Wisconsin's stay-at-home order overturned; COVID-19 'may never go away,' WHO official says — 6 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,390,764 COVID-19 cases and 84,136 related deaths as of 8 a.m. CDT May 14. Globally, there have been 4,369,410 reported cases and 297,682 deaths, while 1,562,673 have recovered.

Six updates: 

1. COVID-19 may never be eradicated, a top World Health Organization official said during a May 12 news briefing. "This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and the virus may never go away," said Mike Ryan, MD, executive director of WHO's emergencies program. He said HIV hasn't gone away, but effective therapies and prevention measures have allowed people with HIV to live long, healthy lives. He clarified that he was not comparing the two diseases, but emphasized that COVID-19 could be managed if an effective vaccine was globally distributed.

2. The state Supreme Court overturned Wisconsin's stay-at-home order May 12, effective immediately, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court said Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm's mandate exceeded her authority, declaring the order "invalid, and therefore, unenforceable." The order began March 25 and was later extended until May 26. In April, some state lawmakers filed a lawsuit challenging the extension.

Following the ruling, some local officials said they would still enforce the stay-at-home order, creating a regional approach to combat the virus' spread.

3. Without a coordinated national response backed by science, the pandemic could cause "unprecedented illness and fatalities," according to written testimony by Rick Bright, PhD, as reported by The Hill. The former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will testify May 14 before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health. His written testimony was leaked May 13 by CNN, and later publicly released by the House Committee. 

Dr. Bright, who claims he was fired from his role after raising concerns about hydroxychloroquine, plans to testify that without a coordinated response, "2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history."

4. A hospital at the epicenter of Italy's COVID-19 outbreak saw a 30-fold increase in children with the rare inflammatory condition potentially linked to COVID-19, according to a study published in The Lancet. The physicians who conducted the study said other countries hit hard by the pandemic may see a similar jump in cases. The study offers "the strongest evidence yet" that the inflammatory syndrome is linked to COVID-19, according to The New York Times.

5. New York City is offering hotel rooms to COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms to prevent the virus from spreading to other members of their households, according to The Washington Post. During their stay, patients will receive food and laundry services at the hotel, along with access to a pharmacy. Each hotel will also staff clinicians to perform checkups and paramedics in case of emergency. So far, the city has secured 20,000 hotel rooms for recovery and isolation efforts.

6. More than 2.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor. In total, the department has received 36.5 million unemployment claims in just two months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

More articles on public health:
66% of Americans think small gatherings won't be safe until July or later: 5 survey findings
Wuhan testing all residents after new coronavirus cases emerge
15 states investigating syndrome in children possibly linked to COVID-19

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