US sees 75K+ new cases in 1 day; FDA approves 1st COVID-19 treatment — 5 updates

The U.S. reported more than 75,000 new COVID-19 cases Oct. 22, marking the second-highest daily increase seen during the pandemic, reports The New York Times.

The nation's highest increase occurred in mid-July, when the country reported more than 77,000 cases in a single day.

As of Oct. 22, eight states reported record single-day case increases, and 13 states saw their highest seven-day case average of the pandemic, according to NYT.

Four more updates:

1. The FDA approved remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients ages 12 and up Oct. 22. The drug, which Gilead Sciences markets as Veklury, is the first to be approved for COVID-19. 

2. Giving hospitalized COVID-19 patients blood plasma from virus survivors did not influence patients' survival or disease severity, according to an India-based study published in the BMJ. The findings come after a Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic study found plasma may offer some benefits for patients, though that trial did not have a control arm. Some researchers told STAT it's too soon to completely write off plasma as a COVID-19 treatment option.

3. Young school children may not be fueling COVID-19 surges, scientists told The New York Times. Schools, particularly elementary schools, don't appear to be tied to community transmission of the virus, according to data from random testing in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The research isn't conclusive, and doesn't support the idea that younger children don't become infected. "It does appear that children can become infected," Michael Beach, PhD, deputy incident manager for COVID-19 response at the CDC, told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. He said children "clearly can transmit" the virus, but scientists are still trying to understand how common transmission from children is.    

4. Counties with more social vulnerability are more likely to be hotspots, CDC data finds. To examine associations between social vulnerability and hotspot detection, the agency analyzed county-level COVID-19 data during June 1-July 25 and information from the 2018 CDC social vulnerability index. Counties with more social vulnerabilities, such as racial and ethnic minority residents or people living in crowded housing, were more likely to become COVID-19 hotspots, especially in less urban areas.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 8,411,262

Deaths: 223,059

Recovered: 3,353,056

Counts reflect data available as of 8:10 a.m. CDT Oct. 23.

More articles on public health:

COVID-19 death rates by state: Oct. 23
19 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 23
Dry winter air will fuel COVID-19's spread, health experts say

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