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gardenmom5

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37 minutes ago, Amira said:

And now the US is requiring testing the day before a flight rather than three days before.  It’s nearly impossible to manage that where I live, although I imagine a few places will figure out a way to do that. I expect that it’ll cost over $200 USD per test to meet the requirement, and possibly more. But it’s a better option than bans.

I got the idea that rapid tests were acceptable for this purpose. Are those hard to get there, too? I think same day testing will help a lot more than bans. 

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1 hour ago, KSera said:

I got the idea that rapid tests were acceptable for this purpose. Are those hard to get there, too? I think same day testing will help a lot more than bans. 

Their availability is pretty limited here, and I’d guess it’s worse in other countries on the continent.  Since they’ll have to replace PCR tests for travel to the US, I’m sure they’ll become more common, but they’re not right now, which means travel to the US will be complicated for the next few weeks. But it’ll get sorted out.

I would love to have the at-home tests everyone keeps talking about. 

Edited by Amira
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56 minutes ago, KSera said:

I got the idea that rapid tests were acceptable for this purpose. Are those hard to get there, too? I think same day testing will help a lot more than bans. 

United is taking their version of rapid antigen tests that have a video call so a person can watch you test and verify the answers. It ain't cheap though. Just easier for people in countries without quick turnaround tests. 

I'm in Panama right now and just scheduled our tests 23 hours before our return flight. Just rapid tested everyone tonight - all negative. Will test again Saturday night and again a day and three days after we get back. 99%of people mask here in the city. Out in the sticks few to none are masking. Our tour guide said there is a very high vaccination status here. I'm glad we are getting in this vacation before it gets bad again.

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3 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

South Africa current cases.  I’m imagining there may be more testing due to the current situation but also have heard their positivity rate is high. 

ED27D31E-442E-46A7-BD0B-8432369F4632.jpeg

Though they are still saying that people are having mostly mild cases, and even though hospitalisation are up, they are not having severe cases

also it is now the dominant strain in South Africa 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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2 hours ago, Amira said:

And now the US is requiring testing the day before a flight rather than three days before.  It’s nearly impossible to manage that where I live, although I imagine a few places will figure out a way to do that. I expect that it’ll cost over $200 USD per test to meet the requirement, and possibly more. But it’s a better option than bans.

Found it: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

Edited by Eos
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3 minutes ago, Eos said:

I'm watching for this, do you have a link?  Dd is coming home Sunday and has testing appointments both tomorrow and Saturday.  She made the Saturday one when I saw that the 1 day prior test might be required but then she made the Friday app't when she thought the Saturday results might not get back to her in time for Sunday's flight.  Thank you.

The restrictions go into effect on Monday, so she should be fine with the old requirements if she’s arriving on Sunday.  Here’s a CNN link.  https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/02/politics/testing-requirement-international-travel-us/index.html

Edited by Amira
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Just now, Amira said:

The restrictions go into effect on Monday, so she should be fine with the old requirements.  I’ll get the link and add it here.  

We must have just crossed posts - if you can send the link you saw that would be great.

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9 minutes ago, Amira said:

The restrictions go into effect on Monday, so she should be fine with the old requirements.  I’ll get the link and add it here.  

Got it - All air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country at or after 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on December 6, 2021, are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight  

Edited by Eos
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8 minutes ago, Eos said:

Got it - All air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country at or after 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on December 6, 2021, are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight  

Right - Sunday is the 5th.  I'm posting from Insomnia-land and forgetting it's now Friday here in EST.

Edited by Eos
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Hopefully it all works out.  It should, but since enforcement of these policies is entirely up to the airlines, it’s always nerve-wracking to fly internationally right now.  I’m glad she’s doing a backup test just in case they airline insists on it.

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2 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Though they are still saying that people are having mostly mild cases, and even though hospitalisation are up, they are not having severe cases

also it is now the dominant strain in South Africa 

Who is saying that?  I have seen politicians say that but not epidemiologists etc.  I guess not anyone I would regard as a reliable not invested source.

ETA in case that sounded confrontational it’s not meant to be. I just genuinely want to know because I keep hearing the PM etc say that and I’m trying to figure out what the basis is for the claim.

 

Edited by Ausmumof3
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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Who is saying that?  I have seen politicians say that but not epidemiologists etc.  I guess not anyone I would regard as a reliable not invested source.

ETA in case that sounded confrontational it’s not meant to be. I just genuinely want to know because I keep hearing the PM etc say that and I’m trying to figure out what the basis is for the claim.

 

they interviewed the doctor from South Africa on the Vic  ABC radio. It was either yesterday or the day before sometime between 3 and 6 pm

 

I am hearing politicians saying it as well. 

 

there is also this https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-03/heard-about-omicron-but-have-no-idea-what-s-going-on-here-s-your/100671540 

But cautioning it is still "very early days", Professor Kelly says there is "no real evidence at the moment" the variant is more severe.

"They are seeing a rise in hospitalisations there [in South Africa]," he said. 

"But even [the] hospitalisations they are seeing with the Omicron variant are not any more severe than … in previous waves."

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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also this https://www.9news.com.au/national/omicron-coronavirus-update-nsw-sydney-case-regents-park-school-covid19-numbers/6f1bd491-da36-4f75-87bb-a47c446c9864

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Omicron had not yet shown signs of being more severe than other variants.

"The positive side is we are not seeing what we saw in the other variants, we're not seeing people suddenly being rushed to hospital," he said.

"What we're seeing is people who are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, generally."

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3 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Maybe I just have wishful thinking, But I am really hoping that this variant is the one that everyone was hoping for. The one that is more transmittable and not as deadly. the one that will take over from the other strains and end the pandemic

That would be nice.  I think there’s nothing wrong with hoping for that provided it doesn’t become the basis for public policy before we know for sure.  It’s worrying me that it seems like we’re acting as if that’s the case without enough evidence.  But maybe I’ve just been living in high alert mode for too long now and have a bit of hyper vigilance going on.

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On a positive note, we got our new HVAC system with additional filtering, and I can feel a difference. I usually get smells from other rooms, and now I can't smell even the art room right across of mine. And since they were oil painting yesterday, usually I would have been able to do so. I'm not giving up my air purifiers in addition, but I'm thinking it was a good use for our CARES funds, especially since we are no longer allowed to require masking for our classes. 

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12 hours ago, Amira said:

The restrictions go into effect on Monday, so she should be fine with the old requirements if she’s arriving on Sunday.  Here’s a CNN link.  https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/02/politics/testing-requirement-international-travel-us/index.html

Uggh.  DD is supposed to fly back from Europe in two weeks.  Testing is easy and plentiful where she is, but she must travel about 5 hours to Vienna for her departing flight to Toronto and then to the US.  If this means that she will need a test within 24 hours of departing on the flight from Toronto (and not Vienna) she may have difficulty getting a test because she will be in transit.

 

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11 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Uggh.  DD is supposed to fly back from Europe in two weeks.  Testing is easy and plentiful where she is, but she must travel about 5 hours to Vienna for her departing flight to Toronto and then to the US.  If this means that she will need a test within 24 hours of departing on the flight from Toronto (and not Vienna) she may have difficulty getting a test because she will be in transit.

 

The rules for testing timelines used to always refer to the initial departure (some new sources incorrectly say " arrival" which is completely impossible for longer international flights with connections). I read the CDC details recently when I was traveling. Unless they changed this detail, the 1 day or 3 day was calendar days ( not 24/72 hours!) before departure of the first leg.

There are also provisions for flight delays. The info should be on the CDC website

ETA: Here it is:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html#aircraft

If your itinerary has you arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test can be taken within 1 day before the departure of the first flight.

and

If the first flight in your trip is delayed past the 1-day limit of testing due to a situation outside of your control (e.g., delays because of severe weather or aircraft mechanical problem), and that delay is 24 hours or less past the 1-day limit for testing, you do not need to be retested. If the delay is more than 24 hours past the 1- day limit, then you will need to be retested.

If a connecting flight in your trip is delayed past the 1-day limit of testing due to a situation outside of your control (e.g., delays because of severe weather or aircraft mechanical problem), and that delay is less than 48 hours past the 1-day limit for testing, you do not need to be retested. If the delay is more than 48 hours past the 1-day limit, then you will need to be retested.

Edited by regentrude
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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The rules for testing timelines used to always refer to the initial departure (some new sources incorrectly say " arrival" which is completely impossible for longer international flights with connections). I read the CDC details recently when I was traveling. Unless they changed this detail, the 1 day or 3 day was calendar days ( not 24/72 hours!) before departure of the first leg.

There are also provisions for flight delays. The info should be on the CDC website

ETA: Here it is:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html#aircraft

If your itinerary has you arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test can be taken within 1 day before the departure of the first flight.

 

Thanks.  It looks as if Canada is requiring testing upon arrival, and I am not sure if that applies to those who are connecting through Toronto--and who knows what the situation will be in 2 week.

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38 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The rules for testing timelines used to always refer to the initial departure (some new sources incorrectly say " arrival" which is completely impossible for longer international flights with connections). I read the CDC details recently when I was traveling. Unless they changed this detail, the 1 day or 3 day was calendar days ( not 24/72 hours!) before departure of the first leg.

There are also provisions for flight delays. The info should be on the CDC website

ETA: Here it is:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html#aircraft

If your itinerary has you arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test can be taken within 1 day before the departure of the first flight.

and

If the first flight in your trip is delayed past the 1-day limit of testing due to a situation outside of your control (e.g., delays because of severe weather or aircraft mechanical problem), and that delay is 24 hours or less past the 1-day limit for testing, you do not need to be retested. If the delay is more than 24 hours past the 1- day limit, then you will need to be retested.

If a connecting flight in your trip is delayed past the 1-day limit of testing due to a situation outside of your control (e.g., delays because of severe weather or aircraft mechanical problem), and that delay is less than 48 hours past the 1-day limit for testing, you do not need to be retested. If the delay is more than 48 hours past the 1-day limit, then you will need to be retested.

This is fairly reasonable, which is nice.  I’ve had friends dealing with all of these different scenarios over the last 18 months so it’s nice to see we’ve learned something.  Plus the calendar day thing rather than the hours rule has been consistent with the US and it really is so much better.  I’ve had friends who were denied boarding on flights that were routed through Europe who had valid tests, but because of time zones, it looked like the test had expired since the airline didn’t take the time change into account.  If you have a calendar day rule, no one has to figure out how many hours ago the test was done in a different time zone.  Still, I’m glad I’m not trying to fly to the US this winter.

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2 minutes ago, Amira said:

This is fairly reasonable, which is nice.  

Yes, I thought so too. Also that they have allowance for a delay.

I was very nervous about flying back to the US last week,  since I had a Monday flight and wanted to find a weekend test site ( would still have been allowed 3 days then, but felt using Friday was cutting things too close)

Ironically,  nobody e er checked my  Covid test! They had a special airport station for US flights with passport and vaccination card check, but they didn't  want to look at my test result!

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15 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Yes, I thought so too. Also that they have allowance for a delay.

I was very nervous about flying back to the US last week,  since I had a Monday flight and wanted to find a weekend test site ( would still have been allowed 3 days then, but felt using Friday was cutting things too close)

Ironically,  nobody e er checked my  Covid test! They had a special airport station for US flights with passport and vaccination card check, but they didn't  want to look at my test result!

You mean they didn’t check your test result before you boarded your flight to the US?  Or just that they didn’t check it after you arrived in the US? The US requires airlines to enforce testing restrictions before boarding so they usually don’t check your test on arrival in the US, but someone should be checking before you board. 

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8 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I'm pretty appalled at how much wilful blindness there is about Covid racing through schools, esp in VIctoria. 

I'm sitting back and thinking, hmmmm...novel virus....no idea of potential long term impacts....maybe better to mitigate against kids getting it till we know more? 

But this is not mainstream view, apparently. 

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3 hours ago, Bootsie said:

Thanks.  It looks as if Canada is requiring testing upon arrival, and I am not sure if that applies to those who are connecting through Toronto--and who knows what the situation will be in 2 week.

Canadian requirements are changing rapidly. Recent CBC update  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/arrival-testing-regime-explainer-1.6272919.

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4 hours ago, Amira said:

You mean they didn’t check your test result before you boarded your flight to the US?  Or just that they didn’t check it after you arrived in the US? The US requires airlines to enforce testing restrictions before boarding so they usually don’t check your test on arrival in the US, but someone should be checking before you board. 

They did not check my test result before boarding the plane. They checked my vaccination card, and I was about to hand them the paper with my test result, but they just waved me off. (Perhaps if I hadn't been forthcoming and waved the paper in their face, they might have asked? Maybe they were assuming that only somebody who has a negative test within the timeframe would readily hand them the document?)

There were zero Covid related checks upon arrival in the US.

Edited by regentrude
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We are holding borders open to NSW and Vic for now but people have to test and quarantine on arrival.  Apparently we already exported a case to QLD and we are now a hotspot in QLD so I guess that might mess with some plans.  Basically we’ve opened to NSW and Vic and the rest of Aus are shutting to us.  So stupid. 
 

The tone of press conferences is cautious and subject to change though so wouldn’t be surprised if things change again.  Some reports are that the health lady (who is good) has already asked twice to have the borders closed but so far been refused.

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28 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Welcome to the crazies that is Vic and NSW. 

It was a mistake to open up to Vic. The rest of Australia should just open up amongst themselves and leave Vic and NSW to the mess they have created

😞 

Just listened to the press conference and although Nicola was pretty discreet the police commissioner just came out and said that her advice had been to shut the border again with Omicron and they have made a different decision.  

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add hippos to the list of animals that can contract Covid!
 

Two Belgium hippos contract COVID 

Two hippos in Belgium have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the closure of the Antwerp Zoo.

The 41-year-old mother and her 14-year-old daughter were tested by the zoo's vet after he noticed their noses were running badly.

They're expected to fully recover from the virus, which is spiking in numbers across many countries in Europe, including Belgium.
 

 

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https://www.nbc15.com/2021/12/04/wisconsin-wedding-liked-5-cases-omicron-covid-19-variant-california/
“ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (WMTV) - Health officials say a Wisconsin wedding is being linked to 12 COVID-19 cases in California, five of which are the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

According to the Alameda County Public Health Department and the City of Berkley, the COVID-19 cases are linked to a wedding that took place on Nov. 27 in Wisconsin. Wisconsin health officials confirmed the wedding happened in Milwaukee County.

One of the people who tested positive for the virus had attended the event after returning from international travel. Investigators say the five people infected with the Omicron variant from California are mildly symptomatic.

No Omicron cases have been detected among Wisconsinites at this time, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports.

The individuals infected range between the ages of 18-49. No one has been hospitalized.

Alameda County health officials say all the people who tested positive were vaccinated and “most” had received their boosters.”

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2 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

We are holding borders open to NSW and Vic for now but people have to test and quarantine on arrival.  Apparently we already exported a case to QLD and we are now a hotspot in QLD so I guess that might mess with some plans.  Basically we’ve opened to NSW and Vic and the rest of Aus are shutting to us.  So stupid. 
 

The tone of press conferences is cautious and subject to change though so wouldn’t be surprised if things change again.  Some reports are that the health lady (who is good) has already asked twice to have the borders closed but so far been refused.

I'm kinda hoping the border stays open so ds' g/friend can go home for Christmas but boy, it should not be open. 

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Worldwide there was a big jump in numbers yesterday.  Maybe more testing as everyone’s worried about the new variant?

US passed 800,000 deaths by worldometer data sometime last week.  I missed it go by.  Also was a big spike in cases/deaths today but presumably that’s the thanksgiving backlog.  Deaths might be increasing very slightly world wide but holding at roughly 7,000 a day.

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6 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:


I'm sitting back and thinking, hmmmm...novel virus....no idea of potential long term impacts....maybe better to mitigate against kids getting it till we know more? 

But this is not mainstream view, apparently. 

One would think. A lot of people are super worried about long term impacts from the vaccine, but the same people seem to be completely unconcerned about possible long term effects from the virus itself. I don’t get that at all. 

18 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

US passed 800,000 deaths by worldometer data sometime last week.  I missed it go by. 

Yikes. I guess I lost track of that, and the last milestone I was aware of was when we passed 600,000 deaths. Meanwhile, we have US politicians saying that “Real America is done with Covid-19.” Wishful thinking perhaps, but clearly Covid is not the least bit done with us. 

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5 hours ago, regentrude said:

They did not check my test result before boarding the plane. They checked my vaccination card, and I was about to hand them the paper with my test result, but they just waved me off. (Perhaps if I hadn't been forthcoming and waved the paper in their face, they might have asked? Maybe they were assuming that only somebody who has a negative test within the timeframe would readily hand them the document?)

There were zero Covid related checks upon arrival in the US.

I flew from Milan in August to the US.  DH flew from Frankfurt to the US two weeks ago.  We both had to upload negative test information into a VeriFly app to be able to fly to the US

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@mathnerd@sassenach

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/covid-19-outbreak-at-marin-school-caused-by-family-breaching-health-order-county/2747742/

“A COVID-19 outbreak at a Marin County elementary school was caused by a family who sent their child to school while infected with the virus, school officials said Friday.

Officials with the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District told NBC Bay Area Friday that a family sent their child to Neil Cummins Elementary School, knowing the child had tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to the district officials, the school found out on Nov. 18 and tested three classes the next day. 

School officials said that at least eight children then tested positive for COVID-19. 

They added that as many as 75 people are in a modified quarantine as a result of one student's breach. 

Per Marin County rules, the student should have isolated for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19.”

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40 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

@mathnerd@sassenach

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/covid-19-outbreak-at-marin-school-caused-by-family-breaching-health-order-county/2747742/

“A COVID-19 outbreak at a Marin County elementary school was caused by a family who sent their child to school while infected with the virus, school officials said Friday.

Officials with the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District told NBC Bay Area Friday that a family sent their child to Neil Cummins Elementary School, knowing the child had tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to the district officials, the school found out on Nov. 18 and tested three classes the next day. 

School officials said that at least eight children then tested positive for COVID-19. 

They added that as many as 75 people are in a modified quarantine as a result of one student's breach. 

Per Marin County rules, the student should have isolated for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19.”

Oof, my friend's kid goes to that school. It's cliquey as hell. That's a fast way to make your kid a total outcast. 

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Michigan is getting lots of Covid press now but I have family in Ohio and it’s rapidly turning into carnage there…OH had more than 9500 new cases yesterday (they’ve hit at or over 8,000/day for the past few days) and hospitalizations are the highest they’ve ever been. 

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25 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Michigan is getting lots of Covid press now but I have family in Ohio and it’s rapidly turning into carnage there…OH had more than 9500 new cases yesterday (they’ve hit at or over 8,000/day for the past few days) and hospitalizations are the highest they’ve ever been. 

I was reading the same earlier. They are starting to cancel non urgent surgeries again 😢. Which is really awful for the people who really need those “non urgent” surgeries. https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/local-coronavirus-news/uh-metrohealth-cleveland-clinic-postpone-non-essential-surgeries-as-covid-patients-fill-beds

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4 hours ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Michigan is getting lots of Covid press now but I have family in Ohio and it’s rapidly turning into carnage there…OH had more than 9500 new cases yesterday (they’ve hit at or over 8,000/day for the past few days) and hospitalizations are the highest they’ve ever been. 

I'm in OH and have surgery scheduled for Wednesday and am hoping I get in before things get too bad.  Went for my pre-op appt. yesterday and they said they were pretty busy but still handling things.  

The hospital in my own county (I'm having surgery at a different hospital) numbers for hospital and ICU beds taken by Covid patients are higher than they've ever been throughout the whole pandemic.  Yet, if you walk around town you would never know anything was going on - hardly anyone wears masks, gatherings and celebrations everywhere, etc.  It's really like living in the twilight zone.  I am so so glad DH and I got our boosters.  People here (in general) are very anti-mask and anti-vax and mock people who do either.  

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5 hours ago, Kassia said:

I'm in OH and have surgery scheduled for Wednesday and am hoping I get in before things get too bad.  Went for my pre-op appt. yesterday and they said they were pretty busy but still handling things.  

The hospital in my own county (I'm having surgery at a different hospital) numbers for hospital and ICU beds taken by Covid patients are higher than they've ever been throughout the whole pandemic.  Yet, if you walk around town you would never know anything was going on - hardly anyone wears masks, gatherings and celebrations everywhere, etc.  It's really like living in the twilight zone.  I am so so glad DH and I got our boosters.  People here (in general) are very anti-mask and anti-vax and mock people who do either.  

Sending all good wishes for your surgery, Kassia, and that everything runs right on schedule.

My corner of Ohio is experiencing the biggest spike in the state, and when I went to dd15's basketball game last night the people wearing masks were most likely to have them below their noses and chins. This despite the fact that we heard the night before there is a Covid case on the team, and a half dozen girls were out between JV and varsity! I think it's one case so far, and the rest unvaccinated and quarantining.

Then I stopped at the mall and same thing--few masks, and most of those below the nose. I can't believe we're sprinting into another dark pandemic winter. 

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1 hour ago, Acadie said:

Sending all good wishes for your surgery, Kassia, and that everything runs right on schedule.

My corner of Ohio is experiencing the biggest spike in the state,

I think we're pretty close to each other  - I'm in Geauga county.  Surgery is in Lake County.  It's just unbelievable here - you go out and it's like the pandemic was just a bad dream.  No masks, lots of gatherings and celebrating, etc.  County meetings in small cramped rooms with no one wearing masks (including our health dept.).  

 

 

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We have 10 days until the Aucklanders are released. We are at 93.1% first dose and 87.3% double vaxed for 12+. (My city is 94% double vaxed for 12+.) They are desperately trying to get it up higher, and every day it is about 0.2% more. So we might hit 90% by Christmas. 15% of NZ population is under 12, and they are still checking safety and efficacy, expecting to offer vax to kids late January.  

We started the vaccine passports on Monday, so you can't go to restaurants, bars, gyms, hairdressers, any big events without being double vaxed. If venues don't want to require the vaccine passports, then the can operate as a contactless (carry out or by zoom) service. 

All teachers and staff, healthcare and elder care staff, all people working in venues that require the vaccine passport, and all border workers including port workers, must now all be double vaxed or lose their job. By January, all police and fireservices must be double vaxed. 

Because our vaccine rollout only started for under 60s in the beginning of September with second shots in October (we had a reccommended 6 weeks gap at first), we are going into Christmas with most people at a good protection level. They have started boosting the elderly.

To fly  or take a ferry to the South Island, you must be double vaxed or have a negative covid test, so that should control spread to the South Island. You could go by private boat but it is not an easy hop (rough water), so not common.

The outbreak in Auckland peaked 3 weeks ago, we are now at half of the numbers (98 yesterda), and the health teams have been able to control all the tiny embers spread throughout 7 other regions over the past 3 months, so that none of them have ever had more than 5 cases a day, even the ones near Auckland where it spread about 3 months ago. They are continuing tight contact tracing and isolating, and are incredibly effective.

The border restrictions with the world are still tight, with all travellers including citizens going into a military run quarantine facility, so no Omicron here.

Basically, we are opening up in the summer, with a very vaccinated population and a vaccine passport.  Crossing fingers, but it looks good. 

Deaths to date are 43. 

Edited by lewelma
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2 hours ago, Kassia said:

I think we're pretty close to each other  - I'm in Geauga county.  Surgery is in Lake County.  It's just unbelievable here - you go out and it's like the pandemic was just a bad dream.  No masks, lots of gatherings and celebrating, etc.  County meetings in small cramped rooms with no one wearing masks (including our health dept.).  

 

 

I wish I could tell people to pull their masks up like Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. Love the remix at the bottom.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-brandon-scott-shorty-davis-pull-ya-mask-up-20210106-rraic6aas5hebfovbnisirlz44-story.html

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@lewelma I was wondering if there was talk of people dying from the vaccine in NZ like there is over here in the US. I have not seen that in the hospital I work at but there are plenty of people claiming it is happening, and spreading what I think is misinformation about it.  If ever there was a place to watch to find out the truth it would be NZ since you have vaccinated so many so recently.

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South Africa is seeing a sharp increase in hospitalizations in children under 5:

"We are hoping that in the coming weeks we'll be able to also give reasons for why this particular cohort of patient is having increased infections," said Dr. Ntsakisi Maluleke, a health official for South Africa's Gauteng province, at a briefing hosted by the country's health agency on Friday. Rates of COVID-19 among hospitalized children under five "is now second highest and second only to the incidence in those over 60." 

"The trend that we see now, that's different to what we saw before, is a particular increase in hospital admissions in children under five years," said Dr. Waasila Jassat of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

These children also remain ineligible for vaccination in South Africa, unlike older age groups. "All these young children being admitted, most of them, the parents have not been vaccinated either. So I think, certainly the value of vaccination in the adults, protecting the children in the homes, is something to keep in mind," said Jassat.

While doctors had suspected earlier in the pandemic that children might be less vulnerable catching and spreading SARS-CoV-2, health officials have since concluded that rates of disease among children "can be comparable, and in some settings higher, than in adults." 

During the surge in cases driven by the Delta variant earlier this year, pediatricians reported an unprecedented wave of admissions overwhelming children's hospitals around the country. A study published by the CDC concluded that hospitalizations had climbed simply due to the sheer number of overall cases, with the actual proportion of sick children who ended up with severe disease remaining unchanged by the Delta variant.

"We don't have the outcome data for those individuals. We haven't seen an increased risk of death yet. So we have to wait to understand how those patients will do," the World Health Organization's Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said on Friday, when she was asked about reports of rising hospitalizations among young people in South Africa."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/omicron-variant-children-south-africa/

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Oh, not good if babies and young kids are going into the hospital. 😞

 

Have any of you found more information about the newer self-amplifying mrna vaccines (SAM vaccines)? Gritstone has one already in at least phase 1 trials (started about 2.5 months ago) that is supposedly going to be trialed soon in South Africa along with a few other similar vaccines. I can't find any information about the other vaccines, though. Anyone know more about these?

SAM vaccines are potent with even a small dose because they self replicate continuously in the cell until the cell dies. I wonder if the smaller dose would be a better choice for babies and children. They are saying the vaccines are safe and should work against many future variants. Gritstone is saying that Omicron will not be a problem.

Also, does anyone know about AstraZeneca's Covid nasal vaccine? Now, if that one works, that would be something.

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