A leading public health expert is swatting down a claim from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that his state will soon reach herd immunity from the coronavirus. “We absolutely are not declaring victory at this time. We remain very vigilant and guarded and proactive in our response, but there is simple math behind the reason why still we continue to have success,” Abbott said on "Fox News Sunday," adding later that "very simply, it’s a whole lot more difficult for COVID-19 to be spreading to other people in the state of Texas.” “I don’t know what herd immunity is, but when you add that to the people who have immunity, it looks like it could be very close to herd immunity,” Abbott added. ADVERTISEMENT But Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy who advised President Biden Joe Biden Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills … [Read more...] about Health expert pushes back on Texas governor’s herd immunity claim
Top World Health Organization (WHO) officials on Monday warned against “complacency” in fighting COVID-19 amid a troubling spike in cases worldwide. There were 4.4 million new cases recorded in the last week, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, the seventh week in a row of increasing cases. That’s compared to about 500,000 cases per week a year ago. Deaths have been rising for four weeks. “It is growing exponentially,” Van Kerkhove said of cases on a global basis. ADVERTISEMENT “This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic where we have proven control measures,” she added. “It is time right now where everyone has to take stock and have a reality check about what we need to be doing.” "We are in a CRITICAL POINT of the #COVID19 pandemic now.... A year ago we had abt 500K cases reported per week, last week we had 4.4 million cases... This is NOT the situation we wanna be in 16 months into the pandemic where we have … [Read more...] about WHO warns global COVID-19 pandemic ‘growing exponentially’
Colorado is now experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 as infections and hospitalizations rise, but the increasing level of vaccination should make it less severe than the deadly spike late last fall, state officials said Friday. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have risen most in people younger than 50, who are less likely to have been vaccinated, state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said. It’s good news that the vaccine is protecting older people, who are most vulnerable to severe symptoms, but younger people need to keep up precautions until they get the shot, she said. “This fourth wave is going to look different,” she said during a news briefing with Gov. Jared Polis. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 454 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon. It was the highest total since Feb. 18. Cases continued their bumpy upward trajectory, with 1,545 new infections recorded on Thursday. The … [Read more...] about Colorado in “fourth wave” of COVID-19, state officials say — but it’s expected to be less severe than deadly fall spike
Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images One of the first things Joe Biden did when he became president was launch a “100 Day Masking Challenge.” While he doesn’t have the authority to enact a national mask mandate, Biden did what he could: require masks in federal buildings and on federal land, and ask everybody nicely to please, please, please wear a mask. This is a big departure from his predecessor, who made the following statements on wearing masks: “Maybe they’re great, and maybe they’re just good. Maybe they’re not so good” and “It’s voluntary. You don’t have to do it.” Donald Trump additionally characterized President Biden’s mask-wearing habits as such: “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” That’s a typical Trump exaggeration, but Biden is more militant about masks than most: despite being vaccinated, he often double-masks, per Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendation . … [Read more...] about When Can Biden (and the Rest of Us) Take Off Our Masks?
The University of Arizona’s COVID-19 virtual university status update team met Monday to discuss vaccination numbers and COVID-19 data. UA will continue in Phase Three of reentry this week. Classes of 100 or fewer students designated as ‘in-person’ or ‘flex in-person’ may begin meeting for in-person instruction. RELATED: Arizona is opening back up. Here's how UA students are reacting UA has now administered a grand total of 155,391 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those vaccinated at the UA POD, 24.6% self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx. MORE FROM THE DAILY WILDCAT University status update: UA commencement ceremonies to allow guests, slight increase in transmission University status update: City of Tucson, UA push back against Ducey’s repeal of mask mandate ASUA elections: highlights from Friday’s presidential debate “This is good progress, but we need to move even more quickly,” said UA President Dr. Robert C. … [Read more...] about University Status Update: ‘It’s literally a race against new infections,’ as UA aims to vaccinate students before summer