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US COVID-19 Cases Increase 5%

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

New COVID-19 Cases Increase 5% in US

After declining for nine weeks in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States increased by 5% last week. Of the 50 states, 30 reported an increase in new infections compared to the previous week; last week, 19 out of 50 states reported an increase. 

Meanwhile, the number of US COVID-19 deaths fell 15% last week while the number of hospitalizations fell 6% with officials hoping that the increase in vaccinations will help to reduce the number of deaths. 

In terms of vaccination rates, the daily average number of doses given per day has reached 2.5 million. About 25% of the population has gotten at least one dose and about 13% of the population have received two doses.

AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Data Shows 79% Efficacy, No Increased Risk for Blood Clots

AstraZeneca reported preliminary results from its large late-stage trials held in Chile, Peru, and the United States. The results showed that the vaccine was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and that there was no increased risk of developing blood clots. 

After several European countries suspended use of the vaccine earlier this month due to safety concerns, Germany and France resumed using the vaccine despite polls showing that overall European public trust in the vaccine has fallen. 

However, German researchers believe they’ve found evidence that the vaccine can trigger an overactivation of platelets that can then lead to blood clots, which can be successfully treated if the theory is correct and symptoms quickly identified. 

The company plans to apply for emergency use authorization in the US in the next few weeks. 

Nursing Homes Begin Lifting Visitor Restrictions Under New Guidelines

Nearly two weeks ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommended new COVID-19 guidelines for nursing home residents: 

  • Fully vaccinated residents can receive hugs from their family
  • All residents, regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated, should be allowed indoor visits as long as they aren’t infected or quarantined
  • Nursing homes do not have to lockdown for 14 days after an outbreak
  • Residents can still receive visitors during an outbreak as long as the outbreak is isolated
  • Compassionate care visits are allowed at any time even if there’s an outbreak or if the resident isn’t vaccinated yet
  • Nursing homes should consider scheduling and using time limits for visits. 

The guidelines also emphasized the continued use of masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing and encouraged outdoor visits as much as possible. 

Since the new recommendations, more nursing home facilities have begun adjusting their visitor policies to meet the new guidelines and allow families to visit residents. 

Medical Studies Round-Up

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

  • A recent study found that the British variant of COVID-19 has been linked to be the potential cause of severe heart disease in pets, particularly cats and dogs. In each case, the virus seems to have been passed from infected people to the pets.

COVID-19 in the News

To learn more about the top COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination timelines, potential requirements for health care professionals and facilities, and more, check out our COVID-19 Vaccine Information hub.

Here’s some more of the most recent news from the past week concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The US government says it will reach its goal to administer 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in 100 days on Friday, 42 days ahead of schedule.
  • Sinovac Biotech reported positive preliminary results from their Phase I and Phase II clinical trials on children and adolescents from three years of age to 17 years of age. In the studies, any reported adverse reactions were mild, and the vaccine was shown to successfully trigger an immune response. 
  • For the second day in a row, the Navajo Nation reported no new COVID-19 cases or deaths. 
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget that requests an extension on the eviction moratorium, which expires in two weeks.