Cuomo threatens to lock down NYC again; race may be key indicator of COVID-19 mortality — 5 updates

New York City is the latest city to potentially reverse relaxed lockdown measures, while a new study finds that race may be a key indicator in COVID-19 mortality, even after accounting for other factors such as underlying health conditions. 

Five updates:

1. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to lock down New York City again if residents continue to ignore social distancing precautions at bars and restaurants, according to The Washington Post. During a June 14 media briefing, Mr. Cuomo urged Mayor Bill De Blasio to more strictly enforce COVID-19 precautions in the city to avoid another shutdown. State officials have received 25,000 complaints about health-safety violations since the pandemic started, most of which involve bars and restaurants in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

2. The higher the percentage of black residents in a county, the higher the county's COVID-19 death rate is, a new study finds, as reported by STAT. Researchers at Cambridge, Mass.-based MIT Sloan School of Management conducted a county-by-county analysis and found that the correlation between race and virus death rates exists even after accounting for income, health insurance coverage, diabetes and obesity rates, and public transit use. Race may be as significant as age when gauging likelihood of dying from COVID-19, the study found. 

"If I were a public official, I'd be looking at differences in the quality of insurance, conditions such as chronic stress, and systemic discrimination," said Chris Knittel, PhD, the study's senior author and an economist at MIT.

3. A local health official said he wished President Donald Trump would postpone his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., citing a significant increase in new cases, according to Tulsa World. Bruce Dart, PhD, director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department told the publication that a gathering of that scale would be dangerous for attendees and the president.

4. Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine generated immune responses in "above 90 percent" of people tested, according to early data cited by STAT. Preliminary results were from a Phase 2 study of 600 patients receiving two injections of the Beijing, China-based drug maker's vaccine, dubbed CoronaVac. Results found the drug was safe and generated neutralizing antibodies.

5. A data scientist fired by the Florida Department of Health last month for allegedly refusing to manipulate COVID-19 data has developed her own data dashboard, according to NPR. Based on her calculations, only two of Florida's 67 counties meet criteria for further reopening.

COVID-19 data snapshot

U.S.

Cases: 2,094,069

Deaths: 115,732

Recovered: 561,816

Global

Cases: 7,936,874

Deaths: 433,959

Recovered: 3,796,719

Counts reflect data available as of 9 a.m. CDT June 15.

More articles on public health:
4 regions driving jump in positive COVID-19 tests, CDC says
5 COVID-19 treatment contenders & how they work
When will 'normal life' return? 511 epidemiologist weigh in

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