Pandemic Report: Helping businesses recover | understanding the virus | masks for flu season

Helping businesses affected by COVID-19

CLEVELAND, OH—Twelve health systems signed a joint $1 billion commitment to boost spending collectively on local, minority, women-owned small businesses and enterprises, most of which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of health systems includes Cleveland Clinic, Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids), Henry Ford Health System (Detroit) and Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati).

Why are older people more vulnerable to COVID-19?

ROCHESTER, MN—Older adults and those with chronic disease are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Medical School found that older people have more senescent cells (which allow the coronavirus to get into normal cells more easily).

Poorly fitting face masks can double infection risk

CINCINNATI, OH—The mask issue hasn’t gone away yet. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that poorly fitting face masks greatly increased the risk of infection from airborne COVID pathogens. To determine how fit affects infection risk, researchers used CT scans of three different face masks attached to three differently sized dummy heads to measure the gap between the face and fabric. The findings indicate that poorly fitting masks can have substantial leaks around the face. Maybe something to think about during flu season?

Understanding how the virus is spread

COLUMBUS, OH—A study at Ohio State University used in-culture techniques to confirm SARS-CoV-2 transmission via cell-to-cell contact. The results will help better understand how SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spreads in the body.