A new resource for journalists covering Long COVID

This week, a new resource that I’ve been working on for the past few months went live: a comprehensive source list including Long COVID patients and experts who are willing to talk to reporters. This source list project was a collaboration with Fiona Lowenstein, who’s a journalist, speaker, consultant, and founder of the Body Politic support group for Long COVID patients.

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As Omicron hits schools, K-12 data void is wider than ever

Two years into the pandemic, you might think that, by now, schools would have figured out a strategy to continue teaching kids while keeping them safe from the coronavirus. Instead, the school situation is more chaotic than ever. Thousands of schools went online or closed entirely this week, likely more than in any other week since spring 2020. And yet: there is currently no national data source tracking COVID-19 cases in schools, and nine states fail to report any data on this crucial topic.

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FAQ: Testing and isolation in the time of Omicron

As Omicron spreads rapidly through the U.S., this variant is driving record case numbers—and record demand for testing, including both PCR and rapid at-home tests. In other words, it feels harder than ever to get tested for COVID-19, largely because more people currently need a test due to recent exposure to the virus than at any other time during the pandemic.

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Hospitalization data lag behind the actual crisis

A record number of COVID-19 patients are now receiving care in U.S. hospitals, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Even so, reports from the doctors and other staff working in these hospitals—conveyed in the news and on social media—suggest that the HHS data don’t capture the current crisis. The federal data may be reported with delays and fail to capture the impact of staffing shortages, obscuring the fact that many regions and individual hospitals are currently operating at 100% capacity.

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National numbers, January 16

The U.S. once again broke COVID-19 records this week, reporting about 5.5 million new cases in total. Last winter, the highest number of cases reported in a single week was about 1.7 million; this past week, the country reported over one million cases just on Monday (though that number included backlogs from the prior weekend).

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Six more things, January 9

Here are six other COVID-19 news items from the past week that didn’t quite warrant full posts. Including: CDC isolation guidance, a new reporting recipe, a variant that you should not freak out about, and more.

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