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COVID-19 vaccination plan relies on public and private health providers

photo via pixnio

First look at state proposal raises questions, such as how providers will maintain its unflagging pace over six months to protect 70% of residents

By Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight

New Jersey will rely on a network of public and private health care providers to immunize millions of residents over the next year or so, according to a draft COVID-19 vaccine plan state officials released early this week.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: October 30th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey | Tags: , , | No Comments »

‘A complete shift’: Not just ventilators, doctors now use a range of COVID-19 treatments

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daniel R. Betancourt Jr./Released)200428-M-WU117-1661

Dramatic drop in patients on ventilation shows impact of new methods

By Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight

When the first wave of coronavirus patients flooded New Jersey hospitals earlier this year, clinicians were heavily focused on ventilators. At the apex of the pandemic, one in four people hospitalized for COVID-19 needed these machines to breathe, and the state’s supplies were running short.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: October 8th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19 | Tags: , | Comments Off on ‘A complete shift’: Not just ventilators, doctors now use a range of COVID-19 treatments

2020: Now that Trump is out of the hospital, ‘Murder hornets’ are entering their ‘slaughter phase’

SEATTLE — Just when you think Asian giant hornets’ reputation couldn’t get any worse, they’re about to enter the “slaughter phase” when they attack in force, decapitate their victims and prey upon the brood for days.

Six “murder hornets,” as they’re sometimes called, have been caught, trapped or reported since Sept. 21 in the Blaine area, where they were first spotted in the U.S. last year.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture, or WSDA, is desperate to track down their nest and kill them before they go on their murderous rampage.“Asian giant hornets this time of year start going into w… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: October 6th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: | Comments Off on 2020: Now that Trump is out of the hospital, ‘Murder hornets’ are entering their ‘slaughter phase’

NJ readies for widespread inoculations when coronavirus vaccine arrives

photo via pixnio

By Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight

Health officials want 70% to get vaccine in six months, spending $6 million to get ready

New Jersey has big plans for a potential coronavirus vaccine. State health officials said they hope to get 70% of residents inoculated within six months, have identified most of the funding needed and are crafting a strategy to prioritize distribution to those most at risk.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: October 5th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments »

DNA from Neanderthals can make Covid more severe

PARIS: Covid-19 patients with a snippet of Neanderthal DNA that crossed into the human genome some 60,000 years ago run a higher risk of severe complications from the disease, researchers have reported.

People infected with the new coronavirus, for example, who carry the genetic coding bequeathed by our early human cousins are three times more likely to need mechanical ventilation, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

There are many reasons why some people with Covid-19 wind up in intensive care and other have only light symptoms, or none at all.Advanced age, being a man, and pre-… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: October 1st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19 | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

New Jersey budget will see more tax increases, more borrowing

Lawmakers push plan that borrows more than Gov. Phil Murphy wanted. Votes planned for Tuesday

By John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight

State lawmakers are planning to send Gov. Phil Murphy a budget bill later this week that calls for even more spending and borrowing than he originally asked for.

The first votes on a $32.7 billion spending bill formally introduced by lawmakers on Monday are scheduled to be held Tuesday afternoon in budget committees in the Assembly and Senate.

Also scheduled for committee review on Tuesday are a series of tax hikes proposed to back up the Legislature’s spending bill.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: September 22nd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

This is how Murphy’s budget allocates $2.4 billion in federal COVID funding

Some lawmakers and state-funded organizations worry what will happen when that money is gone

By Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight

For six months the coronavirus pandemic has loomed large over New Jersey, taking an enormous toll on the state’s public health and economy, and affecting nearly every aspect of daily life.

But you won’t find it by name in Gov. Phil Murphy’s $32.4 billion budget proposal.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: September 21st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Phil Murphy | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on This is how Murphy’s budget allocates $2.4 billion in federal COVID funding

Patients fled primary care during COVID-19

WASHINGTON — If Dr. Erica Swegler, a solo primary care doctor in Austin, Texas, hadn’t gotten her bank to delay payments on one of the loans she had taken out to open her practice five years ago, she said, “I would have been out of business in April.”

Likewise, she’s sure she would have had to close if she hadn’t also received a $36,000 federal Payment Protection Program coronavirus loan to carry her over a couple of months while her patients stayed away in droves. Ditto if Medicare and Medicaid hadn’t relaxed rules to allow for compensation and better reimbursement rates for telehealth visits … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 3rd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, Health Care | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Plans in the Works to Increase Capacity of NJ’s Contact-Tracing Corps

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House parties tied to new coronavirus cases point to need for tracking infected people — especially teens

By LILO H. STAINTON, NJSpotlight

With nearly 90 new COVID-19 cases linked to young people who attended house parties at several Jersey Shore communities — and the potential exposure of hundreds more — state officials continue to encourage people to get tested and cooperate with contact tracers.

Read the rest of this entry » Posted: July 28th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Plans in the Works to Increase Capacity of NJ’s Contact-Tracing Corps

N.J. coronavirus clusters linked to Middletown teen house party, LBI lifeguard gathering increase to about 100 cases

Roughly 100 coronavirus cases have been linked to a teen house party in Monmouth County and a separate gathering of Jersey Shore lifeguards on Long Beach Island leading state officials to urge caution for those kinds of flare ups.

“We continue to see outbreaks arising from gatherings among young people,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said during New Jersey 100th coronavirus briefing on Monday.

She said health officials have traced 35 new cases to a party among lifeguards on Long Beach Island. Eighteen lifeguards are from Harvey Cedars’ beach patrol and 17 from Surf City’s, according to … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 27th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey | Tags: , , | Comments Off on N.J. coronavirus clusters linked to Middletown teen house party, LBI lifeguard gathering increase to about 100 cases