October 16, 2020

Friday Harrison County had 3 new Covid cases; Gregg had 16 and Smith 18. 

White House Outbreak Is Not a Failure of Testing
But rapid tests have an important limitation. They can accurately detect Covid-19 once a person has symptoms and is highly infectious, but unlike PCR tests, they are not sensitive enough to detect most infections earlier on, when a person has a relatively small amount of the virus, or does not have symptoms but could be infectious.

In short: Rapid tests produce a high rate of false negatives….“Testing will never stop somebody from getting the virus…To stop yourself from getting the virus, you need to not come in contact with the virus or you need to protect yourself through wearing a mask… Testing does not substitute for avoiding crowded indoor spaces, washing hands, or wearing a mask when you can’t physically distance,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the official at the Department of Health and Human Services who is in charge of the administration’s testing effort, said in a September 28 statement. “Further, a negative test today does not mean that you won’t be positive tomorrow.”

The COVID-19 Fall Surge Is Here. We Can Stop It.
(J. Harris: Excellent, readable Covid update covering the US and Europe. They are using a statistic to which I haven’t previously  paid any attention, “Deaths/million residents for individual countries.)

“…Our model predicts that moderately efficacious masks will lower exposure viral load 10-fold among people who get infected despite masking, potentially limiting infection severity. Because peak viral load tends to occur pre-symptomatically, we also identify that antiviral therapy targeting symptomatic individuals is unlikely to impact transmission risk. Instead, antiviral therapy would only lower Re if dosed as post-exposure prophylaxis and if given to ~50% of newly infected people within 3 days of an exposure. These results highlight the primacy of masking relative to other biomedical interventions under consideration for limiting the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic prior to widespread implementation of a vaccine.”
(J. Harris: Despite all of the deficiencies with masks like discomfort, poor fit, unsightliness, sissy wear, they are are our first, most accessible, most affordable, and most practical defense against Covid).


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