LA may cut power on large gatherings; Fauci cautiously supports in-person classes — 7 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. reported 1,036 new COVID-19 deaths and 57,128 new cases Aug. 6, according to The New York Times. While new cases are falling or stable in most states, newly reported deaths are rising in 21 states, according to the NYT.

Seven updates:

1. Los Angeles may cut off electricity to homes or businesses that host large gatherings in violation of public health orders, NPR reports. "If the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that [the Department of Water and Power] shut off service within the next 48 hours," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Aug. 5. Los Angeles County has confirmed more total COVID-19 cases than any other county in the U.S., according to data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.

2. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for COVID-19 Aug. 6, hours after a rapid-result test came back positive, according to The New York Times. He initially tested positive while being screened to greet President Donald Trump in Cleveland. The first test was an antigen test, which allows for rapid results but is less accurate. The second result came from a PCR test, which must be processed at a lab.

3. The CDC has issued a warning against drinking hand sanitizer after four people died from doing so. From May 1 to June 30, 15 people in Arizona and New Mexico were treated for poisoning after swallowing hand sanitizer, the CDC reported. The FDA has updated a list of hand sanitizers not to use due to the potential presence of methanol, which can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or swallowed.  

4. Anthony Fauci, MD, said he cautiously supports sending children back to school this fall, but noted the decision must consider the level of virus spread in each area, according to The Washington Post. "The default principle should be to try as best you can to get the children back to school," the nation's top infectious disease expert told the Post. "The big, however, and qualifier in there is that you have to have a degree of flexibility" based on infection level, he said. 

5. A new study from South Korea offers more definitive proof that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus, reports The New York Times. The research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found asymptomatic patients carried just as much virus in their nose, throat and lungs as symptomatic patients for nearly as long. The study is also the first to distinguish between asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals. "It does confirm what we’ve suspected for a long time — that asymptomatic cases can transmit infection,” Benjamin Cowling, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, told the Times.

6. Moderna has opened its late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial to patients with HIV, reports Bloomberg. The drugmaker made the change Aug. 5 after receiving weeks of pressure from HIV advocates. Advocates are also pressing Pfizer and BioNTech to do the same in their vaccine trial. 

7. The State Department lifted its blanket warning on international travel Aug. 7. The advisory, enacted March 19, recommended Americans avoid all international travel due to the pandemic.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 4,884,406
Deaths: 160,111
Recovered: 1,598,624

Counts reflect data available as of 8:35 a.m. CDT Aug. 7.

More articles on public health:
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Aug. 7
COVID-19 vaccine won't be as effective for obese people, experts predict
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Aug. 7

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