Coronavirus UPDATE: Recap 5/28/20

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Recap 5/27/20

(WellnessPursuits.com) – We observed Memorial Day as a nation on Monday, May 25, 2020 as the death toll from COVID-19 crept steadily toward 100,000. In some places, crowds gathered, ignoring social distancing and foregoing masks. However, a great many people chose to observe the day at home.

COVID-19: Snapshot of the Week

This week, as of 1:00 PM EDT (17:00 GMT), May 27, 2020, the reported worldwide numbers were 5,735,518 cases and 354,230 deaths in 213 countries and territories. There were 2,467,241 recoveries reported worldwide.

The US had 1,733,961 reported cases and 101,141 deaths. New York accounted for 373,622 of those cases and 29,451 of those deaths. New Jersey, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan and Florida were the states with the next highest numbers of reported cases (all above 52,000).

The US Military reported 9,276 cases and 35 deaths while the Veterans Affairs reported 13,536 cases and 1,191 deaths. The Navajo Nation reported 4,689 cases and 157 deaths. Federal Prisons reported 5,415 cases and 64 deaths.

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Last week, as of 1:00 PM EDT (17:00 GMT), May 20, 2020, the reported worldwide numbers were 5,036,520 cases and 326,242 deaths in 213 countries and territories. There were 1,990,057 recoveries reported worldwide.

The US had 1,576,950 reported cases and 93,858 deaths. New York accounted for 362,630 of those cases and 28,648 of those deaths. New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, Florida and Maryland were the states with the next highest numbers of reported cases (all above 42,000).

The US Military reported 8,764 cases and 29 deaths while the Veterans Affairs reported 12,616 cases and 1,082 deaths. The Navajo Nation reported 4,153 cases and 144 deaths. Federal Prisons reported 3,629 cases and 57 deaths.

National and State Reopenings

As of this week, 47 states have reopened to varying degrees. States that have reopened include:

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  • Alabama Open amenities include parks, beaches, gyms, retail stores, restaurant dining, bars, breweries, salons and entertainment venues, including theaters.
  • Alaska — Open amenities include restaurant dining, Bars, retail stores, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, gyms, pools, libraries, theaters, bowling alleys and museums
  • Arizona — Open amenities include retail stores, barbershops, salons, restaurant dining, pools, gyms, spas and casinos.
  • Arkansas — Open amenities include campgrounds, gyms, pools, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, restaurant dining, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, bowling alleys and casinos.
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  • California (regional) — Open amenities include manufacturing, warehouses, offices, pet groomers, restaurant dining in some counties, houses of worship and retail stores.
  • Colorado — Open amenities include salons and personal services, retail stores, offices, manufacturing and campgrounds.
  • Connecticut — Open amenities include restaurants open for outdoor dining, retail stores, malls, museums, zoos, offices and beaches. Opening soon: salons and barbershops.
  • Florida — Open amenities include restaurant dining, retail stores, beaches, trails; gyms, houses of worship and sporting venues without spectators.
  • Georgia — Open amenities include gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, private social clubs, hair salons, barbershops and restaurant dining — opening soon: large venues, bars and nightclubs.
  • Hawaii — Open amenities include beaches, piers, docks, etc., state parks, retail stores and pet groomers.
  • Idaho — Open amenities include houses of worship, gyms, restaurant dining and hair salons.
  • Indiana — Open amenities include libraries, movie theaters in most counties, manufacturing, offices, houses of worship, restaurant dining, spas, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, retail stores in all counties, gyms in most counties, pools, tennis and basketball courts in most counties and campgrounds in most counties — opening soon: gyms in all counties, pools, tennis and basketball courts in all counties and campgrounds in all counties.
  • Iowa — Open amenities include houses of worship, libraries, movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, campgrounds, gyms, pools, medical spas, tanning salons, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, etc, restaurant dining, retail stores and malls — opening soon: bars.
  • Kansas — Open amenities include restaurant dining, retail stores, houses of worship, offices, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, gyms, community centers, sports facilities, theaters, museums and bowling alleys.
  • Kentucky — Open amenities include houses of worship, manufacturing, construction, offices, pet grooming and boarding, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, etc., retail stores and restaurant dining — opening soon: movie theaters and gyms.
  • Louisiana — Open amenities include restaurant dining, bars with food licenses, gyms, state parks, malls, movie theaters, certain museums, zoos and aquariums, casinos, salons and barbershops and houses of worship.
  • Maine (regional) — Open amenities include hair salons, barbershops, pet groomers, state parks, boating, golf courses, remote campgrounds, hunting and fishing, private campgrounds, RV parks, retail stores in most counties and restaurants in most counties — opening soon: restaurants in all counties, retail in all counties and houses of worship.
  • Maryland — Open amenities include golf courses, outdoor shooting ranges, marinas, campgrounds, beaches, retail stores, manufacturing, houses of worship, hair salons and barbershops.
  • Massachusetts — Open amenities include golf courses, beaches, parks, fishing, hunting and boating, houses of worship, construction, manufacturing, offices, retail for curbside pickup, hair salons, barbershops and pet grooming.
  • Michigan (regional) — Open amenities include golf courses, marinas, construction, real estate, manufacturing, including auto companies, offices in certain counties, restaurants in certain counties, bars in certain counties and retail statewide by appointment — opening soon: veterinary services statewide.
  • Minnesota — Open amenities include manufacturing, offices, retail stores and malls — opening soon: restaurants and bars for outdoor service, salons and barbershops.
  • Mississippi — Open amenities include retail stores, restaurant dining, bars, state parks, gyms, salons and barbershops, tattoo parlors and casinos.
  • Missouri — Open amenities include restaurant dining, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, etc., retail stores, gyms; campgrounds, movie theaters and music venues.
  • Montana — Open amenities include houses of worship, retail stores, salons, barbershops, massage parlors, restaurant dining, bars, breweries and distilleries, gyms, museums and movie theaters — opening soon: concert venues and bowling alleys.
  • Nebraska (never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; regional reopenings) — Open amenities include houses of worship, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, etc. in certain areas and restaurant dining in certain areas — opening soon: bars in certain counties, zoos in certain counties; movie theaters in certain counties and pools in certain counties.
  • Nevada — Open amenities include golf courses, pickleball, tennis courts, state parks, retail stores, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons.
  • New Hampshire — Open amenities include retail stores, barbershops, hair salons, etc., golf courses, outdoor attractions and restaurants open for outdoor dining — opening soon: beaches, personal and small group fitness training, nail salons, tanning salons, tattoo shops, acupuncturists and massage therapists.
  • New Mexico (regional) — Open amenities include state parks, golf courses, boating, pet grooming and boarding, veterinary services, retail stores at 25 percent capacity, offices at 25 percent capacity and houses of worship.
  • New York (regional) — Open amenities include construction, manufacturing in some regions, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting in some regions, retail stores open to pick-up in some regions, low-risk businesses, houses of worship and beaches.
  • North Carolina — Open amenities include retail stores, restaurant dining, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and pools.
  • North Dakota (never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; allowed businesses to reopen May 1) — Open amenities include restaurant dining, bars, gyms, sports venues, salons, tattoo parlors, massage therapy, etc., movie theaters, music and entertainment venues.
  • Ohio — Open amenities include manufacturing, distribution, construction, offices, retail stores, salons, barbershops etc., dine-in restaurants and bars, campgrounds, gyms, pools, and sports leagues — opening soon: bowling alleys, miniature golf and batting cages.
  • Oklahoma — Open amenities include salons, barbershops, spas, pet groomers, etc., tattoo parlors, state parks, gyms, restaurant dining, bars, movie theaters, sports venues, museums, nightclubs, houses of worship and offices.
  • Oregon (regional) — Open amenities include some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities, gyms in some counties, restaurant dining in some counties, retail stores, salons and barbershops in some counties.
  • Pennsylvania (regional) — Open amenities include golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, privately-owned campgrounds and retail stores in some counties.
  • Rhode Island — Open amenities include state parks, retail stores, offices, hair salons, barbershops and restaurants for outdoor dining — opening soon: houses of worship.
  • South Carolina — Open amenities include retail stores, beaches, piers, docks, etc., gyms, pools, restaurant dining, salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors etc.
  • South Dakota (Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order)
  • Tennessee (regional) — Open amenities include state parks, gyms in most counties, theaters, museums, amusement parks, restaurant dining in most counties, retail stores in most counties, salons and barbershops, etc. in most counties.
  • Texas — Open amenities include state parks, pools, gyms, natural caverns, retail stores, malls, restaurant dining, bars, movie theaters, museums, libraries, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, rodeos, aquariums, salons, barbershops, etc., massage and personal care, offices and manufacturing — opening soon: zoos
  • Utah — Open amenities include restaurant dining, salons, personal care businesses and gyms.
  • Vermont — Open amenities include manufacturing, construction, distribution, state parks, golf courses, trails etc. and retail stores.
  • Virginia (state stay-at-home order in place until May 28, but regional reopenings authorized) — Open amenities include restaurants and bars for outdoor dining, retail stores, salons, barbershops, etc., campgrounds and houses of worship.
  • Washington (regional) — Open amenities include state parks, fishing, hunting, golf courses, retail stores open to curbside pickup, restaurant dining in certain counties, construction and pet grooming.
  • West Virginia — Open amenities include salons, barbershops, pet groomers, tanning salons, gyms, recreation centers, state parks, campgrounds, museums, zoos, restaurant dining, bars, retail stores and malls — opening soon: massage parlors and spas, pools, bowling alleys, pool halls and roller rinks.
  • Wisconsin — Open amenities include golf courses, state parks, pet groomers for curbside dropoff and retail stores.
  • Wyoming (never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; allowed businesses to reopen May 1) — Open amenities include gyms, state parks, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage therapy, etc., restaurant dining, movie theaters and entertainment venues.

Some restrictions remain in place in most areas, but they vary according to state.

Retail, restaurants, personal care businesses, and outdoor recreation are open in most of the states that have reopened with restrictions unique to each and, in some cases, each city.

States, districts and territories that will be opening next week include:

  • Delaware — These amenities have reopened: hair salons, farmers markets, retail stores by appointment and beaches — opening soon: gyms, retail, restaurants, bars and breweries.
  • District of Columbia — These amenities have reopened: educational and academic retail shops for curbside pickup — tentative reopening date is May 29.
  •  Illinois — These amenities have reopened: state parks; limited fishing, boating, golf courses, retail stores open to curbside pickup and pet grooming — opening soon: restaurants open for outdoor dining in some areas, retail stores in some areas, personal care services in some areas and gyms in some areas.
  • Puerto Rico — These amenities have reopened: restaurants, salons, barbershops, pet grooming, retail stores, outdoor malls and beaches.

New Jersey remains shut down although some restrictions have eased and the following amenities have reopened: golf courses, outdoor recreational businesses, beaches, construction and retail stores open to curbside pickup. New Jersey’s governor has announced that outdoor graduations may proceed in mid-July so long as social distancing is observed.

Elective medical and dental procedures in most states were postponed, but most states have resumed regular medical care. Dental services have resumed in most states with prior qualified testing and new safety requirements in place. Check with your healthcare provider to be sure about status and scheduling.

All states except Montana have closed schools for extended periods of time, with many shut down until the end of the academic school year or until further notice. Most schools and colleges conducted online learning. Many districts have now dismissed students for the summer break.

Commencements have been delayed or postponed for most high schools, colleges and universities. Some institutions found unique ways to celebrate their graduates at a distance, including car parades and online ceremonies. Many institutions are making arrangements for graduates to walk with future graduating classes. Decisions about fall classes will be made at a later time in most cases.

A total of 13 states and one territory have imposed self-quarantines upon individuals entering from specific “hot” infection zones in an attempt to keep citizens of their states safer. These states include Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Vermont. Most states are requiring entrants to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine. Puerto Rico also imposed a 14-day self-quarantine on anyone traveling to the island.

CDC Guideline Updates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued comprehensive new guidance last week for reopening and for contact tracing. The guidelines on social distancing are no longer being maintained by the CDC, but many states are continuing to follow past guidance. Other guidelines are in effect, including the hand hygiene guidelines. It is still advisable to:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people.
  • Avoid group and mass gatherings, as well as crowded spaces.
  • Use a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose when you’re in public places, such as the grocery store.
  • Work from home, if you’re able.
  • Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis, if possible. If you must use these modes of transport, be sure to wear a cloth face cover.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. When hand-washing isn’t an option, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (but the higher the percent, the better).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Spots to watch out for include doorknobs, light switches, toilets and other objects in shared spaces.

Financial Assistance Updates

Another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment claims last week, joining more than 36 million already unemployed in the US — suggesting a current unemployment rate of over 20% and an estimated total of over 38.5 million job losses. While additional claims may continue to be filed, experts believe the majority of claims have been made.

While additional funding had been set aside by the federal government to assist state governments in meeting unemployment insurance payments, many state systems were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of claims and some are still struggling to catch up. Nine states are seeking $36 billion in federal advances from the Department of Labor to cover the astronomical unemployment claims. Illinois ($11B), California ($8B), Texas ($6.4B) and New York ($4.4B) top the list, but Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Ohio and West Virginia have also signaled an intent to borrow to cover their claims between May and July.

Government and private businesses are striving to meet the unprecedented economic needs in several ways:

  • Unemployment benefits are available; the waiting period has been waived.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a foreclosure and eviction moratorium in place. Most states have also placed a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
  • An economic relief bill made paid sick leave and paid time off available to most employees impacted by the virus. Most states have also implemented additional emergency leave and benefits for first responders who may fall ill.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has pledged up to $2 million in low-interest loans. That funding has been completely used up, and Congress passed a $484 billion interim bill funding on Thursday, April 23, and the President signed it on Friday, April 24. The bill allocates $310 billion to replenish the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing. The bill also includes additional funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
  • The deadline for filing federal taxes has been pushed to July 15. Most states have also delayed their filing deadlines to July 15 without penalty.
  • The $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed on March 27 providing economic stimulus incentives to taxpayers, increased and expanded unemployment benefits for laid-off employees and limited payroll assistance for small businesses.
  • A phase 4 stimulus package (CARES2) has been proposed, which would further aid small businesses, as well as individuals, states and hospitals.
  • Although the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act on May 15 for coronavirus relief and stimulus, Senate majority leaders indicated they had no intention of passing the bill in its current form. Some aspects of the act may reappear in new legislation as yet unwritten. That may not be good news in the face of questionable economic indicators.

Testing Capacity

As of May 27 at 1 pm Eastern time (1700 GMT), the US has officially run more than 15,629,892 tests for COVID-19. It has run approximately 2.84 million of those tests since last week (May 27). President Trump has said his goal is to increase testing to 2 million tests per week by the end of May. Some leading researchers have estimated that a capacity of 3-4 million tests per week is needed for the economy to fully reopen safely. Admiral Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Testing Czar said that they were working to provide the ability to test up to 50 million people per month by September. That number may still be a bit low based on recommendations by the Rockefeller Foundation, which call for testing capability to be ramped to 30 million tests per week by October.

What to Do if You Get Sick

Call your healthcare provider or reach out to a telehealth provider if you believe you have COVID-19. Do not go to a medical facility without calling ahead. It may be possible to treat symptoms of the virus at home with over-the-counter medications. When you speak to your doctor or telehealth provider, they will be able to evaluate your symptoms and their severity and will direct you to go to a testing center or hospital, if necessary.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911; tell them if you or anyone else in the home might have COVID-19. If you have questions or aren’t sure what to do, call your local health department. Many states have hotlines set up for this purpose. Some states have 211 service lines that you can call for help and resources.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!

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