Global COVID-19 deaths top 206,000

April 27, 2020

The global COVID-19 death toll passed 206,000, with brisk activity continuing in U.S. hot spots and growing in others.

Global case total climbed to almost 2,975,000 in 185 nations, with fatalities reaching over 206,000 according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard. The U.S. total is near 966,000, with approximately 55,000 deaths.

In the wake of the fallout over the President’s recent comments about the potential use of disinfectants and light as medical treatment for COVID-19, the White House is considering scaling back on White House daily briefings, NBC News reported today.

Meanwhile, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said about 1,100 people were hospitalized in a one-day period, which is more than officials want to see, but less than the state has seen in the past 21 days. He also said the state would expand COVID-19 testing criteria to frontline health workers, emergency responders, and essential workers.

Cuomo also announced antibody testing for healthcare workers has begun at four hospital sites and signed an executive order allowing pharmacists to test for COVID-19.

In Massachusetts, the third worst-hit state, Governor Charlie Baker said the state is experiencing a case surge, though hospitals are prepared, CNN reported. He said 55 percent of the state's hospital beds are still available. Baker said the state is waiting to see if hospitalizations and other indicators drop before deciding to scale back stay-at-home orders, which are slated to end on May 4.

Elsewhere, COVID-19 cases are growing in more recently affected areas such as the Midwest and South, according to a study from the Dartmouth Atlas Project published in Health Affairs. Based on county-level data, the group said cities where outbreak levels are rising fastest include Grand Forks, ND; Sioux City, IA; Waterloo, IA; Columbus, OH; Green Bay, WI; Amarillo, TX; Lincoln, NE; Des Moines, IA; Wichita, KS; and Chattanooga, TN. They also noted that some of the areas in which cases are accelerating, such as some Texas cities, are in states where governors are easing back on distancing orders.

In other U.S. developments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added six more symptoms to its COVID-19 list, according to an update on its website, CBS News reported. Originally, the CDC said fever, cough, and shortness of breath were the main symptoms. Now it has added chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and recent loss of taste or smell.

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