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April 7, 2020

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April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020

Coronavirus In Greater Houston: City Announces 10th Death, COVID-19 Reported In Assisted-Living Facility

As Houston enters its fifth week dealing with the coronavirus, Houston Public Media provides more live updates.Paul DeBenedetto | Posted on April 5, 2020, 6:31 PM

A medical professional takes a sample from a drive-thru patient for testing at a newly opened free COVID-19 testing site operated by United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Houston.

THE LATEST


  • Houston announced its 10th death related to the coronavirus Sunday. 
  • Galveston announced its first death related to the virus Saturday.
  • There are now at least 1,854coronavirus cases in the region, in Houston, greater Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County and Waller County.

This story is part of Houston Public Media’s ongoing coronavirus coverage. To see our previous live coverage, click here. For more stories and information about the coronavirus, visit our Houston Ready project page. 

Updated 6:28 p.m. CT Sunday

The city announced its 10th death related to the coronavirus over the weekend, while Galveston County announced its first, as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its fifth week in the Houston region.

The Houston Health Department announced Sunday that a man between 60 and 70 with underlying health condition was pronounced dead March 30, his death a result of the virus. Ten people in Houston have died of COVID-19, and the city now has 743 positive cases. Galveston County also announced a woman between 81 and 90 with underlying health conditions died Saturday. 

There are more than 1,800 coronavirus cases in the greater Houston area, encompassing Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Liberty, Brazoria, Waller, Fort Bend, Chambers and Austin counties.

Those cases include at least three new positive cases of COVID-19 in a southeast Harris County assisted living facility, including staff and residents, Harris County Public Health said Saturday. The county did not provide specifics on the facility or the people impacted. 

The news came just one day after Galveston County announced a total of 83 people in a Texas City nursing home tested positive for COVID-19

Although anyone can get the coronavirus, older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The region’s first coronavirus-related death, announced March 19, was in a northwest Harris County nursing home.

And in San Antonio, an outbreak at a San Antonio nursing home led to at least two deaths and 67 positive cases, according to Texas Public Radio.

As Houston enters its fifth week dealing with the coronavirus, Houston Public Media provides more live updates.Paul DeBenedetto | Posted on April 5, 2020, 6:31 PM

A medical professional takes a sample from a drive-thru patient for testing at a newly opened free COVID-19 testing site operated by United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Houston.

THE LATEST


  • Houston announced its 10th death related to the coronavirus Sunday. 
  • Galveston announced its first death related to the virus Saturday.
  • There are now at least 1,854coronavirus cases in the region, in Houston, greater Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County and Waller County.

This story is part of Houston Public Media’s ongoing coronavirus coverage. To see our previous live coverage, click here. For more stories and information about the coronavirus, visit our Houston Ready project page. 

Updated 6:28 p.m. CT Sunday

The city announced its 10th death related to the coronavirus over the weekend, while Galveston County announced its first, as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its fifth week in the Houston region.

The Houston Health Department announced Sunday that a man between 60 and 70 with underlying health condition was pronounced dead March 30, his death a result of the virus. Ten people in Houston have died of COVID-19, and the city now has 743 positive cases. Galveston County also announced a woman between 81 and 90 with underlying health conditions died Saturday. 

There are more than 1,800 coronavirus cases in the greater Houston area, encompassing Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Liberty, Brazoria, Waller, Fort Bend, Chambers and Austin counties.

Those cases include at least three new positive cases of COVID-19 in a southeast Harris County assisted living facility, including staff and residents, Harris County Public Health said Saturday. The county did not provide specifics on the facility or the people impacted. 

The news came just one day after Galveston County announced a total of 83 people in a Texas City nursing home tested positive for COVID-19

Although anyone can get the coronavirus, older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The region’s first coronavirus-related death, announced March 19, was in a northwest Harris County nursing home.

And in San Antonio, an outbreak at a San Antonio nursing home led to at least two deaths and 67 positive cases, according to Texas Public Radio.

April 4, 2020

83 Residents, Employees Test Positive For COVID-19 At Texas City Nursing Home

Health officials believe it may have been spread by employees who unknowingly had coronavirus.Katie Watkins | Posted on April 3, 2020, 6:31 PM (Last Updated: April 3, 2020, 6:53 PM)

Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser speaking at a press conference about the 83 confirmed cases Friday.

Seventy additional residents and employees at a nursing home in Texas City have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases at the facility to 83, the Galveston County Health District announced Friday. 

The first case of COVID-19 at The Resort at Texas City was reported on Saturday. After the cases climbed to 13 during the week, the health district and the University of Texas Medical Branch tested an additional 146 residents and employees on Thursday. Some of those results are still pending.

Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser said based on what they saw during a visit to the facility on Saturday, the staff is following CDC guidelines. He said they think the cases may have been spread by several employees.

“There’s no way that we can prove this, but we believe that there may have been some employees who had accidentally contracted COVID, and then had gone to work,” he said at a press conference Friday. “One of the things that we’re learning about this virus is that there are a lot more asymptomatic cases out there than anybody ever dreamed up. So it shouldn’t be surprising that this could happen at a place.”

The Resort at Texas City is a 135-bed facility about an hour southeast of Houston. Keiser said the nursing home has cohorted the patients together on a separate hallway away from everyone else. 

He also said the health district is issuing an order requiring additional safety restrictions for long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living locations, in Galveston County during the pandemic. 

“I think it’s important that given what we know now, and given what we know about the population of long-term care facilities and their vulnerability, that we double down so that we can protect them as best we can,” Keiser said. 

Under the order, employees who work at a facility with a confirmed case will be prohibited from also working at other facilities. 

“It was a surprise to us to realize, but this is a fairly common practice, people will often work at more than one facility,” Keiser said.

This has raised concerns that healthcare workers could be unknowingly spreading coronavirus across locations. 

Keiser said there are a few other long-term care facilities in the county with a smaller number of confirmed cases. 

The order also requires long-term facilities with positive cases to notify family members and “at the very least, put a sign on the front door letting the public know there is a COVID-19 positive resident within the facility,” the health district wrote in a release. 

Long-term facilities will also be prohibited from taking residents outside the grounds except for in an emergency or for dialysis. 

“We are gravely concerned about the spread of this virus within nursing homes because of the close proximity and vulnerability of  the residents,” Keiser said in a press release announcing the first 13 cases Thursday. 

In Montgomery County, The Conservatory at Alden Bridge, an apartment complex for seniors in the Woodlands, is also dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that has resulted in the death of three men. 

April 3, 2020

April 1, 2020

US Naval Hospital sailing into NYC

April 1, 2020

Field Hospital in Central Park, NY

April 1, 2020

A service dog in training brings comfort to ER doctors on the frontlines

April 1, 2020

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A major Houston hospital is spearheading a crucial treatment in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. Houston Methodist is the first academic medical center in the nation to be approved by the FDA to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient.

The experimental treatment was fast-tracked as the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic soared to more than 2,000 people across the United States and more than 100,000 Americans sick from the virus, according to a statement.

The concept of the treatment centers around the idea that plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies made by the immune system and is used to kill the virus. Transfusing antibody-rich plasma into a COVID-19 patient who is still fighting the virus may transfer the power of the antibodies into a healing, possibly life-saving therapy, according to the hospital.

April 1, 2020 How to Care for a Loved One with COVID-19

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/03/21/coronavirus-how-safely-take-care-someone-sick-covid-19/2866984001/

March 31, 2020

What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know?

En Español

People who are 65 or older are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.

In addition, people of any age who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility are at higher risk. 

Other people who may be at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, regardless of age or disability, include:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate-to-severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
  • People with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are immunocompromised. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications including people receiving cancer treatment

Reducing exposure is especially important for people at higher risk of complications!Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick

Words to the wise: Planning is key!

Many states and communities are implementing community actions designed to reduce exposures to COVID-19 and slow the spread of the disease. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about. You should base the details of your household plan on the needs and daily routine of your household members. CDC’s planning resources can help.

Everyday actions to prevent illness

You can learn more about how the virus spreads here. Everyone, regardless of age or disability, should follow CDC’s recommendations to help prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases, including colds and flu and COVID-19. Things you can do every dayPresident’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

  • COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. These include:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • This list is not all inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

March 31, 2020

THANK YOU TO OUR HEROES

March 29, 2020

How to Keep Coronavirus out of your Home

March 29, 2020

Dr Fauci COVID 2019 Projections

Washington (CNN)The nation’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday that based on models, the United States could eventually see 100,000 or more deaths from the novel coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 2,000 American lives as cases surge across the US.”Whenever the models come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario. Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle. I’ve never seen a model of the diseases that I’ve dealt with where the worst case actually came out. They always overshoot,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, you know, I would say between 100 and 200,000 (deaths). But I don’t want to be held to that,” he said, adding that the US is going to have “millions of cases.” The comments come as the number of reported coronavirus deaths doubled to more than 2,000 nationwide in two days. The US has the most confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 121,000 as of Saturday morning.During a Sunday evening news conference, President Donald Trump said that, based on models that the coronavirus outbreak could bring 100,000-200,000 deaths in the US, his administration would “have done a good job.”Trump also said Sunday he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days. Fauci and White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx had long supported extending the guidelines and gave a strong presentation with the new models that showed the 100,000 to 200,000 people could die, a source familiar with the President’s decision told CNN.Still, there is concern among some skeptics in the White House that these models Birx put so much stock in could be wrong, just as others have been since so much is unknown, the source said. But the president wasn’t given much of a choice but to agree to more time, a source familiar with the President’s decision told CNN.A separate source familiar with the President’s decision said aides thought it was good to announce it on a Sunday night before a new week begins.INTERACTIVE: Tracking Covid-19 cases in the USFauci says Trump agreed not to invoke a strict quarantine after intensive White House discussionsFauci and other experts have said the crisis will get worse before it improves, and the recent uptick in cases has caused severe supply shortages for hospitals around the country, especially in New York, the state with the highest number of cases nationwide. Numerous hospitals across the country expect to run out of beds within two weeks as cases continue to rise. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN Sunday that his city has enough supplies to only last a week.”We have enough supplies to get to a week from today with the exception of ventilators. We’re going to need at least several hundred more ventilators very quickly. But we have otherwise the supplies to get to next Sunday,” de Blasio told Tapper on the same program. “We are going to need a re-enforcement by Sunday, April 5 in all categories, especially ventilators but in other areas as well. And personnel is becoming more and more the issue.”In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, various cities and states — including New York — have implemented stay-at-home orders for their residents, which have now impacted at least 215 million Americans. On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, urging residents of the three states — which have a significant amount of the cases in the country — to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” This story has been updated to include Trump’s statement and additional developments Sunday.CLARIFICATION: The headline and this story have been updated to better convey that Dr. Anthony Fauci was offering a possible estimate based on his interpretation of the coronavirus models.

CNN’s Chandelis Duster contributed to this story.

March 29, 2020

Ebola, other past virus outbreaks help Katy-area hospitals prepare for coronavirus

hospital emergency room

Katy-area hospitals planned ahead for the coronavirus and are changing procedures to prepare for surge in cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

By Jen Para | 2:31 PM Mar. 26, 2020 CDT | Updated 2:31 PM Mar. 26, 2020 CDT

Officials from Houston Methodist West Hospital, Memorial Hermann Health System and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus said they first began preparing for the coronavirus months before it hit the U.S.

Texas Children’s Hospital confirmed as of March 25 it has adequate supplies and protective equipment, said Jaclyn Houghton, a Texas Children’s Hospital public relations specialist, in an email interview.

As of March 24, Houston Methodist West also has enough supplies and staff ready for the current case count—and a future surge—said Sarah Lam, Houston Methodist West Hospital’s senior marketing and communications specialist, in an email interview.

“The Ebola scare a few years ago was a useful trial run for us to handle these types of infectious disease events,” Lam said. “And our caregivers continually train, so we are prepared to handle the situation if we see an influx of patients.”

Memorial Hermann Health System—which has a Katy hospital—also cited previous outbreaks as situations that have helped it be ready for the coronavirus, said Drew Munhausen, a senior external communications specialist for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, in an email interview. RELATED STORIES

“Historical outbreaks of other infectious diseases, such as swine flu, Ebola and Zika, have strengthened Memorial Hermann’s ability to respond to infectious disease situations in terms of readiness and preparedness,” Munhausen said.

Additionally, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus has a special isolation unit at its campus, Houghton said. This eight-bed unit, which offers biocontainment, is among the few in the U.S. specialized for pediatric patients under the age of 21, she added.

“This is designed specifically for patients with highly contagious infectious diseases, such as Ebola, MERS [Middle East respiratory syndrome, another coronavirus disease] and other special pathogens,” Houghton said. “This unit features a highly-trained team that is ready to care for any patient.”

The highly infectious disease unit at Houston Methodist Continuing Care Hospital in Katy also opened March 23, Lam said.

“This unit with 20 beds, and 22 more coming in the near future, will house the sickest COVID-19 patients,” Lam said. “We have an emergency response team at this location should we need them.”

Changing hospital processes

All three hospital systems have changed several procedures to offer additional capacity if the case count begins to rise quickly.

“While our biocontainment unit is eight beds, we are prepared to expand the specialized care we offer to admit additional COVID-19 patients as needed, safely,” Houghton said. “We do also have surge plans in place and will be here to care for the needs of children and high-risk women.”

She added Texas Children’s has 969 licensed beds as of March 25, though the number of available beds changes daily. All Texas Children’s campuses—following Texas Health and Human Services Commission guidelines—implemented limited visitation guidelines. Campuses have also reduced the number people on shuttles and enhanced daily sanitation and cleaning processes.

On March 23, Houston Methodist hospitals no longer conducted elective nonurgent surgeries and procedures, Lam said. Two days later, the hospitals stopped elective, nonurgent diagnostic and ancillary testing.

“Not performing the nonurgent surgeries and procedures will free up beds in case we need them in case of a surge,” Lam said.

Memorial Hermann Health System also postponed elective, nonurgent surgeries and procedures as directed for the U.S. surgeon general, Munhausen said.

“Postponing these surgeries and procedures conserves resources for the sickest and most vulnerable patients,” Munhausen said.

He added Memorial Hermann has isolation policies and rooms across its hospitals to safeguard others from exposure.

All three hospitals are also still helping patients who do not have the coronavirus.

Memorial Hermann is urging patients to use Memorial Hermann eVisits, which offers telemedicine 24/7 to help diagnose and treat minor illnesses, Munhausen said. Houston Methodist also offers telemedicine for nonemergency urgent care needs, and it is also treating individuals who arrive at its location, Lam said.

“We are taking care of all patients who come through our doors,” Lam said. “This is something we have always done and it’s something that will never change.” Tags: Houston Methodist West Hospital , Memorial Hermann Health System said , Katy , Katy Health Care , Coronavirus (COVID-19) , Drew Munhausen , Sarah Lam , Texas Children’s Hospital West , Jaclyn Houghton SHARE THIS STORY

March 27, 2020

What The World Needs Now

March 26, 2020 Say THANK YOU

Image may contain: possible text that says 'EVERY NIGHT AT 8PM LOCAL TIME, WE TAKE PAUSE AND RAISE A GLASS TO ALL THE HOSPITAL PROFESSIONALS, NURSES AND PHYSICIANS TO SAY THANK YOU AND GIVE OUR GRATITUDE TO THOSE WHO RISK THEIR LIVES FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS. #SOLIDARITYAT8 M 1818'

March 26, 2020

Colorado Symphony Plays Virtual Concert

https://www.9news.com/video/entertainment/music/colorado-syphony-ode-to-joy/73-fb375c42-80ac-423c-8681-006010389d21

March 26, 2020

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

HBR Staff/d3sign/Getty Images

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Some of the HBR edit staff met virtually the other day — a screen full of faces in a scene becoming more common everywhere. We talked about the content we’re commissioning in this harrowing time of a pandemic and how we can help people. But we also talked about how we were feeling. One colleague mentioned that what she felt was grief. Heads nodded in all the panes.

If we can name it, perhaps we can manage it. We turned to David Kessler for ideas on how to do that. Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief. He co-wrote with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss. His new book adds another stage to the process, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. Kessler also has worked for a decade in a three-hospital system in Los Angeles. He served on their biohazards team. His volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com, which has over 5 million visits yearly from 167 countries.

Kessler shared his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it. The conversation is lightly edited for clarity.

HBR: People are feeling any number of things right now. Is it right to call some of what they’re feeling grief?

Kessler: Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.

You said we’re feeling more than one kind of grief?

Yes, we’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

What can individuals do to manage all this grief?

Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.

When we’re feeling grief there’s that physical pain. And the racing mind. Are there techniques to deal with that to make it less intense?

Let’s go back to anticipatory grief. Unhealthy anticipatory grief is really anxiety, and that’s the feeling you’re talking about. Our mind begins to show us images. My parents getting sick. We see the worst scenarios. That’s our minds being protective. Our goal is not to ignore those images or to try to make them go away — your mind won’t let you do that and it can be painful to try and force it. The goal is to find balance in the things you’re thinking. If you feel the worst image taking shape, make yourself think of the best image. We all get a little sick and the world continues. Not everyone I love dies. Maybe no one does because we’re all taking the right steps. Neither scenario should be ignored but neither should dominate either.

Anticipatory grief is the mind going to the future and imagining the worst. To calm yourself, you want to come into the present. This will be familiar advice to anyone who has meditated or practiced mindfulness but people are always surprised at how prosaic this can be. You can name five things in the room. There’s a computer, a chair, a picture of the dog, an old rug, and a coffee mug. It’s that simple. Breathe. Realize that in the present moment, nothing you’ve anticipated has happened. In this moment, you’re okay. You have food. You are not sick. Use your senses and think about what they feel. The desk is hard. The blanket is soft. I can feel the breath coming into my nose. This really will work to dampen some of that pain.

You can also think about how to let go of what you can’t control. What your neighbor is doing is out of your control. What is in your control is staying six feet away from them and washing your hands. Focus on that.

Finally, it’s a good time to stock up on compassion. Everyone will have different levels of fear and grief and it manifests in different ways. A coworker got very snippy with me the other day and I thought, That’s not like this person; that’s how they’re dealing with this. I’m seeing their fear and anxiety. So be patient. Think about who someone usually is and not who they seem to be in this moment.

One particularly troubling aspect of this pandemic is the open-endedness of it.

This is a temporary state. It helps to say it. I worked for 10 years in the hospital system. I’ve been trained for situations like this. I’ve also studied the 1918 flu pandemic. The precautions we’re taking are the right ones. History tells us that. This is survivable. We will survive. This is a time to overprotect but not overreact.

And, I believe we will find meaning in it. I’ve been honored that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s family has given me permission to add a sixth stage to grief: Meaning. I had talked to Elisabeth quite a bit about what came after acceptance. I did not want to stop at acceptance when I experienced some personal grief. I wanted meaning in those darkest hours. And I do believe we find light in those times. Even now people are realizing they can connect through technology. They are not as remote as they thought. They are realizing they can use their phones for long conversations. They’re appreciating walks. I believe we will continue to find meaning now and when this is over.

What do you say to someone who’s read all this and is still feeling overwhelmed with grief?

Keep trying. There is something powerful about naming this as grief. It helps us feel what’s inside of us. So many have told me in the past week, “I’m telling my coworkers I’m having a hard time,” or “I cried last night.” When you name it, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through. One unfortunate byproduct of the self-help movement is we’re the first generation to have feelings about our feelings. We tell ourselves things like, I feel sad, but I shouldn’t feel that; other people have it worse. We can — we should — stop at the first feeling. I feel sad. Let me go for five minutes to feel sad. Your work is to feel your sadness and fear and anger whether or not someone else is feeling something. Fighting it doesn’t help because your body is producing the feeling. If we allow the feelings to happen, they’ll happen in an orderly way, and it empowers us. Then we’re not victims.

In an orderly way?

Yes. Sometimes we try not to feel what we’re feeling because we have this image of a “gang of feelings.” If I feel sad and let that in, it’ll never go away. The gang of bad feelings will overrun me. The truth is a feeling that moves through us. We feel it and it goes and then we go to the next feeling. There’s no gang out to get us. It’s absurd to think we shouldn’t feel grief right now. Let yourself feel the grief and keep going.


Scott Berinato is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review and the author of Good Charts Workbook: Tips Tools, and Exercises for Making Better Data Visualizations and Good Charts: The HBR Guide

COVID-19 Food Safety Tips

March 24, 2020 Tracking COVID 19 Map

By Tuesday, the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States had grown to at least 53,740 cases in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. There are outbreak clusters in New York, Washington State and California, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking reports and confirming them with local health departments.

The number of cases in the U.S. and worldwide is the subject of some debate, as testing has been rolled out unevenly and the criteria for diagnosis (through clinical means or a lab test) has varied from country-to-country.

U.S. Coronavirus CasesU.S. Coronavirus CasesABC News, Johns Hopkins CSSE

For more information on COVID-19 cases in your state, check your state’s health department website, listed below. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains nationwide statistics, but they are not updated as frequently. Information from Johns Hopkins University is not independently verified by ABC News.

The growing number of lab-confirmed cases in the U.S. at this point still pales in comparison to the seasonal flu, which kills an estimated 12,000 to 61,000 people per year and affects between 9 million and 45 million people in the country, according to the CDC.

Still, experts warn that the COVID-19 shouldn’t be downplayed or compared to a bad case of the flu. Instead, the respiratory disease is more akin to severe pneumonia, and in serious cases, patients experiencing difficulty breathing have been hospitalized and put on ventilators.

March 24, 2020 Doctors and Music

https://abcnews.go.com/US/doctors-story-viral-rendition-john-lennons-imagine-music/story?id=69776258&cid=social_fb_abcn&fbclid=IwAR3uLhsqBKUatiBhFfRNZ7oNJmR2TETiVUB4s8C5GYY2nae7IiHZgBgElRQ

COVID-19 Basic Video

Operations

Hospices Struggle to Access Patients in Nursing Homes Amid Pandemic

By Holly Vossel | March 20, 2020

CDC

With older adults suffering from chronic or life-limiting medical conditions among those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak, nursing homes across the country are restricting access to their facilities. As a result, hospice providers have experienced difficulty accessing their patients in nursing home settings.

Nursing home populations are at the highest risk of being affected by the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To address pandemic spread concerns, the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced critical measures last week to keep nursing home residents safe from exposure to COVID-19.

“About 10% of our 70 nursing homes here in Pinellas County [Florida] are not allowing hospice personnel access to our hospice patients residing in nursing homes,” said Scott Kistler, vice president of strategy and business development for Empath Health, a Florida-based hospice and palliative care service provider. “And that’s not particular to us. It’s a widespread problem.”

The new CMS recommendations advised nursing homes to “significantly restrict visitors and nonessential personnel, as well as restrict communal activities inside nursing homes” to protect seniors at the highest risk for complications from COVID-19.

As nursing homes work to protect both patients and staff in accordance with the CMS and CDC guidelines, volunteers, visitors, therapists, and various other contractors are included in the restrictions. While CMS Administrator Seema Verma indicated that hospice workers among those considered essential personnel who should be allowed access, it’s unclear how many nursing homes are aware of this specification.

Though the access problems are widespread, they are not universal. Some nursing homes are continuing to let in hospice clinicians. 

“Facilities can establish their own guidelines on restricted visitation,” said Jeri Krauss, an independent geriatric nurse consultant in Texas specializing in hospice care . “Most that I have talked to are allowing family and care workers to see residents on hospice care. Workers and family wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during the visit.”

To continue providing patients with end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospices are working with nursing homes to gain access and reassure them of protective measures being taken against the risks.

“Our partners in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are continually working to ensure the safety of their patients and staff,” VITAS Healthcare indicated to Hospice News in an email. “As part of this advocacy, we ensure our clinicians follow adequate hand hygiene and adhere to facility screening procedures, as well as working with facility leadership to incorporate CDC and CMS guidance. Educational material was also developed to instruct on proper cleaning and disinfection procedures.”

VITAS Healthcare is a subsidiary of Chemed Corp., (NYSE: CHE).

With a shared focus on quality care for vulnerable patients, some nursing homes and long term care providers are working to expand their definition of essential personnel to include hospice providers. 

“Hospice providers are a key part of the senior care health team, and we work in collaboration to enhance quality of life in the final months of life,” said Erin Shvetzoff Hennessey, CEO of Health Dimensions Group, a consulting and management service provider to long-term care and senior living operators in Minnesota. “We need hospice providers to continue to provide the holistic support to our residents and their families as they always do.”

Ramping up protective measures has been among the most vital actions hospices are taking to reassure safety and reduced risk when entering nursing home facilities.

“Most of our nursing homes here are screening and temperature-screening staff that are coming in,” said Laura Mosby, vice president of compliance and organizational excellence with Empath Health. “All staff going into nursing homes and assisted living support are going to be required to wear procedural masks and gloves if they’re providing direct care to a patient. The flip side to that is that we will blow through our supply. It’s now created a different concern: Will we be able to sustain enough medical supplies to meet this requirement?”

With this concern in mind, the CDC issued new guidance on the use of masks, gowns and face shields including suggestions on what to do if in crises shortages when supplies are exhausted. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are encouraged to significantly conserve masks and gowns in order to extend availability of remaining PPE supply.  

Additional measures involve providing nursing home patients with reassurance to continue receiving the care they need.

“We are communicating with our residents to remind them that their needs will continue to be met and that essential health care services, including hospice services, will be continued without interruption,” said Shvetzoff Hennessey. “They are also reassured that all visitors to the community, even those for end-of-life visits or essential care workers, are being screened for illness in an effort to reduce their exposure to COVID-19.”

Equally as important to accessibility is the well-being and health of hospice staff accessing nursing homes. As staff entering facilities and patient homes take precautionary action to protect patients, their own health is just as vital to safeguard colleagues and their families.

With unprecedented school closings during the COVID-19 outbreak, hospice staffing support is extending beyond physical health protection and into personal life needs as well. Many families who rely on school-provided meals are experiencing food shortage issues. Additionally, staff are experiencing financial strain with unemployment numbers on the rise as businesses nationwide shut down during the pandemic.

“You have to take care of your staff and help them feel confident and competent, they then have the resources they need to be able to take care of patients and their families,” said Mosby. “One of the things that we’re working on right now is putting together some resource materials for our staff to give them access to whatever they need to be able to continue to work and live with the least amount of disruption as possible.”

As the coronavirus pandemic surges, hospices and nursing homes need to continue a collaborative partnership and provide patients with accessible care.

“At times like this, it requires those of us who are in leadership roles to really address those fears and anxiety within our staff and our volunteers so that they can in turn calm the fears and anxieties of our patients and families,” Kistler told Hospice News. “The population that we care for, many of these people would not be able to survive this virus, and also to the patients who may contract the virus and to their families who would be challenged by that. It really is a call to action to continue providing the best care possible in these vulnerable populations.”

Doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Gown

See a demonstration of how to safely remove a gown in order to prevent infection.

https://www.jointcommission.org/covid-19/doffing-personal-protective-equipment-ppe—gown/

The number of Houston-area coronavirus cases stands at 199 with 2 deaths, 19 recoveries reported

KPRC
KPRC

HOUSTON – Here is a quick look at the coronavirus cases that have been reported in the Greater Houston area.

Here is a breakdown of the total number of coronavirus cases that have been reported in the Houston area. Deaths and recoveries are included in the total number of cases for each location.

County or CityTotal CasesDeathsRecoveries
Brazoria County18
Brazos County12
Chambers County1
Fort Bend County424
Galveston County18
Grimes County2
Harris County54112
Houston (city)242
Liberty County1
Matagorda County611
Montgomery County19
Walker County1
Waller County0
Wharton County1
HOUSTON-AREA TOTAL199219

Brazoria County: 18 total cases

The total number of reported coronavirus cases is at 18.

Here is the information provided by Brazoria County health officials about the cases:

  • A male between the ages of 30-40 and resides in Angleton. He is in stable condition.
  • A male between the ages of 60-70 and resides in Rosharon. He is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation. Not travel related.
  • A female, between the ages of 20-30 and resides in Angleton, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
  • A male, between the ages of 50-60 and he resides in Pearland, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
  • A man, between the ages of 25-35 that resides in Angleton, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
  • A man, between the ages of 55-65 that resides in Clute, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
  • A man, between the ages of 20-30 that resides in Rosharon, is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation.
  • A man, between the ages of 50-60. He resides in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. This case is not travel related.
  • A man, between the ages of 45-55 who lives in Pearland. He is isolated at home. Has a history of travel
  • A man, between the ages of 40-50 who lives in Pearland and is now in self-isolation. Has a history of travel
  • A man between the ages of 40-50 who lives in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
  • A woman, between the ages of 65-75 who lives in Pearland and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
  • A man between the ages of 50-60 who lives in Alvin and is at home recovering in isolation. Has a history of travel
  • A man between the ages of 40-50, and resides in the Rosharon area. The individual is not hospitalized and is recovering at a private residence.
  • A man between 55 and 65 years old who lives in the Manvel area. He is hospitalized and in stable condition.
  • A woman between 50 and 60 years old who lives in the Pearland area. Her illness is believed to be related to travel.
  • Two people who live in the Alvin area who attended the Houston Rodeo cookoff.

Brazos County: 12 total cases

The number of coronavirus cases that have been reported in Brazos County is at 12.

Here is the information Brazos County health officials have released thus far about the cases:

  • 4 cases were announced Saturday, March 21. Details on the new cases were not provided.
  • A man in his 30s with no travel history
  • A man in his 20s who traveled to Mexico
  • A woman in her 20’s who traveled to Spain. She is isolated at home.
  • A man in his 60’s who traveled to Colorado. He is isolated at home.
  • A woman in her 20’s who traveled to New York. She is isolated at home.
  • A woman in her 50’s who traveled to Colorado. She is isolated at home.

Chambers County: 1 total case

The Chambers County Public Health confirms its first positive coronavirus case.

  • The female patient is between 50-60 years old and lives in West Chambers County. She is at home, quarantined and in stable condition. Her case may be travel-related.

Fort Bend County: 42 total cases, 4 recoveries

The total number of reported coronavirus cases in Fort Bend County is 42. Four recoveries have been reported.

Here is the information Fort Bend County health officials have provided about the cases:

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized, released and now recovering at home.
  • A woman in her 20s, with moderate symptoms and history of travel to a high incidence area, is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 50s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
  • A woman in her 50s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
  • A woman in her 20s with moderate symptoms is recovering at home.
  • A woman in her 20s with mild to moderate symptoms. She is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 50s with mild to moderate symptoms. He is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and discharged. He is now recovering in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 60s who is hospitalized.
  • A woman in her 50s with mild to moderate symptoms. She is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 40s with international travel who has moderate symptoms and is in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 50s with domestic travel to a region with widespread local disease. She has moderate symptoms and is in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 40s with domestic travel and mild to moderate symptoms. He is in isolation at home.
  • A minor child with domestic travel and mild symptoms who is in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 40s with domestic travel and moderate symptoms who is in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 30s with domestic travel and moderate symptoms who is in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 30s with moderate symptoms who is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 70s with a history of international travel. She reported mild symptoms and is being isolated at home.
  • A man in his 60s. He is hospitalized and in stable condition.
  • A woman in her 20s who traveled internationally. She reported mild symptoms and is being isolated at her home.
  • A man in his 40s, with a history of international travel and exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases abroad. He experienced moderate flu-like symptoms, which have resolved. He is in isolation at home.
  • A woman in her 50s, with a history of international travel. She experienced mild symptoms that have resolved. She is in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 70s with a history of international travel. He was hospitalized and discharged in good condition. He is recovering in isolation at home.
  • A man in his 70s in Fort Bend County is hospitalized and is in stable condition.

Galveston County: 18 total cases

The number of coronavirus cases that have been reported in Galveston County is at 18.

Here is the information Galveston County health officials have released thus far about the cases:

  • A female younger than 10 years old with recent domestic travel. She is self-quarantined
  • A male in his 20s with recent international travel. He is self-quarantined
  • A male in his 50s with recent domestic travel. He is self-quarantined.
  • A male in his 40s with recent domestic travel He is self-quarantined.
  • A male in his 20s with recent international travel. He is self-quarantined.
  • A male in his 60s with recent domestic travel. He is self-quarantined.
  • A woman in her 40s, who recently traveled internationally and had contact with a positive coronavirus patient, is currently self-quarantined. She visited an area clinic.
  • A man in his 70s who recently traveled domestically.
  • A woman in her 20s believed to have been exposed through community spread.
  • A woman in her 50s believed to have been exposed through community spread.
  • A man in his 40s who recently traveled internationally. He is being isolated at home.
  • A woman in her 50s who came in contact with a person known to have traveled to an area affected by coronavirus. She is being isolated at home.
  • A man in his 50s who has recently traveled within the U.S. He is being isolated at home.
  • A woman in her 40s who has recently traveled within the U.S. She is being isolated at home.
  • A man between 45 and 50 years old who had symptoms that included fever, dry cough, sore throat, headaches and body aches.
  • A woman between 30 to 35 years old who lives in northern Galveston County. Her case has been linked to a case in Montgomery County.
  • A woman in her 30s, who recently traveled domestically. She visited a local urgent care facility and is currently self-quarantined.
  • A woman in her 60s, who recently traveled domestically. She visited a local clinic and is self-quarantined.

Grimes County: 2 total cases

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Grimes County is at 2.

Officials reported the first case in Grimes County on March 18 and said the second case was found in someone who lives with the person connected to the first case. Officials said neither of the infected people had any contact with anyone else in the county. Both are isolated at home, officials said.

Harris County: 54 total cases, 1 death, 12 recoveries

Harris County’s total number of reported coronavirus cases is 51. One death and 11 recoveries have been reported. This number does not include cases reported in the city of Houston. Those numbers are broken down in a separate entry below.

Here is the information Harris County health officials have provided about the cases thus far:

  • A 40- to 49-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (recovered)
  • A 60- 69-year-old woman, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 50- to 59-year-old man, who lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County- (travel-related)
  • A 30- to 39-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris Count, exposed through community spread.
  • A 50- to 59-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed by contact with a positive COVID-19 individual.
  • A 40- to 49-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
  • A 20- to 29-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
  • A 40 to 49-year-old man, who lives in the southwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through community spread.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposure still pending investigation.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through to a confirmed case.
  • A 0- to 10-year-old boy, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
  • A 0- to 10-year-old girl, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through a confirmed case.
  • A 10- to 20-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed to a confirmed case.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old woman, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through travel
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man, who lives in the northeast quadrant of Harris County, exposure still pending investigation.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man, who lives in the northwest quadrant of Harris County, exposed through travel
  • A 50- to 60-year-old woman, who lives in the northeast quadrant of Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman, who lives in the southwest quadrant of Harris County- (travel-related)
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man, who lives in the southeast quadrant of Harris County- (investigation pending)
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman, who lives in northwest Harris County- (travel-related)
  • A 30- to 40-year-old woman, who lives in northwest Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman, who lives in northwest Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man, who lives in northwest Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 50- to 60-year-old woman, who lives in the southeast Harris County- (community spread)
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man, who lives in northwest Harris County- (travel-related)
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman, who lives in the southwest Harris County- (investigation pending)
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man, who lives in the northwest Harris County- (travel-related)
  • A 50- to 60-year-old woman, who lives in northeast Harris County- (investigation pending)
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who has no history of travel.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old woman who lives in northeast Harris County. She had contact with a positive COVID-19 individual.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County.
  • An 80- to 90-year-old man who lived in a nursing home in northwest Harris County. His death was reported Thursday. This case was believed to be the result of community spread.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County. This case is believed to be the result of community spread.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old woman who lives in southwest Harris County. This case is believed to be the result of community spread.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old man who lives in northeast Harris County and has not history of travel. This case is believed to be the result of community spread.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old woman who lives in southwest Harris County and has no history of travel. This case is believed to be the result of community spread.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old woman who lives in southwest Harris County.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old woman who lives in northwest Harris County and is believed to have contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man in northwest Harris County.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman who lives in southwest Harris county. She recently returned from Italy aboard two flights: Lufthansa 309 from Florence to Frankfurt on March 3 and United Airlines 47 from Frankfurt to Houston.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old woman who lives in northwest Harris County. This case is believed to be travel-related.
  • Three people between 60 and 70 years old and live in northwest Harris County.
  • A man and a woman. The woman is a staff member of Rice University.

Houston: 24 total cases, 2 recoveries

The total number of reported coronavirus cases in the city of Houston is at 24.

Here is the information city health officials have provided about the cases thus far:

  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman who has no known travel history. She is recovering at home.
  • A 30- to 40-year-old-man who recently traveled to Idaho, who is at home recovering.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old-woman with no known travel has been hospitalized.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old man, who has traveled in Texas, is at home recovering.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man, who traveled to Costa Rica, is at home recovering.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old woman who traveled to Kansas. She is hospitalized.
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who traveled to Georgia. He is hospitalized
  • A 60- to 70-year-old woman with no travel history. She is at home, recovering
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man who traveled to the UK. He is at home, recovering
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who traveled to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He is at home, recovering
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who traveled to Colorado. He is at home, recovering
  • A 40- to 50-year-old man who traveled to Nevada. He is at home, recovering
  • A 50- to 60-year-old woman with no history of travel or exposure to the coronavirus.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man with no history of travel.
  • A 70- to 80-year-old man who traveled to New York.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man who traveled to Spain.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old woman who traveled to Mexico.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old man with no history of travel.
  • A 70- to 80-year-old woman who traveled to Egypt.
  • A 15- to 25-year-old female who traveled to New York.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old man.
  • A 60- to 70-year-old woman.
  • A 50- to 60-year-old man with a history of international travel.

Liberty County: 1 total case

The total number of cases that have been reported in Liberty County is at 1.

Here is the information officials have released about the case thus far:

  • A woman between 40 and 50 years old who is experiencing mild symptoms and isolated at home.

Matagorda County: 6 total cases, 1 death

The total number of coronavirus cases that have been reported in Matagorda County is at 6. One of those people died from the virus.

Here is the information officials have released thus far about the cases:

  • A man between the ages of 55 and 65. Self-quarantining at home and in stable condition.
  • A man between the ages of 18 and 25. Self-quarantining at home and in stable condition.
  • A woman between 75 and 85 years old who had no travel outside of the county. She is at Matagorda Regional Medical Center in fair condition.
  • A woman between 50 and 55 years old who recently traveled to Washington state.
  • A man in his late 90s who died after suffering from symptoms consistent with COVID-19. A test conducted on him came back positive for coronavirus the day after he died.
  • A 60-year-old woman who had been admitted to Matagorda Regional Medical Center for pneumonia complications and tested positive for coronavirus during a screening. She is “resting comfortably.”

Montgomery County: 19 total cases

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Montgomery County is at 19.

Here is the information Montgomery County health officials have provided about the cases thus far:

  • A man in his 50s, who resides in southwest Montgomery County. He is in isolation at his home. He recently traveled to California.
  • A man in his 50s, who resides in southwest Montgomery County. He is in isolation at his home. He recently traveled to Chicago, Illinois
  • A woman in her 20s, who lives in northwest Montgomery County. She is in isolation at her home. Believed to be a case of community spread.
  • A female teen between 13 and 19 years old, who lives in southeast Montgomery County. She is in isolation at home. She recently traveled to New Orleans
  • A woman in her 40s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County, is connected to a case in Smith County, where she recently traveled. She is at home in isolation.
  • A man is in his 40s, who has been in northeast Montgomery County for work-related purposes, is at home in isolation. His only recent travel is to Houston.
  • A man in his 90s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County. He is currently hospitalized. He has no recent travel history
  • A man in his 50s, who lives in southwest Montgomery County. His case is still under investigation.
  • A woman in her 50s who lives in southeast Montgomery County. She is in isolation at home and she attended the Houston Rodeo on March 8.
  • A man in his 50s who lives in southwest Montgomery County. He is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
  • A woman in her 40s who lives in southeast Montgomery County. She recently traveled to Germany. She is being kept in isolation at her home.
  • A woman in her 60s who lives in northwest Montgomery County who has no recent history of travel.
  • A man in his 40s who lives in southwest Montgomery County. He recently traveled to California. He is being kept in isolation at his home.
  • A man in his 50s who lives in south Montgomery County and recently traveled to California. He is being kept in isolation at his home.
  • A woman in her 40s who lives in northwest Montgomery County. She is being kept in isolation at her home.
  • A man in his 40s who lives in northwest Montgomery County and recently traveled to Florida.
  • A woman in her 40s who lives in south Montgomery County and recently traveled to New Orleans. She is being treated at an area hospital.
  • A man in his 40s who lives in northwest Montgomery County. He is being treated at an area hospital.
  • A woman in her 30s, who resides in northwest Montgomery County. She is in isolation at home and has no recent travel history.

Walker County: 1 total case

The total number of cases that have been reported in Walker County is at 1.

The patient is male, in his 20s, and the source of the exposure is still under investigation. The person was tested outside of Walker County. He is experiencing mild symptoms and has been isolated at home.

Wharton County: 1 total case

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Wharton County is 1.

More of our coronavirus coverage

FIND ALL OF OUR COVERAGE: See everything you need to know about coronavirus on our special page.

LOCAL CASES: See all the latest local coronavirus updates in our blog

TOTAL CASES: Keep track as new coronavirus cases are reported in counties in the Houston area

TEXAS: Here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus in Texas

MAPPED: See a Johns Hopkins interactive map that shows how coronavirus has spread through the world

DEATHS: Here’s what we know about the 100 people who’ve died in the US from coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Coronavirus in Texas

Coronavirus in Texas: At least 325 cases reported in state; Abbott moves to bolster number of practicing nurses

A person is taken on a stretcher into the United Memorial Medical Center after going through testing for COVID-19 Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Houston. People were lined up in their cars in a line that stretched over two miles to be tested in the drive-thru testing for coronavirus. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A person is taken on a stretcher into the United Memorial Medical Center after going through testing for COVID-19 Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Houston. People were lined up in their cars in a line that stretched over two miles to be tested in the drive-thru testing for coronavirus. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
[1:45 p.m.] In Texas, at least 325 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and five people have died, according to the latest numbers provided Saturday by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 53% more than the number of cases reported Friday.

The most affected county is Dallas, with 29 cases, followed by Harris, with 25. Travis and Bexar counties follow with 22 each. The statewide numbers for specific counties are lagging local media reports and may differ from what local officials have disclosed. Generally, counties are reporting how many patients test positive there. The state classifies people with positives tests by the county they live in, regardless of where they got tested or are being treated.

The state reported 83 cases where investigators are still determining the county of residence. At least 6,522 tests have been administered, a 414% increase over Tuesday’s testing total of 1,268 when the state first released testing numbers. — Carla Astudillo

Abbott hoping to increase number of practicing nurses, waives some licensing rules

[1:04 p.m.] Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday he would waive certain regulations to allow nursing students and retired nurses to easily join the workforce, as the need for medical professionals grows during the novel coronavirus crisis.

He said the state would allow graduate nurses and vocational nurses who haven’t yet taken the licensing exam to receive temporary permit extensions allowing them to practice. Students in their final year of nursing school can more easily meet clinical requirements. And nurses with inactive licenses and retired nurses can reactive their licenses.

“Nurses are essential to our ability to test for this virus, provide care for COVID-19 patients, and to continue providing other essential health care services. Suspending these regulations will allow us to bring additional skilled nurses into the workforce to assist with our efforts and enhance our COVID-19 response,” he said in the release. — Aliyya Swaby

May primary runoff elections delayed until July

The May 26 primary election runoffs will be delayed until July in response to the growing outbreak of the new coronavirus in Texas under an order signed Friday by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott signed the postponement under the emergency powers of his previous statewide disaster declaration. The elections are now scheduled for July 14; early voting will begin July 6.

Before Abbott’s announcement, Texas Democrats instead turned to the state courts Friday to push for expanding mail-in voting. — Alexa Ura

Health care providers delay non-urgent appointments, surgeries

[6:54 p.m.] In an effort to protect their staff and patients from COVID-19 during a time when people are being encouraged to stay 6 feet away from each other, health care providers across the state have postponed check-ups, elective surgeries and other non-urgent medical appointments that must be conducted in person. Likewise, some patients who need regular medical care are putting it off, afraid of contracting the virus in crowded waiting rooms or from health care workers who may not have access to adequate personal protective equipment.

But there are certain procedures and other in-person visits that can only be delayed so long. That has patients and health care providers alike asking the same question: How long is the coronavirus pandemic going to last and demand social isolation?

“We don’t know, and there’s no one who can tell you,” said Dr. Jim McDeavitt, senior vice president of operations and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. As with the economy, education and beyond, “the longer this goes on, the more challenging it’s going to get.” — Kiah Collier

Texas small businesses can apply for emergency federal loans

[6:54 p.m.] Small businesses battered by the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Texas can apply for long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is available for small businesses to apply. Questions of eligibility, and how to apply, can be answered on the agency website. — Mitchell Ferman

Troubled restaurants want sales tax payment delay, but state needs that money to respond to the virus

[2:46 p.m.] Texas restaurant owners say they could ride out the new coronavirus’ social slowdown for months if the state waived, delayed or deferred Friday’s deadline to pay sales taxes from last month. But Comptroller Glenn Hegar said the state won’t push back the deadline because, most importantly, the state and local governments that depend on those taxes to keep hospitals and emergency services going need the money as they prepare for the number of Texans testing positive to skyrocket within weeks. — Mitchell Ferman and Ross Ramsey

More than 200 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Texas

[12:45 p.m.] In Texas, at least 212 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and five people have died, according to the latest numbers provided Thursday by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is 30% more than the 161 cases reported Thursday and an 123% increase from the 95 cases reported Wednesday. The most affected county is Harris, with 24 cases, followed by Dallas, with 22. Travis follows with 21. The state tracks cases by county of residence, and some patients are treated outside of the county where they live, so today’s data also lists 19 cases in which investigators are still determining the county of residence.

The state health agency says that these numbers may differ from local reports, given that some jurisdictions are making their data public before sending it to the state and also because they might be including residents of other counties in their reports. At least 5,277 tests have been administered, a 125% increase over yesterday’s testing total. — Darla Cameron

Abbott suspends prisoner health care fees

[12 p.m.] Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas prison system to temporarily suspend prisoner health care fees for services related to COVID-19 to “encourage timely reporting of COVID-19 symptoms so that offenders are given the treatment they need,” according to a news release from the governor’s office.

As of September, prisoner health care costs were $13.55 per medical visit, with an annual cap of $100 a year. Prison reform advocates have argued that higher fees dissuade inmates from seeking treatment.

“Waiving health care fees for offenders housed in [Texas Department of Criminal Justice] facilities will ensure that inmates experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 receive immediate medical attention,” Abbott said in the release. “This suspension will protect the health of both inmates and TDCJ staff, and is a crucial tool in our efforts to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19 in closely confined populations.”

TDCJ holds about 140,000 inmates in its more than 100 prison facilities. The department has not yet reported any cases of the new coronavirus, though testing is only being performed by outside entities if an inmate has been taken to a hospital and a doctor there orders it, according to a prison spokesperson. — Jolie McCullough

Calls increase for Trump administration to release migrants from detention

[5 a.m.] As the new coronavirus infects more than 11,000 Americans, including more than 160 Texans so far, immigrant rights groups and attorneys are calling for the government to release detained migrants before the pandemic creates an irreversible health crisis inside detention facilities.

“A number of detainees in recent days have told us how frightened they are to be locked in detention as the coronavirus spreads throughout the country,” the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services said in a statement. “We demand that ICE release all immigrant detainees immediately.”

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement website details its procedures, including isolation, in the event that a detained person gets COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. But more than 750 private entities wrote to ICE acting Director Matthew T. Albence on Thursday arguing that the agency’s track record under the Trump administration does nothing to instill confidence that detainees are being kept in safe environments. — Julián Aguilar

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

Manage Anxiety & Stress

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Stress and Coping

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and  the community you live in.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

  • 911
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSAexternal icon) website.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Reduce stress in yourself and others

Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful..

When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health.

For parents

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

There are many things you can do to support your child

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model.  Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Learn more about helping children cope.

For responders

Responding to COVID-19 can take an emotional toll on you. There are things you can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions:

  • Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
  • Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
  • Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
  • Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  • Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.

Learn more tips for taking care of yourself during emergency response.

For people who have been released from quarantine

Being separated from others if a healthcare provider thinks you may have been exposed to COVID-19 can be stressful, even if you do not get sick. Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine. Some feelings include :

  • Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious
  • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
  • Other emotional or mental health changes

Children may also feel upset or have other strong emotions if they, or someone they know, has been released from quarantine. You can help your child cope. Resources

For Everyone
For Communities
For Families and Children
For First Responders

March 22, 2020 David Ho; Virologist

As of March 20, more than 8,700 people worldwide had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Caltech trustee David Ho (BS ’74) of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, Columbia University, says that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ho, an expert on viral epidemics, has spent decades researching HIV/AIDS, having begun his career in Los Angeles, “ground zero” of the first outbreak, in the early 1980s. On March 18, Ho sat down with members of the Caltech community to discuss the novel coronavirus and the future of our society in the light of this global pandemic.

Walk us through the spread of the virus in the United States. What does the country look like right now?

Let me just give you a picture of what I see here in New York. About two weeks ago, we had our initial case, and now in New York City newly diagnosed confirmed cases are tripling every two days. In our New York Presbyterian Hospital, approximately 25 percent of the swab samples that are submitted for testing are positive. In the suburban communities outside of New York, approximately 10 percent of the swabs submitted are positive. So, the virus is everywhere. And in New York, we know that we are in the exponential growth phase of the epidemic.

Looking back at what has transpired throughout the world, we saw the first wave hit China; the second wave hit South Korea, Italy, and Iran; and then, trailed by only about a week or so, France, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. We all know that China went through a period of great devastation. It has over 80,000 cases. Italy is rapidly catching up, with over 31,000 cases. We suspect that in the U.S. this will rapidly sweep from the coastal regions and it will hit middle America. It is already there, but we will see exponential growth very, very soon. Then of course we are all worried about what would happen when this epidemic strikes places like Africa and India where the health care system is less developed.

Can you tell us about the pathology of the disease?

COVID-19 typically causes fever and a dry cough. One may have aches in the body—the muscles—and if it’s severe enough, there would be shortness of breath due to pneumonia.

Gastrointestinal symptoms can occur and are an indication of more severe disease. It’s not very common to have a runny nose or the sniffles, and a sore throat is not common either.

The incubation period from exposure to onset of symptoms is between four and six days; and if you want to cover 95–98 percent of the cases it is between three and 10 days. It’s pretty rare to have an incubation period outside of that range.

What in particular makes this virus so dangerous?

What is disturbing is that virus shedding, as detected in the mouth or nose, is very, very common and could be there prior to onset of symptoms. That’s why transmission could occur from asymptomatic individuals. And virus shedding could continue for days up to three weeks after a person recovers. That is extremely worrisome for the spread of this virus. Furthermore, the stability of this virus is worrisome as well. If you put it in aerosol form and keep it in the air, the half-life is several hours; if you drop it on surfaces of copper or cardboard, it could survive about a day. But if it’s on steel or plastic surfaces, you could still detect infectious virus after 72 hours, although the infectivity decreases with time.

What do we know about the biology of the virus?

The virus is highly related to another coronavirus called SARS coronavirus. That was another outbreak that occurred worldwide 17-18 years ago, and largely in China and Asia.

The two viruses are about 80 percent identical. We know the origin of SARS was from a bat through an intermediary animal called the civet cat.

Another virus called Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus, MERS, also originated in bats and infected camels, and camels passed it to humans. For COVID-19, we believe the original host must be a bat species, because that animal carries a virus that’s 97 percent identical to what we’re seeing now.

Because of the SARS outbreak and the MERS outbreak, and research done on those two pathogens, we actually know quite a bit about coronaviruses.

The outbreak began in China; how have they been dealing with the virus?

This epidemic was first identified in a few cases with pneumonia in December 2019. In retrospect, there were scattered cases in November according to Chinese officials. I would say that initially there were missteps and lack of transparency that contributed to the explosive outbreak in the city of Wuhan in the central province of Hubei. That epidemic in central China accounts for 85 percent of the confirmed cases in China. It led Beijing officials to quarantine the entire province of 50 million people. The epidemic peaked in early February with 4,000 newly diagnosed cases each day. But since the lockdown and the various draconian measures applied, the number of new cases each day has been declining by half every week, and remarkably it’s now down to about 20 per day. The rest of China’s other provinces also applied very harsh measures and they indeed successfully flattened the curve outside of Hubei province.

We know what they’ve done is not sustainable and the question is: What is China going to do now if it relaxes the infection control measures? Some of the recovered patients are still shedding virus and now China is surrounded by sick neighbors. Surely if they open up their borders, infection will come in the same way it came into the U.S. The world is waiting to see what China is going to do.

Now in terms of the U.S., we obviously are undergoing exponential growth. The 10,400 confirmed cases is a gross underestimate. The lack of testing is embarrassing. It’s an outright failure in leadership.

What are the tests we need to detect coronavirus infection?

Everybody’s talking about testing and that’s actually referring to PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing, looking for viral RNA to determine whether a person is infected. But there’s still no talk of antibody testing to determine which people have had it and are immune, and that is another crucial tool we need to combat this epidemic. Many research labs throughout the country—I’m sure at Caltech too—could be running antibody tests right now to survey the population and tell us what the real penetrance of this pathogen is in our communities. We are, on a research basis, embarking on that to understand the degree of infection in New York City and outside of New York City.

How long before the U.S. sees test availability similar to what South Korea has implemented?

The PCR testing, which is the one that’s approved, is now ramping up very, very rapidly in state and local labs as well as in academic medical centers and in the commercial sector. Their production will grow tremendously. Roche has a machine that will run 1,000 samples at a time. If you go to a commercial lab, they take a swab, they package it, they quite often send it to another facility somewhere else. The turnaround time is typically 72 hours. In that period, it’s very, very hard to manage patients and their contacts. It’s a nightmare for the healthcare worker.

We need point-of-care tests. Those kinds of tests are available for HIV and for many other diseases; you use a finger stick, drop the blood on a small device, and have a readout in 15 minutes. These tests measure antibody response to the virus and are extremely useful. Yet we don’t have a single test licensed in the U.S. In China, in South Korea, and in Europe, those tests are used. The manufacturer for this rapid test is producing a million a day. It’s there. But in the name of protecting the public, the FDA has moved very, very slowly. That delay, in my view, has caused more harm than good.

Can you elaborate on point-of-care testing?

It’s almost like a home pregnancy test or home HIV test. These tests have been around for a long time. The test that I’m specifically referring to, coming out of China, South Korea, and approved in Europe, is an antibody test. You put a drop of blood on a plastic slide, add another drop of the buffer that comes with the test, and you let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, you look at the bands. You’re negative if you have just one band, or you’re positive if you have more than one band. The test also tells you type of antibody. There’s a type of antibody called IgG [immunoglobulin G] and another type called IgM [immunoglobulin M]. Typically, when a person is infected, the IgM response is earlier and the IgG response is later. The two bands indicate the course of the infection.

This kind of test is available all over the world for HIV. The technology is there, the tests are there. But they’re not FDA approved. While I think they are fairly close to being approved, we have let several weeks go by and to me that’s tragic.

Will this coronavirus be seasonal?

Everyone is asking whether this virus is here to stay. Initially, just based on what China did with SARS long ago, there was hope that warmer weather and more sunlight would help kill the virus in our environment and therefore lower the probability of transmission.

But now this virus has gained such a strong foothold in the human population. It’s already 25 times larger than SARS and it’s already embedded in the Southern hemisphere. If you look at Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, there are cases there already, and community transmission is occurring. As the weather changes, perhaps the Northern hemisphere will gain an advantage. But the epidemic in the Southern hemisphere is going to accelerate.

The long-term outcome may resemble influenza so that we have seasonal bouts, with the virus bouncing back and forth between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. This is of course just speculation, but that’s what we see with influenza.

Why does COVID-19 have less impact on children and more impact on the elderly?

Well, the latter part is easy. Older people generally do less well with all sorts of respiratory infections, including influenza and SARS. So that’s just the typical scenario we see. The children, however, are a mystery. As you know, children typically get flu or other respiratory viruses very quickly and bring them home to infect the parents. But in this particular case, the number of children infected in China, after extensive studies, don’t seem to indicate that this is the case for this coronavirus.

Some people seem to show mild symptoms while others have a more severe experience. Has the virus already mutated?

RNA viruses all replicate with low fidelity. Mutations occur at pretty similar rates and these viruses typically don’t have proofreading functions. In contrast, we replicate our DNA with high fidelity and we have a proofreading function to fix the errors. So, every time they replicate, there’s a fixed rate of mutation. This virus is mutating but it has mutated very little so far. There are differences but probably they are functionally not important, so that’s not the explanation for why you see different disease courses among the infected.

For HIV it’s the same thing: 10 people could be infected by the same strain but you have very different outcomes. With HIV, genetics and environmental factors play a role. Some of the genetics has been worked out; we know that there are certain tissue types that would protect and others that would harm. I suspect it’s the same here.

Once you become infected with the virus, can you get it again?

There are a few anecdotes from China about re-infection but, if you look at those reports carefully, they’re not well-documented. It could be that folks just continued to shed virus from the initial infection. Only one study was formally done and it is not a human study. It’s a macaque study. They infected macaques with this virus, then waited until the monkeys recovered and tried to re-infect them. They could not. This just came out in the past few days. That bodes well for human immunity.

We have now looked at a lot of serum from convalescent individuals and those serum samples have antibodies against the so-called spike protein of the virus. That’s the protein that sits on the surface of the virus particle. By tightly binding, the antibody could neutralize the virus. Once an infected person develops antibodies, there should be protective immunity for quite some time. That’s why we need to buy time for immunity to develop in the population.

After a person recovers from the virus, how long are they still contagious?

That’s a very important question. We’re not sure; one individual in China was shown to have persistent virus shedding for over a month. But typically, we’re looking at a three-week period from onset of symptoms.

What should we be doing to limit the spread of this epidemic?

The social distancing and good hygiene strategies have been successfully applied, in South Korea for example, to bring their epidemic down. They’re the only other country that has flattened the curve—slowed down the number of new infections to not overwhelm the healthcare system—and gradually brought this epidemic under control. There are many places that have done a pretty good job of not allowing the epidemic to explode, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. These are places that had quite a bit of experience in fighting SARS, 17 years ago.

Are you optimistic that these measures combined with research will be enough to combat the coronavirus?

I personally believe we will blunt this epidemic, but I think we wasted a good four to six weeks largely because of lack of testing and lack of a certain preparedness. But I think we could still make a difference and bring it under control with very harsh measures.

But again, are these measures sustainable? We’ve got to expect that businesses must reopen and schools must teach again. Whether it’s travel or sports or live entertainment, we’re going to have to return to some semblance of normalcy. But what are the measures that are effective and sustainable? That’s a question we as a society have to deal with. We need to buy time so that gradually the population will have a degree of immunity.

Most importantly, we need to buy time to allow science to deliver solutions. We’re going to have to develop drugs, antibodies, and vaccines. I think the mobilization by the scientific community, from my perspective, is amazing. So many people have mobilized and jumped on this and are contributing, from discovering small-molecule drugs that could block various enzymes of this virus to coming up with antibodies that could neutralize the virus. Researchers have already come up with a few promising chemicals that could be a good start to drug development. There are already a few neutralizing antibodies isolated from infected individuals; my own group is in the midst of doing all that.

And, of course, people are working on vaccines. A lot of companies are working on vaccines and those vaccines are at various stages. A couple are within weeks of entering human testing and that’s quite, quite remarkable. There is one thing about vaccines, though: Some of the experiments previously done on SARS suggested that when animals developed antibodies and then were given the virus, they had greater lung injury due to the presence of the antibodies. The scientific community would have to resolve that issue quickly and its resolution would either halt the current approaches or unleash them to move full speed ahead. We certainly will take a part in doing that. I think we have the real possibility that COVID-19 may become a fact of life until science comes through as it has done for past epidemics.

This is going to take some time. But I’m very confident that the science will rise to the task and provide a solution. But it’s not going to be a few months as our president suggests. It’s going to be much longer than that. I would say 18 months, or 24 months. I think we are all facing tough challenges ahead.

March 21, 2020

The US government is reportedly preparing for the coronavirus pandemic to last 18 months or longer and result in “significant shortages for government, private sector, and individual US consumers.”

A 100-page US government plan was leaked to The New York Times, which today published an article summarizing the highlights.

“A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic ‘will last 18 months or longer’ and could include ‘multiple waves,’ resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system,” the Times wrote.

The 18-month figure is in line with the best-case estimates of how long it will take to develop a vaccine and make it widely available. There could be millions of deaths in the US and UK alone during that time, but social distancing and other containment measures could limit the death toll, according to Imperial College London research that we wrote about yesterday.

The Times did not publish the full US government report. “Much of the plan is bureaucratic in nature, describing coordination among agencies and actions that in some cases have already been taken, like urging schools to close and large events to be canceled,” the article said.

The plan’s warnings include the following:

Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure… This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE [personal protective equipment] and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations. 

State and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and communications channels, will be stressed and potentially less reliable. These stresses may also increase the challenges of getting updated messages and coordinating guidance to these jurisdictions directly. 

The Times article said the plan listed actions President Trump could take, such as “invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950, a Korean War-era law that authorizes a president to take extraordinary action to force American industry to ramp up production of critical equipment and supplies such as ventilators, respirators and protective gear for health care workers.”

Trump said on Tuesday that “we hope we don’t need” to invoke the Defense Production Act but that “we’ll make that decision pretty quickly if we need it,” the Times wrote.

Other options for the US mentioned in the government plan “include distributing medical supplies and equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, providing money to states to help them meet demands caused by the coronavirus outbreak and prioritizing the distribution of essential resources to focus on areas most in need,” the Times wrote.

Update at 12:53pm ET: Trump announced today that he will invoke the Defense Production Act “just in case we need it.”

March 20, 2020 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/20/coronavirus-allergies-cold-flu-strep-these-differences/2882663001/?fbclid=IwAR0F8l_lKRhm8so6XNWL_vOLMIYs8aRpQ1xXS9s1oIeJYPoSodT11isO1P0

March 20, 2020 http://www.memorialhermann.org/coronavirus/covid-19-facts-vs-myths–insight-from-an-infectious-disease-specialist/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic-social&utm_content=3208804205&utm_campaign=covid19&utm_term=_

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/03/19/coronavirus-covid-19-spring-gal-gadot-daniel-dae-kim-thursdays-news/2871419001/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxychloroquine

https://www.foxnews.com/health/early-symptom-coronavirus-might-be-digestive-issues-study

https://abc13.com/health/7-people-recover-from-coronavirus-in-houston-area-officials-say-/5999764/

March 20, 2020 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxychloroquine

March 20, 2020 https://www.foxnews.com/health/early-symptom-coronavirus-might-be-digestive-issues-study

Hello everyone, the Texas Department of Health has released some helpful graphics in order to distribute information in our community about the most frequently asked questions and what you can do right now. First we have what to do:

All of these may seem small or common sense, but everyone working together to follow these guidelines can make a big difference.

Next we have a collection of facts about the virus:

It’s important to keep the facts straight so that you can be better prepared by understanding the virus and the risks that it poses.

Tips for stopping the spread of the disease:

Reducing contact and social distancing are very important to help control the rate at which the disease will spread.

Finally, an alert to companies about the virus and what steps they should take:

If you feel sick you should stay home if possible.

Thank you for reading through the graphics and becoming informed on the global threat that we face. These guidelines will help more people stay healthy and slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

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