Florida leads surge of variant cases in US; death in Denmark draws more scrutiny for AstraZeneca vaccine: COVID-19 live updates – USA TODAY

play
Show Caption

One person has died and another was critically ill with blood clots and cerebral hemorrhage Sunday after receiving the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, authorities in Denmark say.

The two developed severe symptoms within 14 days after vaccination, the Capital Region of Denmark, which operates public hospitals, told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper. Use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was suspended in several European countries last week amid reports of blood clots in a small number of patients, but the European Medicines Agency subsequently said the vaccine was safe and effective. 

“We prioritize reports of suspected serious side effects such as these,” Tanja Erichsen, a director at the Danish Medicines Agency, said on Twitter. “We are in the process of dealing with the two specific cases.”

On Thursday, EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said the benefits in protecting people from COVID-19 “outweigh the possible risks.” Germany, France, Italy and Spain were among nations saying they would resume using the vaccine.

Also in the news: 

►Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday he believes his proposal to remove a mask mandate, installed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, will take place as planned at the end of the month.

►Kent Taylor, founder of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, took his own life last week, his family said. Details were not released, but he had been racked by post-COVID 19 symptoms that his family said became unbearable.

►India has reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in four months amid a worrying surge that has prompted multiple states to return to some form of restrictions on public gathering.

►Bill and Esther Ilnisky died minutes apart of COVID-19 this month at a Palm Beach County hospice. He was 88, she 92. Their 67th wedding anniversary would have been this weekend.

►One in four Americans in recent weeks has seen someone blame Asian people for the coronavirus epidemic, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds. The nationwide survey was taken Thursday and Friday, in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Georgia of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent.

►Republican Julia Letlow won Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District election Saturday in a landslide less than three months after her husband, Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, died from COVID complications before he could take office.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has over 29.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 542,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 123 million cases and 2.7 million deaths. More than 156.7 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 124.4 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

USA TODAY is tracking COVID-19 news. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency in its entertainment district because of an influx of spring breakers who have inundated the city. A curfew went into effect at 8 p.m. Saturday and will last at least until the same time Tuesday, Miami Beach Interim City Manager Raul Aguila said. All restaurants, bars, and businesses are required to be closed by 8 p.m. The decision, Aguila said, is necessary to protect residents and spring breakers alike. 

“At the peak of spring break, we are quite simply overwhelmed in the entertainment district,” Aguila said. “Folks, this is not an easy decision to make. We are doing that to protect the public health and safety.”

Morgan Hines

Florida on Sunday became the first state to have more than 1,000 known cases of coronavirus variants. The U.S. reported another 834 variant cases since Thursday alone and now has 6,638 known cases, with almost 6,400 of them being of the B.1.1.7 type, the one first found in the United Kingdom, CDC data show.

Florida reported another 158 cases, bringing its tally to 1,070 even as the state’s coronavirus infections have been trending down. Florida leads the country in B.1.1.7 as well as the P.1 variant first seen in Brazil.

Other states dramatically increased their tallies of known variants, with Connecticut adding 111 cases to reach 291 and Georgia adding 101 cases to reach 367. Utah tripled its known case count, reporting 99 new cases to reach 151; Tennessee more than doubled its tally, adding 85 cases to reach 157.

The nation’s total of known coronavirus variants has roughly doubled since March 9.

— Mike Stucka

Supply-chain disruption, cargo backlog further impacts from the coronavirus

U.S. businesses are waiting months instead of the usual weeks for a delivery from China. Frustrated customers have no idea when the goods they’re seeking to buy will be available. Meanwhile, dozens of container ships sit anchored off the California coast, unable to unload their cargo.

Who’s to blame? The coronavirus, of course.

The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain since early 2020, when it prompted factories throughout China to close. Then American consumers forced to stay home starting with the March lockdowns changed their buying habits — instead of clothes, they bought electronics, fitness equipment and home improvement products. U.S. companies responded by flooding reopened Asian factories with orders, leading to a chain reaction of congestion and snags at ports and freight hubs across the country as the goods began arriving.

As production surged in Asia, more ships began arriving in the fall at ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and other West Coast cities than the gateways could handle. Dozens of ships holding as many as 14,000 containers have sat offshore, some of them for over a week.

“With this type of backlog, it will take several weeks to work through that. It doesn’t go away,” said Shanton Wilcox, a manufacturing adviser with PA Consulting. “And new ships are sailing to the U.S. even as we speak.”

— The Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of the American health care system, but nothing changed quite as drastically as the rise of telemedicine. While virtual care existed before COVID-19, the practice boomed after state-mandated stay-at-home orders and has since remained strong. 

Prior to the pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts received about 200 telehealth claims per day. That number reached up to 40,0000 claims per day from April to May 2020, and the insurer is still receiving about 30,000 claims per day almost a year later, according to spokesperson Amy McHugh. Athenahealth, a health tech company, released an interactive dashboard that delivered insights on telehealth trends from 18.4 million virtual appointments by 60,000 providers.

“The pandemic has necessitated a new era in medicine in which telehealth appointments are a core aspect of the patient-provider relationship,” said Jessica Sweeney-Platt, the company’s vice president of research and editorial strategy.

Adrianna Rodriguez

The Mexican tourism center of Cancun is seeing a spike in visitors as vaccinated vacationers and those with pandemic fatigue book getaways. Cancun’s tourism board is projecting 300,000 visitors from the United States in March based on results so far and reservations for the next two weeks. That’s more than the 222,731 in March 2020, when the pandemic took hold, but below 464,569 pre-pandemic visitors in March 2019.

Indianapolis nurse Harmony Godsey, who is vaccinated, and five friends paid about $850 per person for a round-trip flight, oceanfront room for four nights and all meals and alcoholic beverages. “It really was only able to happen, honestly, because of COVID for it being so inexpensive,” she said. 

Dawn Gilbertson

The first three months of the vaccine rollout suggest faster is not necessarily better. A new analysis found states such as South Carolina, Florida and Missouri that raced ahead of others to offer the vaccine to ever-larger groups of people have vaccinated smaller shares of their population than those that moved more slowly and methodically, such as Hawaii and Connecticut. The explanation may be that the rapid expansion of eligibility caused a surge in demand too big for some states to handle, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people.

“The infrastructure just wasn’t ready. It kind of backfired,” said Dr. Rebecca Wurtz, an infectious disease physician and health data specialist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. “In the rush to satisfy everyone, governors satisfied few and frustrated many.”

Indianapolis celebrated the city’s largest event since the pandemic began as it hosted the opening round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, but revelry surrounding the games is causing consternation among public health experts. Most people said they felt safe, especially at the games themselves, where facilities are restricted to 25% of their normal capacity or less. The busy downtown streets drew vendors who have seen little business over the past year, from pop-up clothing retailers to a troop of Girl Scouts selling cookies. 

But gatherings worried public health experts, who fear they could undermine the rigorous health and safety protocols the NCAA and Indianapolis officials have put in place to keep the tournament safe under unprecedented conditions. 

Read the full story. 

– Tony Cook and Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star

Vulnerable counties tend to have lower COVID-19 vaccination rates, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released last week. The study looked at vaccine administration data for more than 49 million U.S. residents from December 2020 to March 1 and found that, on average, less vulnerable counties had a vaccination rate 2.5 percentage points higher than counties with high social vulnerability. 

Researchers found the largest disparities in counties that ranked high in socioeconomic vulnerability, such as high rates of poverty or unemployment.

– Nada Hassanein, USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

Sorgente articolo:
Florida leads surge of variant cases in US; death in Denmark draws more scrutiny for AstraZeneca vaccine: COVID-19 live updates – USA TODAY

User ID Campaign ID Link
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999982 Cloud Real Time
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999994 Email Advertising
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999983 Fiasconaro
d9a95efa0a2845057476957a427b0499 l-99999984 Cloud Realtime