Adults with young children less likely to get severe COVID

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Los Angeles officials signaled they may pause a plan to reinstate universal indoor masking rules now that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have dipped slightly. California’s latest COVID-19 surge may have peaked, according to a Chronicle analysis of state data. The average income of people who moved out of San Francisco during the early days of the pandemic surged from a year earlier, as more wealthy, white-collar workers, many of whom could work remotely, left the city.

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Adults with young children were less likely to develop severe COVID, study finds

Adults with young children were less likely to develop severe COVID than adults without children, suggesting that exposure to their children’s colds could provide some protection against severe illness, according to a study published Wednesday by Kaiser Permanente researchers in Northern California. COVID-19 and about a quarter of viruses that cause the common cold are part of the coronavirus family. “Every parent knows that young children are vectors for cold viruses, and adults who are exposed to them at home or through their work report getting sick often,” lead author Dr. Matthew Solomon said in a statement. “But exposed adults often report they don’t get as sick after a few years. One possible explanation is that constant exposure to colds helps people develop some immunity to these viruses.” The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that adults without children who got COVID were 49% more likely to be hospitalized and 76% more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit than adults with COVID who had children under five years old. The study looked at medical records for more than 3 million adult members of Kaiser Northern California from two years before the pandemic through the first year of COVID.

Woman sues LA schools, claiming son was bribed with pizza to take vaccine

A woman who claims her teenage son was bribed with pizza at a school event to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 is suing the Los Angeles Unified School District. Maribel Duarte claimed at a news conference Wednesday that her 13-year-old boy, who attends Barack Obama Preparation Academy in South Los Angeles, received the shot without her consent and is suffering from unspecified side effects, according to TV station KTLA. “He is not the same anymore. He is lacking rest. He doesn’t sleep well,” she said. “He’s not normal to me.” Duarte added that her son, whom she said forged her signature, previously suffered from asthma and a bleeding disorder. She believes the vaccine exacerbated those conditions, despite scientific research that shows the shots are safe and effective. “This is not a conspiracy theory, this is not an anti-vax case,” Duarte’s attorney Nicole Pearson said. “This is about parental rights, about having the ability to protect your children.”

Millions of US children remain unvaccinated as school year approaches

About 9 million children aged 5 to 11 years old are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing 30% of that age group, according to data posted Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But fewer than 3% have received their booster shots. Among 12- to 17-year-olds, about 15 million are fully vaccinated, representing 60% of that age group, yet 10 million who are eligible for booster doses have not yet received their third shots. The vaccination rates for school age children are above the national average in California but millions of children remain vulnerable to the coronavirus as the BA.5 sublineage of omicron continues to gain dominance and protection from the primary vaccination series wanes. Bay Area health officials have renewed calls for families to keep their children up to date on their shots. “Ready for back-to-school season? Well, COVID is. Get your little ones vaccinated before school starts,” the San Francisco Department of Public Health tweeted Thursday.

Biden tests negative, exits isolation

President Joe Biden on Wednesday emerged from five days of isolation after contracting the coronavirus, telling Americans that “COVID isn’t gone” but saying serious illness can be avoided with vaccines, booster shots and treatments. “You don’t need to be president to get these tools,” he said. Biden had a mild bout with the virus that has killed millions of people around the world and disrupted daily life for more than two years. “God bless you all, and now I get to go back to the Oval Office,” he said as he finished his remarks in the Rose Garden and returned to the West Wing, according to the Associated Press. Biden tested negative for the virus on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. He tweeted a photo of his negative coronavirus test Wednesday and said “Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support.”

UCSF’s Wachter says it’s “reasonable” to hope for lull in US cases by early fall

UCSF Chair of Medicine Dr. Bob Watchter tweeted Wednesday that with no signs so far of a COVID surge in the US driven by the BA.2.75 variant, it was “reasonable to hope for a lull in cases in early fall” across the country. If that holds true, it would mark a welcome break in what Wachter described as a “relentless pattern: new variants — each more infectious & immune evasive — replacing prior virus, leading to our frustrating case plateau.”

Late night host Meyers tests positive again, cancels shows

The host of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” has canceled his show for the rest of the week after testing positive for the coronavirus for the second time. “After negative tests Monday and Tuesday I tested positive for COVID this morning,” Meyers tweeted Wednesday. “Cancelling shows the rest of this week. Apologies to our scheduled guests and loyal viewers.” The Saturday Night Live alum previously had COVID-19 in January.

NBA expected to mandate vaccines for the 2022-2023 season

The NBA will strongly recommend but not require that players, coaches and staff members get vaccinated against COVID-19 for next season, according to a league memo. obtained by Yahoo Sports. The report said that unvaccinated players may be subject to periodic testing, pending discussions with the National Basketball Players Association. The policy would mark a continuation of last season’s policy, which allowed local jurisdictions to set vaccine requirements — though most population centers in the US have now lifted those requirements.

Some COVID-19 trends improving in California, but hospitalizations and deaths rising

California’s BA.5 surge may have peaked, with new cases trending down, according to state data analyzed by The Chronicle. The state reported an average of 43 new daily cases per 100,000 residents on Tuesday, down from 49 per 100,000 two weeks ago. The Bay Area is also showing improvement, with 38 cases per 100,000 as of Tuesday, a 21% decrease since July 12. California’s average coronavirus test positive rate, which reflects the proportion of tests coming back positive, fell to 15% after peaking at 16.3 % on July 15. Hospitalizations, a lagging indicator of pandemic trends, are rising. There were 4,826 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state Tuesday — up from 4,377 two weeks ago — with 907 in Bay Area hospitals. Deaths are also up. Nearly 44 people die of COVID-19 daily in California, with the Bay Area reporting seven new daily deaths.

Los Angeles may be able to avoid new mask mandate this week

With signs that COVID-19 may be slowing down in Los Angeles County, health officials are now reconsidering what had appeared to be a march toward a new universal indoor mask mandate. Recent declines in case numbers and coronavirus-positive hospitalizations could pull the county back from the brink of such a mandate, news accounts reported. “We may be positioned to pause the implementation of universal masking,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s health director, told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The county is set to decide on the mandate by Thursday.

Ferrer said if the county’s hospital admission rate of new COVID patients falls to 10 per 100,000 residents, it would “trigger a reassessment on the need to re-implement an indoor masking mandate.” The county did not have current hospitalization data Tuesday due to a reporting delay from the California Department of Public Health. It is categorized by the CDC in the “high” transmission level, and the Los Angeles Times reported that the county was averaging about 6,100 coronavirus cases a day over the previous week, as of Monday, which was down 11% from the prior week’s average of nearly 6,900 cases a day.

Bay Area vaccination for babies and toddlers outpaces national average

About 24% of Marin County children ages 6 months to 4 years, who became eligible for COVID vaccination shots last month, have gotten their first dose — much higher than the 3% of children nationally. Several other Bay Area counties are reporting similar rates: in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, 21% of children in this age group have gotten their first dose. In Alameda County, 16% of babies and toddlers have gotten their first shot. Vaccine uptake for these youngest Americans has long been expected to be lower than that in older children and adults, and the latest local and national figures reflect that. The Bay Area had already gotten off to a fast start three weeks after the shots became available.

Marin case rates near January high, but hospitalizations stable

Wastewater surveillance data shows COVID-19 infection rates in Marin County are now similar to those reached at the peak of the first omicron surge in January, but hospitalization rates remain stable — which means the risk of an person being hospitalized is decreasing over time, county Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Death rates are significantly lower thanks to immunity from vaccination and prior infection, widespread availability of the oral antiviral Paxlovid, and the most recent variants being less virulent, he said.

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