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Healthcare workers suffer moral trauma from the war on Covid

According to a study, many healthcare workers report similar trauma-like symptoms as veterans, such as depression or a lower quality of life. NPR also reports how those particularly vulnerable to covid are also traumatized.

CIDRAP: COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Suffer Combat-Type Moral Trauma

A study from Duke University shows that amid COVID-19, American healthcare workers (HCWs) had similar rates of potential moral injury (PMI) – a type of injury induced by trauma to the psyche – than veterans of military combat. The study, published yesterday in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, surveyed 2,099 healthcare workers in 2020 and 2021 and 618 military veterans deployed to a combat zone after the US terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 about PMIs that they could endure. (Van Beusekom, 4/6)

NPR: People are developing trauma-like symptoms as the pandemic continues

In February 2020, Jullie Hoggan picked up the phone to receive vital news. She had been on the list for a kidney transplant and, to her relief, there was finally a donor. But that assurance was quickly eclipsed by the looming threat of the novel coronavirus. “I remember standing in front of my sink and thinking, what about this virus? Like, is this going to be a problem?” she says. It was a question that would completely reshape the next two years of his life. Although the operation was successful and Hoggan is now vaccinated and strengthened, she is still severely immunocompromised and must take significant safety precautions. (Lonsdorf, 4/7)

In updates on the spread of covid —

Axios: COVID cases rise again in half of states

Half of the states are seeing the number of COVID cases rise again while national totals continue to fall. The Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 is the dominant strain circulating in the United States, accounting for nearly three out of four cases. As in-person gatherings have resumed, COVID has sickened a number of D.C. figures, reminding everyone – yet again – that we are not off the hook with this pandemic. Overall, cases fell 5% in the United States to an average of about 28,700 cases from an average of more than 30,000 cases two weeks ago. (Reed and Beheraj, 4/7)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Mask mandates likely to return for indoor spaces in Philadelphia as COVID cases rise

Philadelphia is set to reinstate its indoor mask mandate next week as COVID-19 cases rise again. An Inquirer analysis showed that the most recent COVID case count and percentage increase in cases both meet the city’s benchmarks that would trigger the return of the mask mandate for public indoor spaces. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health approved the analysis. “What we are seeing and knowing is that cases are increasing,” said department spokesman James Garrow. “People should start taking precautions now.” (Gans Sobey, Duchneskie and Laughlin, 4/6)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Clark County sees spike in COVID-19 cases

For the second week in a row, Clark County saw an uptick in new daily COVID-19 cases, marking the first increases since January, according to weekly data released Wednesday. However, authorities have said they do not consider the rise to be significant and that overall metrics suggest there will not be an increase in cases any time soon. “From everything we’re seeing, I don’t expect a flare-up,” said Andrew Gorzalski, molecular supervisor at the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno. This view includes positive COVID-19 test results as well as sewage analysis, the latter of which is an early warning system of disease trends. (Dylan and Hynes, 4/6)

Bay Area News Group: California hits new low for COVID patients in intensive care

California’s intensive care units are now treating fewer COVID patients than at any time since the state began tracking that number in March 2020. On Monday, Golden State hospitals reported that 231 patients in their intensive care units intensive people were confirmed or suspected to have COVID, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. The previous low for COVID patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit was 250, set on June 6, 2021, at the peak of the summer 2021 COVID crisis. The number of critically ill COVID patients requiring intensive care was consistently lower at 500 from early April to mid-July 2021, but rose to over 2,000 during last fall’s delta surge and peaked at over 2,500 in late January during omicron. (Blair Rowan, 4/6)

In other covid news —

AP: Multiple COVID-related deaths in Washington state occurred before first announced

The Washington State Department of Health has confirmed that at least four other Washingtonians died of complications from COVID on or before February 28, 2020 – the date the first known death in Washington and the United States was announced. . In a recent review of the state’s first COVID-19 deaths, three people who died before the initial announcement were from the Life Care Center long-term care facility in Kirkland, the site of the first known coronavirus outbreak in the United States. United States, reported the Seattle Times. (4/6)

KHN: Lack of ECMO treatment costs lives during delta surge

Speaking from his hospital bed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, James Perkinson’s voice was hoarse. In February, he had just been removed from ECMO, the latest life-saving treatment in which a machine outside the body does the work of the heart and lungs. Full recovery is expected to take a year or more for Perkinson. “If it weren’t for the ECMO and the doctors who were put in at the right time with the right knowledge, I wouldn’t be here,” he, along with his wife, Kacie, told its ratings. (Farmer, 4/7)

San Francisco Chronicle: SF health officials send back thousands of life-saving COVID drugs and plead with the public to use them

San Francisco returned thousands of doses of life-saving COVID-19 drugs to the state because people who might have used them didn’t know the treatment was available, public health officials said Wednesday. Now city officials are issuing an urgent alert to let people know about antiviral drugs, which must be taken within five days of the onset of COVID symptoms. Although doctors typically write prescriptions, many patients never let their doctors know they’ve tested positive for COVID, or tell them it’s already too late to benefit from the pills. (Asimov, 4/6)

AP: KS Sen. Mark Steffen sends letters to doctors about COVID-19

A Kansas medical lawmaker who admitted he was under investigation by the state medical board after backing the deworming drug ivermectin instructs doctors on COVID-19 treatment in a letter. The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas Senator Mark Steffen sent a letter on official Senate letterhead to health care providers telling them that the way COVID-19 patients are treated has changed and that ‘they will be protected from “interference” by the Board of Healing Arts. (4/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage by major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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