There has been a growing interest in having people wear masks in the U.S. to slow the spread of the virus. There are reports the virus spread easily just from infected people talking and that it can be spread by asymptomatic people. Many experts say wearing masks could be another step to help slow the spread of the virus.
Los Angeles Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti starting recommending yesterday that citizens wear masks. He says use "cloth face coverings" but not surgical and N95 masks which are needed for first responders and medical workers.
Early data suggests many who are infected are not symptomatic, which is why we are recommending you use cloth face coverings plus physical distancing for essential activities.— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) April 2, 2020
Do not use surgical and N95 masks, which are reserved for first responders and medical workers.
There were rumors last week that the CDC would start recommending all citizens wear masks but so far the CDC only recommends wearing one if you are sick or caring for a person who is sick.
Garcetti put on a black face mask during the press conference. He says, "This will be the look."
The Institute for Health Metrics (IHME) recently launched a website called IHME Covid-19 Projections. The website provides projections for coronavirus Covid-19 deaths and excess demand for hospital services. This includes the number of hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators that will be needed.
The IHME projections for each state include the peak demand, peak deaths and forecast curve. The IHME state pages also show what current goverment-mandated social distancing orders are in place.
The charts for many states show that hospital resources will be over capacity. For example, the projection for New York shows a bed shortage of over 60,000 beds.
The forecasting model is updated every morning at 6 a.m. The IHME says data for its models comes from " local and national governments, hospital networks like the University of Washington, the American Hospital Association, the World Health Organization, and a range of other sources."
Spain has recorded its fifth day in a row with 800 or more Covid-19 coronavirus deaths. The virus started hitting Spain hard around the middle of March.
The Worldometer Spain tracker has over 9,000 deaths in Spain from the virus and over 102,000 cases. The tracker shows the cases and deaths fairly level over the past several days. However, it is not clear Spain has reached a peak because they could be hitting a testing limit.
BBC News says the death toll could even be greater because some people are dying in their homes and some people have not been tested. BBC News says the death toll could be several thousands of higher. On the plus side, there are likely to be many milder and asymptomatic cases that have not been recorded.
Washington D.C. has joined Virginia, Maryland and many other states and cities with a stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. WTOP reports that residents are directed to stay in their homes except to get food, medical care and a few other exceptions.
The news follows a surge in the D.C. area with 16 coronavirus deaths in a single day. NBC Washington reports that this is the most deaths from the virus in a single day for the D.C. area.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says in a statement, "Our message remains the same: stay home. Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community from COVID-19. Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how — by staying home."
BREAKING: Washington, D.C. issues stay-at-home order due to coronavirus— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) March 30, 2020
Dr. Matt McCarthy, author of Superbugs, says in a tweet that the CDC will soon start advising Americans to wear masks in everyday life. This has been the practice in many other countries. People are frequently seen wearing masks in China, Japan, Singapore and other Asian countries.
Americans are not used to wearing masks in public but we suspect they would wear them if this was the CDC guidance. Unfortunately, masks are not currently easy to find. Even healthcare workers are having trouble obtaining enough of them.
Dr. McCarthy does not reveal his CDC or government source for the change in guidance. He says in the tweet, "CDC guidance on masks expected to change in next 10 days. Americans will be advised to wear masks in everyday life. Current recommendation is for high-risk groups only."
The CDC's current advice is to wear a facemask if you are sick.
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask, if available, when you are around other people (including before you enter a healthcare provider's office).The CDC also has a note about the lack of facemasks. It says, "During a public health emergency, facemasks may be reserved for healthcare workers. You may need to improvise a facemask using a scarf or bandana."
If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then as their caregiver, you should wear a facemask when in the same room with them. Visitors, other than caregivers, are not recommended.
Hopefully, the U.S. will find a way to provide masks for everyone to go along with the potentially updated guidance.
The U.S. now has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. The U.S. has over 81,500 confirmed cases which is large than China's 81,285 cases and Italy's 80,589 cases.
Both the BNO tracker and Worldometer tracker now show the U.S. with the most cases followed by China, Italy, Spain and Germany. This was expected as the U.S. has been adding over 13,000 new cases daily for the past couple days. This number is expected to continue to increase over the coming days.
The John Hopkins Tracker still shows China and Italy with more cases than the U.S. but that is likely to change soon.
Note: There are rumors that China's 81,285 case total and 3,287 death toll are undercounted. China changed its criteria for testing more than once and early pneumonia deaths may have been missed. Iran has also been accused of having more cases than reported.
BREAKING: U.S. overtakes China as the country with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases https://t.co/47MXF0XUJ0— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) March 26, 2020
Over 2.6 billion people are on lockdown around the world because of the Covid-19 coronavirus according to a BBC News report. About half of these people are India, which has a population of 1.3 billion.
There are lockdowns in Europe, the U.S., the UK, New Zealand and many other nations. Europe has become the new epicenter of the outbreak with Italy and Spain catching up to China's total cases according to the Worldometer. Italy and Spain have already passed China's reported death toll.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the U.S. may soon become the next coronavirus epicenter. The U.S. looks like it will pass Italy and China in total cases by Friday at the latest. Cases are increasing daily in the U.S. and the Worldometer U.S. data shows the U.S. added over 13,000 cases yesterday. The U.S. will likely become the first country with over 100,000 confirmed cases.
If the U.S. continues to add cases at this ever increasing pace it will reach 250,000+ cases in early April and over 1 million before April is over. A Time story from last week contained a chart showing this possibility. Some U.S. states have shelter-in-place orders to try and slow the spread but many U.S. states are forgoing these types of orders. Meanwhile, transportation across the U.S. remains open with no U.S. cities being isolated from the rest of the country.
The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was on the Today show this morning with a warning about the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. He says this week the outbreak is going to get bad.
Dr. Adams says, "I want America to understand this week, it's going to get bad." He says enough people are not taking the virus seriously enough and they are not staying at home.
He also says that people seem to think they are not vulnerable. He says, "a lot of people think this can't happen to them." He says people are still on the beaches in California and still looking at the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.
He also warned young people that they get can get the disease, they can be hospitalized from the disease and they can die from the disease. He also said they can spread it to others.
The state of New York continues to report increasing daily Covid-19 coronavirus figures. New York now has 10,356 confirmed cases. This is both due to an increase in testing for the virus and the continuing spread of the virus. New York has tested about 45,000 people.
New York City has the most cases with 6,211. There were 1,803 new cases in New York City since yesterday evening.
1,603 of the cases in New York are hospitalizations or 15% off the cases. This large percentage is why the virus threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Some coronavirus patients also require weeks of intensive care.
New York Gov. Cuomo also noted that people ages 18-49 are 55% off the confirmed coronavirus cases.
Younger people listen up: 55% of NYS #Coronavirus cases are ages 18-49.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 21, 2020
Young people aren’t invincible. You can get this and you can give it to someone older you love.
You shouldn’t endanger your own health & you certainly shouldn't endanger other people's health.#StayAtHome
A major London hospital is the first in the UK to become overwhelmed by the coronavirus. The HSJ is reporting that the hospital has declared a "critical incident" because of a surge in coronavirus patients that exceeds its capacity to treat them.
Hospitals in Italy have been way over capacity because of the coronavirus and people are dying that may have survived if more resources were available. This has led to major concerns that the UK, US and other European countries would soon suffer the same fate. As USA Today puts it simply in a recent headline, "Too many coronavirus patients, too few ventilators."
These concerns have become a reality at the Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow. HSJ reports that the hospital says, "we currently do not have enough space for patients requiring critical care."
The Northwick hospital is in touch with nearby hospitals to help transfer patients needing critical care. Unfortunately, this is the early start of coronavirus cases and it likely won't be long before every hospital is over capacity.
In the U.S., there are similar warnings from mayors and governors about the need for more ventilators and beds. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a recent press conference that New York could need as many as 37,000 ventilators in a few weeks and they only have 3,000 statewide.
New York has added over 1,000 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in a single day. The total number of cases in New York is 2,382 cases. New York City has 1,339 cases - an increase of 695 since yesterday. There have been 20 deaths in New York.
A high percentage of the cases are requiring hospitalization. New York Governor Cuomo says 549 (23% of the cases) are requiring hospitalization. This percentage is a major reason why Covid-19 could end up overwhelming local hospitals in the days ahead.
New York has the most coronavirus cases in the U.S. They have over twice as many as Washington, the state with the second highest number of cases. California is third with 722 cases.
The number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the U.S. has passed the 5,000 mark. Most of the cases are in New York (1,374 cases), Washington (904 cases) and California (567 cases). There have been 97 deaths in the U.S.
The Worldometer Coronavirus Chart lists the U.S. as having 5,696 cases and 97 deaths. It says nearly 1,000 cases have been added in the past 24 hours. Just over a week ago the U.S. was adding around 100 cases a day and in early March there were only a couple dozen cases added daily. This is partially due to the lack of testing. Coronavirus was spreading the U.S. in February but cases were going unreported.
Many U.S. cities and states are closing bars and restaurants are switching to take-out. San Francisco has taken the strictest measures with a stay at home oder. The U.S. is advising residents to avoid groups of 10 or larger. Even tighter measures to slow the spread of the virus are likely in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.
U.S. hospitals are preparing for a large crush of coronavirus patients. Some hospitals are conducting drills and setting up tents to handle an expected surge in patients with serious breathing problems.
Ventilators are needed to treat patients suffering from shortness of breath due to pneumonia caused by the coronavirus. There are not enough ventilators in the U.S. to take care of all the patients if there is a big surge in cases. This is why there is so much discussion of "flattening the curve" and slowing down the spread of the virus so hospitals can handle the patient load.
It is not clear yet that the U.S. is being restrictive enough to lockdown the country to prevent a huge surge in cases. Italy has implemented much stricter measures and hospitals there are still getting overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.
A UK emergency plan will have every UK resident 70 and older in self-isolation. They will be told to stay at home for months.
A BBC News report says the UK is playing wartime measures that include this extreme isolation plan for seniors. Young people with certain health conditions will also be isolated at home. Food and medication will be delivered to those in isolation. The plan is set to be implement within weeks.
The BBC says other wartime-measures include turning hotels into hospitals, locking down cities and having car manufacturers make medical equipment.
European nations have been taking the pandemic increasingly seriously. The strict measures are aimed at flattening the curve and enabling overwhelmed hospitals to have more capacity to treat sick patients. The latest report on UK cases is 1,372 cases and 35 deaths.
There have been some recent reports that younger people are getting the serious pneumonia from the Covid-19 coronavirus. A Mother Jones report says half the 300 people in intensive care in France are under age 60. And a report out of the Netherlands says most ICU patients are under 50.
An ABC News story provides an early breakdown of ages of people based on information collected by the Medical Unit at ABC News.
- 40s - 1
- 50s - 2
- 60s - 7
- 70s - 9
- 80s - 13
- 90s - 10
The news out of France and the Netherlands is not a complete surprise. Young adults and middle-aged adults are at less risk from the virus but they are not immune from serious illness or death. There will be cases and deaths in all age groups if this spreads widely in the U.S. Most of the serious cases and deaths will be older patients.
Colorado now has over 100 Covid-19 coronavirus cases. There has been one death in the state - a female in her 80s from El Paso County.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) says it has tested about 800 people so far. Testing started on Feb. 28.
Most of the 101 cases in Colorado are located in Denver (20), Eagle (18) and Arapahoe (10) counties.
Colorado has a drive-up testing site at the Denver Coliseum. It was so busy that it has been closed at times due to high volume.
The Florida Department of Health confirmed 25 new coronavirus cases early Saturday morning. Several of the cases do not have a travel history and indicate community spread.
Florida now has a total of 70 cases and three deaths. Florida's positive cases include Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. The Miami Herald reports that the largest coronavirus cluster in Florida is in Port Everglades.
Florida has has conducted over 500 tests with 221 of these tests pending. The state's latest figures can found on the Florida Health Coronavirus Page.
DOH has confirmed 25 new individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida. All are being cared for and isolated. One Orange County, FL resident tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling and has died in California. Visit https://t.co/3p0Ps1K2HY for more information.— Florida Dept. Health (@HealthyFla) March 14, 2020
Monkeys in Thailand are used to obtaining food from tourists. Many of those tourists are no longer in Thailand because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. This has left the monkeys very hungry and desperate for food.
The Guardian reports that the monkeys usually are given food by tourists or steal it from them. The monkey troop sizes are around 500 according to the story. They do scrap regularly but large brawls like the one seen in this video are rare.
The video was filmed Lopburi, a city north-east of Bangkok.
Washington state now has 568 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus with 37 deaths. Most of the cases are King county (328) and Snohomish county (133).
This is an increase of 81 cases and 6 deaths from yesterday. The latest figures from Washington can be found on the Washington State DOH coronavirus page.
25 of the deaths in King county are associated with the Life Care Center of Kirkland, a nursing facility which has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus.
Washington has tested over 6,500 people. The state's DOH coronavirus page says, "COVID-19 is spreading in several communities in Washington, the risk of exposure is increasing for people who live in our state."
Today's update to the #COVID19 case counts are now live on our site. We have 568 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington, with 37 deaths. Please view the full update on our website: https://t.co/mOvUJ2ObSZ— WA Dept. of Health (@WADeptHealth) March 13, 2020
Alabama has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The case is located in Mongtomery County.
Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says in a statement, "The Alabama Department of Public Health has worked hard to prepare and has anticipated receiving a report of the first case of COVID-19 in an Alabama resident. We continue to recommend that people be prudent and encourage them to use proper hygiene behaviors such as handwashing, not touching their faces with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they have fever. As a precaution, it is suggested that any gatherings of more than 500 people be postponed or canceled."
A release from Governor Kay Ivey does not indicate whether or not the lone case in Alabama is community spread or travel related.
The Alabama Public Health site's coronavirus page says less than ten people were tested through March 12th.