COVID may be back on the rise, an audit shows thousands of undercounted cases, and more COVID news

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 news.

NY health department audit shows nursing home deaths undercounted by about 4,100

As the second anniversary of a controversial Cuomo Administration order nears, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an audit Tuesday evening that determined the Department of Health was not properly prepared to help the state’s nursing homes mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In a 58-page report, DiNapoli’s audit found that rather than give “accurate and reliable information” during the pandemic, the department instead molded its statements to match what former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other top executive chamber officials – including state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker – were saying.

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UK eases COVID-19 testing, despite case uptick

After dropping nearly all coronavirus restrictions last month, Britain is now ending some of its most widespread COVID-19 testing and monitoring programs, a move some scientists fear will complicate efforts to track the virus and detect worrisome new variants.

Officials have largely dismissed those concerns, despite a recent uptick in cases across Europe, insisting that high immunization rates will help dampen future waves of disease.

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COVID is coming back in Europe

It has been two years since the Covid-19 pandemic became a reality for millions of people in Europe and many of the region’s leaders now believe it is time to move on. But as countries shed restrictions, cases and hospitalizations are slowly inching up and public health experts are worried about the consequences.

Covid-19 cases are rising in Britain just two weeks after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted most mitigation measures. Infections were 48% higher last week compared with the one before and hospitalizations were up 17% over the same period, CNN’s Brenda Goodman and Deidre McPhillips report.

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Should parents be worried about vaccine effectiveness for 5- to 11-year-olds?

To many parents’ dismay, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the Covid-19 vaccine is less effective against the Omicron variant for children ages 5 to 11 than for older children and adults. Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduced the risk of Omicron infection by 31% among children 5 to 11 years old, compared with 59% among those 12 to 15.

Vaccinated children ages 5 to 11 were about 46% less likely to need medical treatment for Covid-19 from an urgent care clinic or emergency department, compared with unvaccinated children, a previous CDC study found.

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