COVID-19 is #3

Cause of Death

COVID-19 is currently the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.  The Trump Virus is behind only heart disease and cancer among causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is scary since the first confirmed case was only eight months ago. I hope there is no second wave or it will overtake cancer soon.

Texas surpassed 10,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths. Roughly four in every five of those deaths were after June 1. As you may recall, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott embarked on a premature reopening in May. These deaths are his responsibility. He should resign. Now Texas officials are concerned that not enough people are seeking tests.

Earlier this week, U.S. health officials also warned about accuracy issues with a widely used coronavirus test. The tests are not reliable.  They may lead to false results for patients,  The Food and Drug Administration issued the alert to doctors and laboratory technicians using Thermo Fisher’s TaqPath genetic test.

The Industry Problem

Long-term care facilities account for less than 1% of the U.S. population. But nursing homes account for more than 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths according to the COVID Tracking Project. The number of deaths exceed 70,000. Experts agree the real number  is higher. More than 3,400 nursing homes in the U.S. have been cited for noncompliance with infection-control requirements and/or failure to report COVID-19 data.

Numerous reports show safety issues ranging from short-staffing, shortages of personal protective equipment, inadequate testing supplies, and poor infection control training and procedures. These issues existed prior to the Trump Virus.  The issues are long-standing problems in the nursing home industry.

Maybe technology is the answer. A new kind of app uses your smartphone’s Bluetooth wireless signals to determine if you’ve been in contact with someone positive for coronavirus. The app sends a notification. “You have likely been exposed.”

The app is called Covidwise, and works in the state of Virginia. Similar apps are available in North Dakota (Care19 Alert), Wyoming (Care19 Alert), and Alabama (Guidesafe). In total, 20 states and territories are developing apps that will cover nearly half the U.S. population. Nothing in South Carolina yet.