Thursday, September 16, 2021 | Kaiser Santé news


As Wildfire Fighters battle the flames, more people are affected by Covid than last year

Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center report shows most Americans believe the threat of a covid pandemic is still serious and the worst is yet to come. News outlets report outbreaks of infections and the resulting impact on health services across the country.

Stateline: COVID hits wildfire fighters even harder than last year

As wildfires rage through western states, flattening rural towns and forcing thousands to evacuate, coronavirus cases and supply chain issues linked to the pandemic have made it harder to deploy resources fight fires where they are needed, according to fire officials. More firefighters appear to be getting sick with COVID-19 and quarantining themselves this year than last year, officials said, due to the highly contagious delta variant and mixed adherence to COVID-19 safety measures such as masking, vaccinations and social distancing. “Last year I was actually incredibly, pleasantly surprised at how little COVID we seemed to have,” said Melissa Baumann, chair of the Forestry Services Board of the National Federation of Federal Employees. His union represents employees of the US Forest Service, including wildland firefighters who work for the agency. (Quinton, 09/15)

In other news on the spread of the coronavirus –

USA Today: Americans believe worst pandemic is yet to come, poll finds

More than a year and a half after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans believe the coronavirus remains a major threat to public health and the U.S. economy, according to a Pew Research Center report released on Wednesday. Despite widespread vaccination efforts, 54% of American adults say the worst of the epidemic is yet to come. The report, based on a survey of 10,348 U.S. adults conducted from August 23 to 29, 2021, found that 73% of people aged 18 and over report having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. . (Bacon, Santucci and Hauck, 9/15)

AP: virus influx twice as severe in Reno as in Vegas; Filling of hospitals

The Nevada Hospital Association on Wednesday urged residents to stay out of emergency rooms except in an actual emergency, particularly in northern Nevada where a resurgence of COVID-19 cases continues at a rate twice as high as in the Las Vegas area. “Many hospital emergency departments in northern Nevada are at full capacity with patients,” said Pat Kelly, president and CEO of the Nevada Hospital Association. (Ring, 9/16)

Salt Lake Tribune: Intermountain Healthcare Overestimates Critical Care Capacity Issues, Utah Lawmaker Says

A Republican Utah lawmaker has wrongly claimed that the shortage of intensive care beds in Utah hospitals is not due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in part to poor business decisions. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield made the comment during a hearing on what lawmakers could do to thwart President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for business. Ray wondered if people should be forced to get vaccinated. “It’s a person’s choice. If you choose not to get the vaccine, you get sick and die. It’s yours. It’s your call, ”Ray said. Uninvited, Ray moved on to reports that intensive care beds in Utah were beyond capacity because unvaccinated people were being hospitalized due to the uncontrolled spread of the delta variant. (Schott, 09/15)

Detroit Free Press: “Perfect Storm” Has Beaumont Emergency Rooms Nearly Full

Beaumont Health announced on Wednesday that its 10 emergency departments were nearing full capacity, and authorities are urging patients to consider all treatment and assessment options, such as emergency care and their primary care physician, if necessary. appropriate. The healthcare system, like others in Michigan and nationwide, is experiencing more patients overall and staffing shortages and has temporarily closed about 180 beds (just over 5% of its total beds) due to a lack of staff. (Room, 15/9)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Intensive Care Units Still Full, Ambulances Stretched Across Georgia

The state’s healthcare system continues to operate in crisis mode, as hospital intensive care units are still overflowing with critically ill patients, even though COVID-19 admissions have declined since peaking in the early pandemic. September. The high demand for intensive care has prompted hospitals to try to limit the traffic of ambulances to their very crowded emergency departments. The result: frequent scenes of ambulances piling up outside the ER, as EMS workers continue to tend patients on stretchers and listen to radio calls they cannot answer quickly. (Teegardin and Bérard, 9/15)

Oklahoman: Another Oklahoma County Jail Inmate Dies After Positive COVID-19 Test

Oklahoma County Jail inmate Leo Alexander Destea died in hospital Tuesday evening. Destea tested positive for COVID-19 in early August and was quarantined at the prison. He was hospitalized on August 30 after developing breathing difficulties. He died Tuesday evening. The prison announced the death on Wednesday morning in a press release. The state medical examiner’s office will make a final decision on the cause of death, the prison’s communications director said. (Clay, 9/15)

WMFE: Infant Likely Orange County’s Youngest Death With COVID-19

An infant has died from COVID-19 in Orange County, one of 56 virus-related deaths reported by the county since September 9. will not give any details about this person. Because this is only one case. And it could be easily identified, ”says Dr Raul Pino, medical director of the county health department. Pino says he thinks the baby is the youngest person to die with COVID in the county. (Prior, 9/15)

Also –

CIDRAP: Face covers offer modest source control for COVID-19, study finds

Tissue or surgical face masks reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA by 77% in exhaled coarse aerosol particles and by 48% in exhaled fine aerosol particles, providing “modest” source control , according to a clinical infectious disease study yesterday. The study also found that the Alpha (B117) COVID-19 variant contained 43 times more fine aerosolized viral RNA than previous viral strains. The study used breath samples collected using a Gesundheit II machine, which was developed by lead study author Donald Milton, MD, PhD, of the University of Maryland. The machine measures viral excretion in breaths exhaled during conversations and other vocalizations. “Source control” refers to covering the mouth and nose to reduce the pathogens expelled and therefore the likelihood of disease transmission. (9/15)

Axios: NIH launches massive project to study long COVID

The National Institute of Health is launching a series of nationwide studies with up to 40,000 people to look for the long-term effects of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID that last longer than four weeks, commonly referred to as long COVID, have become an emerging public health problem because researchers do not know the cause. (Fernandez, 9/15)

KHN: When Covid Deaths Rejected or Stigmatized, Grief Mingles with Shame and Anger

Months after Kyle Dixon’s death, his old home in Lanse, Pa., Is filled with memories of a shortened life. His tent and hiking boots are resting on the porch where he last put them on. The grass he was mowing grew in his absence. And on the kitchen counter, there are still vials of the over-the-counter cough medicine he took to try and ease his symptoms at home as covid-19 began to destroy his lungs. (Sholtis, 9/16)


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