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CT Coronavirus Hospitalizations Hit Highest Level Since Mid-June

CONNECTICUT — Tuesday’s daily state coronavirus numbers brought some concern to officials as the daily positive test rate reached 2.4 percent for the first time since June. There were 320 positive tests out of 13,398 results.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations increased by 17, which brought the total to 172 currently hospitalized, which is the mos the state has had since June 18. Connecticut still has plenty of hospital capacity and only around 2 percent of beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, said state COO Josh Geballe.

New London County continues to have some infection hotspots. Groton had 21 new cases reported Tuesday, which was the most out of any town.

Connecticut reported one new coronavirus-related death Tuesday, which brought the total up to 4,533.

There were 472 confirmed coronavirus cases identified from test samples taken on Oct. 7, according to the state Department of Public Health. That is the highest single-day number since May. It should be noted that the state’s testing strategy is currently more broader-based than it was in May, including more asymptomatic testing that can identify infected people before they start showing symptoms.

The towns with the most new cases reported over the past day are:

  1. Groton: 21

  2. Hartford: 18

  3. New Britain: 16

  4. New London: 15

  5. Bristol: 14

  6. Greenwich: 14

  7. Waterbury: 14

  8. Norwich: 12

  9. West Hartford: 12

  10. Danbury: 11

See also: Babysitter Charged With Dumping Baby, Assaulting Mother

The towns with the most new cases reported over the past week are:

  1. Hartford: 185

  2. Norwich: 136

  3. New London: 122

  4. Waterbury: 107

  5. Danbury: 95

  6. Bridgeport: 83

  7. Fairfield: 78

  8. New Britain: 78

  9. New Haven: 67

  10. Norwalk: 67

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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Health Coverage Takes Big Hit With Pandemic-Related Job Cuts | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance (18%) and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

The study was a joint project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and the Commonwealth Fund.

“Demographics also play an important role. Workers ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 bore the brunt of [employer insurance]-covered job losses, in large part because workers in these age groups were the most likely to be covering spouses and other dependents,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program.

“The adverse effects of the pandemic recession also fell disproportionately on women,” Fronstin added in an EBRI news release. “Although women made up 47% of pre-pandemic employment, they accounted for 55% of total job losses.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Aiming to hit top fitness levels post Covid recovery, says Surender Kumar

(MENAFN – IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Defender Surender Kumar, who was one of the six players of the Indian men’s hockey team too have tested positive for Covid-19 in August, has revealed that the entire period was mentally very challenging for him.

“I would often tell myself that so many people around the globe have battled this virus including top sports people and have come out of it. It was a difficult phase but I am really grateful for the kind of support system we had from Hockey India and SAI who made every effort to get us the best treatment,” Kumar said.

Unlike his other compatriots who had tested positive and recovered, Kumar had developed venous thrombosis, a condition in which there are blood clots. It is one of the many complications related to Covid-19 recovery phase.

“Again, I am grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring my recovery is closely monitored. I get my routine check-ups done regularly. We also have a doctor on campus who I can consult in case of any discomfort. I feel we are just fortunate to have this kind of support. My focus now is on hockey,” he said.

“The team coaching staff ensured we were in a good space mentally for that entire period of two-three weeks where we were in the hospital followed by mandatory isolation,” added the defender from Karnal Haryana who was part of the Indian Team for Rio Olympics in 2016.

Having returned to the pitch in mid-September and join the rest of the team, his main aim is to gain full-fitness.

“I am happy to be back to regular schedule with the rest of the core group. Initially, chief coach would emphasis on taking it slow and not exerting too much even though we would feel no discomfort in pushing ourselves. It’s now been over three weeks since I have returned to training. I am feeling good and aiming to hit top fitness levels,” he said.

–IANS

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MENAFN1210202002310000ID1100941496


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Irate moms hit out at fitness fanatics working out in their kids’ playgrounds

It’s the battle of the monkey bars.

Fed up moms in New York City have had enough of fitness freaks using kids’ playgrounds as makeshift gyms now that workout facilities are operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19.

They’ve labeled the sweaty musclemen — and women — “gross” and “selfish” for increasingly monopolizing equipment designed for toddlers.

According to parents, some don’t wear masks and could pose a health hazard during the pandemic.

“It’s unfair on the children,” said mom of one Ashley Ann Capone, of Astoria Heights, Queens, who regularly visits her neighborhood playground, Sean’s Place, on 38th Street. “They can feel intimidated by them and can’t play properly because of their presence.”

A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.
A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

While it’s mostly individuals exercising on their own, a growing number of personal trainers are bringing their clients within the playgrounds.

“My friend recently spotted a trainer with half-a-dozen clients in tow,” added Capone, 35. “They took up half of the available space with little regard for anyone else.

“They use the monkey bars a lot, which poses the danger for little kiddos being kicked in the face.”

The makeup artist and beauty activist is particularly concerned because her 2-year-old daughter, Bridget, is autistic. She loves using playgrounds like Sean’s Place for sensory input and socializing with other tots.

“Being outside in a safe environment is important for all children, but especially those with special needs,” said Capone.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld, 39, another Astoria mom, cited rules imposed by New York City Parks that only permit adults in playgrounds who are accompanied by a child under the age of 12.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld
Michelle Slonim RosenfeldTamara Beckwith/New York Post

“Perhaps they should start putting up signs,” suggested the author and comedienne, drolly adding: “Playgrounds are already filled with tears and dirty diapers. We don’t need to add sweaty armpits.”

The ick factor was also addressed by mom of two Annie, who asked for her last name to be withheld for professional reasons. She described buffed-up men running shirtless through the sprinklers at Hoyt Playground to cool off between workouts.

“It was gross,” she said. “There are plenty of other places to exercise so I can’t understand it.

“It’s selfish.”

A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.
A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

The issue was acknowledged by Anessa Hodgson, press officer for NYC Parks, who said city playgrounds and parks “have seen an increase in traffic for exercise” given the closures of indoor gyms over the past seven months.

“For many New Yorkers during the public health crisis, they have become their gym, their yoga studio and a space for active and passive recreation,” she added. “While it may appear that more adults are using our playgrounds for exercise, this has long been a trend and we ask that they are courteous and considerate to others.”

Her words are little comfort to Heather Timiraos, 43, who moved to Queens from

2020 Election Live Updates: Trump Will Hit the Trail as the Barrett Hearings Begin

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The event that conservatives hoped would reshape the 2020 election is upon us: The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin Monday at 9 a.m. Eastern time and promise to last most of the week. Republicans have regarded her nomination as an opportunity to reinvigorate voters on the right and refocus the broader electorate on matters other than the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, Judge Barrett’s appointment has not worked out that way. The White House event at which President Trump announced her election became a major transmission point for the coronavirus — Dr. Anthony S. Fauci called it a “super-spreader event” — and at least two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been infected. Mr. Trump’s bout with the disease, and rising case counts across most of the country, have relegated the Supreme Court fight to the political background for most of the last few weeks.

There is still hope within the G.O.P. that Democrats might fumble the hearings in a way that could be politically useful to them — a concern some Democrats share, given the apparently diminished capacities of Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the panel that will screen the nomination. And at the very least, the hearings give Republicans something to talk about besides Mr. Trump and the virus, even if that is where most voters remain focused. That could be no small favor in red states where Senate seats are at stake.

It is unlikely, however, that Mr. Trump will cooperate with efforts to shift the spotlight this week. He is due on Monday to campaign in Florida, making his first in-person appearance outside Washington since he tested positive for the coronavirus. The president’s insistence on returning to the campaign trail while there are still huge unanswered questions about his medical condition, including about the continued presence of the coronavirus in his body and his ability to transmit it to others, has the potential to become a bigger story than the opening stages of the judicial confirmation process.

That may be doubly the case if Mr. Trump and his supporters continue their practice of flouting basic public-health guidelines for large events, as has been their tendency up to this point.

The question for Democrats — not just Joseph R. Biden Jr. but the party’s whole ticket — may be how much time and political capital they will put into making a strenuous public case against Judge Barrett, at a moment when Mr. Trump continues to serve up generous quantities of easier political fodder for the election that is only weeks away.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

In Former Taliban Stronghold, Defiant Women Hit the Gym

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Homa Yusafzai felt terrible. Her weight was up, she had diabetes and high blood pressure, and at just 27 she felt lethargic and depressed.

Then she heard that Kandahar’s first health club for women had just opened — the miracle she had been waiting for, she thought. Her husband at first refused to let her join. Kandahar is a deeply conservative city, a former headquarters of the Taliban where men still dictate the most prosaic details of women’s lives.

But ultimately, he relented, and Ms. Yusafzai now works out six days a week, straining through hand-weight repetitions and pounding a treadmill. In six months, she said, she had shed almost 50 pounds, lowered her blood pressure and brought her diabetes under control.

“I feel so healthy and I have more energy — I’m so happy,” she said as she rested between workouts.

The health club was opened late last year by Maryam Durani, 36, an indomitable women’s rights advocate who has survived two suicide bombings, an assassination attempt and countless death threats — not to mention harsh public condemnation for opening the club.

It is rare for Afghan women to exercise, though several women’s health clubs and even two women’s swimming pools have opened in Kabul, the capital. But in conservative strongholds like Kandahar, many men disapprove of women trying to take control of their own bodies.

“Kandahar is a very difficult environment for women,” Ms. Durani said. “We have to be careful and discreet.”

She added: “The club is as much for women’s mental health as their physical health. Almost every woman who comes here is depressed.”

Roughly 40 percent of club members exercise secretly, hiding workouts from their families, Ms. Durani said. Membership had dropped from 60 in the spring to 30 now, because of a three-month coronavirus closure and because some women feared their families would discover their secret workouts.

“My father and brothers said they would kill me if I went to a health club,” said one gym member, who asked to be identified only by her nickname, Tamana.

Tamana, 33, was dressed in white robes traditionally worn for studying the Quran at a madrasa — the excuse she gives her family for leaving home to exercise at the club two hours a day, six days a week. She changes into workout clothes at the gym, hitting the treadmill, stationary bike and hand weights.

“I’m not doing anything wrong or shameful,” Tamana said. “In fact, it’s something that’s made me a happier and healthier person.”

But the gym is constantly in jeopardy. Soon after it opened, it was deluged with

Aiming to Hit Top Fitness Levels Post Covid-19 Recovery, Says Surender Kumar

Defender Surender Kumar, who was one of the six players of the Indian men’s hockey team too have tested positive for Covid-19 in August, has revealed that the entire period was mentally very challenging for him.

“I would often tell myself that so many people around the globe have battled this virus including top sports people and have come out of it. It was a difficult phase but I am really grateful for the kind of support system we had from Hockey India and SAI who made every effort to get us the best treatment,” Kumar said.

Unlike his other compatriots who had tested positive and recovered, Kumar had developed venous thrombosis, a condition in which there are blood clots. It is one of the many complications related to Covid-19 recovery phase.

“Again, I am grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring my recovery is closely monitored. I get my routine check-ups done regularly. We also have a doctor on campus who I can consult in case of any discomfort. I feel we are just fortunate to have this kind of support. My focus now is on hockey,” he said.

“The team coaching staff ensured we were in a good space mentally for that entire period of two-three weeks where we were in the hospital followed by mandatory isolation,” added the defender from Karnal Haryana who was part of the Indian Team for Rio Olympics in 2016.

Having returned to the pitch in mid-September and join the rest of the team, his main aim is to gain full-fitness.

“I am happy to be back to regular schedule with the rest of the core group. Initially, chief coach would emphasis on taking it slow and not exerting too much even though we would feel no discomfort in pushing ourselves. It’s now been over three weeks since I have returned to training. I am feeling good and aiming to hit top fitness levels,” he said.

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NIFA consultants: NuHealth deficit could hit $197 million in ’21

The public benefit corporation that runs Nassau University Medical Center could run a deficit of up to $197 million next year without significant outside subsidies, and must change the way it does business in order to survive, a consultant for the hospital’s financial control board has found.

NuHealth, which runs Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, faces large annual deficits for the foreseeable future, and “cannot continue operating as it currently does and expect to grow its way out of its financial problems,” consultant Alvarez & Marsal, of Manhattan, said in a 38-page report.

The report, commissioned by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that controls NuHealth’s finances, said NuHealth faces an operating loss of $112 million to $197 million in 2021.

“Sometimes you find a place that has been so undermanaged, that when you do a productivity report, you are able to close the gap. In this case, we’ve got a system where the gap is larger than we can find in terms of opportunities,” Martin Winter, managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, said in an interview.

“It’s not sustainable the way it’s operating,” Winter said.

“What we’re looking at now” he said, are “some options that would be sustainable for” NuHealth.

Asked about the report, Dr. Anthony Boutin, NUMC’s president and chief executive, said the hospital was benefiting from some revenue increases and should have enough cash to operate through 2021.

NuHealth Chairman Robert Detor said staff were “reviewing the report and it will take some time to digest it and respond to it.”

NIFA and Nassau County officials have grown increasingly concerned about operations at NUMC, which has struggled with persistent operating budget deficits and leadership turnover.

Nassau County guarantees $173 million in hospital debt.

NUMC, which currently has a census of about 330 patients, faces challenges similar to those of other safety net hospitals that rely heavily on federal and state subsidies. It treats many low-income patients on Medicaid, which reimburses the hospital at significantly lower rates than private insurers or Medicare could pay.

NIFA, which took over the hospital’s finances in February, hired Alvarez & Marsal to examine NUMC’s financial operations, as the control board sought to reexamine the role NUMC should play in the community.

The consultants are reviewing “the strategic direction” of NUMC, Winter and managing director Larry Winter wrote in the report to NIFA chairman Adam Barsky.

The consultants’ report outlined ways to generate an extra $32.8 million over the next 15 months.

According to the report:

• Immediate action is needed to improve patient satisfaction scores. NUMC in July received a one star rating, the lowest of a possible five, on the question from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

• More staff hiring could be beneficial, but the high cost would increase the

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Hit Two-Month High, 10 States Report Record Increases | Top News

(Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in the United States hit a two-month high on Friday with over 58,000 infections of the new coronavirus reported and hospitalizations in the Midwest at record levels for a fifth day in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

Ten of the 50 states reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday, including the Midwestern states of Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio. Wisconsin and Illinois recorded over 3,000 new cases for a second day in a row – a two-day trend not seen even during the height of the previous outbreak in the spring, according to Reuters data.

The Western states of Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming also reported their biggest one-day jumps in cases, as did Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Nineteen states have seen record increases in new cases so far in October. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2SFLb7o)

Amid the resurgence in cases across the nation, President Donald Trump, who recently contracted COVID-19, is set to resume his re-election campaign on Saturday by addressing supporters from the balcony of the White House.

He is then scheduled to travel on Monday to central Florida to hold his first campaign rally since leaving the hospital.

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their handling of the pandemic that has claimed over 213,000 lives in the country, as well as for a lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House.

There is no federal mandate to wear a mask, and 17 states do not require them, according to a Reuters analysis.

In addition to rising cases, hospitals in several states are straining to handle an influx of patients.

Seven states on Friday reported record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

In the Midwest, hospitalizations rose to nearly 9,000, continuing a streak of records that began on Monday. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/3lwVO9f)

There are now over 34,000 hospitalized nationally, up 18% in the past two weeks.

While deaths nationally continue to trend downward, the United States is losing on average 700 lives a day. Three states reported a record one-day increase in fatalities on Friday: Arkansas, Missouri and Montana. Health experts caution that deaths are a lagging indicator and usually rise weeks after cases climb.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by William Mallard)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Is Trump ready to hit the campaign trail? Here’s what doctors say

Just days after receiving oxygen therapy for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump is busy giving long TV interviews and says he’s eager to return to the campaign trail. 

But is he risking his recovery by taking on too much too soon, and could he still infect others? 

– Each case is unique – 

According to Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease and critical care doctor as well as scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, there is a wide variation between patients in terms of the speed of their recovery.

“Some people are able to resume their activities of daily living pretty quickly. There are other people to take some weeks before they’re back to their baseline,” he said.

In general, “for someone in their 70s who was hospitalized with Covid, I would say it takes a couple of weeks to get back to their baseline.

“But because he’s the president, he has a lot of people assisting him with his activities of daily living. He probably doesn’t carry his groceries in, he doesn’t drive a car.” 

Trump was hospitalized for three nights on October 2 and has been in the care of the White House medical unit — which can provide hospital-level care — since October 5, four days ago.

Doctor Mangala Narasimhan, senior vice president of critical care at Northwell Health, New York, said patients of Trump’s age who had needed oxygen for Covid pneumonia often continue to experience “severe fatigue and myalgia, which are muscle pains and aches,” for some time after.

Both doctors stressed it is very difficult to know precisely where Trump is in his recovery, since his medical team and others around him have provided opaque and at times conflicting updates.

– Danger of coming back too soon – 

A well-known danger from over-exertion following disease is that it wears down the immune system.

“He needs his immune system to fight the virus — that’s why you’re always told to stick to rest and drink fluids, because your immune system needs to be at its optimum,” said Narasimhan.

She added this was particularly crucial for older patients who are more susceptible to experiencing a second viral replication phase where symptoms such as fevers and chills return.

Trump’s full medical history and underlying conditions aren’t fully known, but one thing we are aware of is that he has mild heart disease that could be aggravated, said Adalja.

Narasimhan added that Trump’s medical team hasn’t released key lab values, from which doctors could infer more information. 

These include “inflammatory markers” that would indicate how he was recovering from the inflammatory phase of the disease, and certain blood values that would reveal how likely he is to develop clots as a result of the virus.

“People tend to form clots, and depending on what his blood levels are of certain things, you would want to make sure that at 30 days afterwards that he is on medicine that would prevent clots,” she said.

“There’s all kinds