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Increase in COVID-19 deaths in England ‘baked in’ after infection spike, deputy CMO warns

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus
Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam warned that COVID-19 deaths will increase in the next few weeks in England. (PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Spike in coronavirus deaths inevitable after recent wave of new cases, Jonathan Van Tam warns

  • He says deaths are “baked in” with increased infections – with more patients in hospital now than when national lockdown was enforced in March

  • It comes as Nightingale hospitals in north of England are asked to mobilise

  • Visit the Yahoo homepage for more stories

The recent spike in coronavirus cases will lead to an increase in deaths in a matter of weeks, England’s deputy chief medical officer has warned.

Jonathan Van Tam said further hospitalisations and deaths are “baked in” after coronavirus cases rose across the country.

He said the number of patients currently in hospital is related to infections from three weeks ago.

“As patients become ill with COVID-19 they don’t immediately go to hospital,” Van Tam told a Downing Street briefing.

“It takes some time before they become ill enough to go to hospital, and they don’t die the moment they arrive.

“The point I’m trying to make here is there is a lag between cases and when we see hospital admissions rise and when we see deaths rise.”

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam said COVID-19 cases were on the increase after a "flat summer" (Department for Health)
Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam said COVID-19 cases were on the increase after a “flat summer” (Department for Health)

Van Tam was joined at the COVID-19 briefing by NHS England’s Stephen Powis, who doubled down on the stark warning as he announced Nightingale hospitals in the north of England have been asked to mobilise to deal with a rise in coronavirus patients.

Powis said there are more patients in hospital in England now than there were when the UK went into a full national lockdown on 23 March.

It means the temporary Nightingales in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate could be brought back into use to help with the spike in cases.

Local clinicians will decide whether they are used for COVID patients or to provide extra capacity to maintain services for people without the virus.

COVID hospital admissions are rising fastest amongst the elderly, Powis added.

At the same briefing, Dr Jane Eddleston, medical lead in Greater Manchester, urged the public to “respect” the virus due to the “extremely serious” consequences it has for some patients.

Dr Eddleston said: “I stress to you the importance of us taking this disease extremely seriously.

“We are still finding that a quarter of patients that are admitted to intensive care are still required to go on mechanical ventilator within 24 hours of admission. This is very serious.

“The condition produces a very profound inflammation of the lungs which does have serious consequences for patients and I would ask you all to respect the virus and follow the advice we’re being given.”

She added 30% of critical care beds are being taken up by COVID patients, and “this is starting to impact on the services we provide for other

Heavy drinking is killing women in record numbers, and experts fear a COVID-related spike | Coronavirus

On her last day of consciousness, Misty Luminais Babin held onto hope. “I choose life,” the 38-year-old told her sister, husband and doctor from inside the Ochsner Medical Center ICU.

But her sister, Aimee Luminais Calamusa, knew it was a choice made too late. A former ICU nurse herself, she was trained to recognize signs of the end. Even after draining 3 liters of fluid from Babin’s abdomen, her liver — mottled and scarred by years of heavy drinking — couldn’t keep up. The fluid had started building up in her lungs and she gasped for air. Without oxygen, her other organs began to fail.

“When I left that day, I knew that would be the last time I talked to her, ever,” said Calamusa. “It was really hard to walk out that door.”

Babin died two days later, on June 14 of this year, after a long struggle with alcohol use disorder. Her family said the fight intensified in the last four or five years after a rough breakup, but may have been more stealthy and prevalent than they ever realized.

“None of us knew,” said Calamusa, who wrote a moving and honest obituary in The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate about her sister’s struggles. “She hid it very well. I think she probably has been an addict for a long time. She lost control very quickly.”



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Misty Luminais Babin checked into the hospital a week before she died on June 14, 2020, after struggling with alcohol use disorder for years. Her family scattered her ashes on August 31, 2020, what would have been in 39th birthday, in her “thinking spot,” a quiet place along the Mississippi River. 




With an average of 1,591 alcohol-related deaths from 2011 to 2015, Louisiana is tied for 10th among U.S. states on a per-capita basis when it comes to people succumbing to the disease, according to a recent analysis of death certificates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Across the country, alcohol-related deaths have risen by 51% over a period covering most of the past two decades, according to a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published earlier this year.

The most alarming increase was among women. Deaths increased by 85% from 1999 to 2017.

And amid all-time high levels of anxiety and economic uncertainty, public-health experts fear that deaths like Babin’s will spike in the coming years. New data examining how drinking habits have changed during the pandemic showed drinking overall has increased by 14% compared with a year ago. In women, the increase was 17%, according to the peer-reviewed study published Sept. 29 in JAMA Network Open by researchers from the RAND Corporation.

Binge drinking in women, defined as four drinks over two hours, increased by 41% from 2019 to 2020. 

“Drinking by women is sort of overlooked,” said Michael Pollard, author of the JAMA study. “And this points out that it is a real concern. We don’t really have

Arlington Sees Spike In Single-Day Numbers Of Coronavirus Cases

ARLINGTON, VA — Virginia Department of Health reported 49 new cases Thursday of COVID-19, the illness associated with the new coronavirus, in the Arlington Health District. That’s the highest number of new cases confirmed in a single day in Arlington since 50 were reported on May 29.

Ryan Hudson, acting public information officer for Arlington’s Public Health Division, said in an email that the higher number was due to VDH clearing a backlog cases.

In addition, VDH noted on its website that 689 cases from across Virginia should have been reported on Wednesday, due to a surveillance system reporting issue.

“Cases are not reported on the day the patient became ill, but on the day they have been classified as meeting the case definition for COVID-19,” the website said.

The total number of confirmed cases in Arlington stands at 4,132.

Virginia health officials also reported no new deaths due to COVID-19 Thursday in Arlington. The last new death was reported on Monday. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the Arlington Health District is 152.

A total of 508 people have been hospitalized in Arlington due to COVID-19.

There have been 155,535 total cases statewide, according to data reported by the Virginia Department of Health. In Virginia, there have been 3,328 coronavirus-related deaths to date. There have been a total of 11,393 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

VDH reported Thursday that 60,372 COVID-19 tests have been taken in Arlington, with a 3.7 percent positivity rate. This is up from the 3.4 percent positivity rate reported on Tuesday. Statewide there have been 2,346,240 COVID-19 tests taken, with a 5.3 percent positivity rate, according to VDH.

Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus in Virginia as they happen. Sign up for free news alerts and a newsletter in your Patch town.

There have been 19 outbreaks in the Arlington Health District as of Thursday, with 573 cases related to an outbreak, with two outbreaks at a congregate setting and three outbreaks in health care settings. There have been 221 reported coronavirus cases in Arlington involving health care workers.

Globally, more than 36.2 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday morning. In the United States, more than 7.5 million people have been infected and over 212,000 people have died from COVID-19.

VDH breaks down the number of cases and deaths in Arlington by age, race and ethnicity. The breakdown by age is as follows:

Arlington residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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Northern California evangelical school tied to ‘very large’ spike in virus cases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California county will face greater restrictions as it grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, many of them tied to an evangelical college where more than 120 students and staff have tested positive in the last two weeks, health officials said Tuesday.

Shasta County health officials say that an outbreak of cases among students and staff at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry contributed to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases that bumped the county on Tuesday into a new level of regulations on restaurants, bars, theaters and businesses.

“We have been fortunate enough to have a relatively low number of cases throughout the course of the pandemic,” said Kerri Schuette, spokeswoman for Shasta County Health and Human Services. “But we’ve had a very large increase in cases over the past two to three weeks, with 123 being associated with the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.”

A school spokesman declined to comment Tuesday but forwarded a statement from earlier this month saying that the school was aware its students and staff accounted for “a portion” of Shasta County’s new cases and the school was taking “swift action” to minimize further spread.

In its statement the school said it shifted to online instruction last week and canceled in-person church services for Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 that have been held outdoors on a sports field. It also asked anyone who came in contact with someone who contracted COVID-19 to quarantine at home.

“This has led to a large number of people staying home as a precaution,” the statement said, adding that staff and students have been required to wear face coverings, socially distance on campus and do daily temperature checks at the door since classes started in early September.


On its website, the school describes itself as “a ministry training center” that is not an accredited university “where our students embrace their royal identity, learn the values of the kingdom, and walk in the authority and power of the King.”

The school does not provide housing for students, saying on its website that it welcomes hundreds of international and U.S. students each year and “it is our hope that our students ‘infiltrate’ the neighborhoods of Redding.”

Shasta County recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, pushing its total number of cases since March to 1,158.

Another cluster was traced to an assisted living facility, called the Windsor Care Facility, where 60 residents and 20 staff have tested positive for the virus since the start of the outbreak, with most of those cases occurring in the past three weeks, Schuette said.

State health officials announced Tuesday that Shasta County was getting bumped to the “red tier” of a color-coded framework for business and school reopenings. It means that restaurants, churches and other businesses can open with limits on the numbers of people allowed inside. Other nonessential businesses like bars must close.

Schuette said the county has been working closely with Bethel

Albany County says spike in COVID-19 cases likely tied to schools

ALBANY — Another county resident died from the coronavirus and the county is experiencing an increase in cases likely tied to the resumption of school, Albany County officials said Friday.

The victim, a man in his 70s with underlying health issues, is the county’s 135th known death from COVID-19. He was the 346th confirmed victim in the eight-county Capital Region.

At a morning briefing with reporters, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the percentage of new cases tied to outbreaks at the University at Albany are dropping but county officials warned they were seeing a slight increase in cases potentially tied to cases that have emerged since local school districts opened their doors in September..


On Sept. 17, 84 percent of the county’s new daily diagnoses were tied to the college. The following week, it dropped to 61 percent and it stood at just over 13 percent on Thursday, he said.

The surge in local coronavirus cases in August and early September was tied to social gathering among college students, a factor in the state’s decision to implement caseload limits that could ultimately lead to an end to in-person classes at the university. SUNY Oneonta took that step after a large outbreak at the very beginning of the fall semester.

“The students had to learn, right?,” McCoy said of the UAlbany situation. “Students came, got a little freedom and some of them didn’t do the right thing so that number went up. Now, I think they’re getting it.”

Still, County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen said the county is starting to see “a little bit” of an uptick in cases. There were 28 new cases of the virus overnight, bringing the county’s five-day average of new daily cases to 14.8. That number was 8.4 at the start of September.

The uptick is likely tied to the resumption of school. At least 15 school districts in the eight-county area have announced positive cases since in-person learning began again this fall. Seven of them have suspended in-person learning to allow for tracing, testing and cleaning.

Additionally, on Tuesday, the county warned that it had seen a 12.5 percent increase in positive cases among 10- to 19-year-olds over the past week, compared to a 5.1 percent increase in 20- to 29-year-olds — who fueled much of the county’s cases over the summer.

“There was a concern that there would be a second surge of COVID in the fall,” Whalen said. “I don’t know whether what we’re seeing is constituting a surge but it is constituting a caution. So it’s important for people to know that COVID is still out there, there is still transmission in Albany County and people are still at risk.”

Earlier: An Albany elementary’s pre-k moves online after COVID-19 diagnosis

Third student tests positive for COVID-19 in East Greenbush

Hadley-Luzerne schools go all-virtual after sixth COVID-19 case

Queensbury closes two schools amid coronavirus cases

A number of test sites throughout the region offer testing for children, McCoy said. The state Department

Huge Questions for UK Govt After Spike in Virus Cases | Business News

By PAN PYLAS`, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The British government faced huge questions Monday over its coronavirus testing system after a tripling in the number of daily positive cases over the weekend that was blamed on a technical glitch.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to make a statement to lawmakers later Monday after the opposition Labour Party asked the government to explain why the cases were not tabulated when they should have been.

The latest problems to afflict the U.K.’s test and trace program emerged over the weekend when public health officials revealed that a total of 15,841 virus cases weren’t tabulated from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2. The government said the “technical issue” was discovered Friday night and has now been resolved.

The unreported cases were added to the government’s daily new infections total over the weekend, boosting Saturday’s number to 12,872 cases and Sunday’s to 22,961. Before that, there had been signs that the number of new infections had been leveling off around the 7,000 a day mark, which Britain hit the preceding four days.

While all of those who tested positive were informed of the results, Public Health England said their contacts had not been traced.

For the test-and-trace program to work well, contacts should be notified within 48 hours. So authorities’ failure to inform people potentially exposed to the virus could lead to many more positive cases and the need for the government to impose further unwanted restrictions on everyday life.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s spokesman on health issues, described the error as “shambolic’’ and said the public “will be understandably alarmed.’’

He said Hancock should tell lawmakers “what on Earth has happened, what impact it has had on our ability to contain this virus and what he plans to do to fix test and trace.”

The reporting error is just the latest problem with Britain’s test and trace system, which is seen as crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the need for further limits on social interaction. Lawmakers from all parties have previously criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government for a shortage of testing capacity and delays in notifying people of their test results.

Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the news about the glitch is “very disappointing.”

“For the test, track and trace system to have a real impact on reducing transmission of COVID-19, it is essential that test results are communicated rapidly,” he said.

Like other countries in Europe, the U.K. has seen rising coronavirus infections over the past few weeks, which has prompted the government to announce a series of restrictions, both nationally and locally, to keep a lid on infections. They are largely centered on limiting the number of people allowed to gather together and putting a curfew on pubs in order to suppress the virus.

The U.K. has Europe’s highest virus-related death toll at more than 42,400. The government’s chief scientific advisers warned two weeks ago that the

Midwest sees spike in new COVID-19 infections

As the Midwest becomes the next COVID-19 hotspot, North Dakota is seeing some of the most pronounced spikes, with 21,401 confirmed positive cases, and a current testing positivity rate of 8.92 percent. 

Based on data from the state department of health, the daily new positive cases have been on a steady incline since the end of June and beginning of August, hitting a record high in September. 

Active hospitalizations have also increased over the same time period, with 105 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized –– a record high.


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NEW MODEL PREDICTS ‘HUGE SURGE’ IN COVID-19 ACROSS US NEXT MONTH AS CASES RISE IN 21 STATES


Central Burleigh county leads the state in cases, and data aggregated by The New York Times places three counties in North Dakota, including Logan, Emmons and Lyman, in its top 10 hotspot list. The Times also reports a 35 percent increase in new cases over the past two weeks for the state, as well as a 215 percent increase in deaths over the same timespan. 

Its neighbor South Dakota is facing a similar problem, with health department data reporting 259 new cases as of Tuesday. South Dakota currently has 3,684 active cases, and 211 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized. Larger trends reveal that South Dakota hit a record-high new case count on September 24, with 488 coronavirus infections confirmed. 

Over the last 14 days, South Dakota’s testing positivity rate stood at 12.3 percent, bringing the cumulative positivity rate to 9.1 percent. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise that any jurisdiction must see a 14-day downward trajectory in percent positive infections to advance into Phases 2 and 3 of reopening. 

Per New York Times data, South Dakota is witnessing a 91 percent increase in new cases over the last 14 days, with at least 197 new cases reported on September 28. 

Other states in the Midwestern and Western U.S. showing similar jumps in new infection and hospitalizations include Montana, Wisconsin and Iowa. 

The reasons behind the surge for the central U.S. can be attributed to the virus moving inland from its previous coastal hotspots. 

“It was only a matter of time,” Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, told TIME. “Essentially, we’re playing Whack-A-Mole. One part of the country is a hotspot. We’re able to suppress that. But that wave then moves to a different part of the country.”

Community spread is a major reason for the increased transmission into more rural areas, namely among smaller populations and within college campuses. 

Wen says a key to controlling the surge will be an increase in testing surveillance, as well as strict adherence to public health mandates, such as

The Latest: Missouri sees spike in virus hospitalizations


O’FALLON, Mo. — The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus has nearly tripled in areas outside of Missouri’s two largest metropolitan areas since the state reopened for business in mid-June, according to state health department data Tuesday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ COVID-19 dashboard shows the state’s northwest, southeast, southwest and central regions all reached record highs for virus-related hospitalizations on Monday, based on seven-day averages. All told, Missouri reported 1,094 hospitalizations, five fewer than a day earlier, when statewide hospitalizations peaked.


Excluding the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, hospitalizations have risen 186% in the 3½ months since Republican Gov. Mike Parson allowed Missouri to reopen on June 16. The seven-day average for hospitalizations outstate on June 16 was 161; on Monday it was 461.



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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— New York City officials to start issuing fines to people who refuse to wear masks in areas with spikes in the novel coronavirus

— llinois Gov. Pritzker to quarantine 2 weeks after contact with staffer who tested positive


— India vice president tests positive for virus, isolating at home

— How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study?

— The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school re-openings, resumption of sports and play dates.


— University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins apologized for not wearing a mask after pictures surfaced online of him shaking hands and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with people at a recent Rose Garden ceremony.

— Tennessee Titans players, staff test positive for coronavirus; first outbreak in the NFL at Week 4.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

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LIMA, Peru — Health workers for Peru’s social