department of Health reported 830 Covid-19 patients statewide with 106 requiring ventilators.
|Hospital Region||Counties||ICU Occupancy||ICU COVID Patients||Acute Care Occupancy||Acute Care COVID Patients|
|East||Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman||84.5%||21.9%||89.3%||12.5%|
|North||Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom||66.4%||28.2%||82.6%||12.5%|
|North Central||Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan||94.7%||43.9%||75.9%||17.9%|
|Northwest||Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason||92.8%||25.5%||97.0%||13.1%|
|Puget Sound||King, Pierce, Snohomish||91.3%||18.2%||95.3%||11.4%|
|South Central||Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima||88.2%||19.2%||84.5%||15.6%|
|Southwest||Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania||70.0%||12.7%||86.2%||16.9%|
|West||Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston||87.0%||19.5%||91.2%||12.8%|
|School District||Status||Less than 10 Active Cases||10 or More Active Cases|
|Bellevue||GREEN||– Bennett (1*)|
– Bellevue (1*)
– Clyde Hill (1*)
– International (1*)
– Lake Hills (2*)
– Newport Heights (1*)
– Puesta del Sol (1*)
|Lake Washington||YELLOW||– Alcott (3*/11)|
– Audubon (1*/7)
– Blackwell (2*/3)
– Carson (1*/3)
– Clara Barton (4*/24)
– Eastlake High (1*/17)
– Ella Baker (2*/4)
– Evergreen Middle School (1*/0)
– Finn Hill Middle School (5)
– Inglewood Middle School (5**/34)
– Juanita High (1*/12)
– Kamiakin Middle School (2*/27)
– Kirk Elementary (3*/13)
– Kirkland Middle School (1*/10)
– Lakeview Elementary (1*/1)
– Lake Washington High School (3*/7)
– McAuliffe (2*/6)
– Northstar Middle School (12)
– Redmond High School (1*/12)
– Renaissance Middle School (1*/6)
– Rose Hill Middle (1*/7)
– Rush Elementary (3*/0)
– Sandburg/Discovery (1*/4)
– Smith Elementary (1*/9)
|Northshore||YELLOW||– Arrowhead Elementary (1*1)|
– Bothell High School (3*/13)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (5**/18)
– Canyon Park Middle School (1*/1)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (3*/13)
– Eastridge Elementary (0/3)
– Fernwood Elementary (2*/3)
– Frank Love Elementary (0/10)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (3*/0)
– Inglemoor High School (5**/2)
– Kenmore Middle School (2*/3)
– Kokanee Elementary (1*/1)
– Leota Middle School (2*/1)
– Maywood Hills Elementary (3*/5)
– Moorlands Elementary (0/5)
– North Creek High School (2*/10)
– Northshore Middle School (1*/22)
– Ruby Bridges Elementary (2*/6)
– Shelton View Elementary (0/2)
– Skyview Middle School (0/1)
– Sunrise Elementary (1*/4)
– Timbercrest Middle School (0/5)
– Wellington Elementary (0/3)
– Westhill Elementary (3*/3)
– Woodin Elementary (3*/7)
– Woodinville High School (4*/2)
– Woodmoor Elementary (3*/3)
We redefined the school district statuses. Information for classroom and building closures has been a challenge to obtain, both for closures and reopening. We are adopting moving any school with more than ten active COVID cases reported into the red, and we’ve adjusted the third column to reflect this change.
Based on reader feedback, and improvement in the data we are receiving, we have adjusted how we are reporting data. The Lake Washington and Northshore School Districts are now reported as (X*/Y) or (X**/Y). X represents the number of positive cases while Y represents how many are in quarantine. The number in quarantine does not include positive cases. If there are two asterisks, that indicates five ore more confirmed cases within the last 14 days at that school.
The Bellevue School District moves back to status green with eight confirmed cases in the last 14 days districtwide. In the Lake Washington School District, Inglewood Middle School reported five confirmed cases on Monday, moving the school to status yellow.
We continued to encourage parents to request daily updates from the Lake Washington School District. We would also encourage parents to request the Bellevue School District include data on close contacts and quarantines. These two changes would bring the three school districts we track into alignment.
King County Public Health updated the vaccination rates by zip code and now reports the data from ages 5 and up. This resets vaccination status through the region. Based on reader feedback, we have added zip codes 98008, 98053, 98074, 98075, and 98077 to fully ecompass the Lake Washington School District and the King County portions of the Northshore School District.
Vaccination rates for children between 5 to 11 are in a word, remarkable.
|Zip Code||Percent vaccinated, at least one dose, 5 to 11 years old||Percent vaccinated, at least one dose, 5 and older|
Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 143,685 new cases and 1,241 deaths nationwide on Tuesday.
Pfizer formally requests Emergency Use Authorization for the antiviral Paxlovid and agrees to license the drug to 95 countries
Pfizer announced it is seeking Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its investigational oral antiviral candidate, Paxlovid, for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in patients at increased risk of hospitalizations or death.
“With more than 5 million deaths and countless lives impacted by this devastating disease globally, there is an urgent need for life-saving treatment options. The overwhelming efficacy achieved in our recent clinical study of Paxlovid, and its potential to help save lives and keep people out of the hospital if authorized, underscores the critical role that oral antiviral therapies could play in the battle against COVID-19,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “We are moving as quickly as possible in our effort to get this potential treatment into the hands of patients, and we look forward to working with the U.S. FDA on its review of our application, along with other regulatory agencies around the world.”
In Phase 2 and Phase 3 testing, Paxlovid provided an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death from any cause in patients treated with PAXLOVID compared to placebo within three days of symptom onset, with no deaths in the treatment group. Similar results were seen within five days of symptom onset.
Additionally, Pfizer announced it has signed a voluntary licensing agreement to expand production of Paxlovid, to 95 low- and middle-income countries, covering 53% of the world’s population.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist for the World Health Organization welcomed the news in a tweet.
Mr. T pity the fool that don’t get a booster
The 69-year old actor and retired professional wrestler Mr. T tweeted over the weekend that he received his Covid-19 booster shot, declaring, “I pity pain!”
He thanked his doctor and nurses and told TMZ he wanted to play it safe.
More states break with the FDA/CDC and approve boosters for all
The list of states that are recommended for anyone 18 or older to get a booster continues to grow. Last week Colorado and California broke ranks with the FDA and recommended all residents over 18 who got their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than 60 days ago, or the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna second dose more than 180 days ago to get their COVID booster.
As of today, Arkansas, New Mexico, and West Virginia, along with New York City have joined the list. Minnesota is expected to announce an expansion of booster shot availability on Wednesday.
For some states, “the reason they’ve gone ahead and done this is they are really concerned about experiencing another wave in their state of transmissions and we have seen in some states an uptick in Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately, a lot of those are driven by those who are not vaccinated, but there are some breakthrough infections among those who are vaccinated,” Hemi Tewarson, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, told CNN on Tuesday.
Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Colorado created the Western States Pact to align their Covid-19 response, share research, and public education. The Washington State Department of Health stated last week that Washington has no plans to deviate from current federal guidelines.
Editor’s Note: It is our opinion that DOH’s stance is a mistake given the strong evidence that a sixth wave is coming. It is our recommendation to get a booster if you’re eligible, and a lot of people are eligible.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services eases rules for nursing home visits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated guidelines for nursing home visitation, essentially reopening the doors.
“Early in the pandemic, visitation restrictions were implemented to mitigate the risk of visitors introducing COVID-19 to the nursing home. Today’s guidance update reflects that, while visitors, residents, or their representatives should be made aware of the risks associated with visiting loved ones, visitation should now be allowed for all residents at all times.”
Visits must also be allowed to take place indoors for all residents, whether they’re vaccinated or not, even when a facility is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak investigation or when a resident is on transmission-based precautions or quarantine. While visits under such conditions are “not recommended” by the CMS, they must be allowed if that’s what a resident chooses.
A Connecticut nursing home has moved into recovery mode after suffering an outbreak of COVID-19. Geer Village said that the outbreak, which started in September, left eight residents dead and 89 residents and staff members infected according to a report by CBS News.
The North Canaan-based facility, which includes independent and assisted living among other services, said it conducts bi-weekly testing on residents and staff. In a statement, Director of Nursing Cady Bloodgood and Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connell said they are continuing to “monitor the situation closely.”
“Sadly, we have lost 8 residents with serious underlying health issues to COVID,” the facility said on Friday. “We are encouraged to see 69 staff and residents already recovered and coming off isolation. While we must continue with COVID-19 prevention protocols, we want to assure everyone we are doing our best to keep residents and staff safe.”
A husband is accusing school officials of making his wife continue to work at a Georgia school despite being COVID positive, ultimately causing her to die according to a report by WSB.
Sara Anderson, was a cafeteria worker at Conyers Middle School who died from COVID on October 5.
“She was a hard worker, and if a manager asked her to do anything, she did it,” Robert Anderson said. He said Sara started feeling sick on September 15 and felt worse the next day. He says her manager told her she was out of sick days and that she had to go into work.
“She was pressured into going to work again, and that was on the 17th. On the 18th, she passed out,” Robert Anderson said.
Doctors diagnosed Sara Anderson with COVID, and then COVID pneumonia. A few days later, she was in the ICU and passed on October 5.
Idaho governor Brad Little received his Covid-19 booster shot publicly in an attempt to urge others in his state to get vaccinated. Idaho entered its third month operating at crisis standards of care on November 16, with COVID cases still raging through the Panhandle region.
State health officials Tuesday reported 1,627 COVID-19 patients were being treated in hospitals throughout Illinois, according to the Daily Herald. Of those hospitalized, 325 were in intensive care, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Hospitalizations have increased by 16.8% from a week ago, IDPH figures show. Current the state test positivity rate is 2.8%, which points to over-testing, but increased from 2.2% a week ago.
More and more signs are emerging that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly through Maine, especially among unvaccinated populations, contributing to troubling spikes in hospitalizations and deaths as a holiday week approaches.
The state set yet another pandemic high with 275 hospitalizations on Tuesday and also set a record for the rate of tests that are coming back positive, 8.5 percent on average over the last seven days. Thirteen additional deaths were reported Tuesday as well.
According to the Portland Press Herald, most new cases are in the rural parts of Maine which have the lowest vaccination rates.
Representative Andy Harris (R-Md.) said a complaint was filed against him with a medical board for prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients.
Harris alluded to the complaint during the House Freedom Caucus meeting about vaccine mandates on Monday, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“An action is currently being attempted against my medical license for prescribing ivermectin, which I find fascinating, because as an anesthesiologist, I know I use a lot of drugs off-label that are much more dangerous,” Harris said at the meeting.
Michigan state Senator John Bizon faces misdemeanor assault charges after a nurse practitioner with Oaklawn Medical Group accused him of inappropriately touching her while seeking medication to treat his Covid-19 infection.
The incident in question occurred on August 14, at Oaklawn After Hours Express in Marshall, according to a report filed with the Marshall Police Department on August 17. Two health practictioners filed complaints about Bizon groping them and making inappropriate comments.
Minnesota is preparing to expand COVID-19 vaccine booster access to all adults this week, with or without federal backing, and encouraged renewed protections in communities and schools against a worsening pandemic wave.
The positivity rate of COVID-19 diagnostic testing rose above a 10% high-risk threshold in Minnesota, which is reporting high viral transmission levels in 86 of 87 counties but particularly severe levels in central and northern counties with lower vaccination rates.
“I don’t think we can say that any place in Minnesota is in particularly great shape right now,” state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.
Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania has tested positive for Covid-19, his office announced Tuesday, a day after he was elected chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Perry’s office said in a statement announcing his diagnosis that the congressman, who has not publicly indicated whether he has been vaccinated against the virus, is experiencing “quite mild” symptoms and he “will continue working while quarantining at home.”
The Congressman’s office indicated they would issue no further statements on his status or treatment plan.
The state recorded 5,778 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 72 more deaths. Officials reported 2,948 residents hospitalized, up 154 patients in 24 hours.
Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas has suspended privileges for an ear, nose, and throat doctor after she tweeted several opinions on COVID-19 vaccines, including advising patients from getting it according to a report by XKAN.
A hospital representative confirmed the suspension of Dr. Mary Talley Bowden to The Washington Post. Houston Methodist said Bowden, who only recently joined staff and says she is vaccinated, is “spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science.”
Bowden tweeted earlier this month that she was “shifting focus to treating the unvaccinated” due to the “current climate and writing on the wall,” in addition to the promotion of experimental treatments over the FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines.
New cases are starting to rise again in the Lonestar state, with 28 hospitals reporting they have no available ICU beds.
Taking the night off
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