Nevada: COVID-19 Cases Slowly Rising Due To Low Vaccination Rates

My home state of Nevada is not doing great in the COVID vaccination department.

From Jennifer Solis at the Nevada Current:

Nevada has continued to report a slow rise in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks as the positivity rate — or percentage of tests that came back positive — increased to 4.0%, from 3.9%.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 447 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the highest daily number of cases in over a month.

Confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalization cases rose to 281 on Wednesday, after falling as low as 178 on June 12.

Vaccination rates for Clark County are at about 42% — lower than the national average of 45% and significantly lower than Washoe County’s 54% vaccination rate.

By comparison, Los Angeles County in California, with a population five times as large as Clark County, boasts a 7-day average positivity rate of 0.8% and reported only 260 new cases and 230 hospitalizations on Wednesday. Los Angeles County also has a significantly higher vaccination rate of 58%, according to California data.

The state, meanwhile, is offering financial motivation to encourage people to get vaccinated. Nevada will distribute $5 million in cash prizes to residents who have been vaccinated at least once.

Read the full report here.

COVID Cases On The Rise As Delta Variant Spreads To All 50 States

The Delta variant of the coronavirus now makes up 25% of all new cases in the U.S.

Via NBC News:

The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States rose 10 percent this week as the highly contagious delta variant gained further ground, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The country’s lagging vaccination rate coupled with the “hyper-transmissible delta variant” could account for the increase, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing.

The variant, which was first detected in India, now accounts for a quarter of all new cases, and has been detected in all 50 states. Its rapid spread is sure to make it the dominant U.S. strain within the coming weeks, she said.

Read the full report here.

According to the CDC, 57.4 percent of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated as of today.

Sydney Enters ‘Hard Lockdown’ Due To Delta Variant Outbreak

From CNN:

Sydney will enter a hard two-week lockdown on Saturday night local time as authorities try to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant in Australia’s largest city, the state leader said.

More than a million people in downtown Sydney and the city’s eastern suburbs were already under lockdown due to the outbreak, but health authorities said they needed to expand that after more Covid-19 cases were recorded, with exposure sites increasing beyond the initial areas of concern.

The curbs on Sydney, home to more than 5 million people, are the latest in a streak of short but hard lockdowns that have been imposed in Australia’s cities in recent months to fight small outbreaks of the coronavirus.

There were 38 cases of different COVID-19 variants reported by late Sunday, the first time in months that so many different regions in Australia had reported new infections on the same day.

The government has received criticism for a slow rollout of COVID vaccinations. According to government statistics, only about 1.4 million full vaccinations have been administered in the country of 25 million people.

#LubeLife Teams Up With Campus Pride For Sex Positive Campaign

#Lubelife, the leading personal lubricant brand sold on Amazon, is celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month by forming a partnership with Campus Pride, the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQ students.

Campus Pride is a volunteer-driven network “for” and “by” student leaders. Educational partners, staff and volunteers develop resources, programs and services to support LGBTQ and ally students on college campuses across the United States. Search their resources and learn how our various programs and services may assist you in creating a safer, more LGBTQ-friendly college campus community.

#LubeLife supports your sexual adventure and encourages people to #TakeItBackForGood.

#LubeLife will be donating $5 to Campus Pride every time someone posts about anal sex positivity on the #LubeLife website during Pride Month.

Also, #Lubelife will be donating 15% of the sales of its two anal sex lubricants during the month of June to support sexual health and stigma reduction programs for queer young adults with Campus Pride.

“#LubeLife is a fun, irreverent brand that is all about adventure and exploration; we wanted to put a spotlight on anal sex during Pride month because it is at the very core of sexual exploration, and the LGBTQ community has always been on the forefront of that,” said Tara Merkle, Senior Director of Marketing for #LubeLife.

“Sex is a part of life and we must talk about it,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride. “Every dollar raised will be put towards our sexual health awareness programs and stigma reduction for queer young adult leaders.”

Head over to the #LubeLife website for more info.

(image via Instagram/LubeLife)

Study: Brain Tissue Loss Found In Patients Who Experience COVID-19

The results of a new study indicates some disconcerting long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain.

From the Washington Post:

The researchers from the U.K. Biobank scrutinized before-and-after brain scans from 782 people — half who had developed covid-19 and half who hadn’t. Those who had developed the illness experienced noteworthy tissue loss after infection in areas of the brain associated with the sense of taste and smell, the researchers said.

“It’s very concerning because it does suggest that the virus could be having a direct effect on certain portions of the brain,” said former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb.

“I think what it suggests is that the balance of the information that we’re accruing does indicate that covid is a disease that could create persistent symptoms,” he said. “So, this isn’t a benign disease. This is something you want to avoid. And the bottom line is, we have the tools to avoid it through vaccination.”

Read the full article here.

COVID Deaths In U.S. Surpass 600,000


According to Johns Hopkins University more than 600,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus.

That’s nearly 1 out of every 550 Americans.

From MSNBC:

It was exactly one year ago today when then-Vice President Mike Pence, in his capacity as the head of the White House’s coronavirus taskforce, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on the federal response to the pandemic. The message was simple: Thanks to Donald Trump, Pence argued, “we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.”

The Indiana Republican proceeded to take a tragic-in-hindsight victory lap, dismissing “grim predictions of a second wave,” while insisting that the White House’s approach was “a success.” Pence even boasted at the time that “deaths are down to fewer than 750 a day.”

It came on the heels of Donald Trump assuring the public that he expected the overall U.S. death toll from the pandemic to “probably” be around 60,000.

In mid-April 2020, Trump’s benchmark for success was an overall domestic death toll below 240,000.

Royal Caribbean Postpones Cruises After 8 Crew Test Positive For COVID

(image via Instagram)

Royal Caribbean has been forced to postpone the inaugural sailing of new ship Odyssey of the Seas after eight vaccinated crew members test positive.

From USA Today:

The Odyssey of the Seas’ initial sailings, which the cruise line had laid out as six- and eight-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from July 3 to July 31, are being canceled as a precaution, Royal Caribbean spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro told USA TODAY. The launch will be postponed until July 31, when the first sailing with paying passengers is now scheduled to depart. Four sailings were scrapped in total.

All 1,400 crew members on Odyssey were vaccinated on June 4, but the positive cases were found before the vaccines would be considered fully effective June 18. Of the eight crew members who tested positive, six are asymptomatic and two have mild symptoms.

NY Drops Restrictions As State Reaches 70% Vaccination Rate

New York state is dropping COVID-19 restrictions as vaccination rates among adults passes 70 percent mark

New York state is dropping COVID-19 restrictions as vaccination rates among adults passes 70 percent mark

From the New York Times:

With 70 percent of adults in New York having received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that effective immediately the state was ready to “return to life as we know it.” Nearly all restrictions on businesses and social gatherings have been eliminated, he announced at a news conference.

The changes, which will take effect immediately, mark yet another milestone in the economic recovery of a state that was once an epicenter of the pandemic, and are expected to bring back the type of scenes familiar to most New Yorkers in pre-pandemic times.

With the order, the state, in most cases, will end capacity limits and no longer require social distancing, disinfection protocols and health screenings, instead making it optional for businesses to impose such health precautions on their premises.

States With Lower Vaccination Rates Have Higher COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Quel surprise.

From the Washington Post:

States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising in many places people have not, a Washington Post analysis has found.

States with lower vaccination also have significantly higher hospitalization rates, The Post found. Poorly vaccinated communities have not been reporting catastrophic conditions. Instead, they are usually seeing new infections holding steady or increasing without overwhelming local hospitals.

As recently as 10 days ago, vaccination rates did not predict a difference in coronavirus cases, but immunization rates have diverged, and case counts in the highly vaccinated states are dropping quickly.

COVID Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths Plunged After 75% Of Brazilian City Vaccinated

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Brazil has experienced devastating effects from the coronavirus pandemic, including over 460,000 deaths, due in part to a lack of vaccine doses.

The producer of China’s CoronaVac vaccine in Brazil, the Instituto Butantan, took on an interesting experiment involving nearly the entire population of the town of Serrano in São Paulo state.

Statista reports that 95 percent of Serrano’s 45,000 inhabitants were fully vaccinated with CoronaVac between the months of February and April.

When that process was completed:

• symptomatic Covid-19 cases fell 80 percent
• hospitalizations declined 86 percent
• deaths plunged 95 percent

Ricardo Palacios, research director at Butantan, said that 75 percent was the crucial figure in the study. Once three quarters of Serrano’s population was fully vaccinated, all three of the above metrics tumbled, suggesting 75 percent is the threshold required to contain and control the pandemic.

In other words – vaccines work.

(graphic via Statista)