Corona Virus, general conversation

I'm on warfarin, so I have to go in once a month to get tested. I was due to go in on the 20th, but they called and told me they were stretching it out, and they rescheduled for this Monday, the 30th. They also told me that the hospital had closed all entrances except the main one, so I wouldn't be able to use my regular door, the direct entrance to the Heart Center. They also said they were taking the temperature of everyone coming into the hospital.

So an hour ago I got another phone call. They've now decided they don't want ANY unnecessary people coming into the hospital, so now they want me to go back to the Heart Center's entrance door on Monday and they will meet me OUTSIDE and conduct the test right there at curbside.

Fine by me. I'd rather not go into the hospital anyway. Safer for me, I'm sure.
 
Health Officials Confront New Threat to Speed of Testing

Public health officials are warning that a massive ramp-up in the number of tests for the coronavirus coupled with disruptions to the global
supply chain are creating new shortages of some of the chemicals needed to process those tests.

The result could be a catastrophe that would grind progress fighting the virus to a halt.

The chemicals, known as reagents, are used in different elements of different tests. They are substances or compounds added to a bodily sample, like a nasal or throat swab. If the virus is present, the reagent will create a chemical reaction that a diagnostic machine can detect.

Different tests use different chemicals to elicit those reactions, but no matter which chemicals they use, without reagents tests cannot be processed.

If the states and cities that are so rapidly increasing their capacity to test for the coronavirus run out of the reagents they need, the testing process would come to a complete halt.

“It's like the water you add to your coffee pot. The test is the grounds, but the water you add in is what makes it all work. So if you don't have these reagents, you can’t make the test work,” said Michael Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Prevention at the University of Minnesota. “Every test uses reagents, some kind or another. They're not all the same.”

Several major laboratory corporations that are processing thousands of coronavirus tests every day have privately signaled they are running low on supplies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it too is keeping a close eye on global reagent supplies, and on the supply chains that have been disrupted both in China and around the world.

“Many of the commercial tests that are now out there in use through emergency use authorizations that have basically come on line rely on
components that are in limited supply,” Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, said in an interview. “The global supply for many things is limited, and for the reagents, for the different molecular tests, the diagnostic tests, that’s a challenge.”

Schuchat said the strain on supply has come as the number of tests conducted on the potentially sick rises throughout the United States.

Laboratories around the country are testing about 100,000 people a day, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project, a huge ramp-up for tests that did not exist just weeks or months ago.

“There's a huge increase in tests that were not being done at all three months ago, four months ago, and a worldwide need for them. So there's
supply chain challenges not just here in the U.S. but around the world,”

Schuchat said. “Initially, the challenges were so much of the supply chain is China and they were needing all of the supplies themselves. And now the problem is the interdependence of these components of testing.”

Mike Weist, a spokesman for Roche Diagnostics Corporation that has shipped hundreds of thousands of coronavirus test kits after the company’s tests were approved by the Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization, said the company was keeping a close eye on its supply chain.

“We are continuously reviewing our stock position and increasing production where possible to ensure our supply chain remains robust. Due to the high demand on reagents and consumables the supply situation may be challenging in the short term in some cases,” Weist said in an email.

At times, even more basic items needed to conduct the tests have run in short supply. Earlier this month, the Defense Department flew a C-17 cargo plane full of 800,000 swabs from an Italian medical device manufacturer to Memphis, Tenn., where FedEx planes divided them among laboratories in four other states.

The problem has evolved over time, as demand for tests erupted first in China, then in South Korea and European nations, and now in the United
States. The Trump administration has promised to deliver millions of tests to front-line health care facilities, though those promises have not been met.

And even if health care providers did have the millions of tests, those tests would serve little purpose if they could not be processed — the
equivalent of having the ingredients to make a cake but no oven in which to cook it.

“Everyone is ramping up testing at the same time the actual availability is going down,” Osterholm said. “If you've got a run on gasoline, it
doesn't matter if it's high grade or low grade or diesel.”

The growing number of different types of tests, some developed in university laboratories and others created by private companies, has helped alleviate some of the strain. Different tests use different reagents, meaning labs can draw on a broader supply than if every lab were competing for the same chemicals.

“Initially the tests that were coming out all needed the same reagents, but now there's a diversity of tests and they don't all need exactly the same component. It's one reason why there's been prioritization of who should be tested. It's not like everybody in the country should be tested every day,” Schuchat said.

The coronavirus outbreak has been met with a frenetic charge of innovation, by scientists who quickly sequenced the virus's genetic code and created different tests around the world, others who raced to create a potential vaccine that is already in its very early days of testing, and by private businesses that switched their manufacturing lines to make new protective gear or hand sanitizer.

Schuchat said the innovation in the ability to test for the virus has been equally fast. Just this week, Schuchat said a newly developed test
will allow people to swab themselves, removing health care workers from that small part of the equation. New research also shows that swabs can
be transported in saline, rather than chemicals that are harder to come across.
 

Road

Adventurist
Road this is not quite correct...
‘All the rules and consent orders will remain in full effect. I would expect that any company that tries to sneak something by will get their asses handed to them.
Here’s the actual policy..

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-enforcement-discretion-policy-covid-19-pandemic
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Uh, no. That's actually a news release about the temporary policy.

There is a link in there though, that leads to more about the policy, for those who care to wade through it all. Interesting stuff.

I would hope any company that tries to sneak anything by would get their asses handed to them, too, though I don't have a lot of confidence that will always happen.

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Thinking about you Kevin. Our family of 5 just 'got out' of a self imposed quarantine! My son's fiance who lives with us works at a dermatologist. One of the patients they's seen a week ago Wednesday had stitches removed at a different office on Thursday. Presented with a fever and mild cough - office got patient tested and told the office where my son's fiance works. Immediate quarantine for the office and all of us at home in addition to them contacting any other patients they's seen that Wednesday. We'd heard yesterday that patients fever and cough had almost immediately gone away last week and the office thought the fever was just a post-op reaction. Out of an abundance of caution, our household has been on self imposed quarantine since Thursday last week. I cancelled my oh so important platelet donation this past Monday and we've all been cooped up at home. Just got word this Friday afternoon that the patient was negative. Great news!!

Kevin - the wait to hear sucks!!! ...and it was just over a week for us. All the best!!
 
Any New Yorkers in There?

Rhode Island plans to send the National Guard out to knock door-to-door in an attempt to hunt down anyone who has arrived in the tiny state from New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. State police, meanwhile, have begun pulling over cars with New York state plates.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said anyone traveling there from New York will be ordered to undergo a 14-day quarantine and could face fines or even jail
time if they’re found to not comply.

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Raimondo said at a news conference Friday. “That risk is called New York City.”

Rhode Island, which had some 162 confirmed cases by late Friday compared to New York State’s total of more than 44,000 joined a host of other municipalities and states trying bar entry to New Yorkers living in the epicenter of the US’ coronavirus outbreak.

The Hmaptons, counties north of the city, and governors in Florida, Maryland, Texas and South Carolina have all also ordered New Yorkers to keep out or undergo mandatory two-week quarantines.

Cuomo said he was opposed to such restrictions, at least within the state.

“I don’t like it socially or culturally,” Cuomo said during a radio appearance Friday on WAMC. “I don’t like what it says about us as one state, one family. Also, I don’t believe it’s medically justified.”

In Rhode Island, Raimondo maintained she’s within her emergency powers to impose the aggressive measures and said she had consulted with state lawyers.

“I know it’s unusual. I know it’s extreme and I know some people disagree with it,” she said. “If you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island, you must be quarantined.”

But the American Civil Liberties Union said giving police power to stop cars simply for having New York license plates is an “ill-advised and
unconstitutional plan.”

“While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the
Constitution,” said Steven Brown, the executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, in a statement.

“Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be,” Brown added.
 
COVID-19 in the Jails and Prisons . . .

The city Department of Correction reported a sharp spike on Friday inthe number of employees and inmates at Rikers Island and other jails who
have tested positive for COVID-19.

The department counted 103 positive tests among inmates, up from 73 on Thursday.

As for correction officers and other employees, 80 were confirmed to have the bug as of Friday, up from 58.

DOC does not clarify which of its facilities coronavirus was found at but the vast majority of inmates are locked up in the sprawling jail facility on Rikers Island.

The increase comes as hundreds of inmates have been or will soon be released from custody

There were about 5,200 inmates in DOC jails at the beginning of the week — by Friday, the number had fallen to 4,860, according to city data.

In a phone interview with The Post, an inmate at Rikers said that staff has been enforcing social distancing during meal time when prisoners pack together at cafeteria tables.

But inmates are still coming in close contact in common areas in their dormitories and have to sleep just a few feet away from their cellmates
— as well as share toilets with them, said Aziz Coleman, who is being held at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers awaiting transfer
to a state-run facility.

Coleman, 26, said he is among the inmates who are vulnerable to catching coronavirus — he recently had his appendix removed and has an infection below his pancreas, he said.

Coleman is supposed to serve a 97-day sentence in state prison for breaking his parole, but transfers to state prisons have been suspended
since March 19. He said that he should be allowed to stay on house arrest until he can get sent upstate.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “What are we supposed to do? Stay here and wait until the coronavirus goes away?”
 

Road

Adventurist
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This article is already 2.5 days old--damned near an eternity as far as news developments lately--though feels important as many of us look at stats and increases in numbers of one sort or another. Also interesting is that there seems to be no consistent method of recording and reporting around the country:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhiprakash/coronavirus-update-dead-covid19-doctors-hospitals

View attachment 51028

Stay safe, stay clean, stay positive!
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Not sure how much I trust BuzzFeed news.
@Dave How long before you are called back up?
 
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Called up? Small chance. My day job is training so if we stop training then that would be a sure sign of systemic overload. We’re not even close.
One of my family members is a member of the Virginia NG. They received a letter from the General in charge notifying them of the following:
1. All training is suspended at least through April.
2. All travel out of the state whether military or not is cancelled.
3. Prepare to deploy domestically ...

Time will tell if this comes to pass but someone is preparing to do something.....
 
And . . . It's starting to get ugly out there.

Several gun-toting people cut down a tree and dragged it into another resident’s driveway in an attempt to force them to quarantine Friday,
according to a report received by local police on Vinalhaven Island in Maine.

Officers investigated and found that there was indeed a recently felled tree blocking a driveway, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said in a
Facebook post

The armed group had dispersed prior to the cops’ arrival, the post said.

Possibly they had realized the irony of forming a group while attempting to enforce an extralegal quarantine.

“These events do appear to be directed toward specific individuals and we do not feel there is a specific threat to the general public,” police said in the post.

There are 211 confirmed coronavirus cases in Maine as of Saturday evening, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. One person in the state has died from COVID-19.
 

Road

Adventurist
And . . . It's starting to get ugly out there.

Several gun-toting people cut down a tree and dragged it into another resident’s driveway in an attempt to force them to quarantine Friday,
according to a report received by local police on Vinalhaven Island in Maine.


Officers investigated and found that there was indeed a recently felled tree blocking a driveway, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said in a
Facebook post


The armed group had dispersed prior to the cops’ arrival, the post said.

Possibly they had realized the irony of forming a group while attempting to enforce an extralegal quarantine.

“These events do appear to be directed toward specific individuals and we do not feel there is a specific threat to the general public,” police said in the post.

There are 211 confirmed coronavirus cases in Maine as of Saturday evening, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. One person in the state has died from COVID-19.
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Ayuh, some of the island fellas and two men from New Jersey, who had been renting a house and working on the island since Sept, got into it a bit when the Jersey men came back from the mainland. They were "without state plates" as is commonly said about folks from away.

From the Bangor Daily News report:
“There were some words between them and some locals and the conversation apparently didn’t go very well,” said Rep Genevieve McDonald, who represents Vinalhaven. “I did hear the guys from [New Jersey] were fairly arrogant in their response. A group of local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands and barricaded these guys into their rental property.”​
A call to confirm those details with the sheriff’s office was not immediately returned.​
McDonald criticized the incident as a “tremendous waste of resources.”​
She also said that “now is not the time to develop or encourage an ‘us vs. them’ mentality.”​
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