48% of Americans delayed care amid pandemic; antibody tests may be wrong half the time — 5 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,681,418 COVID-19 cases and 98,929 related deaths as of 7:45 a.m. CDT May 27. Globally, there have been 5,614,458 reported cases and 350,958 deaths, while 2,307,510 have recovered.

Five updates: 

1. COVID-19 antibody tests are wrong nearly half the time, according to the CDC. Serologic tests meant to measure past COVID-19 exposure or infection are not accurate enough to use to make policy decisions, the CDC said. Healthcare providers should use the most accurate antibody test available and may need to test people twice. If only a small percent of people being tested have been exposed to the virus, even a small margin of error can be significant — if 5 percent of the population tested has the virus, a test with more than 90 percent accuracy could still fail to detect half the cases.

2. Forty-eight percent of Americans said they or someone in their household have postponed or skipped medical care due to the pandemic, according to a poll by Kaiser Family Foundation. The phone survey was conducted May 13-18 among 1,189 U.S. adults. As restrictions ease, many (68 percent of those who delayed care; 32 percent of all adults) expect to receive the care they delayed over the next three months.

3. New cases are increasing in about a dozen states, according to The New York Times. At least half of these states — including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee — started reopening in late April and early May. NYT said the new cases could reflect increased testing capacity in some areas. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb noted during an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box" there is also "a small uptick" in hospitalizations that "is probably the result of reopening." 

"I'm concerned that there are people who think that this is the all-clear," he said.

4. One-third of Americans show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey cited by The Washington Post. The agency polled adults from more than 42,000 households between May 7-12. Twenty-four percent of Americans showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30 percent had symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. These figures demonstrate a large jump from depression and anxiety rates seen before the pandemic.

5. The CDC shared a new guidance on when confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients can end self-isolation practices. Patients can be around others if they've gone three days with no fever, their symptoms have improved and it's been 10 days since symptoms first appeared. Asymptomatic patients who tested positive for COVID-19 can be around others after 10 days.

More articles on public health:
WHO warns of 'second peak' before second wave
How COVID-19 is changing hospitals' population health strategies
27 states where stay-at-home orders have been eased, lifted

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