August 4, 2020





(J. Harris: It appears to me that N.E. Texas including Dallas/Ft. Worth has perhaps plateaued. Perhaps we’ll continue to improve and then see what school openings and Labor Day bring. Masks and Spacing Out and caution seems to be working).

Concerns about Waning COVID-19 Immunity Are Likely Overblown
(J. Harris: A readable article with a brief review of immunity and speculations aboutlasting immunity possible with the anticipated new vaccines).

TEXAS TRIBUNE COVID COUNTS IN COUNTIES: “On March 4, DSHS reported Texas’ first positive case of the coronavirus, in Fort Bend County. The patient had recently traveled abroad. A month later on April 4, there were 6,110 cases in 151 counties. As of Aug. 3, there are 442,014 cases in 250 counties. The Tribune is measuring both the number of cases in each county and the rate of cases per 1,000 residents.”

click here to enlarge the chart

FROM JOHNS HOPKINS”1. SPAIN Spain was among the most severely affected countries early in the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching its first peak of nearly 8,000 new cases per day in early April. Following highly restrictive “lockdown” measures, implemented in conjunction with other EU countries, Spain brought its epidemic under control. By mid-June, Spain’s daily incidence had fallen to fewer than 350 new cases per day. As the EU began to ease social distancing and travel restrictions, COVID-19 began to rebound, prompting fears of a “second wave” across the continent. After several weeks of steadily increasing daily incidence, Spain now leads Europe* with 2,300 new cases per day.*Not including Russia….Much like the US, Spain’s COVID-19 resurgence includes an increasing proportion of cases among younger individuals. Notably, the average of COVID-19 cases in Spain “has fallen from 63 [years old] in the spring to 45 now,” which has fortunately placed less stress on the health system. Some of the increased incidence can be attributed to improved testing capacity, but the trend remains concerning. Spain’s test positivity is down from more than 20% in April to less than 5% now, but it has been increasing slowly since early June, an indication that the increased testing is not fully accounting for the increased incidence.

Thousands of Texans are getting rapid-result COVID tests. The state isn’t counting them.Good readable article about the acute tests. 

FROM THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE:Houston law enforcement officials will begin issuing fines and citations to people who do not comply with the state’s mask order, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday. The mandate from Gov. Greg Abbott requires nearly all Texans to wear face coverings in public and has been in effect since early July. Turner’s announcement comes as Houston experiences a slight dip in its COVID-19 hospitalization levels, despite a sustained number of daily new cases. The mayor said police would continue to issue warnings at first, before fining people $250 on a second offense. “For months, we have been focusing on education and not citations, but now I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue the necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption,” Turner said. The mayor in April instructed police not to issue fines or citations for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s mask order, winning favor among some of Hidalgo’s critics. Before Monday, he had told police to largely issue warnings when enforcing the governor’s order. This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Medical board takes warning shot at Stella Immanuel, others for touting COVID cure

In an apparent warning shot at Dr. Stella Immanuel, the Texas agency that regulates the practice of medicine has advised physicians it can take action against those who promise a cure for COVID-19.

The Texas Medical Board issued a statement about such claims Friday, just a few days after Immanuel, a Houston pastor-doctor, very publicly touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the disease. Numerous studies have found the drug does not show any benefit against COVID-19 and the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned about its use because of reports linking it with heart problems and other injuries and disorders….“A physician must provide full disclosure of treatment options, side effects, obtain informed consent, and there cannot be false, misleading or deceptive advertising or statements made regarding any therapies, including a cure for COVID-19,” says the medical board’s statement…. The statement said if the board were to receive a complaint for false, misleading or deceptive advertising, it would be reviewed following its standard enforcement process. It did not say the complaint had to involve harm to a patient. *–Sent by former Congressman Dick Kelly, South Dakota, Via USA Today, from Kaiser Health News)Life will change for seniors once a vaccine is found

How does a penguin build its house? Igloos it together 

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