The estimate is based on the number of infections “that have already occurred,” Dr. Tom Frieden said Saturday, during CNN’s “Coronavirus: Facts and Fears” town hall.
The United States reported 57,420 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest number of new daily cases since August.
“Anytime we ignore, minimize or underestimate this virus, we do so at our peril and the peril of people whose lives depend on us,” Frieden said.
By February, the coronavirus death toll in the US could double to about 400,000, a model from the from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine projected. Daily deaths will peak at about 23,000 in mid-January, the model predicted.
Projections aren’t set in stone, however, and what the public does can have a big impact, another former CDC director, Dr. Richard Besser, said.
New Covid-19 cases continue to grow across the country, though. Florida health officials reported 5,570 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday after there was no case or death update on Saturday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
There were also 178 Floridian deaths reported on Sunday, bring that total to 15,364, according to the data.
In Montana, it took almost five months from the beginning of the pandemic for the state to reach 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. But in just the last 11 days the state has reported a further 5,000 cases as the virus continues to spread throughout the country.
Impacts could be much greater than officials think
Officials are tracking coronavirus infections and deaths, but Frieden said those numbers may be too small.
The true number of coronavirus deaths in the United States is well over a quarter million, Frieden said Saturday.
Part of the problem in determining the true impact is how deaths are listed on death certificates, especially for older patients who are more likely to have other health problems along with a coronavirus infection. Often the other health condition is listed as the cause of death, he said.
“If you die from cancer, and you also have diabetes, you still died from cancer,” Frieden explained. “If you died from Covid, and you also had diabetes, you died from Covid.”
The number of infections is likely closer to 40 million people, he said.
“You may not get sick at all from this, but you may spread it to someone who then dies, or spreads it to someone else who dies,” he said. “That’s why we all have to recognize that we’re in this together. There’s only one enemy, and that’s the virus.”
Regaining trust in vaccines and health agencies
While researchers are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, health experts said Saturday that improving trust and accessibility around any potential vaccine is essential.
“For a vaccine to actually work, it’s got to not only be safe and effective, but also be accessible and trusted. And that’s why it’s so important that it not get politicized and not be seen as from any political party or political figure,” Frieden said. “It’s a big job to get vaccines out there.”
Opinion polls show that the public doesn’t trust the CDC with information around coronavirus.
The way to regain trust “depends first and foremost on telling the truth, even when it’s hard,” Dr. Julie Gerberding said during the townhall.
“Americans can tolerate really tough truths, but it has to come from reliable and credible sources,” Gerberding said. “One of the reasons that we have so much anxiety among Americans is because they’re hearing different things from different political leaders. We haven’t consolidated and cascaded the messages from reliable sources.”
She reiterated what the other former CDC leaders said during the town hall: Transparency is key.
“It is going to be very difficult to crawl back into a situation where people believe that we really do have their best interest at heart. The good news is that science is on our side,” she said.
A wake-up call for politicians and public health officials
Former CDC directors warned that both politicians and public health officials need to take the virus seriously for the sake of the public.
President Donald Trump said that Americans shouldn’t let fear of coronavirus dominate their lives, but former director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan said the country should “absolutely” be afraid.
“When your leadership is working against you in this virus, the virus has an ally that makes it a pretty strong contender for further destruction,” Koplan said.
Koplan said he believes this pandemic will serve as a wake-up call for politicians and public health officials.
“I would very much hope that we see stronger state and local health departments, working with a stronger CDC — that there is particularly more attention paid to an up-to-date surveillance system, early detection of problems, and then approaches towards ameliorating them,” he said.
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Ontario dog becomes first known to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada | News – Daily Hive
An Ontario dog has tested positive for COVID-19 after a research study proved the possibility by placing the animal in an infected household.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, they had been notified of the confirmed case contracted by a Niagara region dog on October 23.
The dog was part of a research study “following the diagnosis of COVID-19 in several people in the same household,” according to the release by OMAFRA.
“This dog did not have any clinical signs of disease. The current understanding of COVID-19 is that the overall risk of infection and illness in most domestic animals is low.”
The release states that current evidence suggests that mink, ferrets, cats, and (rarely) dogs can be infected with the virus; however, there is still “uncertainty” surrounding what this means for animals and how the virus behaves through different animal species.
“As a precautionary measure, people with COVID-19 symptoms, or those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case, should restrict contact with their pets, livestock or any other animals, and exercise the same infection control precautions they would around people,” read the release.
“Pets belonging to owners infected with COVID-19 should be kept indoors as much as possible and contact between these pets and anyone other than their designated caretaker should be avoided as much as possible.”
Quebec gym, yoga and dance business owners vow to reopen despite COVID-19 measures – Global News
A coalition of about 200 Quebec gym, yoga, dance and martial arts business owners say they intend to reopen their doors on Thursday in defiance of provincial health rules.
The businesses are calling on Quebec Premier François Legault to lift COVID-19 restrictions that forced fitness facilities to close this month.
In a statement, they say their facilities contribute to the overall physical and mental health of the population and they were not the source of COVID-19 outbreaks.
They say the lockdown measures will force them out of business after they’ve made significant investments to comply with health measures during the pandemic.
The owners say they intend to reopen across the province but will back down if health authorities can demonstrate by Thursday that their operations have led to outbreaks.
On Oct. 8, Quebec introduced new public health measures for regions under the province’s highest COVID-19 alert level, shuttering gyms, putting limits on team sports and making masks mandatory for high school students.
Last week, Legault hinted that some red zone restrictions would remain in place even as the initial 28-day lockdown in Montreal and Quebec City come to an end on Wednesday.
Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, are to hold a news conference this afternoon.
Quebec gym owners, athletes in COVID-19 red zones brace for 2nd shutdown
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Coalition of fitness centres threatens to reopen regardless of Quebec's red zone restrictions – CBC.ca
A coalition of Quebec gyms, yoga studios and other recreational activity centres are threatening to reopen at the end of the week, even if the province extends the 28-day partial lockdown.
Such facilities have been closed since Oct. 8, as part of a series of measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Premier François Legault has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. today, where he is expected to extend many of the measures imposed earlier this month in red zones.
Owners of fitness facilities say they have spent thousands of dollars to ensure their locations are safe and that their clients depend on exercise to keep physically and mentally healthy.
In a statement issued Monday, the group — which says it numbers more than 200 — says they will reopen Oct. 29 regardless of what the government decides.
“All the sanitary measures in force will be respected,” the statement said.
“If the government by then can prove to us, through studies, that we are the source of the outbreak, we will reverse it.”
Question of mental and physical health, owners say
Dan Marino and Christian Ménard, two of the men representing the coalition, both have shared social media posts publicly that provide misleading information about COVID-19.
For example, Marino has shared posts on his Facebook page that question the effectiveness of masks and minimize the dangers of the novel coronavirus. Ménard has asked people to sign a petition against Quebec’s mandatory mask law.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Marino said It would be unacceptable for gyms to stay closed.
“I have heard from too many people who are in distress,” said Marino who owns Mega Fitness Gym in Quebec CIty. “It’s mental and physical health.”
Dany Laflamme, owner of Nova Gym, a martial arts centre in Quebec City, said customers are calling every day.
“It’s truly sad. My customers are my family,” he said.
Gyms have been the site of outbreaks in Quebec and neighbouring Ontario.
But regardless of the risk, the coalition says customers want to get back to their favourite gym or studio.
Tanya de Montign told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak that the gym closures have had a substantial impact on her clients’ mental health.
She owns the Idolem yoga studio in Brossard, and when she closed her doors yet again earlier this month, she said “I had people leaving my studio crying.”
“I had people actually telling me they didn’t know how they would end up being able to get through these 28 days without us,” she said.
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