Midweek update

Yesterday, the FEHBlog noted a study from late March to early April showing a big drop in non-COVID healthcare. (After all it is a lawyer’s job to belabor the obvious.) Today, Fierce Healthcare reports on a Commonwealth Fund study finding a “slight” pick up in that care later in April. “The rebound occurred across all specialties, although the decline in visits remains largest among surgical and procedural specialties alongside pediatrics, the study said.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that

A study published this week found that banning mass gatherings had the biggest contribution to bringing the epidemic under control in Germany.

Superspreading events could even reignite the epidemic when the situation appears under control, said Prof. Cristopher Moore, a physicist with the Santa Fe Institute.

Dr. Streeck, the German virologist, agrees. While most experts expect a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections in the fall, he thinks a sharper focus on preventing superspreading events and vigilant monitoring could help avoid such a scenario.

The FEHBlog would gladly take a ban on mass gatherings over the great hunkering down. Add fake crowd noise to sporting events with fans just like TV shows add canned laughter.

In the same vein, Healthcare Dive informs us that

Apple and Google have launched software allowing public health agencies to create contact tracing apps that will notify users if they’ve been close to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The infrastructure, dubbed Exposure Notification, uses the Bluetooth radios within iOS and Android systems for contact tracing apps and will be part of a software update the companies are pushing out Wednesday. Amid privacy concerns, Apple and Google say the apps will be fully opt-in and have other built-in consumer protections.

22 countries and several U.S. states have requested and been given access to the technology so far.

Beckers Hospital Review unfortunately lets us know that U.S. births hit a 35 year low in 2019. No bueno.

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