September 23, 2020

Recently in East Texas: Monday Harrison County reported 1 new case and 4 on Tuesday, while Gregg had 40 and 20 and Smith 60 and 15 on the same days.

Click here to enlarge the table

(J. Harris: notice that the green area above, which I consider the most important and which represents Covid Hospitilizations in Texas. It shows a great deal of stability at present, except in the Paris, Lufkin, Austin, and  Waco areas.)

From Johns Hopkins:

1. Measurement of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Wastewater Tracks Community Infection Dynamics(Nature Biotechnology) We measured severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA concentrations in primary sewage sludge in the New Haven, Connecticut, USA, metropolitan area during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Spring 2020. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected throughout the more than 10-week study and, when adjusted for time lags, tracked the rise and fall of cases seen in SARS-CoV-2 clinical test results and local COVID-19 hospital admissions. Relative to these indicators, SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in sludge were 0–2 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by date of specimen collection, 0–2 d ahead of the percentage of positive tests by date of specimen collection, 1–4 d ahead of local hospital admissions and 6–8 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by reporting date. Our data show the utility of viral RNA monitoring in municipal wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 infection surveillance at a population-wide level. In communities facing a delay between specimen collection and the reporting of test results, immediate wastewater results can provide considerable advance notice of infection dynamics.

2. EYEGLASSES Researchers from China published findings from study investigating whether the use of eyeglasses provides protection against SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The study, published in JAMA: Ophthalmology, included a cohort of 276 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Hubei Province in January-March. Among these patients, 5.8% routinely wore eyeglasses—defined as more than 8 hours per day—compared to an estimated 31.5% among the general public. The researchers hypothesize that wearing glasses could reduce the amount that people touch their eyes, which could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. While protective eyewear is recommended for healthcare professionals, peer-reviewed evidence is limited regarding any potential protective effect for the general public. Further research is necessary to better characterize any effect of eyeglasses on mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk outside the context of the healthcare setting.

3. SARS-CoV-2–Associated Deaths Among Persons Aged <21 Years — United States, February 12–July 31, 2020 Among 121 SARS-CoV-2–associated deaths among persons aged <21 years reported to CDC by July 31, 2020, 12 (10%) were infants and 85 (70%) were aged 10–20 years. Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native persons accounted for 94 (78%) of these deaths; 33% of deaths occurred outside of a hospital. Persons aged <21 years exposed to SARS-CoV-2 should be monitored for complications. Ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2–associated infection, hospitalization, and death among persons aged <21 years should be continued as schools reopen in the United States. (CDC MMWR, 9/18/2020)

Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making
(J. Harris: A guide for school to use with COVID.)

The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix
(J. Harris: Small world. A local Norwegian housekeeper’s father built the 3M Plant mentioned in South Dakota  in this story — over 40 years ago.)

Apple is designing a new automatic car. But they’re having trouble installing Windows!

How did the picture end up in jail? It was framed!

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