Learning Center > Coronavirus Pandemic: Live Updates on COVID-19

Coronavirus Pandemic: Live Updates on COVID-19

Coronavirus under a microscope

Coronavirus Cases: 1,623,130
Coronavirus Deaths: 97,235
Coronavirus Mortality Rate: 3.9%
Recovered: 366,407
Countries with cases: 199

Survey Findings: Some Americans Don’t Have Enough Money Saved to Cover Coronavirus Treatment Costs

04/10/20 - 07:30 AM EST

Healthinsurance.com recently conducted a survey to get insights from more than 1,000 respondents about COVID-19 and its economic impact on their personal lives. Respondents were asked about their employment status, health insurance coverage, medical cost concerns and potential use of telemedicine.

Some interesting findings:

  • 46% of them would think twice about seeking medical care to treat Coronavirus because of its potential cost.
  • 24% of respondents have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • 23% of respondents won’t be able to pay all of their bills this month.
  • 10% of respondents currently do not have any kind of health insurance coverage.

And perhaps one of the most striking outcomes of the survey is that more than half of the respondents admitted to not having enough savings to cover COVID-19 treatment costs.

This finding is supported by a study that AccessOne conducted in 2019. The study revealed that a large percentage of Americans often pay for medical bills with a credit card, borrow money from friends to pay medical bills, or are sent to collections because of high medical expenses.

View our full survey results here.

Source: HealthInsurance.com


Insurance Companies Cover Certain Coronavirus Disease Treatment Costs

04/09/20 - 09:29 AM EST

Cigna and Humana are waiving all Coronavirus treatment costs for:

  • Individual and family customers
  • Customers enrolled in employer-sponsored plans
  • Customers qualified for Medicaid
  • Medicare Advantage customers

Some of the costs being waived include hospitalizations, ambulance transfers, medications and even coronavirus vaccines, when available. Both Cigna and Humana promised to cover member’s COVID-19 costs, regardless of if the services are conducted in- or out-of-network.

From David Cordani, Cigna’s President and CEO:

“Our customers with COVID-19 should focus on fighting this virus and preventing its spread. While our customers focus on regaining their health, we have their backs.”

From Bruce Broussard, Humana’s President and CEO:

“We’re taking significant action to help ease the burden on seniors and others who are struggling right now. No American should be concerned about the cost of care when being treated for coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, Aetna is waiving costs for testing, telemedicine visits and hospital admissions related to novel coronavirus.

Source: CNBC


7-Year-Old Maryland Boy Uses $600 of his Own Savings to Make Coronavirus Care Packages

04/08/20 - 12:29 PM EST

Cavanaugh Bell, a 7-year-old resident from Gaithersburg, Maryland, took money from his own savings account to spread joy to senior citizens and students in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bell used $600 saved from birthdays and holidays to make 65 care packages and purchase 31 hot meals from Buca Di Beppo, a local restaurant that’s been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bell started getting involved in philanthropic activities when he was age five. He gave a TEDX Youth Talk at Lincoln School, New Jersey, where he stated that he’s a kid on a mission to change the world.

Encouraged by his mom, Bell started a non-profit, Cool and Dope, that looks to eradicate all bullying and youth suicide through social actions.

Source: Fox News


The Top 10 States Most Impacted by Coronavirus and How They’re Combating the Spread

04/07/20 - 12:12 PM EST

The United States has the most reported COVID-19 cases in the world, with 380,774 confirmed cases.

Novel coronavirus has spread across all 50 states. Each state is taking measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Here’s a look at what the top 10 states with most cases are doing:

1. New York (138,836 reported cases and 5,489 deaths)

  • Issued a shutdown of all non-essential businesses. This excludes hospitals, pharmacies, news media, transportation companies, financial institutions and other essential businesses.
  • Issued a social distancing order where people must maintain a six-foot distance from each other.
  • Prohibiting unnecessary gatherings of any size.
  • Limiting restaurants to delivery and takeout.

2. New Jersey (41,090 reported cases and 1,003 deaths)

  • Issued a shutdown of all non-essential retail businesses. This excludes pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and others.
  • Advising all residents to stay home, except when seeking medical services, getting necessary food, and exercising.
  • Prohibiting social gatherings like parties.
  • Asking employees to work from home, when appropriate.
  • Limiting restaurants to delivery and takeout.

3. Michigan (17,221 reported cases and 727 deaths)

  • Issued a stay-at-home order asking residents to only leave their homes for essential errands, exercise, among other reasons.
  • Issued a social distancing order where people must maintain a six-foot distance from each other.
  • Advising business employees to work from home, which doesn’t apply to critical infrastructure workers like law enforcement officers and others.

4. California (16,413 reported cases and 395 deaths)

  • Issued a stay-at-home order to all residents except those who work in critical sectors. Essential businesses such as gas stations, pharmacies, banks, grocery stores and others remain open.
  • Issued a social distancing order where people must maintain a six-foot distance from each other.
  • Closed non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars and gyms.

5. Louisiana (14,867 reported cases and 512 deaths)

  • Ordered residents to stay home unless obtaining supplies and food, going to a place of worship, or commuting to an essential job.
  • Limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.
  • Closed non-essential businesses and places such as beauty shops, gyms, museums, and bars.
  • Limiting restaurants to delivery, takeout or drive-through services only.

6. Pennsylvania (14,559 reported cases and 240 deaths)

  • Closed all non-essential businesses.
  • Encouraging residents to refrain from non-essential travel.

7. Florida (14,504 reported cases and 283 deaths)

  • Issued a statewide order limiting movement to essential activities only.
  • Closed beaches, parks, and other non-essential places.
  • Limiting restaurants to delivery, takeout or drive-through services only.
  • Not requiring places of worship to close.

8. Massachusetts (13,837 reported cases and 260 deaths)

  • Closed all non-essential businesses through at least April 7. Essential businesses in sectors including healthcare, law enforcement, food and agriculture, energy, transportation and others can still conduct business.
  • Limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.
  • Limiting restaurants to delivery, takeout or drive-through services only.
  • Not requiring places of worship to close.

9. Illinois (12,262 reported cases and 307 deaths)

  • Closed all non-essential businesses.
  • Issued a statewide order for residents to only leave their homes for essential activities such as seeking medical care or getting food and supplies.
  • Limiting gatherings to 10 people or less (with some exceptions).

10. Georgia (8,818 confirmed cases and 329 deaths)

  • Declared a public health emergency.
  • Set up mobile housing for people to quarantine away from their homes.
  • Ordered residents to stay at home at least until April 13.

Data as of April 7, 2020.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


U.S. Unemployment Numbers Continue to Rise: 10 Million Job Losses in Just 2 Weeks

04/03/20 - 01:33 PM EST

As Coronavirus continues to affect the global economy, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of unemployed Americans has soared to 10 million within the past two weeks.

The number of Americans that have filed for unemployment benefits is now 6.6 million, a massive increase from 3.3 million last week. And unfortunately, those facing unemployment are also grappling with how to get health insurance coverage during an uncertain time.

This tremendous rate of job losses in the U.S. has never been seen before. The record number of unemployment applications was 695,000 in 1982, prior to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The current state of uncertainty is leaving many worried about their job security. An analysis by economists at St. Louis Fed estimated that there are nearly 67 million Americans working in high-risk industries that could still face layoffs.

The analysis also projected possible employment reductions of 47 million, which would drive the U.S. unemployment rate up to 32%.

Source: New York Times


The White House to formally reissue nationwide coronavirus guidelines on Tuesday extending lockdown and social distancing another 30 days

04/01/20 - 03:33 PM EST

President Trump has decided to extend the nation’s virtual lockdown and social distancing to April 30 to lower the spread of Coronavirus.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the principal coordinator on the coronavirus task force, said the team would come to Tuesday's briefing prepared with data to back up their recommendations on the extension.

The picture could be bleak, as Birx has previously stated. The task force’s data shows up to 200,000 people could still die, despite the measure to extend social distancing "perfectly.”

Source: CNN


Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students and Families

04/01/20 - 11:43 AM EST

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that The Department of Education will halt collection actions and wage garnishments to provide additional assistance to borrowers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Beginning March 13, 2020, this effort will last for a period of at least 60 days.

From Secretary DeVos:

"These are difficult times for many Americans, and we don't want to do anything that will make it harder for them to make ends meet or create additional stress. Americans counting on their tax refund or Social Security check to make ends meet during this national emergency should receive those funds, and our actions today will make sure they do."

Source: U.S. Department of Education


U.S. Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Have Almost Doubled in Just 4 Days

03/31/20 - 02:11 PM EST

The United States continues to lead the world in Coronavirus infections with 176,518 and 3,469 deaths, which reflects a 1.9% mortality rate.

But there’s a lack of testing of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people, so the mortality rate for Coronavirus is likely far lower. In any event, it’s challenging to calculate these numbers right now.

After the United States, here’s a breakdown of the top 10 countries with COVID-19 cases:

1. Italy - 105,792

2. Spain - 94,417

3. China - 81,518

4. Germany - 68,180

5. Iran - 44,605

6. France - 44,550

7. UK - 25,150

8. Switzerland - 16,186

9. Turkey - 13,531

10. Belgium - 12,775

Source: WorldoMeter


New York Tests Over 18,000 People for COVID-19 in One Day

03/31/20 - 10:33 AM EST

With over 200,000 tests and 19 million people, the state of New York is currently testing more per capita than China and South Korea.

Current New York hospitalizations statewide:

  • 75,795 tested positive
  • 10,929 people currently hospitalized (+1,412)
  • 2,710 ICU Patients (+358) (+771)

Despite these numbers, there’s still good news regarding Coronavirus cases in New York: 4,975 patients have recovered and been released, which is an increase of 771 patients.

Source: Governor Cuomo Press Conference


U.S. Has Highest Number of Reported Coronavirus Cases in the World

03/30/20 - 01:33 PM EST

On March 26, the United States officially surpassed China and Italy with its number of reported Coronavirus cases.

- United States: 96,968 confirmed Coronavirus cases, with 1,477 deaths - most of them happening in New York.

- Italy: 86,498 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 9,134 deaths - the highest number of fatalities. This could be because Italy is the fifth oldest country in the world with a median age of 46.5 years.

- China: 81,340 confirmed cases and 3,292 deaths, most occurring in the city of Wuhan.

[The above figures reflect data as of March 27, 2020].

During a White House press briefing, President Trump said the high number of confirmed Coronavirus cases is a “tribute to the testing” being done in the country.

Although the United States has the highest number of confirmed novel Coronavirus cases globally, it has lower death rates than other highly infected countries.

Source: New York Times


U.S. Unemployment Applications Reach Historic High of 3.3 Million as Coronavirus Impacts Economy

03/27/20 - 11:33 AM EST

As businesses shut down because of Coronavirus disease, the United States has reached a record 3.3 million unemployment filings, raising the nation’s unemployment rate to 5.5% - an increase from 3.5% in February.

Some economists predict that this may mark the start of an unemployment rate that could result in more than 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April 2020.

On March 16, President Trump urged Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This forced restaurants, gyms, hotels, beauty salons and other small businesses to completely shut down or lay off some of their employees.

And these mass layoffs left many Americans uninsured at a time when they need it most. Some health insurance alternatives are:

COBRA: A program designed to maintain your employer health insurance coverage, but these could have much higher out-of-pocket costs that many can’t afford.

Medicaid: A program available to families with limited income. Visit Medicaid.gov to see if you qualify.

Medicare: A program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End Stage Renal Disease. Learn more about Medicare.

Obamacare: Major health insurance plans that can only be purchased during the annual open enrollment period, which begins in November each year. U.S. officials are considering reopening Obamacare enrollment due to Coronavirus spread.

Short-term health Insurance: Temporary health insurance coverage that’s available year-round to help fill gaps in coverage. Learn more here.

Though telemedicine isn’t a form of insurance, it’s another option people are turning to during a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Telemedicine is a healthcare service that connects individuals with doctors for diagnosis via phone calls or video chats.

Source: CNN


More Americans Willing to Use Telemedicine Services During the Coronavirus Pandemic

03/27/20 - 10:20 AM EST

As government leaders push to practice social distancing nationwide, more Americans are turning to remote health care. The CDC recommends getting virtual care for non-emergency health conditions during the Coronavirus outbreak.

In a recent survey conducted by HealthInsurance.com, 63% of respondents said they’re willing to use telemedicine while practicing social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Telemedicine users have 24/7 access to virtual healthcare, which can be a time-saver that keeps people safe from germs and the exposure to COVID-19.

In a CNBC interview, Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc Health, discussed how the American healthcare system is entering a new era of virtual care. He emphasized Teladoc’s focus on Coronavirus health care by creating remote “COVID clinics” to limit in-person visits.

“It’s fortunate that we’re able to be here for the American people during this crisis. We’re certainly seeing a significant increase in volume, and I didn’t exactly expect the president to be talking at a White House press briefing about telehealth,”

Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare services via phone, mobile devices or video chat systems. It enables medical experts to virtually diagnose and treat patients in real time.

Americans can get standalone telemedicine coverage whether they have health insurance or not. Get a telemedicine quote in minutes here.

Source: HealthInsurance.com


CDC Epidemiologist Estimates that Coronavirus Deaths in the United States Could Reach Peak in Less than a Month

03/25/20 - 09:33 AM EST

Leading epidemiologist and CDC advisor, Ira Longini, estimates that U.S. deaths caused by Coronavirus are likely to reach their maximum numbers in approximately three weeks from now.

At that time, it may be possible to allow many back to work and only isolate at-risk groups like senior citizens.

"I would guess the U.S. will hit a peak in deaths in the next two-three weeks, as the doubling time seems to be about two-three days,” said Longini. “Maybe a partial lifting of the shelter-in-place for those less vulnerable may make some sense, in about three weeks. By then, much of the damage will have been done."

The Coronavirus death toll in the United States is 785, with 54,996 identified Coronavirus cases as of March 25, 2020.

Source: CNN


A 103-Year Old Grandmother Healed from COVID-19 After Six Days of Treatment

03/25/20 - 09:20 AM EST

Zhang Guangfen, a 103-year-old woman from China, quickly recovered from Wuhan Coronavirus. She is the oldest COVID-19 patient to survive this deadly disease in China so far.

After experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, Guangfen was admitted into Liyuan Affiliated Hospital of Tongji Medical College in Wuhan, China. At the time of admission, Guangfen was in critical condition, but she was released due to her speedy recovery - after less than a week of treatment.

Her doctors attribute the round-the-clock and the fact that she did not have many pre-existing conditions to worsen the virus.

Source: Daily Mail


Environment Sees Positive Effects due to Coronavirus Shutdowns

03/24/20 - 03:20 PM EST

The Coronavirus disease has caused many lockdowns and travel restrictions worldwide. But the reductions on vehicular, air, sea and foot traffic have led to positive effects for the environment.

Countries around the world, especially those in lockdowns, are seeing significant drops in CO2, nitrogen dioxide and pollution levels, resulting in things like better air quality and clearer river waters.

3 examples: China: Nitrogen dioxide levels have reached a reduction of up to 30%, compared to 2019. Italy: Nitrogen dioxide has plummeted by 40% - a reflection of the clear waters and dolphins we’ve more recently seen in Venice. New York: CO2 levels have dropped between 5% and 10%.

Drops in methane levels and other major US cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta are also experiencing these drops.

satellite images by NASA show dramatic reductions in nitrogen dioxide in China amid coronavirus pandemicSatellite images by NASA show dramatic drops in nitrogen dioxide in China.

Source: BBC News


HI.com VP Covers Telemedicine and Coronavirus on MSNBC and Newsmax TV

03/20/20 - 04:14 PM EST

On March 19, Jan Dubauskas, Vice President of Healthinsurance.com, appeared as a guest on MSNBC and Newsmax TV, addressing the rising telemedicine trend in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dubauskas covered everything from what telemedicine is and how telemedicine doctors can diagnose Coronavirus symptoms, to privacy concerns and more.

Watch:

Source: MSNBC and Newsmax TV


Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Begin in Seattle

03/19/20 - 01:05 PM EST

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) scientists have collaborated with biotech company, Moderna, to develop a trial for a Coronavirus vaccine, which is running out of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

The vaccine to treat COVID-19 uses genetic material called messenger RNA. The first dose was given to the first Phase I trial participant on March 16.

From NIAID Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci:

"Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with (the novel coronavirus) is an urgent public health priority. This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal."

Scientists are hoping to prove the vaccine’s success with preventing the novel coronavirus, which may take many months according to experts. In the meantime, social distancing and maintaining proper hygiene are the most effective prevention measures.

Source: CNN


Coldplay, John Legend and Other Musicians Host Virtual Concerts Amid Coronavirus Quarantines

03/19/20 - 12:26 PM EST

The CDC urged Americans to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people, causing concerts to cancel worldwide. But a growing number of artists and musicians are holding free virtual concerts on platforms like Instagram to spread positivity and hope amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among the artists joining in are: Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin John Legend Pink Keith Urban

Coldplay’s Martin was one of the first musicians to start the free, virtual concert trend, coined “Together at Home” - a partnership with Global Citizen and the World Health Organization. Martin then passed the baton to John Legend.

Source: Los Angeles Times


Medicare Beneficiaries Now Have Expanded Telehealth Benefits During Coronavirus Pandemic

03/19/20 - 11:25 AM EST

On March 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), under President Trump’s leadership, announced that it will broaden access to telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries to help prevent their exposure to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Medicare beneficiaries across the country will now be able to virtually access telehealth services, from preventive health screenings and mental health counseling, to the diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions.

Prior to this announcement, Medicare was only allowed to pay doctors for telehealth services only under certain circumstances.

Seema Verma, CMS Administrator said:

“The Trump Administration is taking swift and bold action to give patients greater access to care through telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak. These changes allow seniors to communicate with doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit risk of exposure and spread of this virus. Clinicians on the frontlines will now have greater flexibility to safely treat our beneficiaries.”

Source: CMS.gov


5.7 Magnitude Earthquake in Utah Knocks out Coronavirus Hotline and Shuts Down Airport

03/18/20 - 01:34 PM EST

On March 18, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook Utah, unsettling residents even more as they continue to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. The earthquake’s epicenter was located near Magna, just outside of Salt Lake City.

The earthquake was the largest Utah has seen since 1992, causing more 50,000 residents to lose power. The earthquake also knocked out the state’s Coronavirus information hotline, which was established by the Utah Department of Health to help residents stay safe from COVID-19.

The Salt Lake City airport was also temporarily shut down due to the devastating earthquake.

Assessments are being made to buildings, health centers, and the state’s public health lab to resume operations against Coronavirus as soon as possible. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of injuries.

damage from Salt Lake City earthquakeDamage from Salt Lake City earthquake

Source: ABC News


HealthInsurance.com V.P. Addresses Coronavirus Myths Surrounding Health Insurance on The Chip Franklin Show

03/18/20 - 01:07 PM EST

On March 13, Jan Dubauskas, Vice President, Senior Counsel of HealthInsurance.com, appeared as a guest on “The Chip Franklin Show,” a KGO-810 AM radio show serving the San Francisco market.

During the show, Dubauskas addressed certain health insurance topics and how they relate to the Coronavirus pandemic. Among them: how Telemedicine can help, health care options for those who are uninsured, and common misconceptions about health insurance.

Listen:

Source: The Chip Franklin Show


Target, Whole Foods and Other Stores are Now Setting a Dedicated Shopping Time for Seniors

03/18/20 - 12:36 PM EST

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many to panic shop, leaving stores empty or with limited essential supplies for the elderly and other at-risk groups.

To help remediate the issue, grocery stores like Target, Whole Foods, Dollar General, Safeway, Alberstons, Acmen and Vons, are dedicating special shopping hours for Seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

From Whole Foods Market:

"We are setting aside this time to help these customers, who national health authorities have identified as among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, feel more comfortable shopping our stores and helping to ensure they are able to get the items they need in a less-crowded environment."

Source: USA Today


Italians Sing from their Balconies to Lift Each Other’s Spirits During Coronavirus Lockdown

03/16/20 - 03:41 PM EST

Italy is one of the countries most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, with over 17,000 COVID-19 cases and over 1,200 deaths.

On March 9, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Italy’s lockdown to prevent and slow the Coronavirus spread. Italian schools, restaurants, bars, shops, universities, museums, and all non-essential businesses have been closed. And, all large events, like sporting events and weddings, have been canceled or rescheduled.

Although Coronavirus is weighing heavily on the country’s economy, Italians don’t lose their sense of community. Instead, they sing and play instruments from their windows and balconies in a beautiful display of unity and hope amidst the chaos.

Watch:

Source: Kiro 7 News


The CDC Urges Canceling Gatherings of 50+ People for the Next 8 Weeks to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

03/16/20 - 03:26 PM EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that all U.S. events with 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new guidance is an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in communities already affected and prevent its introduction into new communities.

From the CDC:

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals. Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


COVID-19’s Impact on Sports: MLB canceled, NBA Season Suspended, NHL Pausing due to Coronavirus Concerns

03/13/20 - 03:38 PM EST

In light of the rapid spread of Coronavirus, major announcements were made this week, including the cancellations and postponements of top sports leagues such as:

Major League Baseball (MLB): Cancelled the remainder of its spring training and postponed the start of the regular season - set to begin March 26 - for at least two weeks.

National Basketball Association (NBA): Suspended its regular season on March 11. The situation will be re-evaluated after 30 days.

National Hockey League (NHL): Paused its current season on March 12. The NHL commissioner is hoping to resume the season as soon as it’s prudent.

NCAA:Canceled its men and women’s basketball tournaments, also known as March Madness.

Notable sporting events that were also postponed include:

  • The 2020 Masters Tournament
  • The Augusta National Women’s Amateur
  • The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

Source: NY Times


Disney World Resort and Park in Orlando Closing to Prevent Coronavirus Spread

03/13/20 - 02:45 PM EST

In a tweet yesterday, theme park officials announced that Disney World Resort and Parks will close on Sunday, March 15 as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus pandemic. Disney Cruise Line will also suspend all new trips on Saturday, March 14.

Historically, this is one of the only few times that the parks and resorts have closed down. The decision came after a Disney resort in California also closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

operations update from Disney

Source: WTSP News


CDC Guarantees Coronavirus Testing for all Americans, even those Uninsured

03/13/20 - 01:38 PM EST

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that all Americans will receive COVID-19 testing at no charge, regardless of health insurance coverage, if it's deemed medically necessary.

Redfield made the announcement on March 20, during the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Coronavirus preparedness.

“Our intent is to make sure every American gets the care and treatment they need at this time in this major epidemic, and I am currently working with HHS to see how to best operationalize it,” Redfield said.

It’s not yet clear what the exact process will be for CDC to cover the testing costs for uninsured Americans, but those who are uninsured are encouraged to visit their community health centers for medical care.

Medicaid will extend emergency coverage to people who qualify in many states.

Source: Fox 13 News


Novel Coronavirus Outbreak is now Officially a Pandemic, WHO says

03/11/20 - 02:08 PM EST

The World Health Organization just declared the Coronavirus, COVID-19 to be a pandemic at the media briefing this afternoon. The assessment was made because of the alarming levels of spread, severity and the increasing number of deaths by the virus.

There are over 118,000 cases of Coronavirus and over 4,200 deaths; the organization stated that those numbers are expected to climb even higher over the next weeks.

“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.

WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

The World Health Organization officials emphasize how “all countries can still change the course of this pandemic” by detecting, testing, treating and isolating those affected to prevent the Coronavirus pandemic from further spreading.

Watch:

Source: World Health Organization


Florida Department of Health Confirms 8 New Cases of Coronavirus with cases in Pinellas and Pasco counties

03/11/20 - 10:48 AM EST

The Florida DoH announced yesterday that there are 8 new cases of COVID-19, summing up to a total of 21 Coronavirus cases in Florida with 2 of them resulting in deaths.

Out of the 8 new cases, 7 of the cases involve people between the ages 64 and 73 and one of them is a Georgia resident visiting Florida. The COVID-19 cases are spread across different Florida counties:

“According to the Department of Health, the eight new cases are a 46-year old male in Pasco County; a 73-year old male in Collier County; a 68-year old female in Collier County; a 64-year old female in Collier County; a 67-year old male in Pinellas County; a 64-year old male in Pinellas County; a 68-year-old male in Nassau County. and a 68-year old female Georgia resident who is in Alachua County.”

Measures are being taken to prevent further spread of the virus. All eight individuals have been isolated until cleared by state health officials.

Source: Fox 13 News


Coronavirus, COVID-19 symptoms take about 5 days to appear

03/10/20 - 04:07 PM EST

An analysis conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that the median incubation period for the COVID-19, Coronavirus is approximately 5 days, similar to SARS. The study analyzed confirmed cases of Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 reported between January 4th and February 24th, 2020 to identify its public health implications.

"The median incubation period was estimated to be 5.1 days (95% CI, 4.5 to 5.8 days), and 97.5% of those who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days (CI, 8.2 to 15.6 days) of infection. These estimates imply that, under conservative assumptions, 101 out of every 10 000 cases (99th percentile, 482) will develop symptoms after 14 days of active monitoring or quarantine."

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine


New York creates a Novel Coronavirus "containment zone"

03/10/20 - 03:34 PM EST

The "containment zone" is a one-mile zone at The Young Israel of New Rochelle Synagogue in New York created by New York State officials to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The state plans to deploy the National Guard to the containment areas to deliver food to quarantined residents, clean the schools, and more.

Sschools, churches and other large gathering facilities in the area will also be closed for two weeks beginning on March 12 said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Source: NY Times


Nursing homes and assisted living facilities should restrict family and friend visits

03/10/20 - 03:01 PM EST

Industry officials recommend nursing homes and assisted living communities to limit family and friend visits which, while reducing residents' exposure to staff members, contractors, and government officials.

"The mortality rate is shocking," said Mark Parkinson, president, and CEO of the American Health Care Association.

The recommendations are an effort to slow the spread of the virus -- which is more threatening to seniors -- after a Coronavirus outbreak caused the deaths of 18 residents at long-term care facilities in Seattle.

Source: NY Times


All of Italy is now on lockdown because of the Coronavirus Disease

03/09/20 - 05:08 PM EST

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced at a news conference on Monday that the entire country is now on lockdown as a preventive measure to the COVID-19 disease.

This is part of the European country's efforts to prevent and protect its citizens.

Source: The Guardian


California woman in her 60s dies from Coronavirus

03/09/20 - 04:58 PM EST

A woman in her 60s is the first coronavirus-related death in Santa Clara County.

The woman, who had been hospitalized for several weeks, is believed to have contracted the virus through community transmission, according to a statement from the county’s health department.

This case was previously announced on February 28.

“This is a tragic development. The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” said Dr. Sara Cody, health officer for Santa Clara County. “We are facing a historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time. Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.”

Source: CNN


Ohio's first Coronavirus cases: All involve people in their 50s in Cuyahoga County

03/09/20 - 04:47 PM EST

Three people in Ohio have tested positive for coronavirus, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Monday.

He also declared a state of emergency. All three people are from Cuyahoga County, the governor said.

"The state of emergency that I've declared in Ohio is a legal necessity that allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response," DeWine said.

Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan said the three patients, who are ages 54 to 56, are isolated. Two of them were on a trip to Egypt and one was at a conference in Washington D.C. Six additional people who had close contact are also on home quarantine.

There are five people under investigation for the virus, the Ohio Department of Health said.

Novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan City, China in December. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Source: Fox News


Most coronavirus deaths in the United States involve patients 70 or older

03/09/20 - 03:25 PM EST

The vast majority of US deaths from coronavirus appear to involve patients ages 70 and up, based on broad age range information provided by health authorities.

Officials provided basic age information in only 18 of the 22 US death cases.

Of those 18, seven were in their 70s, five were in their 80s, three were in their 90s, two were in their 50s and one was in their 60s.

A 19th patient was described as “elderly,” but no age range was given.

This is in line with what US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN Sunday about the pandemic in general — that the average age of those who died from the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus was 80, and that the average age of those seeking medical treatment was 60.

Source: CNN


Germany reports its first coronavirus deaths

03/09/20 - 1:11 PM EST

Two people have died of coronavirus in Germany — the first deaths in the country from the virus.

The deaths occurred Monday in the district of Heinsberg and the city of Essen, the health ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia told CNN.

In a statement to CNN, health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said he "was shocked to learn about the two deaths."

"My thoughts are with the relatives. I wish the families a lot of strength in this difficult time. The deaths show that we have to take the situation very seriously,"

On Sunday, a German national from Hamburg died while on vacation in Egypt.

About Germany's cases: There are 1,112 people in Germany who have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the country's disease control agency.

Source: CNN


Georgia identifies state park for isolating coronavirus patients

03/09/20 - 11:37 AM EST

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that out of an abundance of caution the state has identified Hard Labor Creek State Park in Morgan County as a location for isolating and monitoring patients who may have been exposed to coronavirus, according to a statement released by his office.

The state park is located about an hour east of downtown Atlanta.

No patients are currently scheduled to be transferred to this location. State officials are currently preparing the site for the placement of future patients having already delivered and installed seven emergency trailers, according to the governor’s office.

Source: CNN


Read our What is Coronavirus? article to learn more about this virus and how to stay healthly. bold text

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