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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of May 24, 2020 - 12:00am

Week of: 
May 24, 2020 to May 30, 2020

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: The importance of contact tracing

KTTV-TV (May 29, Fox affiliate, Los Angeles) interviewed Alina Dorian, associate dean for public health practice at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the contact tracing training being provided by the Fielding School and UCLA Extension on contract with the California Department of Public Health. “These contact tracers are being trained to be able to find everyone, to let them know they may have been exposed, to ask them to self-quarantine, and also to help provide these wrap-around services to be able to help them self-quarantine,” Dorian said. “Basically, we are retaining state, county, and city employees, who are already part of the system, they are being retrained as contact tracers, and then we will need to find if we’ll have to add more people into that workforce.”

COVID-19: Staying cool while staying safe

The ABC News program “Good Morning America” (May 28) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on how to get the most benefit from a mask. “Heat will definitely make it more difficult for people to be outside with masks on, but it is not impossible, and it is in fact, very important,” Rimoin said. “You want to wear a mask that is light in color, because dark colors will draw in heat and get hotter faster … making sure you have something that is comfortable to you will make a very big difference.” The piece was also run by several ABC affiliates, including KGO-TV (San Francisco) KFSN-TV (Fresno), KTRK-TV (Texas), WABC-TV (New York), WLS-TV (Illinois) WTVD-TV (North Carolina), and WKOW-TV (Wisconsin).

COVID-19: Lessons learned from the U.S. response

ABC News (May 28) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on the lessons learned from the response. “We had February to prepare and we did not use that time,” Eisenman said. “It’s not just what you do, it’s when you do it. We failed to get testing up and running, we failed to get our hospitals prepared we failed to get PPR ready we failed to get our ventilator capacity up we sidelined our scientists … and we still don’t seem to have a national strategy for what might come in October.”

COVID-19: Could a larger second wave of infections come in the fall?

MSNBC (May 28) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on the possibility of a second wave of infection in the autumn. “As we’re opening up, we’ll see cases surge, and then we may see it may come back down again as people start to socially distance and take better precautions again,” Rimoin said. “What we’re very concerned about is a larger second wave of infections that would come in the fall where we would see a huge number of cases happening.”

COVID-19: Use blunt social public health measures; they will make a difference

CNN (May 27) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on best practices for individuals safety. “We also know that we haven't met all of the gating criteria to be able to reopen, yet we are reopening right now,” Rimoin said. “So the thing that we can do right now is use these blunt social public health measures that will make a difference: social distancing, masks, hand hygiene and doing the best we can to reduce the number of people in given areas, so that the virus doesn't have a place to go.”

COVID-19: Los Angeles reopens; is it the right time?

KCRW-FM (May 27, Los Angeles NPR affiliate) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the state of the pandemic response in Los Angeles County, and how it compares to others across the United States. “The Los Angeles case rate is running somewhere between 450 and 470 per 100,000. To put that in perspective, there are counties in New York and New Jersey that are eight times higher, over 3000 per 100,000,” Brewer said. “There are counties in Georgia, Louisiana, and multiple other states that are all over 1000 per 100,000. So over two or three times what we're seeing in Los Angeles.”

COVID-19: How accurate is Illinois’ mortality count?

WGN-TV (May 26, Chicago, begins at 02:17) interviewed Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of Health Policy and Management and senior fellow at the FSPH UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about claims that hospitals are over-reporting COVID-19 cases in order to obtain funding. “To suggest hospitals are somehow incentivized to do something that’s medically unnecessary I think is really questionable,” Kominski said. “I don’t think there’s legitimate evidence this is occurring on a widespread basis.”

COVID-19: Vaccines go to human safety trials

KPCC-FM (May 26, NPR affiliate, Los Angeles, begins at 01:11) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on vaccine development. “It’s really good news – we have over 100 vaccines being developed across the world,” Eisenman said. “About a dozen are in clinical trials, and they all start with the first phase, which is to look at safety.”

COVID-19: UCLA receives $1 million for COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative

KTTV-TV (May 26, Fox affiliate, Los Angeles) reported on the $1 million gift from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation to support the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, advancing research being led by Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, and Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, professor of pediatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine. The story originally ran on City News Service (Los Angeles), and was also picked up by My News LA and Telemundo.

COVID-19: Access to health care in the San Francisco Bay Area

A KQED-FM story (May 26) about a family affected by COVID-19 and barriers to receiving care cites data from a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study on Latinos’ ability to access health care and insurance coverage. Latinos are more than twice as likely to be uninsured than other racial or ethnic groups in the state, according to the study, and only about a third of Latinos get their health coverage through an employer, the lowest job-based coverage of all racial or ethnic groups.

COVID-19: “We are at great risk as the country is opening up”

MSNBC (May 25) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, on the state of the nation’s response to the pandemic. “We need to have all of these things in place that we’ve been talking about in place all this time: testing, contact tracing, good disease surveillance, numbers we can trust, and we are not there,” Rimoin said. “We are at great risk as the country is opening up.”

COVID-19: “Twelve to 18 months is an incredibly optimistic scenario”

KTLA-TV (May 25) interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, for the “Frank Buckley Interviews” program, on the future course of the response to the pandemic. “This virus is going to keep spreading until it infects 60-70 percent of the population, at least,” Rimoin said. “The way to be able to allow people to have immunity is either to be naturally infected, which could cause a monumental death toll, or through a vaccine.”

 

FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Is California reopening too quickly?

The Los Angeles Times (May 30) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plans to relax physical distancing restrictions. “It’s very difficult for people to make a living at this stage. But a responsible phased reopening, done in a prudent manner — it makes sense at this stage,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in the Bakersfield Californian.

COVID-19: U.S. hospitals reduce use of drugs championed as coronavirus treatment

Reuters (May 29) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about use of various drugs as therapeutics for patients with COVID-19. “We are still waiting for randomized, controlled data, but there is much less enthusiasm now for hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and some of the other treatments that people have been touting,” Brewer said. “There is enough observational data to suggest that they have no benefit, or a small benefit, and there are some risks.” The story was also run by the New York Times,  US News & World Report, Yahoo News, MSN, the NASDAQ, WIBQ-AM (Illinois), KFGO-AM (North Dakota), Physician’s Weekly, the National Post (Canada), Financial Post (Canada), the Chronicle-Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia) Today (Singapore), the Straits Times (Singapore), Channel News Asia, and News18 (India), among others.

COVID-19: Los Angeles County can reopen restaurants, barbershops, salons

The Los Angeles Times (May 29) quoted Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the movement to re-open some businesses in Los Angeles County. “Without having social distancing, we are going to definitely see some increased spikes and transmission occurring. That’s definitely going to happen,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in the Bakersfield Californian.

COVID-19: Face shields the next step?

WebMD (May 29) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the usefulness of face shields, as opposed to face masks, for the general population, to prevent infection via droplets. “It could potentially get in someone’s eyes if someone sneezes,” Brewer said. “That's why the person sneezing should also be wearing a mask.”

COVID-19: UCLA Fielding School of Public Health efforts spotlighted in ASPPH Friday Letter

The ASPPH Friday Letter (May 29) reported eight items related to UCLA Fielding School of Public Health experts and FSPH efforts related to the pandemic. Under “Preparedness and Response,” these included a KCBS-TV interview of Alina Dorian, associate dean and adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences, about the contact tracing training program, as well as information about a $1 million gift to the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, led by Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology. Under “Events,” professor of community health sciences, Gilbert Gee, speaking at a webinar presenting “Disease and Anti-Asian Racism: How the Past Informs the Present.” Under “ASPPH Members in the News,” the Letter listed a Wall Street Journal interview of Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management, along with an Associated Press article featuring Karin Michels, professor and chair of epidemiology. Under “Academic Resources and Tools,” a Q&A with professor of health policy and management, Vickie Mays, and the Spanish language materials for “Breaking the Chain of Infection” were included. Under “Faculty & Staff Honors,” professor Vickie Mays was also recognized for her service to UCLA.

COVID-19: How safe is it to spend time in the outdoors?

Reuters (May 28) interviewed UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Dr. Timothy Brewer about the risks inherent in going to the beach. “People have been cooped up for several weeks now (and) going to visit beaches or mountains are relatively lower-risk activities compared to being around people in an enclosed indoor space like a store or a theater,” Brewer said. “The advantage of being outside is that if someone does have COVID-19 and they are releasing respiratory droplets, the droplets will be rapidly dispersed.” The story was also run by the New York Times, US News & World Report, Yahoo News, AOL, the National Post (Canada), and Eyewitness News (South Africa), among others.

COVID-19: Reopening California could may lead to second wave without masks and distancing

The Los Angeles Times (May 28) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the potential risk of a second wave of infection. “Without having social distancing, we are going to definitely see some increased spikes and transmission occurring. That’s definitely going to happen,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran in the Bakersfield Californian, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Hagerstown (MD) Herald-Mail, Janesville (WI) Gazette, Tyler (TX) Morning Telegraph, Rome (GA) News-Tribune, and Walla Walla (WA) Union-Bulletin.

COVID-19: What happened when these northern California counties reopened?

The Fresno Bee (May 28) referenced Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, about data indicating the first 22 counties that were allowed to reopen restaurants and stores May 12-14 saw the number of new cases and deaths in those counties growing faster in the two weeks after businesses were cleared to reopening than they had in the preceding two weeks. Kim-Farley said a better picture should form after the third and fourth weeks, given that the coronavirus has a sometimes-hidden gestation period of up to two weeks. The story also ran in the Sacramento Bee and the Merced Sun-Star.

COVID-19: Aggregate data an important tool in understanding the pandemic

The Los Angeles Times (May 28) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of community health sciences and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, on the usefulness of aggregate data to understanding which kinds of job sites and occupations carry elevated risk of contracting COVID-19. “Saying aggregate data is not useful is like pulling wool over your eyes,” Eisenman said. “Of course it’s useful, we’re using it to open the country up again.”

COVID-19: For Black men, wearing a mask may be a health risk greater than COVID-19

The Los Angeles Watts Times (May 28) published a Q&A with interviewed Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, on how better data could help prevent the virus’s spread. “The portrayal of COVID-19 implies that Blacks, because of their poor health status, will get the virus and die,” Mays said. “Yet little is focused on the role of labor practices in which Blacks in America work in occupations and places more likely to put them at risk to being infected.”

COVID-19: Health officials gear up to trace the path of coronavirus contacts

Comstock's Magazine (May 28) referenced the pandemic response training being provided by the Fielding School and UCLA Extension on contract with the California Department of Public Health.

COVID-19: Tom Hanks continues donating plasma to patients

The Express Tribune (May 28, Pakistan English language) referenced Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, in a piece about the support for COVID-19 research from actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

COVID-19: What public health experts will — and won’t — do this summer

The Washington Post (May 27) interviewed Dr. Richard Jackson, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, about what summertime activities are safe. “We have to get back to having fun,” Jackson said. “But we need to do it very carefully and differently until we have this infection under control.” It also ran on MSN, the Boston Globe, and the San Antonio Express-News.

COVID-19: As California reopens, a silent threat still looms

The Los Angeles Times (May 27) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on concerns about “silent spreaders,” people who have the virus but do not show symptoms. “Without having social distancing, we are going to definitely see some increased spikes and transmission occurring. That’s definitely going to happen,” Kim-Farley said. The story also ran on Yahoo News and in Stars and Stripes.

COVID-19: Risks for long-term care workers

Medscape Medical News (May 27) interviewed Steven P. Wallace, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences and associate director of FSPH’s UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, about workers in long-term care facilities and the pressure to continue to work despite high-risk conditions. “If workers feel they cannot afford to take time off when they are sick — whether it is due to low wages, no sick leave, or a feeling of obligation to not let patients and coworkers down in understaffed settings — they are more likely to ignore symptoms, which could lead to exposing patients to COVID-19, along with other illnesses,” Wallace said. “That is a recipe for the disaster that we are seeing all too often in nursing homes around the country.”

COVID-19: “Silent spreaders” become a bigger risk as California reopens

The Los Angeles Times (May 26) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor-in-residence of epidemiology and community health sciences, on the potential risks of spread posed by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic so-called “silent spreaders,” citing polio as an example, where for every 100 people who were infected with polio, only about one person fell ill with paralysis. “So it’s highly asymptomatic. So that’s why you really can’t do contact tracing for polio, because for every case that you identify that has symptoms, there are 99 others that don’t,” Kim-Farley said. “So it’s silently spread in the community.” The story also ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Bakersfield Californian, and the Finger Lakes (NY) Times, among others.

COVID-19: “Our strategy is not working, change it’

The Standard (May 26, Nairobi, Kenya) quoted Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, in a column about how Kenyan authorities have responded to the pandemic. “This is a novel virus, new to humanity, and nobody knows what will happen,” Rimoin said. The quote was drawn from a May 21 New York Times column.

COVID-19: “Black Americans pay the price as states lift lockdowns”

The Guardian (May 25) interviewed Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, on the impact of the pandemic of African Americans. “The choice of governments to circumvent science to advance this cause of reopening falls on the backs of people of color, the poor and immigrants. It is more than reckless,” Ford said. “You can’t run a business when you aren’t breathing.”

COVID-19: How the pandemic has impacted Los Angeles’ Park La Brea neighborhood

The Los Angeles Times (May 24) interviewed Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct associate professor of epidemiology, on the course of the pandemic in Los Angeles’ Park La Brea neighborhood, the largest housing complex west of the Mississippi River. “It’s not as if just living in the same apartment building changes someone’s risk,” said Shafir, who lived in Park La Brea when she was a graduate student at UCLA. “It’s really about the contacts that an individual has had.”

COVID-19: What to do if someone in your apartment complex tests positive

The Los Angeles Times (May 24) interviewed Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health adjunct associate professor of epidemiology, on the best public health practices and ethics, for apartment residents, tenants, and landlord, regarding the pandemic. “It is largely the responsibility of the individual to submit to a contact-tracing process,” Shafir said. “We have a number of different examples where individuals have been stigmatized because of their diagnosis; (and) at a time when people are struggling with social distancing and the economic consequences thereof, there’s a possibility in that struggle [that] people will look to blame others.” The story also ran on Yahoo News and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

 

FEATURES (Other)

UCLA FSPH and DGSOM graduate spotlighted for achievements

The Los Angeles Daily News (May 30) interviewed Melissa Rios, a 2020 dual graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David M. Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for a profile. Rios, a first generation college graduate,  is a recipient of the Geffen Scholarship and studied through UCLA’s five-year PRIME program for medically underserved populations, and is set to begin a residency program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in June. “I loved science, but I was a little hesitant in pursuing a medical career because I didn’t have anyone in my household who had been a doctor,” Rios said. “So, it’s kind of hard to imagine yourself as someone or something without ever having met someone who looks like you, or has shared the same past.” The story also ran in the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and the Whittier Daily News.

Bullying is common factor in LGBTQ youth suicides, study finds

Yale News (May 26) reported on a study co-authored by Susan Cochran, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatricsthat found death records of LGBTQ youth who died by suicide were substantially more likely to mention bullying as a factor than their non-LGBTQ peers. Cochran’s co-authors include Kirsty A. Clark and Anthony J. Maiolatesi, both of the Yale School of Public Health. It was also reported by India Education Diary.

How often can I eat deli meat?

DollarShave (May 24) interviewed Dana Hunnes, adjunct assistant professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, on the best choices, from a nutrition standpoint, of deli meats, including turkey, salami and bologna. “A processed deli meat is one that to me bears no resemblance to the animal from which it came,” Hunnes said. “If you’re going to eat anything from the deli counter, I definitely recommend meats that are single-ingredient or at the most one or two ingredients.”

 

BRIEFS

New equity, diversity and inclusion program manager named at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

The Nation’s Health (May 29) reported the appointment of Janae Hubbard, MSW, as named equity, diversity and inclusion program manager at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. Hubbard, a UCLA alumnus, previously worked as associate director of Multicultural Affairs and Social Justice Programs at Columbia University.