Global Statistics

All countries
528,399,054
Confirmed
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
All countries
484,651,985
Recovered
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
All countries
6,302,077
Deaths
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Global Statistics

All countries
528,399,054
Confirmed
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
All countries
484,651,985
Recovered
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
All countries
6,302,077
Deaths
Updated on May 24, 2022 7:18 am
Molderizer and Safe Shield

Nearly 3 In 4 US Covid Cases Now ‘Stealth’ Omicron BA.2

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The dramatic rise of omicron covid subvariant BA.2 is seen in data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Separately, since GlaxoSmithKline’s covid drug sotrovimab is known to be ineffective in treating this subvariant, the FDA has deauthorized its use.


CIDRAP:
BA.2 Now Behind 72% Of All US COVID-19 Cases 


The subvariant of the Omicron strain—BA.2—now accounts for 72.2% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There is no evidence BA.2 results in more severe illness, and it is no more likely to evade immune protection,” said Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, during a White House press briefing. “But the subvariant is more transmissible.” (Soucheray, 4/5)


AP:
US Pulls GSK’s COVID Drug As Omicron Sibling Dominates Cases 


GlaxoSmithKline’s IV drug for COVID-19 should no longer be used because it is likely ineffective against the omicron subvariant that now accounts for most U.S. cases, federal health regulators said Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration announced that the company’s antibody drug sotrovimab is no longer authorized to treat patients in any U.S. state or territory. The decision was expected, because the FDA had repeatedly restricted the drug’s use in the Northeast and other regions as the BA.2 version of omicron became dominant. (Perrone, 4/5)

In other news about the spread of covid —


Bangor Daily News:
Nirav Shah: Wastewater Data Show COVID May Be On The Rise Again In Maine


Although COVID-19 cases have fallen from a pandemic-high reported in January 2022, there is some evidence that the virus may be on the rise again. Surveillance data show that there has been an increase in viral RNA in wastewater over the past 15 days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Wastewater surveillance results showed uniform increases in viral levels across the state,” Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention tweeted on Tuesday. “This is different from the episodic spikes we’ve seen before.” (Stockley, 4/5)


The Boston Globe:
Levels Of Coronavirus In Eastern Mass. Waste Water Still Rising


The levels of coronavirus detected in Eastern Massachusetts waste water continued to climb in recent days, as concerns persist that the arrival of the Omicron subvariant BA.2 could cause an increase in COVID-19 cases. The levels fell precipitously from heights reached early this year as the Omicron wave peaked, then bottomed out around the beginning of March. They have been rising gradually since, although they are still a small fraction of their peak, according to data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. (Finucane and Huddle, 4/5)


Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Coronavirus Cases Rising, But Is It Another Wave?


Coronavirus cases have begun to rise in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco counties, likely a result of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2, decreased use of masks and waning immunity. The increases are modest, and it’s unclear whether this is a brief hiccup, the beginning of a larger wave of cases or something in between. “I think that it’s possible we might see a modest uptick in the next few weeks due to the fact that we are reducing some of the restrictions, such as indoor mask use,” UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Robert Kim-Farley said. “But I do not anticipate that we would see a major surge at this stage, just because so many people are immune, due to natural infection or vaccination.” (Lin II, 4/5)


San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Has Highest COVID Rate As California’s Decline In Cases Stalls


San Francisco now has the highest coronavirus infection rate of any county in California, followed closely by several other Bay Area counties where COVID-19 downward trends have stalled as the highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant extends its dominance. The Bay Area overall is reporting about 700 new cases a day across its nine counties, still reflecting its steep drop since the winter surge that saw a peak of more than 18,000 new daily cases. But the number remains much higher than the 200 reported during last year’s summer lull before the delta variant of the virus took hold. (Vaziri, 4/5)


Chicago Tribune:
Chicago’s, Schools’ COVID-19 Numbers Climb But ‘Nothing Alarming’ 


COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise in Chicago and in its public school system, but the city’s top doctor said there is “nothing alarming at this point.” “We are seeing an increase, but I’m thinking it’s going to be probably more like what we saw during alpha and during delta (variant waves), as opposed to this really out-of-control (surge) that we saw during omicron,” public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday during an online question-and-answer session. (Swartz, 4/5)


AP:
West Virginia Removes Dozens Of Deaths From COVID-19 Count 


West Virginia has removed dozens of deaths from its official COVID-19 count after a review found nearly all of them were not related to the coronavirus, health officials said Tuesday. The Department of Health and Human Resources lowered its death count since the start of the pandemic from 6,839 to 6,716. (4/5)

Also —


AP:
Judge Grants Class-Action Status To COVID-Sickened Prisoners 


A federal judge has certified a class-action lawsuit in Oregon over state leaders’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic inside its prisons. A group of adults in custody who contracted COVID-19 first sued the state in April 2020, alleging culpability by Gov. Kate Brown, Corrections Department Director Colette Peters and Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, among other state officials. The lawsuit acknowledges Corrections has taken some measures but argues they have not been enough. (4/5)


Philadelphia Inquirer:
Omicron Raised Nursing And Other Costs For Philadelphia Health Systems


The University of Pennsylvania Health System typically spends $9 million to $10 million a quarter on overtime, agency staff, and bonus pay encouraging workers to take extra shifts, a health system executive said this month. But those costs reached an astounding $49 million, a five-fold increase, in the last three months of 2021, capped by the onset of the omicron surge. “Our costs at the bedside have just gone up and they’re not going down,” the health system’s chief financial officer, Keith Kasper, told University of Pennsylvania trustees during a budget committee meeting March 3. He said the system has to adjust. (Brubaker, 4/1)


KHN:
The End Of The Covid Emergency Could Mean A Huge Loss Of Health Insurance


If there has been a silver lining to this terrible covid-19 pandemic, it is that the rate of Americans without health insurance dropped to a near-historic low, in response to various federal initiatives connected to the government-declared public health emergency. Now, as the pandemic’s acute phase seemingly draws to an end, millions of low-income and middle-income Americans are at risk of losing health insurance. The United States might see one of the steepest increases in the country’s uninsured rate in years. (Rosenthal, 4/6)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.



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