Four more travel destinations listed as ‘high risk’

COVID-19 and travel concept
Photo (c) martin-dm – Getty Images

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 84,885,712 (84,774,441)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 1,008,881 (1,008,593)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 532,504,668 (532,038,696)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,300,491 (6,299,323)‌

Four more destinations marked as “high risk”

While planes are full and demand for travel is surging, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cautioning Americans that there are still risks. The health agency has added four more destinations to the “high risk” category for summer travel.

This week, the CDC added Guyana, Mongolia, Namibia, and the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Level 3 list. All four areas had previously been listed at Level 2.

The new additions to Level 3 join France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom on the list of countries that present the highest risk for contracting COVID-19.

Half of COVID-19 patients have lingering symptoms

Penn State researchers say half of COVID-19 patients still deal with lingering symptoms from a prior infection. In their just-concluded study, they describe two conditions – long COVID and what are known as “post-COVID conditions.”

Both cover a wide range of continuing health problems. Chief among them is a distorted sense of smell. Some people lose the ability to smell altogether for an extended period of time. The less severe symptoms fall into the post-COVID condition category.

Penn State researchers say long COVID usually lasts up to six months after the initial COVID virus onset, but scientists at the CDC say it can last weeks, months, or even years.

COVID-19 can increase risk of psychiatric issues

A study by scientists at Oregon State University has found that COVID-19 patients had a roughly 25% increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder in the four months following their infection when compared to people who were not infected.

The researchers looked at the rate of psychiatric diagnoses for two time periods: from 21 to 120 days after patients’ COVID-19 diagnosis, and from 120 to 365 days after diagnosis. The study was limited to patients with no previous mental illness.

Around the nation

  • Michigan: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a public affairs conference on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. At least 14 other people who attended the event were also infected. The event was put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, and more than 1,000 public officials, journalists, and others attended. 

  • Utah: The latest COVID-19 wave appears to be over in Utah. State health officials reported 5,728 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Sunday, nearly the same as the week before. Cases had been rising quickly across the state due to the highly transmissible subvariants of the Omicron variant.

  • Illinois: Chicago health officials say city residents who traveled to parts of the U.S. that were categorized as medium or high COVID-19 community transmission levels should take steps to prevent the spread of the virus on their return. The Chicago Department of Public Health notes that 7.4% of U.S. counties are now listed at either the medium or high community level.

  • Minnesota: As the Omicron wave begins to recede in Minnesota, state health officials say the latest wave appeared to target seniors. They say around 90% of coronavirus deaths during May in Minnesota were among people aged 65 and older. It was just 66%  in December.

  • Kentucky: New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across the state, according to state health officials. The Kentucky Health Department’s weekly COVID-19 report shows that the state’s positivity rate has risen in the last week to 12.42%.