Roll Call: Breakthrough COVID-19 cases expected to become more common in coming months

Roll Call: Breakthrough COVID-19 cases expected to become more common in coming months. “COVID-19 cases are up to five times more common in unvaccinated individuals compared with the vaccinated, according to the CDC. But state-level data shows that milder breakthrough cases that do not result in hospitalization are on the rise among the fully vaccinated as virus transmission increases and vaccine efficacy decreases. And they’re expected to keep increasing.”

WRAL: NC’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate is declining, but there still aren’t enough rooms

WRAL: NC’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate is declining, but there still aren’t enough rooms. “Dr. David Wohl with UNC Health told WRAL News the vaccine is the best tool to fight the virus, saying hospitals will continue to face capacity problems until more people get vaccinated. According to Wohl, beds are still nearly full in many local hospitals, and ICU capacity is maxing out, with over 90% of those patients unvaccinated.”

BBC: German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies

BBC: German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies. “A man suspected of shooting dead a cashier at a German petrol station has been linked to Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and the far right. The 20-year-old student employee was shot after a row over face masks, in what is thought to be the first killing linked to German Covid rules. Researchers believe the suspect, named only as Mario N, was a far-right supporter and Covid-denier.”

Washington Post: Kentucky schools overwhelmingly keep mask mandates after Republicans scrapped state requirement

Washington Post: Kentucky schools overwhelmingly keep mask mandates after Republicans scrapped state requirement. “Mark Dougherty, an infectious-disease physician in Lexington, Ky., sees the toll the state’s most severe coronavirus wave is inflicting on communities with the school year back in session: The teacher placed on a ventilator, the bus driver nearing intubation, the critically ill custodian. He feared their cases would be the ‘tip of the iceberg’ after the mostly Republican state legislature during a special session earlier this month repealed a statewide school mask mandate unilaterally put in place by the Democratic governor. But most Kentucky school districts made a different choice: They kept mask mandates in place.”

The lesson of ivermectin: meta-analyses based on summary data alone are inherently unreliable (Nature Medicine)

Nature Medicine: The lesson of ivermectin: meta-analyses based on summary data alone are inherently unreliable. “Recently, we described flaws in one randomized control trial of ivermectin, the results of which represented more than 10% of the overall effect in at least two major meta-analyses. We described several irregularities in the data that could not be consistent with them being experimentally derived4. That study has now been withdrawn by the preprint server on which it was hosted. We also raised concerns about unexpected stratification across baseline variables in another randomized controlled trial for ivermectin6, which were highly suggestive of randomization failure.”

The Conversation: Evidence shows that, yes, masks prevent COVID-19 – and surgical masks are the way to go

The Conversation: Evidence shows that, yes, masks prevent COVID-19 – and surgical masks are the way to go. “I’m an assistant professor of environmental health sciences. I, too, have wondered about the answers to these questions, and earlier this year I led a study that examined the research about which materials are best. Recently, I was part of the largest randomized controlled trial to date testing the effectiveness of mask-wearing. The study has yet to be peer reviewed but has been well received by the medical community. What we found provides gold-standard evidence that confirms previous research: Wearing masks, particularly surgical masks, prevents COVID-19.” I have mentioned this study before but this article goes deep into it.

COVID Cases, Deaths Notably Worse In Red States Than Blue States: Report (HuffPost)

HuffPost: COVID Cases, Deaths Notably Worse In Red States Than Blue States: Report. “By the looks of it, Republican attacks on masks and COVID-19 vaccines don’t seem to be particularly healthy for people living in red states. In several instances in recent months, both COVID-19 cases and deaths are notably higher in Republican states than in Democratic blue states, according to an analysis of data by The Washington Post.”

AP: California now has nation’s lowest virus transmission rate

AP: California now has nation’s lowest virus transmission rate. “The nation’s most populous state is the only one experiencing ‘substantial’ coronavirus transmission, the second-highest level on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s color-coded map. So is Puerto Rico. In all other U.S. states, virus transmission is labeled as ‘high,’ defined as 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week. California’s rate is 94 cases per 100,000. By comparison, Texas is 386 and Florida is 296.”

New York Times: Where Are the Tests?

New York Times: Where Are the Tests?. “In Britain, France and Germany, rapid testing is widely available and inexpensive, thanks to government subsidies. People can visit testing sites, like tents outside pharmacies in France or abandoned nightclubs in Germany, and get tested at no charge…. In the U.S., by contrast, people usually take a different kind of test — known as a P.C.R. test — which must be processed by a laboratory and sometimes does not return results for more than 24 hours.”

‘It’s just overwhelmed everything’ | COVID-19 patients reach “crisis” levels at East TN hospitals (WBIR)

WBIR: ‘It’s just overwhelmed everything’ | COVID-19 patients reach “crisis” levels at East TN hospitals. “An East Tennessee hospital faces rapidly-approaching crisis care levels as COVID-19 patients overwhelm the facility, forcing some to receive ICU-level care in a packed emergency room and, once, in an ambulance parked outside, hospital leaders said Monday.”