Young adults make up 1 in 5 US cases; male healthcare workers more likely to die from COVID-19 — 5 updates

California became the first state to hit 800,000 COVID-19 cases, and the U.S. will soon surpass 7 million infections, reports CNN

Five updates: 

1. New York will form a panel to vet any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Sept. 24 news conference. Mr. Cuomo expressed a lack of trust in the federal government’s vaccine approval process, saying, “Frankly, I'm not going to trust the federal government's opinion, and I wouldn't recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government's opinion.”

2. Between June and August, people between the ages of 20 and 29 years accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed coronavirus cases, making COVID-19 incidence highest in this age group, new CDC data shows. In the South, the percentage of positive coronavirus test results among adults aged 20 to 39 years preceded increases among adults older than 60 years by an average of 8.7 days. This suggests that "younger adults likely contributed to community transmission of COVID-19," the report states.

3. Novavax announced Sept. 24 that it will start the final stages of testing for its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K., The New York Times reports. The phase 3 trial is expected to enroll up to 10,000 people, half of whom will receive two doses of the vaccine about three weeks apart. The vaccine maker also announced it will begin a new large trial in the U.S. in October. Novavax entered into a $1.6 billion deal with the federal government for its experimental vaccine in July. Though the company is behind other companies racing to bring a vaccine to market, Novavax’s vaccine candidate showed promising results in early studies. 

4. A preliminary study found low COVID-19 infection rates among students and teachers, suggesting that opening schools may not be as risky as some feared, reports The Washington Post. On Sept. 23, Providence, R.I.-based Brown University released a National COVID-19 School Response Data Dashboard. The first dataset tracked cases for two weeks beginning Aug. 31 and found 0.23 percent of students and 0.49 of teachers had a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case. Only 0.078 percent of students and 0.15 percent of teachers had confirmed cases. However, Emily Oster, PhD, economics professor at Brown who helped create the tracker, said the school virus rates are "much lower" than those in surrounding communities, and she doesn't think the numbers should justify opening schools without restrictions. According to an incomplete New York Times dataset, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee have each reported more than a thousand virus cases in K-12 schools. 

5. Healthcare workers who have died from COVID-19 complications tend to be older, male and from a minority group, according to CDC data published Sept. 25. Researchers examined data among 100,570 U.S. healthcare workers with COVID-19 during Feb. 12-July 16. The median age among healthcare professionals with COVID-19 was 41 and 79 percent of cases were in females. However, for related deaths among workers reported in 22 jurisdictions, decedents were more likely to be older (median age 62), male, Asian or Black. The majority (92 percent) of fatal cases were among staff with underlying medical conditions. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 6,980,351
Deaths: 202,827
Recovered: 2,710,183

Counts reflect data available as of 9:15 a.m. CDT Sept. 25.


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