Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

October 20, 2020 -- Today’s tally is the third highest global report of new cases, with the larger two announced in the last six days. As India’s daily counts have slowly decreased below US numbers, there is a chance India may not overtake the US as the most infected country after all. In the last week, India has confirmed 412,076 new cases while the US has counted 429,149 new COVID-19 infections. There is mention of a third wave in the US, although it could be argued we never completed the first or second, as our nation’s numbers never came down to the target baseline established by the coronavirus task force last spring. As both India and Brazil are showing a gradual slow down in their spread, the US and Russia’s contagions are steadily growing and, today, peaked in Russia. Great Britain, Iran and Czechia also peaked, Argentina passed the symbolic 1 million mark, while a large number of other countries released near peak or stubbornly high reports: Spain, France, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Nepal, Morocco, Switzerland, Austria, Georgia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Jordan. The following middle eastern countries appear to be oblivious to the accelerating global spread: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, and Egypt have been releasing encouragingly low numbers for over two months, down to three digit daily counts, with national curves aiming to resemble South Korea’s or New Zealand’s.

COVID-19 in the world today:

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 41,028,326 (+393,570)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 1,129,454 (+6,543)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 2.75%
  • COVID-19 Global testing*: 749,268,067 confirmed tests (+4,417,797)
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 5.48%
  • COVID-19 Global single-day positivity rate: 8.63%

*:incomplete data set.
Tip: click on any of the graphs for larger and clearer images and click on READ MORE to view the complete articles. Also, please forgive the occasional typos.
Russia COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 4
  • 1,431,635 cases (+16.319) peak
  • 24,635 deaths (+269)
  • 54,675,096 tests (+374,888)
  • positivity rate 2.63%
Great Britain COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 11
  • 762,542 cases (+21,330) peak
  • 43,967 deaths (+241)
  • 30,187,915 tests (+265,780)
  • positivity rate 2.57%
Czechia COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 29
  • 193,946 cases (+11,984) peak
  • 1600 deaths (+87)
  • 1,844,788 tests (+30,786)
  • positivity rate 10.51%
Iran COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 13
  • 539,670 cases (+5,.39) peak
  • 31,034 deaths (+322)
  • 4,570,243 tests (+29,788)
  • positivity rate 11.81%
A third surge of coronavirus infections has now firmly taken hold across much of the United States. | nytimes.com
In Ohio, more people are hospitalized with the coronavirus than at any other time during the pandemic. North Dakota, which is leading the nation in coronavirus cases per capita, reported more than 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the state’s worst daily total yet. And as of Monday, 16 states had added more cases in the prior week than in any other seven-day stretch.

After weeks of spread and warnings in certain areas, a third surge of coronavirus infections has now firmly taken hold across much of the United States.

The latest wave — which is raging most acutely in the Midwest and the West, but is also spreading in various areas around the country — threatens to be the worst of the pandemic yet.

Its arrival comes as cooler weather is forcing people indoors, setting up a grueling winter that will test the discipline of many Americans who have grown weary of wearing masks and turning down invitations to see family and friends. Over the last week, the country has averaged about 59,000 new cases a day, the most since the beginning of August. The daily total could soon surpass 75,687, a record previously set on July 16.

The high case count — which has so far not translated to soaring deaths — in part reflects increased testing. With about one million people tested on many days, the country is getting a far more accurate picture of how widely the virus has spread than it did in the spring.

But the latest developments also reflect a serious new level of the outbreak. Hospitalizations, the most accurate picture of how many people are seriously sick from the virus, are on the rise nationwide, worrying many public health officials. A rise in deaths tends to lag behind a spike in cases. And deaths are creeping up in places: Officials in Wisconsin reported 36 on Tuesday, a single-day record.

Deaths among hospitalized patients have also dropped, to 7.6 percent from 25.6 percent in the spring, according to one study. That may be because doctors have better treatments at hand, and the patients are younger and in better health on average than those in the first wave.

Still, Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, recently offered an ominous warning: With infections rising and compliance eroding, he said, “the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”

Scientists mobilize against herd immunity approach

An international group of scientists has written a response to a push for a "herd immunity" approach to managing the pandemic, which would involve letting the virus spread.

The WHO last week denounced the herd approach—a term used for vaccines—as "scientifically and ethically problematic," because it could greatly boost deaths and expose more people to a virus that may have long-term health consequences. However, a document, known as the Great Barrington declaration, with a list of supporters of the approach was reportedly embraced by the White House.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has denounced the document, and pushback gained more steam today with the publication in The Lancet of the John Snow Memorandum, which includes scientific references and has now been signed by more than 2,000 scientists, researchers, and health professionals.
In the US
Wisconsin COVID-19 data

  • national rank: 13
  • 178,482 cases (+4,591) peak
  • 1,612 deaths (+12)
  • 1,891,365 tests (+13,661)
  • positivity rate 9.44%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 33.61%

North Dakota COVID-19 data

  • national rank: 40
  • 33,666 cases (+1,029) peak
  • 412 deaths (+4)
  • 274,572 tests (+1,835)
  • positivity rate 12.26%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 56.08%
Amid pandemic, U.S. has seen 300,000 ‘excess deaths,’ with highest rates among people of color | statnews.com
When there’s a public health crisis or disaster like the coronavirus pandemic, experts know that the official death tally is going to be an undercount by some extent. Some people who die might never have been tested for the disease, for example, and if people die at home without receiving medical care, they might not make it into the confirmed data.

To address that, researchers often look to what are called excess deaths — the number of deaths overall during a particular period of time compared to how many people die during the stretch in a normal year.

Now, in the most updated count to date, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that nearly 300,000 more people in the United States died from late January to early October this year compared the average number of people who died in recent years. Just two-thirds of those deaths were counted as Covid-19 fatalities, highlighting how the official U.S. death count — now standing at about 220,000 — is not fully inclusive.

To be exact, the researchers reported that 299,028 more people died from Jan. 26 to Oct. 3 this year than on average during the same stretch from 2015 to 2019. Excess deaths also occurred at higher rates among Latinx, Asian, American Indian, and Black people than among white people, mirroring the disparities in official U.S. Covid-19 death counts.

Most likely, the excess deaths account for some otherwise untallied Covid-19 deaths — those who may have died without being tested or who died at home and whose deaths were not counted as caused by the coronavirus. But the 300,000 number probably also includes people who died because they were scared to seek out medical care because of the pandemic or had their care interrupted, and because of other causes. One limitation of the study, the researchers noted, was that the U.S. population is growing and getting older, so more deaths might have occurred in 2020 versus recent years without a pandemic, making a direct comparison harder.

COVID-19 in the USA

  • Cases: 8,519,641 (+60,763)
  • Deaths: 226,137 (+905)
  • Death rate: 2.65%
  • Testing: 127,907,729 individual tests (+850,622)
  • Positivity rate: 6.66%
  • Single-day positivity date: 7.14%
US top 5 infected states:

  1. California: 884,602 COVID-19 cases, 17,027 deaths
  2. Texas: 833,557 COVID-19 cases, 17,087 deaths
  3. Florida: 760,389 COVID-19 cases, 16,110 deaths
  4. New York: 522,513 COVID-19 cases, 33,507 deaths
  5. Illinois: 354,462 COVID-19 cases, 9.537 deaths
In California
COVID-19: California to independently review vaccine trials | krcrtv.com
California has created a task force to independently approve any COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government.

Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement Monday during an update on the state's pandemic response.

This means that California will not distribute a vaccine until the green light has been given by its own experts.

“These are top health experts that will independently review any FDA approved vaccines," Governor Newsom said. "The question I often get is ‘are you going to take someone’s word for it?' Of course, we don’t take anyone’s 'word for it'. We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts."

Experts in epidemiology, infectious diseases and biostatistics will be on the task force, Newsom said.

Once a vaccine is approved, it will take a while before it's widely available, the governor added.

  • COVID-19 California cases: 884,602 (+3,731)
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 17,028 (+27)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.92%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 17,189,070 individual tests (+146,662)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 5.17%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 2.54%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

10/20/2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 34 cases from the public bringing the total number of reported cases to 4,920. 
Of the 4,920:
  • 325 active case (including 4 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County) 
  • 4,522 recovered (25 released from isolation) 
  • 73 deceased 
Madera County is averaging 14 new cases per 100,000 residents, with 202 new cases revealed over the last 14 days. We need to get down to an average of 11 cases per day or 154 cases over 14 days to switch from purple to red.

Today, the seven local counties together confirmed 324 new infections and 8 new coronavirus deaths. In the combined 7 counties, COVID-19 has infected 103,599 and has killed 1,433 residents of our region since it claimed its first central valley victim, in Madera, on March 26, 2020. Our friends and neighbors are needlessly dying, many families are suffering. Science and the courage to follow its logic will solve this pandemic, any other discourse is inadequate.
COVID-19 in Madera + 6 local counties (+% is the positivity rate)

  • Mariposa: 78 cases, 2 deaths, 6,633 tests, 1.18+%
  • Merced: 9,386 cases (+11), 153 deaths (+1), 60,209 tests, 15.59+%
  • Madera: 4,920 cases (+34), 73 deaths, 67,535 tests, 7.29+%
  • Fresno: 30,194 cases (+114), 430 deaths (+1), 333,490 tests, 9.05+%
  • Tulare: 17,137 cases (+48), 279 deaths (+3), est. 144,308 tests, 12.00+%
  • Kings: 8,153 cases (+14), 83 deaths, 101,930 tests, 8.00+%
  • Kern: 33,551 cases (+54), 413 deaths (+3), 210,765 tests, 16.00+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 103,599 (+324)
  • 7 counties deaths: 1,433 (+8)
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.38%
  • 7 Counties tests: 923,751 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 11.22%
Keep observing the simple yet proven safety habits of physical-distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent hand-washing, that will help drive down new infections and new deaths numbers, to a level low enough so as to give us a chance to reopen our schools for onsite education and thus, reopen our economy. Nothing else will work until we have a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
From our hearts to yours,

Fredo and Renee Martin
Workingarts Marketing, inc.

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