Each week, we’ll offer you a round-up of our noteworthy coronavirus coverage.
More than 27.3 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday morning, Feb. 12, according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes more than 475,000 people who have died nationwide.
Globally, there are now more than 107.8 million confirmed cases of the highly infectious virus, with more than 2.3 million reported deaths.
About 34.7 million Americans have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 11, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker shows. More than 11.1 million of them have been inoculated with their second dose, meaning they’ve received maximum protection against the coronavirus.
Here’s what happened between Feb. 5 to Feb. 11.
Double masks may offer extra protection against infection
Wearing two masks — a cloth mask over a surgical mask — as well as modifying a surgical mask by knotting its ear loops reduced a healthy person’s risk of catching the coronavirus by more than 95%, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
This is the first laboratory study from the CDC that tested the effectiveness of double masking and other creative alterations. It comes amid discussions to update public health messaging on appropriate face coverings as at least three more contagious coronavirus strains spread in the U.S.
Here’s what the study found.
Do vaccinated people need to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure?
Families can soon apply for funds to cover COVID-19 funeral costs
Families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19 will soon be able to apply for funds to help cover funeral expenses, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced during a news conference in New York.
Two billion dollars in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds were approved in a December COVID-19 relief bill. Each family that provides documentation and receipts from funeral costs, as well as death certificates, can be reimbursed up to $7,000.
Here’s everything you need to know.
People with dementia more likely to catch and die from COVID-19
An analysis of more than 61.9 million patient records in the U.S. found that people with dementia are more than three times as likely to get infected with the coronavirus than individuals without dementia.
Even after researchers adjusted for COVID-19 risk factors that may have led to worse disease outcomes in patients with dementia, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and asthma — factors that also pose risks for dementia itself — those with dementia are still twice as likely to contract the coronavirus.
The group also faces increased risks of COVID-19 hospitalization and death.
Computer could help hospitals predict which patients will die of COVID-19
Researchers from Denmark developed artificial intelligence that can determine whether a person will die from COVID-19 with up to 90% accuracy, according to a new study, with body mass index, gender and blood pressure status contributing most to its nearly spot on forecasts.
The trained computer could also predict the number of coronavirus patients who will eventually need to be hospitalized, admitted into an intensive care unit or put on a ventilator with about 80% accuracy.
Learn more about it here.
In other coronavirus coverage…