Case Update: August 27th, 2022; Changes at the CDC, New COVID Guidance

This is a COVID case update. I’ll also discuss the CDC’s recent changes in policy.

We have some good news this week. New cases are going down by every available metric. New confirmed case numbers are coming down in all 3 regions. More importantly, hospitalizations are coming down as well, sharply in San Diego County. BA.5 continues to be the most common variant in the US by far. BA.5 was feared to be more dangerous than previous variants, but deaths have not risen significantly since BA.5 appeared.

Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Hospitalizations, from the CDC website.
Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a linear format.
Graph is by me, from data collected from San Diego County Public Health. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. San Diego County now only releases information Monday and Thursday each week. Data points shown are extrapolated using this information.
Graph is by me, from data collected from San Diego County Public Health. Graph is presented in a linear format. San Diego County now only releases information Monday and Thursday each week. Data points shown are extrapolated using this information.
Hospitalizations in SD County, May 22nd to August 14th, 2022. Gray area represents time-frame in which data is still being collected. Note that a significant number of hospitalizations are among the vaccinated.

World wide, new cases are coming down. After spending most of the pandemic at the top of the list of countries with the most new cases, the US is now at #3 on John’s Hopkins list, behind both Japan and South Korea, and at #7 on Worldometer’s list. Sorry, the US still has double as many total cases as #2, India.

Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a linear format.
Worldometer, Daily new cases in Japan.
Worldometer, Daily new cases in South Korea.

Changes at the CDC: Several news outlets reported on August 17th that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has finally admitted that the CDC made significant mistakes in the agency’s response to COVID. She said, “For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations. My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness.”

I’ve discussed several times before that the CDC is primarily responsible for the poor US response to the pandemic. Even worse, they have done great damage to the public’s trust in the medical community and in science in general. I’m glad she intends to fix the agency, but I’m afraid this will not be a speedy process and may essentially be impossible. In order to be successful, they will need to be transparent, and probably fire some people top leadership in order to regain the public’s trust.

Changes to CDC guidance: They also made some changes to CDC guidance on COVID. These changes include the following:

• Those exposed to COVID need not quarantine. Test on day 5, and wear a mask in public for 10 days.

• If you test positive for COVID, quarantine for 5 days. If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5. Wear a mask until day 11, and stay away from high risk people.

• Vaccinated and unvaccinated people will not be treated differently.

Some of these changes are in response to the improving situation, while others are long overdue.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID, review the changes on the CDC website.

Also, you can review the full COVID 19 page.

Don’t fear, but be smart,
Erik

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