Home COVID test during Thanksgiving raises challenges for officials.

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Thousands of people traveling on this week’s vacation will first test for COVID-19 without a doctor, lab, or medical supervision.

Rapid home inspections are welcomed as the primary convenience and smart way to protect loved ones, but they are also a major challenge for public health authorities. If many consumers do not report test results at home, how can an agency track cases and trends comprehensively?

Federal and state health authorities have been working since March 2020 to build the ability to test, report, and monitor cases of COVID-19. Public health officials say case reporting is important for finding trends and detecting spikes so that the hotspot community can mitigate risk and prepare hospitals for a flood of care seekers.

However, it is unclear how often customers report the results of 12 licensed home coronavirus tests that typically produce results in 15 minutes outside the lab or clinic. And the blind spots in public health data are ready to grow.

Private testing manufacturers are already testing more home antigens than standard clinical tests. With new home inspections flooding the market, the gap could almost double next month.

— Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY

Even in the news:

► From Monday, Massachusetts hospitals need to reduce non-urgent scheduled procedures due to staff shortages and long-term patient stays, according to state health officials.

► This week’s number of air travelers is expected to approach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, and Auto Club AAA predicts that 48.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles away from home during the holidays. doing.

► According to a hospital statement, more than 100 children were vaccinated with the wrong dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination event in Iowa on Saturday. A MercyOne spokesperson said there were no significant health risks associated with higher doses and children could have more serious versions of the side effects of common vaccines.

📈Today’s numbers: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 48 million COVID-19 infections have been identified in the United States, killing more than 775,000 people. Global total: more than 259 million cases and 5.1 million deaths. According to the CDC, more than 196 million Americans (59.1% of the population) are fully vaccinated.

📘What we are reading: During COVID-19, they believed that homes were safer than schools. Currently, some NYC parents have been accused of negligence.

Keep updating this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s free Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive the latest information in your inbox directly and join our Facebook group.

White House: Most federal workers comply with vaccine obligations

Just over nine out of ten federal officials have been vaccinated at least once by the required deadline, and the Biden administration announced Wednesday that it announced per-institutional vaccination rates.

These rates were as high as 97.8% at the United States Agency for International Development. Department of Agriculture workers had the lowest rate: 86.1%.

Federal employees had to be vaccinated or demand medical or religious exemptions until the end of Monday. Unlike the rules that the Biden administration wants to impose on private employers, federal workers cannot opt ​​out of vaccine requirements if they agree to weekly inspections.

According to the White House, workers who are not vaccinated or seeking tax exemptions “start a period of education and counseling, followed by additional enforcement measures.”

–Maureen Groppe and Michael Collins, USA TODAY

Contribution: Associated Press

Home COVID test during Thanksgiving raises challenges for officials

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