Coronavirus cases drop at US homes for elderly and infirm
The overall trend for long-term care residents is improving, though, with fewer new cases recorded and fewer facilities reporting outbreaks. Nursing homes have been a priority since vaccinations began in mid-December, and the federal government says 1.5 million long-term care residents have already received at least an initial dose. Some 2,000 nursing homes are now virus-free, or about 13% nationally, according to an industry group, and many are dealing with far fewer cases than before. Pennsylvania-based Genesis HealthCare, which operates more than 325 nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or senior living communities in 24 states, has seen similar improvements, said spokeswoman Lori Mayer. Cases among residents fell by 48% at homes where immunizations had occurred, compared to a 21% decline at non-vaccinated facilities nearby.
Christmas in the ICU: Decorations, lights and many tears
(AP Photo/Julie Bennett)OPELIKA, Ala. – A Christmas tree stands outside the intensive care room where a man stricken by COVID-19 lies unconscious, a machine breathing for him. The medical center about 60 miles northeast of Montgomery faces a new influx of COVID-19 patients as the pandemic intensifies. That means staff members can hang decorations on patients' doors in the ICU but cannot attend after-work Christmas parties. A huge Christmas tree stands near downtown boutiques, salons and restaurants where hundreds of residents crowded together for a holiday program last weekend. The veteran nurse oversees COVID-19 patients on a floor that has been decorated for Christmas with strings of white lights and stockings.
Harvey Updyke, 'Bama fan who poisoned trees at Auburn, dies
OPELIKA, Ala. Harvey Updyke, the overzealous University of Alabama football fan who poisoned landmark oak trees at archrival Auburn University and went to jail after bragging about it on a radio show, has died. Updyke's son, Bear Updyke, named for 'Bama coaching legend Paul Bear Bryant, said the one-time Texas state trooper died Thursday, al.com reported. Authorities learned what had happened only after Updyke, using a pseudonym, announced what he had done on a call-in sports talk show. Updyke said he was upset after Auburn beat Alabama in 2010 and then went on to win the national championship. In a public Facebook post, daughter-in-law Marsha Updyke recalled Updyke as a passionate, lighthearted family man who carried a gun, wore boots and loved attention.