COVID-19 News Update for Oct. 15, 2020

Data Snapshot

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Data Oct. 15 2020

King County: The county reported 170 new positive cases and 3 new deaths on Oct. 14. 

Washington: The state reported 95,509 cases and 2,221 deaths as of Oct. 13. 

United States: The CDC reports 7,835,007 cases and 215,194 deaths as of Oct. 14.

Global: WHO reports 38,394,169 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,089,047 deaths as of Oct. 15. 

*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 Oct. 13, 2020 

  • A man from Nevada was reported as the first case of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in North America, with genomic evidence supporting that the first infection in May and the second in June were from separate occasions. Symptoms were more severe during the second infection. More

  • A surveillance study in Orange County, California found an 11.5% prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which was 7-fold higher than estimates using official county statistics. More

  • An outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in a nursery in Poland resulted in at least 29 people infected and 27% of contacts testing positive, 12 of whom were children’s family members who did not enter the nursery. More

UW Medicine in the News 

Geekwire: Seattle researchers aim to stop the spread of COVID-19 infections in Alaskan fishing industry  

Featuring: Ali Mokdad, IHME 

“Approximately 10,000 employees of fishing and processing companies are expected to participate in the screening program, which is being led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a research center at the University of Washington that has been tracking and modeling COVID infections. ‘It’s very important for us because we want to save lives and save livelihoods,’ said project lead Ali Mokdad, an IHME professor and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the UW. The fishing crews will be quarantined for two weeks and then need to test negative for COVID before leaving port in Washington. After setting sail, the crew members each day will answer a short series of questions on a cell phone or laptop about their health and the anonymous results will be transmitted to the IHME, depending on a vessel’s access to cell phone or internet service. The IHME researchers will look for symptoms that suggest an infection and warn a ship of troubling signs. If health experts suspect someone’s sick, they’ll provide guidance for isolation and the potentially infected people will be tested for COVID using a nasal swab. The samples will be analyzed at the UW.” 

 

The Seattle Times: Vaccines for the novel coronavirus: How they are approved, who would get one first and other key things to know 

Featuring: Anna Wald, Larry Corey, Keith Jerome, Laboratory Medicine 

“And Dr. Anna Wald, a UW professor of medicine, epidemiology and laboratory medicine, said that even if limited quantities are shipped later this year, she didn’t expect vaccines to impact the pandemic’s course until spring 2021. Because the trials are so large, data accumulates quickly, and scientists stand to learn more about how effective the vaccines are the longer they wait to review results, said Dr. Larry Corey, former director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and co-leader of a national network coordinating clinical trials on vaccines. ‘We will learn a hell of a lot more’ by waiting until December, Corey said. ‘We’ll have a lot of doses in January and February, so why don’t we wait and do it right?’ Dr. Keith Jerome, head of the virology division in UW Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine, said researchers believe 60-80% of the population will need to be protected from infection to reach herd immunity, when the virus no longer readily transmits through communities. ‘It will probably be the middle of next year before we really get to the situation where we have vaccine-induced herd immunity,’ Jerome said.” 

 

Seattle PI: 'We may be in for a very dark time': Coronavirus transmission, cases increasing in King County 

Featuring: Jeff Duchin, Allergy & Infectious Diseases 

“As of Tuesday morning, King County had reported more than 24,000 cases total, more than 2,400 hospitalizations and more than 770 deaths since the start of the outbreak. Last week, the county reported more than 1,000 cases. Over the past week, the county has been seeing more than 140 cases reported each day — more than twice what the county was seeing in late September, Duchin said. Duchin said more people are being tested and the county has added new testing sites to help reach even more residents across the region. But, the increase in cases reflects increased transmission of the virus, not just an increase in testing, Duchin said. The last estimate for the effective reproductive number in the region — the number of people one infected person will spread the virus to — was 1.6, Duchin said. That indicates the outbreak is growing, and will continue to grow until that number is below one. The increase in cases is being seen across all age groups, Duchin said, but most significantly among younger people ages 18 to 24 and among people ages 25 to 49. About 10% of the cases last week were linked to the outbreak among the Greek community at the University of Washington, which has reported more than 200 positive cases over the past few weeks. Still, transmission of the virus is occurring in several other settings, Duchin said. Duchin called for people to take additional steps to protect themselves and others. He urged people to wear masks when indoors, even when they can maintain six feet of distance from one another, to limit the number of activities they are doing outside the home and to avoid crowded indoor settings.”  

Tweet of the Week  

 

Tweet of the Week Oct. 15