Some states experiencing second wave of coronavirus

(NBC) – Nearly half the country is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus cases and that has some places re-evaluating reopening plans.

A crucial part of getting things back up and running is vaccine and treatment development and now that process is shifting into high gear.

“Music City” is pressing the pause button this morning, with Nashville’s mayor announcing they’ll delay a move to Phase 3 of reopening following a cluster of new coronavirus cases over the past couple weeks. Nashville Mayor John Cooper said, “The level of cases in southeast Nashville warrants further attention. And I’ve instructed the public health department to concentrate its efforts in a more focused response in these neighborhoods. So we will continue. hopefully, just a little bit longer with phase two, while carefully observing our public health data every day.”

Nationwide, 14 states have reported a 25% increase in COVID cases, including a 93% spike for Arizona in just the past week. Some of that is due to new testing.

California’s governor says his state, which has seen daily numbers increase since Memorial Day, has leveled off in the past couple weeks and will move forward. Friday morning, gyms, museums, campgrounds and hotels will be allowed to reopen in L.A. County, places like nail salons, movie theaters, concert halls and theme parts will remain closed.

As several companies race to develop a vaccine, Moderna says it’ll enter a final testing phase next month earlier than planned.

Phase three trials are also planned this summer for Johnson and Johnson and Oxford University vaccine candidates.

Meanwhile others are focused on therapeutics and antibody treatments, like Regeneron, now testing its drug on humans.

Regeneron CEO Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer said, “We’re going to give people the actual antibodies that a vaccine might encourage them to make on their own. So we make the antibodies outside of the body. We make it through fancy biotechnological approaches, and then we inject it to you so you have the actual antibodies. Now, when we give you these antibodies, if you haven’t been infected, it should block you from getting infected.”

And at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, what’s believed to be the first of its kind in the country, surgeons performed a double lung transplant to save a woman in her 20s. Her lungs were decimated by the virus. It was a drastic life-saving intervention with hopes of a full recovery. Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern Medicine Dr. Ankit Bharat said, “Yesterday she smiled and told me just one sentence. She said, ‘Doc, thank you for not giving up on me.’”

Doctors say it could take months or even years for someone with a severe case of COVID-19 to fully recover. Only a small percentage of people who have severe COVID will actually ever need a lung transplant.

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