COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations Up 25% In Past Two Weeks

Recent national data has shown that COVID-19-related hospitalizations are up overall in the United States. According to the New York Times COVID-19 data tracker, hospitalizations are up 25% in the last two weeks, and hospitalizations are increasing in almost every state. As cases have been rising, this is not unexpected, however with the decrease in regular testing and greater at-home testing, case numbers have not been a reliable source of the current state of COVID-19 in the United States. Per the CDC, hospitalizations are up by about 8.6% compared to last week. 

In Michigan, Ingham County is at medium levels of community transmission of COVID-19 per the CDC. Currently, 14 counties in Michigan are at high levels of community transmission of COVID-19, with most primarily in Southeast Michigan and in the Upper Peninsula. While this is fewer counties than the prior week, this is still significant. The pandemic is not over, and as cases and hospitalizations continue to climb nationwide, it is best to continue wearing good masks, staying up to date on vaccinations, and practicing proper hand hygiene especially in public, indoor spaces and crowded areas. 

More information:

Study Finds that Most Adults in Michigan Have Heard Misinformation about CRT

A recent survey by researchers at Michigan State University found that 79% of adults in Michigan have heard at least one piece of misinformation about Critical Race Theory, and 42% had previously heard all eight false statements that the researchers asked about. Only 53% said that they trust their local teachers to discuss race and racism with their children, and 62% said that they trust their local teachers to discuss national events related to race. The researchers note that decreased trust in teachers and politicization of their work may result in more policies that micromanage the profession, which may lead to further decreases in job satisfaction and more teachers leaving their jobs.

More information:

CDC Finds 1 in 5 Adults Have a Health Condition Likely Related to Previous COVID-19 Illness

In a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC looked at health records from March 2020 to November 2021, and analyzed 353,164 cases with a confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 test result or COVID-19 diagnosis and compared them with 1,640,776 control cases (individuals who were also hospitalized, in an emergency department, or outpatient clinic in the same month as the cases). It was found that those who survived COVID-19 illness were twice as likely to develop pulmonary embolism or other respiratory conditions, and approximately 1 in 5 adults ages 18-64 years of age as well as 1 in 4 adults 65 and older experienced at least one other incident or condition that is likely related to their COVID-19 infection. With the data available, it is known that more and more people who have had COVID-19 are experiencing some other condition and possibly some post-COVID conditions for long periods of time. While it is still not very well understood, some individuals develop what has been termed “long COVID,” and these conditions can last for very long periods of time. This is concerning, as cases and hospitalizations continue to rise again. This shows that many people might face additional effects of getting COVID-19, and thus prevention measures, many of which are largely gone now, are still greatly needed. In the meantime, continue to wear good masks, practice proper hand hygiene, and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines to best protect yourself and others from getting COVID-19 in the first place!

More information:

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Police Accountability

On Wednesday, President Biden signed an Executive Order to increase police accountability, which impacts federal law enforcement agencies. The "Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety":

More information:

Many Asian Americans Bought Guns During the Pandemic Due to Fear of Anti-Asian Violence

A new study conducted by researchers at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan found that anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many Asian Americans buying guns. The study found that Asian Americans who experienced racial discrimination or who perceived more cultural racism were more likely to buy a gun during the pandemic, and that nearly 55% of Asian Americans who bought a gun during the pandemic were first-time gun owners. Those who experienced racism-related stress were also found to be more likely to intend to purchase a gun. Over one-third of Asian American gun owners reported that they carried a gun more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic than before, and the most common reason for doing so was protection. 43% of Asian American gun owners reported storing loaded guns, and 47% reported storing their guns unlocked. Anti-Asian racism promoted by politicians and media figures due to COVID-19, and the resulting increased firearm ownership for protection, may put Asian Americans at higher risk for gun-related injuries.

More information:

Biden Administration Announces Federal Test-to-Treat Sites for COVID-19

On Thursday, the Biden Administration announced that it was taking steps to make Paxlovid, and antiviral that helps to treat COVID-19, more available. The new measures include launching federally-supported "Test-to-Treat" sites, which are clinics where people who test positive for COVID-19 can be immediately prescribed and given Paxlovid, without having to make additional appointments with doctors or having to make additional trips to pharmacies. The White House announcement indicated that the first federal Test-to-Treat site is being launched in Rhode Island, but more are planned in the coming weeks. Additionally, the White House is deploying clinical personnel to turn state-run testing site in Minnesota into Test-to-Treat sites.

More information:

This Week's QM Round-Up Contributors (in alphabetical order):