Covid-19 News Briefs for Monday, September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

 In just 10 months, the coronavirus has killed nearly one million people around the world. At least 3,000 new deaths have been reported every day since July with the virus sweeping through nearly every corner of the globe, hitting both rich and poor countries with devastating force. The US continues to lead the world in cases, with more than seven million, and added over 313,000 over the past week. But India is quickly catching up — the nation topped six million infections today, with 587,000 recorded over the past week — more than any other country. Developing countries are bearing much of the brunt of the virus now

 School closures and economic pressures caused by the coronavirus have thrust children into the role of breadwinner across the developing world. United Nations officials estimate that at least 24 million children will drop out of school worldwide as a consequence of the pandemic, and that millions could end up working. The surge in child labor could roll back recent progress in school enrollment, literacy, social mobility, and children’s health

 During the pandemic, a distressing downturn in cancer screenings has occurred across the country. And not surprisingly, new cancer diagnoses have also decreased. Research published in an American Medical Assn. online journal showed that the average weekly number of new diagnoses of six common cancers — breast,
colorectal, lung, gastric, pancreatic, and esophageal — fell by more than 45% from March to mid-April, compared with the previous two months. While research suggests that screening rates for some cancers may be on the rebound, the hesitancy to undergo cancer screenings is extremely concerning from a public health perspective. Early detection can improve the chances of survival and many localized cancers are curable with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these. But patients need to know they need treatment

 Military suicides have increased as much as 20% this year compared with the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have risen as service members have struggled under Covid-19 war-zone deployments, national disasters, and civil unrest. Although the data are incomplete and causes of suicide are
complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force. And senior Army leaders — who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides this year — said they are looking at shortening combat deployments

 According to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus infection rate among adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 is approximately double that of those between the ages of 5to 11 years old. The study analyzed 277,285 confirmed Covid-19 cases in school-aged children in the US
between March and mid-September. Researchers found the average weekly incidence of Covid-19 in adolescents to be roughly 37 cases per 100,000 children, compared to the rate in younger kids, which reported an incidence of 19 cases per 100,000 children. The study may underestimate the actual incidence of disease in
school-age children because testing was frequently prioritized for people who displayed symptoms and asymptomatic infection in children is common, the researchers noted

 The coronavirus surge began in the New York City area, followed by a summertime crisis in the Sun Belt states. Now the outbreak is heating up fast in smaller cities in the heartland, often in conservative corners of America where anti-mask sentiment runs high. The share of coronavirus tests coming back is above 25% in several Midwest states — North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days. The WHO considers positivity rates above 5% troubling because it suggests the virus is spreading faster than new cases can be tracked. Confirmed cases of the virus in the US have surpassed 7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the real number of infections is believed to be much higher. The spike across the Midwest as well as parts of the West has set off alarms at hospitals, schools, and colleges. The US is averaging more than 40,000 new confirmed cases a day. Although that number is dramatically lower than the peak of nearly 70,000 over the summer, the numbers are worrisome nonetheless. The nation’s death toll eclipsed 200,000 last week, the highest in the world

 Amazon Prime Day will take place October 13 and 14 this year, the company announced Monday. Members of Amazon’s Prime subscription program will get access to over 1 million deals across every category, including toys, electronics, and apparel. The company postponed its biggest shopping day of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which generated unprecedented strain on Amazon’s warehouses and shipping and logistic networks

 California has begun to see concerning upticks in coronavirus data after a sustained period of decline, said the state’s top health official on Friday. The increases include the rate of cases per capita, hospital emergency department visits for Covid-19, and new hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases. The trends appear to be attributable to gatherings and activities around the Labor Day holiday and other factors could include the recent reopening of businesses and massive wildfires that forced evacuations and millions to change their routines because of unhealthy air. A troubling short-term forecast sees an 89% increase in Covid-19-related hospitalizations from the current 2,578 — the lowest figure since early April — to just under 5,000 by October 25, according to Dr. Ghaly. An added concern is the upcoming flu season

 As California has struggled with some of the highest numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths, Little Saigon, which spans the cities of Westminster, Garden Grove, and parts of Fountain Valley and Santa Ana, has stood out for its much lower rates of both — although not all residents and businesses follow recommended protocols for social distancing. Three factors are said to be contributors: One is a months-long project to test 1,900 people for free in the Vietnamese-American community which is believed to be among the first ethnic-specific testing efforts in the nation; a second factor is luck; and a third is a host of ingrained cultural habits including respect for authorities, reverence for elders, and a belief in the importance of the collective welfare. Also, like people in most Asian countries, the Vietnamese-Americans are long accustomed to putting politics aside and wearing a mask to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens. Partly for the same cultural reasons, the Vietnam homeland, a nation of 100 million, has recorded only 35 deaths from coronavirus because of its quarantine and contact tracing systems

 Some San Diego nursing home facilities are preparing to resume indoor visitations, more than six months after they were suspended due to the pandemic. The county has reported cases among 1,037 nursing home residents and 671 healthcare workers, and no new deaths in the last week which remain at 168 people

 Just weeks after fall classes began at Cal State Long Beach, the campus has been locked down — all students living on campus are under quarantine and in-person classes suspended. Five students have tested positive and university officials have become aware that a number of students had congregated socially off-campus earlier this month

 LA County saw a continued decline in the number of people with serious cases of Covid-19 this weekend, with fewer than 700 patients hospitalized Sunday. There were three times as many Covid-19 hospitalizations during the summer surge. Also, LA County has yet to see a post-Labor Day spike in coronavirus numbers. LA County reported an additional 663 cases and 1 death. Totals are now 268,455 cases and 6,515 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 109,066/2,766; Long Beach 11,798/245; Carson 1,846/62; El Segundo 131/1; Gardena 1,249/50; Hawthorne 1,942/46; Hermosa Beach 211/4; Inglewood 2,877/89; Lawndale 634/10; Lomita 240/9; Manhattan Beach 362/5; PV Estates 99/2; Rancho PV 303/13; Redondo Beach 558/11; Rolling Hills 12/0; Rolling Hills Estates 43/2; Torrance 1,434/70

Compiled by Charlene Nishimura

Media Sources: Los Angeles Times; New York Times; Washington Post; Wall Street Journal; Forbes Magazine; Business Insider; USA Today; CBS News; CNN; KTLA; OZY; ABC World News Tonight; Spectrum News 1; The; WebMD; AP, Politico, Newsweek, Reuters, STAT, televised briefings from the White House, Governor Newsom, LA County Health Department, Mayor Garcetti; City of Torrance press releases; Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce press releases