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Articles by Michael D. Cohen, MD

Pandemic Medical Update: “Herd Immunity” at Prisons?

Course of the Pandemic

Declining numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths: After the peak in mid-January at about 220,00 cases per day, infections have been declining in the United States. In mid-March, infections appeared to be stabilizing at about 60,000 per day, a level similar ...

COVID Pandemic: Medical Update

New variants of the coronavirus

February saw numerous reports about mutations and new variants of the pandemic coronavirus. A variant called B.1.1.7 was first identified in England (UK) last fall. B.1.1.7 spreads among people more easily (is more infectious) and may also cause serious illness ...

Pandemic Update: News on Vaccines and Prison and Jail Staffing

All preventive measures undertaken by individuals to protect themselves and ...

Pandemic Medical Update: The Latest on Vaccines and Prisoners

The Latest on COVID-19: Will Vaccines be Available Soon?

Because deaths lag cases and hospitalizations by at least three weeks, we can expect the daily death rate to climb substantially in the coming months. Some are predicting over 3,000 dead per day by late December. Interventions to slow infections such as wearing masks, limiting indoor public encounters at bars, restaurants and gyms, limiting the number of people attending mass gatherings such as worship services, funerals and parties, are being initiated. It will take several weeks for such interventions to have an effect on infection rates. The pandemic is going to get a lot worse before the rate of daily new infections starts to decline.

That’s extremely troubling for prisoners and their families because prisons and jails have a higher rate of infection and death than the general U.S. population, largely due to overcrowding and an inability to social distance and obtain adequate personal protective equipment. In ...

Coronavirus: A Second Wave of Infection

Infection rates are increasing rapidly throughout the U.S. At press time, the Midwest had the most rapid increase in rate of infection (steepest upward angle of the rate graph) and a higher rate of infection than ever before. In the Northeast, the current rate as of October 13 was about 95 per million population. In the Midwest, the rate was about 240 per million population. By the time you read this article, ...

The Latest News on How to Protect Yourself From Infection

by Michael D. Cohen, M.D.

Recommendations for behaviors to reduce exposure to coronavirus and infection are changing as more knowledge is gained about the virus and the disease. Of course, implementing these behaviors in a prison setting is often impossible, but it’s worth passing on newer information so prisoners can ...

Coronavirus Will Not Be Controlled in Country Until It Is Controlled in Prisons and Jails

If staff continue to get infected and introduce the virus back into the community, there will still ...

Status of the Pandemic Heading into Summer

by Michael D. Cohen, M.D.

Though the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in the United States and around the world, numerous areas of the country have staged re-openings. They were premature and poorly conceived, so it’s no surprise that half the states have increasing numbers of cases. 

Several states subsequently ...

Staying Alive: A Doctor’s Guide for Prisoners on Staying Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic

We are entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Efforts to prevent infection by closing all but essential businesses, staying at home, physical distancing, wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, no face touching, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces have begun ...