US deaths jump 1K in 1 day; 2K+ ventilators in stockpile unavailable — 8 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 216,722 COVID-19 cases as of 8:30 a.m. CDT April 2. Nationwide, 5,137 Americans have died from the illness, while 8,672 have recovered. 

Worldwide, 956,588 COVID-19 cases and 48,320 deaths have been reported, while 202,728 people have recovered from the illness as of 8:30 a.m. CDT April 2. 

Eight key updates: 

1. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. jumped by 1,010 in less than one day, rising from 4,127 deaths at 11:30 a.m. CDT April 1 to 5,137 at 8:30 a.m. CDT April 2. The U.S. death toll currently accounts for about ten percent of global COVID-19 deaths.

2. A small number of COVID-19 patients experience serious brain impairments, physicians say, according to The New York Times. Some of the observed neurological symptoms include confusion, stroke and seizures, along with other atypical symptoms, such as heart problems or loss of smell and taste.

3. Over 2,000 ventilators in the U.S. stockpile are unavailable or broken, The New York Times reports. The contract to maintain the government stockpile ended last summer, and a new firm didn't take over until January due to a contract dispute. Some states have received ventilators that are not operational, officials say, though it is unclear whether problems with the equipment predated the contract lapse. An HHS spokesperson declined to comment on the supply maintenance during the lapse of contracts, but said the agency will produce 2,109 ventilators by April 30, according to The New York Times.

On April 1, FEMA announced that their stockpile of medical gear was nearly gone.  

4. Presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is likely, a CDC study finds. An analysis of all 243 COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore from Jan. 23 to March 16 found seven clusters of cases in which presymptomatic transmission was the most likely  explanation for the secondary cases.

5. A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the national total to nearly 10 million in the past two weeks alone, The New York Times reports. 

6. The New England Patriots' plane will deliver 1.2 million N95 masks to the U.S. from China, according to The Wall Street Journal. The plane will land in Boston April 2 and send 300,000 of the masks to New York. The Kraft family, owner of the Patriots football team, paid $2 million for the supplies, about half the cost, in addition to flight costs. Only 1.2 million of 1.7 million masks fit in the plane, but the rest are to be transported soon on another shipment.

7. More than 290 million Americans, or about 88 percent of the U.S., are under shelter-in-place rules, USA Today reports. Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada all established shelter-in-place regulations April 1, joining now over 35 states with similar orders.

8. After receiving threats, Anthony Fauci, MD, now has a security detail, according to The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will have nine special agents protecting him. Dr. Fauci has played a role in President Donald Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines and has also publicly corrected the president in news briefings.

More articles on public health:
Texas temporarily halts abortions amid COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus data surge freezes Washington state's disease-reporting system
62% of US clinicians said their facility can't handle coronavirus patient influx


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