Outbreaks give taste of living with virus

Carla K. Johnson

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The US is getting a first glimpse of what it’s like to experience COVID-19 outbreaks during this new phase of living with the virus, and the roster of the newly infected is studded with stars.

Cabinet members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Broadway Actors and the Governors of New Jersey and Connecticut have all tested positive. Outbreaks at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University are bringing back mask requirements to those campuses as officials seek out quarantine space.

The known infections are likely to reveal only the tip of the iceberg – with Actors and politicians regularly tested at work. Official case figures are certain to be undercounts of how widely the virus is circulating because of home testing and mildly sick not bothering to test at all.

Ali Mokdad, Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology and Professor, Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Across the Nation, mask-wearing is at its lowest level since April 2020, said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. For every 100 infections, only seven are recorded in official tallies, according to his modeling group’s latest estimate. That means a place like New York City that averaging 1,600 cases a day has a dramatically higher true number of infections.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker attend Neil Simon's

On Broadway, several performances of the comedy “Plaza Suite” were canceled after Matthew Broderick tested positive, followed by his wife and co-star, Sarah Jessica Parker. Daniel Craig, too, has been sidelined from his revival of “Macbeth.”

In Michigan, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services recently began updating its COVID-19 Dashboard just once a week, on Wednesdays, rather than three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, slowing understanding of its tracked cases.

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