Cases rise in 25 states; kids make up 10% of all cases — 7 COVID-19 updates

National daily COVID-19 cases have increased by about 25 percent since mid-September, according to an Oct. 1 newsletter from The New York Times.   

Over the past week, new daily infections have increased in 25 states, according to data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project cited by Axios. New Mexico has recorded the biggest spike in new infections — over 50 percent — while neighbors Arizona and Texas recorded declines over the past week. 

Six other updates: 

1. Children of all ages can contract and transmit COVID-19, according to a large study from India. Published Sept. 30 in Science, researchers conducted contact tracing for 575,071 individuals in India exposed to 84,965 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and noted that case-based surveillance may lead to underestimation of infection prevalence among children. The report also found, as other studies have, that a small number of people are often responsible for spreading the majority of new infections.

2. The federal government is no longer in charge of distributing Gilead's remdesivir, reports The Washington Post. HHS ended its control of remdesivir's distribution Sept. 30, pushing it into normal drug distribution channels, according to a statement from an HHS spokesperson cited by the Post. Gilead is moving forward with its application for full FDA approval, which would further expand the drug's use. 

3. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine won't be ready to widely distribute until spring 2021 at the earliest, CEO Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times Sept. 30. The company will also not seek emergency use authorization for the vaccine to immunize front-line healthcare workers and other at-risk groups until at least Nov. 25, he told the publication. 

4. Children account for 10 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., up from 2.2 percent in April, according to research from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association released Sept. 29. The U.S. reported 549,432 cumulative pediatric COVID-19 cases as of Sept. 10, which equates to 729 cases per 100,000 children. Over the past eight weeks, children made up 12 percent to 15.9 percent of new cases each week, the report found. For comparison, less than 3 percent of all cases reported the week of April 23 involved children. 

5. The National Institutes of Health is allocating nearly $234M in funds to improve COVID-19 testing in underserved and vulnerable communities. As part of the federal government's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations program, the funds will go to 32 institutions nationwide who will collect testing data and continue research on COVID-19 disparities to help create stronger testing programs. 

6. The White House has overruled the CDC's attempt to keep cruise ships docked until mid-February, reports The New York Times. The U.S. implemented a "no-sail" policy in April, which expires Oct. 1. While CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, wanted to extend the policy to February, the White House will instead permit ships to sail after Oct. 31, a senior health official told the publication. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 7,235,485
Deaths: 206,971
Recovered: 2,840,688

 Counts reflect data available as of 8:50 a.m. CDT Oct. 1.

More articles on public health:
CDC-recommended vaccines should be mandatory for healthcare personnel, infectious disease experts say
COVID-19 hospitalizations by state: Oct. 1
24 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 1


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