COVID source shout-out: Patient-Led Research Collaborative

In this final newsletter, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite sources for new research on COVID-19 and Long COVID (and one that published a new paper recently): the Patient-Led Research Collaborative (PLRC). PLRC is a group of people with Long COVID and related chronic diseases, such as ME/CFS and POTS, who also have scientific research experience.

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Surveillance updates: Short-term wastewater contract, expanded traveler testing

Two quick updates about the CDC’s surveillance efforts for COVID-19 and other diseases: The CDC has provided a short-term wastewater surveillance contract to Verily, the biotech company that’s affiliated with Google, so that data collection can continue at about 400 sewage testing sites while a longer-term contract is in dispute. And the CDC is expanding its testing program for international travelers arriving at U.S. airports, in a three-month pilot program for the winter virus season.

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Ending the COVID-19 Data Dispatch—but not my COVID-19 reporting

After more than three years, 165 weekly newsletters, and a lot of number-crunching, this is the last issue of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch. I am bidding farewell to this publication, with immense gratitude to everyone who has supported it. But this isn’t the last newsletter you’ll get from me about COVID-19 research and data; more on that below.

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National numbers, November 12

Most of the numbers above are exactly copied from last week’s National Numbers post, as the CDC didn’t update its COVID-19 dashboard this week. The new data we do have this week, mainly from wastewater dashboards, suggest that COVID-19 spread is increasing slightly along with other respiratory viruses.

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COVID source callout: Lack of transparency from CDC committee

Last week, I shared an update about the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), a group of advisors to the CDC that has been working on updated guidelines for limiting infectious disease spread in healthcare settings. The committee has faced criticism for failing to incorporate lessons from COVID-19 into its guidance, as well as for a lack of transparency in its operations. The transparency issues continued this week, according to a press release by National Nurses United (NNU).

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National numbers, November 5

After an early-fall lull in COVID-19 transmission, there are now signs that the coronavirus is starting to spread more as we head into winter (or, respiratory virus season). This slight uptick is expected, but could still be prevented if we had better public health measures in place.

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