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Daily News Pulse for February 17, 2023

Summary: Pfizer's Paxlovid has been found to prevent one case of serious COVID-19 for every 62 people who take it. California experienced a milder winter surge of COVID-19 than expected, and hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths were much lower than in prior surges. China declared a "decisive victory" over COVID-19, though experts have questioned Beijing's data.
  • Paxlovid helps older adults recover from COVID-19: study – Fierce Healthcare: Pfizer’s Paxlovid has been found to prevent one case of serious COVID-19 for every 62 people who take it.
  • Growing signs of new Bay Area COVID wave as wastewater counts soar: California experienced a milder winter surge of COVID-19 than expected, and hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths were much lower than in prior surges. This is a sign of hope that the state’s health care systems are better prepared to handle the virus.
  • China declares ‘decisive victory’ over COVID-19 – Reuters: China declared a “decisive victory” over COVID-19, claiming the world’s lowest fatality rate, though experts have questioned Beijing’s data. 80% of the population became infected in two months after dropping its curbs, and there were reports of packed hospital wards and mortuaries. Experts believe the actual toll was higher due to many patients dying at home and doctors being pressured to not report cases.
  • Era of ‘Free’ COVID Vaccines, Test Kits and Treatments Is Ending. Who Will Pay the Tab Now?: The national public health emergency declared in 2020 in response to the pandemic is set to expire on May 11th. This will end many of the policies designed to combat the virus’s spread, including free-to-consumer covid vaccines, at-home test kits, and treatments. People will still be able to get these vaccines at low or no cost, but it is important to act quickly before the emergency expires.
  • N.J. reports 969 COVID cases, 14 deaths. Transmission rate remains flat. – nj.com: New Jersey health officials reported 969 new COVID-19 cases and 14 confirmed deaths on Thursday. The state’s transmission rate remains flat at 0.95, and the seven-day average for positive tests is down 20% from a week ago and 46% from a month ago. Seven counties in the state have been identified as having “high” community levels of the virus.
  • SAN FRANCISCO TO END COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY DECLARATION …: San Francisco is in a better position to respond to COVID-19 due to high vaccination and booster rates and effective treatments. The Health Officer will rescind the Safer Return Together order, but will still require staff in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare and jail settings to wear masks when interacting with patients, clients, or people who are incarcerated.
  • Covid-19 infection offers strong protection against reinfection for about 10 months, study finds | CNN: A new study found that people who have had Covid-19 can expect to have good protection against symptomatic illness for at least 10 months, and the risk of severe illness is even lower. The study, which is the largest review yet of available data, found that immunity after Covid-19 infection is strong against all variants of the virus.
  • The Checkup With Dr. Wen: Yet another study on masking causes confusion – The Washington Post: John should continue wearing a mask in places like stores, the YMCA and crowded restaurants, despite the new Cochrane Library review that suggests masks may not be effective in slowing the spread of respiratory viruses. It is still important to follow safety protocols such as social distancing and hand washing.
  • New study explores natural immunity protection from COVID-19, how it wanes over time: A new study has found that a previous infection with COVID-19 can provide 88% protection against hospitalization or death in the case of reinfection even 10 months later. Natural immunity varies depending on the virus, and the study looked at more than 65 studies from 19 countries to get a clearer picture of immunity from COVID-19.
  • Omicron still re-infected those with early victims of Covid: Study | Mint: A study by the University of Washington found that people infected with alpha, beta, and delta variants were 36% better protected from reinfection with omicron, and 90% less likely to be hospitalized or die from it. The findings are based on a meta-analysis of 65 studies from 19 countries, and may help inform vaccination campaigns and policy recommendations. Those infected with pre-omicron variants should still take steps to prevent reinfection.
  • Covid infection gives similar immunity to vaccination: study – France 24: A study published in the Lancet journal found that people who had Covid-19 had an 88 percent lower risk of reinfection, hospitalisation and death 10 months later. This natural immunity was found to be at least as durable as two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The authors emphasised that their findings should not discourage vaccination, which remains the safest way to get immunity.
  • Does Covid infection gives similar immunity as vaccination? See what study shows | Mint: A new study has found that natural immunity from Covid-19 lasts for at least ten months, providing a similar level of protection as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The authors of the study still emphasised that vaccination remains the safest way to get immunity.
  • Lummis bill pushes back on hospital COVID vaccine mandates – Wyoming Tribune Eagle: Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced the COVID-19 Vaccination Non-Discrimination Act to ensure that people in Wyoming receive the best health care possible even if they have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill would prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from supporting health care facilities that deny care to patients based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • ACC Cardiovascular Summit to focus on increased role of telehealth post COVID-19: The American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit will feature poster presentations on the increased role of telehealth in cardiovascular care since the COVID-19 pandemic. Research examines the importance of implementing a standardized telehealth framework to improve patient access to care, as well as the benefits of home-based cardiac rehabilitation for heart disease patients. A large, multi-site cardiovascular practice in Jacksonville, Florida adopted virtual tools during the pandemic to meet patient needs.
  • The haunting brain science of long Covid – STAT News: Fitzgerald used to bike up and down 3,500 feet through the Santa Ana Mountains for fun, but now nine months after being infected with Covid-19 he can’t walk on flat surfaces for 20 minutes without days of exhaustion. Barbara Nivens was forced into retirement due to her long-term Covid symptoms, which include brain fog and extreme fatigue. Both patients are struggling with the long-term effects of the virus.
  • Here’s What To Do If You’ll Lose Medicaid Coverage When the Pandemic Emergency Ends: The COVID public health emergency will end on May 11, 2023. People on Medicaid and CHIP may lose their eligibility, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is allowing states up to 12 months to return to normal eligibility and enrollment operations. People should be aware of their state’s policies and contact their local Medicaid office for more information.
  • After recovering from mild to moderate COVID-19, asthma control deteriorates: Researchers in Hong Kong studied the deterioration of asthma control in patients recovering from mild to moderate COVID-19. They found that more patients had poorer asthma control after recovery, as measured by the Asthma Control Test (ACT). The study also revealed that ACT scores decreased significantly before and after severe acute exacerbations of asthma.
  • Senate holds hearing to examine health care workforce shortages, solutions | AHA News: The American Hospital Association (AHA) has submitted a statement to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee about the nation’s health care workforce shortages and potential solutions. AHA notes that due to structural changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and health systems are facing a staffing emergency and have had to rely on contract labor, which has caused hourly rates to increase drastically. AHA has urged the Federal Trade Commission and Administration to investigate.
  • Biden could be forced to break out his veto pen over COVID-19 and D.C. – Axios: Biden may have to use his veto pen for the first time in March due to Congress passing multiple pieces of legislation that the White House opposes. This is due to the new Republican House majority creating fights by putting centrist Democrats in a position to go against their party on issues such as COVID-19, crime, and immigration. The resolutions only need support from two Democrats to pass the Senate, and the D.C. crime law has sparked strong opposition from some Democratic lawmakers.
  • North Dakota House passes several COVID-19 vaccine bills – The Bismarck Tribune: The North Dakota House of Representatives passed House Bill 1200, which bans colleges and universities from requiring or promoting COVID-19 shots for students, excludes COVID-19 vaccines from the state’s school immunization requirements, and extends the state’s COVID-19 “vaccine passport” ban for another two years. The “vaccine passport” ban prohibits state and local governments and businesses from requiring vaccination documents for access, funds or services.
  • Navy Lifts Deployment Restrictions on Sailors Not Vaccinated Against COVID-19: The Navy has reversed its policy of considering COVID-19 vaccination status when making decisions about sailor deployments. Commanders should now seek medical advice regarding personnel’s medical readiness to inform deployment and other operational mission decisions. Vaccination status should not be considered when determining if someone can be deployed.
  • Moderna Will Offer Free COVID-19 Shots to Uninsured After PHE Ends – Physician’s Weekly: Moderna announced on Monday that even after government-purchased supplies of their COVID-19 vaccine run out, uninsured and underinsured adults will still be able to get the vaccine for free. Their patient assistance program will provide the vaccine at no cost to everyone in the US, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • 97 New COVID-19 Cases Identified in Camden County Thursday: The Camden County Department of Health has reported 97 new cases of COVID-19, including 71 lab-tested PCR cases and 26 antigen tests. The total number of confirmed cases in Camden County is 137,910, with 1,783 fatalities. 14 of the new cases are among patients under 18 years old, and the average age of those infected is 47 years old.
  • A new Supreme Court decision leaves a Trump judge in charge of the Mexican border – Vox: The Supreme Court has decided not to hear a case concerning an immigration policy from the Trump era, leaving the policy in place until the pandemic-related national emergency ends in May. This decision effectively allows a Trump-appointed judge to maintain control over the Biden administration’s power to set immigration policy.
  • Judge rules against NYC in COVID vaccine case after mandate lifted – New York Post: A Manhattan judge has rejected the city’s attempt to dismiss an NYPD sergeant’s lawsuit against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was lifted by Mayor Eric Adams on February 9th. This could be the first ruling of its kind since the mandate was lifted, and sets a precedent for other similar cases.
  • Supreme Court removes Title 42 oral argument from calendar | The Hill: The Supreme Court has removed from its calendar an oral argument about Title 42, which limits migrants’ ability to seek asylum. The Biden administration suggested the case will become moot once the public health emergency is revoked on May 11.

Daily News Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: Princeton students have seen an overall improvement in course satisfaction since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Japan, many people are still wearing masks despite the government’s easing of guidelines.

Daily Research Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: A systematic review examines the prevalence of nurses and physicians leaving their positions in European hospitals and the factors influencing job retention among them. Researchers found that 31.4% of hospitalized patients with cardiac problems and suspected COVID-19 had PTSD during waves 2-5 of the pandemic.

Daily News Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: A pilot study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that nasal administration of the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody Foralumab can modulate T cell inflammatory responses in COVID-19. The Washington State Department of Health is ending its free at-home testing program Say Yes! COVID Test on May 11. California Governor Gavin Newsom has tested positive for COVID-19 after a personal trip to Baja California.

Daily Research Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: Researchers examined the clinical, laboratory, and cardiac indicators of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), and the experiences and behaviors of adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results or who were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Daily News Pulse for March 09, 2023

Summary: California Governor Gavin Newsom tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in isolation for the next five days. After recovering from a mild case of COVID, many people have developed long-term gastrointestinal symptoms. The US House of Representatives held a public hearing to explore the origins of the virus.