Coronavirus COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) Thread - Breaking News

Thanks very much for all the insight. It’s enlightening to learn about that one case, at least, where further testing found the person was actually negative. What I’m not so clear about, after reading all that, is whether they get a number of additional initial positive results in their widespread testing but then test them a second time and rule them out as true positives, before it ever gets to the stage that it did with the positive-then-negative case you mentioned.

In other words, either there would be a two-stage process, with additional testing early on in isolation as a second stage to help verify the first one, with the first stage having more methodology to ferret out some rate of false positive results on initial runs…or there is just the initial stage, and it is very, very, very accurate.

I have to imagine the labs are turning up more ‘questionable’ results than eventually become positive cases, and they are dealing with those in whatever way they do – to, in this case, determine that the tests were not truly positive. That is the process I’d love to read about in the press, as I think it would help to shed light on what is going on everywhere else. I don’t think there are too many other countries who could count on such fidelity in their data along these lines, which is why I would like to see us learn all we can from New Zealand.

Private San Antonio philanthropists take on the task of widespread testing-- particularly of asymptomatic people-- picking up the ball that public health can’t carry.

After Graham Weston caught the coronavirus from his son, who hadn’t shown any symptoms, the San Antonio tech entrepreneur realized that the role of “silent spreaders” demanded more attention.

He and other prominent philanthropic leaders in the city formed a new nonprofit with the express purpose of screening hundreds and eventually thousands of people to identify who is infected and asymptomatic and keep them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

The larger goal is even more ambitious: deliver an effective way of supporting society’s recovery from the pandemic.

“We can never really suppress the virus and give people the confidence to go back (to school or work) when we have silent spreaders walking through our population,” said Weston, founder of the 80 | 20 Foundation and former CEO and chairman of Rackspace Technology.

The nonprofit, called Community Labs, has adopted a new approach to testing that focuses on micro populations in shared places, such as area schools and businesses.

Experts estimate that up to half of people who contract the coronavirus may display no symptoms, said bank executive J. Bruce Bugg Jr., chairman and trustee of the Tobin Endowment and co-founder of Community Labs. While hospitals have widely screened patients for the coronavirus when they are scheduled for surgery, federal > and local health officials have largely prioritized testing people with symptoms.

It’s an approach that has persisted since early in the pandemic, when testing for the coronavirus was severely limited by regulatory, processing and supply chain bottlenecks. Health departments, including the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, initially focused their efforts on people who were severely ill, those with classic symptoms and front-line workers.

Metro Health briefly tested asymptomatic people in the community earlier this year but halted the effort when a surge of cases over the summer caused demand for testing to skyrocket.

While testing those with symptoms may help diagnose people with COVID-19, it does little to halt chains of transmission that stem from asymptomatic carriers. To fill that testing gap, Community Labs is taking the “exact opposite” approach, Bugg said.

He said the goal is to create a strong testing model that screens for asymptomatic carriers and that can be replicated and applied in cities across the state.

Community Labs’ approach hinges on quick turnaround times, which are not typical with the traditional testing. Waiting a week for results would render the value of testing asymptomatic people moot, Weston said, as they won’t know to isolate themselves and already could have spread the virus to others by the time they learn they are infected.

Community Labs was co-founded by Weston, Bugg and J. Tullos Wells, managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. Weston is serving as chairman, while Bugg and Wells are vice chairmen.

The Kronkosky and 80 | 20 foundations and the Tobin Endowment have contributed a combined $2.5 million to start the nonprofit.

New Zealand’s Q2 number came in at -12.2%.

For comparison:
US: -9.1%
European Union: -11.4%
United Kingdom: -20.4%

  • 55% of identified cases are in the US, India and Brazil.

  • Our local university is further restricting access to libraries, gyms and in-person meetings of clubs after 30 new people tested positive for Covid. Only one lived on campus.

  • Ontario has a recent high of 400 cases. The bigger problem may be a testing backlog of 30,000 swabs. Thus, Doc Tam suggests Canada “could lose control of keeping cases down to a manageable level”. Ontario hopes to build capacity from 30k to 50k tests per day since waits at testing centres may be 3h.

FWIW, I’ve updated my chart of Q2 GDP vs COVID death rates, which includes more countries. You can mouse over circles for details, and also download the data or the image directly.

So on the one hand GDP not as down as some had been predicting, pretty middle of the pack. OTOH pretty middle of the pack, not “better than” most.

I wonder what it and other newer numbers do to R and p?

For which country?

R will never look good on this, the data’s all over the place. & p, as I pointed out in a past post, doesn’t mean so much here…

On April 13, Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appeared on the Today show and assured viewers that the worst was nearly behind us.

By July, the number of daily cases had doubled. The death total had shot past 100,000. As Redfield looked ahead, his tone became more ominous. The fall and the winter, he said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association , “are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health.”

It is now widely accepted among experts that the United States is primed for a surge in cases at a uniquely perilous moment in our national history. “As we approach the fall and winter months, it is important that we get the baseline level of daily infections much lower than they are right now,” Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me by email. For the past few weeks, the country has been averaging about 40,000 new infections a day. Fauci said that “we must, over the next few weeks, get that baseline of infections down to 10,000 per day, or even much less if we want to maintain control of this outbreak.”

This may be the most salient warning he has issued at any point in the pandemic. Cutting an infection rate as high as ours by 75 percent in a matter of weeks would almost certainly require widespread lockdowns in which nearly everyone shelters in place, as happened in China in January.

That will not happen in the United States.

Donald Trump has been campaigning for reelection on just the opposite message. He has promised that normalcy and American greatness are just around the corner. He has touted dubious treatments and said at least 34 times that the virus will disappear. This disinformation is nearing a crescendo now that the election looms: Trump has been teasing a vaccine that could be available within weeks.

The cold reality is that we should plan for a winter in which vaccination is not part of our lives.

Even if you’ve had the virus, plan to spend the winter living as though you are constantly contagious. This primarily means paying attention to where you are and what’s coming out of your mouth. The liquid particles we spew can be generated simply by breathing, but far more by speaking, shouting, singing, coughing, and sneezing. While we cannot stop doing all of these things, every effort at minimizing unnecessary contributions of virus to the air around others helps.

IOW, we are probably fucked.

Really long article. Paywalled, but The Atlantic allows four free articles per month to non-subscribers.

Sweet! Now all we need is the vaccine.

"Wisconsin broke its own single-day record for novel coronavirus cases on Friday, reporting 2,533 new infections and surpassing the single-day record of 2,034 cases it logged a day prior, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
In addition to rising case counts, the state’s seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests reached 15.3% on Friday.

“I think it’s pretty clear that it’s the college campuses that are driving this, more than anything,” Barrett said. “There really has to be a redoubling of efforts to make sure that college students are taking this seriously, because it clearly is having an impact right now.”

What’s the clear impact? They can’t exactly kill their grannies when they’re infectious for ten days if they’re away at college at the time.

More people being infected is the opposite of the desired goal. The goal is that students can go to school without becoming infected. I’m sure their grannies appreciate your sentiment.

College students come in contact with many people besides other students: professors, food service employees, janitorial staff, and the public at large in the school’s town. Many of those people are older or have other risk conditions. It’s not just students returning home that has the potential to kill people.

To Troutman’s point, by now you’ve heard about the infamous Maine wedding that has infected 175 and counting people and killed 7 of them, I imagine. None of the people who died were wedding guests. And the latest articles are saying that some of the people who died didn’t even have contact with the guest who brought it to the nursing home either, but got it from a person who did have contact with the guest.

All it took was for 65 people to attend a wedding to lead to another 110 people who didn’t getting it - actually, more than 110 because not all the guests got sick. How many college kids do you think are in say, the college of health and human services and might be interning somewhere with vulnerable people or working in a nursing home as their part time job? They wouldn’t even need to break any rules themselves, just share a dorm or classroom with someone who did without them even knowing it, and because of asymptomatic/presymptomatic spread off it goes.

30,697,080 total cases
956,438 dead
22,339,514 recovered

In the US:

6,925,941 total cases
203,171 dead
4,191,894 recovered

Yesterday’s numbers for comparison:

By now I’d expect nursing homes or other places with similarly vulnerable populations to have figured out some ways to get around this.

No doubt in my mind that collecting together large cohorts of young adults facilitates behaviors that are not socially distanced, especially in a state that has many who don’t wear masks and such. That increases rates among young adults of course. Also little doubt that by end of summer many young adults were already engaging in such behaviors, just living within households and communities with much greater and closer contact with older higher risk adults.

Neither is absolute.

There is some level of increased exposure to staff etc. in college communities, not so often “close” but contact. And there is some level of decreased contact to higher risk older adults throughout the rest of the state that results from these young adults to greater degrees NOT living in close contact with higher risk people when they are pre-symptomatic and at peak risk to spread it, per infected individual dramatically reducing both the numbers of contacts and the risk of each one.

More of these young adults will return to their parent’s households and home communities over the extended family contact times of Thanksgiving through New Years, likely when influenza picks up, as “resolveds” less likely to be contagious to higher risk family members then.

The net impact is really hard to know.

No new deaths reported in Hawaii today, but yesterday we had a record 13. The previous record was only five. To date, total cases in Hawaii number 11,326 with 120 deaths. Next Thursday is supposed to be the end of the current four-week lockdown. We’ll see.

30,984,437 total cases
961,400 dead
22,583,470 recovered

In the US:

6,967,403 total cases
203,824 dead
4,223,693 recovered

Yesterday’s numbers for comparison: