Wednesday CoronaBuzz, July 28, 2021: 30 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Here we are right in the middle of it again. Please stay safe. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


State of Delaware: Auditor McGuiness’ Project: Gray Fox Launches. “As American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund recipients begin to spend the approximately $1 billion they are receiving, officials will input their spending information, and the auditor’s website will transform the information into easy-to-read charts and graphics so that all Delawareans can be citizen fiscal watchdogs over these funds.”

KTUL (Oklahoma): New data map shows low vaccination numbers by zip code. “As case numbers rise, so too do calls to 211, the state’s COVID hotline. The Community Service Council just launched a new tool to monitor COVID data and is hoping to help the public stay informed about what’s happening in their neighborhood.”


Politico: ‘What’s Covid?’ Why People at America’s Hardest-Partying Lake Are Not About to Get Vaccinated. “In a county designated a Covid hot spot, in a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, and in a region where hospitals are nearing capacity as the Delta variant takes hold, Erin, a bartender at Backwater Jack’s, couldn’t be in a more vulnerable position. She interacts closely with hundreds of maskless customers—sometimes on a single day. She knows most of them are probably not vaccinated. And she doesn’t care. She isn’t either.”

CBS News: Tokyo reports record number of new COVID-19 cases as Olympics continue. “Tokyo reported its highest-ever daily number of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the Olympic Games continued in the city, under strict protection protocols. The Japanese capital, which is under its fourth state of emergency, reported 2,848 new cases of COVID-19, breaking a previous record set in January and bringing the country’s case total to more than 200,000 since the pandemic began.”

Reuters: In Utah, Hospitals Swell With Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients. “Utah’s intensive care units were 84% full on July 22, and COVID patients made up about a quarter of the population. By comparison, the units were 59% full on April 19, and only 11% of those patients had COVID, state data shows.”


Tubefilter: YouTube Removes Videos From Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro For Spreading COVID Misinformation. “Reuters notes that Bolsonaro has been outspoken against lockdowns, vaccines, masks, and has promoted unscientific treatments on his YouTube channel, where he hosts weekly addresses. These streams — which are also distributed on Facebook — see the far-right figure taking questions from viewers and deriding his enemies alongside appearances from ministers and music.”

Poynter: Fact checks of 10 prominent types of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. “People who get their news from conservative media are more likely to believe misinformation about the vaccines, according to a recent survey from the University of Pennsylvania. On Fox News, for example, recent calls by some hosts to get vaccinated came against the backdrop of months of skepticism and misleading claims from the likes of Tucker Carlson. Here are 10 persistent falsehoods we have seen, and our related fact checks.”


Politico: In Alabama and Louisiana, partisan opposition to vaccine surges alongside Delta variant. “The pushback from both state officials and people who refuse vaccination underscores the extent to which the federal government may never be able to convince rural, conservative populations in parts of the South to get the shot. And it raises questions about how the Biden administration will shape its response to Covid-19 over the next several months as more schools and businesses reopen and Delta spreads.”


Florida Times-Union: Mayo Clinic calls for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for staff: ‘Our patients expect to be safe’. “The Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is requiring all of its employees, including those at its Jacksonville campus, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 17. Staff who decline must complete ‘education modules,’ which are training videos, and will be required to wear masks and socially distance when on campus,” according to Mayo.”


NBC News: Unvaccinated snow leopard at San Diego Zoo catches Covid-19. “An unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo has contracted Covid-19. Caretakers noticed that Ramil, a 9-year-old male snow leopard, had a cough and runny nose on Thursday. Later, two separate tests of his stool confirmed the presence of the coronavirus, the zoo said in a statement Friday.”


WRAL: Vaccine mandate hasn’t hurt one Raleigh business. “Gus Gusler reopened the Players’ Retreat sports bar on Hillsborough Street a month ago, allowing only vaccinated employees and customers inside. Gusler said he also faced plenty of backlash in the beginning, but the move hasn’t hurt business.”

Computerworld: Pandemic redux: No, your workers aren’t coming back to the office. “Listen, I know you want to turn the clock back. I want to turn the clock back, too. We all want to turn the clock back and change the world so that Covid-19 never came along. We can’t do it — nor can we pretend anymore that we’re over the coronavirus pandemic. We’re not. And that means work isn’t going back to ‘normal’— whatever normal means now — either.”


CNN: CDC updates guidance, recommends vaccinated people wear masks indoors in certain areas. “To prevent further spread of the Delta variant, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Tuesday to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission of Covid-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties.”

CNET: US to keep current COVID-19 travel restrictions amid delta variant concerns. “The US will keep COVID-19 travel limitations in place due to the rising concerns about the delta variant. The country will ‘maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,’ a White House official told Reuters on Monday.”

New York Times: ‘Long Covid’ patients will be covered by federal disability law, Biden says.. “Americans suffering from ‘long Covid’ — a term referring to new or ongoing health problems from a coronavirus infection that occurred weeks or months ago — will have access to the benefits and protection provided under federal disability law, President Biden said on Monday.”

CBS News: White House announces more funding to increase vaccinations in underserved communities. “The Biden administration on Tuesday announced $121 million in grants to over 100 community-based organizations across the U.S. to boost vaccinations in underserved communities. The funding will be going to groups like churches and local first responders to help provide more information to people in rural areas about COVID-19 vaccinations.”

CNN: Department of Veterans Affairs will require health workers to be vaccinated. “The Department of Veterans Affairs will require many of its frontline health workers to be vaccinated, the agency announced on Monday, making it the first area of the federal government to require shots among some of its workers. It was a major step from the administration toward backing vaccine requirements, which it had until now been reluctant to support.”


ABC 7 News: Calif. to require state employees and health care workers to get vaccinated or tested. “Governor Gavin Newsom and California health officials have announced a vaccine verification and testing program that will be implemented for all state employees and health care workers starting in August. Workers will need to have evidence of vaccination by August 2. Anyone state employees who are unvaccinated will have to undergo mandated COVID-19 testing and wear masks.”

CNN: Arkansas’ governor defends decision to approve a statewide ban on mask mandates . “Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday defended his decision to approve a statewide ban on face mask mandates earlier this year, citing a low coronavirus case rate at the time – a rate that is now rapidly rising.”

New York TImes: New York City and California will require workers to be vaccinated or face testing.. “All municipal employees in New York City, including police officers and teachers, and all state employees and on-site public and private health care workers in California will have to be vaccinated or face at least weekly testing.”

Savannah Now: Savannah mayor: COVID mask mandate reinstated due to rising cases, effective immediately. “The City of Savannah reinstated its face mask mandate Monday as cases of the COVID-19 delta variant continue to surge. The mandate went into effect at 8 a.m. Monday morning and is set to expire Aug. 25. The mandate requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors when not with immediate family, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said. ”

Tallahassee Democrat: Florida Gov. DeSantis not planning new emergency order despite spiking COVID-19 cases, deaths. “Gov. Ron DeSantis has no plans to issue a new executive order declaring a state of emergency in light of Florida being the epicenter of the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ his office said Monday.”


WRAL: Grandson of Rev. Billy Graham in critical condition with COVID-19. “The grandson of Rev. Billy Graham, Jonathan Lotz, is in the intensive care unit with COVID-19, according to a Facebook post.”


Ars Technica: The Tokyo Olympics could be a COVID-19 “super evolutionary event”. ” The global pandemic has killed at least 4 million people and resulted in a very strange Summer Games—no cheering crowds, athletes essentially confined to quarters when they’re not going faster, higher, or stronger—all in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading among the competitors and to the people of Japan, and to keep the Olympians from carrying new strains of the virus back to their home countries.”


NBC News: CDC recommends masks for all K-12 students, even those who have been vaccinated. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that all students in kindergarten through 12th grade should wear masks when they return to schools this fall. The newly issued CDC guideline includes youngsters who have already been vaccinated.”


CNET: Pfizer and Moderna expanding vaccine studies in children 5 to 11, report says. “Urged on by the Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19 vaccine creators Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expanding their studies in children from 5 to 11 years of age, according to The New York Times on Monday. The study expansion reportedly aims to detect rare side effects like heart inflammation, which has shown up in vaccinated people under 30. ”


ABC News: Provincetown implements indoor mask mandate after COVID-19 cluster grows to 551 cases. “Sixty-nine percent of confirmed cases among Massachusetts residents have occurred in individuals who were fully vaccinated, officials confirmed, and those infected have been found to be predominantly symptomatic. In addition, officials reported that 88% of the cases are among males, and the median age of those testing positive is 39.”


Washington Post: As coronavirus surges, GOP lawmakers are moving to limit public health powers . “In some states, anger at perceived overreach by health officials has prompted legislative attempts to limit their authority, including new state laws that prevent the closure of businesses or allow lawmakers to rescind mask mandates. Some state courts have reined in the emergency and regulatory powers governors have wielded against the virus. And in its recent rulings and analysis, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to limit disease mitigation in the name of religious freedom.”

ProPublica: How Unemployment Insurance Fraud Exploded During the Pandemic. “Bots filing bogus applications in bulk, teams of fraudsters in foreign countries making phony claims, online forums peddling how-to advice on identity theft: Inside the infrastructure of perhaps the largest fraud wave in history.”

Punch Nigeria: Policeman shoots student for not wearing face mask in DRC. “A Democratic Republic of Congo policeman has shot a student who was not wearing a mask while filming on the streets of the capital, witnesses said on Sunday. ‘Our friend Honore Shama, a student in the faculty of arts at the University of Kinshasa, was filming a video as part of his acting practical work requirement,’ Patient Odia, a friend who was present at the confrontation, told AFP.”

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