Covid was the third leading cause of death among Americans in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, CDC says
The agency's early findings were published months ahead of schedule due to "improvements in timeliness and the pressing need for updated, quality data during the global COVID-19 pandemic," researchers wrote. The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only heart disease and cancer killed more people in the U.S. than Covid-19 in 2020 — heart disease killed 690,882 people and cancer killed 598,932. However, in a separate CDC study published Wednesday, the agency found that the death certificates accurately reflected the number of reported coronavirus fatalities. A small proportion of them — 2.5% of the certificates — documented conditions that aren't currently associated with Covid-19, the CDC found.cnbc.com
Houstonians Line Up For The COVID-19 Vaccine As Texas Opens Eligibility To Every Adult – Houston Public Media
All Texans 16 years and older now qualify for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with people 18 and older qualifying for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. People across Houston lined up to get vaccinated Monday as Texas became the largest state in the U.S. to open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to every adult. All Texans 16 years and older now qualify for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with people 18 and older qualifying for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Harris County has administered more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since vaccinations began late last year. “I don’t know too many people who’ve died from having the vaccination, but I know people who have died from not having the vaccination,” Houston said.houstonpublicmedia.org
1,000 doses administered at Booker T. Washington High School pop-up vaccination site in Independence Heights
HOUSTON – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, along with the United Memorial Medical Center, hosted a vaccination site in the Independence Heights community on Monday. The neighborhood outreach site was at Booker T. Washington High School at 4204 Yale Street. Local and elected officials and the Houston Independent School District also contributed to the vaccinate site. Officials said 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered at Booker T. Washington. This vaccination event, organized by Shelia Jackson Lee and UMMC, was different from others because people didn’t have to pre-register.
Texas set to make vaccines available to all adults on Monday
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)HOUSTON (AP) – Texas was set on Monday to begin making COVID-19 vaccines available to anyone who wants one. Texas will become the most populous U.S. state to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults. This will come more than a month before President Joe Biden’s goal of opening vaccine eligibility to everyone by May 1. Alaska was the first state to open up vaccine eligibility to all adults. More than 10 million coronavirus vaccinations have been administered in Texas, according to state health officials.
Dr. Joseph Varon works 366th consecutive day amid pandemic
HOUSTON – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Joseph Varon has become a leading national voice in the fight against the deadly virus. On Saturday, Varon worked his 366th consecutive day at United Memorial Medical Center in North Houston, and he said the pandemic is far from over. Dozens of people from Solid Rock Ministries thanked Dr. Varon and other healthcare workers for their hard work and sacrifice on Saturday. “It was pretty scary, once you can’t breathe and you have double pneumonia that’s really scary,” Hernandez said. Varon said once things get a little better, he plans to take a trip to the beach and get some much-needed sleep.
Houston reaches grim milestone of 2,000 COVID-19 deaths
FILE - Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26, 2020 in Houston, Texas. HOUSTON – The city of Houston reached a grim milestone of the weekend. Officials said the death toll for COVID-19 has crossed 2,000 people, only a few days after the one-year anniversary of the first Houston-area COVID-19 case. In addition, he reported nearly 500 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Sunday. Turner did thank business owners and customers that have continued to wear masks, social distance and practice other COVID-19 safety precautions.
United Memorial Medical Center in Houston set to receive 2,340 doses of COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON – With the winter weather gone, now, the focus for health officials returns to COVID-19 vaccines. United Memorial Medical Center in Houston is set to receive 2,340 doses this week. The hospital has set aside a special wing to administer the vaccine, he said. The delayed doses are now expected to arrive in the first half of this week. On Monday, Houston and Harris County leaders explained plans for a FEMA-supported mass vaccination site at NRG Park.
Texas coronavirus deaths top 200 Saturday as hospitalizations decline
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The number of deaths in Texas due to the illness caused by the coronavirus increased by more than 200 on Saturday while the number of people hospitalized with the virus declined, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. There were an additional 227 COVID-19 deaths, more than 4,900 new cases and 7,535 hospitalizations, a decline of 222 people hospitalized, the department reported. Texas has had more than 2.5 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, and more than 42,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the third highest death count in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen from nearly 18,980 per day to nearly 5,041 and the average of daily deaths had dropped from 305.7 per day to 127.3, according to the Johns Hopkins data. During the past two weeks, the rolling average of daily new cases in Texas has fallen by 13,849.3, a decrease of 74.7%, according to the Johns Hopkins figures.
These Houston-area COVID-19 testing, vaccination sites will temporarily close due to inclement weather
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)In anticipation of inclement weather, several Houston-area health departments announced they would be closing COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites early next week. Fort Bend CountyDue to inclement weather, all Fort Bend County testing sites will be closed Monday, Feb. 15 and Tuesday, Feb. 16. AdCity of HoustonHouston Health Department-affiliated Curative testing sites are closed Sunday, Feb. 14 due to inclement weather. Houston Health Department testing and vaccination sites will be closed Monday, Feb. 15 and Tuesday, Feb. 16 due to inclement weather, the department stated in an announcement. Memorial Hermann COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinics at NRG ParkMemorial Hermann’s Feb. 14 Drive-Thru Clinic at NRG Park will close at 3 p.m.
Fake text messages being sent about Houston-area COVID-19 vaccinations, officials say
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department said Tuesday that fraudulent text messages are being sent about area COVID-19 vaccinations. A tweet noted that the United Memorial Medical Center’s Delmar Stadium event is only open by appointment and that there is not a vaccination event this weekend at Baker Ripley. ALERT: We're aware of two fraudulent text messages about #COVID19 vaccinations. There is not a vaccination event this weekend at @BakerRipley. Do not provide personal info in response to these messages.
Texas coronavirus hospitalizations fall below 10,000
FILE - In this July 6, 2020, file photo, the body of a patient who died inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center is covered in sheets in Houston. The number of daily U.S. deaths from the coronavirus is declining again after peaking in early August, but scientists are warning that a new bout with the disease this fall could claim more lives. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus fell below 10,000 on Saturday, the first time since Dec. 19, according to the state health department. There were 9,957 hospitalizations in addition to 13,192 newly reported confirmed or suspected virus cases and 348 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, the department reported. Texas had the third highest number of new cases per capita in the nation with 871.77 per 100,000 residents, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Houston-area will receive influx of COVID-19 vaccine doses this week
Vaccinations in the U.S. began last week with healthcare workers, with at least 556,000 doses reportedly administered. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)The Greater Houston-area is set to receive an influx of over 62,000 COVID-19 vaccines this week, driven by an increase in the number of vaccines provided to the state by the federal government and large allocations to Houston-area providers, state officials announced Friday. The Harris County’s public health department and the City of Houston’s public health department are slated to receive 9,000 vaccinations each. In addition to the first doses coming, the state ordered 188,225 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago. “Currently, there is not enough vaccine to supply every provider with vaccine every week.”AdAs of Friday, Texas providers have administered nearly 2.2 million doses of the vaccine.
Mayor Turner provides update on city’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo a medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif.Mayor Turner held a media briefing at the Houston Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccination site at Bayou Event City Center Saturday afternoon. During the Saturday clinic, the Houston Health Department will vaccinate approximately 900 people turned away from the vaccination clinic held at Minute Maid Park last weekend. This upcoming Monday, the department will open a new drive-thru vaccination site at Delmar Stadium. The department plans to announce new appointment opportunities weekly, based on supply. Appointments are based on vaccine availability and may be adjusted based on the department’s supply.
Houston Health Department receives additional 9,000 doses of vaccine; new appointments booked in minutes
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department said 1,600 new appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine were booked within five minutes on Friday afternoon. These two locations make the vaccine more accessible to all, complementing the health department’s health centers and multi-service centers,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. People who received their first dose of vaccine through the health department will be contacted about scheduling their second dose before the recommended due date. Updated guidance from the CDC says “the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. Visit the vaccine page of HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for the latest information about COVID-19 vaccinations through the Houston Health Department.
Record days for Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations continue
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medical staff members sort lines and pipes connected to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 19, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas coronavirus hospitalizations continued to edge closer to the 14,000 level Friday as the string of record hospitalizations continued, state health officials said. COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals numbered 13,921 Friday, marking the state’s 12th consecutive daily record, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In Texas, health officials announced they will send most of the vaccine the state receives next week to large providers who can conduct large-scale vaccinations. Health officials say the crisis is growing worse after family gatherings and travel over the holidays and the onset of winter, which is pushing people indoors.
Texas health officials identify state's first case of new Covid strain found in UK
Medical staff examine a patient suffering from coronavirus in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at United Memorial Medical Center on November 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Texas public health officials announced on Thursday that they have identified the state's first case of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus that was initially discovered in the United Kingdom. It's likely that the variant is already circulating in Texas because the man had no prior travel history, Dr. John Hellerstedt, the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement. He added that genetic variations in viruses "are the norm," and it's not surprising that the variant was discovered in Texas considering how rapidly it spreads. Earlier on Thursday, Pennsylvania health authorities said they identified their state's first case with the new variant, known as B.1.1.7.cnbc.com
Houston-area officially crosses hospitalization threshold that triggers reopening rollbacks
HOUSTON – The Houston area officially crossed Tuesday the hospitalization threshold that triggers a rollback in reopenings for the area, and the state has sent letters to county judges informing them of the requirement. Greg Abbott’s reopening order that requires, among other things, bars to close and restaurants to reduce capacity to 50%. ‘Wake-up call’Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she expected Tuesday’s numbers to push the region over the threshold. Pamela Hillhouse, who owns Mel’s Place on Airline Drive, said she had to use more money to get a license and products to serve food. Stella Birchfield, the head bartender at Mel’s Place, said she chose to retire from her other work and spent years working at the bar, taking care of regular patrons.
US virus death toll hits 350,000; surge feared
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Medical staff members sort lines and pipes connected to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 19, 2020 in Houston, Texas. — The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has surpassed 350,000 as experts anticipate another surge in coronavirus cases and deaths stemming from holiday gatherings over Christmas and New Year’s. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the U.S. passed the threshold early Sunday morning. Multiple states have reported a record number of cases over the past few days, including North Carolina and Arizona. The U.S. by far has reported the most deaths from COVID-19 in the world, followed by Brazil, which has reported more than 195,000 deaths.
Texas hospitals hit new COVID high for fifth straight day
According to reports, Texas has recorded more than 1,710,000 coronovirus cases, including more than 27,100 deaths. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas hit a new record high for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 for the fifth consecutive day Friday, in a continued surge of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus following holiday gatherings and travel. Texas reported 12,481 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals on New Year’s Day, an increase of more than 1,750 from a week ago. Intensive care units in several parts of Texas were full or nearly full, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. State health officials on Friday reported 12,369 new, confirmed cases of the virus and another 3,658 probable cases.
Texas hits new virus hospitalization record, passing 12,000
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas – Texas hit another grim milestone Thursday when it surpassed 12,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, setting a new record high in that category for the fourth consecutive day. At a livestreamed court hearing, the state argued that Austin’s local orders are not allowed under previous statewide orders issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Texas did not object to similar orders previously put in place by other cities, notably El Paso and San Antonio. State officials also counted 349 newly-reported deaths. Texas also had more than 144,000 doses that were expected prior to Christmas not arrive until this week, an agency spokeswoman said.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, Dec. 29
Members of the medical staff rest on a stretcher in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 2, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Here are things to know for Tuesday, Dec. 29:1. Houston fire Chief Sam Peña said paramedic crews will be the first people in his department to get the vaccine. Doctor unable to get coronavirus vaccine at his hospital turns to pharmacy for shotA doctor who has been treating coronavirus patients said his hospital has not offered him the vaccine, so he decided to head to a pharmacy to get the shot. They said they wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible since they are both in the high risk categories.
Texas coronavirus hospitalizations fall but remain near peak
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)DALLAS (AP) — Coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas fell Saturday but continued to hover near their summer peak, as state health officials reported more than 2,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths linked to the disease. Intensive care units in several parts of Texas were full or nearly full, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Health officials have wared that holiday gatherings and travel are likely to further spread the virus. There were 2,127 newly confirmed cases of the virus Saturday and another 428 probable cases, according to the health department. Over the past week, more than 14% of coronavirus tests in Texas have come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Houston hospital offers vaccine to pharmacists, school nurses
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 21: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) A container of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the United Memorial Medical Center on December 21, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Vaccinations in the U.S. began last week with healthcare workers, with at least 556,000 doses reportedly administered. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A Houston hospital system plans to start vaccinating workers from outside its own buildings with its next phase of shots as the coronavirus continues its surge in Texas and beyond. Texas didn’t follow all the new federal guidelines for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Texas has seen the second highest COVID-19 death count in the country overall, with 26,406 COVID-19 related deaths to date, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins.
Sorrento Therapeutics developing antibodies injection and nose drops to fight Covid-19
Sorrento Therapeutics is working on new antibody therapeutics it hopes will be a gamechanger in the fight against Covid-19. Recently it won a $34 million contract from DARPA co-funded by JPEO to develop an intramuscular injection that delivers gene-encoded neutralizing antibodies against Covid-19 and its variant strains. It is hoped that the injection could enable rapid protection from and/or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19 so patients can produce their own protective antibodies within days of getting the injection. The injection is a formulation of the highly potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody STI-2020. Dr. Slobodan Paessler, scientific director of the Animal Biosafety Laboratory 3 at the University of Texas Medical Branch has been researching Sorrento Therapeutics antibodies in hamsters since March to help find product candidates.cnbc.com
CDC says new Covid strain in UK could already be circulating undetected in U.S.
While the variant hasn't been found in the U.S. yet, the CDC noted that scientists haven't sequenced the genetic coding for many Covid-19 infections here. The new coronavirus strain that was first detected in the United Kingdom could already be circulating in the United States without notice, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. "This rapid change from being a rare strain to becoming a common strain has concerned scientists in the UK, who are urgently evaluating the characteristics of the variant strain and of the illness that it causes." The new coronavirus "mutates regularly," the CDC noted, but the overwhelming majority of mutations are insignificant. The significance of the new variant found first in the U.K. has yet to be determined, but the CDC noted that based on early data from the U.K., the new strain could "potentially be more rapidly transmissible than other circulating strains."cnbc.com
Local hospitals prepare for Moderna vaccine
HOUSTON – Twenty locations in Texas are receiving shipments of the Moderna vaccine Monday, according to state health officials. United Memorial Medical Center in North Houston and CHI St. Lukes Health Brazosport in Lake Jackson are included. Other facilities are preparing for their shipments this week, including OakBend Medical Center in Richmond. OakBend is set to receive 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Thursday or Friday. Shipments of the Moderna vaccine started rolling out Sunday and vaccinations will begin Monday at facilities nationwide.
Texas nears 25,000 virus deaths, awaits more vaccines
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)Texas is nearing 25,000 deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, the second-highest total in the country. On Friday, state health officials reported 294 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing Texas’ death toll to 24,954. On Friday, the state reported 9,709 people hospitalized with the virus, an increase of nearly 22% over the last month. One in every 262 people in Texas tested positive for the virus in the past week, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The increase in cases and hospitalizations comes as state health officials announced Friday that Texas will receive 620,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines over the next week.
At Houston Hospital, Head Of COVID-19 Unit Sees Some Staff Wary Of A Vaccine – Houston Public Media
Dr. Joseph Varon of Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center senses distrust for a vaccine among some hospital staff. These days, due to a post-Thanksgiving surge, he says, at least a half-dozen critically ill patients are admitted daily to his COVID-19 unit. According to the Pew Research Center, skepticism in a COVID-19 vaccine is highest among African Americans. But inside his hospital, Varon said, the COVID-19 vaccine has become a political point for some. With respect to the general community and the vaccine, Varon said there is a misconception that emergency authorization means public health has already improved.houstonpublicmedia.org
‘Thank you, science’: Turner, Hidalgo discuss Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Houston
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner received an update on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Houston Methodist Tuesday and visited with frontline healthcare workers receiving the vaccine. And while there is hope on the horizon, folks still need to get tested, folks need to cancel gatherings, folks need to make sure and wear their face coverings. And let me encourage other people in the city when your opportunity comes, let me encourage you to take the vaccine itself. Not to say no, not to delay, not to hold off, but when you’re able to take it, please take it. Thank you, health care providers.”
The U.S. Covid death toll tops 300,000 as vaccine distribution begins
Callaghan O'Hare | ReutersThe coronavirus has killed more than 300,000 people across the country as U.S. officials ship out the first of nearly 3 million doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine to distribution centers in all 50 states. As the U.S. grapples with devastating death tolls and surges in hospitalizations, a historic inoculation effort is underway. Health officials say that roughly 75%-80% of the U.S. population must get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, or a period where enough people are protected so that the virus can be contained. Even with the vaccine rollout, health researchers forecast that the U.S. death toll could double and reach a cumulative 539,000 by April 1, and are urging people to wear masks and limit gatherings to manage the spread of the virus. Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Michigan, U.S., December 13, 2020.cnbc.com
A Swiss biotech firm developing a Covid treatment has seen its share price soar 38,000% this year
Medical staff examine a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston on Nov. 16, 2020. LONDON — Swiss biotech firm Relief Therapeutics has seen its share price climb by 38,000% so far this year, as it develops a drug focused on respiratory failure arising from severe Covid-19. RLF-100 has been around since 2000, when it was developed to treat acute respiratory distress and other lung conditions and subsequently acquired by Biogen. Earlier this year, Relief scientists discovered that it could protect the cell that is attacked by the Covid-19 virus. Early stage results from expanded access use of RLF-100 in patients suffering with critical Covid-19 and severe comorbidities showed 72% of those admitted into the ICU surviving.cnbc.com
FDA could authorize Pfizer's Covid vaccine this week as U.S. deaths surge
The Food and Drug Administration could authorize a coronavirus vaccine as early as the end of this week. The move would be a pivotal moment in the pandemic, as public health officials say the U.S. is likely to face its worst public health crisis in history this winter. James Hildreth, a member of the committee, told NBC's "Weekend Today" on Saturday that an authorization could come as early as Friday. Emergency use authorization means the FDA will allow some adults to receive the vaccine as the agency continues to evaluate data. "This is not just the worst public health event.cnbc.com
Covid deaths and cases to set U.S. records this week as officials weigh stay-at-home orders
But the data historically tends to come in lower at the end of the weekend and the beginning of the week. Last week, the country reported a single-day record of 2,879 deaths caused by Covid-19, also surpassing April peaks. Stay-at-home ordersThe harrowing figures come as officials in California instituted some of the most sweeping restrictions seen so far this fall. Last week, California Gov. However, he urged hospitals to implement a number of emergency measures to increase capacity before such restrictions would become necessary.cnbc.com
Watch live: Houston health experts to discuss potential repurposing of oral medication in prevention, treatment of COVID-19
HOUSTON – A team of ICU critical care physicians and scholars will meet at United Memorial Medical Center Friday to share an analysis of scientific data that supports the repurposing of an oral medication in order to prevent and treat COVID-19. The team will announce the results of its research that demonstrates what it says are “the consistent, reproducible, and high effectiveness of this safe, inexpensive, and globally available oral agent in both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” according to a announcement about the news conference. The name of the oral medication was not mentioned in the news release about the press conference. Dr. Joe Varon, the subject of a viral photo from Thanksgiving, will be among the experts speaking at the news conference. Varon is Chief of Staff and Chief of Critical Care Services at United Memorial Medical Center and United General Hospital.
Most Medicare beneficiaries worry about the cost of treating Covid. Here's how much they may pay
Go Nakamura | Getty ImagesThe coronavirus pandemic may be an extra stressful time for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare beneficiaries have accounted for about 1.2 million cases reported through mid-September, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. However, here are costs that could come with your Medicare coverage if treatment is needed. Basic Medicare costsAbout 60% of beneficiaries stick with basic, or original, Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient care). Advantage PlansAbout 24 million Medicare beneficiaries get Parts A and B delivered through an Advantage Plan, which also usually includes prescription drug coverage.cnbc.com
U.S. tops 'unfathomable' milestone of 100,000 Covid hospitalizations: 'We're all on edge'
The current number of hospitalized patients underscores the scope and severity of the current phase of the U.S. outbreak. Never before had the number of hospitalized Covid patients surpassed 60,000, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic. Orlowski explained that crisis care essentially means the rationing of care in hospitals. Ranney said her time training in East Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer helped her prepare for the current crisis. 'Surge with no staff'Dr. Syra Madad, senior director of the systemwide special pathogens program at New York City Health + Hospitals, said the country is in a "very dire moment."cnbc.com
CDC panel says health workers, nursing homes will get Covid vaccine first
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel voted 13-1 on Tuesday to give health-care workers and long-term care facility residents the first coronavirus vaccine doses once it's cleared for public use. Since the pandemic began, scientists and infectious disease experts have debated who will get immunized first and how the limited first vaccine doses will be distributed across the United States. Read More: Trump Covid vaccine czar says side effects ‘significantly noticeable’ in 10% to 15% of recipientsMedical experts have previously advocated for health-care workers to get the vaccine first, followed by vulnerable Americans, including the elderly, people with preexisting conditions and essential workers. The committee defined health-care workers as paid and unpaid people serving in health-care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. About 75% of health-care workers are women, according to a presentation during the meeting, and 330,000 of them are pregnant.cnbc.com
Cancel Thanksgiving, stay home, wear a mask — State and city leaders impose targeted coronavirus restrictions to curb Covid without tanking economy
Some state and city officials say the virus is everywhere; local outbreaks cannot be traced back to a single event or venue. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a Twitter post that the state will "hit reset" and begin a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday. Newsom, a Democrat, said Monday that his state is "pulling the emergency brake" on its reopening process and banning most nonessential indoor businesses for a majority of the state's population. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said state officials were acting "with more precision" in rolling out a set of targeted restrictions last week. Mike DeWine, a Republican, reimposed a statewide mask mandate with tougher enforcement measures on businesses on Thursday.cnbc.com
U.S. reports record Covid hospitalizations as states roll out restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving
Callaghan O'Hare | ReutersThe United States reported a record-high number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 on Friday as more states roll out fresh restrictions to slow the spread of the virus ahead of the holiday season, with some officials urging Americans to cancel their Thanksgiving plans and stay at home. More than 13,100 people in the U.S. are currently in the ICU, according to the COVID Tracking Project's data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is projecting a rise in newly reported Covid-19 deaths over the next month. "The actual on-the-ground impact in a small state like ours is greater than it is nationally," he said, adding that the state's hospitals are quickly running out of resources. He said most of the state's hospitals are "above 100% staffing capacity" and hospitals are trying to share the load of patients by transporting hospitalized people across the state.cnbc.com
U.S. prepares for worst four months of the pandemic as it stares down the 'darkest' days yet
The U.S. is heading for a "dark winter," a "Covid hell," the "darkest days of the pandemic." However you describe it, the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic will be unlike anything the nation has seen yet. "The next three to four months are going to be, by far, the darkest of the pandemic." The U.S. is now reporting an average of more than 120,000 new Covid-19 cases a day — a staggering number that sets a deadly tone heading into the holiday season, medical experts say. It says "newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with 4,600 to 11,000 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending" Nov. 28.cnbc.com
U.S. daily coronavirus cases top 100,000 for the first time
Go Nakamura | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesThe number of new daily coronavirus cases recorded in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 for the time, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The data showed 102,831 new Covid-19 infections were recorded on Wednesday, up from 91,530 cases on Election Day. The data also showed that 1,097 deaths were recorded Wednesday, lower than the 1,134 deaths reported the previous day. The grim daily record comes after data showed a soaring number of hospitalizations due to the virus in many states, with the surge most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest. The tally of more than 100,000 daily cases Wednesday beats the previous record of 99,321 cases recorded on Friday.cnbc.com
Mandatory testing begins Wednesday for some students at St. Thomas University
HOUSTON The University of St. Thomas has partnered with United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) to provide mandatory COVID-19 testing for its resident assistants, residence hall students and athletes before the semester starts. Testing will be on Tuesday, Aug. 12 and 14, and will continue the following week on Aug. 19. Testing will occur on the second floor of Moran Parking Center, 3807 Graustark, where these students will drive through the site between 1 - 4 p.m. The university said they will also offer voluntary COVID testing on the same dates, times and location to other members of the UST community, including faculty, staff, and non-residential students. UST and its students will not incur any cost for the testing, Spencer Conroy, Vice President of Finance and Business Relations, said.
Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing sites for week of July 20
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department and partners announced the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of July 20. TDEM sites require appointments by calling 844-778-255 or visiting txcovidtest.org. The sites require appointments by calling 832-426-3760 and will run through Sept. 30. Houston Health Department/FEMAThe department operates two free drive-thru COVID-19 community-based testing sites open to anyone, regardless of symptoms. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston test sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.
Army deploys medical unit to Houston in help to fight COVID-19
HOUSTON – The U.S. Army came to Houston Tuesday to prepare for the opening of a new COVID-19 wing at the United Memorial Medical Center, which is staffed entirely by Army personnel. The hospital is currently treating about 40 COVID-19 patients and has another 20 beds available, but not enough doctors and nurses to man them. “They’re bringing new physicians, they’re bringing a lot of nurses, bringing medics. What we need to provide better service to our patients.”The unit is the Army’s Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force. Anyone who thinks we’re at the end of it,” said Congresswoman Shelia Jackson LeeThe Army medics plan to begin treating patients Thursday.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, July 15
Here are things you need to know for Wednesday, July 15:1. Texas hospitals are running out of drugs, beds, ventilators and even staffAs the tally of coronavirus infections climbs higher each day, Texas hospitals are taking extraordinary steps to make space for a surge of patients. First COVID-19 vaccine tested in US poised for final testingThe first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up peoples immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday -- as the shots are poised to begin key final testing. THIS DAY IN HISTORYJuly 15, 2006: The San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr - later changed to Twitter - its short messaging service (SMS) for groups, to the public. QUOTE OF THE DAYThey do not love that do not show their love. - William ShakespeareMore headlines you may be interested in
Window into virus surge: Death, recovery at Houston hospital
In all, Texas has recorded more than 2,670 deaths and more than 200,000 confirmed cases of the virus. People need to see this so they can understand and wont do stupid things, he said, standing in the widows hospital room. The widow entered the hospital in late June about a week after the funeral for her husband, who died from liver cancer. Around 10 a.m. Monday, the widow's oxygen levels fell dangerously. Texas leaders say there are still 12,000 available hospital beds statewide about 23% of total beds.
Beyonces foundation helps provide free covid-19 testing in her hometown
HOUSTON COVID-19 testing sites across the Houston area have brought out the masses. Dr. Joseph Gathe and his wife, Dr. Deanna Breaux Gathe, are with the Cure COVID-19 Consortium partnered with Beyonces Bey Good Foundation, Start Small, Bread of Life and COVID-19 Connects to bring the downtown mobile testing to the community free of charge. Its a community effort. Its a Houston effort and we are really proud of Beyonc and her support as a wonderful humanitarian, said Robin Owens, with COVID-19 Connects. Were making the focus in communities that dont have access to testing such as this, said Dr. Joseph Gathe.
As COVID-19 cases climb, city and county leaders seek to increase testing sites
HOUSTON – Houston and surrounding counties are moving to increase testing capacity as the COVID-19 infection rate continues to climb. On Monday, Fort Bend County opened its fifth COVID-19 testing site at 9 a.m. at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Rosenberg. Within an hour, the free testing site had reached its 100 clients daily capacity. The city of Houston’s two, free, drive-through test sites at Butler and Delmar stadiums can perform a combined 1,000 tests daily. “Starting tomorrow, we will be increasing the testing capability capacity at both sites, Delmar and Butler, to 650 per site,” Turner said.
Director of Houston COVID-19 ward at 65% capacity says he’s worried about possibility of overwhelming spike
HOUSTON – At the United Memorial Medical Center, the COVID-19 surge is not numbers and statistics. That day, doctors and nurses struggled to save an 82-year-old man with a history of heart disease whose heart had stopped. The same scene plays out daily, at this small hospital in a low-income north Houston neighborhood that primarily treats minority patients. I’m a hundred percent sure it’s going to happen.”The increased patient count at this ward shows the spike has already begun. However, the governor insists that even with the surge in cases, Texas has enough hospital beds and ventilators to accommodate the increase of new cases.
Houston turns Barnett Stadium into drive-thru testing site
Houston turns Barnett Stadium into drive-thru testing siteAs Texas inched closer to lifting COVID-19 restrictions on some businesses, Houston area health officials on Monday ramped up testing with the plan to safely send people back to work. Among the boosts in regional testing included new drive-thru sites in Houston, Shenandoah and Sugar Land, where United Memorial Medical Center on Friday closed a testing site at the Smart Financial Centre. U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia said the testing site is located in her congressional district, which is predominantly Latino. The latest testing site at Barnett Stadium is not city-operated but is receiving financial backing from Houston through federal testing funds from the CARES Act. The testing site at Woodforest Stadium in Shenandoah was the first government-led testing site in Mongtomery County since health officials expressed concerns on their lack of testing supplies.chron.com
United Memorial offering free mobile coronavirus testing unit in Houston
HOUSTON – United Memorial Medical Center has rolled out a new tool in the fight against coronavirus. This mobile testing unit is the first of its kind in the Houston area, said UMMC spokeswoman Duni Hebron. “We just stepped up and did what we think is right for us to do.”On Wednesday, the mobile testing unit rolled up to The Jubilee Autism and Down Syndrome Center of Texas in southeast Houston. “So, we appreciate it very much.”The mobile testing unit offers more than testing but a peace of mind. We’re very grateful for it.”For more information about the UMMC coronavirus mobile testing unit, call 1-866-333-COVID (1-866-333-26843) or visit www.ummcscreening.com/.
Missouri City Councilman describes fighting coronavirus in ICU, medical complications
MISSOURI CITY, Texas – Missouri City Councilman Jeffrey Boney said battling coronavirus has been a true test of his faith and is undoubtedly one of the most challenging things he has ever experienced. Boney was released Sunday from the Intensive Care Unit at United Memorial Medical Center where he was first admitted on March 27. Boney said while he initially didn’t suffer from the usual symptoms after contracting COVID-19, he developed double pneumonia and life-threatening complications. He said the virus attacked his liver and kidneys and pushed his heart into overdrive. It can save not only your life but the life of your loved ones.
Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site open Tuesday at Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land
SUGAR LAND, Texas – United Memorial Medical Center announced the opening of a free COVID-19 drive-thru testing beginning at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land during a news conference Tuesday. “It’s each one of our responsibilities to make sure we don’t pass this on,” said Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman. “We would ask that you bring your senior citizen, ... if [they] can’t come on their own.”Varon said relatively few seniors have stopped by the other UMMC drive-thru testing site, in Houston off Tidwell Rd., which concerns him. However, he said UMMC is working on mobile testing sites that can go test people who may not be able to leave their home. UMMC plans to also start mobile COVID-19 testing efforts as soon as this week to reach seniors who are unable to leave their homes, due to their increased susceptibility to this virus, Lee added.
Who got tested? First wave of coronavirus testing shows a gap from high-risk population
HOUSTON – A free coronavirus testing site opened to anyone released data on who is and isn’t getting tested in Houston. The drive-thru testing facility at United Memorial Medical Center conducted 400 coronavirus tests Thursday, according to the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who helped facility open this weekend. Health officials have cautioned that an increase in coronavirus testing will lead to an increase in new cases. The line of cars, hours long and for the second day in a row, tells the story. in Houston, open to anyone, released information about who is and isn’t getting tested for the virus behind the pandemic.
Free coronavirus testing available in north Houston for anyone with symptoms
HOUSTON – Free coronavirus testing started Thursday morning for anyone who has symptoms. The testing is being conducted in the parking lot of United Memorial Medical Center located at 510 West Tidwell in north Houston. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus taskforce, announced the free testing center Wednesday night. First coronavirus testing in HoustonCars lined West Tidwell Road Thursday morning, outside the area’s first free drive-through Coronavirus testing site. Map of testing sitesHere’s a map of the coronavirus testing sites that are available to people with symptoms.