Friday Stats and More

Based on the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Data Tracker website, here is the FEHBlog’s chart of new weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths over the 14th week of 2020 through 22nd week of this year (beginning April 2, 2020, and ending June 2, 2021; using Thursday as the first day of the week in order to facilitate this weekly update):

and here is the CDC’s latest overall weekly hospitalization rate chart for COVID-19:

The FEHBlog has noticed that the new cases and deaths chart shows a flat line for new weekly deaths  because new cases significantly exceed new deaths. Accordingly here is a chart of new COVID-19 deaths over the period (April 2, 2020, through June 2, 2021):

Finally here is a COVID-19 vaccinations chart over the period December 17, 2020, through June 2, 2021 which also uses Thursday as the first day of the week:

In this week’s COVID-19 update, the CDC advises

With summer upon us, many adolescents are looking forward to returning to activities they may have missed last summer, including travel, hanging out with friends, work, and summer campVaccinating adolescents is an important step toward stopping the spread of COVID-19. As of June 3, 2021, more than 5.9 million adolescents ages 12-17 years have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Fully vaccinated adolescents are at low risk of symptomatic or severe infection and are less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others. If you or someone you know is considering adolescent vaccination, talk with your pediatrician or healthcare provider about the benefits of vaccination. To find a vaccine provider near you, visit vaccines.gov.

In other new

  • The tri-agencies which administer the Affordable Care Act issued FAQ 46 today which reminds interested that the Biden Administration lowered the in-network out-of-pocket maximum limit for 2022 that the Trump Administration had proposed. As the FEHBlog reported in early May 2021, the maximum annual limitation on [in-network] cost sharing for the 2022 plan year will be $8,700 for self- only coverage, and $17,400 for other than self-only coverage.”
  • Fierce Pharma reports that “Friday brought news that the FDA has made Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail [to treat COVID-19] more user friendly, allowing it to be administered by subcutaneous injection in addition to its original administration form of intravenous infusion. The agency also approved a lower dose of the Regeneron drug, 1200 mg, allowing the company and officials to stretch available supply.”
  • The American Medical Association informs us about “Ochsner’s Connected MOM (Maternity Online Monitoring) initiative, which uses digital health tools to offer expectant mothers a convenient way to safely manage their pregnancy in collaboration with their physicians.” Oschner, of course, is a major health system serving New Orleans, LA, and environs.
  • HR Dive tells us about the types of incentives that employers are offering to encourage employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations. “Adam Sencenbaugh, partner at Haynes and Boone, said he has seen several creative forms of incentives from clients, ranging from paid time off to raffles. That mirrors reports of what other employers have done to incentivize vaccination, with ideas including direct payments and transportation provided to those receiving a vaccine. “We have yet to have a client ask us about a program that would be coercive in that respect,” Sencenbaugh added. “It’s been something that, if done appropriately, can even boost morale.”

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