What We're Reading: States Halt, Reverse Reopening; COVID-19 Risk With Asthma; Novel Testing Strategies

July 2, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

States hardest hit by resurgent cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have taken steps to either halt or reverse plans to reopen economies; study findings suggest patients with asthma are no more likely than those without asthma to be hospitalized for COVID-19; the Trump administration plans to adopt a decades-old testing strategy called pooled testing that would expand testing efforts in the United States.

States With Resurgent COVID-19 Cases Reversing, Halting Reopening

Yesterday, 50,000 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported nationwide, representing the largest one-day spike since the pandemic’s onset. States hardest hit by resurgent cases have taken steps to either halt or reverse plans to reopen economies, reported Reuters. In California, which is part of the new epicenter of the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom imposed several restrictions including the closure of bars and banned indoor dining. Other states, such as New Mexico, have extended the state’s emergency public health order through July 15 and have implemented a $100 fine for those not adhering to required mask usage.

Examining COVID-19 Risk in Those With Asthma

Based on study findings published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, patients with asthma were found to be no more likely than those without asthma to be hospitalized for COVID-19. Reported by STAT, researchers noted that while the lack of impact on patients with asthma was unexpected, not all asthmatics are the same. Moreover, prior studies that have analyzed patient risk by asthma subtype, characterized as allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma, found that those with non-allergic asthma were significantly more likely to have severe COVID-19.

Trump Adminstration Considering Novel Testing Strategy

Reported by The New York Times, the Trump administration plans to adopt a decades-old testing strategy called pooled testing that would expand testing efforts in the United States to asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 instead of rationing tests to only those with symptoms. The move would also permit widespread tracking and frequent surveillance of these potentially asymptomatic carriers. The nation’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, said that the Trump administration is in intensive discussions on how to optimally implement this strategy.