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Nothing has come forth, nor viagra alternative otc will it. It's pure bluster and deceit.Trump's Last Chance -- Possibly -- to Destroy the ACABut a struggle now comes to bear between Barrett's views on what courts are limited in doing, and Trump wanting her to be his messenger. Trump knows this may be his last chance to destroy Obama's most prizeworthy legislative achievement, one that has survived 70 attempts by Republicans in Congress to kill viagra alternative otc it. Indeed, Democrats are characterizing Barrett's nomination as an attack on Americans' right to healthcare.Barrett told committee members that her prior published views disagreeing with the Supreme Court's two decisions upholding Obamacare (in another case in 2015, the Supreme Court also found the ACA constitutional) have no bearing on her thinking, because the case before the court in November deals with a different issue.

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It surely wasn't a private insurer.The idea of healthcare as a right has been around for decades, tracing its roots back to FDR in 1943 when he crafted his proposed "Second Bill of Rights." As more fully explained by authors Jean Carmalt and Sarah Zaidi, FDR declared "freedom from want" to be four essential liberties for human security, including "the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health." Carmalt and Zaidi wrote, "The right to health was subsequently enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a 1948 United Nations document." We can even go back to the Declaration of Independence for our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as words connoting an ability to achieve, maintain, and regain our health.Of course, there is no "right" to healthcare in the Constitution. Instead, it is considered a viagra alternative otc moral imperative, a human right -- at least, that's how every other industrialized country views it except for the U.S., where it's considered a profit-making opportunity. True, other facets of life might also be considered "rights" -- equal treatment for LGBTQ persons, fair housing, civil rights, and the right to vote. And while each of those is surely a noble cause, healthcare is the only one that affects every one of us from birth to death (including the "right to die" for those terminally ill with a painful disease).Ethical Questions to PonderThe judiciary committee expects to approve Barrett's nomination along party lines later this week, and full Senate approval is expected soon thereafter.

In the meantime, her viagra alternative otc nomination has become a symbol for assaulting the ACA, a law that's a prime example of the right to healthcare.This assault on the healthcare law raises many ethical questions. Is it ethical, for example, to decide a seminal law in a way that allows destruction of a moral imperative that millions of Americans have counted on for a decade to preserve and protect health?. That includes those enrolled in its Medicaid expansion programs, children who are now allowed to remain on their parents' policies until age viagra alternative otc 26, and anyone benefitting from the law's ban on annual or lifetime coverage caps. Not to mention the more than 8 million people infected with COVID-19 who will benefit from the ACA's ban on insurer discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.The justices will have to decide the ACA case using analyses within a legal framework and employing various legal doctrines, notably severability.

But another viagra alternative otc dilemma, also of some ethical proportion, awaits their particular analysis. If they find the entire act unconstitutional, there is currently nothing with which to replace it, nor is a replacement likely to appear any time soon. The court may have to decide the case, but it can't simply throw Obamacare under the bus even as the justices know their newest member was chosen viagra alternative otc through a process that some are calling a sham. Barrett's nomination has proceeded at warp speed while an election is ongoing, with millions of votes for the next president already cast.Not since the days of Abraham Lincoln -- in which a vacancy occurred 27 days before a presidential election -- has a justice been chosen in such haste and with utter disregard for what the people want.

(Lincoln, unlike Trump, waited until immediately after the election to nominate a replacement -- both because the Senate wasn't in session when the vacancy occurred, and because he could use the opening to his advantage during the campaign.) Even Barrett's colleagues at the University of Notre Dame, in an open letter, are calling on her to put the country ahead of the rush to get her confirmed.Whether she likes it or not, Amy Coney Barrett has become the poster child viagra alternative otc for whether or not the ACA will remain the sine qua non of healthcare as a right for all.Miles J. Zaremski, JD, has been a healthcare attorney and writer for 47 years. He has written and lectured extensively in the healthcare law viagra alternative otc space, both nationally and abroad. He has written books and also contributed essays to the Huffington Post and to CNN's Michael Smerconish site.

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In her opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, opined that courts are not policymakers.This should not be surprising -- after all, she has also said that the courts' obligation is not to decide what legislators meant in the can i buy viagra at walgreens words used to write laws, only to seek out their clarity. Barrett also criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion in a 2012 case upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), saying that he failed to follow the clear language of the statute when he decided that the fine imposed under the law for not purchasing health insurance was a "tax" allowed under Congress' taxing authority and not a penalty disallowed by the Commerce Clause.In fact, Trump is before the Supreme Court right now, with a case being argued before the justices on Nov. 10 arguing that all of Obamacare is unconstitutional can i buy viagra at walgreens. Pundits have rightfully conjectured that he chose Barrett to do his bidding and vote to strike down the law.

As Barrett's confirmation hearing began last week, Trump tweeted:"We will can i buy viagra at walgreens have Healthcare which is FAR BETTER than ObamaCare, at a FAR LOWER COST – big premium REDUCTION, PEOPLE WITH PRE EXISTING CONDITIONS WILL BE PROTECTED AT AN EVEN HIGHER LEVEL THAN NOW. HIGHLY UNPOPULAR AND UNFAIR INDIVIDUAL MANDATE ALREADY TERMINATED. YOU'RE WELCOME! can i buy viagra at walgreens. "He has delivered such a message throughout his presidency, in this year alone starting with his State of the Union address, declaring support for Americans with pre-existing conditions and promising every so often that he will be introducing a spanking new healthcare plan to replace the ACA.

Nothing has come can i buy viagra at walgreens forth, nor will it. It's pure bluster and deceit.Trump's Last Chance -- Possibly -- to Destroy the ACABut a struggle now comes to bear between Barrett's views on what courts are limited in doing, and Trump wanting her to be his messenger. Trump knows can i buy viagra at walgreens this may be his last chance to destroy Obama's most prizeworthy legislative achievement, one that has survived 70 attempts by Republicans in Congress to kill it. Indeed, Democrats are characterizing Barrett's nomination as an attack on Americans' right to healthcare.Barrett told committee members that her prior published views disagreeing with the Supreme Court's two decisions upholding Obamacare (in another case in 2015, the Supreme Court also found the ACA constitutional) have no bearing on her thinking, because the case before the court in November deals with a different issue.

Whether the individual mandate, if can i buy viagra at walgreens it's unconstitutional, can be easily severed from the rest of the 974-page law. That reasoning is questionable because before the court can address severability, it must first decide whether the mandate is constitutional.She concurs that severing an unconstitutional provision from the rest of a statute is always a judge's "presumption" and stressed, "I am not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I'm here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law." She also gave no commitments to the White House on how she would rule. (A more complete analysis of the options for what the Supreme Court may do with Barrett on the bench is covered here.)Despite Barrett's protestations to the contrary, it's unclear how unbiased she might be if she does get on the high court can i buy viagra at walgreens -- remember that Trump chose her.

A more fundamental question lurks. Regardless of how cases are decided, is it ethical to take away a law can i buy viagra at walgreens that has become a legislative embodiment of what many now consider to be their lifeline -- their right -- to healthcare?. The History of the Right to HealthcareBack in 2008 while Obama was on the campaign trail running against the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), he called healthcare a right -- not a privilege or a can i buy viagra at walgreens responsibility.

That position has become the description du jour this election cycle by many running for office, but they were not the first. Various forms for providing healthcare besides the ACA have been floated since, from a Medicare-for-All system, to reducing the age to become Medicare-eligible, to amending ACA with a can i buy viagra at walgreens public option, the latter supported by Biden. Opponents of government-run healthcare rail against government interference in their lives and call such systems "socialism," even as they hold tightly to their Medicare cards. And consider who paid for Trump's recent can i buy viagra at walgreens COVID-19 hospital and medical care at Walter Reed.

It surely wasn't a private insurer.The idea of healthcare as a right has been around for decades, tracing its roots back to FDR in 1943 when he crafted his proposed "Second Bill of Rights." As more fully explained by authors Jean Carmalt and Sarah Zaidi, FDR declared "freedom from want" to be four essential liberties for human security, including "the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health." Carmalt and Zaidi wrote, "The right to health was subsequently enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a 1948 United Nations document." We can even go back to the Declaration of Independence for our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as words connoting an ability to achieve, maintain, and regain our health.Of course, there is no "right" to healthcare in the Constitution. Instead, it is considered a moral imperative, a can i buy viagra at walgreens human right -- at least, that's how every other industrialized country views it except for the U.S., where it's considered a profit-making opportunity. True, other facets of life might also be considered "rights" -- equal treatment for LGBTQ persons, fair housing, civil rights, and the right to vote. And while each of those is surely a noble cause, healthcare is the only one that affects every one of us from birth to death (including the "right to die" for those terminally ill with a painful disease).Ethical Questions to PonderThe judiciary committee expects to approve Barrett's nomination along party lines later this week, and full Senate approval is expected soon thereafter.

In the meantime, her nomination has become a symbol for assaulting the can i buy viagra at walgreens ACA, a law that's a prime example of the right to healthcare.This assault on the healthcare law raises many ethical questions. Is it ethical, for example, to decide a seminal law in a way that allows destruction of a moral imperative that millions of Americans have counted on for a decade to preserve and protect health?. That includes those enrolled in its Medicaid expansion programs, children who are now allowed to remain on their parents' policies until age 26, and anyone benefitting from the law's ban on annual or can i buy viagra at walgreens lifetime coverage caps. Not to mention the more than 8 million people infected with COVID-19 who will benefit from the ACA's ban on insurer discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.The justices will have to decide the ACA case using analyses within a legal framework and employing various legal doctrines, notably severability.

But another dilemma, also of some ethical can i buy viagra at walgreens proportion, awaits their particular analysis. If they find the entire act unconstitutional, there is currently nothing with which to replace it, nor is a replacement likely to appear any time soon. The court may have to decide the case, but it can't simply throw Obamacare under can i buy viagra at walgreens the bus even as the justices know their newest member was chosen through a process that some are calling a sham. Barrett's nomination has proceeded at warp speed while an election is ongoing, with millions of votes for the next president already cast.Not since the days of Abraham Lincoln -- in which a vacancy occurred 27 days before a presidential election -- has a justice been chosen in such haste and with utter disregard for what the people want.

(Lincoln, unlike Trump, waited until immediately after the election to nominate a replacement -- both because the Senate wasn't in session when the vacancy occurred, and because he could use the opening to his advantage during the campaign.) Even Barrett's colleagues at the University of Notre Dame, in an open letter, are calling on her to put the country ahead of the rush to get her confirmed.Whether she likes it or not, Amy Coney Barrett has become the poster child for whether or not the ACA will remain the sine qua non of healthcare as can i buy viagra at walgreens a right for all.Miles J. Zaremski, JD, has been a healthcare attorney and writer for 47 years. He has written and lectured extensively in the healthcare law space, both nationally and can i buy viagra at walgreens abroad. He has written books and also contributed essays to the Huffington Post and to CNN's Michael Smerconish site.

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NYS announced the 2020 Income and Resource levels in GIS 19 MA/12 – 2020 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates ) and levels based on the Federal Poverty Level are in GIS 20 MA/02 – 2020 Federal Poverty Levels Here is the 2020 HRA Income and Resources Level Chart Non-MAGI - 2020 Disabled, 65+ or Blind ("DAB" or SSI-Related) and have Medicare MAGI natural viagra gnc (2020) (<. 65, Does not have Medicare)(OR has Medicare and has dependent child <. 18 or <. 19 in natural viagra gnc school) 138% FPL*** Children <.

5 and pregnant women have HIGHER LIMITS than shown ESSENTIAL PLAN For MAGI-eligible people over MAGI income limit up to 200% FPL No long term care. See info here 1 2 1 2 3 1 2 Income $875 (up from $859 in 201) $1284 (up from $1,267 in 2019) $1,468 $1,983 $2,498 $2,127 $2,873 Resources $15,750 (up from $15,450 in 2019) $23,100 (up from $22,800 in 2019) NO LIMIT** NO LIMIT SOURCE for 2019 figures is GIS 18 MA/015 - 2019 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates (PDF). All of the attachments with the various levels are posted here natural viagra gnc. NEED TO KNOW PAST MEDICAID INCOME AND RESOURCE LEVELS?.

Which household size applies?. The rules are natural viagra gnc complicated. See rules here. On the HRA Medicaid Levels chart - Boxes 1 and 2 are NON-MAGI Income and Resource levels -- Age 65+, Blind or Disabled and other adults who need to use "spend-down" because they are over the MAGI income levels.

Box 10 on page 3 are the MAGI income levels -- The Affordable Care Act natural viagra gnc changed the rules for Medicaid income eligibility for many BUT NOT ALL New Yorkers. People in the "MAGI" category - those NOT on Medicare -- have expanded eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, so may now qualify for Medicaid even if they were not eligible before, or may now be eligible for Medicaid without a "spend-down." They have NO resource limit. Box 3 on page 1 is Spousal Impoverishment levels for Managed Long Term Care &. Nursing Homes and natural viagra gnc Box 8 has the Transfer Penalty rates for nursing home eligibility Box 4 has Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities Under Age 65 (still 2017 levels til April 2018) Box 6 are Medicare Savings Program levels (will be updated in April 2018) MAGI INCOME LEVEL of 138% FPL applies to most adults who are not disabled and who do not have Medicare, AND can also apply to adults with Medicare if they have a dependent child/relative under age 18 or under 19 if in school.

42 C.F.R. § 435.4. Certain populations have an even higher income natural viagra gnc limit - 224% FPL for pregnant women and babies <. Age 1, 154% FPL for children age 1 - 19.

CAUTION. What is counted as natural viagra gnc income may not be what you think. For the NON-MAGI Disabled/Aged 65+/Blind, income will still be determined by the same rules as before, explained in this outline and these charts on income disregards. However, for the MAGI population - which is virtually everyone under age 65 who is not on Medicare - their income will now be determined under new rules, based on federal income tax concepts - called "Modifed Adjusted Gross Income" (MAGI).

There are good natural viagra gnc changes and bad changes. GOOD. Veteran's benefits, Workers compensation, and gifts from family or others no longer count as income. BAD natural viagra gnc.

There is no more "spousal" or parental refusal for this population (but there still is for the Disabled/Aged/Blind.) and some other rules. For all of the rules see. ALSO SEE 2018 Manual on Lump Sums and Impact on Public Benefits - with resource rules The income limits increase with natural viagra gnc the "household size." In other words, the income limit for a family of 5 may be higher than the income limit for a single person. HOWEVER, Medicaid rules about how to calculate the household size are not intuitive or even logical.

There are different rules depending on the "category" of the person seeking Medicaid. Here are the 2 natural viagra gnc basic categories and the rules for calculating their household size. People who are Disabled, Aged 65+ or Blind - "DAB" or "SSI-Related" Category -- NON-MAGI - See this chart for their household size. These same rules apply to the Medicare Savings Program, with some exceptions explained in this article.

Everyone else natural viagra gnc -- MAGI - All children and adults under age 65, including people with disabilities who are not yet on Medicare -- this is the new "MAGI" population. Their household size will be determined using federal income tax rules, which are very complicated. New rule is explained in State's directive 13 ADM-03 - Medicaid Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 (PDF) pp. 8-10 of the PDF, This PowerPoint by NYLAG on MAGI natural viagra gnc Budgeting attempts to explain the new MAGI budgeting, including how to determine the Household Size.

See slides 28-49. Also seeLegal Aid Society and Empire Justice Center materials OLD RULE used until end of 2013 -- Count the person(s) applying for Medicaid who live together, plus any of their legally responsible relatives who do not receive SNA, ADC, or SSI and reside with an applicant/recipient. Spouses or legally responsible for one another, and parents are natural viagra gnc legally responsible for their children under age 21 (though if the child is disabled, use the rule in the 1st "DAB" category. Under this rule, a child may be excluded from the household if that child's income causes other family members to lose Medicaid eligibility.

See 18 NYCRR 360-4.2, MRG p. 573, NYS GIS 2000 MA-007 natural viagra gnc CAUTION. Different people in the same household may be in different "categories" and hence have different household sizes AND Medicaid income and resource limits. If a man is age 67 and has Medicare and his wife is age 62 and not disabled or blind, the husband's household size for Medicaid is determined under Category 1/ Non-MAGI above and his wife's is under Category 2/MAGI.

The following programs were available prior to 2014, but are now natural viagra gnc discontinued because they are folded into MAGI Medicaid. Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) was Medicaid for pregnant women and children under age 19, with higher income limits for pregnant woman and infants under one year (200% FPL for pregnant women receiving perinatal coverage only not full Medicaid) than for children ages 1-18 (133% FPL). Medicaid for adults between ages 21-65 who are not disabled and without children under 21 in the household. It was natural viagra gnc sometimes known as "S/CC" category for Singles and Childless Couples.

This category had lower income limits than DAB/ADC-related, but had no asset limits. It did not allow "spend down" of excess income. This category has now been subsumed under the natural viagra gnc new MAGI adult group whose limit is now raised to 138% FPL. Family Health Plus - this was an expansion of Medicaid to families with income up to 150% FPL and for childless adults up to 100% FPL.

This has now been folded into the new MAGI adult group whose limit is 138% FPL. For applicants between 138%-150% FPL, they will be eligible for a natural viagra gnc new program where Medicaid will subsidize their purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the Exchange. PAST INCOME &. RESOURCE LEVELS -- Past Medicaid income and resource levels in NYS are shown on these oldNYC HRA charts for 2001 through 2019, in chronological order.

These include Medicaid levels for MAGI and non-MAGI populations, Child Health Plus, MBI-WPD, Medicare Savings Programs and other public health programs in NYS natural viagra gnc. This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.A huge barrier to people returning to the community from nursing homes is the high cost of housing. One way New York State is trying to address that barrier is with the Special Housing Disregard that allows certain members of Managed Long Term Care or FIDA plans to keep more of their income to pay for rent or other shelter costs, rather than having to "spend down" their "excess income" or spend-down on the cost of Medicaid home care. The special income standard for housing expenses helps pay for housing expenses to help certain nursing home or adult home natural viagra gnc residents to safely transition back to the community with MLTC.

Originally it was just for former nursing home residents but in 2014 it was expanded to include people who lived in adult homes. GIS 14/MA-017 Since you are allowed to keep more of your income, you may no longer need to use a pooled trust. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - FACT natural viagra gnc SHEET on THREE ways to Reduce Spend-down, including this Special Income Standard. September 2018 NEWS -- Those already enrolled in MLTC plans before they are admitted to a nursing home or adult home may obtain this budgeting upon discharge, if they meet the other criteria below.

"How nursing home administrators, adult home operators and MLTC plans should identify individuals who are eligible for the special income standard" and explains their duties to identify eligible individuals, and the MLTC plan must notify the local DSS that the individual may qualify. "Nursing home administrators, nursing home discharge planning staff, adult home operators and natural viagra gnc MLTC health plans are encouraged to identify individuals who may qualify for the special income standard, if they can be safely discharged back to the community from a nursing home and enroll in, or remain enrolled in, an MLTC plan. Once an individual has been accepted into an MLTC plan, the MLTC plan must notify the individual's local district of social services that the transition has occurred and that the individual may qualify for the special income standard. The special income standard will be effective upon enrollment into the MLTC plan, or, for nursing home residents already enrolled in an MLTC plan, the month of discharge to the community.

Questions regarding the special income standard may be directed natural viagra gnc to DOH at 518-474-8887. Who is eligible for this special income standard?. must be age 18+, must have been in a nursing home or an adult home for 30 days or more, must have had Medicaid pay toward the nursing home care, and must enroll in or REMAIN ENROLLED IN a Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan or FIDA plan upon leaving the nursing home or adult home must have a housing expense if married, spouse may not receive a "spousal impoverishment" allowance once the individual is enrolled in MLTC. How much is the allowance?.

The rates vary by region and change yearly. Region Counties Deduction (2020) Central Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga, Tompkins $436 Long Island Nassau, Suffolk $1,361 NYC Bronx, Kings, Manhattan, Queens, Richmond $1,451 (up from 1,300 in 2019) Northeastern Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington $483 North Metropolitan Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester $930 Rochester Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates $444 Western Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming $386 Past rates published as follows, available on DOH website 2020 rates published in Attachment I to GIS 19 MA/12 – 2020 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates 2019 rates published in Attachment 1 to GIS 18/MA015 - 2019 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates 2018 rates published in GIS 17 MA/020 - 2018 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates. The guidance on how the standardized amount of the disregard is calculated is found in NYS DOH 12- ADM-05.

2017 rate -- GIS 16 MA/018 - 2016 Medicaid Only Income and Resource Levels and Spousal Impoverishment Standards Attachment 12016 rate -- GIS 15-MA/0212015 rate -- Were not posted by DOH but were updated in WMS. 2015 Central $382 Long Island $1,147 NYC $1,001 Northeastern $440 N. Metropolitan $791 Rochester $388 Western $336 2014 rate -- GIS-14-MA/017 HOW DOES IT WORK?. Here is a sample budget for a single person in NYC with Social Security income of $2,386/month paying a Medigap premium of $261/mo.

Gross monthly income $2,575.50 DEDUCT Health insurance premiums (Medicare Part B) - 135.50 (Medigap) - 261.00 DEDUCT Unearned income disregard - 20 DEDUCT Shelter deduction (NYC—2019) - 1,300 DEDUCT Income limit for single (2019) - 859 Excess income or Spend-down $0 WITH NO SPEND-DOWN, May NOT NEED POOLED TRUST!. HOW TO OBTAIN THE HOUSING DISREGARD. When you are ready to leave the nursing home or adult home, or soon after you leave, you or your MLTC plan must request that your local Medicaid program change your Medicaid budget to give you the Housing Disregard. See September 2018 NYS DOH Medicaid Update that requires MLTC plan to help you ask for it.

The procedures in NYC are explained in this Troubleshooting guide. NYC Medicaid program prefers that your MLTC plan file the request, using Form MAP-3057E - Special income housing Expenses NH-MLTC.pdf and Form MAP-3047B - MLTC/NHED Cover Sheet Form MAP-259f (revised 7-31-18)(page 7 of PDF)(DIscharge Notice) - NH must file with HRA upon discharge, certifying resident was informed of availability of this disregard. GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVES (beginning with oldest). NYS DOH 12- ADM-05 - Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses for Individuals Discharged from a Nursing Facility who Enroll into the Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Program Attachment II - OHIP-0057 - Notice of Intent to Change Medicaid Coverage, (Recipient Discharged from a Skilled Nursing Facility and Enrolled in a Managed Long Term Care Plan) Attachment III - Attachment III – OHIP-0058 - Notice of Intent to Change Medicaid Coverage, (Recipient Disenrolled from a Managed Long Term Care Plan, No Special Income Standard) MLTC Policy 13.02.

MLTC Housing Disregard NYC HRA Medicaid Alert Special Income Standard for housing expenses NH-MLTC 2-9-2013.pdf 2018-07-28 HRA MICSA ALERT Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses for Individuals Discharged from a Nursing Facility and who Enroll into the MLTC Program - update on previous policy. References Form MAP-259f (revised 7-31-18)(page 7 of PDF)(Discharge Notice) - NH must file with HRA upon discharge, certifying resident was informed of availability of this disregard.

All of the attachments with the http://sw.keimfarben.de/generic-viagra-cost/ various levels are can i buy viagra at walgreens posted here. NEED TO KNOW PAST MEDICAID INCOME AND RESOURCE LEVELS?. Which household size applies?. The rules are complicated can i buy viagra at walgreens.

See rules here. On the HRA Medicaid Levels chart - Boxes 1 and 2 are NON-MAGI Income and Resource levels -- Age 65+, Blind or Disabled and other adults who need to use "spend-down" because they are over the MAGI income levels. Box 10 on can i buy viagra at walgreens page 3 are the MAGI income levels -- The Affordable Care Act changed the rules for Medicaid income eligibility for many BUT NOT ALL New Yorkers. People in the "MAGI" category - those NOT on Medicare -- have expanded eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, so may now qualify for Medicaid even if they were not eligible before, or may now be eligible for Medicaid without a "spend-down." They have NO resource limit.

Box 3 on page 1 is Spousal Impoverishment levels for Managed Long Term Care &. Nursing Homes and Box 8 has can i buy viagra at walgreens the Transfer Penalty rates for nursing home eligibility Box 4 has Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities Under Age 65 (still 2017 levels til April 2018) Box 6 are Medicare Savings Program levels (will be updated in April 2018) MAGI INCOME LEVEL of 138% FPL applies to most adults who are not disabled and who do not have Medicare, AND can also apply to adults with Medicare if they have a dependent child/relative under age 18 or under 19 if in school. 42 C.F.R. § 435.4.

Certain populations have an even higher income limit - 224% FPL for pregnant can i buy viagra at walgreens women and babies <. Age 1, 154% FPL for children age 1 - 19. CAUTION. What is can i buy viagra at walgreens counted as income may not be what you think.

For the NON-MAGI Disabled/Aged 65+/Blind, income will still be determined by the same rules as before, explained in this outline and these charts on income disregards. However, for the MAGI population - which is virtually everyone under age 65 who is not on Medicare - their income will now be determined under new rules, based on federal income tax concepts - called "Modifed Adjusted Gross Income" (MAGI). There are good can i buy viagra at walgreens changes and bad changes. GOOD.

Veteran's benefits, Workers compensation, and gifts from family or others no longer count as income. BAD can i buy viagra at walgreens. There is no more "spousal" or parental refusal for this population (but there still is for the Disabled/Aged/Blind.) and some other rules. For all of the rules see.

ALSO SEE 2018 Manual on Lump Sums and Impact on Public Benefits - with resource rules The income limits increase with the "household size." In other words, the income limit for a family can i buy viagra at walgreens of 5 may be higher than the income limit for a single person. HOWEVER, Medicaid rules about how to calculate the household size are not intuitive or even logical. There are different rules depending on the "category" of the person seeking Medicaid. Here are the 2 basic categories and the rules for can i buy viagra at walgreens calculating their household size.

People who are Disabled, Aged 65+ or Blind - "DAB" or "SSI-Related" Category -- NON-MAGI - See this chart for their household size. These same rules apply to the Medicare Savings Program, with some exceptions explained in this article. Everyone else -- MAGI - All children can i buy viagra at walgreens and adults under age 65, including people with disabilities who are not yet on Medicare -- this is the new "MAGI" population. Their household size will be determined using federal income tax rules, which are very complicated.

New rule is explained in State's directive 13 ADM-03 - Medicaid Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 (PDF) pp. 8-10 of the PDF, This PowerPoint by can i buy viagra at walgreens NYLAG on MAGI Budgeting attempts to explain the new MAGI budgeting, including how to determine the Household Size. See slides 28-49. Also seeLegal Aid Society and Empire Justice Center materials OLD RULE used until end of 2013 -- Count the person(s) applying for Medicaid who live together, plus any of their legally responsible relatives who do not receive SNA, ADC, or SSI and reside with an applicant/recipient.

Spouses or legally responsible for one another, and parents are legally responsible for can i buy viagra at walgreens their children under age 21 (though if the child is disabled, use the rule in the 1st "DAB" category. Under this rule, a child may be excluded from the household if that child's income causes other family members to lose Medicaid eligibility. See 18 NYCRR 360-4.2, MRG p. 573, NYS can i buy viagra at walgreens GIS 2000 MA-007 CAUTION.

Different people in the same household may be in different "categories" and hence have different household sizes AND Medicaid income and resource limits. If a man is age 67 and has Medicare and his wife is age 62 and not disabled or blind, the husband's household size for Medicaid is determined under Category 1/ Non-MAGI above and his wife's is under Category 2/MAGI. The following programs were available prior to 2014, but are now discontinued because they are folded into can i buy viagra at walgreens MAGI Medicaid. Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) was Medicaid for pregnant women and children under age 19, with higher income limits for pregnant woman and infants under one year (200% FPL for pregnant women receiving perinatal coverage only not full Medicaid) than for children ages 1-18 (133% FPL).

Medicaid for adults between ages 21-65 who are not disabled and without children under 21 in the household. It was sometimes known as can i buy viagra at walgreens "S/CC" category for Singles and Childless Couples. This category had lower income limits than DAB/ADC-related, but had no asset limits. It did not allow "spend down" of excess income.

This category has now been subsumed under the new MAGI can i buy viagra at walgreens adult group whose limit is now raised to 138% FPL. Family Health Plus - this was an expansion of Medicaid to families with income up to 150% FPL and for childless adults up to 100% FPL. This has now been folded into the new MAGI adult group whose limit is 138% FPL. For applicants between 138%-150% FPL, they will be eligible for a new program where Medicaid will subsidize can i buy viagra at walgreens their purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the Exchange.

PAST INCOME &. RESOURCE LEVELS -- Past Medicaid income and resource levels in NYS are shown on these oldNYC HRA charts for 2001 through 2019, in chronological order. These include Medicaid levels for MAGI and non-MAGI populations, Child Health Plus, MBI-WPD, Medicare Savings Programs and other public health can i buy viagra at walgreens programs in NYS. This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.A huge barrier to people returning to the community from nursing homes is the high cost of housing.

One way New York State is trying to address that barrier is with the Special Housing Disregard that allows certain members of Managed Long Term Care or FIDA plans to keep more of their income to pay for rent or other shelter costs, rather than having to "spend down" their "excess income" or spend-down on the cost of Medicaid home care. The special income standard for housing expenses helps pay can i buy viagra at walgreens for housing expenses to help certain nursing home or adult home residents to safely transition back to the community with MLTC. Originally it was just for former nursing home residents but in 2014 it was expanded to include people who lived in adult homes. GIS 14/MA-017 Since you are allowed to keep more of your income, you may no longer need to use a pooled trust.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - FACT SHEET on THREE ways to Reduce Spend-down, including can i buy viagra at walgreens this Special Income Standard. September 2018 NEWS -- Those already enrolled in MLTC plans before they are admitted to a nursing home or adult home may obtain this budgeting upon discharge, if they meet the other criteria below. "How nursing home administrators, adult home operators and MLTC plans should identify individuals who are eligible for the special income standard" and explains their duties to identify eligible individuals, and the MLTC plan must notify the local DSS that the individual may qualify. "Nursing home administrators, nursing home discharge planning staff, adult home operators and MLTC health plans are encouraged to identify individuals who may qualify for the special income standard, if they can be safely discharged back to the community from a nursing home and enroll can i buy viagra at walgreens in, or remain enrolled in, an MLTC plan.

Once an individual has been accepted into an MLTC plan, the MLTC plan must notify the individual's local district of social services that the transition has occurred and that the individual may qualify for the special income standard. The special income standard will be effective upon enrollment into the MLTC plan, or, for nursing home residents already enrolled in an MLTC plan, the month of discharge to the community. Questions regarding the special income standard may be directed to DOH can i buy viagra at walgreens at 518-474-8887. Who is eligible for this special income standard?.

must be age 18+, must have been in a nursing home or an adult home for 30 days or more, must have had Medicaid pay toward the nursing home care, and must enroll in or REMAIN ENROLLED IN a Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan or FIDA plan upon leaving the nursing home or adult home must have a housing expense if married, spouse may not receive a "spousal impoverishment" allowance once the individual is enrolled in MLTC. How can i buy viagra at walgreens much is the allowance?. The rates vary by region and change yearly. Region Counties Deduction (2020) Central Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St.

Lawrence, Tioga, Tompkins $436 Long Island Nassau, Suffolk $1,361 NYC Bronx, Kings, Manhattan, Queens, Richmond $1,451 (up from 1,300 in 2019) Northeastern Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington $483 North Metropolitan Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester $930 Rochester Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates $444 Western Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming $386 Past rates published as follows, available on DOH website 2020 rates published in Attachment I to GIS 19 MA/12 – 2020 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates 2019 rates published in Attachment 1 to GIS 18/MA015 - 2019 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates 2018 rates published in GIS 17 MA/020 - 2018 Medicaid Levels and Other can i buy viagra at walgreens Updates. The guidance on how the standardized amount of the disregard is calculated is found in NYS DOH 12- ADM-05. 2017 rate -- GIS 16 MA/018 - 2016 Medicaid Only Income and Resource Levels and Spousal Impoverishment Standards Attachment 12016 rate -- GIS 15-MA/0212015 rate -- Were not posted by DOH but were updated in WMS. 2015 Central $382 Long Island $1,147 NYC $1,001 Northeastern can i buy viagra at walgreens $440 N.

Metropolitan $791 Rochester $388 Western $336 2014 rate -- GIS-14-MA/017 HOW DOES IT WORK?. Here is a sample budget for a single person in NYC with Social Security income of $2,386/month paying a Medigap premium of $261/mo. Gross monthly income $2,575.50 DEDUCT Health insurance premiums (Medicare Part B) - 135.50 (Medigap) - 261.00 DEDUCT Unearned income disregard - 20 DEDUCT Shelter deduction (NYC—2019) - 1,300 DEDUCT Income limit for single (2019) - 859 Excess income or Spend-down $0 WITH NO SPEND-DOWN, May NOT NEED POOLED TRUST!. HOW TO OBTAIN THE HOUSING DISREGARD.

When you are ready to leave the nursing home or adult home, or soon after you leave, you or your MLTC plan must request that your local Medicaid program change your Medicaid budget to give you the Housing Disregard. See September 2018 NYS DOH Medicaid Update that requires MLTC plan to help you ask for it. The procedures in NYC are explained in this Troubleshooting guide. NYC Medicaid program prefers that your MLTC plan file the request, using Form MAP-3057E - Special income housing Expenses NH-MLTC.pdf and Form MAP-3047B - MLTC/NHED Cover Sheet Form MAP-259f (revised 7-31-18)(page 7 of PDF)(DIscharge Notice) - NH must file with HRA upon discharge, certifying resident was informed of availability of this disregard.

GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVES (beginning with oldest). NYS DOH 12- ADM-05 - Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses for Individuals Discharged from a Nursing Facility who Enroll into the Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Program Attachment II - OHIP-0057 - Notice of Intent to Change Medicaid Coverage, (Recipient Discharged from a Skilled Nursing Facility and Enrolled in a Managed Long Term Care Plan) Attachment III - Attachment III – OHIP-0058 - Notice of Intent to Change Medicaid Coverage, (Recipient Disenrolled from a Managed Long Term Care Plan, No Special Income Standard) MLTC Policy 13.02. MLTC Housing Disregard NYC HRA Medicaid Alert Special Income Standard for housing expenses NH-MLTC 2-9-2013.pdf 2018-07-28 HRA MICSA ALERT Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses for Individuals Discharged from a Nursing Facility and who Enroll into the MLTC Program - update on previous policy. References Form MAP-259f (revised 7-31-18)(page 7 of PDF)(Discharge Notice) - NH must file with HRA upon discharge, certifying resident was informed of availability of this disregard.

GIS 18 MA/012 - Special Income Standard for Housing Expenses for Certain Managed Long-Term Care Enrollees Who are Discharged from a Nursing Home issued Sept. 28, 2018 - this finally implements the most recent Special Terms &. Conditions of the CMS 1115 Waiver that governs the MLTC program, dated Jan. 19, 2017.

The section on this income standard is at pages 26-27. In these revised ST&C, this special income standard applies to people who were in a NH or adult home paid by Medicaid and "who enroll into or remain enrolled in the MLTC program in order to receive community based long term services and supports" and to those in a NH who were required to enroll into MLTC because of "...the mandatory Nursing Facility transition, and subsequently able to be discharged to the community from the nursing facility, with the services of MLTC program in place." September 2018 DOH Medicaid Update - explains this benefit to medical providers (nursing homes, MLTC plans, home care agencies, adult home operators, and requires them to identify potential individuals who could benefit and help them apply - described here..

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Aug http://sw.keimfarben.de/viagra-online-no-prescription/ how much viagra can you take. 29, 2020 -- Chadwick Boseman, the star of the 2018 Marvel Studios megahit Black Panther, died of colon cancer Friday. He was 43. Boseman, who was diagnosed 4 years ago, how much viagra can you take had kept his condition a secret.

He filmed his recent movies ''during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy," according to a statement issued on his Twitter account. When the actor was diagnosed in 2016, the cancer was at stage III -- meaning it had already grown through the colon wall -- but then progressed to the more lethal stage IV, meaning it had spread beyond his colon. Messages of condolences and the hashtag #Wakandaforever, referring to the fictional African nation in the Black Panther film, how much viagra can you take flooded social media Friday evening. Oprah tweeted.

"What a gentle gifted SOUL. Showing us all how much viagra can you take that Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like.

" Marvel Studios tweeted how much viagra can you take. "Your legacy will live on forever." Boseman was also known for his role as Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. Coincidentally, Friday was Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day, where every player on every team wears Robinson's number 42 on their jerseys. Boseman's other starring roles include portraying James Brown in Get on Up and how much viagra can you take U.S.

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. But his role as King T'Challa in Black Panther, the super hero protagonist, made him an icon and an inspiration. About Colon Cancer Boseman's death how much viagra can you take reflects a troubling recent trend, says Mark Hanna, MD, a colorectal surgeon at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center near Los Angeles. "We have noticed an increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults," says Hanna, who did not treat Boseman.

"I've seen patients as young as their early 20s." About 104,000 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to American Cancer Society estimates, and another 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed. About 12% of those, or 18,000 how much viagra can you take cases, will be in people under age 50. As the rates have declined in older adults due to screening, rates in young adults have steadily risen. Younger patients are often diagnosed at a later stage than older adults, Hanna says, because patients and even their doctors don't think about the possibility of colon cancer.

Because it is considered a how much viagra can you take cancer affecting older adults, many younger people may brush off the symptoms or delay getting medical attention, Hanna says. In a survey of 885 colorectal cancer patients conducted by Colorectal Cancer Alliance earlier this year, 75% said they visited two or more doctors before getting their diagnosis, and 11% went to 10 or more before finding out. If found early, colon cancer is curable, Hanna says. About 50% of those with colon http://sw.keimfarben.de/cheap-viagra-100-online/ cancer will be diagnosed how much viagra can you take at stage I or II, which is considered localized disease, he says.

"The majority have a very good prognosis." The 5-year survival rate is about 90% for both stage I and II. But when it progresses to stage III, the cancer has begun to grow into surrounding tissues and the lymph nodes, Hanna says, and the survival rate for 5 years drops to 75%. About 25% of patients how much viagra can you take are diagnosed at stage III, he says. If the diagnosis is made at stage IV, the 5-year survival rate drops to about 10% or 15%, he says.

Experts have been trying to figure out why more young adults are getting colon cancer and why some do so poorly. "Traditionally we thought that patients who are older would have a worse outlook," Hanna says, partly because they tend to have other medical conditions too how much viagra can you take. Some experts say that younger patients might have more ''genetically aggressive disease," Hanna says. "Our understanding of colorectal cancer is becoming more nuanced, and we know that not all forms are the same." For instance, he says, testing is done for specific genetic mutations that have been tied to colon cancer.

"It's not just about finding the mutations, but finding the drug that targets [that form] best." Paying Attention to Red Flags "If you have any of what we call the red flag signs, do not ignore your symptoms no matter what your how much viagra can you take age is," Hanna says. Those are. In 2018, the American Cancer Society changed its guidelines for screening, recommending those at average risk start at age 45, not 50. The screening can be stool-based testing, such as a fecal occult blood test, or visual, such how much viagra can you take as a colonoscopy.

Hanna says he orders a colonoscopy if the symptoms suggest colon cancer, regardless of a patient's age. Family history of colorectal cancer is a risk factor, as are being obese or overweight, being sedentary, and eating lots of red meat. Sources Mark Hanna, MD, colorectal how much viagra can you take surgeon and assistant clinical professor of surgery, City of Hope, Los Angeles. American Cancer Society.

"Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer." Twitter statement. Chadwick Boseman. American Cancer Society. "Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors." American Cancer Society.

'"Colorectal Cancer Rates Rise in Younger Adults." American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, May 29-31, 2020. American Cancer Society "Survival Rates for Colorectal Cancer." American Cancer Society. "Colorectal Cancer Facts &. Figures.

2017-2019." © 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved..

Aug http://sw.keimfarben.de/best-prices-on-viagra-and-cialis/ can i buy viagra at walgreens. 29, 2020 -- Chadwick Boseman, the star of the 2018 Marvel Studios megahit Black Panther, died of colon cancer Friday. He was 43.

Boseman, who was can i buy viagra at walgreens diagnosed 4 years ago, had kept his condition a secret. He filmed his recent movies ''during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy," according to a statement issued on his Twitter account. When the actor was diagnosed in 2016, the cancer was at stage III -- meaning it had already grown through the colon wall -- but then progressed to the more lethal stage IV, meaning it had spread beyond his colon.

Messages of condolences and the hashtag #Wakandaforever, referring to the can i buy viagra at walgreens fictional African nation in the Black Panther film, flooded social media Friday evening. Oprah tweeted. "What a gentle gifted SOUL.

Showing us all that can i buy viagra at walgreens Greatness in between surgeries and chemo. The courage, the strength, the Power it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like.

" Marvel Studios can i buy viagra at walgreens tweeted. "Your legacy will live on forever." Boseman was also known for his role as Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. Coincidentally, Friday was Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day, where every player on every team wears Robinson's number 42 on their jerseys.

Boseman's other starring roles include portraying James Brown in Get on Up and U.S can i buy viagra at walgreens. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. But his role as King T'Challa in Black Panther, the super hero protagonist, made him an icon and an inspiration.

About Colon Cancer Boseman's death reflects a troubling recent can i buy viagra at walgreens trend, says Mark Hanna, MD, a colorectal surgeon at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center near Los Angeles. "We have noticed an increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults," says Hanna, who did not treat Boseman. "I've seen patients as young as their early 20s." About 104,000 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to American Cancer Society estimates, and another 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed.

About 12% of those, can i buy viagra at walgreens or 18,000 cases, will be in people under age 50. As the rates have declined in older adults due to screening, rates in young adults have steadily risen. Younger patients are often diagnosed at a later stage than older adults, Hanna says, because patients and even their doctors don't think about the possibility of colon cancer.

Because it is considered a cancer affecting can i buy viagra at walgreens older adults, many younger people may brush off the symptoms or delay getting medical attention, Hanna says. In a survey of 885 colorectal cancer patients conducted by Colorectal Cancer Alliance earlier this year, 75% said they visited two or more doctors before getting their diagnosis, and 11% went to 10 or more before finding out. If found early, colon cancer is curable, Hanna says.

About 50% of those http://sw.keimfarben.de/order-viagra-online/ with colon cancer will be diagnosed at stage I or II, which can i buy viagra at walgreens is considered localized disease, he says. "The majority have a very good prognosis." The 5-year survival rate is about 90% for both stage I and II. But when it progresses to stage III, the cancer has begun to grow into surrounding tissues and the lymph nodes, Hanna says, and the survival rate for 5 years drops to 75%.

About 25% can i buy viagra at walgreens of patients are diagnosed at stage III, he says. If the diagnosis is made at stage IV, the 5-year survival rate drops to about 10% or 15%, he says. Experts have been trying to figure out why more young adults are getting colon cancer and why some do so poorly.

"Traditionally we thought that patients who are can i buy viagra at walgreens older would have a worse outlook," Hanna says, partly because they tend to have other medical conditions too. Some experts say that younger patients might have more ''genetically aggressive disease," Hanna says. "Our understanding of colorectal cancer is becoming more nuanced, and we know that not all forms are the same." For instance, he says, testing is done for specific genetic mutations that have been tied to colon cancer.

"It's not just about finding the mutations, but finding the drug that targets [that form] best." Paying Attention can i buy viagra at walgreens to Red Flags "If you have any of what we call the red flag signs, do not ignore your symptoms no matter what your age is," Hanna says. Those are. In 2018, the American Cancer Society changed its guidelines for screening, recommending those at average risk start at age 45, not 50.

The screening can be stool-based testing, such as a can i buy viagra at walgreens fecal occult blood test, or visual, such as a colonoscopy. Hanna says he orders a colonoscopy if the symptoms suggest colon cancer, regardless of a patient's age. Family history of colorectal cancer is a risk factor, as are being obese or overweight, being sedentary, and eating lots of red meat.

Sources Mark Hanna, MD, colorectal surgeon and assistant clinical professor of surgery, City of Hope, Los Angeles. American Cancer Society. "Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer." Twitter statement.

Chadwick Boseman. American Cancer Society. "Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors." American Cancer Society.

'"Colorectal Cancer Rates Rise in Younger Adults." American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, May 29-31, 2020. American Cancer Society "Survival Rates for Colorectal Cancer." American Cancer Society. "Colorectal Cancer Facts &.

Figures. 2017-2019." © 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved..

Viagra sex stories

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Researchers at viagra sex stories the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have conducted a study that has determined the role that a critical protein plays in the development of hair cells. These hair viagra sex stories cells are vital for hearing. Some of these cells amplify sounds that come into the ear, and others transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain.

Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at UMSOM and Maggie Matern, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, demonstrated that the protein, called GFI1, may be critical for determining whether an embryonic hair cell matures into a functional adult hair cell or becomes a different cell that functions more like a nerve cell or neuron.The study was published in the journal Development, and was conducted by physician-scientists and researchers at the UMSOM Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences viagra sex stories (IGS), in collaboration with researchers at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.Hearing relies on the proper functioning of specialized cells within the inner ear called hair cells. When the hair cells do not develop properly or are damaged by environmental stresses like loud noise, it results in a loss of hearing function.In the United States, the prevalence of hearing loss doubles with every 10-year increase in age, affecting about half of all adults in their 70s and about 80 percent of those who are over age 85. Researchers have been focusing on describing the developmental steps that lead to a functional hair cell, in order to potentially generate new viagra sex stories hair cells when old ones are damaged.Hair cells in the inner earTo conduct her latest study, Dr.

Hertzano and her team utilized cutting-edge methods to study gene expression in the viagra sex stories hair cells of genetically modified newborn mice that did not produce GFI1. They demonstrated that, in the absence of this vital protein, embryonic hair cells failed to progress in their development to become fully functional adult cells. In fact, the genes expressed by these cells indicated that they were likely to develop into neuron-like cells."Our findings explain why GFI1 is critical to enable embryonic cells to viagra sex stories progress into functioning adult hair cells," said Dr.

Hertzano. "These data also explain the importance of viagra sex stories GFI1 in experimental protocols to regenerate hair cells from stem cells. These regenerative methods have the potential of being used for patients who viagra sex stories have experienced hearing loss due to age or environmental factors like exposure to loud noise."Dr.

Hertzano first became interested in GFI1 while completing her M.D., Ph.D. At Tel Aviv viagra sex stories University. As part of her dissertation, she discovered that the hearing loss resulting from mutations in another protein called POU4F3 appeared to largely result from a loss of GFI1 in the hair cells.

Since then, she has been viagra sex stories conducting studies to discover the role of GFI1 and other proteins in hearing. Other research groups in the field are now testing these proteins viagra sex stories to determine whether they can be used as a "cocktail" to regenerate lost hair cells and restore hearing."Hearing research has been going through a Renaissance period, not only from advances in genomics and methodology, but also thanks to its uniquely collaborative nature among researchers," said Dr. Herzano.The new study was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

It was also funded by the viagra sex stories Binational Scientific Foundation (BSF)."This is an exciting new finding that underscores the importance of basic research to lay the foundation for future clinical innovations," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. And Akiko viagra sex stories K.

Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University viagra sex stories of Maryland School of Medicine. "Identifying the complex pathways that lead to normal hearing could prove to be the key for reversing hearing loss in millions of Americans." Story Source. Materials provided viagra sex stories by University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine are learning more about how a viagra sex stories person's genes play a role in the possibility they'll suffer from alcoholic cirrhosis with the discovery of a gene that could make the disease less likely.Alcoholic cirrhosis can happen after years of drinking too much alcohol. According to the researchers, discovering more about this illness couldn't come at a viagra sex stories more important time."Based on U.S.

Data, alcohol-associated liver disease is on the rise in terms of the prevalence and incidents and it is happening more often in younger patients," said Suthat Liangpunsakul, MD, professor of medicine, dean's scholar in medical research for the Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and one of the principal investigators of the study. "There's a real public health problem involving the consumption of alcohol and people starting viagra sex stories to drink at a younger age."The team describes their findings in a new paper published in Hepatology. The GenomALC Consortium was funded by the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH).

This genome-wide association study began several years ago and is one of the largest studies related to viagra sex stories alcoholic cirrhosis ever performed. DNA samples were taken from over 1,700 patients from sites in the United States, several countries in Europe and Australia and sent to IU School of Medicine where the team performed the DNA isolation for viagra sex stories genome analysis. The patients were divided into two groups -- one made up of heavy drinkers that never had a history of alcohol-induced liver injury or liver disease and a second group of heavy drinkers who did have alcoholic cirrhosis."Our key finding is a gene called Fas Associated Factor Family Member 2, or FAF2," said Tae-Hwi Schwantes-An, PhD, assistant research professor of medical and molecular genetics and the lead author of the study.

"There's this convergence of findings now that are pointing to the genes involved in lipid droplet organization pathway, and that seems to be one of the biological reasonings of why certain people get liver disease and why certain people do not."The researchers are anticipating to study this gene viagra sex stories more closely and looking at its relationship to other, previously-discovered genes that can make a person more likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis."We know for a fact those genes are linked together in a biological process, so the logical next step is to study how the changes in these genes alter the function of that process, whether it's less efficient in one group of people, or maybe it's inhibited in some way," Schwantes-An said. "We don't know exactly what the biological underpinning of that is, but now we have a pretty well-defined target where we can look at these variants and see how they relate to alcoholic cirrhosis."As their research continues, the team hopes to eventually find a way to identify this genetic factor in patients with the goal of helping them prevent alcoholic cirrhosis in the future or developing targeted therapies that can help individuals in a more personalized way. Story Source viagra sex stories.

Materials provided by viagra sex stories Indiana University School of Medicine. Original written by Christina Griffiths. Note.

Content may be edited for style and length.Penn Medicine researchers have found that middle-aged individuals -- those born in the late 1960s and the 1970s -- may be in a perpetual state of H3N2 influenza virus susceptibility because their antibodies bind to H3N2 viruses but fail to prevent infections, according to a new study led by Scott Hensley, PhD, an associate professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The paper was published today in Nature Communications."We found that different aged individuals have different H3N2 flu virus antibody specificities," Hensley said. "Our studies show that early childhood infections can leave lifelong immunological imprints that affect how individuals respond to antigenically distinct viral strains later in life."Most humans are infected with influenza viruses by three to four years of age, and these initial childhood infections can elicit strong, long lasting memory immune responses.

H3N2 influenza viruses began circulating in humans in 1968 and have evolved substantially over the past 51 years. Therefore, an individual's birth year largely predicts which specific type of H3N2 virus they first encountered in childhood.Researchers completed a serological survey -- a blood test that measures antibody levels -- using serum samples collected in the summer months prior to the 2017-2018 season from 140 children (ages one to 17) and 212 adults (ages 18 to 90). They first measured the differences in antibody reactivity to various strains of H3N2, and then measured for neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies.

Neutralizing antibodies can prevent viral infections, whereas non-neutralizing antibodies can only help after an infection takes place. Samples from children aged three to ten years old had the highest levels of neutralizing antibodies against contemporary H3N2 viruses, while most middle-aged samples had antibodies that could bind to these viruses but these antibodies could not prevent viral infections.Hensley said his team's findings are consistent with a concept known as "original antigenic sin" (OAS), originally proposed by Tom Francis, Jr. In 1960.

"Most individuals born in the late 1960s and 1970s were immunologically imprinted with H3N2 viruses that are very different compared to contemporary H3N2 viruses. Upon infection with recent H3N2 viruses, these individuals tend to produce antibodies against regions that are conserved with older H3N2 strains and these types of antibodies typically do not prevent viral infections."According to the research team, it is possible that the presence of high levels of non-neutralizing antibodies in middle-aged adults has contributed to the continued persistence of H3N2 viruses in the human population. Their findings might also relate to the unusual age distribution of H3N2 infections during the 2017-2018 season, in which H3N2 activity in middle-aged and older adults peaked earlier compared to children and young adults.The researchers say that it will be important to continually complete large serological surveys in different aged individuals, including donors from populations with different vaccination rates.

A better understanding of immunity within the population and within individuals will likely lead to improved models that are better able to predict the evolutionary trajectories of different influenza virus strains."Large serological studies can shed light on why the effectiveness of flu vaccines varies in individuals with different immune histories, while also identifying barriers that need to be overcome in order to design better vaccines that are able to elicit protective responses in all age groups," said Sigrid Gouma, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher of Microbiology and first author on the paper.Other Penn authors include Madison Weirick and Megan E. Gumina. Additional authors include Angela Branche, David J.

Topham, Emily T. Martin, Arnold S. Monto, and Sarah Cobey.This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1R01AI113047, S.E.H..

1R01AI108686, S.E.H.. 1R01AI097150, A.S.M.. CEIRS HHSN272201400005C, S.E.H., S.C., E.T.M., A.S.M.

A.B., D.J.T.) and Center for Disease Control (U01IP000474, A.S.M.). Scott E. Hensley holds an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes.

Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes. Nevertheless, the activities of our genes -- their expression in cells and tissues -- generate profound distinctions between males and females.Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and neurological afflictions.Researchers have observed sex-associated differences in gene expression across a range of tissues including liver, heart, and brain. Nevertheless, such tissue-specific sex differences remain poorly understood.

Most traits that display variance between males and females appear to result from differences in the expression of autosomal genes common to both sexes, rather than through expression of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones.A better understanding of these sex-associated disparities in the behavior of our genes could lead to improved diagnoses and treatments for a range of human illnesses.In a new paper in the PERSPECTIVES section of the journal Science, Melissa Wilson reviews current research into patterns of sex differences in gene expression across the genome, and highlights sampling biases in the human populations included in such studies."One of the most striking things about this comprehensive study of sex differences," Wilson said, "is that while aggregate differences span the genome and contribute to biases in human health, each individual gene varies tremendously between people."Wilson is a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms in Evolution, the Center for Evolution and Medicine, and ASU's School of Life Sciences. advertisement A decade ago, an ambitious undertaking, known as the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) consortium began to investigate the effects DNA variation on gene expression across the range of human tissues. Recent findings, appearing in the Science issue under review, indicate that sex-linked disparities in gene expression are far more pervasive than once assumed, with more than a third of all genes displaying sex-biased expression in at least one tissue.

(The new research highlighted in Wilson's PERSPECTIVES piece describes gene regulatory differences between the sexes in every tissue under study.)Sex-linked differences in gene expression are shared across mammals, though their relative roles in disease susceptibility remain speculative. Natural selection likely guided the development of many of these attributes. For example, the rise of placental mammals some 90 million years ago may have led to differences in immune function between males and females.Such sex-based distinctions arising in the distant past have left their imprint on current mammals, including humans, expressed in higher rates of autoimmune disorders in females and increased cancer rates in males.Despite their critical importance for understanding disease prevalence and severity, sex differences in gene expression have only recently received serious attention in the research community.

Wilson and others suggest that much historical genetic research, using primarily white male subjects in mid-life, have yielded an incomplete picture.Such studies often fail to account for sex differences in the design and analysis of experiments, rendering a distorted view of sex-based disease variance, often leading to one-size-fits-all approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The authors therefore advise researchers to be more careful about generalizations based on existing databases of genetic information, including GTEx.A more holistic approach is emerging, as researchers investigate the full panoply of effects related to male and female gene expression across a broader range of human variation. Story Source.

Materials provided by Arizona State University. Original written by Richard Harth. Note.

Content may be edited for style and length.Researchers at Yale have identified a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disease for which there is currently no cure or treatment, by targeting an enzyme that had been considered "undruggable." The finding appears in the Aug. 25 edition of Science Signaling.DMD is the most common form of muscular dystrophy, a disease that leads to progressive weakness and eventual loss of the skeletal and heart muscles. It occurs in 16 of 100,000 male births in the U.S.

People with the disease exhibit clumsiness and weakness in early childhood and typically need wheelchairs by the time they reach their teens. The average life expectancy is 26.While earlier research had revealed the crucial role played by an enzyme called MKP5 in the development of DMD, making it a promising target for possible treatment, scientists for decades had been unable to disrupt this family of enzymes, known as protein tyrosine phosphatases, at the enzymes' "active" site where chemical reactions occur.In the new study, Anton Bennett, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and professor of comparative medicine, and his team screened over 162,000 compounds. They identified one molecular compound that blocked the enzyme's activity by binding to a previously undiscovered allosteric site -- a spot near the enzyme's active site."There have been many attempts to design inhibitors for this family of enzymes, but those compounds have failed to produce the right properties," Bennett said.

"Until now, the family of enzymes has been considered 'undruggable.'"By targeting the allosteric site of MKP5 instead, he said, "We discovered an excellent starting point for drug development that circumvented the earlier problems."The researchers tested their compound in muscle cells and found that it successfully inhibited MKP5 activity, suggesting a promising new therapeutic strategy for treating DMD.The research was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, as well as by the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, which annually presents awards to support the most promising life science discoveries from Yale faculty.Bennett said that the Blavatnik funding, which is administered by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, was critical in moving the research forward. "It resulted in a license with a major pharmaceutical company," he said, "and we hope they will rapidly move forward with the development of the new treatment."The finding has implications well beyond muscular dystrophy, he added. The researchers have demonstrated that the MKP5 enzyme is broadly implicated in fibrosis, or the buildup of scar tissue, a condition that contributes to nearly one-third of natural deaths worldwide."Fibrosis is involved in the end-stage death of many tissues, including liver, lung, and muscle," Bennett said.

"We believe this enzyme could be a target more broadly for fibrotic tissue disease."The research team from Yale included Naftali Kaminski, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. Jonathan Ellman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry and professor of pharmacology. Karen Anderson, professor of pharmacology and of molecular biophysics and biochemistry.

Elias Lolis, professor of pharmacology. Zachary Gannam, a graduate student in pharmacology. Kisuk Min, a postdoctoral fellow.

Shanelle Shillingford, a graduate student in chemistry. Lei Zhang, a research associate in pharmacology. And the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.

Story Source. Materials provided by Yale University. Original written by Brita Belli.

Note. Content may be edited for style and length.This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. This story can be republished for free (details). After shutting down in the spring, America’s empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout.

To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.In the first months of the coronavirus outbreak, most public health leaders advised closing gyms, erring on the side of caution. As infections exploded across the country, states ordered gyms and fitness centers closed, along with restaurants, movie theaters and bars.

State and local officials consistently branded gyms as high-risk venues for infection, akin to bars and nightclubs. In early August, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called gym-going a “dangerous activity,” saying he would keep them shut — only to announce later in the month that most gyms could reopen in September at a third of the capacity and under tight regulations.New York, New Jersey and North Carolina were among the last state holdouts — only recently allowing fitness facilities to reopen.

Many states continue to limit capacity and have instituted new requirements.The benefits of gyms are clear. Regular exercise staves off depression and improves sleep, and staying fit may be a way to avoid a serious case of COVID-19. But there are clear risks, too.

Lots of people moving around indoors, sharing equipment and air, and breathing heavily could be a recipe for easy viral spread. There are scattered reports of coronavirus cases traced back to specific gyms. But gym owners say those are outliers and argue the dominant portrayal overemphasizes potential dangers and ignores their brief but successful track record of safety during the pandemic.

Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing. A Seattle gym struggles to comply with new rules and surviveAt NW Fitness in Seattle, everything from a set of squats to a run on the treadmill requires a mask. Every other cardio machine is off-limits.

The owners have marked up the floor with blue tape to show where each person can work out.Esmery Corniel, a member, has resumed his workout routine with the punching bag.“I was honestly just losing my mind,” said Corniel, 27. He said he feels comfortable in the gym with its new safety protocols.“Everybody wears their mask, everybody socially distances, so it’s no problem here at all,” Corniel said.There’s no longer the usual morning “rush” of people working out before heading to their jobs.Under Washington state’s coronavirus rules, only about 10 to 12 people at a time are permitted in this 4,000-square-foot gym.“It’s drastically reduced our ability to serve our community,” said John Carrico. He and his wife, Jessica, purchased NW Fitness at the end of last year.John and Jessica Carrico run NW Fitness, a small gym in Seattle that has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Their membership has plummeted in recent months, in part because the gym has been closed and subject to strict coronavirus requirements.(Will Stone)Meanwhile, the cost of running the businesses has gone up dramatically. The gym now needs to be staffed round-the-clock to keep up with the frequent cleaning requirements, and to ensure people are wearing masks and following the rules.Keeping the gym open 24/7 — previously a big selling point for members — is no longer feasible. In the past three months, they’ve lost more than a third of their membership.“If the trend continues, we won’t be able to stay open,” said Jessica Carrico, who also works as a nurse at a homeless shelter run by Harborview Medical Center.Given her medical background, Jessica Carrico was initially inclined to trust the public health authorities who ordered all gyms to shut down, but gradually her feelings changed.“Driving around the city, I’d still see lines outside of pot shops and Baskin-Robbins,” she said.

€œThe arbitrary decision that had been made was very clear, and it became really frustrating.”Even after gyms in the Seattle area were allowed to reopen, their frustrations continued — especially with the strict cap on operating capacity. The Carricos believe that falls hardest on smaller gyms that don’t have much square footage.“People want this space to be safe, and will self-regulate,” said John Carrico. He believes he could responsibly operate with twice as many people inside as currently allowed.

Public health officials have mischaracterized gyms, he added, and underestimated their potential to operate safely.“There’s this fear-based propaganda that gyms are a cesspool of coronavirus, which is just super not true,” Carrico said.Gyms seem less risky than bars. But there’s very little research either wayThe fitness industry has begun to push back at the pandemic-driven perceptions and prohibitions. €œWe should not be lumped with bars and restaurants,” said Helen Durkin, an executive vice president for the International Health, Racquet &.

Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).John Carrico called the comparison with bars particularly unfair. €œIt’s almost laughable. I mean, it’s almost the exact opposite.

€¦ People here are investing in their health. They’re coming in, they’re focusing on what they’re trying to do as far as their workout. They’re not socializing, they’re not sitting at a table and laughing and drinking.”Since the pandemic began, many gyms have overhauled operations and now look very different.

Locker rooms are often closed and group classes halted. Many gyms check everyone for symptoms upon arrival. They’ve spaced out equipment and begun intensive cleaning regimes.Gyms have a big advantage over other retail and entertainment venues, Durkin said, because the membership model means those who may have been exposed in an outbreak can be easily contacted.A company that sells member databases and software to gyms has been compiling data during the pandemic.

(The data, drawn from 2,877 gyms, is by no means comprehensive because it relies on gym owners to self-report incidents in which a positive coronavirus case was detected at the gym, or was somehow connected to the gym.) The resultant report said that the overall “visits to virus” ratio of 0.002% is “statistically irrelevant” because only 1,155 cases of coronavirus were reported among more than 49 million gym visits. Similarly, data collected from gyms in the United Kingdom found only 17 cases out of more than 8 million visits in the weeks after gyms reopened there.Only a few U.S. States have publicly available information on outbreaks linked to the fitness sector, and those states report very few cases.

In Louisiana, for example, the state has identified five clusters originating in “gym/fitness settings,” with a total of 31 cases. None of the people died. By contrast, 15 clusters were traced to “religious services/events,” sickening 78, and killing five of them.“The whole idea that it’s a risky place to be … around the world, we just aren’t seeing those numbers anywhere,” said IHRSA’s Durkin.A study from South Korea published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is often cited as evidence of the inherent hazards of group fitness activities.The study traced 112 coronavirus infections to a Feb.

15 training workshop for fitness dance instructors. Those instructors went on to teach classes at 12 sports facilities in February and March, transmitting the virus to students in the dance classes, but also to co-workers and family members.But defenders of the fitness industry point out that the outbreak began before South Korea instituted social distancing measures.The study authors note that the classes were crowded and the pace of the dance workouts was fast, and conclude that “intense physical exercise in densely populated sports facilities could increase the risk for infection” and “should be minimized during outbreaks.” They also found that no transmission occurred in classes with fewer than five people, or when an infected instructor taught “lower-intensity” classes such as yoga and Pilates.Linda Rackner with PRO Club in Bellevue, Washington, says the enormous, upscale gym has adapted relatively easily to the new coronavirus rules. The fitness club’s physical size, extensive budget and technology have helped staffers maintain a fairly normal experience for their members.(Will Stone)Public health experts continue to urge gym members to be cautiousIt’s clear that there are many things gym owners — and gym members — can do to lower the risk of infection at a gym, but that doesn’t mean the risk is gone.

Infectious disease doctors and public health experts caution that gyms should not downplay their potential for spreading disease, especially if the coronavirus is widespread in the surrounding community.“There are very few [gyms] that can actually implement all the infection control measures,” said Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist in Phoenix. €œThat’s really the challenge with gyms. There is so much variety that it makes it hard to put them into a single box.”Popescu and two colleagues developed a COVID-19 risk chart for various activities.

Gyms were classified as “medium high,” on par with eating indoors at a restaurant or getting a haircut, but less risky than going to a bar or riding public transit.Popescu acknowledges there’s not much recent evidence that gyms are major sources of infection, but that should not give people a false sense of assurance.“The mistake would be to assume that there is no risk,” she said. €œIt’s just that a lot of the prevention strategies have been working, and when we start to loosen those, though, is where you’re more likely to see clusters occur.”Any location that brings people together indoors increases the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and breathing heavily adds another element of risk. Interventions such as increasing the distance between cardio machines might help, but tiny infectious airborne particles can travel farther than 6 feet, Popescu said.The mechanics of exercising also make it hard to ensure people comply with crucial preventive measures like wearing a mask.“How effective are masks in that setting?.

Can they really be effectively worn?. € asked Dr. Deverick Anderson, director of the Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention.

€œThe combination of sweat and exertion is one unique thing about the gym setting.”“I do think that, in the big picture, gyms would be riskier than restaurants because of the type of activity and potential for interaction there,” Anderson said.The primary way people could catch the virus at a gym would be coming close to someone who is releasing respiratory droplets and smaller airborne particles, called “aerosols,” when they breathe, talk or cough, said Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health.He’s less worried about people catching the virus from touching a barbell or riding a stationary bike that someone else used. That’s because scientists now think “surface” transmission isn’t driving infection as much as airborne droplets and particles.“I’m not really worried about transmission that way,” Blumberg said.

€œThere’s too much attention being paid to disinfecting surfaces and ‘deep cleaning,’ spraying things in the air. I think a lot of that’s just for show.”Blumberg said he believes gyms can manage the risks better than many social settings like bars or informal gatherings.“A gym where you can adequately social distance and you can limit the number of people there and force mask-wearing, that’s one of the safer activities,” he said.Adapting to the pandemic’s prohibitions doesn’t come cheapIn Bellevue, Washington, PRO Club is an enormous, upscale gym with spacious workout rooms — and an array of medical services such as physical therapy, hormone treatments, skin care and counseling. PRO Club has managed to keep the gym experience relatively normal for members since reopening, according to employee Linda Rackner.

€œThere is plenty of space for everyone. We are seeing about 1,000 people a day and have capacity for almost 3,000,” Rackner said. €œWe’d love to have more people in the club.”The gym uses the same air-cleaning units as hospital ICUs, deploys ultraviolet robots to sanitize the rooms and requires temperature checks to enter.

€œI feel like we have good compliance,” said Dean Rogers, one of the personal trainers. €œFor the most part, people who come to a gym are in it for their own health, fitness and wellness.”But Rogers knows this isn’t the norm everywhere. In fact, his own mother back in Oklahoma believes she contracted the coronavirus at her gym.“I was upset to find out that her gym had no guidelines they were following, no safety precautions,” he said.

€œThere are always going to be some bad actors.”This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. Carrie Feibel, an editor for the NPR-KHN reporting partnership, contributed to this story. Related Topics Multimedia Public Health States Audio COVID-19 WashingtonThis story also ran on CNN. This story can be republished for free (details). CLEVELAND — Families skipping or delaying pediatric appointments for their young children because of the pandemic are missing out on more than vaccines.

Critical testing for lead poisoning has plummeted in many parts of the country.In the Upper Midwest, Northeast and parts of the West Coast — areas with historically high rates of lead poisoning — the slide has been the most dramatic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In states such as Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota, testing for the brain-damaging heavy metal fell by 50% or more this spring compared with 2019, health officials report.“The drop-off in April was massive,” said Thomas Largo, section manager of environmental health surveillance at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, noting a 76% decrease in testing compared with the year before. €œWe weren’t quite prepared for that.” Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter.

Blood tests for lead, the only way to tell if a child has been exposed, are typically performed by pricking a finger or heel or tapping a vein at 1- and 2-year-old well-child visits. A blood test with elevated lead levels triggers the next critical steps in accessing early intervention for the behavioral, learning and health effects of lead poisoning and also identifying the source of the lead to prevent further harm.Because of the pandemic, though, the drop in blood tests means referrals for critical home inspections plus medical and educational services are falling, too. And that means help isn’t reaching poisoned kids, a one-two punch, particularly in communities of color, said Yvonka Hall, a lead poisoning prevention advocate and co-founder of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network.

And this all comes amid COVID-related school and child care closures, meaning kids who are at risk are spending more time than ever in the place where most exposure happens. The home.“Inside is dangerous,” Hall said.The CDC estimates about 500,000 U.S. Children between ages 1 and 5 have been poisoned by lead, probably an underestimate due to the lack of widespread testing in many communities and states.

In 2017, more than 40,000 children had elevated blood lead levels, defined as higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, in the 23 states that reported data.While preliminary June and July data in some states indicates lead testing is picking up, it’s nowhere near as high as it would need to be to catch up on the kids who missed appointments in the spring at the height of lockdown orders, experts say. And that may mean some kids will never be tested.“What I’m most worried about is that the kids who are not getting tested now are the most vulnerable — those are the kids I’m worried might not have a makeup visit,” said Stephanie Yendell, senior epidemiology supervisor in the health risk intervention unit at the Minnesota Department of Health.Lifelong ConsequencesThere’s a critical window for conducting lead poisoning blood tests, timed to when children are crawling or toddling and tend to put their hands on floors, windowsills and door frames and possibly transfer tiny particles of lead-laden dust to their mouths.Children at this age are more likely to be harmed because their rapidly growing brains and bodies absorb the element more readily. Lead poisoning can’t be reversed.

Children with lead poisoning are more likely to fall behind in school, end up in jail or suffer lifelong health problems such as kidney and heart disease.That’s why lead tests are required at ages 1 and 2 for children receiving federal Medicaid benefits, the population most likely to be poisoned because of low-quality housing options. Tests are also recommended for all children living in high-risk ZIP codes with older housing stock and historically high levels of lead exposure.Testing fell far short of recommendations in many parts of the country even before the pandemic, though, with one recent study estimating that in some states 80% of poisoned children are never identified. And when tests are required, there has been little enforcement of the rule.Early in the pandemic, officials in New York’s Erie County bumped up the threshold for sending a public health worker into a family’s home to investigate the source of lead exposure from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 45 micrograms per deciliter (a blood lead level that usually requires hospitalization), said Dr.

Gale Burstein, that county’s health commissioner. For all other cases during that period, officials inspected only the outside of the child’s home for potential hazards.About 700 fewer children were tested for lead in Erie County in April than in the same month last year, a drop of about 35%.Ohio, which has among the highest levels of lead poisoning in the country, recently expanded automatic eligibility for its Early Intervention program to any child with an elevated blood lead test, providing the opportunity for occupational, physical and speech therapy. Learning supports for school.

And developmental assessments. If kids with lead poisoning don’t get tested, though, they won’t be referred for help.In early April, there were only three referrals for elevated lead levels in the state, which had been fielding nine times as many on average in the months before the pandemic, said Karen Mintzer, director of Bright Beginnings, which manages them for Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities. €œIt basically was a complete stop,” she said.

Since mid-June, referrals have recovered and are now above pre-pandemic levels.“We should treat every child with lead poisoning as a medical emergency,” said John Belt, principal investigator for the Ohio Department of Health’s lead poisoning program. €œNot identifying them is going to delay the available services, and in some cases lead to a cognitive deficit.”Pandemic Compounds WorriesOne of the big worries about the drop in lead testing is that it’s happening at a time when exposure to lead-laden paint chips, soil and dust in homes may be spiking because of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.Exposure to lead dust from deteriorating paint, particularly in high-friction areas such as doors and windows, is the most common cause of lead exposure for children in the U.S.“I worry about kids in unsafe housing, more so during the pandemic, because they’re stuck there during the quarantine,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician at Cleveland’s University Hospitals Rainbow Babies &.

Children’s Hospital.The pandemic may also compound exposure to lead, experts fear, as both landlords and homeowners try to tackle renovation projects without proper safety precautions while everyone is at home. Or the economic fallout of the crisis could mean some people can no longer afford to clean up known lead hazards at all.“If you’ve lost your job, it’s going to make it difficult to get new windows, or even repaint,” said Yendell.The CDC says it plans to help state and local health departments track down children who missed lead tests. Minnesota plans to identify pediatric clinics with particularly steep drops in lead testing to figure out why, said Yendell.But, Yendell said, that will likely have to wait until the pandemic is over.

€œRight now I’m spending 10-20% of my time on lead, and the rest is COVID.”The pandemic has stretched already thinly staffed local health departments to the brink, health officials say, and it may take years to know the full impact of the missed testing. For the kids who’ve been poisoned and had no intervention, the effects may not be obvious until they enter school and struggle to keep up. Brie Zeltner.

@BrieZeltner Related Topics Public Health CDC Children's Health COVID-19 Michigan Minnesota New York Ohio StudyCan’t see the audio player?. Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The headlines from this week will be about how President Donald Trump knew early on how serious the coronavirus pandemic was likely to become but purposely played it down.

Potentially more important during the past few weeks, though, are reports of how White House officials have pushed scientists at the federal government’s leading health agencies to put politics above science.Meanwhile, Republicans appear to have given up on using the Affordable Care Act as an electoral cudgel, judging, at least, from its scarce mention during the GOP convention. Democrats, on the other hand, particularly those running for the U.S. House and Senate, are doubling down on their criticism of Republicans for failing to adequately protect people with preexisting health conditions.

That issue was key to the party winning back the House in 2018.This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:The Affordable Care Act has become a political vulnerability for Republican officials, who have no interest in reopening the debate on it during this campaign. Trump vowed before his 2016 election to repeal the law immediately after taking office and members of Congress had berated it for years. But they could not gain the political capital to overturn Obamacare.Trump’s comments to journalist-author Bob Woodward about holding back information on the risks of the coronavirus pandemic from the public may not have a major effect on the election since so many voters’ minds are already set on their choices.

For many, the president’s statements are seen by partisans as identifying what they already believe. For Trump’s supporters, that he is protecting the public. For his critics, that he is a liar.The number of COVID-19 cases appears to have hit another plateau, but it’s still twice as high as the count last spring.

Officials are waiting to see if end-of-the-summer activities over the Labor Day holiday will create another surge.The stalemate on Capitol Hill over coronavirus relief funding shows no sign of easing soon. Republicans in the Senate are resisting Democrats’ insistence on a massive package, but it’s not exactly clear what the GOP can agree on.The vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca ran into difficulty this week as experts seek to determine whether a neurological problem that developed in one volunteer was caused by the vaccine. Some public health officials, such as NIH Director Francis Collins, said this helps show that even with the compressed testing timeline, safeguards are working.Nonetheless, another vaccine maker, Pfizer, said it might still have its vaccine ready before the election.The recent controversy at the FDA over the emergency authorization of plasma to treat COVID patients and the awkward decision at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change guidelines for testing asymptomatic people have created a credibility gap among some Americans and played into concerns that the administration is undercutting science.Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence, who reported the August NPR-KHN “Bill of the Month” installment, about an appendectomy gone wrong, and the very big bill that followed.

If you have an outrageous medical bill you would like to share with us, you can do that here.Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:Julie Rovner. ProPublica’s “A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984,” by Marshall AllenJoanne Kenen.

The Atlantic’s “America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral,” by Ed YongSarah Karlin-Smith. Politico’s “Emails Show HHS Official Trying to Muzzle Fauci,” by Sarah OwermohleMary Ellen McIntire. The Atlantic’s “What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear From COVID-19,” by Derek ThompsonTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health?.

on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or Pocket Casts. Related Topics Elections Multimedia Public Health The Health Law CDC COVID-19 FDA KHN's 'What The Health?. ' NIH Podcasts Trump Administration U.S.

Congress VaccinesSOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). El gobernador de Florida, Ron DeSantis, trató de aliviar el temor a volar durante la pandemia en un evento con ejecutivos de aerolíneas y compañías de alquiler de autos.“Los aviones simplemente no han sido vectores cuando se observa la propagación del coronavirus”, dijo DeSantis en el encuentro en el Aeropuerto Internacional Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood el 28 de agosto.

“La evidencia es la evidencia. Y creo que es algo que la gente puede hacer con seguridad “, agregó.¿La evidencia es realmente tan clara?. La afirmación de DeSantis de que los aviones no han sido “vectores” de la propagación del coronavirus es falsa, según expertos.

Un “vector” disemina el virus de un lugar a otro, y los aviones han transportado a pasajeros infectados a través de distintas regiones, lo que hace que los brotes de COVID-19 sean más difíciles de contener.Joseph Allen, profesor asociado en la Universidad de Harvard y experto en exposiciones a virus, calificó a los aviones como “excelentes vectores para la propagación viral” en una llamada de prensa.En contexto, DeSantis parecía estar haciendo hincapié en la seguridad de volar en avión en lugar del papel que desempeñaron los aviones en la propagación del virus de un lugar a otro.Cuando se le consultó a la oficina del gobernador sobre datos que respaldaran los comentarios de DeSantis, el secretario de prensa Cody McCloud no presentó ningún estudio ni estadística. En cambio, citó el programa de rastreo de contactos del Departamento de Salud de Florida y escribió que “no ha proporcionado ninguna información que sugiera que algún paciente se haya infectado mientras viajaba en un vuelo comercial”.El programa de rastreo de contactos de Florida se ha visto envuelto en una controversia sobre informes que denuncian que no tiene suficiente personal y que es ineficaz. CNN llamó a 27 residentes del estado que dieron positivo para COVID-19 y descubrió que solo cinco habían sido contactados por las autoridades de salud.

(El Departamento de Salud de Florida no respondió a las solicitudes de entrevista).Expertos aseguran que, en general, los aviones brindan ambientes seguros en lo que respecta a la calidad del aire, pero agregaron que el riesgo de infección depende en gran medida de las políticas que las aerolíneas puedan tener sobre los asientos de los pasajeros, el uso de máscaras y el tiempo de embarque.Según indicaron, el riesgo de contraer el coronavirus en un avión es relativamente bajo si la aerolínea sigue los procedimientos de salud pública. Hacer cumplir la regla de usar máscara, espaciar los asientos disponibles y examinar a los pasajeros enfermos.“Si observas otras enfermedades, ves pocos brotes en aviones”, dijo Allen. €œNo son los semilleros de infección que la gente cree que son”.Las aerolíneas señalan con frecuencia que los aviones comerciales están equipados con filtros de aire HEPA, recomendados por los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), que se utilizan en las salas de aislamiento de los hospitales.Los filtros HEPA capturan el 99,97% de las partículas en el aire y reducen sustancialmente el riesgo de propagación viral.

Además, el aire en las cabinas se renueva por completo entre 10 y 12 veces por hora, elevando la calidad del aire por encima de la de un edificio normal.Debido a la alta tasa de renovación del aire, es poco probable que se contraiga el coronavirus de alguien sentado a varias filas de distancia. Sin embargo, sí podría ocurrir el contagio de alguien cercano.“El mayor riesgo durante el vuelo sería si el pasajero se sienta cerca de alguien que pueda infectar”, dijo Richard Corsi, quien estudia la contaminación del aire en interiores y es decano de Ingeniería en Universidad Estatal de Portland.También es importante señalar que los sistemas de filtración de alta potencia de los aviones no son suficientes por sí solos para prevenir brotes. Si una aerolínea no mantiene libres los asientos del medio ni hace cumplir rigurosamente el uso de máscaras, volar puede ser bastante peligroso.

Actualmente, las aerolíneas nacionales que mantienen abiertos los asientos intermedios incluyen Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest y JetBlue.La razón de esto es que las personas infectadas envían partículas virales al aire a un ritmo más rápido que el que los aviones las expulsan fuera de la cabina. €œSiempre que tose, habla o respira, está enviando gotitas”, dijo Qingyan Chen, profesor de ingeniería mecánica en la Universidad Purdue. €œEstas gotas están en la cabina todo el tiempo”.Esto hace que las medidas de protección adicionales, como el uso de máscaras, sean aún más necesarias.Chen citó dos vuelos internacionales anteriores a la pandemia donde las tasas de infección variaron según el uso de mascarillas.

En el primer vuelo, ningún pasajero llevaba máscaras y un solo pasajero infectó a 14 personas mientras el avión viajaba de Londres a Hanoi, Vietnam. En el segundo vuelo, de Singapur a Hangzhou, en China, todos los pasajeros llevaban máscaras faciales.Aunque 15 pasajeros eran residentes de Wuhan con casos sospechosos o confirmados de COVID-19, el único hombre infectado en el recorrido se había aflojado la máscara en pleno vuelo y había estado sentado cerca de cuatro residentes de Wuhan que luego dieron positivo para el virus.Pero, aunque volar es una actividad de riesgo relativamente bajo, se debe evitar viajar a menos que sea absolutamente necesario.“Cualquier cosa que te ponga en contacto con más personas aumentará el riesgo”, dijo Cindy Prins, profesora clínica asociada de Epidemiología en la Escuela de Salud Pública y Profesiones de la Salud de la Universidad de Florida.El verdadero peligro de viajar no es el vuelo en sí. Sin embargo, pasar por el control de seguridad y esperar en la puerta de embarque es probable que ponga a la persona en contacto cercano con otros y aumente sus posibilidades de contraer el virus.Además, abordar, cuando el sistema de ventilación del avión no está funcionando y las personas no pueden mantenerse alejadas entre sí, es una de las partes más riesgosas.

€œReducir este tiempo es importante para bajar la exposición”, escribió Corsi. €œHay que llegar al asiento con la máscara y sentarse lo más rápido posible”.Con todo, es demasiado pronto para determinar cuánta transmisión de persona a persona ha ocurrido en vuelos.Julian Tang, profesor asociado honorario en el Departamento de Ciencias Respiratorias de la Universidad de Leicester, en Inglaterra, dijo que está al tanto de varios grupos de infecciones relacionadas con los viajes aéreos. Sin embargo, es un desafío demostrar que las personas contrajeron el virus en un vuelo.“Alguien que presenta síntomas de COVID-19 varios días después de llegar a su destino podría haberse infectado en casa antes de llegar al aeropuerto, mientras estaba en el aeropuerto o en el vuelo, o incluso al llegar al aeropuerto de destino, porque todo el mundo tiene un período de incubación variable”, dijo Tang.Katherine Estep, vocera de Airlines for America, un grupo comercial de la industria centrado en Estados Unidos, dijo que los CDC no han confirmado ningún caso de transmisión a bordo de una aerolínea estadounidense.La ausencia de transmisión confirmada no es necesariamente una prueba de que los viajeros estén seguros.

En cambio, la falta de datos refleja el hecho de que Estados Unidos tiene una tasa de infección más alta en comparación con otros países, dijo Chen. Dado que tiene tantos casos confirmados, es más difícil determinar exactamente dónde alguien contrajo el virus. Related Topics Noticias En Español Public Health COVID-19 KHN &.

PolitiFact HealthCheckThis story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were on edge as early as March when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them. Explore Our Database KHN and The Guardian are tracking health care workers who died from COVID-19 and writing about their lives and what happened in their final days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate COVID patients to limit staff exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that’s been in short supply.Yet COVID patients continued to be scattered through the Oakland hospital, according to complaints to California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The concerns included the sixth-floor medical unit where veteran nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder worked.COVID patients on that floor were not staying in their rooms, either confused or uninterested in the rules. Staff was not provided highly protective N95 respirators, said Mike Hill, a nurse in the hospital intensive care unit and the hospital’s chief representative for the California Nurses Association, which filed complaints to Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety regulator. “It was just a matter of time before one of the nurses died on one of these floors,” Hill said.Two nurses fell ill, including Paiste-Ponder, 59, who died of complications from the virus on July 17.The concerns raised in Oakland also have swept across the U.S., according to interviews, a review of government workplace safety complaints and health facility inspection reports.

A KHN investigation found that dozens of nursing homes and hospitals ignored official guidelines to separate COVID patients from those without the coronavirus, in some places fueling its spread and leaving staff unprepared and infected or, in some cases, dead.As recently as July, a National Nurses United survey of more than 21,000 nurses found that 32% work in a facility that does not have a dedicated COVID unit. At that time, the coronavirus had reached all but 17 U.S. Counties, data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows.California Nurses Association members had complained to Cal/OSHA about COVID patients being spread throughout Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and say the practice was a factor in Janine Paiste-Ponder’s illness and death.(National Nurses United)KHN discovered that COVID victims have been commingled with uninfected patients in health care facilities in states including California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, Maryland and New York.A COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus in late April when health inspectors observed residents with dementia mingling in a day room — COVID-positive patients as well as others awaiting test results.

At the time, the center had already reported COVID infections among 119 residents and 46 virus-related deaths, according to a Medicare inspection report.The assistant director of nursing at an Iowa nursing home insisted April 28 that they did “not have any COVID in the building” and overrode the orders of a community doctor to isolate several patients with fevers and falling oxygen levels, an inspection report shows.By mid-May, the facility’s COVID log showed 61 patients with the virus and nine dead.Federal work-safety officials have closed at least 30 complaints about patient mixing in hospitals nationwide without issuing a citation. They include a claim that a Michigan hospital kept patients who tested negative for the virus in the COVID unit in May. An upstate New York hospital also had COVID patients in the same unit as those with no infection, according to a closed complaint to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing. Federal Health and Human Services officials have called on hospitals to tell them each day if they have a patient who came in without COVID-19 but had an apparent or confirmed case of the coronavirus 14 days later. Hospitals filed 48,000 reports from June 21 through Aug.

28, though the number reflects some double or additional counting of individual patients.COVID patients have been mixed in with others for a variety of reasons. Some hospitals report having limited tests, so patients carrying the virus are identified only after they had already exposed others. In other cases, they had false-negative test results or their facility was dismissive of federal guidelines, which carry no force of law.And while federal Medicare officials have inspected nearly every U.S.

Nursing home in recent months and states have occasionally levied fines and cut off new admissions for isolation lapses, hospitals have seen less scrutiny.The Scene Inside SutterAt Alta Bates in Oakland, part of the Sutter Health network, hospital staff made it clear in official complaints to Cal/OSHA that they wanted administrators to follow the state’s unique law on aerosol-transmitted diseases. From the start, some staffers wanted all the state-required protections for a virus that has been increasingly shown to be transmitted by tiny particles that float through the air.The regulations call for patients with a virus like COVID-19 to be moved to a specialized unit within five hours of identification — or to a specialized facility. The rules say those patients should be in a room with a HEPA filter or with negative air pressure, meaning that air is circulated out a window or exhaust fan instead of drifting into the hallway.Initially, in March, the hospital outfitted a 40-bed COVID unit, according to Hill.

But when a surge of patients failed to materialize, that unit was pared to 12 beds.Since then, a steady stream of virus patients have been admitted, he said, many testing positive only days after admission — and after they’d been in regular rooms in the facility.From March 10 through July 30, Hill’s union and others filed eight complaints to Cal/OSHA, including allegations that the hospital failed to follow isolation rules for COVID patients, some on the cancer floor.So far, regulators have done little. Gov. Gavin Newsom had ordered workplace safety officials to “focus on … supporting compliance” instead of enforcement except on the “most serious violations.”State officials responded to complaints by reaching out by mail and phone to “ensure the proper virus prevention measures are in place,” according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA.A third investigation related to transport workers not wearing N95 respirators while moving COVID-positive or possible coronavirus patients at a Sutter facility near the hospital resulted in a $6,750 fine, Cal/OSHA records show.The string of complaints also says the hospital did not give staff the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) under state law — an N95 respirator or something more protective — for caring for virus patients.Nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder died July 17 of COVID-19.

Her colleagues held a vigil for her on July 21.(National Nurses United)Instead, Hill said, staff on floors with COVID patients were provided lower-quality surgical masks, a concern reflected in complaints filed with Cal/OSHA.Hill believes that Paiste-Ponder and another nurse on her floor caught the virus from COVID patients who did not remain in their rooms.“It is sad, because it didn’t really need to happen,” Hill said.Polizzi said investigations into the July 17 death and another staff hospitalization are ongoing.A Sutter Health spokesperson said the hospital takes allegations, including Cal/OSHA complaints, seriously and its highest priority is keeping patients and staff safe.The statement also said “cohorting,” or the practice of grouping virus patients together, is a tool that “must be considered in a greater context, including patient acuity, hospital census and other environmental factors.”Concerns at Other HospitalsCDC guidelines are not strict on the topic of keeping COVID patients sectioned off, noting that “facilities could consider designating entire units within the facility, with dedicated [staff],” to care for COVID patients.That approach succeeded at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. A recent study reported “extensive” viral contamination around COVID patients there, but noted that with “standard” infection control techniques in place, staffers who cared for COVID patients did not get the virus.The hospital set up an isolation unit with air pumped away from the halls, restricted access to the unit and trained staff to use well-developed protocols and N95 respirators — at a minimum. What worked in Nebraska, though, is far from standard elsewhere.Cynthia Butler, a nurse and National Nurses United member at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, on Florida’s west coast, said she actually felt safer working in the COVID unit — where she knew what she was dealing with and had full PPE — than on a general medical floor.She believes she caught the virus from a patient who had COVID-19 but was housed on a general floor in May.

A similar situation occurred in July, when another patient had an unexpected case of COVID — and Butler said she got another positive test herself.She said both patients did not meet the hospital’s criteria for testing admitted patients, and the lapses leave her on edge, concerns she relayed to an OSHA inspector who reached out to her about a complaint her union filed about the facility.“Every time I go into work it’s like playing Russian roulette,” Butler said.A spokesperson for HCA Healthcare, which owns the hospital, said it tests patients coming from long-term care, those going into surgery and those with virus symptoms. She said staffers have access to PPE and practice vigilant sanitation, universal masking and social distancing.The latter is not an option for Butler, though, who said she cleans, feeds and starts IVs for patients and offers reassurance when they are isolated from family.“I’m giving them the only comfort or kind word they can get,” said Butler, who has since gone on unpaid leave over safety concerns. €œI’m in there doing that and I’m not being protected.”Given research showing that up to 45% of COVID patients are asymptomatic, UCSF Medical Center is testing everyone who’s admitted, said Dr.

Robert Harrison, a University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine professor who consults on occupational health at the hospital.It’s done for the safety of staff and to reduce spread within the hospital, he said. Those who test positive are separated into a COVID-only unit.And staff who spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of a not-yet-identified COVID patient in a less-protective surgical mask are typically sent home for two weeks, he said.Outside of academic medicine, though, front-line staff have turned to union leaders to push for such protections.In Southern California, leaders of the National Union of Healthcare Workers filed an official complaint with state hospital inspectors about the risks posed by intermingled COVID patients at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, part of for-profit Tenet Health. There, the complaint said, patients were not routinely tested for COVID-19 upon admission.One nursing assistant spent two successive 12-hour shifts caring for a patient on a general medical floor who required monitoring.

At the conclusion of the second shift, she was told the patient had just been found to be COVID-positive.The worker had worn only a surgical mask — not an N95 respirator or any form of eye protection, according to the complaint to the California Department of Public Health. The nursing assistant was not offered a COVID test or quarantined before her next two shifts, the complaint said.The public health department said it could not comment on a pending inspection.Barbara Lewis, Southern California hospital division director with the union, said COVID patients were on the same floor as cancer patients and post-surgical patients who were walking the halls to speed their recovery.She said managers took steps to separate the patients only after the union held a protest, spoke to local media and complained to state health officials.Hospital spokesperson Jessica Chen said the hospital “quickly implemented” changes directed by state health authorities and does place some COVID patients on the same nursing unit as non-COVID patients during surges. She said they are placed in single rooms with closed doors.

COVID tests are given by physician order, she added, and employees can access them at other places in the community.It’s in contrast, Lewis said, to high-profile examples of the precautions that might be taken.“Now we’re seeing what’s happening with baseball and basketball — they’re tested every day and treated with a high level of caution,” Lewis said. €œYet we have thousands and thousands of health care workers going to work in a very scary environment.”Nursing Homes Face Penalties More than 40% of the people who’ve died of COVID-19 lived in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, researchers have found.Patient mixing has been a scattered concern at nursing homes, which Medicare officials discovered when they reviewed infection control practices at more than 15,000 facilities.News reports have highlighted the problem at an Ohio nursing home and at a Maryland home where the state levied a $70,000 fine for failing to keep infected patients away from those who weren’t sick — yet.Another facing penalties was Fair Havens Center, a Miami Springs, Florida, nursing home where inspectors discovered that 11 roommates of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were put in rooms with other residents — putting them at heightened risk.Florida regulators cut off admissions to the home and Medicare authorities levied a $235,000 civil monetary penalty, records show.The vice president of operations at the facility told inspectors that isolating exposed patients would mean isolating the entire facility. Everyone had been exposed to the 32 staff members who tested positive for the virus, the report says.Fair Havens Center did not respond to a request for comment.In Iowa, Medicare officials declared a state of “immediate jeopardy” at Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Muscatine.

There, they discovered that staffers were in denial over an outbreak in their midst, with a nursing director overriding a community doctor’s orders to isolate or send residents to the emergency room. Instead, officials found, in late April, the assistant nursing director kept COVID patients in the facility, citing a general order by their medical director to avoid sending patients to the ER “if you can help it.”Meanwhile, several patients were documented by facility staff to have fevers and falling oxygen levels, the Medicare inspection report shows. Within two weeks, the facility discovered it had an outbreak, with 61 residents infected and nine dead, according to the report.Medicare officials are investigating Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in New Jersey, state Sen.

Joseph Vitale said during a recent legislative hearing. Resident council president Glenn Osborne testified during the hearing that the home’s residents were returned to the same shared rooms after hospitalizations.Osborne, an honorably discharged Marine, said he saw more residents of the home die than fellow service members during his military service. The Menlo Park and Paramus veterans homes — where inspectors saw dementia patients with and without the virus commingling in a day room — both reported more than 180 COVID cases among residents, 90 among staff and at least 60 deaths.A spokesperson for the homes said he could not comment due to pending litigation.“These deaths should not have happened,” Osborne said.

€œMany of these deaths were absolutely avoidable, in my humble opinion.” Christina Jewett. ChristinaJ@kff.org, @by_cjewett Related Topics California Health Industry Public Health States CDC COVID-19 Hospitals Lost On The Frontline Nursing Homes.

Researchers at the University of Maryland can i buy viagra at walgreens School of Medicine (UMSOM) have conducted a study that has determined the role that a critical protein plays in the development of http://sw.keimfarben.de/online-pharmacy-viagra/ hair cells. These hair cells are vital for can i buy viagra at walgreens hearing. Some of these cells amplify sounds that come into the ear, and others transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at UMSOM and Maggie Matern, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, demonstrated that the protein, called GFI1, may be critical for determining whether an embryonic hair cell matures into a functional adult hair cell or becomes a different cell that functions more like a nerve cell or neuron.The study was published in the journal Development, and was conducted by physician-scientists and researchers at the can i buy viagra at walgreens UMSOM Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), in collaboration with researchers at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.Hearing relies on the proper functioning of specialized cells within the inner ear called hair cells. When the hair cells do not develop properly or are damaged by environmental stresses like loud noise, it results in a loss of hearing function.In the United States, the prevalence of hearing loss doubles with every 10-year increase in age, affecting about half of all adults in their 70s and about 80 percent of those who are over age 85.

Researchers have been focusing on describing the developmental steps that lead to a functional hair cell, in order to potentially generate new hair cells when old ones are damaged.Hair cells in the inner earTo conduct her latest study, Dr can i buy viagra at walgreens. Hertzano and her team utilized cutting-edge methods to study gene can i buy viagra at walgreens expression in the hair cells of genetically modified newborn mice that did not produce GFI1. They demonstrated that, in the absence of this vital protein, embryonic hair cells failed to progress in their development to become fully functional adult cells. In fact, the genes expressed by these cells indicated that can i buy viagra at walgreens they were likely to develop into neuron-like cells."Our findings explain why GFI1 is critical to enable embryonic cells to progress into functioning adult hair cells," said Dr. Hertzano.

"These data also explain the importance of can i buy viagra at walgreens GFI1 in experimental protocols to regenerate hair cells from stem cells. These regenerative methods have the potential of being can i buy viagra at walgreens used for patients who have experienced hearing loss due to age or environmental factors like exposure to loud noise."Dr. Hertzano first became interested in GFI1 while completing her M.D., Ph.D. At Tel Aviv can i buy viagra at walgreens University. As part of her dissertation, she discovered that the hearing loss resulting from mutations in another protein called POU4F3 appeared to largely result from a loss of GFI1 in the hair cells.

Since then, she has been conducting studies to discover the can i buy viagra at walgreens role of GFI1 and other proteins in hearing. Other research groups in the field are now testing these proteins to determine whether they can be used as a "cocktail" to regenerate lost hair cells and restore hearing."Hearing research has been going through a Renaissance period, not only from advances in genomics and methodology, but also thanks to its uniquely collaborative nature among researchers," can i buy viagra at walgreens said Dr. Herzano.The new study was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was also can i buy viagra at walgreens funded by the Binational Scientific Foundation (BSF)."This is an exciting new finding that underscores the importance of basic research to lay the foundation for future clinical innovations," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z.

And Akiko K can i buy viagra at walgreens. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, can i buy viagra at walgreens University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Identifying the complex pathways that lead to normal hearing could prove to be the key for reversing hearing loss in millions of Americans." Story Source. Materials provided can i buy viagra at walgreens by University of Maryland School of Medicine. Note.

Content may be can i buy viagra at walgreens edited for style and length.Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine are learning more about how a person's genes play a role in the possibility they'll suffer from alcoholic cirrhosis with the discovery of a gene that could make the disease less likely.Alcoholic cirrhosis can happen after years of drinking too much alcohol. According to can i buy viagra at walgreens the researchers, discovering more about this illness couldn't come at a more important time."Based on U.S. Data, alcohol-associated liver disease is on the rise in terms of the prevalence and incidents and it is happening more often in younger patients," said Suthat Liangpunsakul, MD, professor of medicine, dean's scholar in medical research for the Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and one of the principal investigators of the study. "There's a real public health problem involving the consumption of alcohol and people can i buy viagra at walgreens starting to drink at a younger age."The team describes their findings in a new paper published in Hepatology. The GenomALC Consortium was funded by the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH).

This genome-wide association study began several years can i buy viagra at walgreens ago and is one of the largest studies related to alcoholic cirrhosis ever performed. DNA samples were taken from over 1,700 patients from sites in the United States, several countries in Europe and Australia and sent to IU can i buy viagra at walgreens School of Medicine where the team performed the DNA isolation for genome analysis. The patients were divided into two groups -- one made up of heavy drinkers that never had a history of alcohol-induced liver injury or liver disease and a second group of heavy drinkers who did have alcoholic cirrhosis."Our key finding is a gene called Fas Associated Factor Family Member 2, or FAF2," said Tae-Hwi Schwantes-An, PhD, assistant research professor of medical and molecular genetics and the lead author of the study. "There's this convergence of findings now that are pointing to the genes involved in lipid droplet organization pathway, and that seems to be one of the biological reasonings of why certain people get liver disease and why certain people do not."The researchers are anticipating to study this gene more closely and looking at its relationship to other, previously-discovered genes that can make a person more likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis."We know for a fact those genes are linked together in a biological process, so the logical next step is to study how the changes in these genes alter the function of that process, whether it's less efficient in one can i buy viagra at walgreens group of people, or maybe it's inhibited in some way," Schwantes-An said. "We don't know exactly what the biological underpinning of that is, but now we have a pretty well-defined target where we can look at these variants and see how they relate to alcoholic cirrhosis."As their research continues, the team hopes to eventually find a way to identify this genetic factor in patients with the goal of helping them prevent alcoholic cirrhosis in the future or developing targeted therapies that can help individuals in a more personalized way.

Story Source can i buy viagra at walgreens. Materials provided by Indiana University School of can i buy viagra at walgreens Medicine. Original written by Christina Griffiths. Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Penn Medicine researchers have found that middle-aged individuals -- those born in the late 1960s and the 1970s -- may be in a perpetual state of H3N2 influenza virus susceptibility because their antibodies bind to H3N2 viruses but fail to prevent infections, according to a new study led by Scott Hensley, PhD, an associate professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The paper was published today in Nature Communications."We found that different aged individuals have different H3N2 flu virus antibody specificities," Hensley said. "Our studies show that early childhood infections can leave lifelong immunological imprints that affect how individuals respond to antigenically distinct viral strains later in life."Most humans are infected with influenza viruses by three to four years of age, and these initial childhood infections can elicit strong, long lasting memory immune responses. H3N2 influenza viruses began circulating in humans in 1968 and have evolved substantially over the past 51 years. Therefore, an individual's birth year largely predicts which specific type of H3N2 virus they first encountered in childhood.Researchers completed a serological survey -- a blood test that measures antibody levels -- using serum samples collected in the summer months prior to the 2017-2018 season from 140 children (ages one to 17) and 212 adults (ages 18 to 90). They first measured the differences in antibody reactivity to various strains of H3N2, and then measured for neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies.

Neutralizing antibodies can prevent viral infections, whereas non-neutralizing antibodies can only help after an infection takes place. Samples from children aged three to ten years old had the highest levels of neutralizing antibodies against contemporary H3N2 viruses, while most middle-aged samples had antibodies that could bind to these viruses but these antibodies could not prevent viral infections.Hensley said his team's findings are consistent with a concept known as "original antigenic sin" (OAS), originally proposed by Tom Francis, Jr. In 1960. "Most individuals born in the late 1960s and 1970s were immunologically imprinted with H3N2 viruses that are very different compared to contemporary H3N2 viruses. Upon infection with recent H3N2 viruses, these individuals tend to produce antibodies against regions that are conserved with older H3N2 strains and these types of antibodies typically do not prevent viral infections."According to the research team, it is possible that the presence of high levels of non-neutralizing antibodies in middle-aged adults has contributed to the continued persistence of H3N2 viruses in the human population.

Their findings might also relate to the unusual age distribution of H3N2 infections during the 2017-2018 season, in which H3N2 activity in middle-aged and older adults peaked earlier compared to children and young adults.The researchers say that it will be important to continually complete large serological surveys in different aged individuals, including donors from populations with different vaccination rates. A better understanding of immunity within the population and within individuals will likely lead to improved models that are better able to predict the evolutionary trajectories of different influenza virus strains."Large serological studies can shed light on why the effectiveness of flu vaccines varies in individuals with different immune histories, while also identifying barriers that need to be overcome in order to design better vaccines that are able to elicit protective responses in all age groups," said Sigrid Gouma, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher of Microbiology and first author on the paper.Other Penn authors include Madison Weirick and Megan E. Gumina. Additional authors include Angela Branche, David J. Topham, Emily T.

Martin, Arnold S. Monto, and Sarah Cobey.This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1R01AI113047, S.E.H.. 1R01AI108686, S.E.H.. 1R01AI097150, A.S.M.. CEIRS HHSN272201400005C, S.E.H., S.C., E.T.M., A.S.M.

A.B., D.J.T.) and Center for Disease Control (U01IP000474, A.S.M.). Scott E. Hensley holds an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes. Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes. Nevertheless, the activities of our genes -- their expression in cells and tissues -- generate profound distinctions between males and females.Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and neurological afflictions.Researchers have observed sex-associated differences in gene expression across a range of tissues including liver, heart, and brain.

Nevertheless, such tissue-specific sex differences remain poorly understood. Most traits that display variance between males and females appear to result from differences in the expression of autosomal genes common to both sexes, rather than through expression of sex chromosome genes or sex hormones.A better understanding of these sex-associated disparities in the behavior of our genes could lead to improved diagnoses and treatments for a range of human illnesses.In a new paper in the PERSPECTIVES section of the journal Science, Melissa Wilson reviews current research into patterns of sex differences in gene expression across the genome, and highlights sampling biases in the human populations included in such studies."One of the most striking things about this comprehensive study of sex differences," Wilson said, "is that while aggregate differences span the genome and contribute to biases in human health, each individual gene varies tremendously between people."Wilson is a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms in Evolution, the Center for Evolution and Medicine, and ASU's School of Life Sciences. advertisement A decade ago, an ambitious undertaking, known as the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) consortium began to investigate the effects DNA variation on gene expression across the range of human tissues. Recent findings, appearing in the Science issue under review, indicate that sex-linked disparities in gene expression are far more pervasive than once assumed, with more than a third of all genes displaying sex-biased expression in at least one tissue. (The new research highlighted in Wilson's PERSPECTIVES piece describes gene regulatory differences between the sexes in every tissue under study.)Sex-linked differences in gene expression are shared across mammals, though their relative roles in disease susceptibility remain speculative.

Natural selection likely guided the development of many of these attributes. For example, the rise of placental mammals some 90 million years ago may have led to differences in immune function between males and females.Such sex-based distinctions arising in the distant past have left their imprint on current mammals, including humans, expressed in higher rates of autoimmune disorders in females and increased cancer rates in males.Despite their critical importance for understanding disease prevalence and severity, sex differences in gene expression have only recently received serious attention in the research community. Wilson and others suggest that much historical genetic research, using primarily white male subjects in mid-life, have yielded an incomplete picture.Such studies often fail to account for sex differences in the design and analysis of experiments, rendering a distorted view of sex-based disease variance, often leading to one-size-fits-all approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The authors therefore advise researchers to be more careful about generalizations based on existing databases of genetic information, including GTEx.A more holistic approach is emerging, as researchers investigate the full panoply of effects related to male and female gene expression across a broader range of human variation. Story Source.

Materials provided by Arizona State University. Original written by Richard Harth. Note. Content may be edited for style and length.Researchers at Yale have identified a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disease for which there is currently no cure or treatment, by targeting an enzyme that had been considered "undruggable." The finding appears in the Aug. 25 edition of Science Signaling.DMD is the most common form of muscular dystrophy, a disease that leads to progressive weakness and eventual loss of the skeletal and heart muscles.

It occurs in 16 of 100,000 male births in the U.S. People with the disease exhibit clumsiness and weakness in early childhood and typically need wheelchairs by the time they reach their teens. The average life expectancy is 26.While earlier research had revealed the crucial role played by an enzyme called MKP5 in the development of DMD, making it a promising target for possible treatment, scientists for decades had been unable to disrupt this family of enzymes, known as protein tyrosine phosphatases, at the enzymes' "active" site where chemical reactions occur.In the new study, Anton Bennett, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and professor of comparative medicine, and his team screened over 162,000 compounds. They identified one molecular compound that blocked the enzyme's activity by binding to a previously undiscovered allosteric site -- a spot near the enzyme's active site."There have been many attempts to design inhibitors for this family of enzymes, but those compounds have failed to produce the right properties," Bennett said. "Until now, the family of enzymes has been considered 'undruggable.'"By targeting the allosteric site of MKP5 instead, he said, "We discovered an excellent starting point for drug development that circumvented the earlier problems."The researchers tested their compound in muscle cells and found that it successfully inhibited MKP5 activity, suggesting a promising new therapeutic strategy for treating DMD.The research was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, as well as by the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, which annually presents awards to support the most promising life science discoveries from Yale faculty.Bennett said that the Blavatnik funding, which is administered by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, was critical in moving the research forward.

"It resulted in a license with a major pharmaceutical company," he said, "and we hope they will rapidly move forward with the development of the new treatment."The finding has implications well beyond muscular dystrophy, he added. The researchers have demonstrated that the MKP5 enzyme is broadly implicated in fibrosis, or the buildup of scar tissue, a condition that contributes to nearly one-third of natural deaths worldwide."Fibrosis is involved in the end-stage death of many tissues, including liver, lung, and muscle," Bennett said. "We believe this enzyme could be a target more broadly for fibrotic tissue disease."The research team from Yale included Naftali Kaminski, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. Jonathan Ellman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry and professor of pharmacology. Karen Anderson, professor of pharmacology and of molecular biophysics and biochemistry.

Elias Lolis, professor of pharmacology. Zachary Gannam, a graduate student in pharmacology. Kisuk Min, a postdoctoral fellow. Shanelle Shillingford, a graduate student in chemistry. Lei Zhang, a research associate in pharmacology.

And the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery. Story Source. Materials provided by Yale University. Original written by Brita Belli. Note.

Content may be edited for style and length.This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. This story can be republished for free (details). After shutting down in the spring, America’s empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout. To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.In the first months of the coronavirus outbreak, most public health leaders advised closing gyms, erring on the side of caution. As infections exploded across the country, states ordered gyms and fitness centers closed, along with restaurants, movie theaters and bars.

State and local officials consistently branded gyms as high-risk venues for infection, akin to bars and nightclubs. In early August, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called gym-going a “dangerous activity,” saying he would keep them shut — only to announce later in the month that most gyms could reopen in September at a third of the capacity and under tight regulations.New York, New Jersey and North Carolina were among the last state holdouts — only recently allowing fitness facilities to reopen. Many states continue to limit capacity and have instituted new requirements.The benefits of gyms are clear. Regular exercise staves off depression and improves sleep, and staying fit may be a way to avoid a serious case of COVID-19.

But there are clear risks, too. Lots of people moving around indoors, sharing equipment and air, and breathing heavily could be a recipe for easy viral spread. There are scattered reports of coronavirus cases traced back to specific gyms. But gym owners say those are outliers and argue the dominant portrayal overemphasizes potential dangers and ignores their brief but successful track record of safety during the pandemic. Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing.

A Seattle gym struggles to comply with new rules and surviveAt NW Fitness in Seattle, everything from a set of squats to a run on the treadmill requires a mask. Every other cardio machine is off-limits. The owners have marked up the floor with blue tape to show where each person can work out.Esmery Corniel, a member, has resumed his workout routine with the punching bag.“I was honestly just losing my mind,” said Corniel, 27. He said he feels comfortable in the gym with its new safety protocols.“Everybody wears their mask, everybody socially distances, so it’s no problem here at all,” Corniel said.There’s no longer the usual morning “rush” of people working out before heading to their jobs.Under Washington state’s coronavirus rules, only about 10 to 12 people at a time are permitted in this 4,000-square-foot gym.“It’s drastically reduced our ability to serve our community,” said John Carrico. He and his wife, Jessica, purchased NW Fitness at the end of last year.John and Jessica Carrico run NW Fitness, a small gym in Seattle that has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Their membership has plummeted in recent months, in part because the gym has been closed and subject to strict coronavirus requirements.(Will Stone)Meanwhile, the cost of running the businesses has gone up dramatically. The gym now needs to be staffed round-the-clock to keep up with the frequent cleaning requirements, and to ensure people are wearing masks and following the rules.Keeping the gym open 24/7 — previously a big selling point for members — is no longer feasible. In the past three months, they’ve lost more than a third of their membership.“If the trend continues, we won’t be able to stay open,” said Jessica Carrico, who also works as a nurse at a homeless shelter run by Harborview Medical Center.Given her medical background, Jessica Carrico was initially inclined to trust the public health authorities who ordered all gyms to shut down, but gradually her feelings changed.“Driving around the city, I’d still see lines outside of pot shops and Baskin-Robbins,” she said. €œThe arbitrary decision that had been made was very clear, and it became really frustrating.”Even after gyms in the Seattle area were allowed to reopen, their frustrations continued — especially with the strict cap on operating capacity. The Carricos believe that falls hardest on smaller gyms that don’t have much square footage.“People want this space to be safe, and will self-regulate,” said John Carrico.

He believes he could responsibly operate with twice as many people inside as currently allowed. Public health officials have mischaracterized gyms, he added, and underestimated their potential to operate safely.“There’s this fear-based propaganda that gyms are a cesspool of coronavirus, which is just super not true,” Carrico said.Gyms seem less risky than bars. But there’s very little research either wayThe fitness industry has begun to push back at the pandemic-driven perceptions and prohibitions. €œWe should not be lumped with bars and restaurants,” said Helen Durkin, an executive vice president for the International Health, Racquet &. Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).John Carrico called the comparison with bars particularly unfair.

€œIt’s almost laughable. I mean, it’s almost the exact opposite. €¦ People here are investing in their health. They’re coming in, they’re focusing on what they’re trying to do as far as their workout. They’re not socializing, they’re not sitting at a table and laughing and drinking.”Since the pandemic began, many gyms have overhauled operations and now look very different.

Locker rooms are often closed and group classes halted. Many gyms check everyone for symptoms upon arrival. They’ve spaced out equipment and begun intensive cleaning regimes.Gyms have a big advantage over other retail and entertainment venues, Durkin said, because the membership model means those who may have been exposed in an outbreak can be easily contacted.A company that sells member databases and software to gyms has been compiling data during the pandemic. (The data, drawn from 2,877 gyms, is by no means comprehensive because it relies on gym owners to self-report incidents in which a positive coronavirus case was detected at the gym, or was somehow connected to the gym.) The resultant report said that the overall “visits to virus” ratio of 0.002% is “statistically irrelevant” because only 1,155 cases of coronavirus were reported among more than 49 million gym visits. Similarly, data collected from gyms in the United Kingdom found only 17 cases out of more than 8 million visits in the weeks after gyms reopened there.Only a few U.S.

States have publicly available information on outbreaks linked to the fitness sector, and those states report very few cases. In Louisiana, for example, the state has identified five clusters originating in “gym/fitness settings,” with a total of 31 cases. None of the people died. By contrast, 15 clusters were traced to “religious services/events,” sickening 78, and killing five of them.“The whole idea that it’s a risky place to be … around the world, we just aren’t seeing those numbers anywhere,” said IHRSA’s Durkin.A study from South Korea published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is often cited as evidence of the inherent hazards of group fitness activities.The study traced 112 coronavirus infections to a Feb. 15 training workshop for fitness dance instructors.

Those instructors went on to teach classes at 12 sports facilities in February and March, transmitting the virus to students in the dance classes, but also to co-workers and family members.But defenders of the fitness industry point out that the outbreak began before South Korea instituted social distancing measures.The study authors note that the classes were crowded and the pace of the dance workouts was fast, and conclude that “intense physical exercise in densely populated sports facilities could increase the risk for infection” and “should be minimized during outbreaks.” They also found that no transmission occurred in classes with fewer than five people, or when an infected instructor taught “lower-intensity” classes such as yoga and Pilates.Linda Rackner with PRO Club in Bellevue, Washington, says the enormous, upscale gym has adapted relatively easily to the new coronavirus rules. The fitness club’s physical size, extensive budget and technology have helped staffers maintain a fairly normal experience for their members.(Will Stone)Public health experts continue to urge gym members to be cautiousIt’s clear that there are many things gym owners — and gym members — can do to lower the risk of infection at a gym, but that doesn’t mean the risk is gone. Infectious disease doctors and public health experts caution that gyms should not downplay their potential for spreading disease, especially if the coronavirus is widespread in the surrounding community.“There are very few [gyms] that can actually implement all the infection control measures,” said Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist in Phoenix. €œThat’s really the challenge with gyms. There is so much variety that it makes it hard to put them into a single box.”Popescu and two colleagues developed a COVID-19 risk chart for various activities.

Gyms were classified as “medium high,” on par with eating indoors at a restaurant or getting a haircut, but less risky than going to a bar or riding public transit.Popescu acknowledges there’s not much recent evidence that gyms are major sources of infection, but that should not give people a false sense of assurance.“The mistake would be to assume that there is no risk,” she said. €œIt’s just that a lot of the prevention strategies have been working, and when we start to loosen those, though, is where you’re more likely to see clusters occur.”Any location that brings people together indoors increases the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and breathing heavily adds another element of risk. Interventions such as increasing the distance between cardio machines might help, but tiny infectious airborne particles can travel farther than 6 feet, Popescu said.The mechanics of exercising also make it hard to ensure people comply with crucial preventive measures like wearing a mask.“How effective are masks in that setting?. Can they really be effectively worn?. € asked Dr.

Deverick Anderson, director of the Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention. €œThe combination of sweat and exertion is one unique thing about the gym setting.”“I do think that, in the big picture, gyms would be riskier than restaurants because of the type of activity and potential for interaction there,” Anderson said.The primary way people could catch the virus at a gym would be coming close to someone who is releasing respiratory droplets and smaller airborne particles, called “aerosols,” when they breathe, talk or cough, said Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health.He’s less worried about people catching the virus from touching a barbell or riding a stationary bike that someone else used. That’s because scientists now think “surface” transmission isn’t driving infection as much as airborne droplets and particles.“I’m not really worried about transmission that way,” Blumberg said. €œThere’s too much attention being paid to disinfecting surfaces and ‘deep cleaning,’ spraying things in the air.

I think a lot of that’s just for show.”Blumberg said he believes gyms can manage the risks better than many social settings like bars or informal gatherings.“A gym where you can adequately social distance and you can limit the number of people there and force mask-wearing, that’s one of the safer activities,” he said.Adapting to the pandemic’s prohibitions doesn’t come cheapIn Bellevue, Washington, PRO Club is an enormous, upscale gym with spacious workout rooms — and an array of medical services such as physical therapy, hormone treatments, skin care and counseling. PRO Club has managed to keep the gym experience relatively normal for members since reopening, according to employee Linda Rackner. €œThere is plenty of space for everyone. We are seeing about 1,000 people a day and have capacity for almost 3,000,” Rackner said. €œWe’d love to have more people in the club.”The gym uses the same air-cleaning units as hospital ICUs, deploys ultraviolet robots to sanitize the rooms and requires temperature checks to enter.

€œI feel like we have good compliance,” said Dean Rogers, one of the personal trainers. €œFor the most part, people who come to a gym are in it for their own health, fitness and wellness.”But Rogers knows this isn’t the norm everywhere. In fact, his own mother back in Oklahoma believes she contracted the coronavirus at her gym.“I was upset to find out that her gym had no guidelines they were following, no safety precautions,” he said. €œThere are always going to be some bad actors.”This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News. Carrie Feibel, an editor for the NPR-KHN reporting partnership, contributed to this story.

Related Topics Multimedia Public Health States Audio COVID-19 WashingtonThis story also ran on CNN. This story can be republished for free (details). CLEVELAND — Families skipping or delaying pediatric appointments for their young children because of the pandemic are missing out on more than vaccines. Critical testing for lead poisoning has plummeted in many parts of the country.In the Upper Midwest, Northeast and parts of the West Coast — areas with historically high rates of lead poisoning — the slide has been the most dramatic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In states such as Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota, testing for the brain-damaging heavy metal fell by 50% or more this spring compared with 2019, health officials report.“The drop-off in April was massive,” said Thomas Largo, section manager of environmental health surveillance at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, noting a 76% decrease in testing compared with the year before. €œWe weren’t quite prepared for that.” Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter. Blood tests for lead, the only way to tell if a child has been exposed, are typically performed by pricking a finger or heel or tapping a vein at 1- and 2-year-old well-child visits.

A blood test with elevated lead levels triggers the next critical steps in accessing early intervention for the behavioral, learning and health effects of lead poisoning and also identifying the source of the lead to prevent further harm.Because of the pandemic, though, the drop in blood tests means referrals for critical home inspections plus medical and educational services are falling, too. And that means help isn’t reaching poisoned kids, a one-two punch, particularly in communities of color, said Yvonka Hall, a lead poisoning prevention advocate and co-founder of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network. And this all comes amid COVID-related school and child care closures, meaning kids who are at risk are spending more time than ever in the place where most exposure happens. The home.“Inside is dangerous,” Hall said.The CDC estimates about 500,000 U.S. Children between ages 1 and 5 have been poisoned by lead, probably an underestimate due to the lack of widespread testing in many communities and states.

In 2017, more than 40,000 children had elevated blood lead levels, defined as higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, in the 23 states that reported data.While preliminary June and July data in some states indicates lead testing is picking up, it’s nowhere near as high as it would need to be to catch up on the kids who missed appointments in the spring at the height of lockdown orders, experts say. And that may mean some kids will never be tested.“What I’m most worried about is that the kids who are not getting tested now are the most vulnerable — those are the kids I’m worried might not have a makeup visit,” said Stephanie Yendell, senior epidemiology supervisor in the health risk intervention unit at the Minnesota Department of Health.Lifelong ConsequencesThere’s a critical window for conducting lead poisoning blood tests, timed to when children are crawling or toddling and tend to put their hands on floors, windowsills and door frames and possibly transfer tiny particles of lead-laden dust to their mouths.Children at this age are more likely to be harmed because their rapidly growing brains and bodies absorb the element more readily. Lead poisoning can’t be reversed. Children with lead poisoning are more likely to fall behind in school, end up in jail or suffer lifelong health problems such as kidney and heart disease.That’s why lead tests are required at ages 1 and 2 for children receiving federal Medicaid benefits, the population most likely to be poisoned because of low-quality housing options. Tests are also recommended for all children living in high-risk ZIP codes with older housing stock and historically high levels of lead exposure.Testing fell far short of recommendations in many parts of the country even before the pandemic, though, with one recent study estimating that in some states 80% of poisoned children are never identified.

And when tests are required, there has been little enforcement of the rule.Early in the pandemic, officials in New York’s Erie County bumped up the threshold for sending a public health worker into a family’s home to investigate the source of lead exposure from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 45 micrograms per deciliter (a blood lead level that usually requires hospitalization), said Dr. Gale Burstein, that county’s health commissioner. For all other cases during that period, officials inspected only the outside of the child’s home for potential hazards.About 700 fewer children were tested for lead in Erie County in April than in the same month last year, a drop of about 35%.Ohio, which has among the highest levels of lead poisoning in the country, recently expanded automatic eligibility for its Early Intervention program to any child with an elevated blood lead test, providing the opportunity for occupational, physical and speech therapy. Learning supports for school. And developmental assessments.

If kids with lead poisoning don’t get tested, though, they won’t be referred for help.In early April, there were only three referrals for elevated lead levels in the state, which had been fielding nine times as many on average in the months before the pandemic, said Karen Mintzer, director of Bright Beginnings, which manages them for Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities. €œIt basically was a complete stop,” she said. Since mid-June, referrals have recovered and are now above pre-pandemic levels.“We should treat every child with lead poisoning as a medical emergency,” said John Belt, principal investigator for the Ohio Department of Health’s lead poisoning program. €œNot identifying them is going to delay the available services, and in some cases lead to a cognitive deficit.”Pandemic Compounds WorriesOne of the big worries about the drop in lead testing is that it’s happening at a time when exposure to lead-laden paint chips, soil and dust in homes may be spiking because of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.Exposure to lead dust from deteriorating paint, particularly in high-friction areas such as doors and windows, is the most common cause of lead exposure for children in the U.S.“I worry about kids in unsafe housing, more so during the pandemic, because they’re stuck there during the quarantine,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician at Cleveland’s University Hospitals Rainbow Babies &.

Children’s Hospital.The pandemic may also compound exposure to lead, experts fear, as both landlords and homeowners try to tackle renovation projects without proper safety precautions while everyone is at home. Or the economic fallout of the crisis could mean some people can no longer afford to clean up known lead hazards at all.“If you’ve lost your job, it’s going to make it difficult to get new windows, or even repaint,” said Yendell.The CDC says it plans to help state and local health departments track down children who missed lead tests. Minnesota plans to identify pediatric clinics with particularly steep drops in lead testing to figure out why, said Yendell.But, Yendell said, that will likely have to wait until the pandemic is over. €œRight now I’m spending 10-20% of my time on lead, and the rest is COVID.”The pandemic has stretched already thinly staffed local health departments to the brink, health officials say, and it may take years to know the full impact of the missed testing. For the kids who’ve been poisoned and had no intervention, the effects may not be obvious until they enter school and struggle to keep up.

Brie Zeltner. @BrieZeltner Related Topics Public Health CDC Children's Health COVID-19 Michigan Minnesota New York Ohio StudyCan’t see the audio player?. Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The headlines from this week will be about how President Donald Trump knew early on how serious the coronavirus pandemic was likely to become but purposely played it down. Potentially more important during the past few weeks, though, are reports of how White House officials have pushed scientists at the federal government’s leading health agencies to put politics above science.Meanwhile, Republicans appear to have given up on using the Affordable Care Act as an electoral cudgel, judging, at least, from its scarce mention during the GOP convention.

Democrats, on the other hand, particularly those running for the U.S. House and Senate, are doubling down on their criticism of Republicans for failing to adequately protect people with preexisting health conditions. That issue was key to the party winning back the House in 2018.This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:The Affordable Care Act has become a political vulnerability for Republican officials, who have no interest in reopening the debate on it during this campaign. Trump vowed before his 2016 election to repeal the law immediately after taking office and members of Congress had berated it for years. But they could not gain the political capital to overturn Obamacare.Trump’s comments to journalist-author Bob Woodward about holding back information on the risks of the coronavirus pandemic from the public may not have a major effect on the election since so many voters’ minds are already set on their choices.

For many, the president’s statements are seen by partisans as identifying what they already believe. For Trump’s supporters, that he is protecting the public. For his critics, that he is a liar.The number of COVID-19 cases appears to have hit another plateau, but it’s still twice as high as the count last spring. Officials are waiting to see if end-of-the-summer activities over the Labor Day holiday will create another surge.The stalemate on Capitol Hill over coronavirus relief funding shows no sign of easing soon. Republicans in the Senate are resisting Democrats’ insistence on a massive package, but it’s not exactly clear what the GOP can agree on.The vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca ran into difficulty this week as experts seek to determine whether a neurological problem that developed in one volunteer was caused by the vaccine.

Some public health officials, such as NIH Director Francis Collins, said this helps show that even with the compressed testing timeline, safeguards are working.Nonetheless, another vaccine maker, Pfizer, said it might still have its vaccine ready before the election.The recent controversy at the FDA over the emergency authorization of plasma to treat COVID patients and the awkward decision at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change guidelines for testing asymptomatic people have created a credibility gap among some Americans and played into concerns that the administration is undercutting science.Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Elizabeth Lawrence, who reported the August NPR-KHN “Bill of the Month” installment, about an appendectomy gone wrong, and the very big bill that followed. If you have an outrageous medical bill you would like to share with us, you can do that here.Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:Julie Rovner. ProPublica’s “A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984,” by Marshall AllenJoanne Kenen. The Atlantic’s “America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral,” by Ed YongSarah Karlin-Smith.

Politico’s “Emails Show HHS Official Trying to Muzzle Fauci,” by Sarah OwermohleMary Ellen McIntire. The Atlantic’s “What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear From COVID-19,” by Derek ThompsonTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health?. on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or Pocket Casts. Related Topics Elections Multimedia Public Health The Health Law CDC COVID-19 FDA KHN's 'What The Health?. ' NIH Podcasts Trump Administration U.S.

Congress VaccinesSOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita (detalles). El gobernador de Florida, Ron DeSantis, trató de aliviar el temor a volar durante la pandemia en un evento con ejecutivos de aerolíneas y compañías de alquiler de autos.“Los aviones simplemente no han sido vectores cuando se observa la propagación del coronavirus”, dijo DeSantis en el encuentro en el Aeropuerto Internacional Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood el 28 de agosto. “La evidencia es la evidencia. Y creo que es algo que la gente puede hacer con seguridad “, agregó.¿La evidencia es realmente tan clara?.

La afirmación de DeSantis de que los aviones no han sido “vectores” de la propagación del coronavirus es falsa, según expertos. Un “vector” disemina el virus de un lugar a otro, y los aviones han transportado a pasajeros infectados a través de distintas regiones, lo que hace que los brotes de COVID-19 sean más difíciles de contener.Joseph Allen, profesor asociado en la Universidad de Harvard y experto en exposiciones a virus, calificó a los aviones como “excelentes vectores para la propagación viral” en una llamada de prensa.En contexto, DeSantis parecía estar haciendo hincapié en la seguridad de volar en avión en lugar del papel que desempeñaron los aviones en la propagación del virus de un lugar a otro.Cuando se le consultó a la oficina del gobernador sobre datos que respaldaran los comentarios de DeSantis, el secretario de prensa Cody McCloud no presentó ningún estudio ni estadística. En cambio, citó el programa de rastreo de contactos del Departamento de Salud de Florida y escribió que “no ha proporcionado ninguna información que sugiera que algún paciente se haya infectado mientras viajaba en un vuelo comercial”.El programa de rastreo de contactos de Florida se ha visto envuelto en una controversia sobre informes que denuncian que no tiene suficiente personal y que es ineficaz. CNN llamó a 27 residentes del estado que dieron positivo para COVID-19 y descubrió que solo cinco habían sido contactados por las autoridades de salud. (El Departamento de Salud de Florida no respondió a las solicitudes de entrevista).Expertos aseguran que, en general, los aviones brindan ambientes seguros en lo que respecta a la calidad del aire, pero agregaron que el riesgo de infección depende en gran medida de las políticas que las aerolíneas puedan tener sobre los asientos de los pasajeros, el uso de máscaras y el tiempo de embarque.Según indicaron, el riesgo de contraer el coronavirus en un avión es relativamente bajo si la aerolínea sigue los procedimientos de salud pública.

Hacer cumplir la regla de usar máscara, espaciar los asientos disponibles y examinar a los pasajeros enfermos.“Si observas otras enfermedades, ves pocos brotes en aviones”, dijo Allen. €œNo son los semilleros de infección que la gente cree que son”.Las aerolíneas señalan con frecuencia que los aviones comerciales están equipados con filtros de aire HEPA, recomendados por los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), que se utilizan en las salas de aislamiento de los hospitales.Los filtros HEPA capturan el 99,97% de las partículas en el aire y reducen sustancialmente el riesgo de propagación viral. Además, el aire en las cabinas se renueva por completo entre 10 y 12 veces por hora, elevando la calidad del aire por encima de la de un edificio normal.Debido a la alta tasa de renovación del aire, es poco probable que se contraiga el coronavirus de alguien sentado a varias filas de distancia. Sin embargo, sí podría ocurrir el contagio de alguien cercano.“El mayor riesgo durante el vuelo sería si el pasajero se sienta cerca de alguien que pueda infectar”, dijo Richard Corsi, quien estudia la contaminación del aire en interiores y es decano de Ingeniería en Universidad Estatal de Portland.También es importante señalar que los sistemas de filtración de alta potencia de los aviones no son suficientes por sí solos para prevenir brotes. Si una aerolínea no mantiene libres los asientos del medio ni hace cumplir rigurosamente el uso de máscaras, volar puede ser bastante peligroso.

Actualmente, las aerolíneas nacionales que mantienen abiertos los asientos intermedios incluyen Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest y JetBlue.La razón de esto es que las personas infectadas envían partículas virales al aire a un ritmo más rápido que el que los aviones las expulsan fuera de la cabina. €œSiempre que tose, habla o respira, está enviando gotitas”, dijo Qingyan Chen, profesor de ingeniería mecánica en la Universidad Purdue. €œEstas gotas están en la cabina todo el tiempo”.Esto hace que las medidas de protección adicionales, como el uso de máscaras, sean aún más necesarias.Chen citó dos vuelos internacionales anteriores a la pandemia donde las tasas de infección variaron según el uso de mascarillas. En el primer vuelo, ningún pasajero llevaba máscaras y un solo pasajero infectó a 14 personas mientras el avión viajaba de Londres a Hanoi, Vietnam. En el segundo vuelo, de Singapur a Hangzhou, en China, todos los pasajeros llevaban máscaras faciales.Aunque 15 pasajeros eran residentes de Wuhan con casos sospechosos o confirmados de COVID-19, el único hombre infectado en el recorrido se había aflojado la máscara en pleno vuelo y había estado sentado cerca de cuatro residentes de Wuhan que luego dieron positivo para el virus.Pero, aunque volar es una actividad de riesgo relativamente bajo, se debe evitar viajar a menos que sea absolutamente necesario.“Cualquier cosa que te ponga en contacto con más personas aumentará el riesgo”, dijo Cindy Prins, profesora clínica asociada de Epidemiología en la Escuela de Salud Pública y Profesiones de la Salud de la Universidad de Florida.El verdadero peligro de viajar no es el vuelo en sí.

Sin embargo, pasar por el control de seguridad y esperar en la puerta de embarque es probable que ponga a la persona en contacto cercano con otros y aumente sus posibilidades de contraer el virus.Además, abordar, cuando el sistema de ventilación del avión no está funcionando y las personas no pueden mantenerse alejadas entre sí, es una de las partes más riesgosas. €œReducir este tiempo es importante para bajar la exposición”, escribió Corsi. €œHay que llegar al asiento con la máscara y sentarse lo más rápido posible”.Con todo, es demasiado pronto para determinar cuánta transmisión de persona a persona ha ocurrido en vuelos.Julian Tang, profesor asociado honorario en el Departamento de Ciencias Respiratorias de la Universidad de Leicester, en Inglaterra, dijo que está al tanto de varios grupos de infecciones relacionadas con los viajes aéreos. Sin embargo, es un desafío demostrar que las personas contrajeron el virus en un vuelo.“Alguien que presenta síntomas de COVID-19 varios días después de llegar a su destino podría haberse infectado en casa antes de llegar al aeropuerto, mientras estaba en el aeropuerto o en el vuelo, o incluso al llegar al aeropuerto de destino, porque todo el mundo tiene un período de incubación variable”, dijo Tang.Katherine Estep, vocera de Airlines for America, un grupo comercial de la industria centrado en Estados Unidos, dijo que los CDC no han confirmado ningún caso de transmisión a bordo de una aerolínea estadounidense.La ausencia de transmisión confirmada no es necesariamente una prueba de que los viajeros estén seguros. En cambio, la falta de datos refleja el hecho de que Estados Unidos tiene una tasa de infección más alta en comparación con otros países, dijo Chen.

Dado que tiene tantos casos confirmados, es más difícil determinar exactamente dónde alguien contrajo el virus. Related Topics Noticias En Español Public Health COVID-19 KHN &. PolitiFact HealthCheckThis story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were on edge as early as March when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them. Explore Our Database KHN and The Guardian are tracking health care workers who died from COVID-19 and writing about their lives and what happened in their final days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised hospitals to isolate COVID patients to limit staff exposure and help conserve high-level personal protective equipment that’s been in short supply.Yet COVID patients continued to be scattered through the Oakland hospital, according to complaints to California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The concerns included the sixth-floor medical unit where veteran nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder worked.COVID patients on that floor were not staying in their rooms, either confused or uninterested in the rules. Staff was not provided highly protective N95 respirators, said Mike Hill, a nurse in the hospital intensive care unit and the hospital’s chief representative for the California Nurses Association, which filed complaints to Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety regulator. “It was just a matter of time before one of the nurses died on one of these floors,” Hill said.Two nurses fell ill, including Paiste-Ponder, 59, who died of complications from the virus on July 17.The concerns raised in Oakland also have swept across the U.S., according to interviews, a review of government workplace safety complaints and health facility inspection reports. A KHN investigation found that dozens of nursing homes and hospitals ignored official guidelines to separate COVID patients from those without the coronavirus, in some places fueling its spread and leaving staff unprepared and infected or, in some cases, dead.As recently as July, a National Nurses United survey of more than 21,000 nurses found that 32% work in a facility that does not have a dedicated COVID unit. At that time, the coronavirus had reached all but 17 U.S.

Counties, data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows.California Nurses Association members had complained to Cal/OSHA about COVID patients being spread throughout Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and say the practice was a factor in Janine Paiste-Ponder’s illness and death.(National Nurses United)KHN discovered that COVID victims have been commingled with uninfected patients in health care facilities in states including California, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, Maryland and New York.A COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus in late April when health inspectors observed residents with dementia mingling in a day room — COVID-positive patients as well as others awaiting test results. At the time, the center had already reported COVID infections among 119 residents and 46 virus-related deaths, according to a Medicare inspection report.The assistant director of nursing at an Iowa nursing home insisted April 28 that they did “not have any COVID in the building” and overrode the orders of a community doctor to isolate several patients with fevers and falling oxygen levels, an inspection report shows.By mid-May, the facility’s COVID log showed 61 patients with the virus and nine dead.Federal work-safety officials have closed at least 30 complaints about patient mixing in hospitals nationwide without issuing a citation. They include a claim that a Michigan hospital kept patients who tested negative for the virus in the COVID unit in May. An upstate New York hospital also had COVID patients in the same unit as those with no infection, according to a closed complaint to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing.

Federal Health and Human Services officials have called on hospitals to tell them each day if they have a patient who came in without COVID-19 but had an apparent or confirmed case of the coronavirus 14 days later. Hospitals filed 48,000 reports from June 21 through Aug. 28, though the number reflects some double or additional counting of individual patients.COVID patients have been mixed in with others for a variety of reasons. Some hospitals report having limited tests, so patients carrying the virus are identified only after they had already exposed others. In other cases, they had false-negative test results or their facility was dismissive of federal guidelines, which carry no force of law.And while federal Medicare officials have inspected nearly every U.S.

Nursing home in recent months and states have occasionally levied fines and cut off new admissions for isolation lapses, hospitals have seen less scrutiny.The Scene Inside SutterAt Alta Bates in Oakland, part of the Sutter Health network, hospital staff made it clear in official complaints to Cal/OSHA that they wanted administrators to follow the state’s unique law on aerosol-transmitted diseases. From the start, some staffers wanted all the state-required protections for a virus that has been increasingly shown to be transmitted by tiny particles that float through the air.The regulations call for patients with a virus like COVID-19 to be moved to a specialized unit within five hours of identification — or to a specialized facility. The rules say those patients should be in a room with a HEPA filter or with negative air pressure, meaning that air is circulated out a window or exhaust fan instead of drifting into the hallway.Initially, in March, the hospital outfitted a 40-bed COVID unit, according to Hill. But when a surge of patients failed to materialize, that unit was pared to 12 beds.Since then, a steady stream of virus patients have been admitted, he said, many testing positive only days after admission — and after they’d been in regular rooms in the facility.From March 10 through July 30, Hill’s union and others filed eight complaints to Cal/OSHA, including allegations that the hospital failed to follow isolation rules for COVID patients, some on the cancer floor.So far, regulators have done little. Gov.

Gavin Newsom had ordered workplace safety officials to “focus on … supporting compliance” instead of enforcement except on the “most serious violations.”State officials responded to complaints by reaching out by mail and phone to “ensure the proper virus prevention measures are in place,” according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA.A third investigation related to transport workers not wearing N95 respirators while moving COVID-positive or possible coronavirus patients at a Sutter facility near the hospital resulted in a $6,750 fine, Cal/OSHA records show.The string of complaints also says the hospital did not give staff the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) under state law — an N95 respirator or something more protective — for caring for virus patients.Nurse Janine Paiste-Ponder died July 17 of COVID-19. Her colleagues held a vigil for her on July 21.(National Nurses United)Instead, Hill said, staff on floors with COVID patients were provided lower-quality surgical masks, a concern reflected in complaints filed with Cal/OSHA.Hill believes that Paiste-Ponder and another nurse on her floor caught the virus from COVID patients who did not remain in their rooms.“It is sad, because it didn’t really need to happen,” Hill said.Polizzi said investigations into the July 17 death and another staff hospitalization are ongoing.A Sutter Health spokesperson said the hospital takes allegations, including Cal/OSHA complaints, seriously and its highest priority is keeping patients and staff safe.The statement also said “cohorting,” or the practice of grouping virus patients together, is a tool that “must be considered in a greater context, including patient acuity, hospital census and other environmental factors.”Concerns at Other HospitalsCDC guidelines are not strict on the topic of keeping COVID patients sectioned off, noting that “facilities could consider designating entire units within the facility, with dedicated [staff],” to care for COVID patients.That approach succeeded at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. A recent study reported “extensive” viral contamination around COVID patients there, but noted that with “standard” infection control techniques in place, staffers who cared for COVID patients did not get the virus.The hospital set up an isolation unit with air pumped away from the halls, restricted access to the unit and trained staff to use well-developed protocols and N95 respirators — at a minimum. What worked in Nebraska, though, is far from standard elsewhere.Cynthia Butler, a nurse and National Nurses United member at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, on Florida’s west coast, said she actually felt safer working in the COVID unit — where she knew what she was dealing with and had full PPE — than on a general medical floor.She believes she caught the virus from a patient who had COVID-19 but was housed on a general floor in May. A similar situation occurred in July, when another patient had an unexpected case of COVID — and Butler said she got another positive test herself.She said both patients did not meet the hospital’s criteria for testing admitted patients, and the lapses leave her on edge, concerns she relayed to an OSHA inspector who reached out to her about a complaint her union filed about the facility.“Every time I go into work it’s like playing Russian roulette,” Butler said.A spokesperson for HCA Healthcare, which owns the hospital, said it tests patients coming from long-term care, those going into surgery and those with virus symptoms.

She said staffers have access to PPE and practice vigilant sanitation, universal masking and social distancing.The latter is not an option for Butler, though, who said she cleans, feeds and starts IVs for patients and offers reassurance when they are isolated from family.“I’m giving them the only comfort or kind word they can get,” said Butler, who has since gone on unpaid leave over safety concerns. €œI’m in there doing that and I’m not being protected.”Given research showing that up to 45% of COVID patients are asymptomatic, UCSF Medical Center is testing everyone who’s admitted, said Dr. Robert Harrison, a University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine professor who consults on occupational health at the hospital.It’s done for the safety of staff and to reduce spread within the hospital, he said. Those who test positive are separated into a COVID-only unit.And staff who spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of a not-yet-identified COVID patient in a less-protective surgical mask are typically sent home for two weeks, he said.Outside of academic medicine, though, front-line staff have turned to union leaders to push for such protections.In Southern California, leaders of the National Union of Healthcare Workers filed an official complaint with state hospital inspectors about the risks posed by intermingled COVID patients at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, part of for-profit Tenet Health. There, the complaint said, patients were not routinely tested for COVID-19 upon admission.One nursing assistant spent two successive 12-hour shifts caring for a patient on a general medical floor who required monitoring.

At the conclusion of the second shift, she was told the patient had just been found to be COVID-positive.The worker had worn only a surgical mask — not an N95 respirator or any form of eye protection, according to the complaint to the California Department of Public Health. The nursing assistant was not offered a COVID test or quarantined before her next two shifts, the complaint said.The public health department said it could not comment on a pending inspection.Barbara Lewis, Southern California hospital division director with the union, said COVID patients were on the same floor as cancer patients and post-surgical patients who were walking the halls to speed their recovery.She said managers took steps to separate the patients only after the union held a protest, spoke to local media and complained to state health officials.Hospital spokesperson Jessica Chen said the hospital “quickly implemented” changes directed by state health authorities and does place some COVID patients on the same nursing unit as non-COVID patients during surges. She said they are placed in single rooms with closed doors. COVID tests are given by physician order, she added, and employees can access them at other places in the community.It’s in contrast, Lewis said, to high-profile examples of the precautions that might be taken.“Now we’re seeing what’s happening with baseball and basketball — they’re tested every day and treated with a high level of caution,” Lewis said. €œYet we have thousands and thousands of health care workers going to work in a very scary environment.”Nursing Homes Face Penalties More than 40% of the people who’ve died of COVID-19 lived in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, researchers have found.Patient mixing has been a scattered concern at nursing homes, which Medicare officials discovered when they reviewed infection control practices at more than 15,000 facilities.News reports have highlighted the problem at an Ohio nursing home and at a Maryland home where the state levied a $70,000 fine for failing to keep infected patients away from those who weren’t sick — yet.Another facing penalties was Fair Havens Center, a Miami Springs, Florida, nursing home where inspectors discovered that 11 roommates of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were put in rooms with other residents — putting them at heightened risk.Florida regulators cut off admissions to the home and Medicare authorities levied a $235,000 civil monetary penalty, records show.The vice president of operations at the facility told inspectors that isolating exposed patients would mean isolating the entire facility.

Everyone had been exposed to the 32 staff members who tested positive for the virus, the report says.Fair Havens Center did not respond to a request for comment.In Iowa, Medicare officials declared a state of “immediate jeopardy” at Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Muscatine. There, they discovered that staffers were in denial over an outbreak in their midst, with a nursing director overriding a community doctor’s orders to isolate or send residents to the emergency room. Instead, officials found, in late April, the assistant nursing director kept COVID patients in the facility, citing a general order by their medical director to avoid sending patients to the ER “if you can help it.”Meanwhile, several patients were documented by facility staff to have fevers and falling oxygen levels, the Medicare inspection report shows. Within two weeks, the facility discovered it had an outbreak, with 61 residents infected and nine dead, according to the report.Medicare officials are investigating Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in New Jersey, state Sen. Joseph Vitale said during a recent legislative hearing.

Resident council president Glenn Osborne testified during the hearing that the home’s residents were returned to the same shared rooms after hospitalizations.Osborne, an honorably discharged Marine, said he saw more residents of the home die than fellow service members during his military service. The Menlo Park and Paramus veterans homes — where inspectors saw dementia patients with and without the virus commingling in a day room — both reported more than 180 COVID cases among residents, 90 among staff and at least 60 deaths.A spokesperson for the homes said he could not comment due to pending litigation.“These deaths should not have happened,” Osborne said. €œMany of these deaths were absolutely avoidable, in my humble opinion.” Christina Jewett. ChristinaJ@kff.org, @by_cjewett Related Topics California Health Industry Public Health States CDC COVID-19 Hospitals Lost On The Frontline Nursing Homes.