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More than 100 N.J. nursing homes have had coronavirus outbreaks since summer as crisis continues

The coronavirus devastated New Jersey’s nursing homes this spring, killing thousands of residents and prompting a raft of measures to better protect the state’s most vulnerable population.

Since that time, long-term care facilities say they have stockpiled personal protective equipment. They’ve developed protocols for testing residents and staff and isolating those who are sickened. Visitors continue to be limited by state regulators, amid fears the virus will be reintroduced as families reunite with their loved ones.

Yet despite those precautions, the coronavirus continues to creep into the state’s nursing homes, assisted-living centers and other senior facilities, even among those that managed to eradicate their original outbreaks, Department of Health data shows.

Across New Jersey, at least 102 long-term care facilities saw new outbreaks this summer or fall after being declared COVID-19 free, according to a review by NJ Advance Media. Included in those were 11 facilities in which residents or staffers died in the new contagions.

That points to a somber reality as New Jersey grapples with a concerning resurgence of coronavirus in recent weeks: Even as nursing homes have had nearly seven months of experience combating the virus, many remain unable to keep it wholly at bay. Still, those outbreaks are proving less deadly and easier to contain than in March or April, when underprepared facilities were floored by a pandemic that caught them, the state and the country flat-footed, flooding New Jersey’s hospitals and morgues.

On Friday, a union that represents 8,000 nursing home workers in New Jersey expressed concerns about a second wave of the disease and the impacts it could carry.

“Nursing home operators need to be taking every precaution, including giving frontline workers access to n95 masks, gowns and surgical masks before, not after, new outbreaks emerge,” said Milly Silva, the executive vice president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. “Facilities need also to staff-up now, to prevent the type of short-staffing crisis that we experienced earlier this year.”

James McCracken, who heads a trade association of nonprofit senior care organizations, called preparedness a difference of “night and day” from what it once was. Nursing homes have learned to better protect residents and staff, he said, and have largely secured the personal protective equipment that was in such short supply.

“It’s pretty clear that there’s just a much better understanding of the disease, which no one had in the beginning, which was new to everyone,” said McCracken, the chief executive of LeadingAge New Jersey & Delaware.

But seniors and the workers who care for them do continue to be sickened and die, if at rates far lower than at the height of the disease’s sweep. It takes just one positive test for a nursing home to be considered to have a new outbreak, and in many cases, those small-scale infections are not spreading.

The state began publishing an online list of infections and deaths by facility in April after complaints that nursing homes were not being transparent as the disease ripped through New Jersey. But

China Cluster Emerges; Poll Sees Leadership Crisis: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

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The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread, with resurgences across Europe and North America. India’s cases climbed past 7 million, while China recorded its biggest cluster in months.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to step up efforts to contain Covid-19 on Monday. South Korea eased social distancing requirements, and the governor of Jakarta relaxed restrictions in Indonesia’s capital.

U.S. President Donald Trump was flagged by Twitter for declaring himself immune to the Covid-19 virus, a day before returning to the campaign trail. The pandemic has exposed a leadership deficit around the world, according to a survey.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: cases pass 37.4 million; deaths top 1.07 millionInhaled vaccines aim to fight coronavirus at its point of attackThe new coronavirus may remain infectious for weeks on banknotesFauci says he was taken out of context in Trump campaign adCoronavirus has exposed global leadership crisis: survey

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart: A Steep Covid-19 Curve


© Bloomberg
A Steep Covid-19 Curve

India Adds 66,732 Cases (12:25 p.m. HK)

India reported 66,732 additional coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing total infections to 7.12 million. While the daily rate of cases appears to be slowing, India is expected to surpass the U.S. as the worst hit nation in the world by as early as next month. The country’s death toll rose to 109,150.

Pandemic Exposes Global Leadership Crisis: Survey (12:06 p.m. HK)

The coronavirus pandemic has shown there’s a leadership deficit around the world, according to a survey that said more people trust companies over their governments to keep economies going during the crisis.

Over 70% of citizens around the globe say they are experiencing the lowest point in their nation’s history, while nearly two-thirds say their leaders are out of touch or “don’t really care what happens” to them, the Milken Institute and the Harris Poll said in a report.

“While COVID-19 is a public health crisis, it has also been a contagion across many other socio-economic challenges and government institutions,” said John Gerzema, chief executive officer of the Harris Poll. “Maybe even more than the virus, our common crippling hardship is the lack of leadership being observed on the world stage.”

New Zealand to Buy Vaccine for 750,000 People (10:26 a.m. HK)

New Zealand agreed to purchase enough vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for 750,000 people. The pact is subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, according to Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins in an emailed statement.

The agreement is complementary to other aspects of the government’s vaccine strategy, such as the global Covax facility that could provide up to 50% of the population’s needs.

Hipkins also said the government has established a new category that will allow 250 international doctorate and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies.

South

New England Journal of Medicine Says US Leaders Turned the COVID-19 Crisis Into a Tragedy

“Dying in a Leadership Vacuum” – that’s the title of a new editorial published by editors from the prestigious medical journal New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Oct. 8, less than a month before the general election. With Election Day fast approaching, the journal, which has been nonpartisan for over 200 years since its inception, took an opportunity to change course and urged Americans to vote our current administration out of office due to what they describe as our leaders’ failure of a response to COVID-19.



a woman standing in front of a building: New England Journal of Medicine Says US Leaders Turned the COVID-19 Crisis Into a Tragedy


© Getty / MarioGuti
New England Journal of Medicine Says US Leaders Turned the COVID-19 Crisis Into a Tragedy

The editorial was the only one in NEJM’s history that was signed by all of its editors, and it begins by stating that the COVID-19 pandemic, a worldwide crisis, tested leadership across the globe. “With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy,” the editors, who are all doctors, wrote.

They pointed to the fact that the US leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths – over 211,000 have died and seven million have contracted the virus – and that we did not behave aggressively or adequately enough; we have behaved “poorly” for a number of reasons (other countries have outperformed us, they said). Those reasons include lack of testing early on and distribution of PPE to healthcare workers and the public despite having “ample warning” when the disease first arrived.

And, while the editors said testing has increased substantially, “the more useful metric is the number of tests performed per infected person,” and our numbers are far below that of other countries. “Moreover, a lack of emphasis on developing capacity has meant that U.S. test results are often long delayed, rendering the results useless for disease control,” they wrote.

Another big misstep for the US, according to the editors? Lack of universal guidelines and enforcement when it comes to lockdown measures, which they call inconsistent (doctors POPSUGAR has spoken to in the past have talked about this as well). “Our rules on social distancing have in many places been lackadaisical at best, with loosening of restrictions long before adequate disease control had been achieved,” the NEJM editors explained. “And in much of the country, people simply don’t wear masks, largely because our leaders have stated outright that masks are political tools rather than effective infection control measures.”

“Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them.”

What’s more, the editors blamed this administration for politicizing vaccines and ignoring public

Poll: More blame US government than foreign nations for coronavirus crisis

More than half of Americans blame the federal government for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a higher number than those who said they primarily blamed foreign governments such as China for the disease’s spread.

A poll conducted for the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 56 percent of respondents say the U.S. government carries “substantial” responsibility for the state of American COVID-19 outbreak, while just 47 percent said the same about leaders of foreign countries and 39 percent blamed the World Health Organization (WHO).

That comes after months of the Trump administration blaming both China’s government and the WHO for the scale of the U.S. outbreak, which has surpassed 7 million cases and more than 209,000 deaths. Top administration officials have claimed for months that the U.S. response was hampered by China’s supposed unwillingness to share data with global health experts, as well as the WHO’s alleged deference to Chinese authorities.

Blame for foreign countries and the WHO is much more popular among GOP voters, 60 percent of whom said that substantial blame is due for leaders of foreign countries including China, while 55 percent said the same about the WHO. Just 37 percent of Democrats blamed foreign countries for the U.S.’s struggles against the virus, and even less — 27 percent — blamed the WHO.

Critics of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response have pointed to a rise in violence and bigotry suffered by Asian Americans as evidence that the president and other officials’ attempts to link the virus to China has resulted in a rise in racial discrimination.

The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,053 U.S. adults between Sept. 11-14, before President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s own diagnosis of COVID-19 was announced last week. The poll’s margin of error is 4.1 percentage points. 

Source Article

Cities Declare Racism a Health Crisis, but Some Doubt Impact | Wisconsin News

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Christy DeGallerie noticed a startling trend in her online group for coronavirus survivors: White patients got medications she’d never heard of, were offered X-rays and their doctors listened to their concerns.

That wasn’t her experience. When the 29-year-old Black woman sought a COVID-19 test at a New York emergency room, a nurse said she didn’t have a fever. DeGallerie appealed to a doctor of color, who told the nurse to check again. It registered 101 degrees.

“We know our pain is questioned and our pain is not real to them,” said DeGallerie, who later started a group for Black COVID-19 survivors. “Getting medical help shouldn’t be discouraging for anyone. It is a discouraging place for Black people.”

Addressing experiences like DeGallerie’s has become a priority for a growing number of local governments, many responding to a pandemic that’s amplified racial disparities and the call for racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans. Since last year, about 70 cities, roughly three dozen counties and three states have declared racism a public health crisis, according to the American Public Health Association.

Local leaders say formally acknowledging the role racism plays not just in health care but in housing, the environment, policing and food access is a bold step, especially when it wasn’t always a common notion among public health experts. But what the declarations do to address systemic inequalities vary widely, with skeptics saying they are merely symbolic.

Kansas City, Missouri, and Indianapolis used their declarations to calculate how to dispense public funding. The mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a mostly white community of roughly 40,000, used a declaration to make Juneteenth a paid city employee holiday. The Minnesota House passed a resolution vowing to “actively participate in the dismantling of racism.” Wisconsin’s governor made a verbal commitment, while governors in Nevada and Michigan signed public documents.

“It is only after we have fully defined the injustice that we can begin to take steps to replace it with a greater system of justice that enables all Michiganders to pursue their fullest dreams and potential,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County takes credit for being the first with its May 2019 order. It acted because of sobering health disparities in Wisconsin’s most populous county, where nearly 70% of the state’s Black residents live. It’s the only county with a significantly higher poverty rate than the state average, 17.5% compared with 10.8% statewide, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison report.

County officials developed a “racial equity budget tool,” requiring departments to explain plans to hire and retain a diverse workforce and how budgets affect disadvantaged communities.

“The framing helped accelerate the conversation, not only stakeholders could actually grasp and understand,” said Jeff Roman, head of the county’s Office on African American Affairs.

Kansas City was another early adopter in August 2019. Councilwoman Melissa Robinson called it a new decision-making lens.

For instance, when the

Americans Fault US Govt Over Foreign Powers for Virus Crisis | Political News

By MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans blame the U.S. government instead of foreign nations for the coronavirus crisis in the United States, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s contention that China or other countries are most at fault, a new poll shows.

The poll by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was conducted before President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus Friday and was hospitalized. Trump has downplayed the severity and impact of the pandemic in recent months.

Although many see plenty of blame to go around and there’s a wide bipartisan divide over who is responsible, 56% of Americans say the U.S. government has substantial responsibility for the situation. That compares with 47% who place that much blame on the governments of other countries and only 39% who say the same about the World Health Organization.

“It reflects a general lack of confidence in the way the government has handled the situation,” said Austin Wright of the Harris School for Public Policy.

More than 1 million people worldwide, including more than 200,000 Americans, have died of COVID-19 in the outbreak. Trump has squarely blamed the virus’ spread on China, where it originated, and an inadequate response from the WHO.

As he faces a rough reelection contest in November, Trump has steadily ramped up criticism of China for the virus and announced the U.S. would halt funding for and withdraw from the international health agency over alleged Chinese interference in its work. Critics, including public health experts, have said China bears some responsibility but have also harshly criticized Trump’s response.

The poll shows Democrats are especially likely to say the U.S. government is responsible for the situation, while many Republicans are likely to place the blame elsewhere. Among Democrats, 79% say the U.S. government has a great deal of responsibility, while 37% say that about other countries’ governments and 27% about the WHO. Among Republicans, 38% say the U.S. government is responsible, compared with 60% for the governments of other countries and 55% the WHO.

Self-described conservative Republican Ralph Martinez, a 67-year-old grocery store manager from the Fort Worth, Texas area, said he wasn’t sure that any government could have handled it better and dismissed criticism that Trump had downplayed the matter.

“It’s an open question, honestly,” he said. “I don’t care who’s in office, I think they’re going to do their best for everyone. But how much can they do?”

Martinez, who said he had to throw a customer out of his store for not wearing a mask recently, lauded Trump for not wanting to create panic in the early stages of the outbreak in the U.S. He also recalled unprecedented runs on items such as toilet paper and paper towels when people realized the virus was not a momentary phenomenon.

“You would not believe how crazy these people got,” he said. “I can’t imagine how bad it would have been

What’s Challenging Growth in the Healthcare M&A Space During the COVID-19 Crisis? Infiniti’s M&A Support Experts Discuss the Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic disruption in many major segments of North America, Europe, and APAC regions. For healthcare M&A this has translated into the collapse of deals that were underway and limited options for companies in the healthcare M&A space. How can healthcare M&A recover from the business implications of the COVID-19 pandemic? Infiniti’s experts observed that the high dependency on healthcare is expected to cause a surge in valuations once the situation normalizes. With Infiniti’s M&A support solutions, healthcare companies can focus on finding the ideal deal shortly and gain data-driven guidance from our experts. To stay a step ahead of changing market dynamics, and tackle the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on healthcare M&A, request a free proposal.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201001005753/en/

Three Major Challenges Impacting the Healthcare M&A Space During the COVID-19 Crisis (Graphic: Business Wire)

The global healthcare sector has witnessed challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent times. Healthcare institutions, medical professionals, and healthcare company boards are attempting to cope with the pandemic’s startling changes. The healthcare M&A space was similarly impacted, and healthcare mergers have reduced substantially in the second quarter of 2020. As the world works towards recovery, healthcare companies need to understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on healthcare M&A and accordingly prepare for the future. Therefore, in their recent article, Infiniti’s M&A support experts discuss the biggest challenges of COVID-19 in the healthcare space, and two minor factors positively impacting the recovering healthcare M&A space.

“While investor support has increased due to the increasing need for healthcare globally, social and political unrest, struggling economies and volatility in financial markets are testing the healthcare industry. Healthcare M&A may be one of the most effective solutions to this crisis,” says an M&A support expert at Infiniti Research.

Speak to our industry experts to gain data-driven insights on the implications of COVID-19 in the healthcare industry, and strategize for the post-COVID era.

Infiniti’s experts identified the following three major challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare M&A:

  • Nationwide lockdowns and limitations for governing bodies have led to delays in acquiring regulatory clearance.

  • The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare M&A participants will change the valuation of both the buyer and seller.

  • Due to renewed safety and hygiene protocols, and social distancing has made it challenging for companies to conduct thorough due diligence, and delayed third-party approvals.

Gain comprehensive insights into the impact and solutions of these major challenges by reading the complete article here.

About Infiniti Research

Established in 2003, Infiniti Research is a leading market intelligence company providing smart solutions to address your business challenges. Infiniti Research studies markets in more than 100 countries to analyze competitive activity, see beyond market disruptions and develop intelligent business strategies. To know more, visit: https://www.infinitiresearch.com/about-us

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201001005753/en/

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