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The Olympic opening ceremony is ready for Friday, July 23, at the same time as athletes start to check constructive for COVID-19 in Tokyo. Stateside, indoor masks are making a comeback in some locales, whereas pandemic restrictions evaporate in others. Plus, a brand new research suggests statins may help hospitalized sufferers.
Right here’s a few of what unfolded over the previous week.
Tokyo internet hosting viral circumstances together with Olympics
A number of athletes and different people linked to the Olympic video games have examined constructive for the coronavirus after arriving in Tokyo. The variety of complete recognized circumstances now stands at 61, however about half of these are amongst residents of Japan, in line with CNN. Many of the confirmed circumstances have been in these outdoors the athletes’ village, however a couple of throughout the village examined constructive over the weekend.
Those that have examined constructive thus far embrace an unnamed member of the US girls’s gymnastics staff and Coco Gauff, the teenager prodigy tennis star who was set to guide the US girls’s staff. Now, she’ll be unable to compete. In keeping with The New York Occasions, it’s unclear if Gauff is vaccinated.
Vaccination is required for US staff coaches and employees, however not for athletes. And, past the US staff, vaccination isn’t usually a requirement for anybody, though the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has acknowledged that the general public touring to Tokyo can be vaccinated. Many athletes and groups, although, are coming from nations with very low vaccination charges and availability.
Athletes who take a look at constructive are taken to an isolation facility to quarantine away from Olympic Village, as a part of the IOC’s COVID precautions and protocol.
[Related: 6 important questions about COVID-19 booster vaccines, answered]
Indoor masks return to components of California
On Thursday, Los Angeles County reinstituted an indoor masks mandate, requiring masks in public indoor areas for each vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, which went into impact Saturday night time. The county had already been recommending indoor masks, and the state of California mandates face coverings in all indoor public settings for unvaccinated people, however this new transfer makes them required in LA County for everybody.
Most states have dropped all statewide orders requiring masks, and Hawaii is the one state that at present requires masks indoors, even for many who are vaccinated.
LA County’s mandate comes amid a brand new spike in circumstances, fueled by the extremely contagious Delta variant. The county is recording about 10,000 new circumstances per week, the best stage since March. Eleven complete California counties are urging face coverings for all, and San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, and Yolo counties have issued public well being suggestions, however not but mandates, in line with the LA Occasions.
The brand new masks requirement is divisive amongst some, and the LA County sheriff has declared he received’t implement it, however it may very well be an indication of what’s to come back, in line with Vivek Murthy, the US surgeon normal. “I anticipate that may occur in different components of the nation, too,” he stated throughout an interview on ABC’s “This Week”.
UK lifts restrictions, at the same time as case numbers proceed to rise
In the meantime, the UK has lifted virtually all COVID restrictions for the general public: reopening nightclubs, eradicating bar and restaurant capability limits, and nixing masks and social group dimension necessities throughout England. So-called “freedom day” comes at the same time as circumstances proceed to skyrocket in direction of January highs on account of the Delta variant. Scotland, Northern Eire, and Wales are protecting many restrictions in place for now, although.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated “If we don’t do it now we’ve received to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it?” in a recorded video message, at the same time as he started a 10-day quarantine following a detailed COVID publicity.
The nation has additionally instituted a quarantine alert system by way of the Nationwide Well being Service, which goals to contact hint coronavirus circumstances by way of an app which notifies customers after they’ve been in shut contact with a latest constructive case. Those that are notified are suggested to self-isolate for 10 days following an encounter. Greater than 500,000 individuals have been pinged by way of the app in simply the primary week of July, and the ensuing self-isolation has led to service employee shortages, in line with The New York Occasions.
Generally prescribed statin drugs might scale back COVID severity
Statin medicine are generally prescribed to decrease ldl cholesterol, they usually might assist enhance coronavirus outcomes in sufferers who had been taking them previous to hospitalization, in line with a brand new research revealed within the journal Plos One.
The researchers evaluated knowledge from greater than 10,000 individuals hospitalized with COVID at about 100 hospitals. Though a lot of the sufferers being adopted within the research who died of COVID have been on a statin treatment, taking a statin is strongly related to preexisting situations identified to worsen coronavirus an infection outcomes, and a lot of the deaths have been in sufferers who had coronary heart illness or hypertension.
After controlling for these preexisting situations and different variables like demographics, hospital, and admission month, the researchers discovered taking a statin recurrently previous to admission was related to a greater than 40 % discount in mortality. Additional, they discovered statins have been related to a couple of 25 % diminished threat of probably the most extreme outcomes.
However that doesn’t imply everybody ought to begin taking statin treatment to guard in opposition to extreme COVID. Statins have solely confirmed to be helpful amongst sufferers who had an present medical purpose to be taking the medicine.
“We hope that our analysis findings are an incentive for sufferers to proceed with their treatment,” stated Lori Daniels, the lead research writer and director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at College of California at San Diego Well being, to San Diego public radio outlet KPBS.
Earlier research have additionally examined the good thing about statins to COVID sufferers. Many have reported outcomes consistent with the united states findings, however some research have reported conflicting outcomes.
[Related: Why the FDA issued a new warning about the J&J vaccine]
Some ‘breakthrough’ circumstances are extreme, however there’s a sample
No vaccine is 100 % efficient at stopping coronavirus an infection, which suggests vaccinated individuals will nonetheless get sick. Nevertheless, the massive majority of infections that happen in those that are vaccinated are gentle, and all three US vaccines are very efficient at decreasing illness severity, hospitalization, and demise. Many breakthrough circumstances appear to be solely asymptomatic, solely being detected by way of routine or incidental testing.
That stated, some breakthrough COVID circumstances are nonetheless proving to be extreme. These extreme circumstances are principally in older adults and people who are immunocompromised, following the identical mortality and sickness traits which were prevalent because the pandemic’s onset. As an illustration, the Minnesota Division of Well being says the median age of circumstances leading to hospitalization amongst vaccinated individuals is 74. And the CDC has reported that 75 % of vaccinated sufferers who’ve been hospitalized with or died of COVID have been older than 65, as of July 12.
Since Could 1, the CDC has reverted to solely monitoring breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization. However the 27 states nonetheless monitoring all breakthrough infections have recorded greater than 65,000 circumstances among the many vaccinated. Whereas this quantity could seem massive, it’s solely .0004 % of the greater than 160 million absolutely vaccinated People.