Showing posts with label CDC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CDC. Show all posts

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Boston Globe: "Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics"

"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."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Boston Globe: "Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics"
Boston Globe: "Behind the state’s school masking policy: a collision of science and politics"

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic ends when?

"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."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 

What we know and don't know does change, the CDC has the record of the current status

The COVID-19 pandemic ends when?
The COVID-19 pandemic ends when?

Saturday, August 28, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine updates, including Franklin's vaccine stats - a quick recap

1 - Maura George (@maurageorgemd) tweeted Fri, Aug 27, 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
Shared from Twitter:

Georgia Dept. of Public Health data ->

COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate
COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate

2. "Children’s hospitals around the country are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients"
"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."
Via the New York Times Friday highlights->

The full article and heart rendering photos can be found ->

3 -  "Why Provincetown’s Response to Its COVID Outbreak Was So Effective"
"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."
Also from the New York Times, where the full article can be found ->

4 -CNN’s Leana Wen: ‘Public health is now under attack in a way that it has not been before’

An excerpt from the full interview (which is definitely worth reading to get the full context:
"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."

5 - Via the DPH weekly updates, here is the vaccine statistics by age group for Franklin, Not that the population up to 11 years old is excluded as the vaccine is not yet authorized for them.

Boston Globe article with their coverage on this week's data

My downloaded copy filtered for Franklin data (as of 8/26/21)

The full data file can be found on the MA Gov page

Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21
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."

Continue reading the article online

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"Evolutionary Origins of SARS-CoV-2" video

An excellent explanation video of the lineage of viruses - and the fact that SARS-CoV-2 has a common ancestor that's over 40 years old.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Eviction moratorium extended

"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."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
New York Times coverage (subscription maybe required) ->

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Inside the Provincetown town outbreak

"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."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Saturday, July 10, 2021

CDC updates the K-12 Schools Guidance

"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."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

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?"
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

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.

You can listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

listen to Danielle on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"
listen to Danielle Allen on an episode of  "Toward a More Perfect Union"

Sunday, May 23, 2021

CDC Reports: masks and ventilation improved school COVID-19 case load; care in handling backyard poultry


"Schools in Georgia that required teachers and staff to wear masks and improved ventilation reported fewer COVID-19 cases, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released on Friday.

The research, conducted by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health, determined that COVID-19 incidence was 37 percent lower in schools that mandated masks for teachers and staff. Schools that implemented at least one ventilation strategy saw a 39 percent reduction in coronavirus cases among students and staff.

The ventilation improvements ranged from dilution methods, which refer to running fans and keeping doors and windows open, to filtration with or without purification. Schools that used dilution methods saw 35 percent less COVID-19 incidence, and others that used dilution and filtration methods together saw 48 percent fewer cases."

Continue reading the article online

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory on Thursday warning people against getting too close to backyard poultry, citing concerns that the chickens may be spreading salmonella.

In an investigation notice, the CDC noted that backyard poultry owners should take precautionary measures when handling their animals after 163 confirmed cases of salmonella were reported in 43 states.

"Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry, and don’t eat or drink around them," the CDC wrote. "This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick."
Continue reading the article online


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Hill: "CDC clarifies mask guidance for schools"

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending the continued use of masks and social distancing in schools after issuing new guidance last week that stated vaccinated people do not need to wear masks.

On Saturday, the CDC released an Operational Strategy for K-12 schools in which it pointed to data that suggest schools that abide by mask mandates and social-distancing requirements have been able to safely remain open.

In the post clarifying mask guidance for schools, the CDC argued that schools need to make efforts to remain open as a way to combat "systemic health and social inequities" among students of color."

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

"no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness"

"These “breakthrough” infections occurred among people of all ages. Just over 40 percent were in people 60 or older, and 65 percent occurred in women. Twenty-nine percent of infected people reported no symptoms, but 7 percent were hospitalized and just over 1 percent, 74 people, died, according to the CDC.

Public health officials have said breakthrough infections were expected, since manufacturers have warned loudly and often that the vaccines are not 100 percent protective. The Pfizer and Moderna versions have consistently been shown to be above 90 percent effective, most recently for at least six months. Studies have also shown they are nearly 100 percent effective at ensuring that the small fraction of vaccinated patients who do contract the virus will not get severe cases or require hospitalization."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Sunday, April 25, 2021

FDA and CDC Lift Recommended Pause on Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19

Following a thorough safety review, including two meetings of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that the recommended pause regarding the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S. should be lifted and use of the vaccine should resume.

The pause was recommended after reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. During the pause, medical and scientific teams at the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of thrombosis involving the cerebral venous sinuses, or CVST (large blood vessels in the brain), and other sites in the body (including but not limited to the large blood vessels of the abdomen and the veins of the legs) along with thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet counts. The teams at FDA and CDC also conducted extensive outreach to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for these adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events due to the unique treatment required for these blood clots and low platelets, also known as thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

The two agencies have determined the following:

  • Use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine should be resumed in the United States.
  • The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • At this time, the available data suggest that the chance of TTS occurring is very low, but the FDA and CDC will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.
  • Health care providers administering the vaccine and vaccine recipients or caregivers should review the  Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers)external icon and Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregiversexternal icon, which have been revised to include information about the risk of this syndrome, which has occurred in a very small number of people who have received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine fact sheet for recipients

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine fact sheet for healthcare providers

Updated CDC guidance on cleaning

"Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours."
Continue reading the article online

Updated CDC guidance on cleaning
Updated CDC guidance on cleaning

For additional info from the Town of Franklin

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Vaccination is important for adults with underlying health conditions

"Vaccination is important for adults with underlying health conditions because they are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Vaccines for COVID-19 are recommended for people who haven’t had a bad reaction to any ingredients in the vaccine.

Get more information for certain conditions, including those that cause weakened immune systems, autoimmune conditions, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and Bell’s palsy": Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions | CDC

Vaccination is important for adults with underlying health conditions
Vaccination is important for adults with underlying health conditions

Monday, March 29, 2021

Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp

"Do you know a rising high school junior or senior interested in public health? @CDCgov Disease Detective Camp is an incredible experience, and this year it is offering a new, web-based Public Health Academy for remote learners!"

"All students to who will be high-school juniors or seniors during the 2021-2022 school year and at least 16 years old on the first day of the camp session to which they are accepted.

As the CDC Museum remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions, we are not able to predict yet if in-person programming will be available the summer of 2021. If the museum is not reopened for in-person programming, the CDC Museum will offer only online courses. A final decision on in-person programming will be made May 3, 2021; all applicants will be notified of the decision by email."

Details and reg links:
Shared from Twitter:

Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp
Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

National News: CDC review of documents; AI and the bias issue

"Federal health officials have identified several controversial pandemic recommendations released during the Donald Trump administration that they say were “not primarily authored” by staff and don’t reflect the best scientific evidence, based on a review ordered by its new director.

The review identified three documents that had already been removed from the agency’s website: One, released in July, delivered a strong argument for school reopenings and downplayed health risks. A second set of guidelines about the country’s reopening was released in April by the White House and was far less detailed than what had been drafted by the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A third guidance issued in August discouraged the testing of people without covid-19 symptoms even when they had contact with infected individuals. That was replaced in September after experts inside and outside the agency raised alarms."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Hundreds of people gathered for the first lecture at what had become the world’s most important conference on artificial intelligence — row after row of faces. Some were East Asian, a few were Indian, and a few were women. But the vast majority were white men. More than 5,500 people attended the meeting, five years ago in Barcelona, Spain.

Timnit Gebru, then a graduate student at Stanford University, remembers counting only six Black people other than herself, all of whom she knew, all of whom were men.

The homogeneous crowd crystallized for her a glaring issue. The big thinkers of tech say A.I. is the future. It will underpin everything from search engines and email to the software that drives our cars, directs the policing of our streets and helps create our vaccines."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Patience still needed, but there is hope on the horizon after folks are vaccinated


"Americans got their first peek Monday at what life may be like in a post-vaccinated world with new federal guidelines that say people who are fully vaccinated can gather privately indoors without masks and without physical distancing.

The much-anticipated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, described as a first step toward returning to everyday activities, identify someone as fully vaccinated two weeks after their final shot. The timing of the announcement — just weeks before the beginning of spring — comes as many people are tempted to visit family or interact with friends after months of careful isolation." 

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Direct link to the CDC guidance

Related article on the guidance (subscription may be required)

CDC guidance summary table
CDC guidance summary table

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Intercept: "Teachers Unions Aren’t the Obstacle to Reopening Schools"

Tracy O'Connell Novick (@TracyNovick) tweeted

"This piece from @onesarahjones gets at the heart of one of the things I have found most disheartening about the pandemic. It gave us a chance to refocus on the vast inequities in our society, and instead it's making them wider."

Sarah writes: (Bold my emphasis)
"Public opinion does not, of course, dictate scientific consensus. Even so, the science isn’t as settled as many claim. While it’s true that kids aren’t as likely to fall seriously ill with COVID and aren’t as likely to spread the virus, the risk isn’t zero. As The Intercept reported in January, three recent studies indicate that the risks posed by reopening schools vary depending on rates of community transmission. According to one of the studies, reopening schools in Florida did lead to higher incidences of COVID infection among school-age children. Teachers in a school building can also spread the virus to one another and to parents if mitigation strategies aren’t sound."
Follow the link to read the full article =