Informe meteorológico de People's CDC COVID-19

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A stunning report has recently revealed that the US Department of Health & Human Services’s “We Can Do This COVID-19” campaign was effective and saved more than 50,000 lives, preventing hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the current approaches by both HHS and the CDC are leading to unnecessary disability and loss of life, especially as COVID vaccination rates remain low and COVID is being minimized as a serious infectious disease. We need to keep fighting to get our public health authorities to reverse course and bring us a return to the policies of this campaign.

 

El clima

 

The CDC’s reported COVID wastewater levels by state show that viral activity is currently “High” in Hawaii and “Moderate” in Idaho. Wastewater levels are “Low” or “Minimal” across all other reporting states and territories as of May 10, with no data available from North Dakota, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam. 

 

A map of the United States color-coded in shades of orange and gray displaying SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Viral Activity level as of May 10, 2024, where deeper tones correlate to higher viral activity and gray indicates “Insufficient,” or “No Data.” 2 states have “High” or “Moderate” Wastewater Levels, and 1 state and 3 territories have “No Data”. Text above map reads “Continue Precautions During Lower Wastewater Levels. COVID-19 Wastewater Map 5/10/2024. People’s CDC. Source: CDC.”

Graphic source: CDC

 

Wastewater levels across all four regions are continuing to plateau, remaining at lower levels than this year’s fall-winter peaks. You can still be infected during times of lower wastewater COVID levels. Precautions including consistent masking in all public spaces are still necessary in our daily lives to reduce the risk of infection, to prevent Long COVID, and to practice community care. We caution that usually peaks rise from lulls like this, especially as no policies are currently in place to keep wastewater levels low, and that levels could rise back up again at any time.

 

A line graph with the title, “COVID-19 Wastewater Trends 5/13/2024” with “Wastewater Viral Activity Level” indicated on the left-hand vertical axis, going from 0-5, and “Week Ending” across the horizontal axis, with date labels ranging from 3/23/24 to 4/20/24, with the graph extending through 5/04/24. A key at the bottom indicates line colors. National is black, Midwest is orange, South is purple, Northeast is light blue, and West is green. Overall, levels have trended downward and seem to be plateauing since last month. Within the gray-shaded provisional data provided for the last 2 weeks, all geographical regions plateau.. Text above the graph reads “Continue Precautions During Lower Wastewater Levels. Text below: People’s CDC. Source: CDC.”

Graphic source: CDC

 

Variants

 

El CDC’s variant tracking indicates that KP.2 is now predicted to be the most prevalent variant, with the original JN.1 and JN.1.7 slightly shrinking in abundance. The variants with highest proportions continue to be JN.1 and its sublineages.

 

Two stacked bar charts with two-week periods for sample collection dates on the horizontal x-axis and percentage of viral lineages among infections on the vertical y-axis. Title of the first bar chart reads “Weighted Estimates: Variant proportions based on reported genomic sequencing results” with collection dates ranging from 2/3/24 to 4/13/2024. The second chart’s title reads “Nowcast: model-based projected estimates of variant proportions,” dates ranging from 4/27/24 to 5/11/2024. In the Nowcast Estimates for the period ending on 5/11/24, JN.1 (dark purple) is projected to decrease to 15.7 percent, while KP.2 (blue) becomes the dominant strain at 28.2 percent. JN.1.17 (dark pink) is 13.3 percent. Other variants are at smaller percentages represented by a handful of other colors as small slivers.The legend with a list of variants, proportions, and their associated colors is on the far right of the bar charts.

Graphic source: CDC Variant Tracker

 

Hospitalizaciones

 

You may be curious as to why there is no chart showing hospitalizations this week. The reason is not a good one–as of April 30, 2024, hospitals are no longer required to report COVID cases to the CDC, robbing us of badly needed data to understand what is happening during this ongoing pandemic and how to keep patients safe. We can take action to change course and reinstate COVID hospitalization reporting. A proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would require COVID, influenza, and RSV hospitalization reporting outside of a public health emergency on a weekly basis. Public comment on this rule is due June 10. While you’re at it, also write your elected officials to let them know that the public should not be kept in the dark on COVID hospitalizations.

 

Tomar acción

 

As the public discourse in our country has shifted far to the right when it comes to protecting each other in an ongoing pandemic, public mask bans are beginning to be implemented, which could have catastrophic consequences for all of our lives if they are not stopped now. As you might recall, employees at In-N-Out were banned from wearing masks to work in various states last year. Now in 2024, North Carolina is attempting to pass a law that would ban people from wearing masks in public, even if the masks are for medical purposes such as protecting ourselves from an unchecked pandemic. Please sign this petition to push back against this. 

 

We caution that this is not a phenomenon restricted to North Carolina–Ohio already has laws on the books against masking in public and is now enforcing these laws against protestors fighting for Palestine. University of Texas is similarly retaliating against masked protestors, and University of Connecticut initially banned masks from graduation (although they later backtracked). Many states have laws on the books against masking in public. Although many such laws are not currently activated, authorities are beginning to consider activating mask bans in an ableist attempt to silence historic masked protests against genocide in Gaza. 

 

Please, do your part and continue masking and advocating for universal masking, both to protect yourself and to make protests more accessible. We are heartened to see so many allies recognizing the need to integrate disability justice and public health protections into our movements. 

 

We’ve asked the ACLU to take on mask bans. You can too. Call your reps and tell them: We have a right to protect our health. We have a right to gather in public. We must oppose this threat to our rights. Call your local ACLU and tell them to fight mask bans. Raise the issue with your community groups. Together, we can fight to protect our freedom to live long, healthy lives.

 

MaskTogetherAmerica has put together a petition to the NIH to bring back the Test-to-Treat program for free and convenient COVID and influenza testing, telehealth, and treatment access. We at the People’s CDC are cosponsoring this petition and urge you to sign it to bring back a badly needed program for protecting each other’s lives and health in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic and in anticipation of the next seasonal influenza outbreak.

 

Remote work is a key adaptation to both climate change and the ongoing pandemic. However, elected leaders including Joe Manchin have endorsed legislation that imposes restrictions on telework in the federal government. Use this letter campaign to ask elected officials in the White House and Senate to prioritize telehealth for federal workers to mitigate global warming and spread of infectious disease. We cannot survive as a society if we continue being forced into unnecessary in-person work during these extraordinary circumstances, at the expense of our health and the planet’s health. 

 

All these topics–from police violence against masked protestors to dropping of healthcare protections to dropping of workplace safety protections to even gun violence are connected. We must keep the pressure on our elected officials to build a safer and more just future.

 

As always, thank you for your support of COVID protections in the ongoing pandemic.  😷

 

Notes: 1) The numbers in this report were current as of 5/12/2024. 2) Changes in testing access as well as data reporting have led many federal data sources to become less reliable. 3) Check out the links throughout & see our website for more! https://peoplescdc.org. 4) Subscribe to our newsletter: People’s CDC | Substack.

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