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Study: Dedicated COVID-19 Rehab Units in Hospitals Are Effective
Creating special hospital units dedicated solely to rehabilitation for COVID-19 patients not only works, it has an even stronger effect on the patients who were sickest: That's what researchers from France have concluded after tracking the progress of 100 patients hospitalized in early March 2020.

Another COVID-19 Challenge: Deferred Care in a 'Digital Divide'
Authors of a new study of 16.7 million patients say that the level of disruption has varied widely by health care discipline, as has the amount of mitigation achieved through telehealth. The result, they write, is a high number of patients who either chose to or were forced to simply put off treatment for certain conditions.

From CDC

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Reach 28 Million; 500,000 Dead
Total U.S. coronavirus cases have reached 27,938,085 as of Feb. 22, according the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. As of Feb.24, an estimated total of 503,000 people have died from the virus. Health care workers have administered 64.2 million vaccine doses to date.

Maximizing Mask Fit Can Improve Performance
CDC conducted experiments to assess two ways of improving the fit of medical procedure masks: fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face. Each modification substantially improved source control and reduced wearer exposure.

From WHO

WHO Launches Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform
To inform clinical management guidelines and public health response, the World Health Organization has introduced a secure platform to collect anonymized data on clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients at hospital admission and during hospitalization, and on interventions and clinical outcomes.

From National Institutes of Health

NIH Launches Initiative To Study “Long COVID”
The National Institutes of Health has announced the first research opportunities on the Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC. The NIH PASC Initiative will support new and ongoing research and the creation of core clinical, data, and biorepository resources.

In the Media

National Cathedral Bells Tolled 500 Times To Honor the 500,000 Lost to COVID-19
From Reuters: "The United States on Monday crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known victim in Santa Clara County, California. In a proclamation honoring the dead, President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff on public buildings and grounds until sunset on Friday."

U.S. To Secure 600 Million Vaccine Doses by July
From AP: "President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans. Biden made the announcement at the sprawling National Institutes of Health complex just outside Washington as he visited some of the nation’s leading scientists on the frontlines of the fight against the disease."

Daily New Coronavirus Cases Decline
From NPR: "For the first time since November, average new daily coronavirus infections in the U.S. fell under 100,000 — well below the average infection rate in December and January, according to data from Johns Hopkins University."

Pentagon Okays 20 More Vaccination Teams
From Military Times: "The Pentagon has approved the deployment of 20 more military vaccination teams that will be prepared to go out to communities around the country, putting the department on pace to deploy as many as 19,000 troops if the 100 planned teams are realized."

Pfizer, Moderna Pledge To Boost U.S. Vaccine Supply
From Washington Post: "Drug companies planned to tell lawmakers Tuesday that they project a major increase in vaccine deliveries that will result in 140 million more doses over the next five weeks, saying they have solved manufacturing challenges and are in a position to overcome scarcity that has hampered the nation’s fight against the coronavirus."

Scientists Call on CDC to Better Protect Workers
From Kaiser Health News: "A prominent group of academics is pressing the Biden administration to move faster and take stronger action to protect high-risk workers from airborne exposure to the coronavirus, urging enforceable standards to help safeguard risky workplaces including health care, food processing, and prisons."

New in Research

Case Report Demonstrates Innovative Acute Care Rehab Delivery Model
In a case report published in PTJ, authors described the use of in-room video communication systems to safely reduce the number of in-room physical and occupational therapists. Researchers avoided seven in-person sessions, and patients achieved functional gains and discharge to home.

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