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Cancer takes heavy toll on women’s work, finances, study shows

Young women with cancer are at a high risk for employment and financial consequences, a new study finds.

“Our study addresses the burden of employment disruption and financial hardship among young women with cancer — a group who may be at particular risk for poor financial outcomes after cancer given their age and gender,” said researcher Clare Meernik, a fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She and her colleagues surveyed more than 1,300 women in North Carolina and California a median of seven years after diagnosis. Their cancer was diagnosed when they were 15 to 39 years of age and working.

Following their diagnosis, 32% of the women had to stop working or cut back on their hours. Twenty-seven percent said they had to borrow money, go into debt or file for bankruptcy because of cancer treatment.

Women with disrupted employment were more likely — by 17 percentage points — to have these problems than women who were able to keep working.

Half of the women said they were stressed about their big medical bills, and women with disrupted employment were more likely to suffer psychological distress by 8 percentage points than women who were able to keep working.

The findings were published online Oct. 12 in the journal Cancer.

“Our findings highlight the need for effective interventions to promote job maintenance and transition back to the workforce after cancer treatment, as well as increased workplace accommodations and benefits, to improve cancer outcomes for young women,” Meernik said in a journal news release.

More information

To learn more about work and financial effects of cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

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CDC ensemble forecast forsees death toll from Covid-19 climbing to 233,000 by end of month

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that combines the data from dozens of independent models predicts US deaths from Covid-19 could reach 233,000 by the end of the month.



a man in a police car parked in a parking lot: People line up in their vehicles to undergo the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, distributed by the Wisconsin National Guard at the United Migrant Opportunity Services center, as cases spread in the Midwest, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski


© Alex Wroblewski/Reuters
People line up in their vehicles to undergo the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, distributed by the Wisconsin National Guard at the United Migrant Opportunity Services center, as cases spread in the Midwest, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski

“This week’s national ensemble forecast indicates an uncertain trend in new COVID-19 deaths reported over the next four weeks and predicts that 2,800 to 6,800 new deaths will likely be reported during the week ending October 31,” the CDC says on its website.

A prior ensemble forecast said there would be a total of 207,000 to 218,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of this week.

More than 212,000 Americans have already lost their lives to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But deaths in the US have been declining recently. A total of 4,869 people in the US died from Covid-19 during in the first week of October, down 13% when compared to the first week of September (5,611 reported deaths).

New cases on the increase

Covid-19 cases are trending upward across the US, with only two states reporting a decline of cases compared to last week. And hospitalizations across the country have also begun to rise, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

Wisconsin health officials reported a record-high number of 141 new patients Wednesday, days after the state saw records in new Covid-19 cases and deaths. Gov. Tony Evers announced the state will open a field hospital in response to the surge in hospitalizations.

“We obviously hoped this day wouldn’t come but, unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different and more dire place today, and our health care systems are being overwhelmed,” Evers said.

Other state leaders say they’re not trailing far behind.

“Our hospitalization rates are surging and beginning to place a strain on our healthcare system (especially staffing),” Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox wrote on Twitter. “Sadly, we are now seeing increased fatalities. The Wisconsin announcement should be a sobering reminder as Utah isn’t far behind in infection rates.”

Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming have all seen record-high hospitalization numbers in the past days.

The uptick in Covid-19 patients comes as the US approaches winter with a daily Covid-19 base line that experts say is far too high. For the first time since August, the nation is averaging more than 44,000 new Covid-19 cases daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — an average that won’t help as the country enters what health officials say will be a challenging season.

More cases will mean more community spread, more hospitalizations and ultimately, more deaths, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said.

At least half of US states, scattered across the Midwest and Northeast, are reporting more new cases than the previous week, according to Johns

Coronavirus taking toll on small fitness centers | Business

NEW YORK – There’s little evidence of Americans’ passion for fitness at the tens of thousands of small and independent gyms around the country.

Gyms, health clubs and workout studios began reopening in late spring following government-ordered shutdowns aimed at halting the coronavirus spread. But most are only allowed to have a fraction of their regular clientele onsite at one time. And some clients are staying away for fear of catching the virus.

The International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association, an industry group, estimates that gyms, health and fitness clubs lost an aggregate $13.9 billion during shutdowns as of Aug. 31. The group warns that without government help, at least a quarter could close by Dec. 31 as limits on indoor workouts continue.

Michael Hanover is lucky if he gets 45 client hours a week in his Northbrook, Illinois gym, Fitness Hero Wellness Center, down from his usual 60. He sometimes opens at 5 a.m. or stays late at night to get those hours; many clients are too uneasy to come in when other people are there.

“We don’t have people pounding on the door trying to get in,” Hanover says.

In Illinois, gyms can operate at 50% of capacity, leaving Hanover with no more than 10 people onsite at any time. He feels small gyms have been lumped in unfairly with big fitness chains where there might be hundreds of people exercising at once and coming into contact with one another. He’d like to be able to bring in more clients.

Hanover’s big worry: A surge in cases that might prompt officials to force gyms to go back to holding only outdoor classes and one-on-one training sessions indoors.

“It will be devastating and most likely, the end of Fitness Hero Wellness Center,” Hanover says.

Over 80% of the 40,000 to 50,000 health and fitness clubs in the U.S. are small businesses, according to the Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Whether yoga studios or fully equipped gyms, these businesses provide a livelihood to their owners. Last year, the overall industry employed 3 million trainers, instructors and other workers.

In a thriving fitness center or small gym, people run on treadmills or pedal stationary bikes nearly side by side, exercise classes are crowded and trainers work with clients just inches or a few feet apart. Following a good exercise, people tend to breathe more frequently and harder.

When it comes to the coronavirus, all those scenarios concern health officials because they can increase the spread of the respiratory droplets that carry the virus.

To allay those fears, owners follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines calling for bikes and treadmills to be spaced farther apart or unplugged so some can’t be used. Equipment is disinfected after each use. Masks are required.

Owners are also installing ventilation equipment to lessen the chances of breathing in concentrated amounts of coronavirus germs. But these procedures don’t reassure many people who used to work out several times a week.

Vincent Miceli, owner of Body

India’s coronavirus death toll passes 100,000 with no sign of an end

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone, after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.

Total deaths rose to 100,842, the health ministry said, while the tally of infections climbed to 6.47 million after a daily increase in cases of 79,476. India now has the highest rate of daily increase in infections in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, faced with a collapsing economy after imposing a tough lockdown to try to stem the spread of the virus in late March, is pushing ahead with a full opening of the country.

Cinemas were allowed to re-open at half capacity this week and authorities can decide to re-open schools from the middle of this month.

Heading into winter and the holiday season, including the Hindu festival of Diwali next month, the world’s second most populous country could see a jump in cases, health experts said.

“We have seen some recent slowdown of the virus curve but this may be a local peak, there may be another coming,” said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan.

She said data showed a little over 7% of the population of 1.3 billion had been exposed to the virus, meaning India was still far from any sort of herd immunity.

The number of cases could rise to 12.2 million by the end of the year but the rate of spread would depend on how effective measures such as social distancing were, she said.

“So it will continue like a slow burning coil, that is my hope, and we have to play the long game to stop it from being a wildfire.”

GRAPHIC: Covid-19 cases vs recoveries: India, Brazil and U.S. –

DATA QUESTIONED

The United States, Brazil and India together account for nearly 45% of all COVID-19 deaths globally.

Death rates in India, however, have been significantly lower than in those other two countries, raising questions about the accuracy of its data.

India has, on average, less than one death from the disease for every 10,000 people while the United States and Brazil have seen six deaths per 10,000.

U.S. President Donald Trump, defending his administration’s handling of the pandemic in this week’s presidential debate, said countries such as India were under-reporting deaths.

Shashank Tripathi, of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, acknowledged there could be problems with the data though India’s young population might help explain the lower death rate.

“In India, even without a pandemic, all deaths are not properly registered,” Tripathi said.

“I’m not very confident that the mortality rates reflect the right numbers, though the younger demographic has given us some advantage.”

Representatives of the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research did not immediately respond to calls or emails for

South Dakota reports all-time high for daily COVID-19 toll

South Dakota health officials reported all-time highs for the toll of the coronavirus on Thursday, with 13 deaths and 747 more people who tested positive. State epidemiologist Josh Clayton said communities statewide – from cities to rural areas – are seeing significant levels of the virus. He noted that that 245 of the infections reported were backlogged from previous days after a reporting error.

One of the largest outbreaks came from a women’s prison in Pierre as mass testing revealed that 29 more women in one housing unit had the virus. A total of 197 prisoners and staff have tested positive and 110 have recovered.

The state has seen the nation’s second-highest number of new infections per capita over the last two weeks, with 578 new cases per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that hospitals in the state remain capable of handling coronavirus patients. She acknowledged that patients may have been transferred out of state as hospital systems shift people around to provide everyone with adequate levels of medical care.

Over the course of the pandemic, 23,136 people have tested positive for the virus. About 82% have recovered, but 3,832 have active infections and 236 have died.

The surge in South Dakota cases has not put a stop to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s tourism pitch. In a video recently posted on Twitter, she declares:  “This is how we do social distancing in our state.” Noem then shoots what appears to be a pheasant and says, “Less COVID, more hunting. That’s the plan for the future.”  

Noem has carved out a reputation among conservatives nationwide for her hands-off approach to the pandemic. She has also aggressively marketed South Dakota as a tourist destination.  

On Wednesday, Noem tweeted: “The biggest lesson we’ve learned from #COVID19: more freedom (NOT more government) is the answer.” 

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SD reaches record high coronavirus death toll

South Dakota recorded a record high COVID-19 death toll Thursday with 13 fatalities and 747 new positive virus cases.

According to state epidemiologist Josh Clayton, cities and rural zones are reporting significant clusters of the virus in recent days, the Associated Press reported.

He noted that 245 of the infections reported were backlogged from previous days after a reporting error.

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One large outbreak stemmed from a women’s prison in Pierre, with testing showing positive results for 29 women in one housing unit.

The prison recorded a total of 197 prisoners and staff have tested positive while 110 have recovered.

According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Tuesday, the state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate was 26 percent — the highest in the country.

The record numbers of new cases come as Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota governor spars with PETA over viral ‘social distancing’ hunting video South Dakota AG issues statement on fatal crash, says ‘I discovered the body’ Authorities confirm South Dakota attorney general involved in fatal crash MORE (R) tweeted late last month, “South Dakota’s #COVID19 spread peaked the latest of just about any state.”

Other states in the Midwest are also reporting record COVID-19 numbers, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas.

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UN chief cites pandemic’s ‘unprecedent toll’

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic has taken “an unprecedent toll” especially on the economies of many developing countries and the world has not responded with “the massive and urgent support those countries and communities need.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that in the United States, Canada, Europe and most of the developed world, governments have adopted packages valued in double-digits of GDP to help tackle the coronavirus crisis and its impact.

“The problem is to mobilize the resources to allow the developing countries to be able to do the same,” he told a joint press conference Tuesday with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who have been jointly spearheading high-level meetings to try to raise the resources.

Guterres urged the international community to increase resources to the International Monetary Fund, including through a new allocation of special drawing rights and a voluntary reallocation of existing special drawing rights. He said many countries urgently need debt relief and called for the current debt suspensions to be extended and expanded to all developing and middle-income countries that need help. The private sector, including credit-rating agencies, also “must be engaged in relief efforts,” he said.

The U.N. chief said he is encouraged to see over 40 world leaders and the heads of the IMF, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the African Union “coming together around these bold policies.”

He urged the international community to provide $35 billion — including $15 billion immediately — to fund “the ACT-Accelerator to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines” for all countries.

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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:

RALEIGH, N.C. — The University of North Carolina system reported its first coronavirus-related student death on Tuesday since several campuses reopened with at least partial in-person learning last month.

Chad Dorrill, a 19-year student at Appalachian State University who lived off campus in Boone and took all of his classes online, died on Monday due to coronavirus complications, officials said.

“Any

Overnight Health Care: NYC reports uptick in COVID-19 cases as schools try to reopen | Global coronavirus death toll passes 1 million

Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care, where we are awaiting the health care questions at the first presidential debate tonight.



Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: NYC reports uptick in COVID-19 cases as schools try to reopen | Global coronavirus death toll passes 1 million | Pelosi cites 'positive' talk with White House on coronavirus aid


© Getty
Overnight Health Care: NYC reports uptick in COVID-19 cases as schools try to reopen | Global coronavirus death toll passes 1 million | Pelosi cites ‘positive’ talk with White House on coronavirus aid

Moderator Chris Wallace will ask about COVID-19 and the Supreme Court, so we expect questions about President Trump’s response to the pandemic and the looming oral arguments for a Trump-backed lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Also, New York City is reporting an uptick in cases, and the global COVID-19 death toll has passed 1 million.

Let’s start with NYC…

New York City reports uptick in COVID-19 cases as schools try to reopen

New York City reported that its daily positivity rate of coronavirus tests surpassed 3 percent on Tuesday for the first time since June, with the bulk of the increase coming from certain Queens and southern Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) called the 3.25 percent positivity rate “cause for real concern” in a Tuesday press briefing. The nine at-risk ZIP codes are predominantly Orthodox communities. De Blasio said the statewide rate is about 1 percent.

The city, an early U.S. epicenter for the pandemic, saw its numbers steadily fall over the summer but has seen an increase in recent weeks.

The uptick is disrupting the city’s attempts to reopen schools, which de Blasio has already delayed. The mayor said that if the city’s seven-day rolling average reaches 3 percent, public schools will have to close again.

Read more here.

Global coronavirus death toll passes 1 million, with no end in sight

More than a million people worldwide have died after contracting the novel coronavirus less than a year after it first spilled over to humankind, a devastating toll that includes deaths in both the wealthiest and some of the poorest countries.

At least 33 million people have tested positive for the virus, SARS-CoV-2, and the true number of infected is likely multiple times higher. Surveys in the United States and other nations have suggested that only about 1 in 10 people who contract the virus ever test positive.

According to a Johns Hopkins University count, the global COVID-19 death toll stood at 1,000,555 by Monday evening.

And the true number of deaths is likely substantially higher as well. Excess mortality rates across the world show more people have died this year than is typical – signs either that the virus is killing more people than currently known, or that people with other health issues are unable or unwilling to access the treatment they need.

Read more here.

Student gatherings, congregate living contribute to rapid coronavirus spread at universities: CDC

Student gatherings and congregate living settings likely contribute to the rapid spread of COVID-19 at universities, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Universities that resume in-person