Coronavirus update: Experts warn of U.S. resurgence

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Funding for treatment of uninsured expires today

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 79,781,016 (79,735,691)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 972,710 (971,198)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 472,551,124 (470,949,009)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,095,933 (6,078,815)‌

Some experts worry about virus resurgence

There is no denying the numbers. New cases of the coronavirus are down sharply from January’s recent high. At the same time, cases have surged in other countries.

Several health experts have begun to warn that the U.S. could be vulnerable to another wave of the virus, especially since most states have scaled back or eliminated their virus mitigation mandates and their data collection practices.

"Comprehensive case data is critical to an effective response. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, lack of data leads to poor decision making and ultimately costs lives," Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital, told ABC News.

Federal COVID-19 funding measure expires today

Last week, Congress failed to reach an agreement on new COVID-19 relief funding, which was included in the budget bill that President Biden signed. That means the program that covers the cost of testing, treatment, and vaccines for individuals without health insurance is coming to an end today. 

The White House said there is no other source of money to keep the program going. After tonight, health care providers will not be able to claim reimbursements after testing or treating someone for COVID-19 who does not have health insurance. 

COVID-19 increases diabetes risk, study finds

Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have found that the virus that causes COVID-19 has many quirks. In the latest finding, scientists writing in the journal The Lancet said people who recovered from COVID-19 were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Most of the new diabetes patients were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, not Type 1. The scientists suspect that the virus may trigger an entirely new type of diabetes in which certain cells mistakenly start to raise, rather than lower, blood sugar. 

The researchers conclude that their study just adds to growing evidence of an increased risk among COVID-19 survivors of cardiometabolic conditions, such as diabetes and heart and kidney issues.

Around the nation

  • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamond reports that his state continues to make improvements in its COVID-19 metrics, recording only 603 new cases last week. The state’s test positivity rate last week was 2.49% and hospitalizations totaled fewer than 100.

  • California: Community clinics across California say the state government owes them millions in reimbursements for COVID-19 vaccinations administered to low-income residents. Without the funds, officials at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Los Angeles said they will have to shut down vaccination efforts by April 1.

  • Colorado: While Colorado was one of the first states to report a sharp decline in new COVID-19 cases, it is now reporting just the opposite. The state logged just 74 new cases on March 13, the lowest since the first days of the pandemic. But it reported 400 new cases two days later.

  • Wisconsin: Even though cases are on the decline across the state, health officials say they will continue to monitor wastewater for increases in the virus. “It can kind of give us a kind of an early peek at what we may be seeing later on, with cases that are diagnosed and reported to public health,” said Dr. Jonathan Meiman or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

  • Nebraska: Health officials say the number of new cases in Nebraska continues to decline, and an analysis by the Omaha World-Herald shows just how much. The newspaper reports that cases of the virus fell by nearly 50% last week, from 650 to 354, the lowest in nine months.

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