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Nursing Homes CNAs May Spread COVID-19 & Grocery Store Workers at High Risk

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up … 

COVID-19 May Spread in Nursing Homes Due to Shared Staff

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A group of researchers from UCLA and Yale University examined nursing home employees, particularly certified nursing assistants, who work at multiple facilities

Many nursing assistants work in long-term care work at more than one facility in order to get the hours and pay they need to pay rent and bills, and many facilities hire and share health care workers with other facilities due to staffing shortages. 

Despite many weeks and months with a ban on visitors at these facilities, there was still a steady spread of COVID-19, and the researchers wanted to look at potential reasons why. The researchers found that COVID-19 infections were higher in nursing homes that had many shared workers, and the more shared workers there were, the more infections there were. 

Grocery Store Workers at High Risk for COVID-19, Most Asymptomatic

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A new analysis published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that grocery store workers are at a high risk of getting COVID-19 with 20% of the workers tested coming back positive. Of those who tested positive, three out of four were asymptomatic. 

Those who work directly with customers were five times more likely to get COVID-19 than those who don’t work directly with shoppers. 

Patients Test Positive for Simultaneous COVID-19 and Flu

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As the cold weather season begins in the United States, so does the flu season, and reports have started coming in that some patients are testing positive for both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. Both California and Tennessee report patients who have received the dual diagnosis. 

The diagnoses highlight the need for people to get flu shots and to continue preventative measures, like the use of masks and social distancing, to help lessen the impact of both viruses. 

Pandemic Isolation Takes Heavy Toll on Nursing Homes

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COIVD-19 has killed more than 87,000 residents and health care workers in United States nursing homes since the pandemic began. As the pandemic continues and nursing homes attempt to curb infections and deaths from the virus, nursing home residents are showing severe effects from the mental and physical toll of isolation. 

COVID-19 Could Cause Cognitive Deficits

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A new study currently being peer-reviewed analyzed 84,000 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and found that, even after recovery and symptom resolution, many reported long-lasting cognitive deficits. It affected both patients who were hospitalized and those who had mild cases. 

Medical Studies Roundup

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Here’s a brief roundup of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up to date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • A small-scale study that looked at 100 COVID-19 patients who weren’t hospitalized found that those patients still had some immunity even after six months. The patients studied were either asymptomatic or had a mild case of the infection. 
  • Researchers estimate that the drinking water of 18-80 million people in the United States is contaminated by PFOA and PFOS chemicals. Although the effect these chemicals have on human health is not entirely understood, there is some data to indicate they increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancers and can affect cholesterol levels, the thyroid, and the immune system.
  • The pandemic and resulting isolation measures have had multiple impacts on people’s lifestyles, including increasing unhealthy changes, like a decrease in physical activity and increase in anxiety and weight. On the other hand, people reported that they had improved their eating habits and healthier diets.
  • A new survey shows that half of Chinese Americans report experiencing pandemic-related racial discrimination. 

Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates

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Here are the most recent updates from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development. 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates that, as long as vaccine trial results are positive, the United States might see the COVID-19 vaccine shipped out to high-risk populations as early as late December or early January

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

BioNTech announced that it expects results from its Phase III trials soon. The company anticipates that it can file its vaccine candidate for approval in the United States as early as mid-November

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 1

CureVac, a German biotech company, reported that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate triggered an immune response in humans during its Phase I testing.

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The British health regulator (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) has begun its rolling review of the AstraZeneca vaccine to accelerate the review and approval process. 

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Johnson & Johnson shares its plans to soon begin testing its COVID-19 vaccine with young people between the ages of 12 to 18 years old

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Novavax Inc shares its plans to target specific diversity groups as it prepares to launch a Phase III trial in the U.S. Specifically, the company aims to include at least 15% Blacks, 10% to 20% Latinos, and 1% to 2% Native Americans in the trial. The company is already conducting a Phase III trial in Britain.