Daily Archives: September 24, 2020

Jeopardizing people’s health.

The Washington Post: ‘People are just being dishonest’: Parents are sending coronavirus-infected kids to school, Wisconsin officials warn. “As authorities in suburban Milwaukee gamed out the complex preparations to allow children back into classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic, they didn’t plan for one scenario: parents deliberately sending infected kids to school.
Yet that’s exactly what’s happened multiple times in Washington and Ozaukee counties, health officials said this week.”

The Washington Post: The code: How genetic science helped expose a secret coronavirus outbreak. “POSTVILLE, Iowa — It wasn’t until their colleagues began to disappear that workers at Agri Star Meat and Poultry realized there was a killer in their midst.
First came the rumors that rabbis at the kosher plant had been quarantined. Then a man who worked in the poultry department fell ill. They heard whispers about friends of friends who had been stricken with scorching fevers and unbearable chills — characteristic symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
Where was the contagion coming from?”

“It’s unclear why the state did not report the full number of positive antibody tests. But at least 20 percent and as many as 29 percent of Agri Star workers contracted the coronavirus between mid-March and early May. These numbers, which Guerrero confirmed, clearly exceed the CDC’s recommended definition for an outbreak — two or more linked cases of a disease — and likely meet Iowa’s 10 percent threshold.
Health experts and worker advocates have criticized Iowa’s metric, which was adapted from an older policy for monitoring flu outbreaks in schools.
Covid-19 is far more contagious and virulent than the flu, said Jan Flora, a sociology professor at Iowa State University. “To use the same threshold means that the state and the meatpacking plant will always be attempting to close the barn door after the horse has escaped.”
In denying The Post’s request for Agri Star’s case numbers, the Iowa Department of Public Health said it only released information about workplaces in cases of “active viral infection.” In other words, because the state took so long to test workers, the peak of the outbreak had already passed — so Iowa never had to acknowledge that the outbreak occurred at all.

Emphasis mine.