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Positive Virus Tests, Hospitalizations Surge in Colorado | Colorado News

DENVER (AP) — Colorado is experiencing another surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, prompting Gov. Jared Polis to plead Tuesday with residents to wear masks, stay home as much as possible, and maintain social distancing practices.

As of Tuesday, Colorado’s three-day average positivity rate — the percentage of total tests coming in positive — was 5.4%, and the state recorded 1,000 newly confirmed cases both Saturday and Monday, the highest daily numbers recorded during the pandemic, Polis said.

About 290 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest total since May 31, The Denver Post reported.

During a briefing on the pandemic, Polis didn’t suggest he was contemplating renewed mandatory restrictions on business or other activities to stem the surge. But he insisted: “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”

The World Health Organization recommends trying to keep the positivity rate below 5% of all tests. Higher rates suggest authorities are missing large numbers of infections.

On Monday, the head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suggested daily coronavirus caseloads may have surpassed 4,000 in March and April. The numbers weren’t recorded because far fewer people were being tested, said Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

She said the state has experienced three surges: In March and April, after July 4, and after Labor Day, Sept. 7. State data suggest Denver and Adams counties are among those recording the highest numbers of newly confirmed cases.

More than 2,000 people have died and more than 80,000 people have been hospitalized for the disease since the pandemic began.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Virginia governor critical of Trump’s coronavirus response in first appearance since testing positive

About 65 staff members who had close contact with the Northams were told to ­self-isolate for two weeks. Northam said none tested positive, which he called “a testament” to the value of wearing masks.

He noted that masks protected several staff members who could not physically distance from him before he tested positive, including a press secretary, photographer and security detail who traveled in an SUV and airplane with Northam.

He contrasted that with the largely mask-free Rose Garden ceremony last month that Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has called a superspreader event. Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several others subsequently tested positive for the virus.

“No masks, no social distancing — and look at the number of people that tested positive,” Northam said Tuesday, referring to the White House event. “We talk about science, it doesn’t get any clearer than that . . . I would remind every Virginian: Masks are scientifically proven to reduce the spread of this disease, plain and simple.”

Northam, a former Army doctor and pediatrician, said his and his wife’s symptoms were mild. He warned Virginians not to let down their guard, particularly as cooler fall temperatures and shrinking daylight hours make outdoor socializing less appealing.

The governor said he is unlikely to ease pandemic-related restrictions in the near term. He acknowledged pressure to return to in-person education at public schools but urged continued caution.

“Numbers are going up in a number of states across this country, so we’re not out of the woods,” he said. “We’re nowhere close to being out of the woods.”

The greater Washington region on Tuesday reported 1,763 additional coronavirus cases and 20 deaths. Virginia added 1,235 cases and 11 deaths, Maryland added 482 cases and nine deaths, and the District added 46 cases and no deaths.

Virginia’s daily caseload was above its rolling seven-day average, lifting that number to 1,089 — the state’s highest daily average since Aug. 13.

The seven-day average in Northern Virginia rose Tuesday to 264 cases, a four-month high in the region.

Daily caseloads Tuesday in Maryland and the District were below their rolling seven-day averages. It’s the third consecutive day that both jurisdictions reported new infections at or below their recent average amid an uptick that began earlier this month.

The recent caseload rise across the region has coincided with the outbreak at the White House, although local health officials have said it’s unclear whether there’s a connection.

Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

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Nevada COVID-19 director confirms he tested positive

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Caleb Cage, Nevada’s pandemic response director, said Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19 last week after developing flu-like symptoms during the prior weekend.

“I share my story with all of you now in hopes to remind Nevadans that the mitigation measures can work. The faster we can identify and contain cases, the more we can minimize spread to our friends, family, coworkers and loved ones,” Cage told reporters.

Following Cage’s diagnosis, which was first reported by the Nevada Independent last Friday, Gov. Steve Sisolak and members of his staff who had interacted with Cage were tested. The entire office transitioned to working from home and all of those tested received negative results.

Cage, who was heard coughing throughout an Oct. 7 call with reporters, said his symptoms had subsided and that he is continuing to work from home in line with the 14-day quarantine period recommended by public health professionals.

He said his diagnosis offered the governor’s office a hands-on opportunity to use the COVID Trace mobile app that Nevada rolled out in August to determine possible contacts and recommend individuals for testing. After Cage’s diagnosis, the governor’s spokesperson, Meghin Delaney, announced that Sisolak had tested negative.

Cage isn’t sure where he contracted the virus, but on an earlier press call, said his work schedule had precluded him from visiting businesses the state has gradually allowed to reopen. Cage said he and his family adhere to guidelines recommending social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Nevada officials reported 569 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 3 new deaths on Monday. The number of new cases and the state’s positivity rate remain higher than in early September — before Sisolak announced plans to relax restrictions on gatherings and before the state task force loosened thresholds for “high risk” counties.

Nevada’s test positivity rate, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, is much higher than the World Health Organization’s 5% reopening threshold.

Officials reported the rate had increased to 10.4%, up from 6.6% on Sept. 18, but that level is below the 15.8% reported on July 8. The number of cases, averaged over the past week, has risen by about 559 per day. By comparison, during the last week in July, new cases rose by an average of 1,037 daily.

During the summer, a corresponding uptick in deaths followed an uptick in daily reported cases, but the current spike underway has yet to translate to an increase in deaths throughout Nevada.

Cage said, in general, health officials expect an increase in deaths and hospitalizations to be followed in four to five weeks by an increase in confirmed cases. It’s still too soon to draw conclusions about the apparent lack of a correlation between recent confirmed cases and deaths in Nevada, he said.


Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


Trump campaign manager returns to office 10 days after positive COVID-19 test

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE‘s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining The Memo: Trump searches for path to comeback Bob Dole claims no Republicans on debate commission support Trump MORE resumed working at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters on Monday, 10 days after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Stepien told reporters on a conference call that he was back in the office after his recent positive test, “in full accordance with” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The CDC guidelines say adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases can be around others 10 days after the onset of symptoms so long as they have gone 24 hours without a fever and other symptoms are improving. Severe cases require longer isolation periods. Public health experts have also encouraged individuals to obtain two negative tests before resuming regular activities.

Stepien, 42, tested positive on Oct. 2 and dealt with mild flu-like symptoms, the campaign said at the time. He went into quarantine and worked from home until Monday.

Stepien did not say on Monday’s call whether he had tested negative for the virus but cited being beyond the 10 day window from the onset of symptoms for his decision to return to the office.

“We take a lot of precautions here at the headquarters every single day,” Stepien said, pointing to signage about health protocols and noting that the campaign has a nurse on staff to ensure everyone is healthy.

Stepien’s decision to resume working in-person reflects the broader attitude of the president and his team toward the virus, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. and infected nearly 8 million.

Trump, who revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2, is set to resume campaign rallies on Monday night in Florida despite the White House refusing to say when he last tested negative, and some top White House officials, such as chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAdministration officials call on Congress to immediately pass bill to spend unused PPP funds Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal MORE, have continued to work from the building despite being in close contact with the president, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and others who have tested positive. 

The president’s physician said late Saturday that Trump is no longer a risk to spread the virus but stopped short of saying he had tested negative.

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Massachusetts coronavirus deaths rise 16, cases up 570, daily positive rate hovers around 4%

Massachusetts health officials on Sunday reported 16 new coronavirus deaths and 570 new cases, as the daily positive rate continued to hover around 4%.

The 570 new cases follows a spike above 700 on Friday — one of the highest numbers since the spring.

The 16 new coronavirus deaths and one new probable coronavirus death bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 9,604, the state Department of Public Health said. The three-day average of coronavirus daily deaths has dropped from a peak of 161 in May to 11 now.

The state has logged 138,903 cases of the highly contagious disease, an increase of 570 confirmed cases since Saturday. Of the 138,903 total cases, at least 116,364 people have recovered.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts health officials reported that 40 communities are now in the high-risk category for coronavirus —  a state record after 23 cities and towns were on the list last week.

The daily percentage of tested individuals who are positive continues to hover around 4%. That figure at the start of September was between 1% and 2%, but the rate was 4.1% on Thursday, 4.4% on Friday and 4.2% on Saturday — the most recent day of available data.

The seven-day weighted average of the state’s positive test rate ticked down from 1.1% on Saturday to 1.0% on Sunday.

Coronavirus hospitalizations went down by 20 patients, bringing the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization total to 511.

The highest peak of Massachusetts’ coronavirus hospitalizations was 3,965 on April 21. The three-day average of coronavirus hospitalizations has jumped from 308 three weeks ago to 514 now.

There are 85 patients in the ICU, and 29 patients are currently intubated.

An additional 15,797 tests have brought the state’s total to more than 4.7 million tests.

The state reported 25,198 residents and health care workers at long-term care facilities have now contracted the virus.

Of the state’s 9,604 total coronavirus deaths, 6,189 are connected to long-term care facilities.

More than 214,000 Americans have died. The country’s death toll is the highest in the world, which eclipsed 1 million deaths last week.

The U.S. has recorded more than 7.7 million coronavirus cases — also the most in the world. More than 3 million people have recovered.

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Testing positive: New York has among lowest state rates of new COVID-19 cases

New York continues to have one of the nation’s lowest rates of people testing positive for the coronavirus, but experts say recent outbreaks and cooler weather could push those numbers up.

The state had the second-lowest positive test rate in the country, according to Covid Act Now, a nonprofit website run by epidemiologists, public health experts, data scientists and others that analyzes COVID-19 data. In the latest analysis, from Saturday, only Maine, at 0.5%,had a lower rate than New York, which was tied with Vermont for the second-lowest positivity rate of 1.2%. Idaho, with 23.9% of people testing positive, had the highest. The group uses a 7-day rolling average of test results.

In March and April, New York was the epicenter for the pandemic in the United States, with hundreds of residents dying of COVID-19 every day.

“We got from where we were in April because we distanced, we isolated, we masked, and the virus ran its course,” said Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer of New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, the state’s largest health system.

New Yorkers take the pandemic more seriously than many other Americans because they lived through the surge in cases that overloaded area hospitals with COVID-19 patients, and they’re more likely to know people who got sick or died from the disease, he said.

“The question about whether this is real, whether it’s a conspiracy, ‘Is it really what they say?,’ ‘I know somebody who didn’t get that sick’ — all that’s been answered locally,” he said.

“There is more fear,” said Sean Clouston, an associate professor of public health at Stony Brook University.

Clouston said he recently viewed live cams in several states and noticed that in New York most or all people were wearing face coverings, while in states like South Carolina, North Dakota and Louisiana, most of those with masks were seniors or people with visible disabilities, and others typically didn’t wear them.

“I think the culture around mask use is very different — the idea you should protect yourself versus the idea you should wear masks to protect everybody,” he said.

Masks both help prevent people from spreading the coronavirus and from being exposed to it themselves. They become even more important as the weather gets cooler and people spend more time indoors, where the virus is much more likely to spread, Clouston said.

New York also took a more gradual approach to reopening its economy, in comparison to mass reopenings in other states, said Dr. Leonard Krilov, an infectious disease specialist at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola and chairman of pediatrics.

“We’ve been more careful,” he said.

He contrasted his 10-year-old daughter’s Long Island school, with strict social-distancing and other restrictions, with the images he’s seen in other states of students crowded together in hallways.

New York also had the sixth-lowest number of daily new cases per 100,000, according to Covid Act Now.

The state’s 7.4 daily new cases per 100,000 residents was much lower than states experiencing surges, such

20% of Chicagoans in blood-test study came up positive for coronavirus antibodies

Nearly 1 in 5 Chicago residents who sent blood-spot samples to Northwestern University researchers tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to preliminary results of an ongoing study.

a man standing in a kitchen preparing food: Thomas McDade, a biological anthropology professor at Northwestern University, holds blood samples in June from research participants in a study for coronavirus antibodies.

© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Thomas McDade, a biological anthropology professor at Northwestern University, holds blood samples in June from research participants in a study for coronavirus antibodies.

That 20% infection rate is higher than the scientists anticipated based on earlier research, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. One study by other Northwestern researchers tested hospital workers from across the Chicago region and found antibodies in less than 5%.

a stack of flyers on a table: Thomas McDade, a biological anthropology professor at Northwestern University, shows blood samples in June from research participants in a study for coronavirus antibodies.

© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Thomas McDade, a biological anthropology professor at Northwestern University, shows blood samples in June from research participants in a study for coronavirus antibodies.

The latest project, called Screening for Coronavirus Antibodies in Neighborhoods, or SCAN, is examining infection rates in five pairs of adjoining Chicago ZIP codes where rates of previously reported COVID-19 cases differed widely. Though the research is continuing, McNally said enough testing has been done to draw some initial conclusions.

“It’s telling us that exposure was higher than we thought, that it was higher than we thought throughout Chicago,” McNally said.

The researchers noted that the SCAN team is using a particularly sensitive test for COVID-19 antibodies and therefore is likely identifying more exposures than others have found. The Northwestern researchers who tested hospital workers, for example, used a different antibody test.

“Those commercial tests are missing maybe 25% of people … whereas ours don’t,” McNally said.

In the ongoing study, participants mail in a drop of dried blood to the researchers, who then test it for the COVID-19 antibodies. It’s an inexpensive option that doesn’t require visiting a medical facility.

The SCAN study, launched in late June, set out to test about 3,000 people in 10 Chicago ZIP codes, and so far more than 1,000 tests have been analyzed, McNally said. Researchers are finding some differences in exposure rates among the ZIP codes but said they need to gather more test results before reaching any conclusions.

In the city as a whole, 82,551 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported as of Tuesday, or about 3% of the city’s 2.7 million people. The true number of people infected, however, is certainly far larger.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that was based on antibody testing concluded that actual COVID-19 infection rates were at least 10 times higher than the official reported case count in most locations around the country.

Official counts are based on tests that detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. That type of testing can’t identify people whose infections have cleared. In addition, many infected people never get tested because they had no symptoms, had less severe symptoms or couldn’t access a test.

The National Institutes of Health has stated that a

The US is reporting more than 45,000 positive Covid-19 tests on average every day

a person standing next to a car: Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

© Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The US is averaging more than 45,000 new Covid-19 positive tests each day — up 8% from the previous week and more than double what the country was seeing in June, as lockdown restrictions were easing.

It’s a case count experts warn is far too high ahead of what’s forecast to be a challenging — and deadly — winter season. The latest US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast says US Covid-19 deaths could reach 233,000 by the end of this month.

And projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show more than 2,900 Americans could be dying daily by January.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “disturbed and concerned” by the country’s average case count.

“That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic,” he said.

And as the weather gets colder, things will get tougher.

Gatherings will likely begin to move indoors, where the virus is more prone to spread. And as colleges battle outbreaks on campus, students soon returning to visit their families for the holidays could unknowingly bring the virus with them.

On top of that, it’ll be coupled with flu season to create what experts say could turn into a “twin-demic.” What could help, health officials have said, are flu shots and strong safety measures like masks and social distancing.

The high average case count comes alongside more worrying trends: only Alabama and Hawaii are reporting a decline of new cases over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And nationwide, hospitalizations have begun to rise, with more than 34,000 hospitalized patients, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Field hospital prepares to open in Wisconsin

Hospitalization trends are growing across the Midwest and in states of every other US region, with “especially worrisome signs” in Wisconsin, the project said. At least 41 states saw increased numbers of people requiring hospitalization this week, the project said Thursday.

Wisconsin announced it would open a field hospital next week to address the surge of patients.

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

The state has seen some of the country’s most alarming trends recently: reporting record-high cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the past days.

But it’s not alone. Utah leaders said the state isn’t trailing far behind. And Iowa’s hospitalizations set a record this week with more than 460 Covid-19 patients across the state. Missouri’s health department also broke a record Wednesday, with more than 1,300 Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming also saw record-high

Fitness App Market will Showcase Positive Impact during 2020-2024 | Increasing Demand for Wearable Devices to Boost the Market Growth

Technavio has been monitoring the fitness app market and it is poised to grow by USD 1.68 bn during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 12% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

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The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. adidas AG, ASICS Digital Inc., Azumio Inc., BetterME., FitNow Inc., Google LLC, Nike Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Under Armour Inc., and YAZIO GmbH are some of the major market participants. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

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Stephen Miller Tests Positive as White House Outbreak Grows

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

On Tuesday evening, senior administration officials confirmed that Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top speechwriter and a policy adviser, had tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a growing list of Mr. Trump’s close aides who have the virus.

“Over the last five days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday,” Mr. Miller said in a statement. “Today, I tested positive for Covid-19 and am in quarantine.”

Mr. Miller is married to Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director. A senior administration official said Ms. Miller, who contracted the virus this spring and returned to work in May, was tested Tuesday morning and was negative for any new infection.

On Tuesday, many White House offices were empty as officials stayed home to wait out the infectious period from an outbreak of the coronavirus within the building and among people who had been there.

President Trump was in the White House residence, convalescing, as a number of advisers and other officials stayed home, either because they had contracted the coronavirus or had been near people who did.

The White House communications and press shops were bereft of people. The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, announced on Monday that she had tested positive. Two other press office aides have also contracted the virus, and two more aides on Tuesday were said to have tested positive, people familiar with the results said.

The outbreak in the White House, which has extended to some lawmakers on Capitol Hill, has raised concerns in the city that surrounds it. Washington, D.C., which has managed to bring infection rates down in recent weeks through preventive laws and high rates of compliance, has almost no control over the federal government.

The city reported 105 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number since June 3.

The gathering at the Rose Garden would have violated the city’s mandates limiting the size of gatherings and requiring masks. But because the White House is on federal property, it is exempt from such rules.

City officials said they would be closely monitoring infection trends for several days to see if the Capitol and White House cases affected the city’s overall infection rate.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, said on Tuesday that President Trump was experiencing no symptoms of Covid-19 and doing “extremely well” on his first full day at home since a three-night stay in the hospital.

But outside doctors and medical experts in Covid-19 and lung disease said they were struggling to piece together an accurate picture of Mr. Trump’s health. Far from having vanquished Covid-19, the outside experts said, Mr. Trump is most