COVID-19 day 156: 📈 2,381,361 cases; 121,979 deaths : 24 June 2020

Exactly two months later, US sets new daily record for reported cases; NY, NJ and CT introduce quarantine for some US state visitors; nurses at for-profit hospital chain plan strike

It’s day 155 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States.  Another day, more record daily reports.

Two months ago, 24 April, the US set a record for daily reported cases: 36,739. Today, we passed that record, 36,975.

There has been no sustained decline in cases in the United States. See, for example, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom (which is, itself, a sad example).

Within our borders, there’s a clear difference in how state leadership and citizens have reacted to this threat.

What are the two factors that slow the spread of COVID-19? Physical distancing and face coverings.

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🦠 WednesdayJohns Hopkins reported 2,381,361 (2,347,022) cases and 121,979 (121,228) deaths, an increase of 1.46% (1.50%) and 0.62% (0.69%), respectively, since Tuesday (Monday). A week ago, the daily numbers increased by 1.20% and 0.64%%, respectively.

  • The seven-day average: 30,454 (29,125) cases and 627 (638) deaths 

  • Percent of cases leading to death: 5.12% (5.17%).

  • Today’s case rate is 709.06 per 100,000; the death rate, 36.62 per 100,000.

  • One week ago, the case rate was 653.56 per 100,000; the death rate, 35.56 per 100,000.

Note: numbers in (.) are from the prior day and are provided for context. I include the seven-day average because dailies vary so much in the course of a week, particularly over a weekend.

🤓 Recommended reading

The “100-year thing” he was thinking about [in 2006] was a global pandemic, and how history would judge humanity's efforts to prepare for it. His biggest fear, he said, was a virus unknown to human immune defenses starting a human-to-human transmission chain that would encircle the globe…

In 2015, Metabiota had partnered with German reinsurance giant Munich Re and American insurance brokerage Marsh to develop and sell a policy specifically to guard large businesses against pandemics—to stanch the financial losses and keep them afloat. They'd launched it in mid-2018, a year and a half before the first Covid-19 cases appeared in China.

We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We? Wired, 16 June 2020.

🔬 Research and medical news

What does it mean that in some states the median age of new cases is dropping? An important conversation from Natalie E. Dean, PhD, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida (Threadreader).

Sections (no jump links, sorry!)
1, Around the country; 2, Around the world; 3, Politics, economics and COVID-19; 4, Case count; 5, What you can do and resources

⓵ Around the country

The big story nationally, other than the steady rise in cases in the south and southwest, is that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut governors are imposing a 14-day quarantine for visitors (or resident who have traveled there) from states with high coronavirus infection rates.

Cuomo said the quarantine will apply to any state where 10 of every 100,000 people test positive on a rolling seven-day basis, or where the positivity rate in the total population is 10 percent, also on a seven-day rolling basis.

States currently on the list: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas.

States reporting more than 1,000 cases today:

  • 7,149, California

  • 5,551, Texas

  • 5,511, Florida

  • 1,795, Arizona

  • 1,721, North Carolina

  • 1,703, Georgia

  • 1,284, South Carolina

⓶ Around the world

In Australia, Qantas does not plan to “resume substantial international travel until July 2021.”

In Brazil, Federal Judge Renato Borelli ruled that President Jair Bolsonaro, who has downplayed the virus a la President Trump, must wear a mask in public. Brazil has the second-most number of reported cases and COVID-related deaths after the US.

⓷ Politics, economics and COVID-19

If there is any institution which should be operated with a sense of service rather than stockholder profit, it seems like hospitals would fit that bill. But that’s not how the America of today sees the world.

HCA Healthcare, the largest U.S. for-profit hospital chain, received about $1 billion in from taxpayers for coronavirus that they do not have to repay. They made more than $7 billion in profits over the past two years.

In March 2019, HCA entered into a patient-to-nurse ratio mediation agreement with nurses and staff. California is the only that has codified a ratio. HCA has decided not to honor that mediation agreement.

Because of chronic understaffing during the pandemic, nurses and support staff plan an extended strike, starting Friday 26 June and ending Monday 06 July “in protest over cuts and concessions the corporation is pushing on front-line health care workers.”

Job listings for nurses at HCA-owned hospitals in the Los Angeles area were posted in anticipation of the strike actions. HCA reportedly created a unit focused on strike-related labor shortages, offering nurses who appear for shifts during strikes higher pay than they currently receive and free continental breakfast. The company is also seeking to hire labor relations directors in Denver, Dallas, Kansas City and Nashville, Tennessee, and has continued retaining union avoidance consultants in Asheville, North Carolina, amid a union organizing drive at Mission Hospital…

Around the U.S., nurses and hospital workers at HCA have reported understaffing and a lack of resources through the coronavirus pandemic. HCA is currently pushing employees to accept several concessions to pay and benefits — including wage freezes, elimination of 401(k) retirement contributions — and signaling the possibility of layoffs, with non-union employees already forced to accept freezes to annual wage and salary raises.

… HCA CEO Sam Hazen received $27 million in total compensation in 2019, his first year in the position. Hazen and other executives reportedly took pay cuts in 2020, citing the pandemic, but based on his 2019 salary the cut equates to less than 1% of his total compensation.

⓸ Case count

There is a lag between being contagious and showing symptoms, between having a test and getting its results. There is also a lag in reports of cases and deaths making their way into daily results; this lag is visible in predictable declines for both reports containing weekend data.

🌎 24 June 

WHO Situation report, 156

  • Globally: 9 129 146 cases (135 212 new) with 473 797 deaths (4 187 new)

  • The Americas: 4 507 006 cases (68 785 new) with 226 504 deaths (2 274 new)

  • US: 2 295 272 cases (26 519 new) with 120 171 deaths (410 new)

Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard (11.00 pm Pacific)

  • Global confirmed: 9,430,384 (9,264,569)

  • Total deaths: 482,805 (477,601)

  • Recovered: 4,746,836 (4,630,880)

🇺🇸 24 June 

  • CDC: 2,336,615 (34,313) cases and 121,117 (784) deaths

  • Johns Hopkins*: 2,381,361 (2,347,022) cases and 121,979 (121,228) deaths

  • State data*:  2,369,434 (2,331,093) identified cases and 115,536 (114,821) deaths
    KS reports only M-W-F; LA reported an unusually high number the past two days but it had several days with 0 as it has been updating the database

  • Total tests (US, Johns Hopkins): 28,567,355 (28,065,065)
    Take with a grain of salt. Tests not necessarily people. The CDC and at least 11 other states have combined the data for active infections with data for antibodies, boosting total number of tests which can drop the percentage who test positive.

📣 View weekly state infographics

* Johns Hopkins data, ~11.00 pm Pacific.
State data include DC, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

The virus was not created in a lab and the weight of evidence is it was not released intentionallyAlthough early reports tied the outbreak to a market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data in January suggested that the virus might have developed elsewhere.

⓹ What you can do


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