Your coronavirus update for May 25; stay up to date with Elite.
More than 5.4 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Monday evening, including more than 345,000 deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported more than 1.6 million positive COVID-19 patients and more than 97,000 deaths.
New Lab Test Kit Developed By CDC
Officials with the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have announced the development of a new laboratory test kit for use in testing patient specimens for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.
The kit is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens and for use by laboratories designated by CDC as qualified in the United States that are certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments to perform high-complexity tests. An announcement of the new kit was made by the CDC on May 24.
On Feb. 3, the CDC submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite FDA permitted use of the CDC diagnostic panel in the United States. The EUA process enables the FDA to consider and authorize the use of unapproved, but potentially life-saving medical or diagnostic products during a public health emergency. Performance issues were previously identified related to laboratories not being able to verify prior test performances. The CDC reportedly remanufactured the kit with more robust quality control measures. New tests were distributed to states and are in use and the CDC continues to perform initial testing, officials said.
Delayed Distancing Killed Thousands, Study Claims
There’s likely many Americans who would say the length of time that they’ve been confined to stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures has negatively affected their health. However, a newly released study by infectious disease modelers at Columbia University claims that as many as 36,000 people have died as a result of such practices not being initiated throughout the United States earlier and as many as 54,000 people may have been spared had practices begun on March 1.
The new study has yet to be peer-reviewed, according to a report by the New York Times.
Integrity of Virus Data Called Into Question?
The locking down of states by the country’s governors may have occurred through reliance on questionable statistics, according to a recent report by Yahoo News.2 The report claims that the firing of Rebekah Jones, a Florida state health official who said she refused orders to change data on coronavirus cases, has raised awareness of a potential problem. Jones, who served as the geographic information system manager for the Florida Department of Health’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection and who reportedly was responsible for designing and managing the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, told a local news station that she was removed from her position because she refused to manually change data to drum up support for a reopening.
North Carolina Experiences Highest COVID Day
After one day of it’s second reopening phase, the state of North Carolina has experienced its highest single-day total of coronavirus, according to state officials. Phase Two began on May 23 before more than 1,100 cases were reported on Saturday, citing numbers reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Phase two is scheduled to run at least through June 26 as of the most recent NCDHHS guidelines. Part of the phase protocol includes expanding restaurant capacity to 50 percent and reopening children’s camps. The newly confirmed cases bring North Carolina to more than 22,700.
Professional Sports Gets Green Light in New York
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that professional sports teams throughout New York can begin to conduct training camps, according to multiple reports. According to an article published by USA Today,3 directives from respective pro leagues are still pending the start of workouts and competition. The announcement by Cuomo came May 24.
CDC Issues Guidance For Helping Patients End Isolation
As parts of the United States re-open through a series of phased and tiered plans, officials at the CDC are helping to educate healthcare providers and patients on the proper way to end home isolation. The newly released guidelines include instructions for those who’ve knowingly had or likely had coronavirus infection.
The document “When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19” is now available online and was most recently updated on May 24.1
Thank you for joining us for your coronavirus update for May 25. If you missed last week’s article, please consider reading it here.
- When you can be around others after you had or likely had COVID-19. CDC. 2020. Accessed online: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html
- Wilson C. Questions arise on coronavirus data used to back reopenings. Yahoo News. 2020. Accessed online: https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-state-data-florida-official-fired-georgia-texas-174702508.html
- Spector, J. New york sports teams get approval from gov. andrew cuomo to start training camps. USA Today. 2020. Accessed online: www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2020/05/24/sports-reopening-coronavirus-new-york/5252840002/