Your Coronavirus Update for October 19, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update for October 19; stay up to date with Elite.

More than 40.3 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Sunday evening, including at least 1.12 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported nearly 8.2 million positive COVID-19 cases and at least 220,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

CVS Pharmacy Announces Plans To Hire Thousands In Response To Pandemic

Officials with CVS Health will fill as many as 15,000 jobs among new and existing positions to help the company continue its response to the needs of communities across the country during the fall and winter months, given an anticipated increased number of incidences of COVID-19 and influenza.

More than 10,000 of the new roles are slated for full- and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians that will be filled as soon as possible to help increase support for patients and fellow pharmacy professionals, according to a press release dated Oct. 19. Many of the positions are reportedly temporary with the possibility of becoming permanent. 

“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” said Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer for CVS Health. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities.” 

Working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, CVS Health pharmacy technicians perform such duties as processing prescriptions, dispensing medications, providing information to customers or health professionals, and performing administrative tasks. Technicians also administer COVID-19 tests at more than 4,000 drive-thru testing sites at select locations across the country, officials said. Additional on-site roles that are part of the company’s recruiting effort include pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, member benefit case professionals, and distribution center employees.

The company is also recruiting for thousands of work-from-home customer service representative positions across the country, with hundreds of openings in several markets.

“By leveraging CVS Health’s innovation and technology, we can help get more Americans back to work from the convenience of their own homes, where they can contribute to the company’s ongoing efforts to help solve the country’s healthcare challenges,” said Jeffrey Lackey, vice president of talent acquisition for CVS Health.

The additional 15,000 positions are incremental to an accelerated recruiting effort that was announced in March to hire 50,000 new colleagues in support of the company’s response to the pandemic, officials said.

More Evidence That Blood Type Can Determine COVID Risk & Severity

A new study claims that people with blood type O could be less likely to contract COVID-19 and be less likely to experience severe outcomes if they do become infected while those with types A, B, and AB blood could be ay increased risk for becoming infected (and severely infected at that). According to the study’s researchers, health registry data from Denmark was used to analyze the blood types of 473,000 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and compared to the 2.2 million people in the overall population.1

The study supports the findings of research published in June that concluded blood type O could be associated with a lower risk of contracting COVID-19 and that those with blood type A may be more likely to contract the virus.2 A 2005 study additionally shows a similar connection between blood type O and the original SARS virus.3

Experts are encouraging healthcare providers to help those in their communities understand that the studies’ evidence is not reason to modify one’s behavior or that those with a certain blood type to feel that they can more safely not wear masks or forego other safety measures.

Virus Cases Hit Record Numbers In At Least 7 States

Healthcare officials in at least seven states are reporting new records for single-day increases of coronavirus cases as of Oct. 17. Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, and West Virginia have all reportedly established a new benchmark for the number of new virus cases, according to various reports.

Among the reported numbers are more than 2,200 in Indiana and Minnesota, 1,312 in Colorado, 1,094 in Idaho, 859 in North Dakota, 812 in New Mexico, and nearly 500 each in West Virginia and Wyoming.

Pandemic Sends Residents Outside of City Limits

A trend that saw more people moving into cities over the better part of a decade has been reversed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.4

Among the reasons given by residents who are now choosing suburban towns are fewer concerns regarding longer commutes to work, the ability to purchase more space for less money, and that many cultural and culinary attractions in cities are being closed or operating at limited capacity.

Apartment rentals outside of cities are also increasing as part of this new trend while home sales are said to be doing “incredibly well.”4 The report also claims that real estate analysts predict that the change may be long term if remote working continues to remain widespread.

Thank you for joining us for your coronavirus update for October 19; if you missed last week’s article, please consider reading it here.


  1. Hoiland RN, Fergusson NA, Mitra AR. The Association of ABO Blood Group With Indices of Disease Severity and Multiorgan Dysfunction in COVID-19. Blood Advances. 2020;4(20):4981-9. 
  2. Becker A. Blood Type May Affect COVID-19 Outcomes, Study Shows. Texas Medical Center. 2020. Accessed online:
  3. Cheng Y, Cheng G, Chui CH. ABO Blood Group and Susceptibility to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. JAMA. 2005; 293(12):1450-1.
  4. Grant P. Renters Flock to Suburbia, Upending Decade-long Urbanization Trend. Wall Street Journal. 2020. Accessed online:

About The Author