Sunday CoronaBuzz, January 2, 2022: 39 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Please get a booster shot. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


PsyPost: People who believe COVID-19 misinformation are more likely to contract the virus. “Having less accurate knowledge about COVID-19 is associated with a greater likelihood of contracting the virus, according to new research published in Scientific Reports. The findings indicate that people who believe misinformation about COVID-19 are at greater risk of getting sick compared to their more knowledgeable counterparts.”

Rolling Stone: Marjorie Taylor Greene Permanently Suspended From Twitter for Pushing Covid Lies. “Twitter has permanently suspended Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account, @mtgreenee, for pushing Covid misinformation, a company spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone on Sunday.”


Irish Examiner: Hospitals, bus services and businesses suffering due to Covid related staffing issues. “With record-high cases of Covid-19 being reported, hospitals, bus services and businesses have said they are struggling to operate due to many of their staff being out with the virus. Earlier today, Cork University Hospital (CUH) urged members of the public to explore all other options available before presenting to the Emergency Department.”


Albany Herald (Georgia): COVID numbers make dramatic jump at Phoebe facilities. “For those who are moved by numbers, try this one on for size: The number of COVID-19 patients being cared for in Phoebe Putney Health System hospitals has increased 161% in the last two weeks. From a few days of single-digit COVID patients at Phoebe facilities, that number jumped to 47 on Thursday, 35 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, 11 at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus and one at Phoebe Worth Medical Center in Sylvester.”

New York Times: North Carolina faces a surge, but runs into testing issues.. “As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to fuel a nationwide surge, North Carolina is seeing a drastic increase in Covid-19 cases. The state has reported a 166 percent increase in infections in two weeks, according to a New York Times database, and some counties are struggling to keep up with testing demands.”

MassLive: COVID hospitalizations pass 200-mark at Baystate Health. “COVID-19 hospitalizations at Baystate Health facilities in Western Massachusetts have passed the 200-mark for the first time since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.”


NBC Washington: UM Hospitals in Prince George’s Declare Emergency, Employ Crisis Standards of Care. “University of Maryland Capital Region Health says it’s moving three Prince George’s health centers to crisis standards of care amid rising COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages.UM Capital Region Medical Center, UM Bowie Health Center and the Emergency Department at UM Laurel Medical Center declared a hospital emergency Friday, according to a press release.”


Wired: Yup, CES Is Happening. Here’s What to Expect. “EVER SINCE THE onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, fresh irony has been injected into the “What to Expect” genre of journalism. What to expect from a massive trade show? Who knows! Who knows if it will even happen! But this one is happening—at least for now. This is the big one: CES, the giant annual consumer electronics fest in Las Vegas, Nevada. And it’s happening both IRL and online.”


NBC News: This bus won’t get you out of Hong Kong, but it might get you to sleep. “Almost two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Charles and Jenny Chung long for a getaway from their home in Hong Kong. But with overseas travel stymied by the Chinese territory’s strict quarantine requirements, the couple found a different way to relax and recharge: five hours on a public bus. The ‘Bus Sleeping Tour,’ organized by local company Ulu Travel, is billed as the longest bus route in Hong Kong at 83 kilometers (51 miles).”

BBC: US flight cancellations hit new holiday peak amid Covid and bad weather. “Flight cancellations in the US have hit a new peak in a Christmas season hit hard by the Covid pandemic and bad weather. Nearly 4,400 flights around the world were cancelled on Saturday, more than 2,500 of them in the US, air traffic site FlightAware reported.”

New York Times: A Nation on Hold Wants to Speak With a Manager. “The meanness of the public has forced many public-facing industries to rethink what used to be an article of faith: that the customer is always right. If employees are now having to take on many unexpected roles — therapist, cop, conflict-resolution negotiator — then workplace managers are acting as security guards and bouncers to protect their employees.”

CNN: Goldman Sachs tells employees to stay home due to Covid. “Goldman Sachs is joining a growing list of Wall Street firms advising employees to stay home due to soaring Covid cases. The bank sent a memo Sunday encouraging employees who can work remotely to do so until January 18, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson told CNN.”


Asahi Shimbun : New COVID-19 cases hit single-day tally at U.S. bases. “Prefectural authorities here announced a single-day record of 235 new COVID-19 cases among U.S. forces in Okinawa Prefecture on Jan. 1, adding that U.S. military officials were still trying to grasp how the explosive outbreak had taken hold.”

New York Times: Child Tax Credit’s Extra Help Ends, Just as Covid Surges Anew. “For millions of American families with children, the 15th of the month took on a special significance in 2021: It was the day they received their monthly child benefit, part of the Biden administration’s response to the pandemic…. Now, the benefit — an expansion of the existing child tax credit — is ending, just as the latest wave of coronavirus cases is keeping people home from work and threatening to set off a new round of furloughs. Economists warn that the one-two punch of expiring aid and rising cases could put a chill on the once red-hot economic recovery and cause severe hardship for millions of families already living close to the poverty line.”

Associated Press: Fauci: CDC mulling COVID test requirement for asymptomatic. “As the COVID-19 omicron variant surges across the United States, top federal health officials are looking to add a negative test along with its five-day isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus, the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday.”


AFP: Coronavirus: Europe has recorded more than 100 million Covid-19 cases since start of pandemic. “Europe has recorded more than 100 million coronavirus cases, more than a third of all infections worldwide, since the start of the pandemic, an Agence France-Presse tally showed on Saturday. The continent has once again become the pandemic’s epicentre in recent months, and is battling an upsurge of cases spurred on by the highly transmissible Omicron strain of the virus.”

ANI: China: Xi’an authorities vow supply to daily necessities amid COVID-19 lockdown. “The authorities of Xi’an city of China have pledged to ensure the supply of daily necessities as the lockdown in the city entered its tenth day. So far, seven patients in the recent Covid-19 epidemic resurgence in Xi’an have been treated, cured and transferred to Xi’an Qinhuang Hospital for ongoing health monitoring, Global Times reported.”

Inquirer (Philippines): 3-day work suspension at SC ordered due to COVID-19. “There will be a three-day work suspension in the Supreme Court after a number of court personnel tested positive for COVID-19 after taking an antigen test last Dec. 27, 2021.”

BBC: Covid: Workplaces told to plan for absences of up to 25%. “Ministers have been tasked with developing ‘robust contingency plans’ for workplace absences, as the government warned rising cases could see up to a quarter of staff off work. Public sector leaders have been asked to prepare for ‘worst case scenarios’ of 10%, 20% and 25% absence rates, the Cabinet Office said.”

Thaiger: Thailand’s come a long way battling Covid-19 since September. “to celebrate the new year, The Thaiger looks back at the Covid-19 data over the last 4 months of 2021 from September 1 to January 1 to see that, while we’re not out of the woods yet, Thailand has certainly come a long way since the middle of 2021 when Covid-19 rampaged through the country, sending death rates soaring and governments scrambling to lock down the country and contain the virus.”


NWI Times: Indiana General Assembly convenes Tuesday amid COVID-19 surge. “Despite surging COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the Hoosier State, the Republican-led House and Senate are doing away with the face mask mandate, plexiglass barriers, and social distancing that last year kept the Legislature’s annual meeting from becoming a superspreader event.”


Kitsap Sun: Kitsap family flees Colorado wildfires, COVID-19: ‘We’re just happy our family is safe’. “A family reunion for the holidays was first cut short when Sarah [Dubitzky]’s husband, Nick, came down with COVID-19. Days later, the family had to evacuate their quarantine rental as the Marshall and the Middle Fork fires raged through the Boulder suburbs of Superior and Louisville, destroying around 1,000 homes. The destruction included their family’s holiday rental, and many of their belongings and Christmas presents. ”

Cleveland: ‘Vaccine Queen’ who helped so many during coronavirus pandemic faces similar hurdle for treatment after testing positive. ” The frustration over the coronavirus that gripped Stacey Bene nearly two years ago returned Saturday. She and Marla Zwinggi became widely known as the ‘Vaccine Queens’ for their help in getting more than 2,300 Northeast Ohio residents access to vaccines at the most dangerous stages of the virus. Her push stemmed from her frustration in the online barriers that hindered many older residents’ attempts to become vaccinated. She felt a similar angst Saturday.”


Bucs Nation: Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians to coach Week 17 after COVID-19 positive test. “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that Head Coach Bruce Arians has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently isolating at home.” He will be coaching Sunday.

Inside the Games: Professional boxing in Britain suspended in January amid record high COVID-19 cases. “All professional boxing bouts in Britain have been suspended in January as the country battles with record levels of COVID-19 cases. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has confirmed the suspension amid surging coronavirus figures caused by the more contagious Omicron variant.”


Associated Press: Atlanta schools to go virtual for a week due to COVID spike. ” Another one of Georgia’s largest school districts has decided to start 2022 classes virtually because of high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Atlanta Public Schools announced students will be virtual when classes start back after winter break on Tuesday.”

NJ: N.J.’s largest school district will switch to remote learning as COVID fears rise. “Newark, the state’s largest school district, has joined the growing list of districts switching to remote learning next week due to rising COVID-19 cases statewide. The district, which has about 40,000 students, will move to virtual learning from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14., officials said.”

BBC: Covid: Pupils to wear face masks in class to tackle Omicron. “Face masks are to be worn in secondary classrooms in England’s schools to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant, the government has announced. The temporary reintroduction of face coverings aims to address concerns about schools remaining open for face-to-face learning this coming term. Meanwhile, six school staff unions have issued a demand for urgent action to limit the spread of the virus.”

Associated Press: Judge blocks COVID vaccine mandate for Head Start program. “A Louisiana federal judge has ruled that President Joe Biden cannot require teachers in the Head Start early education program to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The decision hands a victory to 24 states that had sued the federal government. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty wrote Saturday that the Biden administration unlawfully bypassed Congress when ordering that workers in Head Start programs be vaccinated by Jan. 31.”


Orlando Sentinel: Orange schools encouraging masks amid COVID spread; Lake announces campus vaccine sites. “Orange County Public Schools is encouraging employees and students to wear face masks ahead of the return to class following a winter break that saw record-setting numbers of COVID-19 cases as the omicron variant continues to spread.”

Miami Herald: Archdiocese of Miami changes mask requirements for its schools after COVID-19 case rise. “When students and staff in schools run by the Archdiocese of Miami return to classes Monday, they’ll be required to wear masks, the Catholic organization announced Saturday. And that requirement will be in place ‘regardless of vaccination status or parental request to waive the requirement’ for students 2 years old and up.”


2 Minute Medicine: Immune dysfunction is associated with a higher risk of breakthrough COVID-19 infection. ” This retrospective cohort study found that patients with immune dysfunction experienced a reduction in COVID-19 infection incidence after full vaccination.”

NBC News: Covid is rampant among deer, research shows. “The research suggests the coronavirus could be taking hold in a free-ranging species that numbers about 30 million in the United States. No cases of Covid spread from deer to human have been reported, but it’s possible, scientists say. It’s a reminder that human health is intertwined with that of animals and inattention to other species could prolong the pandemic and complicate the quest to control Covid.”

Nexstar Media Wire: ‘Long COVID’ sufferers may have heart damage if battling shortness of breath a year later. “People with ‘long COVID’ may have suffered heart damage if they are still struggling to breathe during exercise a year on, researchers warn. Medical scans show patients who experience breathlessness a year after leaving hospital are more likely to experience cardiovascular problems, even if they never have before.”


Los Angeles Times: Younger adults driving coronavirus surge in Southern California. “Southern California entered 2022 in the midst of a rapid upswing in coronavirus cases from the Omicron variant, with adults ages 18 to 49 transmitting the virus at a high rate and officials urging the public to curtail holiday weekend gatherings to help slow the surge.”

NBC News: Wastewater samples reveal record levels of Covid-19 across U.S.. “With at-home Covid-19 tests in high demand and their efficacy in question, health departments from California to Massachusetts are turning to sewage samples to get a better idea of how much the coronavirus is spreading through communities and what might be in store for health care systems. Experts say wastewater holds the key to better understanding the public health of cities and neighborhoods, especially in underserved areas that do not have equal access to care.”

New York Times: Puerto Rico Faces Staggering Covid Case Explosion. “Rafael Irizarry, a Harvard University statistician who keeps a dashboard of Puerto Rico Covid-19 data, tweeted the daunting facts: A third of all coronavirus cases the island has recorded since the start of the pandemic occurred in the past month. The number of cases per 100,000 residents jumped to 225, from three, in three weeks. In December, the number of hospitalizations doubled — twice.”


STV News: Covid test centre ‘deliberately’ set on fire on New Year’s Day. “An investigation has been launched after a Covid test centre was ‘deliberately’ set on fire on New Year’s Day. Police were made aware of the incident around 12.40am on January 1 after fire crews attended the blaze on Risk Street in Dumbarton. The fire was extinguished and no-one was injured.”


Washington Post: Opinion: The Supreme Court must uphold Biden’s vaccine mandates — and fast. “President Biden’s emergency covid-19 mandates have faced an avalanche of legal challenges. Two of those mandates — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s rule that businesses with 100 or more employees must require workers to be fully vaccinated or regularly tested and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ regulation requiring vaccinations for staff at health-care facilities — will soon face scrutiny from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court needs to uphold the president’s mandates without delay. Not doing so would be an affront to public health and the law.”

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