Coronavirus UPDATE: Recap 7/25/20

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Recap 7/24/20

(WellnessPursuits.com) – The first results from a Phase 1 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine were released on July 14. The trial for an investigational vaccine called mRNA-1273 looks very promising. Phase 2 and 3 trials are continuing.

California is poised to surpass New York as infections continue to rise in that state. More than 67,000 infections have been recorded in a single week in California, alone.

We have more details on this and other highlights from the week:

COVID-19: Snapshot of the Week

Last week, as of 9:00 AM EDT (13:00 GMT), July 17, 2020, the reported worldwide numbers were 14,027,277 cases and 594,275 deaths in 213 countries and territories. There were 8,326,199 recoveries reported worldwide.

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The US had 3,716,956 reported cases and 141,419 deaths. New York accounted for 431,380 of those cases and 32,518 of those deaths. California (364,834 reported cases), Florida (327,241 reported cases) and Texas (313,060 reported cases) now top the nation with the number of cases. All over 310,000.

They are followed by New Jersey (182,532 reported cases), Illinois (159,082 reported cases), Arizona (138,523 reported cases), Georgia (131,275 reported cases) Massachusetts (112,581 reported cases), and Pennsylvania (103,169 reported cases).

The US Military reported 27,088 cases and 44 deaths while the Veterans Affairs reported 31,375 cases and 1,857 deaths. The Navajo Nation reported 8,486 cases and 407 deaths. Federal Prisons reported 9,875 cases and 96 deaths.

This week, as of 9:00 AM EDT (13:00 GMT), July 24, 2020, the reported worldwide numbers were 15,685,175 cases and 637,231 deaths in 213 countries and territories. There were 9,569,538 recoveries reported worldwide.

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The US had 4,170,333 reported cases and 147,342 deaths. New York accounted for 437,529 of those cases and 32,656 of those deaths. California (432,345 reported cases), Florida (389,868 reported cases) and Texas (377,396 reported cases) now top the nation with the number of cases. All over 375,000.

They are followed by New Jersey (184,029 reported cases), Illinois (168,100 reported cases), Georgia (156,588 reported cases), Arizona (152,944 reported cases), Massachusetts (114,320 reported cases), Pennsylvania (109,153 reported cases), North Carolina (106,918 reported cases) and Louisiana (101,650 reported cases).

The US Military reported 32,728 cases and 51 deaths while the Veterans Affairs reported 34,900 cases and 1,964 deaths. The Navajo Nation reported 8,734 cases and 432 deaths. Federal Prisons reported 11,174 cases and 100 deaths.

National and State Reopenings

Last week, 9 states were reversing course, 13 states were pausing, 17 states have reopened and 13 states, territories or districts are continuing with their reopening strategies. This week, 10 states or territories are reversing course, 13 states are pausing, 12 states or districts are continuing with their reopening strategies and 17 states have reopened.

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  • Alabama Pausing. Stage 2. Masks are required as of July 15. Open amenities include parks, beaches, gyms, retail stores, restaurant dining, bars, breweries, salons and entertainment venues, including theaters. Capacity limits will remain in place until at least the end of July based on rising infection numbers.
  • Alaska — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Arizona — Reversing. Amenities now closed include bars, movie theaters, gyms, tubing rentals and water parks. Open amenities include retail stores, barbershops, salons, restaurant dining, pools (capacity capped at 10), spas and casinos. Public gatherings are capped at 50. These new closures and limits will remain in place until July 27th.
  • Arkansas — Pausing. Mask Mandate effective July 20. Open amenities include campgrounds, gyms, pools, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, restaurant dining, bars, theaters, stadiums, museums, bowling alleys, large venues and casinos.
  • California — Reversing. Amenities now closed include bars in some counties and gyms in some counties and other amenities based on county and infection rates including movie theaters, museums, galleries, houses of worship, aquariums, arcades and bowling alleys.
  • Open amenities include manufacturing, warehouses, offices, movie, TV and music production, pet groomers, hair salons and barbershops in some counties, nail salons, cosmetology services, tattoo parlors and piercing shops in some counties, restaurant dining in some counties, outdoor dining, houses of worship in some counties, retail, casinos in some counties, museums in some counties, galleries, zoos, aquariums in some counties, bowling alleys in some counties, arcades in some counties, mini-golf and gyms in some counties.
  • Colorado — Reversing. Mask Requirement in all public spaces effective July 20. Amenities now closed include bars and casinos. Open amenities include salons and personal services, retail stores, offices, manufacturing, houses of worship, campgrounds, pools, playgrounds, gyms, restaurant dining, museums, indoor events, fairs, rodeos, concerts and outdoor events.
  • Connecticut — Pausing. Phase 2. Open amenities include restaurant dining, retail stores, malls, hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, spas, museums, zoos, casinos, movie theaters, libraries, amusement parks, bowling alleys, offices, beaches and gyms — opening soon: bars.
  • Delaware — Pausing. Phase 2. Open amenities include barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage therapy, farmers markets, retail stores, malls, beaches, pools, gyms, campgrounds, restaurants, bars, breweries, museums, libraries, galleries, live performances and casinos.
  • District of Columbia — Reopening. These amenities have reopened: retail stores, restaurant dining, libraries, museums, dog parks, golf courses, tennis courts, parks, gyms, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, waxing salons and spas — opening soon: nightclubs.
  • Florida — Reversing. Amenities now closed include bars. Open amenities include restaurant dining, retail stores, beaches, trails, gyms, houses of worship and sporting venues without spectators, movie theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys in most counties, tattoo parlors, massage therapy, tanning salons and acupuncture in most counties.
  • Georgia — Reopening. Despite escalating case counts, Georgia is continuing down a path of economic reopening. Open amenities include gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, private social clubs, hair salons, barbershops, restaurant dining, large venues, bars and nightclubs.
  • Hawaii — Reopening. Open amenities include beaches, piers, docks, etc., as well as state parks, pools and waterparks in some areas, campgrounds in some areas, gyms, retail stores, pet groomers, salons and barbershops, nail salons in some areas and tattoo parlors in some areas, construction in some areas, offices in some areas, houses of worship and restaurant dining and bars.
  • Idaho — Pausing. Stage 3. Open amenities include houses of worship, gyms, pools, waterparks, restaurant dining, bars, hair salons, movie theaters, nightclubs and large venues. Although Idaho was poised to move to stage 4 of reopening, they will pause in stage three for at least two weeks, into mid-July.
  •  Illinois — Reopening. Stage 4. These amenities have reopened: state parks, limited fishing, boating, golf courses, gyms, retail stores, pet grooming, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, waxing centers, tattoo parlors, restaurant dining, manufacturing, offices, museums, theaters, and zoos.
  • Indiana — Pausing. Stage 4 — capacity limits still in place. Facemasks required effective July 27. Amenities closed until further notice include conventions, fairs, parades and similar events. Open amenities include libraries, museums, zoos and aquariums, movie theaters, large venues, manufacturing, offices, houses of worship, restaurant dining, bars and nightclubs, spas, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, retail stores, gyms, pools, bowling alleys, tennis and basketball courts, campgrounds, amusement parks and water parks.
  • Iowa — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Kansas — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity at the discretion of county seats. All Kansans were ordered to wear facemasks in public as of July 3.
  • Kentucky — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity. Gatherings reduced to no more than 10 people and residents are ordered to wear face coverings.
  • Louisiana — Reversing. Phase 2. Masks are required in public. Amenities closed until further notice include bars, amusement parks, water parks, theme parks and concert and music halls. Open amenities include restaurant dining, gyms, state parks, pools, malls, movie theaters, certain museums, zoos and aquariums, casinos, event centers, salons and barbershops, houses of worship, spas, tattoo parlors, pools, bowling alleys and skating rinks.
  • Maine — Reopening. Amenities closed until further notice include bars for indoor service. Open amenities include hair salons, barbershops, pet groomers, nail salons, tattoo parlors, spas, massage parlors, state parks, boating, golf courses, remote campgrounds, hunting and fishing, private campgrounds, RV parks, amusement parks, water parks, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters, performing arts venues, houses of worship, retail stores and restaurants, bars for outdoor service, gyms, nail salons and tattoo parlors.
  • Maryland — Reopening. Amenities closed until further notice include bars and theaters. Open amenities include golf courses, outdoor shooting ranges, marinas, campgrounds, beaches, outdoor pools, day camps, gyms, retail stores, malls, manufacturing, construction, offices, hotels, lodging, houses of worship, hair salons and barbershops, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, casinos, restaurant dining, outdoor service at breweries, wineries and distilleries.
  • Massachusetts — Reopening. Phase 3. Amenities closed until further notice include bars, stadiums and convention halls. Open amenities include golf courses, beaches, parks, fishing, hunting and boating, gyms, houses of worship, movie theaters, museums, aquariums, amusement parks, water parks, theme parks, theaters, performance halls, ballrooms, construction, manufacturing, offices, hotels, lodging, retail stores, restaurants dining, hair salons, barbershops, pet grooming, nail salons, massage parlors, tanning salons, bowling alleys in most regions, museums, aquariums in most regions, theaters and performance venues in most regions, movie theaters in most regions and casinos in most regions.
  • Michigan — Reversing. Phase 4. Amenities now closed include nightclubs, bars for indoor service in most counties and gyms. Facemasks required in public. Open amenities include golf courses, marinas, pools, gyms in some regions, construction, real estate, manufacturing, including auto companies, offices, retail, restaurants, outdoor bars, veterinary services, Pet groomers, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, arcades, bowling alleys, theaters and convention centers in some regions. The pause before progressing to stage 5 is expected to last until at least mid-July.
  • Minnesota — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity. Facemasks ordered in public settings effective July 25.
  • Mississippi — Pausing. Masks mandated in public. Open amenities include retail stores, restaurant dining, bars, houses of worship, state parks, gyms, salons and barbershops, tattoo parlors, casinos, movie theaters, libraries and museums.
  • Missouri — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Montana — Reopened. Facemasks must be worn in counties with four or more cases of COVID-19. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Nebraska — Reopened. (never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; regional reopenings) — All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Nevada — Reversing. Phase 2. All Nevadans and visitors are required to wear facemasks in public. Open amenities include golf courses, pickleball, tennis courts, state parks, gyms, pools, waterparks, retail stores, malls, restaurants, bars, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons, cosmetology and skin services, massage therapy, tattoo and piercing shops, museums, art galleries, zoos and aquariums, movie theaters, bowling alleys, outdoor attractions, houses of worship and gaming.
  • New Hampshire — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at reduced capacity.
  • New Jersey — Pausing. Amenities closed until further notice include breweries, wineries, distilleries and movie theaters. Open amenities include golf courses, outdoor recreational businesses, beaches, campgrounds, pools, libraries for curbside pickup, casinos, playgrounds, water parks, amusement parks, museums, libraries, aquariums, bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, gyms, construction, retail stores, malls, outdoor dining at restaurants, houses of worship, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, spas, massage therapy and tanning salons — opening soon: breweries, wineries, distilleries, casinos, movie theaters.
  • New Mexico — Reversing. Phase 2 of New Mexico’s reopening is on indefinite hold as new cases of COVID-19 affect younger demographics. Amenities closed until further notice include bars, restaurant dining, indoor service at breweries, casinos, and theaters. Open amenities include state parks, golf courses, boating, gyms, pools, pet grooming and boarding, veterinary services, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, nail salons, retail stores at 25% capacity, malls, restaurant dining, breweries, offices at 25% capacity and houses of worship.
  • New York — Reopening. Phase 4. Amenities closed until further notice include movie theaters, casinos, amusement parks, bowling alleys, and gyms. Open amenities include retail stores, houses of worship, beaches, fishing and hunting, public pools and playgrounds, outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks in some regions, offices, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, TV and film production in some regions, outdoor dining at restaurants in some regions, indoor dining in some regions, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, nail salons, museums and aquariums in some regions.
  • North Carolina — Pausing. Residents and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public. Amenities closed until further notice include bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and gyms. Open amenities include retail stores, restaurant dining, houses of worship, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and pools.
  • North Dakota (never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; allowed businesses to reopen May 1) — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Ohio — Reopening. Facemasks required in some counties. Open amenities include manufacturing, distribution, construction, offices, retail stores, salons, barbershops, etc., as well as dine-in restaurants and bars, campgrounds, gyms, pools, sports leagues, bowling alleys, miniature golf and batting cages, aquariums, zoos, skating rinks, playgrounds, country clubs, movie theaters, museums, art galleries, casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks.
  • Oklahoma — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity. Oklahomans and visitors are asked to observe social distancing and hygiene precautions and guidance as issued by the CDC.
  • Oregon — Pausing. Masks are required as of July 15. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Oregon has paused in Phase 2 of reopening until at least September. Open amenities include some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities, gyms in some counties, pools in most counties, restaurants, retail stores, salons and barbershops, movie theaters, bowling alleys in most counties, and offices in most counties.
  • Pennsylvania — Reopened. As of July 16, indoor dining capacity has been reduced to 25% and bars may only open for restaurant service. All other businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Puerto Rico — Reversing. Amenities closed until further notice include bars, movie theaters, casinos and gyms. Open amenities include restaurants (at 50% capacity), salons, barbershops, pet grooming, spas. retail stores, malls, outdoor malls and beaches, museums, auto cinemas, outdoor concerts, other open venues and houses of worship.
  • Rhode Island — Reopening. Phase 3. Social gatherings are limited to 25 people until further notice. Open amenities include state parks, beaches, gyms, casinos, campgrounds, retail stores, malls, offices, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops, restaurant dining and houses of worship.
  • South Carolina — Pausing. Amenities closed until further notice include movie theaters, concerts, race tracks and nightclubs. Open amenities include retail stores, beaches, piers, docks, etc., gyms, pools, restaurant dining, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, museums, zoos, aquariums and houses of worship.
  • South Dakota (Did not have a statewide stay-at-home order). Remained Open. Businesses did not close down. All businesses and amenities are open. The government of South Dakota requests that residents and visitors alike follow CDC recommendations and follow appropriate social distancing guidelines.
  • Tennessee — Reopening. Open amenities include state parks, gyms, theaters, museums, amusement parks, houses of worship, restaurant dining, retail stores, salons and barbershops.
  • Texas — Reversing. Face coverings are required in public in counties with more than 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and residents are encouraged to stay at home. Amenities closed until further notice include bars and reduced capacity in restaurants. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people. Elective surgeries are prohibited in Harris, Dallas, Travis, and Bexar counties (containing the four largest cities and the largest concentrations of infections). Open amenities include state parks, pools, gyms, natural caverns, waterparks, amusement parks, carnivals, zoos, retail stores, malls, restaurant dining, movie theaters, museums, libraries, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, rodeos, aquariums, salons, barbershops, etc., massage and personal care, offices and manufacturing.
  • Utah — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Vermont — Reopening. Open amenities include manufacturing, construction, distribution, state parks, golf courses, trails, campgrounds, gyms, fitness centers, retail stores, houses of worship, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, museums, theaters, libraries and restaurant dining.
  • Virginia — Reopened. Most businesses allowed to operate at full capacity
  • Washington — Pausing. Phase 3. The state is pausing indefinitely in Stage 3 before moving into Stage 4. Bar seating and live music prohibited in most counties. Facemasks required in indoor venues. Live entertainment prohibited statewide effective July 20. Open amenities include state parks, fishing, hunting, golf courses, gyms in most counties, retail stores in most counties, restaurant dining in most counties, construction, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors in most counties, pet grooming, religious services in most counties and casinos.
  • West Virginia — Reopened. Face coverings are required where social distance cannot be maintained as of July 7. Social gatherings limited to 25 people. Fairs, festivals, and concerts are prohibited. Bars in some counties must close as of July 14. Open amenities include salons, barbershops, pet groomers, tanning salons, spas, massage parlors, gyms, recreation centers, state parks, campgrounds, pools, museums, zoos, casinos, restaurant dining, bars, retail stores and malls, bowling alleys, pool halls, movie theaters, roller rinks and amusement parks.
  • Wisconsin — Reopened. All businesses allowed to operate at full capacity.
  • Wyoming (Never issued a stay-at-home order, but closed businesses; allowed businesses to reopen May 1) — Pausing. Amenities closed until July 15 include retail stores. Capacity restrictions on restaurants, bars, and gyms until July 31. Open amenities include gyms, state parks, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage therapy, etc., restaurant dining, movie theaters and entertainment venues.

All states except Montana and Wyoming had closed schools for extended periods before the summer break, with many shut down until the end of the academic school year or until further notice. Most schools and colleges conducted online learning. Debates are raging in many larger cities where infection rates are higher about whether schools can reopen safely. Decisions about fall classes are being made at the state and even county levels. Some decisions may not be final until shortly before classes are due to resume. We will continue to monitor and let you know more as information becomes available.

A total of 11 states still have self-quarantines upon individuals entering from specific “hot” infection zones in an attempt to keep citizens of their states safer. States enforcing quarantines include Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Those states are requiring entrants to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.

CDC Guideline Updates

No significant new public guidance was issued this last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). States are continuing to follow the comprehensive guidance issued for reopening and for contact tracing. Although guidelines on social distancing are no longer being maintained by the CDC, 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) away from other people.
  • Avoid groups 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.

On June 25, the CDC updated and expanded the list of people who are at risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk for severe illness, but now the CDC has further defined age- and condition-related risks. For instance, they removed the age-specific threshold of 65 years old and instead state that risk increases steadily as we age.

Financial Updates

Another 1.42 million people filed for unemployment claims last week, joining the more than 51.5 million already unemployed in the US — suggesting an estimated total of nearly 52 million job losses throughout the run of the pandemic thus far. This marks the 18th consecutive week that claim numbers have exceeded 1 million. Additional claims are likely to continue to be filed. Continuing claims dropped slightly to 16.197 million, down by nearly 1.1 million.

The Labor Department estimated on July 23 that approximately 31.8 million workers are currently unemployed. Some economists are softening that number slightly to 30 million. That still implies a 20% unemployment rate.

Testing Capacity

As of July 22 at 1 pm Eastern time (1700 GMT), the US has officially run more than 50,688,737 tests for COVID-19. It has run approximately 6.05 million of those tests since last week (June 24). 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 calls for testing capability to be ramped to 30 million tests per week by October.

Daily Average Case Numbers

Infections increased in 36 states last week. Among the hardest hit were California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona. California will effectively take the lead in the number of cases July 24, outpacing the number of infections seen by New York. New York, having been hit hard early in the pandemic, still leads the nation in the number of COVID deaths.

In total, the average daily case count for the US over the last 7 days has been 67,852 cases per day. That’s an average of approximately 99 more cases per day than last week.

Rise in Military Cases

Military cases continued to increase this week. The number of reported infections increased by 5,640 — an increase of 20.82%. The number of reported cases totals 32,728.

For reference purposes, the Military currently includes about 1.3 million active-duty personnel. The state of New Hampshire has an estimated population of 1.35 million. New Hampshire has experienced a total number of 6,318 reported cases thus far, but currently only has 568 active cases, and is experiencing declining numbers.

Vaccine Testing

A collaboration between researchers at Moderna, a pharmaceutical company based on Cambridge, MA, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) yielded a vaccine candidate called mRNA-1273. Phase 1 testing began in mid-March on 45 participants aged 18-45. Phase 1 testing aimed to find out if the vaccine was safe and whether it caused participants to generate antibodies similar to those seen in convalescent sera of recovered COVID-19 patients.

On July 14, Phase 1 results were released. No adverse events were experienced by any of the participants beyond fatigue, headaches, chills and soreness at the injection site. Two doses of the vaccine generated higher antibody activity than what was observed in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients.

The Phase 1 trial was expanded to 120 participants in late April, and Phase 2 began enrollment in May. Phase 3 is scheduled to begin in July. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

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.

Recommendations include keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or, if those items aren’t available, by using hand sanitizer containing 60+% alcohol; using face coverings when in public places, especially in crowds or in enclosed spaces; minimizing contact with those outside your immediate family when possible; and social distancing when in the presence of others outside your family unit.

Even during a pandemic, there’s reason for hope and so much that might give us a measure of comfort.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!

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