Friday, May 20, 2022
Friday, May 6, 2022
The weekly Franklin Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard is now available to view here: https://sites.google.com/franklinps.net/back-to-school-plan-21-22/weekly-covid-19-dashboard
|Franklin Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard|
"Most of MA is now in the high COVID “Community Level” zone, since we have hit the (lagging indicator) hospitalization threshold. CDC guidelines say to now wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, including in schools. I expect no response or even acknowledgment. #DontLookUp"
Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/jonlevyBU/status/1522382474583724032
|Most of MA is now in the high COVID “Community Level” zone|
"Reported #Worcester #COVID19 daily new case rate (2 wk avg, per 100k people) continues to increase in step with #Massachusetts state-wide trends.Explore data for your town/city here:
|the Franklin data tracks in similar manner|
"May is mental health awareness month. 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth experience mental illness each year. "
Learn more at: www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth
Thursday, April 21, 2022
April is stress awareness month. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
Learn more at: www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping
|Health Department: Weekly Wellness Update shares resources on Stress and Coping|
Monday, April 4, 2022
"A new omicron variant, referred to as BA 2, is taking hold in the US. Anthony Fauci and others have said they don’t expect a new surge in the US, but BA.2 is causing devastating surges elsewhere, and the policies and behaviors we might use to prevent a surge in the US have been widely abandoned, in part thanks to the CDC’s new system for measuring and conveying COVID risk.
In late February, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled a new COVID-19 monitoring system based on what they call “Community Levels.” By downplaying the importance of Sars-CoV-2 transmission, the new system instantly turned what was a pandemic map still red from Omicron transmission to green – creating the false impression that the pandemic is over.
Released four days before the State of the Union, the new CDC measures and the narrative they created let President Biden claim victory over the virus via sleight of hand: a switch from standard reporting of community transmissions to measures of risk based largely on contentious hospital-based metrics. The previous guidelines called anything over 50 cases per 100,000 people “substantial or high.” Now, they say 200 cases per 100,000 is “low” as long as hospitalizations are also low.
The resulting shift from a red map to a green one reflected no real reduction in transmission risk. It was a resort to rhetoric: an effort to craft a success story that would explain away hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths and the continued threat the virus poses. "
"The People’s CDC is a collective of public health practitioners, scientists, healthcare workers, educators, advocates and people from all walks of life who care about reducing the harmful impacts of COVID-19. The People’s CDC is volunteer-run and independent of partisan political and corporate interests.
A copy of the People’s CDC report on the change in the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines can be found at peoplescdc.org."
|"We need a CDC that prioritizes the health of the people, not the health of big business"|
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Another of March's Health Observances is Kidney Awareness.
9 out of 10 people are unaware they have Chronic Kidney Disease.
Learn more at: www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease
|Health Department: Weekly Wellness Update - Chronic Kidney Disease|
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
"The coronavirus vaccines most widely used in the United States remained highly effective at preventing the worst outcomes from infections even in the face of the highly transmissible omicron variant in January, a report released Friday by federal disease trackers shows.While protection against mild illness waned over time, the mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech provided a robust shield against death and needing mechanical ventilation, the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.The study bolsters confidence in the vaccines to prevent the most serious outcomes for covid-19 patients, even after the omicron variant fueled an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths this winter, said William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who did not participate in the study."
|"COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are highly effective in preventing the most severe forms of COVID-19"|
Thursday, March 10, 2022
"School districts that required masks this fall saw significantly fewer coronavirus cases than those where masks were optional, according to a large study of Arkansas schools by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC looked at 233 school districts and found those with mask requirements saw a 23 percent lower incidence of coronavirus cases. Rates in districts with partial requirements — for instance, places that required them in hallways but not classrooms — were in between.
“Masks remain an important part of a multicomponent approach to preventing Covid-19 in K-12 settings, especially in communities with high Covid-19 community levels,” concluded the study, which published Tuesday."
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
"This is perfect.
Precisely satirizes the problem."
Time for some new CDC guidelines pic.twitter.com/0Pmq4EUqnb— Dr. Glaucomflecken (@DGlaucomflecken) February 28, 2022
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Franklin, MA COVID-19 case counts continue to be driven by the omicron variant. Two weeks ago the positivity was 8%, last week we were at 17.06%. This week the positivity rate is at 22.83%.
|This week positivity rate is at 22.83%|
|chart for week of 1/13/22 - note scale for Y axis same as for last week|
Reminhttps://www.franklinmatters.org/2022/01/medicaregov-3-things-you-can-do-to.htmlder via Medicare.gov -> "3 things you can do to protect yourself from Omicron (vax, boost, mask!)" https://www.franklinmatters.org/2022/01/medicaregov-3-things-you-can-do-to.html
Mass.gov COVID-19 page -> https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting
The CDC page for COVID-19 tracking -> https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home
Friday, December 24, 2021
|Be careful this holiday season, the COVID-19 cases are climbing, and that is not good|
|COvid-19 cases 12/23/21 https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/15/nation/massachusetts-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-by-city/|
The Omicron variant spreads more easily than the original virus that causes #COVID19. Help stop Omicron by using all the tools to protect yourself and others.
Learn more: https://t.co/wbu65L0mgM.
|Help stop Omicron by using all the tools to protect yourself and others|
Sunday, October 3, 2021
"Opponents of school mask mandates have often been louder and more insistent than supporters — even though polls suggest they’re in the minority. Parent groups opposed to making students wear masks in school have filed at least six lawsuits across Massachusetts to stop the policy.Now, internal state e-mails suggest that anti-masking activists are having a significant impact on the Baker administration, which has resisted full compliance with federal guidance that students should wear masks at school even if they’ve been vaccinated. Current policy will soon allow schools with high vaccination rates to drop mask requirements for vaccinated students and staff.The determination to follow this middle path may be in part political. When a Massachusetts General Hospital doctor asked in an e-mail why the state was not following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, a top state health official was blunt: pressure."
|Boston Globe: "Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics"|
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
"It’s basically over already. It will end this October. Or maybe it won’t be over till next spring, or late next year, or two or three years down the road.From the most respected epidemiologists to public health experts who have navigated past disease panics, from polemicists to political partisans, there are no definitive answers to the central question in American life: As a Drudge Report headline put it recently, “is it ever going to end?”With children returning to classrooms, in many cases for the first time in 18 months, and as the highly contagious delta variant and spotty vaccination uptake send case numbers and deaths shooting upward, many Americans wonder what exactly has to happen before life can return to something that looks and feels like 2019."
|The COVID-19 pandemic ends when?|
Saturday, August 28, 2021
As a mom of 3 little boys, I am desperate to get my kids' childhood back to normal. As a doctor, I want data to know that what we're doing is actually effective. I was floored when I graphed these numbers from ATL schools this week. #maskmandate https://t.co/7prNuI7XAQShared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/maurageorgemd/status/1431368291948302347?s=03
|COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate|
"As the Delta variant grips the country, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination are at higher risk of being infected — especially in places where the virus is surging. A New Orleans children’s hospital had so many Covid-19 patients that a federal “surge team” was called in to bolster an exhausted staff.Children under 12 may have to wait until the end of the year to get vaccinated. Half of the adolescents in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the White House said on Friday."
"Source investigation complements standard contact tracing; it’s not a substitute. When outbreaks are detected, people need to be informed immediately, so they can get tested and ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus. Once a cluster is detected, venues should re-evaluate their COVID mitigation measures and ensure that staff are vaccinated and ventilation systems refresh indoor air at least four to six times per hour. High-risk venues should keep lists of patrons, and outreach to customers through social media can be very effective. Mandating that customers are vaccinated, as New York, San Francisco and New Orleans have done, may not suffice to prevent outbreaks. Some European countries are requiring evidence of a negative coronavirus test for unvaccinated people entering indoor entertainment venues.The Provincetown outbreak occurred as thousands of people arrived to celebrate the Fourth of July, believing their vaccinations would protect them against infection. When infected people began feeling ill, some didn’t immediately attribute their symptoms to COVID-19 because of the widespread belief that breakthrough infections were almost impossible. After the cases emerged, the local health department’s investigation was undoubtedly helped by strong word-of-mouth communication, as many infections affected members of the gay community, a group that for decades has witnessed the effects of the AIDS pandemic. Since then, many local businesses have reassessed their COVID mitigation measures, the town reinstituted an indoor mask mandate and new cases have leveled off."
"Yeah. It’s the height of American exceptionalism that we are where we are. I have family in other parts of the world where health-care workers and vulnerable elderly people are begging to get the vaccine. And here, we’re sitting on stockpiles and begging people to take the vaccine.I think how we got here is complicated, right? I agree with the surgeon general in issuing the advisory about misinformation and disinformation — certainly that plays a big role here. There are individuals out there who are knowingly spreading misinformation. There are others who are clicking and then, unfortunately, sharing misinformation that’s leading to question that and the efficacy of vaccines. That misinformation is taking away people’s freedom to make decisions for themselves and their families.And I think the Biden administration needs to take some responsibility here, also, for their miscalculation and misjudgment in being so uneasy about vaccine verification and relying on the honor code. Come on. Did they really think that the honor system was going to work during a pandemic when many people behaved so dishonorably? The honor system did not work. And, of course, the unvaccinated are now running around living their lives as if they are vaccinated. And that’s led to the surge that we are now seeing. We lost the powerful incentive to increase vaccines in that really important window."
|Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21|
Friday, August 27, 2021
The Hill: "At least 90,000 students have had to quarantine because of COVID-19 so far this school year"
"Just weeks into the new school year, at least 90,000 children in 19 states have had to or are currently quarantining or isolating after contracting COVID-19 or coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the disease.
The disruptions have caused uncertainty for parents, students and school districts that had hoped to resume in-person instruction after a year marked by lockdowns and virtual learning.
The staggering number of K-12 students under quarantine is largely driven by the highly infectious delta variant that has taken hold as the dominant strain in the U.S.
Bans on school mask mandates and the fact that no vaccines have been approved for children under 12 are helping to drive cases."
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
"Amid intense pressure from progressive members of Congress, the Biden administration on Tuesday renewed a federal ban on evictions for renters at risk of losing their housing, with most of Massachusetts covered by the new order.Citing the quick spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Tuesday announced a new 60-day federal moratorium on evictions in counties where the cases are again at elevated levels. Currently, that includes all of Massachusetts, except for Franklin and Hampshire Counties."
Sunday, August 1, 2021
"A sobering scientific analysis published Friday found that three-quarters of the people infected during an explosive coronavirus outbreak fueled by the delta variant were fully vaccinated. The report on the Massachusetts cases, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers key evidence bolstering the hypothesis that vaccinated people can spread the more transmissible variant and may be a factor in the summer surge of infections.The data, detailed in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, helped persuade agency scientists to reverse recommendations on mask-wearing and advise that vaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor public settings in some circumstances.Critically, the study found that vaccinated individuals carried as much virus in their noses as unvaccinated individuals, strongly suggesting that vaccinated people could spread the virus to others. The CDC was criticized this week for changing its mask guidance without publishing the data it relied on. The report released Friday contains some of that data."
Saturday, July 10, 2021
"Vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.The changes come amid a national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as a general decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.“We’re at a new point in the pandemic that we’re all really excited about,” and so it’s time to update the guidance, said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the CDC task force that prepares recommendations designed to keep Americans safe from COVID-19."
Monday, June 21, 2021
New York Times: "From the pandemic’s earliest days, the C.D.C. was subject to extreme politicization"
"In November, an independent team of academics and public-health experts who called themselves the Covid Rapid Response Working Group gathered on Zoom to puzzle over what had by then become the pandemic’s most vexing challenge: how to make all schools safe for full-time, in-person learning as quickly as possible. Schools had not proved to be a hotbed of coronavirus transmission, but beyond that the research was complicated, and communities were divided about how to balance the risks. Some people wanted a full reopening, immediately, no exceptions. Others were terrified to return at all.So far, there was no national plan for how to move forward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising everyone to wear masks and remain six feet apart at all times. But that guidance was a significant impediment to any full-bore reopening, because most schools could not maintain that kind of distance and still accommodate all their students and teachers. It also left many questions unanswered: How did masks and distancing and other strategies like opening windows fit together? Which were essential? Could some measures be skipped if others were followed faithfully?"
Danielle Allen, head of the Safra Center at Harvard, led Covid Rapid Response Working Group. You may recall that she also recently declared she would be running for MA Governor.
|listen to Danielle Allen on an episode of "Toward a More Perfect Union"|