(ETH) – ‘People are going to die’: Hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges – Hospitals in at least 25 states are critically short of nurses, doctors, and other staff as coronavirus cases surge across the United States, according to the industry’s trade association and a tally conducted by STAT. The situation has gotten so bad that in some places, severely ill patients have been transferred hundreds of miles for an available bed — from Texas to Arizona, and from central Missouri to Iowa.
Many of these hospitals spent months building up stockpiles of medical equipment and protective gear in response to Covid-19, but the supplies are of little use without adequate staffing. “Care is about more than a room with a hospital bed. It’s about medical professionals taking care of patients,” said John Henderson, chief executive of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH). “If you don’t have the staff to do that, people are going to die.” MORE
NYC Restaurant to Require Customers to Take $50 Covid Test Before Indoor Dining – A New York City restaurant will start providing COVID-19 tests to diners before they can sit down and eat indoors. City Winery, a splashy restaurant with a winery-feel and venue for live entertainment, claimed it will be the first eatery in the U.S. to test every customer starting Tuesday. The restaurant says a certified practitioner will give rapid testing using a shallow nasal swab to all employees as well. The catch? Customers will have to pay $50 for the test. The restaurant says it knows the price may be steep, considering the struggling economy, but CEO Michael Dorf hopes to pioneer a new way for people to dine indoors as safely as possible and to help the business stay afloat. MORE
One person every 17 seconds dies from Covid-19 in Europe, WHO warns – Europe is once again the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, with one person dying from the disease every 17 seconds, the World Health Organization has warned. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, delivered the sobering message at a briefing on Thursday. “Europe accounts for 28 per cent of global cases, and 26% of deaths cumulatively in the region,” he told the briefing.
“Last week, Europe registered over 29,000 new Covid-19 deaths. That is one person dying every 17 seconds.” In the last week deaths jumped by 18 percent, he said. However, there are some promising signs that actions governments have taken to try stem the spread of the virus are working. The number of weekly coronavirus cases in Europe went down last week for the first time in three months. MORE
Gov. Newsom orders curfew for most California counties amid coronavirus spike – Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a curfew for all California counties in the purple tier. The curfew will affect 41 of the state’s 58 counties — a vast majority of the population. The curfew, which the state is calling a “limited Stay at Home Order,” will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Saturday.
The restrictions between those hours will be similar to the stay-at-home order that was in effect in March. That means all non-essential work, movement and gatherings will have to stop in all purple tier counties. The curfew is set to remain in effect until Dec. 21 at 5 a.m. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly is holding a press conference at 3 p.m. where he’s expected to formally announce the curfew. MORE
CDC advises Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving – The CDC issued new guidance on Thursday advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, warning doing so may increase the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Why it matters: The U.S. has seen over 1 million new coronavirus case in just this past week — and indoor household gatherings nationwide could make the situation even worse. “One of our concerns is people over the holiday season get together, and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it,” Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said on a call with reporters.
“We’re very concerned about people who are coming together sort of outside their household bubble.” The state of play: The agency said that Thanksgiving celebrations should only include current household members when possible. It also redefined its definition of “household” to people currently living in one’s home for the past 14 days — which could exclude college students and older relatives. The guidance is not a mandate, but is “strongly recommended.” Precautions should be taken if Americans do travel by enhancing ventilation, using hand sanitizer and even wearing masks in the home. MORE
Los Angeles Stay-At-Home Order Could Be Issued Sunday As County See Record 5,300 Daily Coronavirus Cases – Los Angeles recorded its highest number of daily new COVID-19 infections ever on Thursday at 5,031, according to L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. That tops the previous high set Wednesday by more than 1,000. Before that, you have to go back to the height of the pandemic in July to find highs that are even close. To underline the steepness of the rise in new daily cases, Davis pointed out that cases surged 68% from October 28 November 10.
“At this point, no one should still be questioning this virus,” said the county health officer, “nor should they be questioning the actions the need to be taken.” Davis said that the average number of cases over the past two days was 4,500. That exceeds the emergency threshold set by L.A. County Director of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer recently. If cases average 4,500 or more for five consecutive days, Ferrer said the county would implement another Safer-at-Home shutdown, as it did in the spring. MORE
Cuomo warns more businesses will be closing soon – Today in New York City you can have dinner inside a restaurant. You can go to a salon or barbershop. You can visit museums. You can’t send your child to public school. Parents were left in anxious limbo for a week as the city kept inching closer to the mayor’s 3% positivity rate closure threshold. It eventually hit that Wednesday, according to city-data.
Now families once again are scrambling to ensure their kids have the tools they need to learn fully remotely indefinitely — and to ensure someone will be home to care for them full-time for the duration. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s hopeful the closure will last just a few weeks. He expects to provide clarity on reopening benchmarks before Thanksgiving after consultation with the state. In the meantime, city officials say they understand the sudden — and all-too-familiar — inconvenience parents are facing yet again. MORE
Motorists wait in long lines to take corona test at Dodger Stadium… With coronavirus cases surging and families hoping to gather safely for Thanksgiving, long lines to get tested have reappeared across the U.S. — a reminder that the nation’s testing system remains unable to keep pace with the virus. The delays are happening as the country braces for winter weather, flu season and holiday travel, all of which are expected to amplify a U.S. outbreak that has already swelled past 11.5 million cases and 250,000 deaths.
Laboratories warned that continuing shortages of key supplies are likely to create more bottlenecks and delays, especially as cases rise across the nation and people rush to get tested before reuniting with relatives. “As those cases increase, demand increases and turnaround times may increase,” said Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. “So it’s like a dog chasing its tail.” Lines spanned multiple city blocks at testing sites across New York City this week, leaving people waiting three or more hours before they could even enter health clinics. In Los Angeles, thousands lined up outside Dodger Stadium for drive-thru testing. MORE