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Florida contact tracing: As a surge in 19 Covid cases, Florida health authorities often fail to trace contacts



Florida contact tracing: As a surge in 19 Covid cases, Florida health authorities often fail to trace contacts

The Rivera family awaits the call. And waiting. And waiting. But the call never came.

“I was surprised,” said Rivera, a nurse who has since recovered from a virus attack.

Despite claims that Florida is tracking every Covid-19 case, CNN investigations have found that health authorities in Florida, now the country’s number one hotspot for the virus, often fail to trace contacts, long considered to be the main tool in epidemic control.

Florida set a record for most cases of corona virus in the US in one day on Saturday, totaling 11,458, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, and on Sunday, the state surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 cases.

The challenge of Florida contact tracing is an indication of how difficult it is for countries hit by Covid-19 to conduct correct contact tracing, which is a challenge even in the best of circumstances. This virus has spread in countries like Florida so it is a very big task to track every infected person and follow up with all their close contacts.

CNN spoke with 27 Florida people, or their family members, who tested positive using Covid-19. Of those, only five said they had received a call from the health authority asking for their contact.

There are concerns about contact tracing nationally, not just in Florida. In an interview in June, CNN asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, how he thinks contact tracing takes place in the United States.

“I don’t think we did well,” he replied.

What is contact tracking?

Contact tracing is a centuries-old practice, and the basics have not changed much: Basically, health care workers ask for a list of infected people who have been contacted while potentially communicable. The worker then tells the contacts to quarantine themselves and monitor the symptoms.

Contact tracing 101: How it works, who can be hired, and why it's so important in fighting coronavirus now
That CDC providing detailed contact tracking guidelines to the state health department, explaining that “monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community.”
White House guidelines described contact tracing as one of the responsibilities of the core states of preparedness.
A online infographic the Florida Department of Health described contact tracing as “a core public health function,” and stated that local epidemiologists would ask people with the virus to list all the people they had contacted for the past two weeks, and the county health department would monitor those contacts.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County sent CNN a statement about tracing contacts in his country.

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“When the Ministry of Health receives notification that someone has tested positive for COVID-19, the department carries out extensive epidemiological investigations in relation to [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to identify people who might have close contact with the virus. These people were then told by their regional health department and instructed to isolate themselves for 14 days after exposure to the virus, and to immediately contact their local health department and health care provider if they experience symptoms. “This process is followed for all those who test positive in Florida,” Olga Connor wrote in an email.

The number of contact tracers in Florida is unclear

That National Association of District and City Health Officers estimates that during a pandemic, people need 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people. Florida, with a population of 21.5 million people, will need 6,443 contact tracers.
Florida doesn’t have nearly that much, and it’s not alone. According to the July 3 report by Nephron Research, only seven states have enough contact tracker to meet NACCHO standards.

It is unclear how many contact trackers are employed by the state of Florida, because a spokesman for the Department of Health gave CNN two different numbers.

“More than 1,600 people, including students, epidemiologists, and other staff from across the Department, are currently involved in tracing every positive COVID-19 case in Florida,” Candy Sims, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Broward County wrote to CNN.

Florida topped 200,000 cases of coronavirus when the state marked a different July 4th

The department has involved private companies to hire 400 additional contact trackers, Sims added.

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But Alberto Moscoso, a spokesman for the health department, citing a larger number, wrote to CNN that Florida has 2,300 “individuals involved in contact tracing.”

Sims and Moscoso did not respond to CNN’s questions about the differences in their numbers.

In a online infographic, Florida Department of Health asks infected people to call their own contacts.

“Immediately notify people who have been in close contact with you when you are sick,” according to the picture, noting that the contact must be quarantined for 14 days.

That CDCHowever, giving different advice. The agency recommended that the local health department request a list of people they had close contact with an infected person starting two days before experiencing symptoms.

The Florida infographic does not explain what to do if someone is tested positive for Covid-19 but never shows symptoms. According to the CDC, in that case, people must be notified if they have close contact with an infected person two days before that person has a Covid test.

5 out of 27 Florida residents received contact tracing

Of 27 Florida residents who tested positive using Covid-19, five told CNN that they had received a call from a health worker asking for their contact.

Among the 27 cases, the earliest diagnosis was in February, and the most recent was last week.

Riveras signed Covid in early March, when contact tracers were under far less pressure than they are now. Shaila Rivera said an official from the Miami-Dade District Health Department called and asked questions about their illness but did not ask about their contacts.

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“We were surprised,” said Rivera, a child nurse practitioner. “The whole conversation took less than a minute. There was no question as to who you were in contact with? Did you go to work? There was nothing like that.”

Eleven others out of 27 said they, like Riveras, received a call from a Florida health official but were not asked for their contact.

David Pugh, who lives in Broward County, said he received such calls.

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“I do not know that we can rely on the state to do a thorough job. I think there are clearly deficiencies in the system,” he said.

Doubts about the usefulness of contact tracing

Contact tracing has been carried out since the first case in the United States more than five months ago, and there are several reasons why it failed to withstand an outbreak.

First, CDC estimates that 35% of Covid’s cases are asymptomatic, and these people are as contagious as those who have symptoms.

“How do you track contacts when someone has no symptoms?” Fauci said in his interview with CNN. “The identification, alienation, standard and standard contact search paradigms don’t work, however good you are because you don’t know who you are tracking.”

Also, he said some people were hesitant to talk with government officials.

“The points are not connected because a lot is done by telephone,” Fauci said. “Fifty percent of people because you come from authority, don’t even want to talk to you.”

On top of all these problems, some experts doubt the usefulness of contact tracing in areas such as Florida where cases are very large.

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm urged Florida leaders to focus on other strategies, such as finding out where the virus is spreading.

“For example, if young adults in a bar are a problem, you have to close the bar,” said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, who recently issued report on contact tracking.

With thousands of new cases a day in Florida, Osterholm doubts that contact tracing will have much effect.

“If Florida can get back under 50 to 100 cases a day, contact tracing can help. But at the moment, it is unlikely to have a measurable impact,” he said. “It’s like trying to put out a forest fire with a fire truck. That won’t make a dent.”

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Frankie Chavez releases single Cheguei Bem in Portuguese



Frankie Chavez releases single Cheguei Bem in Portuguese

Franky Chavez, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, announces a new album and the first song in Portuguese. “Cheguei Bem” is the debut single, heralding the return to studio albums of one of the great names of Portuguese blues/folk.

The new single is now available on all digital platforms and is accompanied by a music video that can be viewed on the artist’s official YouTube channel.

“This topic appeared in December 2020. On a sunny and cold day in the heart of the Alentejo, music appeared in succession. I don’t know why, but I immediately remembered that I needed to send the recording that I made on my mobile phone to Pedro Puppe. Maybe because I was already thinking about starting to write lyrics in Portuguese and Pedro was one of my favorite lyricists. Two days later he sent me a text and a recording of his voice in addition to what he had done. I realized that the lyrics were talking about me, and by changing one here and the other there, I interpreted it as my own. Thus, Cheguey Bem was born. Chavez explains.

This is Frankie Chavez’s first adventure in which he explores the Portuguese language in writing his original songs, another new milestone in his career that has traveled all over the world. His repertoire is on a new path, which he adds to three studio albums and an EP.

Despite all these innovations, the unique characteristics of Chavez, the influence of blues, folk, tradition and electricity, past and present, as well as the future in his sound remain unchanged. It was his unmistakable music that allowed him to conquer the world, with numerous national and international tours that earned him critical acclaim and distinction.

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Former Portuguese minister criticizes the power of digital supercompanies



Consolidation of the power of large digital conglomerates with a global reach is negatively affecting the global economy, as the power is concentrated in the hands of a few, and this situation requires a tough response from governments.

ConjurAccording to the former Minister of Economy of Portugal, the world has not adapted to the “new economy”.

This is the estimate of the former Minister of Economy of Portugal. Pedro Siza Vieira, who left his post in March this year after five years in the ministry. Participated in the X Lisbon Legal Forum organized by the Brazilian Institute of Education, Development and Research (IDP).

According to Vieira, the world has not yet adapted well to the “new economy”, and this must happen without delay.

“There are several phenomena that explain why the world is redefining the basic principles of the functioning of the global economy, and the most obvious is the emergence of new technologies. The emergence at the global level of companies that control the digital economy causes very big problems for companies that need to contact suppliers and customers through these platforms, which determines the functioning of the market, ”explained the former minister. “It requires legislative intervention to regulate this issue.”

In an interview with TV ConYur, the former Minister of Economy of Portugal also commented on the impact of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine on the global economy. There is no small risk that the planet is going through a great recession, which could trigger a wave of company shutdowns in all countries, he said.

The 10th Lisbon Legal Forum was supported by FGV Knowledge, the Brazilian Institute of Insolvency (Ibajud), the Institute for the Reform of State-Company Relations (IREE) and Décio Freire Advogados.

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Clique here watch the interview or watch below:

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Niteroi signs a cooperation agreement with the Portuguese village of Forgins – Niteroi City Hall



Niteroi signs a cooperation agreement with the Portuguese village of Forgins – Niteroi City Hall

The city of Niteroi signed this Thursday (30th) the terms of cooperation with Vila de Forjães, located in the city of Esposende, in the district of Braga, in Portugal. The Portuguese village mapped a significant number of foreigners who had emigrated to Niteroi and turned to the municipality to strengthen relations between the localities. The signing, held at a virtual meeting, is part of the program dedicated to the 33rd anniversary of the erection in the village of Forhains.

According to the cooperation agreement, Niteroi and Forjães will carry out exchanges and cooperation in various ways in the fields of science and technology, economics and trade, sports, agriculture, health, education, culture and tourism, thus promoting prosperity and development. .

Niteroi Mayor Axel Grael recalled that last month, Niteroi and Braga ratified a sister city agreement, signed in fact in February this year, to create commercial partnerships and exchange information to stimulate and develop new business. The partnership also prompted Foryaes to approach the city of Niteroi with an offer to sign.

“We have taken this initiative very positively, and we will cooperate, no matter what the cost. In Niteroi we have one of the largest communities of foreigners and a very active and representative Portuguese club. I believe that Brazil and Portugal need to cooperate more and more to share experiences. This approach has a great synergistic effect and will certainly bring positive results,” he stressed.

The project management office of the Niteroi City Hall (EGP), together with the chairman of the parish meeting, will be responsible for coordinating the cooperation. Project Management Office Secretary Katherine Azevedo stressed that the activities will be developed between the municipality and the village.

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“We are promoting Niteroi’s internationalization strategy to stimulate development in various areas of the city through activities that benefit both parties and bring people together. There is a natural synergy between peoples, mainly due to the language that facilitates this exchange. During the conversations with the Forjães team, several activities were conceived, which will be detailed in the work plan,” he said.

Forhaes Parish Assembly President Carlos Manuel Gómez de Sa said that the Forhaes Parish Council is partnering with communities where people from Forhaes live. More than 10,000 Brazilians currently live in Braga, he said, and it is one of the fastest growing cities in recent years.

“Right now we are developing the Forjanenses around the World project which, of their own accord, aims to track Forjanenses expats, the community that we have in Niteroi is very important. We had many foreigners who emigrated there, highlighting the figure of Antonio Rodriguez Alves de Faria, the founder of the Companhia de Comércio e Navegação in 1909,” he specified.

Photos: Luciana Carneiro

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