The good news is Marin moved today to the less restrictive COVID-19 shutdown status of Orange.
That allows for businesses to open at 50 percent capacity, and clear the way for an incrementally less restrictive life in Marin.
The bad news is last week Marin reached the macabre milestone of 100 deaths since the pandemic began. It is a reminder that the pandemic remains an active threat to Marin residents.
Last week, the U.S. death toll from the virus rose above 223,000 and on Friday, Oct. 23, the nation recorded its second-highest new daily case tally of more than 75,000 and data showed more than 40,000 people are hospitalized.
There are currently 41,010 Americans in hospitals with COVID-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project. It’s the highest level since Aug. 28.
In Marin, as of Oct. 22, five people were hospitalized for COVID-19.
Marin has logged 4,806 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and administered 91,592 tests for the virus. During the entire pandemic only 169 people were hospitalized.
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences Inc. won Food and Drug Administration approval for its Veklury COVID-19 treatment last week. The antiviral drug, until now called remdesivir, in early May received an emergency use authorization (EUA). Veklury is the first COVID-19 therapy to receive a full FDA approval during the pandemic and has been considered the standard of care when it comes to treating hospitalized patients since it received emergency authorization.
It is hoped that remdesivir will reduce recovery time in COVID-19 patients. It is unclear whether it will reduce the death rate.
In the Bay Area, 113,567 COVID-19 cases have been identified and 1,731 people have died with the virus. COVID-19, if not the primary cause of the death, was identified as a contributor to the death.
In California, 894,936 cases have been logged with 17,281 deaths. While other parts of the United States are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, California has remained relatively stable.
In Europe, it appears the virus infection rate is picking up. The EU’s disease control agency warned that transmission levels of COVID-19 in 23 member countries and the United Kingdom were now of “serious concern,” Agence France-Presse reported.
All EU countries except Cyprus, Estonia, Finland and Greece fall into that category, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC). “The continuing increases in Covid-19 infections… pose a major threat to public health, with most countries having a highly concerning epidemiological situation,” ECDC director Andrea Ammon said in a statement.