Thursday, 9 April 2020

Tests Might Explain Lower Virus Numbers In CA; Hit Earlier Than Suspected

Researchers are testing a theory that COVID-19 may have arrived in California much earlier than suspected, and thus the state’s lower number of cases compared to elsewhere in the nation may be due to a kind of herd immunity.
On Saturday, a team from Stanford Medicine led by Eran Bendavid tested 3,200 people at three locations in San Jose, Los Gatos, and Mountain View in the Bay Area using an antibody test for COVID-19, as KSBWreported.
KSBW noted, “As of Tuesday, the state had 374 reported COVID-19 fatalities in a state of 40 million people, compared to New York which has seen 14 times as many fatalities and has a population half that of California. Social distancing could be playing a role but New York’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 22, three days after California implemented its order.”
KSBW pointed out that as many as 8,000 Chinese nationals, some of them from Wuhan, arrived every day last fall in California.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson surmised, “Something is going on that we haven’t quite found out yet … When you add it all up it would be na├»ve to think that California did not have some exposure,” adding his criticism of China as he asserted, “They originally said it was in early January, then it got backdated to December and then early December and now they are saying as early as November 17.”
Spenser Smith with ARCpoint Labs, which started conducting similar tests in Monterey last week, stated, “Knowing the levels as to which that happened would be great and one of the tools you can use is this test.”
There are officials warning that to lift the current stay-at-home orders could trigger a flood of new coronaviruses in the state. Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Santa Clara County executive officer, stated bluntly, “There will definitely be individuals who will get sick. And because there are individuals who get sick, there will be individuals who die after the order is released, unless we come up with a foolproof immunization, which is highly unlikely.”
He told the county’s Board of he Supervisors he did not expect there would be “any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving. This is not something that’s going to be easy to do,” as The Los Angeles Times reported.
Public health officer Dr. Sara Cody added that health officials have to find new cases, isolate those who have just been infected, and find anyone who had made contact and quarantine them. She said, “When we started back in the end of January, that’s exactly what we were doing: We carefully investigated every case, we carefully traced every contact, but of course, with the counts that we have today, we are not able to do that, and neither is anyone else.”
Hanson concluded of the antibody test, “It is going to allow us to get back to normal much more quickly because there will be many more people than we think that have anti-bodies.”

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