Several people who attended a conference in Florida earlier this month where ivermectin was promoted as treatment against COVID-19 have since contracted the virus. 

Dr. John Littell, the Ocala-based physician who organized the Florida Summit on COVID at an equestrian center Nov. 6, said one physician got sick and that a “handful of others” had mild cases. 

The Food and Drug Administration says ivermectin is approved to treat or prevent parasites in animals. Ivermectin tablets can be used to control some parasitic worms in humans. There are also topical products for treating head lice or skin conditions with ivermectin. FDA has not approved ivermectin to be used in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. 

Littell, who has not been vaccinated but thinks ivermectin works well in treating and preventing the infection, stated that the viruses were not spread during the conference. 

Littell stated that only one doctor fell ill, and it was because Littell’s father had fallen ill in Florida Keys prior to him coming. Each case is unique and everyone is now in good health. They were all treated early and given ivermectin as well as the standard combination of therapies. 

Dustin Wyatt, The Ledger

In the news also:

►Boston’s temporary outdoor dining program designed to help boost struggling restaurants has been extended to Dec. 31, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Wednesday. It applies to all private patios, as well many public streets.

►Maryland will distribute 500,000 at-home COVID testing kits to health departments across the state. Gov. Hogan stated that the kits would give Marylanders “more options and more security as we enter the holiday season.”

►Honolulu and Maui counties will allow restaurants and bars to operate at 100% capacity and eliminate a requirement that groups sit 6 feet apart at restaurants when Hawaii eases some statewide restrictions at month’s end.

►Social distancing became mandatory again across the Netherlands on Wednesday. The country’s leading intensive care physician, Diederik Gommers, called for even tougher measures – including closing schools – to rein in soaring infection rates.

►Malaysia and Singapore said Wednesday they will partially reopen their borders next week to fully vaccinated citizens and some others, after nearly two years of closure.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 48 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 775,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global numbers: There have been more than 259.3million cases worldwide and there has been 5.17 million deaths. More than 196 million Americans — 59% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘We’re looking at: COVID-19 is causing a Michigan crisis that has been brewing for decades. It won’t be long before everyone dials 911, and help will arrive too late – if at all – 

This page is updated regularly so you don’t miss any new information. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch free newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Out of the 169 Connecticut cities and towns that make up Connecticut, only 65% have COVID alerts.

State data Wednesday showed that the majority of Connecticut’s cities and towns have reached the red alert status, which is the most severe of the four levels of COVID-19 infected states.

Of the state’s 169 municipalities, 110, or 65%, were in the red zone – the most since April 22.

Democratic governor On Tuesday, Ned Lamont urged citizens to make sure they are protected. He noted that New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island had lower rates of infection than Connecticut.

“That’s just a reminder that we’re not an island. That’s why we’ve got to continue to be very cautious,” he said.

Many hospitals could be affected by Thanksgiving crowding.

As Thanksgiving approaches, hospitals all across America are facing staffing and COVID-19 case overloads. Holiday gatherings may make matters worse. A potentially weekslong closure of a New York emergency department Monday was sparked by a staffing shortage after unvaccinated health care workers were not allowed to continue work due to a state rule. Mount Sinai South Nassau will refer patients to the Oceanside emergency department.

Officials in Denver said hospitals are filling up, with about 80% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 being unvaccinated, 9News reported. Denver Health’s CEO, Dr. Robin Wittenstein said that their system is at “the brink” of collapse.

A University of Iowa hospital also worries about financial hardship, as flu and COVID cases are increasing. The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Dubuque County is as high today as it was a year ago, before vaccinations.

Theresa Brennan, Chief Medical Officer, stated that it is cold and people will be staying indoors. People crave human contact. And because of that, it’s likely people are going to be less strict about gathering, about masking, about distancing than they were last year.”

At-home testing strains attempts to track viruses

Thousands of people traveling for the holidays this week will first test themselves for COVID-19 without a doctor, lab or any medical oversight. While these quick home tests are hailed as a major convenience and a smart way to protect loved ones, they’ve also raised a significant challenge for public health officials. It’s unclear how often customers report results from the dozen authorized home coronavirus tests that typically deliver results in 15 minutes outside a lab or doctor’s office. Private test manufacturers already make more home antigen tests than standard laboratory tests — and the gap could nearly double next month as new home tests flood the market. Continue reading.

“The whole issue of us tracking every single case is just not going to be possible anymore with these (home) tests,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “We need to move to a different approach.”

Ken Alltucker

Tennessee COVID laws are exempted from medical or other entities

Dozens of Tennessee health care, higher education and consulting entities applied for an official exemption last week from the state’s new law that strictly curtails businesses from enacting COVID-19 restrictions.

This legislation was signed by Governor Lee earlier in the month. Bill Lee prohibits private companies from ordering COVID-19 vaccinations and proving proof of vaccination. However, the bill included a clause for federal contractors, transport authorities and providers of Medicare or Medicaid care who are at high risk of losing federal funds.

Tennessee’s comptroller opened accepting exemption requests Nov. 15, and had received 76 applications by week end. However, legitimate applications saw slightly less acceptance due to duplicate and errant submissions. Denials so far have not been common.

Out of the total 76 submitted applications, 5 were turned down and 44 remain pending approval. 

— Melissa Brown, The Nashville Tennessean

Contributing: The Associated Press



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