Child-care Covid-19 exposures rise in MN

In Star Tribune, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jeremy Olson writes that Covid-19 exposure in Minnesota child-care settings have increased in recent months. Based on a recently released report, “more than 100 potential exposures in child-care settings per week in three of the last four weeks, with the majority involving children rather than staff”.

The increase started at the height of summer camp season in the last week of July. That was really before things even started to spiral in Minnesota.

Dr. Beth Thielen, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at M Health Fairview (source: Star Tribune)

Dr. Heidi Erickson, a critical care physician at HCMC who co-authored the study, reportedly said that she is urging all unvaccinated people to seek shots if they are eligible for them.

“As a physician who takes care of these patients, and who has lost patients in their 30s and 40s to this disease, it’s an existential sort of crisis now of seeing unnecessary deaths and suffering from an illness that is preventable.”

In science journal Nature, Smriti Mallapaty writes “Delta’s rise is fuelled by rampant spread from people who feel fine. People infected with the Delta variant generally do not have COVID-19 symptoms until two days after they start shedding the coronavirus.”

People infected with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to spread the virus before developing symptoms than are people infected with earlier versions.

A new study from China (source: Nature)

According to Dr. Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong and a co-author of the study, “on average, people began having symptoms 5.8 days after infection with Delta — 1.8 days after they first tested positive for viral RNA. That left almost two days for individuals to shed viral RNA before they showed any sign of COVID-19.”

“The researchers also found that those infected with Delta had higher concentrations of viral particles, or viral load, in their bodies than did people infected with the original version of SARS-CoV-2. ‘Somehow the virus is appearing quicker and in higher amounts’,” told Dr. Cowling.

Dr. Barnaby Young, an infectious-disease clinician at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore, reportedly told that this high rate “helps explain how this variant has been able to outpace both the wild-type virus and other variants to become the dominant strain worldwide”.

However, based on limited studies the researchers found that vaccinated individuals were also 65% less likely than unvaccinated individuals to infect someone else.

The vaccines do work. … we’ve got to get the unvaccinated people vaccinated. That’s a very important goal and a very important issue we need to address.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (source: Politico)

Due to spike in cases with Delta variants and increased hospitalization, more than 1M Americans have received vaccination in the past seven weeks.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of August 19, 9 a.m.) 422,175,735 doses have been distributed and 359,623,380 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of August 17) a total of 6,065,563 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of August 19) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 631,858 (out of 11,068,479 tested) with 7,750 deaths.