COVID-19 Update May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update May 15, 2020

Federal 

Two weeks after Gov. Abbott’s ‘reopening,’ Texas reports single-day high COVID deaths

  • On Thursday, Texas confirmed 58 deaths from COVID-19 – the highest thus far.
  • The new daily high of COVID-19 related deaths came days ahead of an expected announcement of more business reopenings on Monday.
  • The state Gov. has repeatedly stressed that the state has enhanced its testing capabilities since opening up.

Insurers seek relief from the mandate to pay for virus antibody tests

  • Health insurers are trying to get rid of a blanket mandate that states they must pay for coronavirus antibody tests, saying some are too flawed to produce useful results.
  • The FDA this spring allowed more than 120 antibody tests to be conducted under an expedited procedure, only to later discover widespread problems with some tests on the market.
  • Some big employers are backing the insurers’ pleas, worried that their health costs could surge if inconclusive or inaccurate tests are widely used.

State 

COVID-19 update: There are a total of 60,622 total Covid-19 in PA. There are a total of 4,218 deaths.

Coronavirus Pandemic restrictions to ease in 12 more Pennsylvania counties

  • Today Gov. Wolf announced that 12 more counties will be able to move from the red to yellow phase. These counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York.
  • These counties include another 2.6 million people.

Pa. health chief says the state is ‘doing well’ on contact tracing as counties reopen. But others fear we’re lagging

  • Many public health professionals have said that PA’s current contact tracing program appears to be understaffed and lacking testing materials. They have argued that if Pennsylvania had an adequate contact tracing program, it would not be seeing an average of 960 new COVID-19 cases per day, as it has over the last week.
  • Currently, the state has  200 staffers and 100 volunteers dedicated to COVID-19 contact tracing. This number does not include the number of contact tracers in Philadelphia through the Department of Health.
  • Pennsylvania as a whole will need as many as 7,000 tracers to ensure that the state can continue to reopen safely. 

Pa.’s largest nurses’ union accuses hospitals of misinforming state officials about protective equipment

  • The state’s largest healthcare union said that healthcare workers do not have access to adequate PPE, testing, and other safety measures and has claimed that the state “is being misinformed about the situation on the ground from hospitals.”
  • Since March 6, the state health department has required hospitals to report, three times a day, “the expected number of days remaining N95 respirators will last, the expected number of days remaining other PPE will last, and the number of employees unavailable for work. 
  • Union officials have said that those policies are not enough and that they oppose hospitals restarting elective procedures until nurses and healthcare professionals have adequate testing and PPE.

Philadelphia 

COVID-19 Update: Currently, Philadelphia has 19,349 cases and 1,021 deaths. There were 256 new cases today and 13 deaths.

Health commissioner: Philadelphia’s decline in new coronavirus cases ‘seems to be accelerating’

  • Philadelphia health commissioner said that new cases of COVID-19 are decreasing but that it is still too early to know when Philadelphia would be able to go to the yellow phase. 
  • In order to reach the yellow phases, the city would need to have about 55 cases a day for a two week period. 
  • Mayor Kenney said that he is working with South Jersey and other counties in the Southeast on how best to reopen. 

Where to order to-go cocktails once the state moves forward with bill

  • Billy Penn has done a report on where you can begin to order cocktails to go once Gov. Wolf signs his legislation.

Good News of the Day

Toddler Pals Living Next Door Can Finally Play Together Again After Crafty Mom Installs Fence Window

 Via The Good News Network –

These young BFFs who live next door from each other in England can finally play together again from quarantine after one of their crafty moms turned a section of their garden fence into a perspex window.

Since the novel coronavirus forced their families into self-isolation, 3-year-old Arlo and 2-year-old Arabella Devonport had been missing their pal Leo Adlington, who lives next door to their home in Wakefield, Yorkshire.

As a means of uniting the kids while still respecting social distancing guidelines, the siblings’ mom, 27-year-old Amy Vickers, came up with the idea of cutting a hole out of their shared backyard fence and installing a transparent window.

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