Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

October 27, 2020 -- France released stunning numbers of new daily cases two days ago, becoming the fourth country to pass the 50,000 single-day mark. Ranked 17th globally only two months ago, the country now ranks fifth behind Russia. Tomorrow, at noon (PDT), French president Emanuel Macron will address his nation and announce that the country will go into a second lockdown at midnight local time, for a month, to flatten its unbridled epidemiological curve. The details of the lockdown are still being worked out as I write this report: the country’s battered economy could be mortally crippled with no economic activity. Already in discussion is the closing of all universities, high schools, and middle schools for in-person learning. However, there is a chance that elementary schools will stay open to allow young parents and essential employees to keep going to work. The lockdown will be enforced with fines for offenders, and the country’s deserted streets and roads will allow for the swift movement of emergency vehicles, of which the heavy use is but a certainty. In Paris alone, 800 of the 1,700 available ICU beds were already in use on Friday. This evening, 1,200 patients are using them, a 50% hike in just 4 days. Government scientists warn of 100,000+ daily confirmations of new covid-19 cases within two weeks, and the spread is confirmed as a nationwide problem; this means that health workers are now fully engaged locally and cannot make themselves available for transfer to any other areas of the country. Czechia had managed to only feel a ripple of a first wave, as neighboring countries were battered last spring, by immediately imposing a wide use of masks, implementing strict distancing rules, and investing in aggressive testing protocols. Unfortunately, the population relaxed its vigilance at the end of summer, infections started to rise in September and exploded in October. Today the Czech Republic broke record numbers of new daily cases and of new daily covid-19 deaths.  

COVID-19 in the world today:

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 44,235,091 (+461,090)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 1,171,274 (+6,798)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 2.65%
  • COVID-19 Global testing*: 792,489,377 confirmed tests (+5,414,007)
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 5.58%
  • COVID-19 Global single-day positivity rate: 8.48%

*: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: 5
  • 1,198,695 cases (+33.417)
  • 35,541 deaths (+523)
  • 15,271,734 tests (+391,694)
  • positivity rate 8.06%
Italy COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 14
  • 564,778 cases (+21,994) peak
  • 37,700 deaths (+221)
  • 14,953,086 tests (+137,204)
  • positivity rate 3.78%
Czechia COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 28
  • 284,033 cases (+15,663) peak
  • 2,547 deaths (+182) peak
  • 2,118,316 tests (+35,478)
  • positivity rate 13.41%
Poland COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 29
  • 280,229 cases (+16,300) peak
  • 4,615 deaths (+132)
  • 4,447,071 tests (+66,062)
  • positivity rate 6.30%
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Studies Showing Waning Coronavirus Antibodies | nytimes.com
Experts say it’s normal for levels of antibodies to drop after clearing an infection, and that they represent just one arm of the immune response against a virus.

The portion of people in Britain with detectable antibodies to the coronavirus fell by roughly 27 percent over a period of three months this summer, researchers reported Monday, prompting fears that immunity to the virus is short-lived.

But several experts said these worries were overblown. It is normal for levels of antibodies to drop after the body clears an infection, but immune cells carry a memory of the virus and can churn out fresh antibodies when needed.

“Some of these headlines are silly,” said Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Declining antibody levels after the acute infection has resolved “is the sign of a normal healthy immune response,” Dr. Hensley said. “It doesn’t mean that those people no longer have antibodies. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have protection.”

The research also raised some fears about the ability of vaccines to help populations reach herd immunity, the point at which enough people would be immune to the coronavirus to thwart its spread.

It’s too early to know how long immunity to the new coronavirus lasts, and whether people can be re-infected many months to a year after a first bout with the virus. Still, experts said worries about vaccines, too, are unwarranted.

“The vaccine doesn’t have to mimic or mirror the natural infection,” said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. “Certainly I wouldn’t be alarmist about these data.”

The new results indicate the prevalence of coronavirus antibodies in the broader population but not in specific individuals. Several studies looking at antibody levels in individuals have shown that after some initial decline, the levels hold steady for at least four to seven months.

The British report is based on three rounds of antibody blood tests carried out in 350,000 randomly selected people from June 20 to Sept. 28. The participants tested themselves at home for antibodies using finger-prick assays that deliver a yes-or-no result, much like a pregnancy test.

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
Although it is ranked 11th nationally, today's daily count of new cases in Wisconsin was the second highest after Texas. Also noteworthy, the death rate is growing at the Veterans Affairs, with a death rate of 5.27%, which is more than twice the national rate currently reported at 2.57%. As indicated on the map above, the mid west and northern states are reaching saturation and are reporting rapid increases of ICU needs, fearing possible saturation within the next two weeks. The logistical issues are similar to those of Europe's: the widespread demands can only be addressed locally because no one is available to come to the rescue from any of the other already overwhelmed locations.
Wisconsin COVID-19 data

  • national rank: 11
  • 203,311 cases (+5,262) peak
  • 1,852 deaths (+64) peak
  • 1,995,469 tests (+16,528)
  • positivity rate 10.34%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 31.84%
Veterans Affairs COVID-19 data

  • national rank: n/a
  • 73,119 cases (+482)
  • 3 901 deaths (+71)
  • 845,889 tests
  • positivity rate 8.58%
  • death rate: 5.27%
U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass Summer Peak And Are Climbing Higher Fast | npr.org
Coronavirus cases are rising precipitously in the U.S., and have now surpassed the high levels logged in the summer when daily new cases hovered above 65,000 on average for nearly two weeks.

After a dip in new cases in September, the country now is logging an average of nearly 70,000 new cases a day, and health experts worry this surge could last longer and grip more of the country than in the spring or summer. And the average daily case count has climbed 41% over the past two weeks, according to an NPR analysis.

"The trend line looks quite vertical," says Dr. Jessica Justman, an associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "It looks like this third surge is on track to be higher than the one in late July."

On Friday, the U.S. recorded the most new cases in a single day — more than 83,000, followed by almost as many on Saturday. While new cases were a bit lower Sunday and Monday, the trend line — the seven-day rolling average — is clearly rising.

"It's a lot of states that have very brisk rises in their cases," says Justman.

The number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 is also climbing in most states. Nearly 43,000 people are currently hospitalized, two-thirds of what was recorded during the summer peak, and is the highest since Aug. 19, according to data gathered by the COVID Tracking Project.

The sharp jump in cases has hospitals on edge.

"We may see a surge like we have not seen yet, and that is very troubling," says Dr. Bruce Siegel, president of America's Essential Hospitals, which represents more than 300 safety-net hospitals.

COVID-19 in the USA

  • Cases: 9,034,682 (+71,724)
  • Deaths: 232,025 (+980)
  • Death rate: 2.57%
  • Testing: 135,377,264 individual tests (+901,172)
  • Positivity rate: 6.67%
  • Single-day positivity date: 7.96%
US top 5 infected states:

  1. Texas: 927,518 COVID-19 cases, 18,192 deaths
  2. California: 916,713 COVID-19 cases, 17,475 deaths
  3. Florida: 786,311 COVID-19 cases, 16,510 deaths
  4. New York: 535,094 COVID-19 cases, 33,600 deaths
  5. Illinois: 387,698 COVID-19 cases, 9,838 deaths
In California
Southern California counties see surge in new coronavirus cases | latimes.com
Top state and local health officials continued Tuesday to voice growing alarm over recent increases in the number of people becoming infected by the novel coronavirus.

In four Southern California counties — Imperial, San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles — the average numbers of new daily infections per 100,000 residents over the past week rank among the top five statewide, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker.

Compared to the prior week, new cases in Los Angeles County jumped from an average of 63.4 for every 100,000 residents to 111.3. The average case rate climbed from 77.5 to 140.3 in San Bernardino and from 94.4 to 111.5 in Riverside, while in Imperial new cases soared from an average of 141.5 per 100,000 residents to 225.8.

“We are seeing increased disease in the community,” Riverside County Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. “This is consistent with what other areas of the country are seeing, and we are fortunate that we’re not seeing it to the level that many others are.”

In L.A. County, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that the raw count of new cases has increased from an average of about 940 infections each day in early October to almost 1,200 as of last week.

The rise is “a cause for concern,” she said Monday, and came about because “of decisions we collectively made two to three weeks ago, and the action we’re taking today will influence whether we continue our recovery journey, we stall, or we step backward.”

The increases in Southern California were contributing to an overall rise statewide. According to the most recent available state data, the latest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in California is 4,303 — notably higher than the 14-day average of 3,699.

  • COVID-19 California cases: 916,713 (+4,890)
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 17,475 (+75)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.91%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 18,127,049 individual tests (+144,220)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 5.06%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 3.39%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

10/27/2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 17 cases from the public bringing the total number of reported cases to 5,037. 
Of the 5,037:
  • 318 active case (including 9 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County)  
  • 4,645 recovered (19 released from isolation) 
  • 74 deceased 
Madera County is averaging 17.21 new cases per 100,000 residents, with 241 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 (from "widespread" to "substantial" contagion risk).

Today, the seven local counties together confirmed 517 new infections and 7 new coronavirus deaths. In the combined 7 counties, COVID-19 has infected 106,013 and has killed 1,461 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, 6,895 tests, 1.13+%
  • Merced: 9,572 cases (+41), 155 deaths, 65,244 tests, 14.67+%
  • Madera: 5,037 cases (+17), 74 deaths, 72,116 tests, 6.98+%
  • Fresno: 31,251 cases (+141), 439 deaths (+36), 352,820 tests, 8.86+%
  • Tulare: 17,678 cases (+88), 2886 deaths, est. 147,317 tests, 12.00+%
  • Kings: 8,370 cases (+131), 83 deaths, 107,722 tests, 7.77+%
  • Kern: 34,027 cases (+99), 416 deaths (+4), 217,302 tests, 15.66+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 106,013 (+517)
  • 7 counties deaths: 1,461 (+7)
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.38%
  • 7 Counties tests: 969,416 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 10.94%
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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