Trends in County-Level COVID-19 Incidence in Counties With and Without a Mask Mandate — Kansas, June 1–August 23, 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Report. A natural experiment, from the Discussion: “After implementation of mask mandates in 24 Kansas counties, the increasing trend in COVID-19 incidence reversed. Although rates were considerably higher in mandated counties than in nonmandated counties by the executive order, rates in mandated counties declined markedly after July 3, compared with those in nonmandated counties. Kansas counties that had mask mandates in place appear to have mitigated the transmission of COVID-19, whereas counties that did not have mask mandates continued to experience increases in cases. The findings in this report are consistent with declines in COVID-19 cases observed in 15 states and the District of Columbia, which mandated masks, compared with states that did not have mask mandates (7).”
Hospital-Acquired SARS-CoV-2 Infection JAMA. From the body: “Together, these findings suggest that overall hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the setting of universal masking is likely rare, even during periods of high community prevalence. This has at least 2 important implications. First, it is imperative for the public to understand that hospitals with well-implemented universal masking policies are overwhelmingly safe, and public health messaging should emphasize that avoidance or delay of needed and urgent health care is not necessary. Second, despite the politicization of masking, this is an important and compelling proof of concept for the broader use of universal masking in crowded indoor settings, even with good ventilation.”
Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China Nature. From the Abstract: “Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020…. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan…. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown.” From the Discussion: “The citywide nucleic acid screening of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan recruited nearly 10 million people, and found no newly confirmed cases with COVID-19. The detection rate of asymptomatic positive cases was very low, and there was no evidence of transmission from asymptomatic positive persons to traced close contacts. There were no asymptomatic positive cases in 96.4% of the residential communities.”
* * *
SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV viral load dynamics, duration of viral shedding, and infectiousness: a systematic review and meta-analysis The Lancet (this was a preprint in Links on July 31). From the Interpretation: “Although SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding in respiratory and stool samples can be prolonged, duration of viable virus is relatively short-lived. SARS-CoV-2 titres in the upper respiratory tract peak in the first week of illness. Early case finding and isolation, and public education on the spectrum of illness and period of infectiousness are key to the effective containment of SARS-CoV-2.” Summary with handy chart:
Hydroxychloroquine Inhibits the Trained Innate Immune Response to Interferons Cell Reports. From the Discussion: “We discovered a previously unknown immunomodulatory mechanism of hydroxychloroquine, namely that it prevents trained immunity through epigenetic modulation….The fact that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine avert trained immunity suggests that these drugs may not be beneficial for clearing viral infections like SARS-CoV-2 and argues against their use as a prophylactic for COVID-19.”
There are plenty of problems with how Georgia acquired its voting machines and how it runs its elections, but that (Republican) Governor Kemp, (Republican) Secretary of State Raffensperger, the CIA, and Hugo Chavez (!) somehow rigged the machines to steal the election from Trump strikes me as implausible in the extreme.