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The Golden State is Now Monitoring 8,400 Potential Coronavirus Cases

Things are getting a little hairy over on the West Coast.

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A novel strain of coronavirus that is wreaking havoc in China and much of Asia has arrived here in the United States, and authorities are doing their damnedest to stay ahead of it.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been few and far between so far in the United States, but the CDC is warning that the disease will inevitably find enough of a foothold to “spread” stateside.  In Hawaii and elsewhere, this fear has turned to slight panic as store shelves begin to look bare.

In California, an alarming new number has entered the lexicon of the coronavirus:  8,400.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and the state is currently monitoring at least 8,400 others —a day after U.S. health officials confirmed the first possible community transmission of the coronavirus in a Solano County resident.

Trending: Biden Believes Virus Relief Checks Are Being Held Up Because Trump Wants To Physically Sign Them

“This is a fluid situation right now and I want to emphaize the risk to the American public remains low,” said Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer during a press conference. “There have been a limited number of confirmed cases to date.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t know exactly how the new California patient, who’s receiving medical care in Sacramento County, contracted the virus. The patient didn’t have a relevant travel history or exposure to another patient with the virus, the CDC said Wednesday.

Because of this patient’s obliviousness, (and the virus’s fourteen day incubation period), there are concerns that the illness could be running rampant within the patient’s community.

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Healthcare

Alabama And Massachusetts Are Giving Police The Addresses Of People Diagnosed With Coronavirus

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Alabama and Massachusetts health officials are sharing with law enforcement the addresses of people diagnosed with coronavirus in a bid to contain the virus.

“It’s only on an as-known, as-needed basis,” Leah Missildine, executive director of Alabama’s 911 Board, told VICE News in a story published yesterday. “The impetus behind this is to protect first responders because 9-1-1 receives the information and coordinates the response of first responders.”

DM:

The states of Alabama and Massachusetts are now giving the details of people who are known to have been diagnosed with coronavirus to the police.

Alabama has been providing the addresses but not names to law enforcement and other emergency responders for more than a week.

The information is supposed to be given to officers when they go out on calls.

‘It’s only on an as-known, as-needed basis,’ said Leah Missildine, executive director of Alabama’s 911 Board to Vice.

‘The impetus behind this is to protect first responders because 911 receives the information and coordinates the response of first responders. That was deemed the most efficient way to share this information.’

‘The Alabama Department of Public Health was requested to provide addresses of patients home quarantined for COVID 19 to the Alabama 9-1-1 Board for the protection of first responders,’ said Arrol Sheehan, director of public information at the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The state of Alabama could also release information to third parties including doctors or anyone else who could be deemed to be exposed.

he state say the rule came into force to help protect first responders, in particular.

Sheehan quoted the part of Alabama law that authorizes such disclosures: ‘Physicians or the State Health Officer or his designee may notify a third party of the presence of a contagious disease in an individual where there is a foreseeable, real or probable risk of transmission of the disease.’ More

Does this violate our HIPAA laws? So now they’re trampling on people’s privacy rights. This is a very wrong step down a very slippery slope. Plus this might keep some folks from getting tested.

Shouldn’t they just assume all people are potential carriers of the coronavirus and protect themselves?

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Healthcare

White House Issues New Social Distancing Rules as Virus Crisis Set to Peak

If we all play along, we should be able to get the nation back up and running within a month or two.

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This is a war, folks, and we have all a role to play.

As a novel and dangerous strain of coronavirus continues to race around the globe, the world is mobilizing in ways that we haven’t seen since perhaps World War II.  Everyone has a job, a duty in these trying times, and for a vast majority of us our task is social distancing.

While the idea seems simple, (stay away from one another until we starve this illness of hosts), it seems as though a great many Americans are having trouble with the concept.  This has been particularly true of young Americans, whose feelings of invincibility have spawned numerous outbreaks after they cavorted around in South Florida for spring break and caravanned home with coronavirus.

The White House has recognized the value in social distancing, and is now issuing further guidance on the topic – including a new date until which we must strive to keep the practice alive.

President Donald Trump said Sunday he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, an abrupt back-down from his push to reopen the country as coronavirus continues to spread.

The 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on Monday, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, at least in some parts of the country. He even floated Easter, on April 12, as a potential date by which the country could return to normal.

But on Sunday he said he’d decided to extend the guidelines — which include suggested limits on large gatherings — to April 30, a sign his earlier predictions were overly rosy.

“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” the President said Sunday at a White House news conference. He said he would be finalizing a new plan and strategy early this week and announcing the details on Tuesday.

With any luck, and with a concerted effort on the part of all Americans, we hit this target and bring the nation roaring back to life…perhaps before Memorial Day.

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Healthcare

Massive Naval Hospital Ship Arrives in The Big Apple, and Not a Minute Too Soon

The US Navy has come to the rescue once again.

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New York City is one of, if not the most iconic cities in the entire world.  It’s the hub of American business and a driver of US fashion and art.  Despite what some may think of the politics of The Big Apple, there is no denying that the Five Boroughs are an American gem, thanks to the intensely dense population and melting pot of cultures contained within.

But it is for very reason that New York City has become a coronavirus hotspot, as close contact is hard to avoid in the city that never sleeps.

That’s why, when New Yorkers asked America for help, America brought it in a big way.

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a massive Navy hospital ship to help relieve city hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

The 1,000-bed floating hospital docked Monday at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side, and is set to begin treating patients Tuesday.

“Our nation has heard our plea for help here in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said as he greeted the ship at Pier 90. “There could not be a better example of all of America pulling for New York City than the arrival of the USNS Comfort.”

The ship, emblazoned with red crosses on its white hull, will not treat coronavirus patients, but will take on other patients including trauma cases, freeing up beds at local hospitals focused on combating the pandemic. It will have 750 beds ready to treat patients immediately.

The well-equipped ship allowed authorities to breathe a brief sigh of relief.

The Comfort is staffed by 1,200 medical personnel and equipped with operating rooms, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing plants and a helicopter deck.

“We needed this boost. We needed this hope,” de Blasio said, calling it a “beacon of hope” to see the ship entering city waters and “coming here to save the lives of New Yorkers in our hour of need.”

The news will certainly be well regarded among the city’s medical staff, who have been working themselves to exhaustion in an effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

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Healthcare

NY Governor Cuomo No Longer Satisfied with CDC Coronavirus Guidelines

Is New York’s situation really that unique?

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New York City has quickly become one of, if not the most infected city in the world in terms of COVID-19 cases, and that has put local authorities in a very peculiar situation.

The population density of The Big Apple, along with the city’s notorious hustle and bustle, have combined to make the highly contagious coronavirus an omnipresent nightmare for those on the ground.  Hospitals are growing ever more crowded, and healthcare heroes are exhausting themselves…and we haven’t likely seen the worst of it yet.

For those on the ground, the experience appears to be harrowing, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has even suggested that CDC’s guidelines could be abandoned in favor of a New York-specific set of recommendations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that his state is considering bucking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) in crisis situations that he said is worrying some health care professionals.

The comments during a Saturday press conference came after the governor went out of his way Friday to emphasize his state’s need for tens of thousands of ventilators after President Trump questioned the number that New York would need to deal with its coronavirus patients.

Then came the question of the CDC guidance.

“There is a concern among health care professionals because the CDC guidelines suggest a different protocol for PPE and masks depending on the condition,” Cuomo said. “And apparently there is a crisis set of guidelines that the CDC puts out for … how often you change your gown, how often you change your mask, etc. in a crisis. And the CDC has put those crisis guidelines in place and many health care professionals are concerned that those guidelines do not adequately protect the nurses and the doctors and the health care staff that are working on this issue.”

Cuomo continued: “[Commissioner of Health] Dr. [Howard] Zucker is looking at that. If we believe the CDC guidelines do not protect health care professionals, we will put our own guidelines in place.”

Cuomo and President Trump have repeatedly butted heads on the subject of the coronavirus, and the tension has even led some Democrats to openly call for Cuomo to usurp Joe Biden as the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

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Healthcare

Florida Governor Installs Road Blocks to Keep Louisianans in Louisiana

WOW.

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As social distancing measures continue to be mocked online, particularly by the younger generations, state and local authorities are being forced to draw a hard line in the sand.

You see, the only way to expedite the course that this virus will take is by disallowing the illness access to human hosts.  That means staying away from everyone, because you don’t need to be showing symptoms to be contagious.

For folks in hot spots like New York City and New Orleans, this is especially important.  That’s why the Governor of Florida is telling Louisianans to visit the Sunshine State some other time.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is requiring travelers from Louisiana to self-isolate for 14 days and said the Florida Highway Patrol will install checkpoints on major roads to screen travelers from that area, he announced on Friday.

DeSantis is imposing restrictions on travelers fleeing to Florida from Louisiana — particularly New Orleans, which is emerging as one of the hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak.

“New Orleans is having a lot of problems — they may not be quite as widespread as New York City. There was a concern from the Panhandle that this could impact them,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Friday.

“They are working hard to keep their rates low and we don’t want to add any problems to them,” he added.

The Florida Highway Patrol will install checkpoints on the major roads along the Alabama-Florida state line and screen drivers from Louisiana, with the exception of those driving commercial vehicles.

“There’ll probably be a diversion for folks with certain license plates,” DeSantis said.

Those who are allowed to enter Florida will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.

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Healthcare

Trump Considering Northeastern Quarantine as Virus Wreaks Havoc in New England

Of particular concern are New Yorkers fleeing The Big Apple who may be unwittingly carrying the disease.

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America may very well be two weeks away from the peak of its coronavirus vulnerability, and some of the nation’s hardest hit cities are now under the magnifying glass.

The only weapon we have in this war, thus far, is distance.  We can only starve COVID-19 right now, as there is no accepted evidence of a miracle cure or vaccine that we could utilize to hit the virus head-on.

That’s why, as case numbers explode in the northeast, the Trump administration is contemplating some mighty maneuvers.

President Trump on Saturday said he is considering imposing an enforceable quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and parts of Connecticut as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot — New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined,” he said outside the White House.

“I’m thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine — short term, two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut.”

He said that if such a move happened, it would be primarily a restriction on residents of those states traveling to other parts of the country.

Fears of fleeing New Yorkers unwittingly carrying the virus to other locales has already been a subject of concern in Rhode Island, here police are working to enforce a mandated 14 day quarantine on such travelers.

 

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Healthcare

ACLU Responds to Rhode Island’s Quarantining of Fleeing New Yorkers

The Big Apple’s mass exodus isn’t sitting well with everyone.

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In the global fight to curb coronavirus, New York City has quickly and predictably become an epicenter.

This wasn’t unexpected, of course.  The Big Apple is one of the most densely-populated locales on planet earth, often appearing more akin to an ant farm than a major metropolitan city.  These close quarters are all that COVID-19 needs to feed, and this novel strain of the coronavirus is being as gluttonous as it wishes.

This has led to a number of municipalities growing leery of traveling New Yorkers who, while attempting to escape the illness, could be unwittingly aiding in its spread.

Now, the ACLU is growing concerned that this is unconstitutional behavior that they should be consulted about.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is questioning the constitutionality of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s directive allowing state police to stop vehicles with New York license plates to collect information from drivers and passengers in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Democratic governor on Thursday called the measure extreme but pointed out that the New York City area is the epicenter of the disease in the U.S.

While Raimondo has the authority to suspend some state laws and regulations to address a medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution, ACLU of Rhode Island Executive Director Steven Brown said in a statement late Thursday.

“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,” he said.

Some in Rhode Island believe that the ACLU’s involvement is wholly unnecessary, as the intent of the directive was to merely enforce an already-standing mandate that New Yorkers be quarantined for 14 days.

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