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COVID-19 News Update for Feb. 23, 2021

Data Snapshot  

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Feb 22 2021

King County: The county reported 102 new positive cases and 0 new deaths on Feb. 22.  

Washington: The state reported 317,223 cases and 4,857 deaths as of Feb. 21.  

United States: The CDC reports 27,993,504 cases and 498,993 deaths as of Feb. 23. 

Global: WHO reports 111,419,939 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,470,772 deaths as of Feb23.  

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

UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update  

Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 91,440 

  • Total first dose: 59,496 
  • Total second dose: 31,944 

As of Feb. 21, 2021. 

UW Medicine in the News 

AP: AP PHOTOS: US pandemic toll: In 1 year, half a million lives 
Photo featuring: Thuan Ong, Geriatric Medicine, Tim Dellit, CMO (photo caption) 
“Just one year ago, America had no idea. Life in February 2020 still felt normal. Concern was building about a mystery respiratory illness that had just been named COVID-19. There was panic buying, and a sense of trepidation. Yet it was tempered by a large dose of American optimism. The coronavirus still felt like a foreign problem, even as U.S. authorities recorded the country’s first known death from the virus. Precisely a year later, America has surpassed a horrifying milestone of 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. A relentless march of death and tragedy has warped time and memory. It became easy to forget the shocking images, so many day after day, of scenes once unthinkable in a country of such wealth and power. As the year unfolded, Associated Press photographers formed a pictorial record of suffering, emotion and resilience. It shows the year that changed America.” 

The Seattle Times: A year after I first wrote about recovering from COVID-19, here’s how my life has changed
Featuring: Larry Corey, Hellen Chu, Allergy & Infectious Diseases, and Marion Pepper, Immunology
“The most heartening aspect of the past year: learning about science and those working tirelessly to overcome this virus — many in Seattle. The University of Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Gates Foundation have all jumped in to help, as have local biotech companies. The first researcher I heard from after my initial essay ran was eminent Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Larry Corey. During an hourlong phone call, he patiently answered my questions and laid out what scientists hoped to do with the blood of those who’d recovered from COVID-19: study the immune response, develop treatments, research vaccines. Then he asked me if I’d like to help. I was happy to contribute, as were many others. Over the spring and summer, I gave so much blood that at one point I had to briefly back off because I was nearing the recommended maximum. Dr. Helen Chu’s group at UW quickly branched from the Seattle Flu Study to collecting blood from recovered people and sending it to institutions around the country. I later found out that some of those early blood samples helped in creating the Moderna vaccine. I’m just going to go ahead and believe mine was one of them. I got an email from UW’s Dr. Marion Pepper, who wanted to do a deep dive into the immune response of people who’d recovered from COVID-19 — not just antibodies but also T cell and B cell responses. She published the initial results in the journal Cell and is still studying us.”

Crosscut: Washington’s vaccine rollout slower for communities of color
Featuring: Leo Morales, Chief Diversity Officer
“The clumsy rush to quickly vaccinate as many people as possible has led some critics to question whether state and local officials have placed enough emphasis on ensuring the most vulnerable get vaccinated first. ‘I think we need to do more than talk about equity. We need to really put plans into place to correct the trends we’re seeing now,’ said Dr. Leo Morales, chief diversity officer at the University of Washington School of Medicine. ‘Working with communities that are more difficult to access, or have access barriers, is going to be a slower process,’ Morales said. ‘And it’s going to require investment of resources, material and time.’” 

COVID-19 Literature Report

COVID-19 Literature Situation Reportis 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 Feb. 23, 2021 

  • In US-based clinical COVID-19 vaccine trials (n = 219,555 participants), participants who were Black or African American (10.6%), American Indian or Alaska Native (0.4%), Hispanic or Latino (11.6%), or older than 65 (12.1%) were underrepresented, while women (56.0%) were overrepresented, compared to the distribution of the US population. More. 
  • An investigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a Georgia school district identified nine clusters of COVID-19 cases (13 educators, 32 students), two of which involved probable educator-to-educator transmission that was followed by educator-to-student transmission in classrooms. Five transmission clusters involved inadequate mask use by students. More. 
  • A longitudinal cohort study of adults with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in Washington State found that persistent symptoms were common, reported by over 25% of patients and increasing with age, up to 9 months after infection. The most common persistent symptoms were fatigue and loss of sense of smell or taste (14% for both). More.

COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team, is an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 by finding the newest articles, reading them, grading their level of evidence and bringing you the bottom line.

Read the latest report: Feb. 22 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.
Listen to the latest podcast: Feb. 8 | COVID-19 LST Podcast. 

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