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Coronavirus Watch

Covid Cases are Surging Again

The NBC News writes that new Covid cases are surging nationwide, however hospitalization numbers still low. It writes quoting health experts “a lower rate of severe illness in some states may reflect high vaccination rates, the prevalence of testing and the use of antiviral drugs”.

Nationwide, cases have climbed by roughly 58 percent over the past two weeks as the omicron coronavirus subvariant BA.2 and an offshoot of that strain, called BA.2.12.1, continue to spread.

– NBC News

For the past few days, cases are reportedly exceeding 100,000 per day, reaching 140,000 on past Wednesday. Heath experts believe that actual number of new cases might be even much higher, because many at-home-test results are not reported and thus not counted.

The NBC News reporting adds that “deaths across the country have dropped to an average of 301 fatalities per day, down roughly 17 percent (from more than 26,000 per day during pandemic) over the past two weeks”.

Quoting health officials, the reporting states “the lower rate of severe illness in the Northeast may reflect the region’s high vaccination rate, the prevalence of testing and the use of antiviral drugs, such as Paxlovid, which has been shown in clinical trials to cut a patient’s risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent”.

Bill Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told NBC News “while the lower rate of severe illness is ‘comforting‘, the high rate of infection is still something that cannot be ignored”.

“That’s because, people hospitalized with Covid but who don’t have severe symptoms are still at risk of transmitting the virus to others, including at-risk patients as well as hospital staff, who may be forced to take time off work if they become infected. It is something which is not trivial.”

We need to stay humble and realize this virus is throwing 210-mph curveballs at us, day after day. Who would have thought that Omicron, which wreaked havoc in December, January and early February, would rear its ugly head and come back at us with all these subvariants?

– Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (source: CNN)

“If you’re poor and struggling with health care, you’re less likely to be getting Evusheld and you’re less likely to be getting Paxlovid and you’re less likely to be boosted,” Dr. Hanage told to NBC News.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of May 14) 736,964,755 doses have been distributed and 581,376,728 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data a total of 9,917,824 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of May 13) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,479,047 with 12,559 deaths.