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Listeria 🍦+ Hot Kitchens 🔥

The Executive Briefing - Friday, August 11th

Health News:

  • Maui hospitals are overrun with burn patients after wildfires have devastated parts of the island. (CNN)
  • The FDA has recalled Soft Serve On The Go ice cream cups from Real Kosher Ice Cream brand due to Listeria contamination. (FDA)
  • COVID hospitalizations are up 43% from late June. (Bloomberg)
  • The WHO has named EG.5 (aka Eris) a “variant of interest” but it doesn’t pose any higher risk than other variants. (WHO)
  • Walgreens pharmacies in California have a whopping 48% COVID test positivity rate right now, meaning nearly 1 out of 2 tests are positive. (SF Chronicle)
  • Attacks at US medical centers make healthcare one of the most violent industries to work in. (AP)
  • Novo Nordisk says their obesity drug Wegovy reduces risk of heart conditions by 20%. (STAT)
  • Only 1 in 5 adults with opioid use disorder got medication to treat it in 2021, even though the treatment is effective. (CNN)
  • The White House unveiled a new heat-tracking tool to help direct resources where they’re needed most during extreme heat waves. (The Hill)
  • NJ is investigating a second Legionnaires’ outbreak not yet linked to a specific cause. (NJ.com)
  • A Dallas woman died from West Nile virus. (CBS)
  • Finnish fur farms are being decimated by the bird flu which has spread to the mink, foxes, and raccoon dogs there. (STAT)
  • The UK will no longer recommend boosters for those under 65. (UK.gov)
  • Fewer than 3 in 100 people lose the sense of taste or smell with currently-circulating COVID. In 2020, it was closer to 50%. (Washington Post)

Mental Health News:

  • Heat can destabilize mood and exacerbate mental health disorders. (NY Times)
  • Some advocates cite Simone Biles’ mental health break as a healthy model that others can learn from. (CNN)
  • The CDC found that suicides reached an all-time high in 2022. (NBC News)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or need help, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Best Questions

I heard fall boosters will be delayed. Should I wait for the new shot or get boosted soon?

Fall updated boosters aren’t yet approved by the FDA, so they’re a little behind schedule. The CDC expects that they’ll be ready by early October, even though back-to-school fall surges may happen sooner. This is a bit of a moot point, though, since only about 15% of Americans have gotten their first booster. If you’re at high risk or over 65, we recommend going to get the currently available (bivalent) booster as soon as possible. It’s not worth the risk in the meantime, and you can always get the updated booster later when your immunity is waning. For those who aren’t at particularly high risk, we do recommend getting an updated booster and flu shot this fall. If you can wait until the updated COVID booster is available, that’s great. If not, get whatever is available the day you go to get your flu shot!
Source: SF Chronicle

Now that COVID is on the rise again, can our employees still get free tests?

Testing is a major issue with this spike in COVID cases now that the government isn’t shipping out free tests, and most major insurers stopped covering them once the federal emergency ended back in May. On top of that, the tests that many of us had stockpiled are now expiring. There are some community health clinics, libraries, and other local resources that still provide some free tests. If employees want to test, they can search for locations at testinglocator.cdc.gov, or try their local community health center, food bank, library, or independent pharmacy. If you have an ongoing outbreak with multiple sick employees, consider purchasing some tests (about $12 each) and sharing them for free.
Source: Washington Post

I lost my CDC vaccine card. Does anyone care about those anymore?

Short answer: no. Unless you work in healthcare or another workplace that requires annual vaccinations as a job requirement, you’re not likely to need to show your vaccination card now that COVID is considered a standard annual vaccination like the flu shot. If you lost your card, go get the updated booster this fall and ask for a new card with the booster on it, or a printed vaccination record. Even if it doesn’t show your previous vaccinations on that card, the updated booster is all you need to prove that you’re protected, so any proof of that should be sufficient.
Source: Yahoo

Best Read:

Restaurants are adding air conditioning to their kitchens, seeing higher electricity costs, and learning to spot heat exhaustion in workers. Some are moving their prep time earlier in the morning to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and a few have even had to close amid 120°+ days:

130 Degrees and Rising: How Kitchen Workers Are Dealing With Record Heat


Schedule Your Fall Flu Shots:

Flu shots are more important than ever this year. Email flu@zerohourhealth.com to learn more about how Zero Hour Health can help with onsite flu shots or pharmacy vouchers for your smaller locations and remote employees.

Note: We’re off next week for a much-anticipated vacation. We’ll be back on the 22nd and will send push notifications for any important breaking news.

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.