What We're Reading: CDC Updates COVID-19 Risk Guidance; Texas Pauses Reopening; HHS Revises Organ Donor Rules

June 26, 2020

The CDC has updated its guidance as to who is at risk for more severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Texas suspended its economic reopening in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases; HHS releases updated organ donation rules.

Obese Youth Face Hightened COVID-19 Risk

Texas Suspends Economic Reopening

HHS Issues Updated Organ Donor Guidance

The CDC broadened its warning about who is at risk for developing more severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, STAT News reports. The new guidance suggests younger individuals who are obese or have underlying health conditions can also be at risk of serious complications from COVID-19, in addition to the elderly and older individuals with underlying conditions. CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, recently noted that although 6% of the American population has been tested for COVID-19, for every person who tests positive there is likely another 10 individuals who have gone undiagnosed.As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in southern and western regions of the United States, the governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott (R) announced the state’s reopening would be halted, according to Reuters. On Monday, the state reported 6000 new cases in a single day—one of the biggest jumps in new cases to date. The temporary pause is intended to corral the spread of COVID-19, Abbott explained. Meanwhile, Texas had reported record numbers of hospitalizations for 13 days in a row, and elective surgeries have been suspended in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio hospitals to reserve beds for COVID-19 patients. HHS announced new solid organ transplant guidance with the aim of assessing donors and recipients for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C infections. As over 110,000 patients in the United States are currently waiting for an organ transplant, the guidance takes into account advances in transplant technology and safety so as to increase the number of organs available. In the past, organs have been declined because of concerns about potential infections of the diseases. New highly accurate tests have facilitated quick determinations as to whether an organ donor is infected, thus reducing the risk for getting these infections from a transplant.