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Pandemic

US coronavirus: Americans are celebrating steps toward normalcy. But the real test of progress is 2 weeks away, expert says

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“In a way, this was the first major stress test,” said CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. “We have lifted the restrictions en masse, people are going about their normal lives. We know that after the big holidays and an increase in tourist traffic, we had a significant increase in the infection rate.”

The U.S. has had a lot to celebrate when it comes to recovery from the pandemic: more than half of the U.S. has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 12 states have hit President Joe Biden’s goal, 70% of Americans to get at least one dose by July 4th.

And along with increased vaccinations, there has been a decline in cases.

For the first time since March 2020, the US recorded fewer than 20,000 new daily cases on Tuesday, a seven-day average. Less than 5% of the US population lives in a county believed to have high Covid-19 transmission, according to CDC data.

However, Wen warned the US will have to wait and see if protecting a country not yet fully vaccinated can overcome the risk of masks foregoing and engaging in public institutions.

Even if cases weaken or flatten from their current rate of decline, Wen said she feared some communities will remain vulnerable.

“They have parts of the country with very low vaccination rates,” she said. “I’m really concerned that the unvaccinated people in these areas are spreading the coronavirus among themselves.”

And with variants spreading around the world, even falling cases could pose a problem by lessening the sense of urgency to vaccinate, Wen added.

Incentives and precautionary easing in the coming weeks

As the country waits to see how cases react to a weekend of celebration, some leaders are focused on offering incentives for vaccines while others continue to drop pandemic precautions.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced Tuesday a vaccination incentive lottery, the prizes of which include $ 1 million, two full four-year scholarships for eligible students, and 25 weekend getaways.

“We’re going to make one of you a millionaire on Father’s Day,” Justice said.

Meanwhile, Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed an order lifting a number of health orders related to Covid-19, including lifting a statewide mask mandate and opening access to prisons and detention facilities.

In Kentucky, senior centers will be allowed to reopen at full capacity from June 11, said Governor Andy Beshear. “The reason we can do this is because of vaccines. These things are miracles,” he said in a statement.

Omitting precautions could mean more cases

But as important as vaccinations are, they may not be enough to safely drop precautions, researchers reported Tuesday.

Even if the majority of the population is vaccinated, the lifting of precautionary measures could lead to an increase in the spread of the virus, they reported in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.

Masks, spacing still important even with vaccinations, study suggests

Mehul Patel, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues used a mathematical model to simulate the spread of the coronavirus in the North Carolina population.

They found that infections, hospitalizations and deaths would continue to increase if pandemic precautions such as quarantine, school closings, social distancing and wearing masks were lifted while vaccines were introduced.

“Our study suggests that in a population of 10.5 million, about 1.8 million infections and 8,000 deaths in 11 months from more effective COVID-19 vaccines, higher vaccination rates, and the maintenance of NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) like distancing and using face masks, “they wrote.

Patel and colleagues said their results suggest that a coordinated effort is needed to maximize vaccine coverage and put in place pandemic precautions “to reduce the COVID-19 burden to levels that allow a resumption of many economic, educational and safe social activities “.

Cases are also declining in children

Fortunately, cases seem to be on the decline in children too.

The US reported the lowest number of new weekly Covid-19 cases in children since early October, with around 34,500 new child cases reported last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a report on Tuesday.

Unvaccinated people are still at risk as the US celebrates Memorial Day weekend maskless

As of May 27, nearly 4 million children had tested positive since the pandemic began.

Children made up between 6% and 19.6% of the children tested for Covid-19, and between 5.2% and 34.6% of the children tested were positive for the virus, depending on the state.

“At this point in time, it still appears that serious illnesses due to COVID-19 in children are rare,” the report said. “However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on the longer-term effects of the pandemic on children, including how the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its effects on emotional and mental health.”

Contributors to this report were Rebekah Riess, Michael Nedelman, Jen Christensen, Laura Ly, Rebekah Riess, Naomi Thomas, Sahar Akbarzai, Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace of CNN.

Pandemic

Experts fear COVID-19 pandemic could cause human trafficking crisis

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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Human trafficking is the second fastest growing crime in the world after drug trafficking.

The statistics are terrifying. Most women are raped 6,000 times and each woman is worth $ 100,000 a year, making them very valuable and making their chances of escape almost impossible. It doesn’t just happen in big cities or poor neighborhoods, but in almost every community in our country and experts fear that COVID-19 will trigger a human trafficking crisis.

“I had a very difficult divorce from a very wealthy husband. He actually let me be trafficked so I wouldn’t get custody of my five children, ”trafficked survivor Kimberly Lansford told Ivanhoe.

Kimberly Lansford was 27 when traffickers drugged her and took her from Denver to Mexico City.

“You’re being broken into by terror, a lot of physical abuse, a lot of sexual abuse,” said Kimberly Lansford.

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Kimberly’s nightmare lasted 19 years until …

“The Samaritan Village found me,” said Kimberly Lansford.

For more than a decade, Samaritan Village has been helping women rebuild their lives.

“Young women who feel ugly, unwanted and unseen can visit these traffickers and fill that void,” said Dionne Coleman, executive director of Samaritan Village.

Samaritan Village offers hope and provides housing free of charge for 18 months. Survivors receive mental, physical and dental care, access to professional training and, most importantly, support. Money from donors and from their thrift store is helping to cover the costs, but now organizations like these fear the consequences of the pandemic.

“We call it the calm before the storm, so to speak. I know there will be a lot of people who will need help when we all get back to normal, ”said Dionne Coleman.

Some women could not get any help during the lockdown.

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“It doesn’t just happen to the underclass or to drug addicts, it’s not true. It happens to people like me every day, ”announced Kimberly Lansford.

“When you see something, copy someone who feels, or there’s a pairing of people who doesn’t feel right, call this human trafficking hotline,” said Dionne Coleman.

The biggest misconception about human trafficking is that the victims are runaways or addicts. Family Members Selling Family members, as in Kimberly’s case, is common.

Also, traffickers often target high school girls and threaten to ruin their reputations. Samaritan Village works with local colleges for scholarships. To learn more, visit samaritanvillage.net.

Sources: https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=23329, https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem https://www.samaritanvillage.net/

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Contributors to this news report are: Marsha Lewis, producer; Matt Goldschmidt, videographer; Roque Correa, editor. To receive a free weekly email on Ivanhoe’s Smart Living, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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Reuters, New York Times win Pulitzers for coverage of racial injustice, COVID-19

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Reuters and the Minneapolis Star Tribune each won a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism on Racial Inequality in U.S. Police Work on Friday, while the New York Times and the Atlantic were honored for Chronicle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the two topics that the Last year’s headlines dominated.

The Star Tribune won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage for its “urgent, authoritative and nuanced” coverage of the police murder of George Floyd last May, while Reuters and Atlantic shared the award in explanatory coverage.

The Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious awards in American journalism and have been presented since 1917, when newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer bequeathed them to Columbia University in New York.

In 2020, “the country’s news organizations are faced with the complexities of covering a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a bitterly competitive presidential election, one at a time,” said Mindy Marques, co-chair of the Pulitzer Board of Directors, at the announcement ceremony, which broadcast online has been .

The board cited Reuters reporters Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts for the “groundbreaking data analysis” of their “Shielded” series, which showed how an obscure legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” shielded police officers make excessive use of the force of law enforcement.

Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement that the series shaped the debate over American police reform.

“In a year of stormy protests against the police killings of black Americans, ‘Shielded’ was a work of tremendous moral force on the persistent problem facing the world’s most powerful democracy, the legacy of racial injustice,” the statement said.

The Pulitzer Prize for Reuters, an entity of Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO), was the ninth since 2008 and the sixth in the past four years.

The Reuters team shared the explanatory coverage award with Ed Yong of The Atlantic, who was recognized by the board for “a series of clear, definitive contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A SINGLE CASE

Mary Stewart holds an obituary for her son Luke Stewart on November 12, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. REUTERS / Megan Jelinger

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Reuters’ series of police stories were triggered by a single case – and required lengthy, complex data analysis.

In April 2017, the US Supreme Court declined to reopen an unarmed suspect alleging unconstitutional excessive violence against a Houston police officer for shooting him in the back. Reuters Supreme Court reporters Chung and Hurley have teamed up with data reporters Januta, Dowdell and Botts. They analyzed hundreds of cases and found that since 2005 the courts have shown an increasing tendency to grant immunity in cases of excessive violence. They then detailed the cases of a number of victims of police violence who were denied justice, even after courts found the officers were too violent.

The first Reuters story came out just weeks before the murder of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in handcuffs when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. The coverage had a broad influence on the national discussion of US police problems.

“The data we produced was quoted in almost every major news organization immediately after the George Floyd murder,” Hurley said, adding that it was also quoted in court records and informally by judges.

SPECIAL QUOTATION

Many of the 2021 Pulitzer Awards went to coverage of policing and the global protest movement that broke out after Floyd’s assassination: the Associated Press won the Breaking News Photography Award for pictures of the protests, while Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times for editorial contributions won for his work on bail reform and prisons.

The board also said it gave Darnella Frazier, the teenage viewer who recorded a video of Floyd’s murder on her cell phone, a “special quote” highlighting “the vital role of citizens in helping journalists find truth and justice” .

The New York Times won the Public Service Journalism Award, often considered the most coveted of the 22 awards, for its “predictive and comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.” The Boston Globe won for investigative coverage for exposing a systematic failure by state governments to share information about dangerous truck drivers that could have kept them off the road.

The announcement of the prices on Friday, each worth $ 15,000, had been postponed to April amid the pandemic. The awards dinner, which usually takes place shortly after at Columbia University, has been postponed until the fall.

The Pulitzer Board of Directors also recognizes achievements in seven categories in the arts and awarded Louise Erdrich its Fiction Prize for her novel “The Night Watchman” about attempting to evict Indian tribes in the 1950s.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Oregon reports no new COVID-19 related deaths, 308 new cases; transmission rate falling

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KTVZ) – Oregon has no new deaths related to COVID-19 and the state’s death toll remains at 2,726, the Oregon Health Department reported Friday.

OHA also reported 308 new confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 at 12:01 a.m. Friday, bringing the state’s total to 204,587.

Information from today’s media briefing

On Friday morning, Governor Kate Brown and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Health Commissioner and State Epidemiologist at OHA, provided an update on Oregon’s ongoing COVID-19 response. Governor Brown highlighted Oregon’s continued progress in meeting its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of all eligible Oregonians and filling the equity gap in vaccinating Oregon’s colored communities.

Dr. Sidelinger discussed the high protective effects of COVID-19 vaccines, noting that virtually every patient who now requires hospital treatment for COVID-19 is unvaccinated.

See more about it here and read the topics of the press conference here.

Update on CDC data tracker problems

OHA has relied on a daily data update from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) to report the number of people who will need COVID-19 vaccination to reach the Oregon goal, 70% of the time Vaccinate people over the age of 18.

Unfortunately, CDC has an issue with the data feed contributing to its COVID data tracker dashboard, which Oregon is using to track the state’s progress toward 70%.

CDC anticipates that approximately two days of data will not appear on the CDC COVID data tracker dashboard. CDC is working to resolve the issue and expects to have it resolved by June 15th. The COVID data tracker is the only place that reports doses from all sources that have been given to Oregonians, including doses given by federal agencies as well as doses given to living people in Oregon by vendors in other states.

The latest COVID-19 modeling report shows a decline in transmission

On Friday, OHA released its latest COVID-19 forecast, which showed lower transmission of the virus through the end of May and forecast fewer hospitalizations and daily cases through June 29.

According to the model, the effective reproduction rate – the expected number of secondary cases a single case will generate – was estimated to be 0.66 by May 26.

At the same transmission rate, daily cases would drop to 100 daily cases and new hospital admissions to five per day over the next three weeks.

If transmission increased by 20%, the number of new cases would gradually decrease to 135 new daily cases with seven new hospital admissions daily.

The modeling shows that estimated immunity from vaccination is present in four times more people than naturally acquired immunity. Natural immunity is immunity that stems from a previous infection.

A person who has had COVID-19 and has recovered may not have the same level of immunity as a person who has not been infected and has been fully vaccinated, and it is not known how long natural immunity will last.

People who have recovered from the disease will respond strongly to the vaccine. OHA recommends people get the vaccine to increase their protection against COVID-19.

More than 2.3 million Oregonians have received at least one dose of the safe and highly effective vaccine, and 2 million have completed a vaccine series, OHA said.

Vaccinations in Oregon

OHA reported Friday that 24,213 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been added to the state vaccination registry. Of these, 15,926 doses were administered on Thursday and 8,987 on the previous days, but entered in the vaccine register on Thursday.

The running average over seven days is now 17,697 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered a total of 2,352,742 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,662,657 first and second doses of Moderna, and 154,388 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of Friday, 2,007,367 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 2,310,053 people who received at least one dose. The number of adult Oregonians who need vaccinations to reach the 70% threshold is 87,702.

It can take several days to complete the daily cumulative totals as providers have 72 hours to report the doses administered, and technical challenges have left many providers delayed in their reporting. OHA provides technical support to vaccination centers to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Vaccination Information System (IIS).

To date, 2,862,225 doses of Pfizer, 2,176,380 doses of Moderna and 299,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been shipped to locations across Oregon.

These dates are preliminary and are subject to change.

The OHA dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and the Oregon dashboard was updated on Friday.

COVID-19 hospital stays

The number of hospital patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 169, down four from Thursday. There are 40 COVID-19 patients on the beds of the intensive care unit (ICU), one less than on Thursday.

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed days in the last seven days is 1,278, a decrease of 23.4% compared to the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the past seven days is 206.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may vary between reporting times. The numbers do not reflect the number of admissions per day or the length of hospital stay. Personnel restrictions are not recorded in this data and can further limit the bed capacity.

More information on hospital capacity can be found here.

St. Charles Bend reported 25 COVID-19 patients, five of them in intensive care, all on ventilators at 4 a.m. on Friday.

Cases and deaths

The new confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases reported on Friday are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (34), Clatsop (4), Columbia (6), Coos (1), Crook (8), Curry (2), Deschutes (14), Douglas (15), Grant (2), Hood River (2), Jackson (21), Jefferson (3), Josephine (3), Klamath (2), Lake (1) , Lane (12), Lincoln (1), Linn (12), Malheur (2), Marion (31), Multnomah (67), Polk (5), Umatilla (11), Union (1), Wasco (1) , Washington (37) and Yamhill (7).

Note: From April 30 through June 10, based on routine data quality reviews, the OHA identified 19,992 duplicate negative electronic laboratory reports (ELRs) relating to a single laboratory in Yamhill County. These double negative ELRs were removed from the system Thursday night. As a result, ELR numbers across the state and Yamhill County have declined, and percent positivity has increased for that period.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit the OHA website (English or Spanish) for a breakdown of distribution and other information.

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