[Editor's note: This article was updated since its original Dec. 11 publication date.]
From Kaiser Family Foundation
Most States Are Following CDC Recommendations for Phase 1 Vaccine Rollout
A recent analysis found that 45 states are following CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations that prioritize health care workers and long-term care residents. The analysis includes links to every state's prioritization criteria to date.
Using CDC COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies Could Enable Child Care Facilities To Remain Open
Head Start and Early Head Start programs successfully implemented CDC-recommended guidance and other measures for child care programs that remained open. The approaches could be applied to other early care and education settings, allowing them to continue offering in-person learning.
In the Media
Second Vaccine Nearing Approval
From The Washington Post: " The United States could have two coronavirus vaccines by the time the week is over: Moderna’s vaccine was found “highly effective” in a detailed review by Food and Drug Administration scientists and appears to be on track for approval by regulators."
PPE Shortage Crisis Continues at Most Hospitals
From Medscape: "In a national survey, 73% of 1083 infection prevention experts said respirator shortages related to care for patients with COVID-19 drove their facility to move beyond conventional standards of care. Furthermore, 69% of facilities are using crisis standards of care (CSC) to provide masks, and 76% are apportioning face shields or eye protection."
Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Surge Still To Come
From CNN: "The United States hasn't seen the full impact that Thanksgiving gatherings likely will have on rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday. 'The blip from Thanksgiving isn't even here yet,' Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit."
Across the Country, ICU Beds Running Short
From The Hill: "A [New York] Times analysis found that hospitals that serve communities of more than 100 million people had fewer than 15 percent of their intensive care beds available last week. Ten percent of U.S. residents live in areas where such beds are either completely occupied or at least 95 percent occupied, with the shortages concentrated in the south, the southwest and the Midwest."
University of Minnesota Launches New Dashboard for County-Level Hospitalization Data
From Stat: A team at University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management "reviewed [Department of Health and Human Services data on COVID-19 hospital capacity] and collaborated with several teams of journalists and data scientists … and created a first-of-its-kind interactive dashboard to visualize hospital capacity at the county-level for the entire U.S."
After Two Reactions, British Regulators Tell Those With Severe Allergies To Avoid Pfizer Vaccine
From USA Today: "Allergic reactions were not a significant problem in the U.S. trial in which more than 20,000 people have received two doses of the vaccine, but the U.S. trials kept out subjects who have had severe allergic reactions, said Moncef Slaoui, co-head of Operation Warp Speed — the government program tasked with developing, manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines."
As Hospitals Fill Up, Some Patients Sent Home
From Medscape: "Overall weekly hospitalizations are at their highest point in the pandemic for much of the nation. And healthcare facilities are becoming overwhelmed — to the point where some patients who may benefit from inpatient care are being sent home from the emergency department (ED), researchers and clinicians say."
New in Research
Some Consumer-Grade Masks May Filter Aerosol Particles as Well as Non-respirator Medical Masks
In a small study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers studied the fitted filtration efficiency of a variety of nylon, cotton, and propylene masks, with and without modifications, and compared them with medical grade masks. Nylon masks performed as well as or better than non-respirator medical procedure masks.
Healthcare Access Drives Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes, Not Comorbidities
Findings in a study published in JAMA Network Open suggest that "neighborhood characteristics may explain the disproportionately higher out-of-hospital COVID-19 mortality among Black individuals." Black and Hispanic patients were more likely than white patients to test positive for COVID-19, but among all patients hospitalized from the disease, Black patients were less likely than white patients to have severe illness and to die or be discharged to hospice."
Patients With Severe COVID-19 May Be Infectious for Twice as Long
According to a Canada Communicable Disease Report, people who experience mild symptoms from COVID-19 are typically no longer infectious 10 days after diagnosis, while those with more severe symptoms are generally infectious for at least 20 days.
AAP Now Recommends Children Wear Masks During Sports Activities
The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its return-to-sport guidelines to recommend that children wear masks during practice, competition, and on the sidelines. The only exceptions are for gymnastics, wrestling, and cheerleading, where masks "may get caught on objects and become a choking hazard or accidently impair vision," and swimming, where a wet mask could impair breathing.
Diabetes, Hypertension May Be Factor in Neurologic Effects in Patients With COVID-19
At the virtual Radiological Society of North America 2020 Annual Meeting, study lead Colbey Freeman, MD, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, told Medscape Medical News, "Patients with these conditions may be at higher risk for neurologic complications and should be monitored closely."
Large Study Confirms Known COVID-19 Complications, Identifies Unknown Effects
Findings from an analysis of U.S. health claims data for 70,288 patients with COVID-19 support more commonly seen complications including viral pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute kidney failure, and sepsis. Researchers also identified less-common complications not previously studied in larger populations, such as intravascular coagulation, pneumothorax, myocarditis, and rhabdomyolysis.