Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Cruise outbreaks; Berlin protest; St. Louis Cardinals

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We requested an professional your high questions on going again to work through the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

Americans with out employment within the COVID-19 disaster are in limbo this weekend as Congressional leaders headed residence without acting to extend a $600 per-week expanded jobless benefit that has helped preserve each households and the financial system afloat.

It’s the newest blow for the thousands and thousands of jobless individuals who have been caught in a tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats over learn how to proceed within the subsequent section of attempting to get the sagging financial system again on observe. 

And whereas well being leaders stay optimistic {that a} vaccine could arrive by the tip of the 12 months, the nation’s demise toll swelled to over 153,000 heading into Saturday. A weekly USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data by means of late Friday exhibits three states set information for brand spanking new instances per week whereas seven states had a file variety of deaths in every week.

Here are some vital developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 153,000 deaths and over 4.5 million instances of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been over 680,000 deaths and 17.6 million instances. 

📰 What we’re studying: What does a post-vaccine world look like for seniors? Get used to native journey, telemedicine and transferring in with household. Read more. 

Our stay weblog is being up to date all through the day. Refresh for the newest information, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing. 

FDA authorizes exams that estimate quantity of antibodies in blood

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the first two COVID-19 antibody tests that may estimate the amount of antibodies in a affected person’s blood – what’s generally known as “semi-quantitative” exams.

Scientists nonetheless do not know if or how a lot antibodies can present immunity from COVID-19, or for the way lengthy. But the brand new exams might be helpful to scientists as they proceed to be taught extra about what the existence of antibodies means, Dr. Tim Stenzel, of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, mentioned in a press release.

“Today’s authorizations give us additional tools to evaluate those antibodies as we continue to research and study this virus,” Stenzel mentioned. “Patients should not interpret results as telling them they are immune, or have any level of immunity, from the virus.”

Louisiana ravaged twice by COVID-19

A strong resurgence of COVID-19 infections in Louisiana is hitting the state more durable than its first wave in spring, making it the only state in the nation to experience two devastating spikes of the virus, an evaluation of Johns Hopkins University knowledge exhibits.

The state leads in COVID-19 instances per capita, persevering with to outpace even Florida, Arizona and New York, the place dramatic surges of the virus have occurred because the outbreak started in March.

Louisiana’s expertise with COVID-19 presents perception into how a state that took strict shut-down measures to curtail the speedy unfold of the virus early on can endure a extra expansive surge after reopening. It additionally reveals how the course of the pandemic in a state can evolve, penetrating new areas comparatively untouched by the primary spherical of infections.

– William Taylor Potter and Michael Stucka, USA TODAY Network

Thousands protest in Berlin towards coronavirus restrictions

Thousands protested Germany’s coronavirus restrictions Saturday in a Berlin demonstration that insisted “the end of the pandemic” has arrived – a declaration that comes simply as authorities are voicing growing considerations about an uptick in new infections.

With few masks in sight, a dense crowd marched by means of downtown Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate. Protesters who got here from throughout the nation held up selfmade indicators with slogans like “Corona, false alarm,” “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” “Natural defense instead of vaccination” and “We are the second wave.”

– Associated Press

Dozens extra cruise crew members check constructive for COVID-19

Shortly after resuming worldwide cruises, thirty-three crew members have tested positive for COVID-19 onboard Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen, at present docked in TromsĂž, Norway, based on the cruise line. 

The virus may not have been contained onboard. Passengers from the 2 voyages had already disembarked from voyages on the ship on July 24 and once more on Friday, leaving ample time for passengers to start their voyages residence and probably unfold the virus.

Meanwhile, 10 crew members on AIDA Cruises’ AIDAblu and AIDAmar learned they tested positive for COVID-19 after boarding in Rostok, Germany, on July 22. The Carnival Corp. subsidiary nonetheless plans to restart its operations this month.

U.S. cruises have not resumed. The CDC has prolonged its “no-sail” order by means of Sept. 30 however some traces, together with Princess Cruises, have prolonged their suspensions past that date. 

– Morgan Hines

Southwest Airlines to passengers: No BYOB

Southwest Airlines, responding to a rise in reviews from flight attendants about passengers consuming their very own alcoholic drinks on the airplane, is completely including a brand new line to its in-flight security bulletins, based on a memo despatched to flight attendants.

The gist: you’ll be able to’t BYOB. Well, you’ll be able to deliver it, however you’ll be able to’t drink it on the airplane.

After passengers are reminded about no smoking, utilizing digital cigarettes or tampering with the smoke detector within the bathroom, flight attendants will announce: “It is also prohibited to consume alcohol that you’ve brought.”

The memo attributed the rise in passengers bringing their very own alcoholic drinks on board to the lack of in-flight drink gross sales and availability of alcohol in airports through the pandemic. Southwest is just serving passengers a cup of water and a package deal of snack combine.

– Dawn Gilbertson

Fauci assured virus vaccine will get to Americans in 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci mentioned Friday that he remains confident that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by early next year, telling lawmakers {that a} quarter-million Americans have already got volunteered to participate in scientific trials.

But if the longer term appears encouraging, public well being alarms are nonetheless going off within the current. Officials testifying with Fauci at a contentious House listening to acknowledged that the U.S. stays unable to ship all COVID-19 check outcomes inside two or three days, they usually collectively pleaded with Americans to adjust to primary precautions resembling sporting masks, avoiding crowds, and washing their fingers steadily.

Those easy steps can ship “the identical bang for the buck as if we simply shut your complete financial system down,” mentioned a pissed off Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including that he has research to again that up.

Looking forward, Fauci mentioned he’s “cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021. I don’t think it’s dreaming … I believe it’s a reality (and) will be shown to be reality.” As the federal government’s high infectious illness professional, Fauci heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

– Associated Press

Mexico turns into nation with third-most deaths

Mexico has grow to be the nation with the third most COVID-19 deaths on the earth, behind the United States and Brazil.

Mexican well being officers mentioned Friday there have been 688 deaths for the newest 24-hour reporting interval, pushing the nation’s whole to 46,688. That put Mexico simply forward of the United Kingdom, which has 46,119, based on the tally by Johns Hopkins University. Mexico’s inhabitants is double that of Britain.

The well being officers additionally mentioned Mexico now has had greater than 424,000 confirmed coronavirus instances through the pandemic.

Also on Friday, 9 state governors from opposition events criticized what they name the federal authorities’s “confusing messages” on measures to curb the unfold of the coronavirus.

– Associated Press

Lena Dunham had COVID-19, lingering issues

Lena Dunham has been open about her battle with the continual sickness Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Now she’s getting candid about her latest health struggle: COVID-19. 

The “Girls” alum, 34, revealed Friday that she was recognized with COVID-19 in mid-March. Although she was “reluctant” to go public together with her prognosis, Dunham hopes detailing her “intense” expertise with the virus will curb different’s “carelessness.” 

Dunham mentioned she was in self-isolation by herself for 21 days combating COVID-19, after initially complicated the virus’ signs together with her continual sickness. Dunham described a plethora of uncomfortable side effects, together with lack of “sense of taste and smell,” sensitivity to sound, numb fingers, irritation of nerves, a “hacking cough,” issue respiration, a “pounding headache” and random pink rashes.

“It felt like I was a complex machine that has been unplugged and then my wires rerouted into the wrong inputs,” she mentioned. In isolation, “I couldn’t believe how intense the loneliness had been, in addition to illness.”

– Cydney Henderson

What we’re studying

Coin scarcity in US has banks begging for spare change

The COVID-19 change shortage has bankers throughout the nation asking prospects to herald rolled cash as a strategy to pump extra pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into circulation. A Wisconsin financial institution this summer time went as far as to supply an additional $5 for each $100 in cash which might be introduced in. The deal turned out to be extremely standard and lasted however seven days.

Since mid-March, large chunks of the U.S. financial system have shut down in an effort to cut back the unfold of the coronavirus.  Laundromats, espresso retailers, financial institution branches and different spots the place cash usually modified fingers have both closed their doorways or considerably trimmed operations.

At the identical time, the “U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees,” based on the Federal Reserve. Production has been ramped up. 

– Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press

States subject warnings about accuracy of hospitalization knowledge

More than two weeks after the Trump administration ordered a sudden shift within the reporting course of for hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers, states proceed to have bother adjusting. Missouri didn’t have hospitalization knowledge obtainable on its COVID-19 web site from July 15 to July 24, at a time when every day new case counts have been practically doubling.

“Having that local data disappear during that critical period didn’t allow us to react to what was going on in our communities,” mentioned Dave Dillon, vice chairman of public and media relations for the Missouri Hospital Association.

On July 15, hospitals became required to send all patient information directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a substitute of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which had been doing it because the pandemic’s begin. The swap, which drew condemnation from many public well being professionals, was supposed to offer extra full knowledge and quicker reporting. But states have run into technological and operational issues. 

HHS nonetheless hasn’t spelled out key definitions, mentioned Dillon, resembling whether or not hospitals ought to rely sufferers awaiting check outcomes or solely these confirmed to have COVID-19. 

California, Texas and South Carolina have all issued warnings concerning the accuracy of their knowledge, based on the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group launched from The Atlantic. A have a look at COVID Tracking’s knowledge exhibits anomalies for hospitalization counts in Texas, California and Wisconsin in addition to Missouri – consecutive days with no updates, or else sudden drops or spikes. COVID Tracking says it now considers state and federal hospitalization knowledge, which it referred to as “one of the best measurements of the size and severity of outbreaks across the United States,” unreliable.

– Camille McManus

Florida sheriffs meet with Trump after convention with virus-infected colleague

Florida sheriffs who had attended a convention this week with a COVID-19-infected colleague met Friday afternoon with President Donald Trump. 

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood reported his constructive check simply hours earlier than greater than a dozen different sheriffs stood with Trump on the Tampa International Airport tarmac.

Chitwood had attended the Florida Sheriff’s Association convention earlier this week in Bonita Springs. Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and regulation enforcement officers from across the state have been additionally on the convention.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who hosted the convention and whose company polices Bonita Springs, stood behind Trump together with 14 different sheriffs as Trump praised them and introduced he had obtained “dozens” of their endorsements. Neither Trump nor the sheriffs wore masks. Two of the sheriffs mentioned that they had been rapid-tested for COVID-19 earlier than assembly with Trump.

– Devan Patel, Fort Myers News-Press

Georgia to reopen short-term hospital at big conference middle

After winding down operations on the finish of May, a short lived hospital at one of many nation’s largest conference facilities will reopen and start receiving COVID-19 sufferers subsequent week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp introduced Friday.

The Georgia World Congress Center will reopen with a complete capability of 120 beds and can home an preliminary surge of 60 beds.

“These additional hospital beds will provide relief to surrounding healthcare facilities while providing top notch care for patients,” Kemp mentioned in a press release.

More than 3,700 folks have died and greater than 186,000 folks have examined constructive for the virus in Georgia, which was the primary state to start reopening companies on the finish of April

Study: Colleges may reopen safely in the event that they display screen college students each 2 days

It might be protected for college students to return to campus this fall if schools conduct speedy coronavirus screening each two days, based on a study published Friday within the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Yale, Harvard and  Massachusetts General Hospital.

The researchers created a pc mannequin to simulate a medium-sized school with about 5,000 college students – all youthful than 30 years, nonimmune and residing in a congregate setting – and initially assumed that there have been 10 undetected, asymptomatic instances of COVID-19 on campus.

The mannequin discovered that by screening each two days with a speedy and cheap check – even when not at all times correct – coupled with “strict behavioral interventions,” a school may preserve a “controllable number” of infections at a value of $470 per scholar per semester.

US strikes largest coronavirus vaccine deal but

The United States introduced Friday it would pay French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and Great Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline as much as $2.1 billion to check and produce 100 million doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine.

More than half of the cash will help additional growth and early-stage scientific trials to make sure it’s protected and efficient. The relaxation can pay for the primary 100 million doses, with an choice on 500 million extra. The majority of the $2.1 billion will go to Sanofi, which made the vaccine candidate. GlaxoSmithKline made a booster that improves how the physique responds to it.

The deal is a part of Operation Warp Speed, a White House-led initiative geared toward getting a vaccine to cease SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Trump administration initiative has now spent greater than $eight billion on experimental vaccines that will or could not make it throughout the end line.

– Elizabeth Weise

Virus takes its toll on Muslim vacation, with curbs on journey, giant gatherings

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Muslim households worldwide to readjust their celebrations this week for Eid al-Adha, the second of two main Muslim holidays, as households cut back journey and cling to face social distancing pointers.

Eid al-Adha,  which marks the tip of the hajj, or pilgrimage, season, is a three-day celebration in Muslim-majority nations. In the United States, most observe simply sooner or later. 

This 12 months Saudi Arabia suspended journey to Mecca for the annual hajj. Worldwide, many gatherings will happen on-line this 12 months, in contrast to large celebrations resembling a gathering of 30,000 folks in a soccer stadium in Minnesota.

– Jordan Culver

More COVID-19 sources from USA TODAY

On Facebook: There’s nonetheless lots unknown concerning the coronavirus. But what we do know, we’re sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, “Coronavirus Watch,” to obtain every day updates in your feed and chat with others in the neighborhood about COVID-19.  

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