Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

November 17, 2020 -- Covid-19 has killed more people today than on any other day since its first recorded victim succumbed to the deadly virus back in January. Ending the lives of 10,502 human hosts, the virus killed every 8th second and the daily numbers of its victims will keep climbing until a safe and effective vaccine is largely administered everywhere on earth. Until then you need to talk to your political representatives and make sure the message to their constituents is unequivocal about the need for social distancing, wearing a mask, and respecting the advice of medical experts. Until we have the vaccine in our veins, that is the only practical defense we have for ourselves, our families, our communities. Today's total global number of newly confirmed cases was lower than the daily average of 585,000 cases calculated over the last 7 days. You may have read that a second vaccine has published initial reports on its latest phase of testing, announcing encouraging numbers that boast 94.5% efficacy. Peer review competent government drug administration doctors are in the process of evaluating the vaccine's reports. Then come the distribution logistics, which could take 6 months to a year before all people can be vaccinated. Don't let up and know that there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

COVID-19 in the world today:

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 55,934,708 (+546,662)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 1,342,942 (+10,502)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 2.40%
  • COVID-19 Global testing*: 923,934,926 confirmed tests (+5,266,118)
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 6.05%
  • COVID-19 Global single-day positivity rate: 10.38%

*: 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.
Hopeful Covid-19 vaccine data won’t help hospitals that are overstretched now, experts say | statnews.com
With the glimmer of promising data from two Covid-19 vaccines, the beginning of the end of the pandemic may be in sight, some experts say — but they warn that the coming winter months may be the most tragic yet, especially if policies aren’t enacted to stop the spread.

“It’s only a few more months that we’re going to have to be this diligent about staying away from our non-nuclear families,” said Dara Kass, an emergency medicine doctor and associate professor at Columbia University, during a panel Monday on the first day of the 2020 STAT Summit.

Those months, though, are especially dangerous for coronavirus transmission. Data from other, similar viruses — as well as reports on SARS-CoV-2 — show that they’re stable for longer in colder, drier air, and that our bodies aren’t as good at clearing them away with mucus. Plus, some U.S. health care systems are already frighteningly overwhelmed with the current surge — not just in terms of bed and equipment but also in terms of the nurses and respiratory therapists and physicians needed to staff them.

“When those resources get stretched, at some point, the system really does start to break down,” said Kass, warning that in some parts of the country, “it’s going to be a breaking point for them in a way that it wasn’t for us in coastal cities” in the spring.

“We are seeing almost every state in the union having surges of patients,” she went on. “The Intermountain [Healthcare] physicians of Utah came to help us, but we cannot go to Utah the same way. There aren’t enough of us in the country.”

Iran COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 14
  • 788,473 cases (+13,352) peak
  • 42,461 deaths (+482)
  • 5,586,141 tests (+40,697)
  • positivity rate 14.11%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 32.81%
Canada COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 31
  • 302,192 cases (+6,115) peak
  • 11,027 deaths (+74)
  • 10,402,744 tests (+109,471)
  • positivity rate 2.90%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 5.59%
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
38 states reported at least 1,000 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Today’s national report was slightly lower than the daily average over the last 7 days, but today’s deadly toll was the highest it has been since mid-August. Covid-19 killed 1,615 Americans today. Wisconsin saw its highest death toll yet and Nebraska broke its 24-hour count of new infections. As you can see on the map above, the entire nation is in the grip of the deadly virus. 
Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths

  • national rank: 7
  • 323,848 cases (+7,090)
  • 2,741 deaths (+92) peak
  • 2,348,649 tests (+22,743)
  • positivity rate 13.79%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 31.17%
Nebraska COVID-19 data

  • national rank: 33
  • 101,601 cases (+3,440) peak
  • 797 deaths (+18)
  • 674,471 tests (+7,609)
  • positivity rate 14.55%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 17.44%
COVID-19 in the USA

  • Cases: 11,695,711 (+157,261)
  • Deaths: 254,255 (+1,615) highest daily count since August
  • Death rate: 2.17%
  • Testing: 171,691,691 individual tests (+1,536,880)
  • Positivity rate: 6.81%
  • Single-day positivity date: 10.23%
A Rush On Coronavirus Testing Strains Laboratories, Drives Supply Shortages
With the pandemic out of control in the United States, the nation's precarious coronavirus testing system is starting to strain again.

Long lines are again forming in some places as the surge of infections drives a surge in demand for testing. Testing companies, lab directors and testing policy experts warn that waiting times for results could soon start to lengthen. In fact, one of the largest commercial testing companies Tuesday reported turnaround times had already started creeping up.

"We're still far behind where we need to be with testing. And as these cases skyrocket, the need for tests are far outpacing what we have," says Heather Pierce, senior director for science policy and regulatory counsel at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Testing shortages have hobbled the nation's ability to fight the pandemic since it began. But testing improved significantly since the spring, when tests were scarce and waiting times were often long. Tests are now accessible at many locations, including doctors' offices, clinics, fire stations, drive-through test sites, and grocery and drug stores. People can even drop a sample of spit into the mail to find out if they're infected.

US top 5 infected states:

  1. Texas: 1,116,913 COVID-19 cases, 20,335 deaths
  2. California: 1,053,293 COVID-19 cases, 18,333 deaths
  3. Florida: 897,323 COVID-19 cases, 17,647 deaths
  4. New York: 606,624 COVID-19 cases, 34,058 deaths
  5. Illinois: 597,849 COVID-19 cases, 11,317 deaths
In California
Wearing Masks Outside Your Home is Mandatory in California. Here's When You Can Take it Off | nbclosangeles.com
After California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he was "pulling an emergency brake" following surges in coronavirus case numbers, 41 of 58 counties -- roughly 94% of the state's population -- have been moved into the most-restrictive purple tier.

That means zoos, movie theaters and places of worship are to offer outdoor services only, while shopping malls and salons are allowed to operate with indoor services, but with restrictions like 25% capacity. See the full breakdown of the tier system here.

LA City Mayor Eric Garcetti also acted upon the surging numbers, expanding the mobile testing program, setting up testing at LAX and looking to open a "super walkup" testing site in the northeastern San Fernando Valley.

Surging numbers weren't a rarity in the rest of the nation as NBC News data showed Tuesday all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam have reported an increase in coronavirus cases from over the past 14 days.

With all the changes, some may be wondering -- when do I have to wear a mask? Who is exempt?

Here are the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Public Health and the state on facial coverings.

People in California must wear face coverings when they are outside of the home if within six feet of people they do not live with.

California is once again reporting over 10,000 new daily cases, numbers unseen in three months. Yesterday's daily case report was 11,209. Today's is lower but does not include Los Angeles County numbers, which were not yet reported as of 6:00pm PST.

  • COVID-19 California cases: 1,053,293 (+8,397)
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 18,333 (+30)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.74%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 21,259,076 individual tests (+190,182)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 4.95%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 4.42%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

11/17/2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 44 cases from the public and 3 from Valley State Prison (total 47 cases) bringing the total number of reported cases to 5,561. 
Of the 5,561:
  • 526 active case (including 8 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County) 
  • 4,959 recovered (9 released from isolation) 
  • 76 deceased
Madera County is averaging 29 new cases per day (18 per 100K), with 403 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). Yesterday the State of California announced it will base its "tiers" determinations on weekly data: in the last week, 231 new cases were confirmed, which amounts to 33 new cases per day (21 per 100K).

Today, the seven local counties together reported 827 new infections and 6 new coronavirus deaths. In the combined 7 counties, COVID-19 has infected 117,258 people and has killed 1,535 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: 91 cases, 2 deaths, 7,973 tests, 1.14+%
  • Merced: 10,662 cases (+110), 174 deaths (+2), 70,061 tests, 15.22+%
  • Madera: 5,561 cases (+47), 76 deaths, 85,540 tests,6.50+%
  • Fresno: 34,858 cases (158), 463 deaths (+3), 412,354 tests, 8.45+%
  • Tulare: 19,320 cases (+266), 301 deaths (+1), est. 193,200 tests, 10.00+%
  • Kings: 9,625 cases (+24), 87 deaths, 133,763 tests, 7.20+%
  • Kern: 37,141 cases (+222), 432 deaths, 240,824 tests, 15.42+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 117,258 (+827)
  • 7 counties deaths: 1,535 (+6)
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.31%
  • 7 Counties tests: 1,143,715 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 10.25%
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.

PS: We welcome comments and questions. If you wish to review previous reports, we now host past issues here.