Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said today that hospitalizations throughout the state due to Covid-19 have declined after seeing a peak on November 17.
“Even though the progress we are making is reassuring, we’re not out of the woods,” Reynolds said.
She said that the first week of November, Iowa had 28,000 new Covid-19 cases and a positivity rate of 32%. The second week saw a positivity rate at 29% with new cases at 30,000 but hospitalizations were climbing at that point.
Mitigation measures were put in place on both Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, and Reynolds said that cases decreased starting the week of Nov. 15 to 24,210 and a 21% positivity rate.
Hospitalizations peaked on Nov. 17, according to Reynolds, but are starting to go down. She said case numbers and positivity rate were down last week as well, with 14,200 new cases reported at a 15% positivity rate for the week.
Iowa is reporting 1,171 new cases today, bringing the state’s total to 230,897. The 14-day positivity rate is at 17.1%, according to the state’s dashboard.
Note: These numbers were released by the state’s governor and public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with Bioreports’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
Lizanne Jennings knew it was time to let her husband go. Dennis was suffering in the hospital, sick with Covid-19.
“I leaned down to him and I said, ‘Baby, I’m here.’ I said, ‘You remember our talks?’ And he said, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I said, ‘Are you ready to be at peace?’ He said, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘Mom’s fine she’s back at the house. She’s going to stay with me.’”
But that was not true. Just three days ago, the Oklahoma intensive care nurse’s mother had already passed after battling Covid-19.
“I knew he would keep fighting if I told him my mom had already died. So I started giving him morphine and Ativan. And I turned him over and rubbed his back and I said, ‘I love you.’ He said, ‘I love you.’ I said ‘you’re going to go now, OK? You can finally be at peace.’”
Dennis took his final breath about 30 minutes later, she said.
Now, it’s just her and her two sons.
“I feel like we’re both drowning but as we go down we’re trying to push the other one back up to take a breath. It didn’t have to be this way,” she said. “Everybody talks about it’s 0.1 whatever percent. Well, it’s 40% of my family that’s gone.”
Speaking through tears, she said they did everything right and yet the virus came into their home and claimed two of her family members. People should “stop being selfish” and “just wear a mask,” she said.
“I couldn’t save either one of them,” she said, recounting everything she and her husband had done together. “I’m in a 2,500-square-foot house with a mother-in-law suite and everything he wanted. And I’m alone.”
Pennsylvania reported 5,676 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to a release from the state’s Department of Health.
At least 4,631 people are hospitalized with the virus and 970 patients are in the intensive care unit with Covid-19, the release says.
“Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older,” according to the release.
The statewide percent positivity for the week of Nov. 20 – Nov. 26 is 11.7%.
Note: These numbers were released by the state’s health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with Bioreports’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and our Covid tracker.
Following a Tuesday board meeting, the English Premier League released a statement announcing postponement of the Newcastle at Aston Villa match scheduled Friday because of a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Newcastle club.
Newcastle lodged a request to the league to have the game rescheduled after the Public Health England North East (PHE) advised the club’s facilities be closed due to the increase in coronavirus infections.
According to the statement, Newcastle correctly notified PHE regarding a number of positive Covid-19 test results, in accordance with government and Premier League protocols. The Premier League board agreed the club was therefore unable to train and prepare safely and adequately for Friday’s match.
All players and training ground staff will be retested this week, and PHE and league officials will meet again to assess the situation.
The league did not set a new date for the postponed fixture, saying that decision will come in due course.
Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna, told NBC’s Lester Holt Monday that they are “quite optimistic” when it comes to authorization of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
“We are quite optimistic, actually, that the vaccine is – the data speaks for itself and they’ll be supportive,” Hoge said in a preview clip from a longer interview, set to air on “Dateline” Thursday night.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is scheduled to meet on Dec. 17 to review Moderna’s application for emergency use authorization.
The FDA also has a meeting scheduled Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization for it’s Covid-19 candidate.
Once authorized, Hoge said that Moderna would be ready to ship its vaccine quickly.
Like others, he said, Moderna has partnered with Gen. Gus Perna and Operation Warp Speed: “I’ve been told they want trucks rolling within hours, if not a day.”
“So, what we’ve done is we’ve been helping to position the vaccine in the warehouses where they can access it immediately if it’s approved and start distribution,” Hoge said.
When asked by Holt if there was a plan B if the vaccine isn’t approved, Hoge said, “There hasn’t been much of a plan B since about February, you know. We’re all in on this. We hope this vaccine works.”
He added that they are confident in the data, and if FDA comes back with any questions, they will do everything they can do answer them.
During a teleconference call Tuesday, New Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 7,285 new Covid-19 cases in New York State, with 66 deaths.
The statewide positivity rate excluding “micro-cluster” areas stands at 4.46%. The positivity rate within New York’s “micro-clusters” is 6.27%, he said.
The total hospitalizations are at 3,774.
“The numbers are going up, we expected the numbers to go up, my projection is that the numbers will continue to go up through the holiday season, Cuomo said during a teleconference Tuesday.
Note: These numbers were released by New York Governor’s office and may not line up exactly in real time with Bioreports’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
Arizona reported 10,322 new Covid-19 cases today, according to the state’s data dashboard. However, the state’s health department said “this large number of newly reported cases is a result of the extended four-day weekend.”
“With the long weekend, classification was delayed for a large portion of cases, resulting in much higher numbers than usual,” Cara Crist, Director Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote in a blog post.
Remember: As Bioreports has been warning, many states posted much lower than usual cases/deaths on Thanksgiving, and it has taken them a few days to catalog and report the lag, which is why Arizona’s number is so high.
Prior to today, the highest single day of new cases in the state was more than 4,800 set on July 1.
Regardless of the holiday delays, Arizona has been experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks with daily case counts regularly topping 3,000 new Covid-19 cases.
Arizona has reported a total of 337,139 cases of Covid-19 and 6,687 reported deaths to the disease since the pandemic began.
Note: Some of these numbers were released by the Arizona Department of Health Services and may not line up exactly in real time with Bioreports’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
Sens. Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, Mark Warner, Bill Cassidy, Jeanne Shaheen, Lisa Murkowski, Angus King, Mitt Romney and Maggie Hassan announced what they called a bipartisan and bicameral Covid-19 emergency relief framework aimed at helping Americans affected by the pandemic.
Manchin called the $908 billion dollar “framework” relief that would go through April 1 “a labor of intense effort” that came together in about 30 days.
“It’s inexcusable for us to leave town and not have an agreement,” Manchin said. “This is going to get us through the most difficult times.”
Warner also said he hopes they pass something before Christmas.
“It’s not going make everybody happy but there’s been an enormous amount of work done,” Warner said. “It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge.”
Romney said the group has spoken with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the framework but he hasn’t weighed in. He also said they’ve spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well.
“I happened to be a deficit hawk, I don’t like borrowing money, I don’t like spending money we don’t have,” Romney said, but he supports this proposal because $560 billion dollars is money repurposed from the CARES Act so the amount of new money is actually $348 billion dollars.
When asked when there will be a bill, Manchin said the group can put one together.
“We can put one together,” Manchin said. “We have not had assurances .. for a vote, but I think the American people will put the pressure showing there’s a group of us coming together that this needs to be done.”
Reps. Abigail Spanberger, Dean Phillips, Dusty Johnson, Tom Reed, Josh Gottheimer, Anthony Gonzalez and Fred Upton of the Problem Solvers Caucus were present as well.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his call for Congress to pass further coronavirus relief before the end of the year and slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for pushing a more expensive and comprehensive proposal than Republicans will agree to.
“Let’s hope our Democratic colleagues will finally let us make law in all the enormously important areas where we do not even disagree,” he said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.
Moments before McConnell’s speech, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill that he will speak to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time this month.