Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge

first_imgRural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge October 17, 2020 5:38 PM By STEPHEN GROVESAssociated Press Posted: October 17, 2020 5:38 PM Updated: October 17, 2020 5:56 PM Thin resources and high death rates have plagued other small communities. Blair Tomsheck, interim director of the health department in Toole County, Montana, worried that the region’s small hospitals would need to start caring for serious COVID-19 patients after cases spiked to the nation’s highest per capita. One out of every 28 people in the county has tested positive in the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.“It’s very, very challenging when your resources are poor — living in a small, rural county,” she said.Infections can also spread quickly in places like Toole County, where most everyone shops at the same grocery store, attends the same school or worships at a handful of churches.“The Sunday family dinners are killing us,” Tomsheck said.Even as outbreaks threaten to spiral out of control, doctors and health officials said they are struggling to convince people of the seriousness of a virus that took months to arrive in force. Konitzer warned that the uncontrolled spread of infections has overwhelmed the county’s health systems.“I’m just waiting to see if our community can change our behavior,” she said. “Otherwise, I don’t see the end in sight.—-This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Konitzer in one instance.FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinTop Videos WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) — Rural Jerauld County in South Dakota didn’t see a single case of the coronavirus for more than two months stretching from June to August. But over the last two weeks, its rate of new cases per person soared to one of the highest in the nation.“All of a sudden it hit, and as it does, it just exploded,” said Dr. Tom Dean, one of just three doctors who work in the county.As the brunt of the virus has blown into the Upper Midwest and northern Plains, the severity of outbreaks in rural communities has come into focus. Doctors and health officials in small towns worry that infections may overwhelm communities with limited medical resources. And many say they are still running up against attitudes on wearing masks that have hardened along political lines and a false notion that rural areas are immune to widespread infections. In Wisconsin, conservative groups have sued over Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate.Whether the requirement survives doesn’t matter to Jody Bierhals, a resident of Gillett who doubts the efficacy of wearing a mask. Her home county of Oconto, which stretches from the northern border of Green Bay into forests and farmland, has the state’s second-highest growth in coronavirus cases per person.Bierhals, a single mother with three kids, is more worried about the drop in business at her small salon. The region depends on tourists, but many have stayed away during the pandemic.“Do I want to keep the water on, or do I want to be able to put food on the table?” she asked. “It’s a difficult situation.”Bierhals said she thought the virus couldn’t be stopped and it would be best to let it run its course. But local attitudes like that have left the county’s health officer, Debra Konitzer, desperate. Dean took to writing a column in the local weekly newspaper, the True Dakotan, to offer his guidance. In recent weeks, he’s watched as one in roughly every 37 people in his county has tested positive for the virus.It ripped through the nursing home in Wessington Springs where both his parents lived, killing his father. The community’s six deaths may appear minimal compared with thousands who have died in cities, but they have propelled the county of about 2,000 people to a death rate roughly four times higher than the nationwide rate.Rural counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana sit among the top in the nation for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. Overall, the nation topped 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the university’s count on Friday; the true number of infections is believed to be much higher because many people have not been tested.In counties with just a few thousand people, the number of cases per capita can soar with even a small outbreak — and the toll hits close to home in tight-knit towns.“One or two people with infections can really cause a large impact when you have one grocery store or gas station,” said Misty Rudebusch, the medical director at a network of rural health clinics in South Dakota called Horizon Health Care. “There is such a ripple effect.” By Doctor Report Wessington Springs is a hub for the generations of farmers and ranchers that work the surrounding land. Residents send their children to the same schoolhouse they attended and have preserved cultural offerings like a Shakespeare garden and opera house.They trust Dean, who for 42 years has tended to everything from broken bones to high blood pressure. When a patient needs a higher level of care, the family physician usually depends on a transfer to a hospital 130 miles (209 kilometers) away.As cases surge, hospitals in rural communities are having trouble finding beds. A recent request to transfer a “not desperately ill, but pretty” sick COVID-19 patient was denied for several days, until the patient’s condition had worsened, Dean said.“We’re proud of what we got, but it’s been a struggle,” he said of the 16-bed hospital.The outbreak that killed Dean’s dad forced Wessington Springs’ only nursing home to put out a statewide request for nurses. Sponsored Content How Meghan Markle Looks Without Makeup Is Tough To Handle “It’s kind of like getting a blizzard warning and then the blizzard doesn’t hit that week, so then the next time, people say they are not going to worry about it,” said Kathleen Taylor, a 67-year-old author who lives in Redfield, South Dakota.In swaths of the country decorated by flags supporting President Donald Trump, people took their cues on wearing masks from his often-cavalier attitude towards the virus. Dean draws a direct connection between Trump’s approach and the lack of precautions in his town of 956 people.“There’s the foolish idea that mask-wearing or refusal is some kind of a political statement,” Dean said. “It has seriously interfered with our ability to get it under control.”Even amid the surge, Republican governors in the region have been reluctant to act. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said recently, “We are caught in the middle of a COVID storm” as he raised advisory risk levels in counties across the state. But he has refused to issue a mask mandate.South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has carved out a reputation among conservatives by foregoing lockdowns, blamed the surge in cases on testing increases, even though the state has had the highest positivity rate in the nation over the last two weeks, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Positivity rates are an indication of how widespread infections are.last_img read more

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First in Europe for glass

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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Air Liquide to upgrade Canada ASU

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Hangyang awarded four-ASU contract

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Regulating will-writing is simple common sense

first_imgThe Gazette has been known to raise an eyebrow at the laissez-faire proselytising of the Legal Services Board – that’s not what it is (or ought to be) there for. But this week the super-regulator has been effortlessly outflanked by justice secretary Chris Grayling (pictured), seemingly in defiance of all reason. All the heavyweight initialisms lined up in support of regulating will-writing – LSB, TLS, SRA, ILEX and LSCP, in what amounted to a rare display of unanimity. There was a reason for that. Regulating will-writing is simple common sense. To borrow the language of the law, it was an open-and-shut case: the consumer watchdog found ‘defective wills on a shocking scale and evidence of bad sales practices’. No matter. Libertarian dogma has prevailed, and perhaps, in light of other recent events, we should not be too surprised. Mr Grayling’s rebuff amounts to a shrug of the shoulders and a dismissive cry of ‘caveat emptor’ – or ‘caveat testator’ perhaps. For the regulators, meanwhile, it is back to the drawing board. The SRA wants all legal services to be reserved, which has never appeared more unlikely. There will be those who wonder, too – yet again – why the LSB continues to drain the profession’s money, when its political master waves it away on an issue as important as this one. What will he ‘deregulate’ next?last_img read more

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Tyro operator tests the water

first_imgOn JANUARY 27 the UK’s Office for Rail Regulation announced that it was ’minded’ to approve access rights for Grand Central, an open access passenger company that had previously sought to run services over the East Coast Main Line in 2003, to operate three trains a day between Sunderland and London King’s Cross from 2007. The company had also applied to run to and from Bradford, but this was refused.ORR also ruled on January 27 against an application from Great North Eastern Railway to add five daily services each way between London and Leeds. Given that GNER’s franchise contract with government includes a commitment to increase London – Leeds services from 53 to 65 per weekday by December 2007, GNER reacted strongly. ORR had originally asked for responses by February 6 but was obliged to extend the deadline ’in view of the complexity of the issues involved’. A final decision is now expected ’in mid-March’.last_img read more

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Stokey Love is in the air

first_imgHoward Campbell Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Stokey Love as a sound system selector. The jocular Jamaican will be spinning the ‘tunes’ on August 26 at the Pre-Labor Day Weekend Party, Kiwanis Center,  in Lauderdale Lakes.It will be Love’s third time at the event. His game plan is similar to his previous visits.“Wi play music from the ‘60s to the ‘90s once it fits in. Wi play music from the 2000s too, but some nice lovers rock that the people can relate to,” he told CNW.Stokey Love, whose real name is Seymour Mundy, started playing music at a young age. He grew up in West Kingston during the 1960s. That area’s thriving music scene shaped his appreciation for different sounds, from mento to ska, rocksteady and soul from the United States.That diversity formed his playlist when he started Soul Ghetto sound system in 1968. Twenty years later, it had a name change to Rapture.Though Rapture is no longer around, Stokey Love still plays the party scene in Jamaica. But these days he is best known as a Disc Jockey on KOOL FM, a popular oldies station.Stokey, got his nickname however, from working in the sugar industry in 1970, when his coworkers saw it fit to name him after the Civil Rights Activist, Stokely Carmicheal, as he was always defending their rights.Read More: Stokey Groovin’ to 50 years of Rock SteadyWhile his eclectic tastes largely suits a mature audience, Love believes younger listeners are tuning into him and KOOL.“A lot of them are in the car when their parents are listening to KOOL, so eventually they get won over,” he said.DJ Radcliffe and DJ Everton are also scheduled to take the turntables at the Pre Labor Day weekend Party.last_img read more

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No DACA Deal Reached During Last Week’s White House Meeting

first_imgDemocratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer met with President Trump and Republican leaders at the White House last Thursday for 2018 budget bill talks, presumably to see how far apart the parties are about budget priorities in the coming year. Among other demands, the Democrats want DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) protection included in the budget plan to safeguard Dreamers before the DACA program (which was cancelled by Trump in September 2017), ends permanently in March 2018.Opposition to tagging DACA to budgetTrump and the Republican leadership oppose attaching immigration legislation to the bill, with the Trump Administration even releasing its own immigration demands recently, called “Immigration Principles and Policies”, providing an outline of the Trump administration’s proposals on immigration.The immigration principles were sent to Congressional leaders with a cover letter demanding that any DACA legislation also include Trump’s outlined immigration reforms as well. The principles include border, interior security and more extreme demands to overhaul the U.S. immigration system and eliminate most family immigration categories, all provisions of the controversial RAISE Act, currently pending in congress.Willing to shut down government over DACAWith the government shutdown looming, both sides agreed to a short extension of budget funding through December 22, 2018, to keep the government open. However, last Friday, Democratic leader Pelosi told reporters that Democrats are prepared to allow the government to shut down if Republicans refuse to include DACA protection and other demands in the bill. Pelosi also made it clear that Democrats would agree to reasonable border security measures, but never agree to extreme immigration reforms contained in the RAISE Act which would restrict legal immigration, even at the expense of protection for Dreamers.Update by: Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersenlast_img read more

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Lauderhill PD Secret Santa-Holiday Toy Give-Away on December 19

first_imgOn December 19, 2017, the Lauderhill Police Department will host the 2nd Annual “Secret Santa” holiday toy give-away. During this event, Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley (Secret Santa) along with her staff will visit each of our elementary schools and present a bicycle along with a bag of toys to two deserving students from each school.The students chosen to receive this honorable recognition have been selected by school administrators and staff based on the student’s academic achievements, good citizenship and overall conduct.  This event will begin promptly at 9:00 am and end once all the gifts have been presented.School visit times: Below are the schools and projected times for the visit. Our goal is to spend roughly 15 minutes at each school. The teacher will introduce the student and the Chief and her staff will present the gifts and offer words of encouragement for continued success.Endeavor Elementary 2701 NW 56th Ave           9:00 to 9:30 amRoyal Palm Elementary 1951 NW 56th Ave                       9:40 to 10:10 amCastle Hill Elementary 2640 NW 46th Ave           10:20 to 10:50 amLauderhill Paul Turner Elementary 1500 NW 49th Ave 11:00 to 11:30 amLarkdale Elementary 3250 NW 12th Place           11:45 to 12:15 pmMartin Luther King Elementary 591 NW 31st Ave 12:25 to 12:50pmBroward Estates Elementary 441 NW 35th Ave 1:00 to 1:30 pmlast_img read more

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President Kagame calls for AU inclusion in G20

first_imgRwanda’s President Paul Kagame poses for a picture with the G20 host President Mauricio Macri at the Summit in Buenos Aires. [Photo: Rwanda Presidency]Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has called for the inclusion of the African Union Commission as a permanent member of the G20, and increased participation by Africa in the global development sector in order to harness the full potential of the continent’s opportunities.Kagame was speaking at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a in his capacity as African Union Chairperson.“Africa is the reservoir of global economic opportunity in the coming decades. We have the fastest-growing cities, the most youthful population, and many of the highest-growth economies” president Kagame said.“To take full advantage, Africa needs to increase its participation in global value chains, ensuring of course that our people receive their rightful share of the benefits. Africa therefore looks forward to working more closely with partners in the G20 to reinforce the pillars of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, alongside the Sustainable Development Goals. In that context, I would like to put forward the idea that a standing role for the African Union Commission in the G20 configuration would strengthen coordination in important ways, including on international financial governance” he added.President Kagame: In that context, I would like to put forward the idea that a standing role for the African Union Commission in the G20 configuration would strengthen coordination in important ways, including on international financial governance #G20Summit— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) November 30, 2018The 2018 G20 Summit is being held under the theme; “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development.”If admitted, the AU Commission would be the second regional bloc to join the organisation after the European Union Commission.As it is, the G20 is a multinational forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries of the world’s largest economies and the European Union Commission. South Africa is the only African state in the members-list of the bloc.Key priorities of the African continent to be highlighted at the forum include: an increase in the continent’s level of engagement with the G20, strengthening G20’s commitments to Africa’s Agenda 2063 and greater integration of African economies in the global economy.President Kagame also held a meeting with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.Related #29thAUSummit: President Kagame presents report on need for AU reforms President Kagame calls for more investment in Rwandacenter_img Rwanda’s President Kagame takes over as AU chairmanlast_img read more

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