Indoor Mask Mandates Return; New COVID Drug? Combating ‘Ghost’ Guns

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Philadelphia will reinstate its indoor mask mandate next week, becoming the first major U.S. city to do so amid a rise in cases fueled by BA.2. (CNN, ABC News)

And Columbia University, Barnard College, and several other universities are requiring students to once again wear masks in classrooms. (CBS News)

In an interim analysis of a phase III trial, investigational oral drug sabizabulin cut the risk of COVID-19 death by 55% in hospitalized patients at high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, drugmaker Veru announced.

As of Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the unofficial COVID toll in the U.S. reached 80,466,661 infections and 987,159 deaths, increases of 53,123 and 499, respectively, since this time a day ago.

The State Department ordered all non-emergency government staff in Shanghai to leave and told U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to China as COVID surges there.

The move comes as Shanghai enters its second week of strict lockdowns tied to China’s “zero-COVID” policy; a viral video circulating on social media shows exasperated residents there screaming from the windows of their high-rise apartment buildings. (Fortune)

Another group hit hard by pandemic-induced anxiety: people with irritable bowel syndrome. (NPR)

Fitbit’s photoplethysmography algorithm received FDA clearance to passively identify atrial fibrillation, the company announced.

CMS issued a proposed rule aimed at improving the care and quality of nursing homes; in part, the rule will examine whether minimum staffing requirements could be part of the solution.

President Biden and the Department of Justice are planning to crack down on “ghost guns” — privately made firearms without serial numbers — amid an epidemic of gun violence across the country, the White House announced.

The FDA recently met with a handful of states over a Trump-era plan to import cheaper drugs from neighboring Canada. (Endpoints News)

A single-dose of HPV vaccine provides solid protection, a World Health Organization (WHO) panel of vaccine experts concluded; WHO called the findings a potential “game-changer” for getting more girls vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Following a medical abortion, early dispensing of long-acting reversible contraception, such as implants and intrauterine devices, was associated with a reduced likelihood of subsequent medical abortion. (Medical Journal of Australia)

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    Jennifer Henderson joined MedPage Today as an enterprise and investigative writer in Jan. 2021. She has covered the healthcare industry in NYC, life sciences and the business of law, among other areas.

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