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COVID-19 News Update for Dec. 1, 2020

Data Snapshot

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients on Dec. 1, 2020

King County: The county reported 666 new positive cases and 1 new death on Nov. 30.

Washington: The state reported 165,019 cases and 2,774 deaths as of Nov. 29.

United States: The CDC reports 13,447,627 cases and 267,302 deaths as of Dec. 1.

Global: WHO reports 62,844,837 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,465,144 deaths as of Dec. 1.

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.

COVID-19 Literature Situation Report

COVID-19 Literature Situation Report is a daily (M-F) newsletter put together by the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness that provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key Takeaways: COVID-19 Literature Situation Report Nov. 25, 2020

  • A model assessing the relative impact of symptom monitoring, testing, and quarantine practices on transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by infected travelers suggests that quarantining for 14 days could almost completely eliminate risk of transmission. When combined with symptom monitoring and testing, a 7-day quarantine after arrival had similar modeled effectiveness. More
  • Among 156 frontline health care personnel who had positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in spring 2020, 146 (94%) experienced a decline in antibody concentrations at repeat testing approximately 60 days later and 28% tested negative at follow-up. More 
  • During summer 2020, 18% of hospitals reported that in-person lactation support for new mothers had decreased due to SARS-CoV-2 infection control measures. More

You can read more literature reports from the COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team, an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs, and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. Here’s their latest report: Nov. 30 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.

UW Medicine in the News

NPR: Near Crisis, Some Hospitals Face Tough Decisions In Caring For Floods Of Patients
Featuring: Kate Butler, nephrology
“Some experts believe clinicians are already informally making decisions akin to rationing care. ‘There’s been a lot of language around “we’re right on the edge of entering crisis capacity,” but what I’m worried about is that there’s kind of a blurred entry,’ says Dr. Kate Butler, a nephrologist and acting instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Butler has studied how health care workers dealt with these clinical dilemmas during the spring COVID-19 surge. ‘Everybody gets a little bit of bad care,’ said one worker she interviewed, referencing shorter dialysis sessions for patients when the machines were in high demand. In an interview with NPR, Butler said, ‘there’s been far less preparation for this gray zone where resources are limited, and we’re seeing impact on patient care — potentially people dying — because they’re not getting the care that would otherwise be offered to them.’”

Science: Public needs to prep for vaccine side effects
Featuring: Deborah Fuller, microbiology
“’Somebody needs to address the elephant: What about vaccine reactogenicity? While it’s … not going to cause any long-term issues … how is that perception going to go with the public once they start receiving it?’ asks Deborah Fuller, a vaccinologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, whose lab is developing second-generation RNA vaccines against COVID-19. She worries the side effects could feed vaccine hesitancy. ‘I feel like it’s being glossed over.’ Those concerns arise after a week of good news about coronavirus vaccines: Both Moderna and Pfizer, with BioNTech, announced their messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines reached 95% efficacy in clinical trials of tens of thousands of people. The firms added that the trials showed no serious safety concerns.”

The Boston Globe: AA to Zoom, substance abuse treatment goes online
Featuring Andrew Saxon, psychiatry
“’There are so many positives — people don’t need to travel. It saves time,’ said Dr. Andrew Saxon, an addiction expert and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. ‘The potential for people who wouldn’t have access to treatment easily to get it is a big bonus.’”

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