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Utah COVID Cases Rise, University Hospital ICU at 95 Percent Capacity

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The intensive care unit at the University of Utah Health hospital has reached 95 percent capacity, according to Dr. Emily Spivak, associate professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases at the university.



Employees at Spectrum Solutions assembling COVID-19 saliva test kits on September 21 in Draper, Utah. The intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of Utah Health hospital was reported to have reached 95 percent on Thursday, while average daily new cases across the state were on an upward trend in the past two weeks.


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Employees at Spectrum Solutions assembling COVID-19 saliva test kits on September 21 in Draper, Utah. The intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of Utah Health hospital was reported to have reached 95 percent on Thursday, while average daily new cases across the state were on an upward trend in the past two weeks.

The hospital provides care for residents in Utah as well as “residents of five surrounding states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental U.S.,” according to its LinkedIn profile.

Speaking at the state’s weekly press conference on Thursday, Dr. Spivak said: “Our hospital is getting full. Our ICU is getting full. It was 95 percent full this morning.”

“As a physician, as a mother and a concerned citizen, I plead with you, wear a mask at all times out of your home.”

The chief executive officer at the University of Utah Health, Dr. Michael Good, said at a Tuesday briefing: “We began in early September seeing this dramatic increase in the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day.

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“Hospital trends across the state, and here at University Hospital, [are] showing increasing hospitalization for coronavirus.

“The increase in the number of deaths is just now starting to turn up…unfortunately, the hospitalization, as measured by the number of people in the hospital, continues to increase.

“Fortunately, we’ve seen a little bit of a leveling off in those that are in the ICU. So, there still is this general trend upward, but with a

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NEC OncoImmunity AS and Oslo University Hospital Team Up to Develop a Diagnostic for COVID-19 Using Artificial Intelligence

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NEC OncoImmunity AS (NOI), a subsidiary of NEC Corporation (NEC), and Oslo University Hospital (OUH) are pleased to announce that they have recently been awarded a prestigious grant from the Research Council of Norway (RCN) to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that will enable the rapid design of T-cell diagnostics for emerging or endemic infectious diseases. The project will develop a novel T-cell diagnostic for the current COVID-19 pandemic to complement the current serological tests. This will improve the ability to identify immune responses and acquired immunity, which is desperately needed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Current technologies involve extensive trial and error to define exactly which parts of the pathogen induces robust immunity. These so-called immunodominant epitopes need to be identified for the general population. These demanding, work-intensive and time-consuming steps are necessary to develop tests to monitor the T-cell response to viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 (the infectious virus that causes COVID-19).

Reliable diagnostic tests to identify immune individuals are critical to overcome the ever-looming threat of COVID-19. The AI-based diagnostic to be developed in this project will complement antibody tests and enable individuals who are naturally immune to the virus following infection with SARS-CoV-2 or other seasonal coronaviruses, or who have acquired immunity following vaccination, to be identified.

“Antibody tests are an important aspect of understanding the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection and will remain a mainstay of its diagnosis. However, protective SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses occur in antibody-negative infected individuals who have successfully resolved the infection. In addition, we may already have underlying immunity in the population due to cross reactivity to endemic seasonal human coronaviruses,” said Professor Ludvig A. Munthe Ph.D., Head of Research and Group Leader, Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital.

Although the technology to develop antibody diagnostics is readily

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George Washington University Hospital recovers from cyberattack that forced operations offline

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The IT network and medical record system at GWU Hospital were restored this week and the facility’s online applications are being reconnected, Jane Crawford, a UHS spokeswoman, said in an email. The hospital had its systems taken offline shortly after the cyberattack was detected.

Staff at the hospital relied on offline record-keeping while UHS dealt with the attack that affected some of the system’s clinical and financial operations, officials from the national hospital chain said.

Patients’ electronic medical records were not directly affected by the cyberattack, according to a statement issued Monday. There also was no indication that employee data had been accessed.

Crawford did not immediately respond to a request to comment on reports that the hospital chain was hit by ransomware. But the Associated Press reported that the company’s description of the attack is consistent with the type of malware where data can only be restored with software keys after ransoms are paid.

UHS this week has made “substantial progress toward restoration of online operations” across its U.S.-based hospitals, outpatient clinics and behavioral health centers, according to the statement issued Monday. The cyberattack did not affect UHS’s facilities based in the United Kingdom, officials said in the statement.

Despite the network troubles that affected UHS, staff at the Foggy Bottom hospital were still able to treat patients safely, officials said.

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