- Dr. Fauci says he's "concerned" new CDC guidelines being "misinterpreted"
- Florida reports 9,000 new cases in kids since schools reopened
- New Spanish data out
- Florida, Arizona cases hit
- Italy sees largest virus toll in 3 months
- New York reports latest data
- France imposes new restrictions in Marseilles
- Delhi outbreak worsens
- Myanmar suffers record jump as Muslim minority bears brunt
* * *
Update (1850ET): All day long, one Democratic governor after another has condemned a recent change in CDC guidance related to COVID-19 testing. Gov Cuomo said NY will "disregard the CDC guidance totally" because “we need public health people who do public health, and not politics."
Cuomo says NY will "disregard the CDC guidance totally" because “we need public health people who do public health, and not politics." pic.twitter.com/oDZFsnqX3g— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 26, 2020
Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, said he "doesn't agree" with the guidance - "full stop."
“I don’t agree with the new CDC guidance. Period. Full stop,” Gov. Newsom said.— Peter Chin-Hong MD (@PCH_SF) August 26, 2020
Cuomo says New York will also not follow new CDC guidelines stating no testing for asymptomatic contacts of positive #COVID19 cases.
Science prevails in #CA and #NY. https://t.co/hXXmTzDatO
Apparently, following the CDC guidelines was never a huge priority among the states, though California, until it simply wasn't.
Where are the critics who say only experts are allowed to have an opinion? Is Newsom more qualified than the CDC to decide whether asymptomatic persons should be tested? https://t.co/TXjQ04vaNU— Kyle Lamb (@kylamb8) August 26, 2020
All of this happens just days after WSJ published a lengthy piece of "analysis" examining dissenting views on the efficacy of lockdowns?
The problem with "science" is it's often in flux, and such is the situation right now with SARS-CoV-2, a mysterious virus that continues to confound even seasoned epidemiologists and virologists.
But now, Dr. Fauci - in his latest attempt at playing mediator - is saying he believes the CDC guidelines are being misinterpreted. Though he also told CNN that the decision was made without his direct involvement, because he was in surgery.
"I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations," Fauci told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
He reiterated that asymptomatic spread is of "great concern", and that people shouldn't get the wrong message just because the guidelines on testing have changed slightly.
"I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is,” the doctor added.
We suspect this will be an even bigger deal tomorrow.
* * *
Update (1130ET): With the renewed focus on the outbreak in Africa as cases near 1.25 million, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended a night-time curfew by another 30 days, ahead of a conference to review the East African nation’s response to the pandemic. Nightclubs and bars, which have been closed since March, will also remain closed for another 30 days.
Italy just reported 1,367 new cases, its highest total in 3.5 months (May 12), taking its total to 262,540. However, the country also reported 93,529 tests in under 24 hours, roughly 20,000 more tests than have been performed in recent days, which could help explain the high tally. The country also reported 13 new deaths.
Florida reported 3,220 new Florida COVID-19 cases overnight - slightly more than the prior day - and 155 new deaths, bringing the state death toll to 10,872.
The percent positive of newly reported Florida COVID cases is 5.8%. Miami-Dade: 7.67%, Broward: 5.8% , Palm Beach: 4.1%.
Last night, Florida confirmed almost 9,000 new COVID-19 cases among children within 15 days in August as schools reopened, per the report. The Florida Department of Health recorded a total of 48,730 confirmed coronavirus cases among children, while the data shows an increase of 8,995 confirmed cases since the previous report, which included data from 15 days earlier, on Aug. 9.
For the 15 days before Aug. 9, the state confirmed 8,585 new COVID-19 cases among children.
As of Monday, the state has confirmed 17,311 cases among those aged 14 to 17, 8,248 cases among children aged 11 to 13, 12,946 cases for ages 5 to 10, 7,616 cases for 1 to 4 and 2,609 cases for children less than 1 year old. In total, the state has reported more than 600,000 cases.
But the bulk of these cases among children over the past 15 days has been within the 5 to 17 year age group, with more than 80%or 7,282 cases, out of 8,995 new cases.
Here are the latest numbers from New York.
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 26, 2020
Of the 71,189 tests reported yesterday, 566 were positive (0.79% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 492.
Sadly, there were 3 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/zwI0FpYpuL
Finally, in Arizona, officials reported 187 new cases and 104 deaths, bringing the totals to 199,459 and 4,896 since the start of the pandemic. More than 1.4 million people have been tested and the positivity rate as of Wednesday morning is 11.7%.
* * *
As the coronavirus outbreak continued to slow in the Sun Belt, and across the US (even the northeast is seeing new lows in hospitalizations related to the virus), our attention drifted back to India and the Middle East on Wednesday, and Europe as well.
Iran's death increased by 119 on Wednesday to 21,020, surpassing 21,000, according to health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari, who told state TV the total number of identified cases had risen to 365,606, after 2,243 new cases were counted in the past day, up from 2,213 a day earlier.
Lari added that 2,243 new cases were identified in the past day in Iran, rising from 2,213 a day earlier.
"Unfortunately we have been facing a surge in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. I urge everyone to avoid unnecessary trips," Lari said.
We imagine Iran's neighbors would prefer Iranians to stay home, too.
It's not Oxford/AstraZeneca, but the University of Cambridge, which is running its own vaccine project, has some news on Wednesday: it's due to start vaccine trials in the coming months after securing government funding for the project. Speaking of the British Government, PM Boris Johnson reiterated his stance on children returning to school on Wednesday by saying that staying home would do them "more harm" than returning to school and risking a spike in coronavirus infections.
UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson defended the Johnson government's overnight U-turn on mandatory face masks in secondary schools, after declaring last night that headmasters would have the leeway to decide whether to require pupils to wear them.
"What we’ve always said...this would be something that we’d keep under constant review," Gavin Williamson told Sky News. "Then when we issued the further guidance for the full return of schools in early July, again we emphasis the importance of keeping this area under review."
As if Myanmar's long-suffering Rohingya Muslim minority hasn't suffered enough, Myanmar health authorities reported the country's largest recorded spike in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Most of the cases were recorded in Rakhine State, where much of the persecuted Rohingya population lives in densely populated camps.
In India, Delhi continues to struggle from a new rise in coronavirus cases despite surveillance data showing that 30% of the city's residents may have already been infected with the virus.
However, this latest outbreak comes weeks after what appeared to be a successful effort to slow the spread.
Delhi reported 1,544 new cases on Tuesday, taking the city’s tally to 164,071. The city currently has 11,998 active cases.
Over the past day, 1,155 people have recovered, bringing the total to 147,743 patients who have recovered in the city so far. Delhi reported 17 new deaths bringing its death toll to 4,330.
After issuing new travel advisories targeting fellow EU members, Germany on Wednesday said it would scrap mandatory free coronavirus tests for returning travelers, a measure introduced earlier this month. Citing capacity constraints at its laboratories, Germany said the policy had been enacted hastily as a spike in new cases stoked fears of a comeback that has yet to emerge, though daily case totals remain elevated. Rules about mandatory quarantines for travelers, however, will remain in place.
Elsewhere on the Continent, bars and restaurants in and around Marseille will be forced to close at 11 pm local time starting Wednesday night and the obligatory wearing of masks will be extended to the entire city in France's latest attempt to quell a recent upswing in new cases that has focused on the country's two biggest cities, Paris and Marseille.
More than 23.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 15.5 million have recovered. More than 819,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.