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Coronavirus US: Death toll hits 150k as seven states set daily fatality records

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coronavirus us death toll hits 150k as seven states set daily fatality records

America has now recorded more than 150,000 COVID-19 fatalities, reaching a grim new milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University confirmed that 150,034 Americans have now died from highly-contagious virus, with more than half a dozen states clocking their highest daily number of fatalities.  

American citizens now account for almost a quarter of the 662,577 coronavirus deaths recorded worldwide. 

No other country comes close to reporting as many coronavirus deaths as the US. Brazil has seen 88,539 deaths, while the United Kingdom has clocked 46,046 fatalities. 

Italy and Spain – which were both hit hard by the coronavirus in April and May – have reported less than 36,000 deaths respectively after their fatality rates sharply declined in the wake of strict stay-at-home orders. 

It’s a different case in the United States, where the death rate continues to soar, despite the country stretching into its fifth month battling the pandemic.  

Fatalities have increased by more than 10,000 since July 17, which marks the fast increase in deaths since the US went from 100,000 to 110,000 fatal cases over 11 days in early June.

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.  

Overnight, seven states – Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oregon and Montana – all reported a record spike in their fatalities. 

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31343874 8572121 image a 4 1596057715893

 

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June

Nationally, COVID-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June

Texas leads the nation with nearly 4,000 deaths so far this month, followed by Florida with 2,690 and California with 2,500. The Texas figure includes a backlog of hundreds of deaths after the state changed the way it counted COVID-19 fatalities.

While deaths have rapidly risen in July in these three states, New York and New Jersey still lead the nation in total lives lost and for deaths per capita. 

Even though deaths are rising across the US, they remain well below levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus. 

Health experts have indicated the death toll may not be as bad this time around possibly because a large share of the current cases are younger people, who are less likely to die, and because of advances in treatment and knowledge of the virus. 

Deaths are a lagging indicator and can continue to rise weeks after new infections drop. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected.  

Meanwhile, Texas – the second-most populous state – added more than 6,000 new cases on Monday, pushing its total to 401,477. 

Only three other states – California, Florida and New York – have more than 400,000 total cases.  

A spike in infections in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas this month has overwhelmed hospitals and put the states in a dire situation.

There are signs the virus has also been spreading farther north in recent days, causing alarm among public health officials who fear states are not doing enough to avoid catastrophic outbreaks like those seen in the Sunbelt in the past two months.   

Florida deaths

Florida deaths

Florida cases

Florida cases

Florida reported its highest single day spike for COVID-19 deaths. The death toll in Florida increased by 186 on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the third-most populous US state to 6,117, according the state’s health department

Texas deaths

Texas deaths

Texas cases

Texas cases

Texas leads the nation with nearly 4,000 deaths so far this month. The Texas figure includes a backlog of hundreds of deaths after the state changed the way it counted COVID-19 fatalities. Texas – the second-most populous state – added more than 6,000 new cases on Monday, pushing its total to 401,477

California deaths

California deaths

California cases

California cases

California on Tuesday reported 171 deaths. California health officials said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous U.S. state, account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths

Arkansas deaths

Arkansas deaths

Arkansas casess

Arkansas casess

Arkansas reported 20 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing its total to 428. The state reported 734 new cases, bringing the total to 40,181

Oregon deaths

Oregon deaths

Oregon cases

Oregon cases

Oregon recorded a record spike of 14 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing its total to 303. The state reported 328 new cases, bringing the total to 17,416

Montana deaths

Montana deaths

Montana cases

Montana cases

Montana recorded a single day spike of four new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 51. Cases increased by 94, bringing the total to 3,475 

Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, both White House task force members, have said there are signs the virus could be peaking in the South and West while other areas were on the cusp of new outbreaks. 

‘We are watching very carefully California, Arizona, Texas, and most of Florida,’ President Donald Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday. ‘It’s starting to head down to the right direction.’ 

The US is showing early signs that surging case numbers may be leveling out with week-over-week tallies showing infections have dropped two percent for the first time after rising steadily for five weeks. 

Infections have been surging since early June when COVID-19 started spreading rapidly throughout the Sunbelt states and the US recorded single daily highs of more than 77,000 infections. 

The seven-day average for daily infections this week is now just under 66,000. 

The downward trend in cases is prominent in the hotspot states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California where governors and local officials rolled back reopenings to curb the infection rate. 

But even as cases start to plateau in those hard-hit states, 22 other states are currently seeing an increase in new infections. 

Cases are mostly rising in the Midwest, which public health officials say is a sign the virus is spreading north from the Sunbelt states. 

Fears are growing about the potential for a significant uptick in the Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado, which has been fueled largely by a rise in cases among young adults, who have been hitting bars, restaurants and health clubs again.

Republican governors in Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina have all resisted calls to close bars and gyms or issue statewide mask requirements, though some local officials have imposed some of their own restrictions.

‘My reaction is that I’m disturbed. I’m disturbed by it,’ Dr Fauci said. 

Those two efforts and other best practices would help ‘prevent the resurgence that we’ve seen in some of the other Southern states.’ 

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New coronavirus cases across the United States have started to decline for the first time in five weeks. The downward trend in cases is prominent in the hotspot states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. But even as cases start to plateau in those hard-hit states, 22 other states - mostly in the Midwest - are currently seeing an increase in new infections

New coronavirus cases across the United States have started to decline for the first time in five weeks. The downward trend in cases is prominent in the hotspot states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. But even as cases start to plateau in those hard-hit states, 22 other states - mostly in the Midwest - are currently seeing an increase in new infections

New coronavirus cases across the United States have started to decline for the first time in five weeks. The downward trend in cases is prominent in the hotspot states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. But even as cases start to plateau in those hard-hit states, 22 other states – mostly in the Midwest – are currently seeing an increase in new infections

Over the past two weeks, Wisconsin’s rolling average number of new confirmed cases has increased by 31%. Minnesota reported its largest one-day case count Sunday, with more than 860 cases. 

In Mississippi, nine of the state’s biggest hospitals had no open intensive care beds as of Monday, and officials are considering opening pop-up facilities. More than 24% of coronavirus tests have come back positive in Mississippi over the past week, the highest rate in the nation and triple the national average. 

In Missouri, larger cities are growing rattled by a spike in cases after the state fully reopened. It reported another daily record in cases, with nearly 1,800. St. Louis is curtailing bar hours and reducing restaurant seating capacity starting Friday, and Kansas City may follow suit.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt returned to his office Monday after two weeks of isolating at home following a positive coronavirus test. It came on the same day the state reported over 1,400 new confirmed cases – the second consecutive day of record highs. 

The rise in deaths and infections has dampened early hopes the country was past the worst of an economic crisis that has decimated businesses and put millions of Americans out of work.

The trend has fueled a bitter debate over the reopening of schools in the coming weeks. President Donald Trump and members of his administration have pushed for students to return to class, while some teachers and local officials have called for online learning.

'We are watching very carefully California, Arizona, Texas, and most of Florida,' President Donald Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday. 'It's starting to head down to the right direction.'

'We are watching very carefully California, Arizona, Texas, and most of Florida,' President Donald Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday. 'It's starting to head down to the right direction.'

‘We are watching very carefully California, Arizona, Texas, and most of Florida,’ President Donald Trump said at a news conference on Tuesday. ‘It’s starting to head down to the right direction.’

‘We will fight on all fronts for the safety of students and their educators,’ Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said during the union’s virtual convention on Tuesday. ‘It’s the 11th hour; we need the resources now.’

The Texas Education Agency, the state’s overseer of public education, said it would deny funding to schools that delay in-person classes because of orders by local health authorities related to the pandemic.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance that health authorities cannot impose ‘blanket’ school closures for coronavirus prevention. Any such decision is up to school officials, he said.

Local health leaders in the biggest metropolitan areas in Texas, including Houston and Dallas, have recently ordered the postponement of in-person classes. 

In Washington, some Republicans in the US Senate pushed back against their own party’s $1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal the day after it was unveiled by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, weighing on stocks.

‘I’m not for borrowing another trillion dollars,’ Republican Senator Rand Paul told reporters.

Democrats have rejected the plan as too limited compared with their $3 trillion proposal that passed the House of Representatives in May. Some Republicans called it too expensive.

Trump said on Tuesday he did not support everything in the Senate Republican coronavirus relief legislation but would not elaborate.

‘There are also things that I very much support,’ he told a White House briefing. ‘But we’ll be negotiating.’

Trump also groused about Fauci’s high approval ratings and joked ‘nobody likes me’ as he struggles to improve his standing with voters over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘It can only be my personality,’ Trump said.

Death rates fell by 64% when states closed schools early on in the pandemic, study finds as Trump pushes for K-12 classrooms to reopen

By Mary Kekatos Senior Health Reporter For Dailymail.com 

Coronavirus death rates fell when states closed schools early on in the pandemic, a new study suggests. 

Researchers found when K-12 classrooms were shut down, cases temporarily dropped by about two-thirds and deaths decreased by more than half.

But states that took action early on saw  the greatest effect, according to the team, from  Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio,

Those that closed schools in early March, when coronavirus prevalence was low, saw 46 percent fewer infections and 17 percent fewer deaths than those that opted to close schools in late March while cases were rising quickly. 

This findings come as a debate rages in the US about whether or not schools should reopen and how to strike a balance between alleviating working parents who have to rework their schedules and preventing a potentially deadly spike come autumn.

For the study, published in JAMA, the team looked at six weeks of data collection after school closures in each state from March 9 to May 7.

All 50 states closed schools between March 13 and March 23.

Next, researchers compared closures to infection and mortality rates from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

States that opted to close later, when cases were much higher, saw less of a change at around 49% per week  and 53% in deaths (above)

States that opted to close later, when cases were much higher, saw less of a change at around 49% per week  and 53% in deaths (above)

States that opted to close later, when cases were much higher, saw less of a change at around 49% per week  and 53% in deaths (above)

Results showed that, overall, shutting downs schools was linked to a significant decline in cases of the virus, with a drop of about 62 percent each week.    

It was also linked to decreases in deaths, with a change of about 58 percent per week.

The team estimates school closures were linked to 1.37 million fewer cases of the virus over a 26-day period and 40,600 fewer deaths over a 16-day period. 

However, it was states that closed early, when the increasing incidence of COVID-19 was at its lowest that saw the greatest decline per week at around 72 percent for cases and 64 percent for deaths. 

States that were slowest to close schools and had the highest incidence of cases, show saw a change of about 49 percent per week and 53 percent of deaths.

That’s a difference of more than 46 percent for cases and 17 percent for deaths.

This means closing schools early was linked to 128.7 fewer cases per 100,000 over 26 days and with 1.5 fewer deaths per 100,000 over 16 days.  

‘States that closed schools earlier, when cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was low, had the largest relative reduction in incidence and mortality,’ the authors wrote.

‘However, it remains possible that some of the reduction may have been related to other concurrent nonpharmaceutical interventions.’   

This includes interventions such as stay-at-home orders, restaurant closures and increased handwashing. 

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Is your school in Covid danger zone? Online tool lets parents check how close their children are

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is your school in covid danger zone online tool lets parents check how close their children are

A new website has been launched for parents to find out how at risk their children are from coronavirus at school.

The National Education Union has developed the online tool, that lets mothers and fathers type in the school’s name and see levels of infection in the area.

It displays the number of Covid-19 cases in their locality, whether it is on a watchlist or if local restrictions are in place.

The NEU believes it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government where cases are higher. 

It adds that it says it hopes the map will also reassure parents of children in low case areas.

The site will use the increased amounts of data now made available by the Government. 

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.

“The NEU School Covid Map presents up to date information on the Covid rate in every part of England. This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.

Pupils in Huddersfield adopting new Covid-secure measures for their return to the classroom

Pupils in Huddersfield adopting new Covid-secure measures for their return to the classroom

Some schools have struggled with the return after lockdown over fears of infections rising

Some schools have struggled with the return after lockdown over fears of infections rising

The new website can be used to find any schools, no matter if they are independent or private

The new website can be used to find any schools, no matter if they are independent or private

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“We have written to the Prime Minister calling for much quicker testing for staff and students, Nightingale sites for smaller classes, guaranteed home working for vulnerable staff, and more funding for already strained schools and colleges to maintain Covid-security.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”

The site comes after parents and teachers aired serious concerns about going back into schools after the strict coronavirus lockdown.

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Coronavirus figures for the UK show cases are rising again for the second wave

Coronavirus figures for the UK show cases are rising again for the second wave

Previously NEU chiefs have called on the government to create ‘Nightingale classes’ amid a drop in the number unable to fully open due to Covid-19.

The latest government figures revealed one in six state secondary schools could not fully open last week – with most unable to do so because of coronavirus.

Schools are considered to be not fully open if they are unable to provide face-to-face teaching for all pupils for the whole school day and have asked a group of students to self-isolate.

Latest school attendance statistics reveal approximately 84 per cent of state-funded secondary schools were fully open on September 24 – down eight per cent from a week earlier.

Bosses from the NEU, the largest education union in the UK, have renewed calls on the government to create ‘Nightingale classes’ in a bid to get all of the country’s students back into lessons.

According to the Department for Education (DfE)’s latest school attendance statistics, approximately 84 per cent of state-funded secondary schools were fully open on September 24 – down from 92 per cent a week earlier.

Schools are considered to be not fully open if they are unable to provide face-to-face teaching for all pupils for the whole school day and have asked a group of students to self-isolate.

The cause of schools not being fully open was ‘mostly due to Covid-19 related reasons’, the DfE said.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Inspired Travel owner Kate Harris breaks down as Covid looks set to close her business

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inspired travel owner kate harris breaks down as covid looks set to close her business

A travel agent is seen breaking down in tears as she discusses her fight to save her previously successful 20-year-old business from going under due to the Covid crisis – and reveals how she’s applying for jobs to stack shelves in a bid to pay her bills. 

Kate Harris, who owns award-winning holiday company Inspired Travel and lives in Burbage, Leicestershire, couldn’t contain her emotion as she discussed how her business has been put under huge strain, as she slammed the Government’s furlough scheme as ‘cr**py’. 

Speaking to Travel Weekly Editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley for a webcast about the way the travel industry has been devastated by the pandemic, the single mother-of-one fought back tears as she revealed how, even with the help of the furlough scheme, she’s only taken £120 in the last month, and still has to pay her one employee £500.   

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Heartbreaking: Travel agent Kate Harris who has run her own award-winning business, Inspired Travel, for 20 years says the Covid crisis has seen her applying for jobs to stack shelves as bookings have dried up

Heartbreaking: Travel agent Kate Harris who has run her own award-winning business, Inspired Travel, for 20 years says the Covid crisis has seen her applying for jobs to stack shelves as bookings have dried up

Speaking in a webcast with Travel Weekly, she told Editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley, pictured top left, that she doesn't know what she'd do if she lost her shop - and wonders whether all the sacrifices she's made along the way are now worth it

Speaking in a webcast with Travel Weekly, she told Editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley, pictured top left, that she doesn’t know what she’d do if she lost her shop – and wonders whether all the sacrifices she’s made along the way are now worth it

Harris told the webcast that she didn't want to be a 'moaner' and was working hard to get a second job to support her business

Harris told the webcast that she didn’t want to be a ‘moaner’ and was working hard to get a second job to support her business

Getting emotional, she told Huxley in the ‘heartbreaking’ interview that she already owed £10,000 and is behind on the company’s corporation tax and VAT bills.

She said she’d been left wondering whether all the sacrifices she’s made along the way, including years when she says she was a ‘drive-by mother’, to run her own business have been worth it.

The company director struggled not to cry as she revealed recent interviews she’s had, saying: ‘I did a Zoom interview for a job with two people who are younger than my 27-year-old son. I’m answering questions like a manager when I’m applying to stack shelves.

‘I never wanted to do that [but] this has been my life and I will do whatever it takes to save my business.’

She added: ‘I think if the choice was between having Covid or a roof over my head I’d pick Covid every day because without my job, without this shop to come to I don’t know what I’d do anymore.’  

Huxley later tweeted the webcast, saying it was ‘utterly heartbreaking’. 

Editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, Lucy Huxley, warned there'll be many more agents facing the same trials as Kate (pictured)

Editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, Lucy Huxley, warned there’ll be many more agents facing the same trials as Kate (pictured)

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She wrote: ‘If you do one thing today…watch the raw emotion displayed by agent Kate Harris of Inspired Travel on this webcast about the Chancellor’s Job Support Scheme & more. There will be many more agents just like Kate. #SaveFutureTravel’ 

Another agent painted a similar picture of her own business, @julie_travel wrote: ‘This is the reality of what is happening to previously successful travel businesses. I don’t have premises but haven’t earned a penny since March and now looking at a raft of Lapland bookings possibly cancelling. It’s heartbreaking.’ 

Harris said she’d hoped in March to back ‘up and running’ by August but was now hoping for a surge in bookings next spring instead. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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10-year egg freezing limit should be scrapped because women feel under pressure

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10 year egg freezing limit should be scrapped because women feel under pressure

The 10-year limit for storing women’s eggs for social reasons should be extended to give people more time and options, according to Britain’s ethics body.

Currently, people can only store their eggs or sperm for a decade, after which they must either go through with fertility treatment or destroy them.

Nuffield Council on Bioethics said there is no good reason not to extend the freezing time and claim the arbitrary 10-year limit puts pressure on people to have a baby they are not ready for.  

It claimed some private fertility services in the UK have preyed on anxious women through Prosecco-fuelled marketing events and targeted online adverts. 

The Government has been assessing the rule since February, although its not clear when a decision will be made either way. 

Experts have raised concerns that some women are being forced to travel abroad and use substandard healthcare to get around the 10-year rule. 

The NHS only funds egg freezing for medical reasons – in advance of cancer treatment, for example. People who get the procedure on the health service can apply to have them stored for up to 55 years.

But people who do it for social reasons need to go private and pay around £8,000 on average.  

The 10-year limit for storing women's eggs for social reasons should be extended to give people more time and options, according to Britain's ethics body (file)

The 10-year limit for storing women’s eggs for social reasons should be extended to give people more time and options, according to Britain’s ethics body (file) 

HOW ARE EGGS FROZEN? 

Egg freezing dates back to 1986 when the first pregnancy from a frozen egg was reported in the Lancet Journal. 

Collected eggs were preserved in cryogenic tanks after being frozen ‘slowly’ for many years. 

In the early 2000s, scientists began experimenting with an ‘ultra-rapid’ freezing technique called vitrification. 

Using this process, the temperature of an egg plummets thousands of degrees per minute, resulting in a glass-like cell structure that is stronger than other crystalline ice forms. 

They are then stored in cryogenic tanks, for up to 25 years. 

In preparation for having her eggs retrieved, a woman must undergo the first stage of an IVF cycle, which uses hormones to stimulate more eggs into maturity, then another set of hormones to trigger the eggs’ release. 

Patients inject these drugs at home and are usually closely monitored by their doctors.  

There are many different forms of these hormone treatments, ranging in cost from about $800 (£625) to $6,000 (£4,675) per cycle, and six to 10 weeks in duration.

Then, the eggs are surgically retrieved in a minimally-invasive procedure.  

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Dr John Appleby, lecturer in medical ethics at Lancaster University, said: ‘The UK’s 10-year egg freezing rule for social egg freezing is not fit for purpose and this briefing highlights how we have very little reason for maintaining it any longer.’

Sarah Norcross, from the assisted conception debate group Progress Educational Trust, said: ‘With more women than ever choosing to freeze their eggs, it is time for the law to be changed.’

Frances Flinter, Nuffield Council member and emeritus professor of clinical genetics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘It’s vital for women thinking about freezing their eggs to be able to make informed choices.

‘To do this, they need easy access to data on their chances of success across various stages of the process – from freezing and thawing eggs, to having a live birth. But they also need clinics to be frank about the process, and about what is known and unknown about egg freezing.’

There has also been a rise in companies offering to pay for women to freeze their eggs which is ‘concerncing’, Nuffield said.  

While it may work as a ‘gender equaliser’ in some cases and boost women’s salaries, it could also pressure women to delay parenthood to show commitment to the company, it warned.   

Women who have IVF after freezing their eggs have about a one in five chance of conceiving after the procedure, according to latest estimates. 

The Newcastle Fertility Centre, behind the study, analysed all IVF births going back 15 years using data from the UK’s fertility regulator.

IVF births in the mid-2000s skew the success rate (18 per cent) because techniques have vastly improved since then.

But experts say the finding should serve as a warning to women that the procedure could take five attempts before working.  

The vast majority who go through the procedure do so in their late 30s – by which time they have very little chance of success.

Specialists fear fertility clinics encourage women to delay motherhood for too long, by offering them the safety net of egg freezing. 

Figures show two-thirds of women who freeze their eggs in Britain do not do so until they are over the age of 35.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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