Infection Control Problems Persist in Nursing Homes During COVID


The new analysis draws on self-reported data from nursing homes collected by the federal government over four weeks from late August to late September. While some states fared much worse than others, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had one or more nursing homes that reported inadequate PPE supply, staff shortages, staff infections and resident cases. Forty-seven states reported at least one COVID-19 death among residents.

The analysis found that more than 28,000 residents tested positive for COVID-19 during the four-week reporting period, and more than 5,200 residents died, showing that the virus is still raging in nursing homes. More than 84,000 long-term care residents and staff have died since January, and more than 500,000 residents and staff have contracted the disease, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s tally, accounting for roughly 40 percent of the national death toll. Long-term care providers include assisted living, adult day care centers and more, while AARP’s new analysis features just nursing home data.

“This is a nationwide crisis, and no state is doing a good job,” says Bill Sweeney, AARP’s senior vice president of government affairs, adding that the results of AARP’s analysis are “profoundly disappointing.”

“While the pandemic has been unexpected to all of us, basic infection control should have been going on in nursing homes for a long time,” he says. “These are places where people are vulnerable to infection, whether it’s COVID or something else, so for these facilities to still not have basic PPE, even now, with a deadly virus in the air, is outrageous and unacceptable.”

Staff infections nearly match resident infections

For months, providing adequate PPE and developing plans to mitigate staffing shortages have been “core principles” set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for COVID-19 infection control in nursing homes, which generally house older adults with underlying conditions who are at increased risk of infection and severe illness from the disease. PPE stops the transfer of infectious droplets through the air, while adequate staffing ratios mean better care and less person-to-person contact.

Yet in 18 states, more than 30 percent of all nursing homes reported PPE shortages, and in 26 states and the District of Columbia, more than 30 percent of nursing homes are experiencing staff shortages. N95 respirators were the most in-demand PPE item across the country, with 11 percent of all nursing homes reporting shortages. And nursing home aides (certified nursing assistants, nurse aides, medication aides and medication technicians) were the most in-demand staff, with 27 percent of all nursing homes reporting shortages.


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Public health warns of COVID-19 exposure at Trenton dentist’s office

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is warning residents of the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 at a Trenton dentist’s office after a second person linked to the business has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the health unit, two cases of the disease were linked to You Make Me Smile Dental Centre on Division Street last week. Despite these cases, the public health unit says there is low risk of exposure at the dentist’s office.

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Kingston, Belleville public health offer support to local back to school plans

As the second case has been identified, public health is asking anyone who visited the dental centre between Sept. 28 and Oct. 6 to self-monitor and to get tested if symptoms develop. If you do have symptoms and get tested, you must self-isolate for 14 days from the last visit to the dental centre, regardless of the results, the health unit said. You do not have to self-isolate unless you are showing symptoms.

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Public health said it will follow up with those considered to be at a higher risk of exposure.

“While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of COVID-19 cases in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed in order to meet public health objectives such as reducing the risk of further transmission,” the public health unit said in a press release Wednesday.

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No COVID-19 outbreak at Queen’s University, KFL&A medical officer of health says

The office closed voluntarily on Oct. 7 and will remain closed until Oct. 21.

There are currently six active cases of COVID-19 in the Hastings and Prince Edward regions, with 61 total cases since the pandemic began, of which 50 people have recovered and five have died.




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Anti-vaxxer theories about Fauci and me hurt public trust

Bill Gates worries about the implications of the baseless anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories targeting him and Dr. Anthony Fauci that have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic, telling CNBC they can erode confidence in public health strategies.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on “Squawk Box,” Gates said the false claims about him and Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, may have implications in getting the public to adopt measures such as vaccines and face coverings that can help slow transmission of the virus.

“The whole digital media space where people are dealing with the bad news, the pandemic, has spun up a lot of conspiracy theories,” the billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder said. “And the two people who are most targeted in those are Dr. Fauci and myself, in terms of, ‘Do we have some sort of maligned reason to think vaccines are important in general?'”

“That’s unfortunate, particularly if it undermines the mask wearing or if it undermines, as the vaccine gets approved, … [how] people not only protect themselves, but protect their loved ones, protect the community by participating in something that’s proven to be safe?” added Gates, whose charitable foundation has contributed millions of dollars to coronavirus vaccine and treatment research.

Gates’ interview ran one day after Facebook announced it was implementing a new global policy that bans any advertisements that seek to discourage people from receiving vaccinations. Previously, the social media giant’s policy restricted ads for vaccine hoaxes that had been singled out by health groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gates said he has not spoken to Fauci about the conspiracy theories because “neither he and I have know how to stop that.” But Gates said he and his staff at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have regular conversations with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases about the development of therapies for Covid-19.

“[Fauci] and I talk about the antibody studies. The scientific team at the foundation gets on the phone with him on a regular basis because he’s seeing company innovations that we’re not, we’re seeing things that he’s not because we have a global view,” Gates said. “It’s a helpful collaboration, which we’ve always had.”

Gates also lamented the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the lack of support lent to the scientific community. “Most governments take advantage of their scientists and listen to them. They don’t undermine them and attack them,” he told CNBC.

He wondered why some people in the U.S. are pushing back on masks so much. “We tell people to wear clothes. I don’t think of it as some ultra-important, freedom thing, that there’s another part of your body, at least for the duration of the pandemic, we’re asking you to cover up most of the time.”

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China carries out 4.2 million tests in Qingdao

BEIJING — China says it has carried out more than 4.2 million tests in the northern port city of Qingdao, with no new cases of coronavirus found among the almost 2 million sets of results received.

The city has reported a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend at a hospital.

China on Wednesday reported 27 new cases of coronavirus, including 13 new cases of local transmission and 14 cases brought from outside the country. The local cases included seven that had been shifted to confirmed from asymptomatic. It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of those involved cases reported in Qingdao.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 85,611 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— WHO: Europe reported more than 700,000 coronavirus cases last week

— Dutch order bars, restaurants closed over coronavirus concerns

— India has 55,342 coronavirus cases, lowest single-day tally since mid-August

— Safety monitoring panel will try to determine what might have caused sickness in a second COVID-19 vaccine trial paused over unexplained illness

— New poll finds coronavirus pandemic has thrust many Americans into role of caring for an older or disabled loved one for first time.

— Cristiano Ronaldo latest high-profile soccer player infected with the coronavirus, Portuguese soccer federation says.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho health care experts say coronavirus is increasing as kids are returning to school — but most of the new infections aren’t happening in school buildings.

Instead, Dr. Joshua Kern with St. Luke’s hospitals in the Magic Valley says it’s likely because many people are treating the return to school like a return to normalcy and slacking off on good habits like social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing.

A tally from Johns Hopkins University shows Idaho currently ranks sixth in the country for new cases per capita, with a total of more than 48,660 confirmed cases of coronavirus statewide. So far more than 500 Idaho residents have died of COVID-19.

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DENVER — Colorado is experiencing another surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, prompting Gov. Jared Polis to plead Tuesday with residents to wear masks, stay home as much as possible, and maintain social distancing practices.

As of Tuesday, Colorado’s three-day average positivity rate — the percentage of total tests coming in positive — was 5.4%, and the state recorded 1,000 new cases both on Saturday and on Monday, the highest daily numbers recorded during the pandemic, Polis said.

About 290 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest total since May 31, The Denver Post reported.

During a briefing on the pandemic, Polis didn’t suggest he was contemplating renewed mandatory restrictions on business or other activities to stem the surge. But he insisted: “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”

The World Health Organization recommends

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Man yanks out two teeth with rusty pliers after he couldn’t book dentist appointment

A desperate man resorted to yanking two of his own teeth out after being unable to book a dentist appointment.

Chris Savage performed the self-dentistry in his bedroom because he could not register with a dentist or book an emergency appointment, saying it was the ‘most horrible thing I’ve ever done.’

The 42 year old said he had been in ‘agony’ for days, saying that just touching the tooth with his rusty pair of pliers set off waves of ‘agonising pain.’

The labourer admitted he had to get ‘very drunk’ by downing eight cans of Stella Artois to mask the pain before he pulled out the first tooth. He then waited another 24 hours to pull the second out – this time sober.

Chris said he was in ‘agony’ for days

Mr Savage, from Southsea in Portsmouth, said: “I ended up having to get very drunk the first time.

“Nobody wants to take part of their own face away with a set of pliers and no real painkillers.

“I put the pliers on my tooth and the second I did that it hurt.

“So I took them away, waited five minutes, built up again and then thought I’ve just got to do it.

Chris used a rusty set of pliers to take the teeth out

“It was a proper yank, a grip and pull – there’s no mucking about once you get to the point it’s started coming out.”

Mr Savage added that though there wasn’t much blood there was ‘enough to be scary’, and that it was ‘worth the risk of infection’.

The father of three didn’t register with an NHS dentist when he moved to Portsmouth from Alton, Hants, three years ago.

The teeth Chris pulled out himself

He lost his two front teeth in a bicycle crash last year, and when he began to experience pain recently he called around 20 dental practices, none of whom were taking on new patients.

He then phoned 111, who directed him to a practice that had volunteered to do triage appointments during the pandemic to help the NHS, but was referred back to 111 when he contacted them.

“It was like a massive game of pass the parcel”, he said.

Mr Savage signed up to receive Universal Credit during lockdown, leaving him with £50 a week for food and bills, meaning he was reluctant to spend the £100 per tooth it would have cost him to have them removed privately.

Chris lost his two front teeth in a bicycle crash last year

He said: “I could’ve waited a week – borrowed money, and had it done in hygienic conditions but there was no way I could’ve waited.

“Hygiene wasn’t going through my head, it was just ‘get this out’ – but the relief was worth it.

“The squelch noise as you pull

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Man who couldn’t see a dentist pulls out own teeth

  • Chris Savage, 42, pulled out two of his own teeth at home in Southsea last week
  • Labourer lost his income during lockdown and couldn’t get a dental appointment
  • Portsmouth South MP called Mr Savage’s case ‘another example of the sad consequences of the Government failing to provide service levels required’ 

A labourer who lost his income during lockdown pulled out two of his own teeth with pliers and downed eight cans of Stella Artois to numb the pain because he couldn’t get a dental appointment due to the coronavirus crisis.

Chris Savage, 42, resorted to yanking two of his own teeth out in his bedroom because he couldn’t register with a dentist or book an emergency appointment, calling last Thursday’s procedure ‘the most horrible thing I’ve ever done’.

He said he had been in ‘agony’ for days, and revealed that just touching the tooth with his rusty pair of pliers set off waves of ‘agonising pain’.

The labourer, from Southsea in Portsmouth, Hampshire, admitted to getting ‘very drunk’ beforehand by downing eight cans of Stella Artois to mask the pain before he pulled out the first tooth. He then waited a day before pulling out the second tooth.

His case has now been raised with the NHS by a health watchdog who said Mr Savage has been ‘severely let down’ by services in the city.

He said: ‘I ended up having to get very drunk the first time. Nobody wants to take part of their own face away with a set of pliers and no real painkillers.

‘I put the pliers on my tooth and the second I did that it hurt. So I took them away, waited five minutes, built up again and then thought I’ve just got to do it.

Chris Savage, 42, resorted to yanking two of his own teeth out in his bedroom because he couldn’t register with a dentist or book an emergency appointment
The labourer said he had been in ‘agony’ for days, and revealed that just touching the tooth with his rusty pair of pliers set off waves of ‘agonising pain’

‘It was a proper yank, a grip and pull — there’s no mucking about once you get to the point it’s started coming out.’

Mr Savage added that though there wasn’t much blood there was ‘enough to be scary’, and that it was ‘worth the risk of infection’.

The father-of-three didn’t register with an NHS dentist when he moved to Portsmouth from Alton three years ago. He lost his two front teeth in a bicycle crash last year, and when he began to experience pain recently he called around 20 dental practices, none of whom were taking on new patients.

He then phoned 111, who directed him to a practice that had volunteered to do triage appointments during the pandemic to help the NHS, but was referred back to 111 when he contacted them.

‘It was like a massive game of pass the parcel’, he said.

Mr Savage signed up to receive

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Healthineers launches rapid coronavirus antigen test, sees tight supply

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens Healthineers on Wednesday announced the launch of a rapid antigen test kit in Europe to detect coronavirus infections, but warned that the industry may struggle to meet a surge in demand.

The German group, whose rivals in diagnostics include Roche, Abbott and Becton Dickinson , said its test cassette did not require lab processing and would deliver results in 15 minutes, but that the required nasal swabs would have to be taken by healthcare professionals.

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which scan genetic code for the markers of a virus, are the gold standard for finding infections but are two to three times more expensive than antigen tests and require processing in a lab.

Antigen tests, which look for proteins found on the surface of the virus, cost about 4-5 euros ($5-$6) each, but miss a few percent of the infections that PCR tests would have caught.

Currently, slightly more than 1 million standard PCR tests are performed in Germany every week.

However, public health systems around the world are eager to provide quick diagnostic tools, and test more widely, to help locate hotspots of the pandemic.

Germany’s health ministry last week said it had secured 9 million antigen tests.

The regional state of Bavaria followed up this week with an order for 10 million antigen tests, saying it had options to purchase from Healthineers, Roche and Abbott. It did not give a timeframe for their use.

“The volumes that are being circulated globally are probably at the limits of what manufacturers can currently supply,” a Healthineers spokesman said.

“We are currently in talks with various governments over possible supply orders.”

The United States and Canada are also buying millions of tests, as is Italy, whose recent tender for 5 million tests attracted offers from 35 companies.

Healthineers is also planning to seek approval for a launch in the United States. ($1 = 0.8501 euros)

(Additional reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Breast cancer survivor urges women to get regular screenings and mammograms, thanks local non-profit ‘The Rose’

The first time Ediana Quijada found a lump in her breast, she was laughed off and told “it was happening because of her period and nothing to worry about.”

It was far from nothing. After a six-year battle with metastatic breast cancer, the cheerful Houston native is happy to share her story with other young women, advising regular breast exams, early detection having made a key difference in many cases.

In the fall of 2012, 29-year-old Ediana was finishing her construction management internship at the University of Houston.

The internship did not offer health insurance but UH hosts free mammography screenings in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. However, when she told the nurses about her lump, they assured her, with a cursory glance, that she was too young to worry about cancer. She was sent away without a mammogram.

Reassured and a little abashed about being paranoid, she busied herself with assignments as the stresses of the semester took over. The second of four siblings (two sisters, one little brother), Ediana said she had no reason to suspect the worst because there was no history of cancer in her family.

But the lump wouldn’t stay quiet.


“I started feeling that the little lump was getting bigger and bigger,” Ediana said. “I could measure it; it was an inch now. Or is it in my head? Then I would calculate, my period must be coming, that’s why the lump’s getting big … and my breast is turning pink.”

A visit with her mother’s doctor in December confirmed the devastating news — a large mass in her breast. Could be a tumor. Clearly, the cancer had made good use of the two-month delay.

“I didn’t have insurance, so my mother took me to a walk-in clinic,” Eidana said. “The doctor said, ‘oh my God, why didn’t you come before?’”

A few hours and one $100-ultrasound later, she was advised to do a biopsy.

“The biopsy cost over $2,000, I thought ‘I can’t do that right now,’ and he (the doctor) referred me to The Rose,” Ediana said.

That first encounter with The Rose marked the beginning of Ediana’s long, painful but ultimately successful battle with breast cancer. A Houston-based nonprofit group, The Rose provides breast cancer screenings and treatment regardless of patients’ ability to pay. They began Ediana’s treatment by conducting another ultrasound, this one costing only $10.

A little monster inside your breast.

Ediana was paired with a patient navigator who helped her through the system and set up her appointments.

“It turns out I was Stage 3, Type C, which is borderline Stage 4,” said Ediana. “Very aggressive and very bad. They said, ‘it looks like you have a little monster inside’.”

Given the tumor’s massive size, treatment had to begin immediately. When three painful rounds of chemo (each lasting around eight months), one round of radiation and one surgery failed to eliminate the cancer, her doctors put Ediana on an–at the time–experimental drug called T-DM1.

“This

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Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Chicago on Tuesday added neighboring Indiana to its emergency travel order that requires travelers returning to the city from there to stay inside for two weeks because of high COVID-19 case counts. The Hoosier state’s inclusion on Chicago’s self-quarantine list was expected.



a man standing in front of a pool: Shelley Gavin, 55, gets a free COVID-19 test provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood on Aug. 31, 2020.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Shelley Gavin, 55, gets a free COVID-19 test provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood on Aug. 31, 2020.

Starting Friday, people traveling into Chicago from Indiana, including Chicagoans who have traveled to Illinois’ eastern neighbor, to will be expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Violators can face a fine, though the city has taken few steps to enforce the rules and there are exceptions for essential workers.



a close up of a toy: A worker packages a COVID-19 test swab from a client at Prism Heath Lab, 2322 W. Peterson Ave., in Chicago, on Aug. 6, 2020.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A worker packages a COVID-19 test swab from a client at Prism Heath Lab, 2322 W. Peterson Ave., in Chicago, on Aug. 6, 2020.

The move came as Illinois health officials announced 2,851 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 additional deaths, pushing the state’s death toll past 9,000.



a person sitting in a car: Workers conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.


© Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Workers conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

It was the seventh day in a row with more than 2,600 cases. That brings the state total to 324,743 confirmed cases and 9,026 deaths. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 4.5% for the week ending Oct. 12.

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COVID-19 in Illinois by the numbers: Here’s a daily update on key metrics in your area

COVID-19 cases in Illinois by ZIP code: Search for your neighborhood

Chicago’s travel quarantine list: Here’s what you need to know to avoid a large fine

Illinois coronavirus graphs: The latest data on deaths, confirmed cases, tests and more

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

6:55 a.m.: Challenges to Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions back in court

After months of maneuvering, attorneys will be in court in Sangamon County Wednesday arguing over Gov. JB Pritzker’s powers to impose controls to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The hearing involves multiple cases filed by attorney Thomas DeVore on behalf of clients in six counties who contend that the coronavirus pandemic is not a public health emergency under the definition of Illinois law.



a person wearing a costume: Workers prepare for a drive-thru COVID-19 testing participant at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.


© Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Workers prepare for a drive-thru COVID-19 testing participant at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

Because of that, the lawsuits argue that Pritzker doesn’t have the authority impose restrictions like limit on businesses in order to control the spread of COVID-19.

The essentially identical lawsuits were originally filed in Edgar, Bond, Richland, Clinton, and Sangamon counties. In each case, plaintiffs want the court to declare a public health emergency does not exist and that Pritzker be barred from exercising powers under the Emergency Management Act in those counties.



a person sitting in a parking lot: A warning sign alerts passersby as vehicles are lined up at a COVID-19 testing site at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A warning

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Khloe Kardashian’s fitness schedule kept her ‘sane’

Khloe Kardashian’s fitness schedule kept her “sane” during lockdown.



Khloe Kardashian standing in front of a brick wall


© Bang Showbiz
Khloe Kardashian

The ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star admits there have been some “crazy times” in the world because of the coronavirus pandemic but she has turned to exercise to keep her going and keep her mental state positive too.

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Explaining about her fitness regime, she said: “I definitely think because of my fitness journey and already having such a regimented schedule when it comes to working out, it kind of kept me sane during these crazy times. I had to learn to adapt by doing mommy-daughter workouts. [True] is obviously not working out, but it’s things like me putting her in a wagon and sprinting up a hill. I belted a wagon to my waist because I don’t have any help. We’re all just trying to figure it out.”

And the 36-year-old reality television star wants to set a good example for her daughter True when it comes to her exercise regime and she hopes her daughter will be “active and take care of herself” like her mom.

Speaking to Refinery29, she added of her lifestyle: “I want to show my daughter, by example, that there are healthy ways to be active every day.

“You don’t have to be so rigid in the gym. I like to work out early, it just sets the tone for the rest of my day, it makes me want to eat better and be active and healthy. By her seeing me like this, I hope she’s active and takes care of herself.”

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