07 March 2020

Italy quarantines 16 million people; DC, KS and MO now affected; attendee at conservative conference in MD tests positive

Early Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that at least 16 million people in Italy are under a mandatory quarantine until at least early April. On Saturday, the number of confirmed cases increased by more than 1,200 to 5,883 and an additional 50 deaths pushed the death toll past 230. No one may enter or leave the northern region of Lombardy, home to Milan, except for emergencies.

Washington, California and New York should be considering this.

Nineteen people confirmed positive have died in the US, most of them in Washington.

The Washington Life Care acute care facility in Kirkland held a news conference on Saturday. There were 120 residents on 19 February when this began; 54 residents have been taken to a hospital.

Since 19 February, 26 residents have died; on average, 3-7 patients die each month. On Wednesday, the state said all residents would be tested. [Washington did not get an OK from the CDC to begin in-state testing until February 28.]

In addition, 70 of the 180 — about 2-in-5 — employees who work at Life Care “have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-quarantined at home.” This is an example of a stressed health care facility.

Hospitals in Washington are reporting a shortage of supplies, especially surgical masks. This is an example of a stress health care system. There are 102 cases in four counties, primarily King County (Seattle).

“This is a global issue,” said Dr. Christopher Baliga, chief of infectious disease at Virginia Mason Medical Center, of the supply problem.

Grand Princess Cruise Ship: To date, there have been 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (19 crew members and 2 passengers) on the Grand Princess cruise ship that made port calls to Hawaiian islands from 26-29 February. The ship is currently being held off the coast of California and is scheduled to dock in Oakland on Monday and begin disembarking 3,500 people.

“The ship is an enormous problem,” said Dr. Arthur Reingold, a UC Berkeley epidemiologist who used to work at the CDC. “I’m concerned that other people on the ship are infected some who may well develop symptoms over the incubation period.”

Recommended reading

From the CDC: if you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.

  • Tell your doctor about any recent travel and your symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others.

Sections below
Around the country; Politics, economics and COVID-19; Global news; Case count (domestic and global); What you can do; and Resources

Around the country

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who traveled Feb 4-18, 2020 on a river cruise on the Nile River in Egypt to self-isolate for 14 days following the date they return to the US.

In Washington, Pierce County reported its first three confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Politics, economics and COVID-19

On Wednesday, March 4, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), posed in his House office wearing a massive gas mask, which he then wore to the floor of the House. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) criticized Gaetz for "making light" of coronavirus. One of the Florida patients who died lived in Gaetz’s district.

On Friday, March 6, the CDC reportedly “quietly updated” the COVID-19 website and advised older adults and people with severe medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease to “stay home as much as possible” and avoid crowds. Although the CDC urges those individuals to “take actions to reduce your risk of exposure,” it does not specifically address flying.

An anonymous employee said that the CDC recommend to the White House “that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines.” That request was rejected. 

An attendee at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, MD has tested positive for coronavirus.

Global news

The number of affected countries jumped up from 29 last week to 93 today. Although early reports tied the outbreak to a seafood (“wet”) market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data suggest that the virus may have developed elsewhere.

Iran has confirmed almost 6,000 infections and 145 deaths. Reportedly, a second member of parliament has died in Iran.

The outbreak in China is reportedly slowing.

Case count

Tests are becoming more widely available as states labs implement testing. Scientists point out that where there are two confirmed cases or where the first case is severe, there are many more people walking the streets, unaware that they are carriers. There is a lag between the period of contagion and a patient showing symptoms.

07 March, domestic

Nationally there are a total of 164 cases according to the CDC and 433 cases according to Johns HopkinsThirty states plus DC are reporting 394 cases. Links are to news stories or official government websites; view infographic.

  1. Alaska

  2. Alabama

  3. Arizona: 4 cases

  4. Arkansas

  5. California:  88 cases (24 are from repatriation flights), 1 death

  6. Colorado: 8 cases

  7. Connecticut

  8. Delaware

  9. District of Columbia: 1 case

  10. Florida: 5 cases

  11. Georgia: 6 cases

  12. Hawaii: 1 case

  13. Illinois: 6 cases

  14. Indiana: 1 case

  15. Iowa

  16. Kansas: 1 case

  17. Kentucky: 1 case

  18. Louisiana

  19. Maine

  20. Maryland: 3 cases

  21. Massachusetts: 13 cases

  22. Michigan

  23. Minnesota: 1 case

  24. Mississippi

  25. Missouri: 1 case

  26. Montana

  27. Nebraska: 16 cases (15 from repatriation flights)

  28. New Hampshire: 2 cases

  29. New Mexico

  30. New York: 89 cases

  31. Nevada: 1 case

  32. New Jersey: 4 cases

  33. New Mexico

  34. North Carolina: 2 cases

  35. North Dakota

  36. Ohio

  37. Oklahoma: 1 case

  38. Oregon: 7 cases

  39. Pennsylvania: 4 cases

  40. Rhode Island: 3 cases

  41. South Carolina: 2 cases

  42. South Dakota

  43. Tennessee: 1 case

  44. Texas: 19 cases (11 from repatriation flights)

  45. Utah: 1 case

  46. Vermont

  47. Virginia

  48. Washington: 102 cases, 16 deaths

  49. West Virginia

  50. Wisconsin: 1 case

  51. Wyoming

07 March, global

  • Globally: 101,927 confirmed (3,735 new)

  • China: 80,813 confirmed (102 new) with 3,073 deaths (28 new)

  • Outside of China: 21,110 confirmed (3,633 new) with 413 deaths (78 new) in 93 Countries/territories/ areas (5 new)

WHO Situation report, 47

  • Global confirmed: 106,165

  • Total deaths: 3,594

  • Total recovered: 59,964

Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard

What you can do

  1. Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. 

  2. Stay home when sick.

  3. Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth. 

  4. Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system. 

  5. Don’t stockpile personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks as they are needed by health care staff. When is a mask is needed? When we are unwell and have to go out.

Tips via Seattle-King County Public Health


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