Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad | WYPR

Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad

Credit CDC via AP, File

You can livestream the daily White House briefings here.

WYPR Coronavirus Coverage

The presence of COVID-19 was confirmed in Maryland in early March. Scroll down for resources that track the number of cases by country and state.

The difference between coronavirus and COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. The novel (new) coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. 

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Other symptoms and emergency warning signs as reported by the CDC

Precautions

Advice given by national health advocates includes:

  • washing your hands frequently
  • staying home if you’re sick
  • avoiding touching your face
  • social distancing (staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a 6 feet distance from others) 

Officials say to call your primary care provider if you feel COVID-19 symptoms, especially in people who have travelled abroad or in contact with someone who has travelled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or other areas where there’s been an outbreak.

Demographics most at risk for developing COVID-19

  • Older adults
  • People of all ages with underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease

Tracking the spread

Credit:  Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

To view cases in North America, pull the map to the right. To view an active list of Maryland cases, zoom in (+ sign) and click the red dot. This map is updated once an hour. 

The number of cases is also updated at the Maryland Department of Health's website

Learn more

Local officials advise residents seeking information to call 2-1-1 and visit coronavirus.gov or health.maryland.gov/coronavirus. Maryland FAQs here

The Department of Health and Human Services is stepping back from a plan to end support on Friday for community-based coronavirus testing sites around the country.

Instead the agency says local authorities can choose whether they want to transition to running the programs themselves or continue with federal oversight and help.

The number of patients being treated at overflow hospitals in New York City has more than doubled in the last two days, the Department of Defense says.

On Thursday, military doctors and nurses were treating 189 patients at the overflow hospital at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, including 15 patients who are being treated in an intensive care unit inside the facility. The Navy hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Comfort, currently has 53 patients, including 10 who are critically ill with COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the two facilities had fewer than 100 patients combined.

Amid growing concerns about military readiness, a sailor from the coronavirus-sidelined aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt became the first crew member to be hospitalized in intensive care in Guam Thursday. He is one of more than 400 of the ship's sailors who have tested positive for COVID-19.

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The preliminary data on the impact of the coronavirus on Black communities nationwide paints a grim picture.    African Americans are infected with and dying from COVID19 at much higher rates than whites. 

As Blacks bear the brunt of this pandemic, federal and state lawmakers have been criticized for the lack of access to racial data on virus cases and outcomes.  

 

Today on Midday, how America's enduring history of racial disparities in healthcare has compounded the COVID-19 crisis for African Americans.

 

Tom is joined by Dorian Spence of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Nikole Hannah Jones, creator of the 1619 Project at the New York Times.

The Daily Dose 4-9-20

11 hours ago

Counselors use tele-therapy to connect with Baltimore City School kids. The underground drug economy feels the pinch of unstable supply-and-demand realities. Addiction recovery groups support each other at a distance. State unemployment numbers go up. And a hiring freeze is imposed in Baltimore County.

Thomas E. Lo is an anesthesiologist who works at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York. Since the coronavirus outbreak, his job has gotten dangerous.

"The exposure risk as an anesthesiologist is extremely high because when we intubate a patient, we are literally less than a foot away from the patient, who is in distress, and we're right by their airway, which is where the virus is," Lo tells All Things Considered.

And that exposure risk is made worse by widespread shortages of crucial personal protective equipment, or PPE, like masks, gowns and gloves.

On Thursday, New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announced that it was canceling all of the summer performances and activities it presents, including three signature, extended series: a three-week outdoor dance party with live bands called Midsummer Night Swing, the classical music-focused Mostly Mozart Festival and the artistically wide-ranging, multi-week festival called Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

The worst outbreaks of COVID-19 so far have been in colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere during winter or early spring. Will warmer weather slow the transmission?

Could the Southern Hemisphere see outbreaks intensify as that part of the globe moves into winter?

And is it possible that transmission might be naturally interrupted as it is each year for the seasonal flu?

These are some of the key questions about COVID-19 that scientists are trying to answer.

Updated at 3:51 p.m. ET

Boris Johnson is out of intensive care.

The British prime minister's office announced Thursday that medical workers have moved him back to the regular ward at St. Thomas' Hospital in central London, where he continues to receive treatment for persistent symptoms linked with COVID-19.

Updated at 7:30 p.m.

President Trump said more oil producers are "getting close to a deal" to try to put a floor under prices as demand for energy plummets amid the global pandemic.

Trump said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday that he'd just finished a conference call with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia and that he hoped they'd agree on a cut or another solution that would stabilize the cost per barrel.

California is releasing thousands of inmates early due to the pandemic without adequate transportation, support services or housing once they get out, statewide prison advocates and reentry service providers say.

"Absolutely do not stop folks from coming home, but we need realistic resources," says London Croudy, with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, a nonprofit that advocates for inmates' rights and the formerly incarcerated. "We want to be there for these folks, but we need help!"

In a remarkably prophetic report last summer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency accurately predicted that a nationwide pandemic would result in a shortage of medical supplies, hospitals would be overwhelmed and the economy would shut down.

The warnings were contained in the 2019 National Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, published last July. Its existence was first reported by E&E News.

With France, like much of the world, in lockdown because of the coronavirus, the country's Christians will not be able to gather in churches to celebrate Easter this year.

But the archbishop of Paris says he wants to send a strong signal of hope to the faithful by holding a small Good Friday ceremony amid the rubble inside Notre Dame, and beaming it out to the world.

Five years ago, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates gave a TED Talk about global pandemics, warning that the world was not ready to take one on.

"An ICU. What is it?" asks Dr. Robert Foronjy. It's late afternoon. He's in his office at University Hospital Brooklyn.

"It's people," he says. "You think of an ICU, maybe you think four walls, some beds. But really it's people."

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski  announced a hiring freeze Thursday of non-essential positions in county government.

In separate press conferences, both the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City said social distancing as well as the restrictions on nonessential businesses are working to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Albany, pointed to lowering rates in the state of hospitalizations, intubations and people admitted to ICUs, telling reporters, "Our efforts are working. They're working better than anyone projected they would work. That's because people are complying with them."

Some runners are are still jogging outside, while others are posting joke videos about sprinting in place on soapy floors. Weightlifters are filling bags with canned goods and shoulder-pressing milk jugs. But what's a swimmer to do?

"Yeah, it's difficult. They call them dryland exercises," says Lauren Anneberg, a volunteer coach at the Capital YTri triathlon team in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning that New York City could require an additional 45,000 medical workers by the end of April to help reinforce a hospital system that has been stretched dangerously thin by the COVID-19 crisis.

Forget living paycheck to paycheck. Many families have lost work during the pandemic and are running out of cash as they wait for unemployment checks and government rescue money to arrive.

These are highly unusual times, and family budgeting recommendations are also unconventional.

Kathy Hauer, a financial planner based in Aiken, S.C., says she's telling people to do things she has never recommended before: "Defer as many payments as possible and and worry about it later."

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has made it a habit these days to get on television every evening, guiding his country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Last night, the 75-year-old held a marathon session. He chastised his security forces for using excessive force to enforce the lockdown. People should be encouraged to go back to their homes and if they refuse, arrest them, he counseled, as one of his security chiefs looked on.

Under threat of "retaliation" from President Trump, India earlier this week reversed its export restrictions and some companies are ramping up production of a malaria drug Trump has touted as a potential game-changer for fighting COVID-19.

The World Bank has projected that a recession is coming to sub-Saharan African for the first time in 25 years — due to an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Army scrambled to set up a 250-bed field hospital in an events center next to Seattle's baseball stadium. This week, the state has decided it doesn't need it.

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have jettisoned all manner of routines, and grooming is no exception.

On social media, many men are leaning into self-isolation with the #QuarantineBeard. Comedian Jim Carrey, for one, is putting down the razor until "we all go back to work," encouraging his Twitter followers to join him in his "meaningless transformation," using the hashtag #letsgrowtogether.

Senate Democrats blocked a GOP effort to add $250 billion in coronavirus-related small-business loans.

"We need more funding — and we need it fast," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. "To my Democratic colleagues, do not block emergency aid you do not oppose just because you want something more. We do not have to do everything right now."

Congressional Republicans and the White House want to increase the total amount of loans available through the Paycheck Protection Program from $350 billion to $600 billion.

Maryland State Department of Health

Black Marylanders are disproportionately represented among confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19, according to state data released Thursday.

Black residents make up just under a third of Maryland’s population, but represent 42.7% of COVID-19 cases and 44% of the deaths from the illness among cases for which race data is known. 

Gov. Larry Hogan said the figures reveal “troubling disparities and points to a persistent public health challenge that we must address.”

Pope Francis says the COVID-19 pandemic represents a chance for creativity and positive change, urging people to reconnect with the real world and reject "throwaway culture."

The pontiff's comments came by way of an interview with Commonweal magazine published Wednesday. Francis also said the coronavirus crisis has revealed that many decisions are made solely on economic terms; he also says the ongoing outbreak is exposing what he calls "functional hypocrisy" at the highest levels of government.

The U.S. is enduring a "very bad week" during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci says. But he also says that the American public's embrace of physical separation and other restrictions is sharply reducing projections of the death toll from the respiratory virus.

The final toll currently "looks more like 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000" that U.S. officials previously estimated, Fauci said.

Stephen Deininger/Pandemic Players

Last month, after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a ban on all large public gatherings, the region’s theaters — like most of its businesses — were closed to the public.  But actors gotta act, and it wasn’t long before the theater community found new and creative ways to connect with their stay-at-home audiences.  We'll hear about some of them today.

Tom is joined first by our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, who has been sampling some of what’s out there for home-bound theater lovers. 

Here are links to some of the virtual (online) thespian offerings that Judy recommends (including Pandemic Players, also linked below): 

Baltimore Center Stage, Where We Stand
Play at Home
Royal National Theatre
92nd Street Y,
 especially its Sondheim program
audible.com
Theatre Project 

and Happenstance Theater, in particular.

Pages