What you need to know about COVID-19: In Kansas visit, Dr. Birx urges use of masks

President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus adviser used a visit to Kansas to urge people to wear masks regardless of where they live.“What’s really important for every Kansan to understand is that this epidemic that we have been seeing this summer is both urban and rural,” Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force said Saturday. “So we are really asking all communities, whether you are urban or rural communities, to really wear a mask inside, outside, every day.”She also stressed that people should socially distance and not have gatherings while in Kansas City, Kansas, for a meeting with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, as well as community and state health officials at KU Medical Center, The Kansas City Star reports.“You can’t tell who’s infected,” Birx said. “Much of the spread is asymptomatic. I know we all want to believe that our family members cannot be positive. They are.”Birx said when communities start seeing a rise in positive cases, leaders need to close the bars, restrict indoor dining, decrease social gatherings and ensure there’s a mask mandate.“We have been doing that across the South and we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in cases where the population has followed those guidelines,” she said.New CDC guidance says cases in children ‘steadily increasing’Health experts say children make up more than 7% of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. — while comprising about 22% of the country’s population — and the number and rate of child cases have been “steadily increasing” from March to July.The data was posted alongside updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pediatricians that also includes what is known about the virus in children.”Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings,” the guidance states.Transmission of the virus to and among children may have been reduced in spring and early summer due to mitigation measures like stay-at-home orders and school closures, the CDC says.But now, schools and universities across the country are reopening and in some cases have had to readjust their approach following positive tests among students and staff. How to safely welcome students back has been an ongoing debate between local and state leaders as some push for a return to normalcy and others fear returning to class could prove deadly for some. In some cases, teachers have opted to resign rather than risk contracting the virus.”So if I’m put into a classroom of 30 or more kids, it’s a small room, there’s one exit, the ventilation isn’t all that great for schools,” Arizona teacher Matt Chicci, who quit his job, told CNN. “It’s not a good situation.”In Georgia, where several districts reopened in recent weeks, more than 1,000 students and staff were asked to quarantine following cases of coronavirus or exposures to someone infected.While some U.S. officials have downplayed the risk coronavirus positions on children, the new CDC guidance notes children can develop severe illness and complications, even if that risk is lower compared to adults. The rate of hospitalizations among children is increasing, the guidance says, and among those hospitalized, one in three children is admitted to intensive care — the same as adults.The latest numbersIn the U.S., more than 5.3 million people have been infected with the virus and at least 169,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.Black and Latino populations hit hard in hotspotsResearch published Friday from the CDC also showed that in hot spot counties across the U.S., Black and Latino people were hit hard by the virus, with a majority of the counties reporting disparities on coronavirus cases in one or more racial or ethnic groups.”These findings illustrate the disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 among communities of color, as has been shown by other studies, and suggest that a high percentage of cases in hotspot counties are among person of color,” said the authors.In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, health officials say collecting coronavirus impact data by race helped them better strategize a response to the pandemic.” helped us alter our strategy so we could increase our outreach, add additional testing sites, just really help our communities of color prevent their exposure to COVID-19,” said Jeanette Kowalik, commissioner of health at the Milwaukee Health Department.Kowalik said the data drove conversations that wouldn’t have taken place if officials weren’t aware more people of color were impacted by the virus.Health officials in Illinois identify cases linked to ‘mini-prom’Health officials in southern Illinois are looking for people who attended a “mini-prom” earlier this month and may been exposed to multiple confirmed cases of coronavirus.The Wabash County Health Department asked the public in a Facebook post to get in touch if they were at the Aug. 4 event and have been experiencing coronavirus symptoms including fever, loss of taste or smell, a cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat.U.S. leaders from coast to coast have throughout the past few months warned that young groups of people and social gatherings were driving an increase in coronavirus cases. Many of the nation’s top health officials have urged Americans to avoid not just bars but any crowded indoor spaces.On Friday, Illinois reported the highest number of daily cases since May 24, with more than 2,260 new cases. The state has now reported more than 200,000 infections and more than 7,700 deaths.The event took place in Mount Carmel, officials said, about 160 miles southeast of Springfield. It’s unclear how many people attended in total.Wabash health officials told CNN affiliate WFIE at least five cases were linked to the event and 40 close contacts were identified.”We’re just trying to alert the other kids that may have been there — that they may have been in contact with several positive cases and to watch for symptoms,” Wabash County Health Department Administrator Judy Wissel said, according to the news station.The “mini-prom” was not a school-sanctioned event, the affiliate reported.Doctors warn of lasting heart complicationsWith new evidence and data on the virus emerging almost weekly, health officials now have another warning: the risk of death from coronavirus-related heart damage seems to be far greater than previously thought, the American Heart Association said.Inflammation of the vascular system and injury to the heart occur in 20% to 30% of hospitalized coronavirus patients and contribute to 40% of deaths, the association said Friday.Dr. Mitchell Elkind, the association’s president, said that the cardiac complications of COVID-19 could be “devastating” and linger after recovery.The AHA said research indicates coronavirus could lead to heart attacks, acute coronary syndromes, stroke, blood pressure abnormalities, clotting issues, heart muscle inflammation and fatal heartbeat irregularities.It’s a statement that’s long been hinted by coronavirus patients across the country, whose bodies were attacked in different ways by the coronavirus.In Florida, a 21-year-old suffered heart failure while in the hospital and weeks since his recovery, his heart rate is still monitored and he’s on medication for his blood pressure — medications his doctors have said could continue for at least another year.There is a critical need for more research, Elkind said.”We simply don’t have enough information to provide the definitive answers people want and need.”Stop the spread of COVID-19To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus adviser used a visit to Kansas to urge people to wear masks regardless of where they live.

“What’s really important for every Kansan to understand is that this epidemic that we have been seeing this summer is both urban and rural,” Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force said Saturday. “So we are really asking all communities, whether you are urban or rural communities, to really wear a mask inside, outside, every day.”

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She also stressed that people should socially distance and not have gatherings while in Kansas City, Kansas, for a meeting with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, as well as community and state health officials at KU Medical Center, The Kansas City Star reports.

“You can’t tell who’s infected,” Birx said. “Much of the spread is asymptomatic. I know we all want to believe that our family members cannot be positive. They are.”

Birx said when communities start seeing a rise in positive cases, leaders need to close the bars, restrict indoor dining, decrease social gatherings and ensure there’s a mask mandate.

“We have been doing that across the South and we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in cases where the population has followed those guidelines,” she said.

New CDC guidance says cases in children ‘steadily increasing’

Health experts say children make up more than 7% of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. — while comprising about 22% of the country’s population — and the number and rate of child cases have been “steadily increasing” from March to July.

The data was posted alongside updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pediatricians that also includes what is known about the virus in children.

“Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings,” the guidance states.

Transmission of the virus to and among children may have been reduced in spring and early summer due to mitigation measures like stay-at-home orders and school closures, the CDC says.

But now, schools and universities across the country are reopening and in some cases have had to readjust their approach following positive tests among students and staff. How to safely welcome students back has been an ongoing debate between local and state leaders as some push for a return to normalcy and others fear returning to class could prove deadly for some. In some cases, teachers have opted to resign rather than risk contracting the virus.

“So if I’m put into a classroom of 30 or more kids, it’s a small room, there’s one exit, the ventilation isn’t all that great for schools,” Arizona teacher Matt Chicci, who quit his job, told CNN. “It’s not a good situation.”

In Georgia, where several districts reopened in recent weeks, more than 1,000 students and staff were asked to quarantine following cases of coronavirus or exposures to someone infected.

While some U.S. officials have downplayed the risk coronavirus positions on children, the new CDC guidance notes children can develop severe illness and complications, even if that risk is lower compared to adults. The rate of hospitalizations among children is increasing, the guidance says, and among those hospitalized, one in three children is admitted to intensive care — the same as adults.

The latest numbers

In the U.S., more than 5.3 million people have been infected with the virus and at least 169,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Black and Latino populations hit hard in hotspots

Research published Friday from the CDC also showed that in hot spot counties across the U.S., Black and Latino people were hit hard by the virus, with a majority of the counties reporting disparities on coronavirus cases in one or more racial or ethnic groups.

“These findings illustrate the disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 among communities of color, as has been shown by other studies, and suggest that a high percentage of cases in hotspot counties are among person of color,” said the authors.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, health officials say collecting coronavirus impact data by race helped them better strategize a response to the pandemic.

“[It] helped us alter our strategy so we could increase our outreach, add additional testing sites, just really help our communities of color prevent their exposure to COVID-19,” said Jeanette Kowalik, commissioner of health at the Milwaukee Health Department.

Kowalik said the data drove conversations that wouldn’t have taken place if officials weren’t aware more people of color were impacted by the virus.

Health officials in Illinois identify cases linked to ‘mini-prom’

Health officials in southern Illinois are looking for people who attended a “mini-prom” earlier this month and may been exposed to multiple confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The Wabash County Health Department asked the public in a Facebook post to get in touch if they were at the Aug. 4 event and have been experiencing coronavirus symptoms including fever, loss of taste or smell, a cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat.

U.S. leaders from coast to coast have throughout the past few months warned that young groups of people and social gatherings were driving an increase in coronavirus cases. Many of the nation’s top health officials have urged Americans to avoid not just bars but any crowded indoor spaces.

On Friday, Illinois reported the highest number of daily cases since May 24, with more than 2,260 new cases. The state has now reported more than 200,000 infections and more than 7,700 deaths.

The event took place in Mount Carmel, officials said, about 160 miles southeast of Springfield. It’s unclear how many people attended in total.

Wabash health officials told CNN affiliate WFIE at least five cases were linked to the event and 40 close contacts were identified.

“We’re just trying to alert the other kids that may have been there — that they may have been in contact with several positive cases and to watch for symptoms,” Wabash County Health Department Administrator Judy Wissel said, according to the news station.

The “mini-prom” was not a school-sanctioned event, the affiliate reported.

Doctors warn of lasting heart complications

With new evidence and data on the virus emerging almost weekly, health officials now have another warning: the risk of death from coronavirus-related heart damage seems to be far greater than previously thought, the American Heart Association said.

Inflammation of the vascular system and injury to the heart occur in 20% to 30% of hospitalized coronavirus patients and contribute to 40% of deaths, the association said Friday.

Dr. Mitchell Elkind, the association’s president, said that the cardiac complications of COVID-19 could be “devastating” and linger after recovery.

The AHA said research indicates coronavirus could lead to heart attacks, acute coronary syndromes, stroke, blood pressure abnormalities, clotting issues, heart muscle inflammation and fatal heartbeat irregularities.

It’s a statement that’s long been hinted by coronavirus patients across the country, whose bodies were attacked in different ways by the coronavirus.

In Florida, a 21-year-old suffered heart failure while in the hospital and weeks since his recovery, his heart rate is still monitored and he’s on medication for his blood pressure — medications his doctors have said could continue for at least another year.

There is a critical need for more research, Elkind said.

“We simply don’t have enough information to provide the definitive answers people want and need.”

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.

Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.

The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.