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Coronavirus update: Other viruses are taking COVID-19’s place

Masks are returning for summer school

Virus germs surrounding Earth
Photo (c) adventtr - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 85,333,275 (85,217,725)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 1,010,808 (1,010,525)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 534,307,874 (533,781,613)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,306,792 (6,305,292)‌

With COVID-19 in retreat, other viruses are moving forward

COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to contain it also had the effect of limiting other diseases.

The 2020 and 2021 U.S. winter flu seasons were some of the mildest on record, both in terms of deaths and hospitalizations. But now flu cases are spreading quickly, something that almost never happens in June.

“COVID has clearly had a very big impact on that,” Dr. Scott Roberts, associate medical director for infection prevention at Yale New Haven Hospital, told CNBC. “Now that people have unmasked, places are opening up, we’re seeing viruses behave in very odd ways that they weren’t before.”

Some summer school students will be masking up again

By the time the school year ended, most school districts had dropped mask mandates for students and staff. But with summer school beginning, some schools in areas where new COVID-19 cases are increasing have returned to masking.

The increase is mostly occurring in the nation’s largest school districts, but some smaller districts, such as Berkley, Calif., have also reinstated their mask mandates.

While the cases of the coronavirus caused by the highly transmissible subvariants are typically less severe, especially among children, some school administrators say they want to protect children who are more vulnerable because of compromised health conditions.

Popular tourist destinations see sharp rise in cases

It should be no surprise that places that attract the most people from other areas should see an outsized spread of COVID-19. Health officials say popular U.S. tourist destinations are proving to be prime examples.

An analysis of cases shows that Miami, Honolulu, and San Juan, Puerto Rico are averaging at least 85 new cases each day per 100,000 population, a positivity rate of over 20%.

That compares with an average of 34 new daily cases per 100,000 population for the nation as a whole -- a positivity rate of 13%.

Around the nation

  • Connecticut: The state’s rate of positive COVID-19 test results remains elevated, but it has come down in recent days. Gov. Ned Lamont announced that 3,219 PCR/NAAT tests came back positive out of 36,801 administered over the last seven days. That yields a positivity rate of 8.81%. In another encouraging sign, hospitalizations have declined.

  • New Mexico: COVID-19 cases are up across the state, but health officials say this wave appears to be different. Most cases are less severe. “Despite the rise in cases and community transmission levels, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths remain comparatively low,” said Dr. Christine Ross, the state’s epidemiologist. “Clearly, what we’re seeing with this wave is very different than what we’ve seen in the past.”

  • Washington: Hospital officials say a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients who require treatment in a hospital is “concerning.” All but five Washington counties are reporting a "high rate" of the virus. The Washington State Hospital Association says COVID-19 hospitalizations rose 10% in one week.

  • Florida: Federal agents have arrested a Florida man and charged him with pandemic-related fraud. Thirty-four-year-old Vinicius Santana is accused of submitting four Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for the paint company he owned, requesting $2.5 million.

  • Ohio: The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that pandemic-related legislation passed by state lawmakers does not violate the state constitution. The high court dismissed claims by five Ohio residents’ who said a 2011 amendment to the state constitution prohibits legislators from enacting or enforcing any law requiring state residents to participate in a health care system.

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