Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

November 20, 2020 -- The global Covid-19 surge killed a record 11,990 people today, almost 500 people every hour, while infecting 659,699 people. The world is bracing for the Holiday season as covid fatigue is setting in (covid fatigue is still preferable to covid death). Covid-19 vaccines are in the process of being approved and manufactured. We collectively need to heed the warnings from local authorities and follow the mitigation measures we know work to reduce the spread of the disease: maintain distance from people who do not live in your household, wear a mask when you leave the house, wash your hands and let us all understand that we are a few months away from the global distribution of the vaccine. It will be a long winter as we wait for the vaccine to be available everywhere, but that is no longer a wish, it is a certainty.

Over a month ago, Canada celebrated its Thanksgiving. As people gathered, they shared a lot more than thanks: Canada's daily infections peaked four days ago and today's report is about twice what it was on Canada's Thanksgiving Day, October 12. We have a clear example of what mixing households will do if we celebrate in person with people who do not live with us. The graph is featured below.

Next week, for Thanksgiving, do not mix households, do not invite covid into your house, and if you are tempted to take advantage of Black Friday, do it online only! The traditional Black Friday crowds would be the kind of covid super spreaders that would ruin your Holidays. This Holiday Season, click and collect!

COVID-19 in the world today:

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 57,895,338 (+659,699)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 1,376,806 (+11,990)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 2.38%
  • COVID-19 Global testing*: 944,033,909 confirmed tests (+6,793,162)
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 6.13%
  • COVID-19 Global single-day positivity rate: 9.71%

*: 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.
Canada’s Thanksgiving Brought a Surge of COVID-19 Cases: Will That Happen in the U.S.? | healthline.com
In a normal year, millions of people in the United States would be planning on traveling to Thanksgiving festivities and reconnecting with friends and family.

In 2020, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues on, health experts are urging Americans to take a different approach for the holiday weekend.

Anyone in the United States who doubts the possibility of Thanksgiving becoming a superspreader event can look to their northern neighbor for some perspective.

In Canada, where Thanksgiving takes place in October, public health officials say they’ve noticed an uptick in new COVID-19 cases following their holiday period.

They said indoor Thanksgiving gatherings, a lack of restrictions, and cold weather are all factors in the recent increase in cases in Canada.

Experts interviewed by Healthline say the Canadian situation shows that although the prospect of eschewing big family gatherings for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season might be disappointing, it’s in everyone’s best interest.

“My best advice is to stay home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday only with members of your immediate family and avoid long-distance travel — plane or car — if at all possible,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Healthline.

Russia COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 5
  • 2,039,926 cases (+24,318) peak
  • 35,311 deaths (+461)
  • 71,249,997 tests (+596,766)
  • positivity rate 2.86%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 4.07%
Canada COVID-19 data

  • global rank: 31
  • 320,719 cases (+4,965)
  • 11,334 deaths (+69)
  • 10,669,262 tests
  • positivity rate 3.01%
  • 24hr positivity rate: N/A
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
42 states reported at least 1,000 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Today’s national report reached above 200,000 for the first time, ending at 201,083 new infections. Covid-19 killed 1,951 Americans today. Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, and Utah broke their daily records while most of the other states fueled today's troubling record, less than a week before the Thanksgiving Holiday. As you can see on the map above, the entire nation is in the grip of the deadly virus surge with only 5 states rated as "at risk of outbreak". Also today Illinois moved ahead of New York into the 4th rank of total confirmed covid-19 infections.
Ohio COVID-19 deaths

  • national rank: 8
  • 335,423 cases (+8,808) peak
  • 5,955 deaths (+65) peak
  • 5,526,917 tests (+67,694)
  • positivity rate 6.07%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 13.01%
Pennsylvania COVID-19 data

  • national rank: 13
  • 301,373 cases (+7,028) peak
  • 9,766 deaths (+104)
  • 3,290,322 tests (+31,264)
  • positivity rate 9,16%
  • 24hr positivity rate: 22,50%
COVID-19 in the USA

  • Cases: 12,274,726 (+201,083) peak
  • Deaths: 260,283 (+1,951)
  • Death rate: 2.12%
  • Testing: 177,148,467 individual tests (+2,164,222)
  • Positivity rate 6.93%
  • Single-day positivity date: 9.29%
Daily COVID-19 deaths in US reach highest level since May | apnews.com
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: 1,161,219 COVID-19 cases, 20,956 deaths
  2. California: 1,094,083 COVID-19 cases, 18,645 deaths
  3. Florida: 923,418 COVID-19 cases, 17,892 deaths
  4. Illinois: 634,395 COVID-19 cases, 11,795 deaths
  5. New York: 623,242 COVID-19 cases, 34,186 deaths
In California
California's coronavirus curfew: what are the rules and will it work? | theguardian.com
The nation’s most populous state is heading into the weekend facing its most serious coronavirus restrictions since its stay-at-home order in this spring.

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom has ordered a curfew on all indoor social gatherings and non-essential activities outside the home across most of the state, in a major escalation of measures to curb an alarming surge in infections. The move came just days after Newsom announced he was pulling the “emergency brake” on reopening, returning much of the state to the highest risk category for the virus.

So what will be allowed, and will it work? Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the new restrictions?
The new curfew restrictions, which go into effect on Saturday, will last from 10pm until 5am each day. They are due to end on 21 December, but could be extended longer if needed. Los Angeles also instated its own curfew with similar regulations that can be extended even if the state mandate expires.

The order will be implemented in 41 of the state’s 58 counties, where the virus is spreading most rapidly. Those 41 counties comprise the vast majority (94%) of residents.

The curfew is less strict than the near-total ban on nonessential business and travel that Newsom imposed in March, and which he credited with flattening the rate of Covid-19 cases, despite a summer peak.

The new order does not close any businesses. However, nonessential businesses must shut their doors by 10pm, though restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout and delivery after that time. The directive does not apply to people who are homeless.

People can perform some routine activities such as walking dogs, officials said. They will still be able to get medical care, pick up prescriptions and take care of other essential needs.

California's new daily cases peaked again today.

  • COVID-19 California cases: 1,094,083 (+13,755) peak
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 18,645 (+81)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.70%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 21,730,551 individual tests (+178,023)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 5.03%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 7.73%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

11/20/2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 54 cases from the public and 36 cases from Valley State Prison (total 90 cases) bringing the total number of reported cases to 5,714. We also regret to report 1 additional death.
Of the 5,714:
  • 622 active case (including 11 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County)
  • 5,012 recovered (4 released from isolation) 
  • 80 deceased

1 additional death
  • Male, 80s, no underlying conditions
Starting this week, the State of California is now looking at data over one week to determine county tiers. Madera County is averaging 41 new cases per day (26 per 100K), with 288 new cases revealed over the last 7days. 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 reported 1,200 new infections and 13 new coronavirus deaths. In the combined 7 counties, COVID-19 has infected 120,081 people and has killed 1,559 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: 93 cases, 2 deaths, 8,310 tests, 1.12+%
  • Merced: 10,986 cases (+102), 176 deaths (+1), 71,634 tests, 15.34+%
  • Madera: 5,714 cases (+90), 80 deaths (+1), 89,265 tests, 6.40+%
  • Fresno: 35,711 cases (391), 471 deaths (+8), 425,665 tests, 8.39+%
  • Tulare: 19,673 cases (+120), 303 deaths, est. 196,730 tests, 10.00+%
  • Kings: 9,922 cases (+147), 87 deaths, 137,555 tests, 7.11+%
  • Kern: 37,982 cases (+350), 440 deaths (+3), 241,912 tests, 15.70+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 120,081 (+1,200)
  • 7 counties deaths: 1,559 (+13)
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.30%
  • 7 Counties tests: 1,169,567 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 10.25%
This is the 36th weekly report since the pandemic reached the central valley. Sadly, the local surge is following the national trend. This week's report is the highest it has been since the third week of August, with 5,587 new cases detected in the 7 counties and a surge in covid-19 related deaths (+33), which is the highest report in a month. Over a month ago, Canada celebrated its Thanksgiving, and its case and death numbers have been surging with no sight of slowing down. The CDC is clear: do not mix households this Thanksgiving and only shop online this coming Black Friday. Above all, stay at home if you can.
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.