🧵/ I just spoke with two journalists about data that shows how the U.S. healthcare system is collapsing before our eyes. The million dollar question during both interviews was, “What else could we be doing right now?” The answer: flatten the *hospitalization* curve. Now.
2/ Hospital staffing never fully recovered from the Delta variant surge. We can’t keep cutting bed capacity because we’re now in the Omicron surge.
3/ The CDC’s ill-advised abbreviation of #COVID19 isolation for healthcare workers has done more harm than good

4/ "The decision to utilize covid-positive staff who are asymptomatic is consistent with CDC guidance that allows hospitals facing significant staffing challenges to utilize asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic workers"


5/ Among hospitals reporting staffing levels, 1 in 4 say they have a critical staffing shortage— that’s the highest national average since the start of the pandemic.
6/ Admissions for #COVID19 are surging across the country, and for all age groups

source: HHS, healthdata.gov/Health/COVID-1…
7/ We know #COVID19 vaccines work against #Omicron, but *at least* 2 doses are necessary for protection against hospitalization. This means that ~4 in 10 persons in the U.S. are at risk for hospitalization for COVID-19 during this wave.

source: HHS, healthdata.gov/Health/COVID-1…
8/ We can (and should) continue to encourage vaccination, but the benefits of a 2nd or 3rd dose won’t translate into lower hospitalization risk for 7-14 days. We've run out of time— our ICUs are already operating at dangerously high capacity

source: HHS, healthdata.gov/Health/COVID-1…
9/ We have to implement universal mask mandates, now. That will buy us the time we need for 2nd & 3rd doses to kick-in.

We need to start verifying compliance with vaccination requirements, now. We can’t put our faith on the honor system while the U.S. healthcare system collapses
10/ We must give parents of children under 5 years *the option* to vaccinate their children, NOW. The rate of #COVID19 hospitalization for this age group is skyrocketing to adult-levels.

It is now *unethical* to withhold a safe and effective vaccine.

source: CDC, HHS
11/ If we don’t act now— we will soon find ourselves in a COVID dystopia that’s worse than anything we’ve experienced to-date. It would be foolish to let COVID minimizers lull us into complacency *again* based on cherry-picked data. We have work to do, and we must do it *now*


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More from @DataDrivenMD

10 Jan
🧵/ I really appreciate @caitlinnowens’s summary of the federal COVID response under Pres. Biden. There are a few observations I’d like to highlight in a short thread, here.
2/ Several long-time health policy advisers to the Biden team are distancing themselves from the COVID-19 response. This is a continuation of a trend that began with a series of opinion essays published last week.
3/ Some of the advisers who are distancing themselves from CDC policies are simultaneously defending the CDC Director— this is an untenable position. It will be interesting to see how long these advisers are able to walk that tightrope, and which side they ultimately favor.
Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
I couldn’t help myself. I figured out the #Wordle algorithm.

Wordle 204 2/6

Meaning: I know how to generate all past and future answers
Pro tip: If you want to get tomorrow’s #Wordle early, just advance your computer’s date and refresh your browser window
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
⚠️ FDA says: don't swab your throat for rapid antigen tests that are designed to be used with nasal samples
Closed replies to this ^^ b/c misinformation was being shared, and b/c several replies ignored the text in the FDA's tweet— a sign of troll- and bot-like activity.

I answered some of the questions. For the rest, I urge you to read the FDA's thread (👀⤵️)
Several noted that other countries, like the UK and South Africa, recommend swabbing the back of the throat. Please note that the studies other countries use to support their guidance is based on tests available in *their* country— tests differ in the US, hence the FDA's notice
Read 11 tweets
7 Jan
🧵/Remember when I said that New York would end up with a higher total number of patients in the hospital because most hospitals already reported numbers that excluded *with* #COVID19? Well…
2/ ⚠️ As I said, the data reported to HHS already excludes hospitalizations *with* #COVID19. Here’s an apples-to-apples comparison of pediatric hospitalizations using HHS data vs. New York state data:
🔸Dec 19-Dec 24: +3 HHS overcount
🔸 Dec 25-Jan 1: -87 HHS undercount
3/ The difference stems from the fact that hospitalizations are the result of a simple equation:
# patients admitted - # of patients discharged

I wrote a short thread about this yesterday 👀⤵️
Read 7 tweets
7 Jan
PSA: hospitalizations and admissions are fundamentally different metrics— they're not comparable. Example:

A hospital reports 100 COVID-19 hospitalizations on consecutive days. That could mean:
🔸0 admissions - 0 discharged
🔸100 admissions - 100 discharged
🔸any combo netting 0
^^That's just scratching the surface. There are #COVID19 admissions that may not count toward daily hospitalizations— like short stays lasting <24 hrs

From a patient's POV: they were hospitalized

From a reporting standpoint: daily hospitalization totals may not reflect the stay
^^Yet another nuance: the patient's condition upon hospital discharged. Are they deceased? Were they transferred to another hospital? Were they transferred to a subacute or rehabilitation hospital? Or are they able to go back to their daily routine?
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
🧵/NEW: Preliminary study findings suggest that “in addition to reducing the risk of acute illness, COVID-19 vaccination may have a protective effect against [#LongCovid]”
2/ “Of the 951 participants, 337 (35%) reported not fully recovering from the initial COVID-19 symptoms at follow-up. The most commonly reported symptoms at the time of follow-up were fatigue (22%), headache (20%), and weakness in arms or legs (13%)”

3/ “After adjusting for duration of follow-up and presence of symptoms at baseline, a 54-82% reduction in reporting symptoms among those fully vaccinated for seven of the ten most commonly reported symptoms was detected (Table 3).”

Read 4 tweets

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