Washington Post: As the death toll escalates in coronavirus hot spots, evidence is growing that young people who work outside the home, or who surged into bars and restaurants when states relaxed shutdowns, are infecting their more vulnerable elders, especially family members. Front-line caregivers, elected officials and experts in Houston, South Florida and elsewhere say they are seeing patterns of hospitalization and death that confirm fears this would happen, which were first raised in May and June. That was when Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and other states reopened in efforts to revive their flagging economies.
USA Today: Travel in the middle of a global pandemic presents challenges, with each activity carrying its own level of risk for coronavirus. Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic, said some of the biggest questions he’s getting relate to travel activities. Khabbaza, who treats coronavirus patients, said the primary path of transmission is contacts with respiratory droplets produced by infected people. Face masks, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces have become standard across the travel sector.
Associated Press: As workers return to offices, children prepare to return to schools and those desperate for normalcy again visit malls and restaurants, the emerging science points to a menacing reality: If people who appear healthy can transmit the illness, it may be impossible to contain.
STAT News: The true number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could be anywhere from six to 24 times higher than the confirmed number of cases, depending on location, according to a large federal study that relied on data from 10 U.S. cities and states. The vast majority of Americans, however, are still vulnerable to Covid-19.
Travel Pulse: The Centers for Disease Control has released a detailed report showing exactly how cruise ship passengers helped spread the coronavirus back in the winter and early spring, even after passengers had already disembarked. The report is based on the CDC performing ambitious contact tracing on 11,000 people on various ships that were plagued with the virus.
“Despite surging Covid-19 cases around the country, groups continue to flout public health guidance about safe practices. Some instances are particularly flagrant, such as Alabama college students reportedly organizing “Covid parties” to intentionally infect attendees. But individual examples reflect a broader trend: since late May, a growing proportion of Americans have socialized with people outside of their own households, with up to a third doing so without maintaining social distancing. It is easy to write off this behavior as a result of poor awareness and the spread of misinformation. But decision science suggests that it may be dictated by group behavior as much as faulty information. Humans are social beings that seek out surrounding norms to inform what is deemed to be appropriate choices. The tendency to follow the “wisdom of the crowd” or make choices based on what others do (e.g., friends, public figures) is known as social proof. To change Covid-related behaviors, we must implement policies and programs that also harness the power of social influence to fundamentally change social norms.”
— Dr. Joshua Liao, internal medicine physician at the University of Washington and contributor to Forbes
Associated Press: U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible. Thursday’s estimate is roughly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed. Officials have long known that millions of people were infected without knowing it and that many cases are being missed because of gaps in testing.
New York Times: The focus of the pandemic has moved to the U.S. West and South, including more sparsely populated rural areas, from the early epicentre around New York in the east where more than 31,000 deaths have been recorded.
Associated Press: Alarming surges in coronavirus cases across the U.S. South and West raised fears Monday that the outbreak is spiraling out of control and that hard-won progress against the scourge is slipping away because of resistance among many Americans to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.
New York Times: A new study shows how turbulence from a toilet bowl can create a large plume that is potentially infectious to a bathroom’s next visitor.