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Trump Embraces Fringe Theories on Protests and the Coronavirus – The New York Times

What does President Trump think will happen when he continues to insist on fanning the flames of hate and division in our society and using the politics of fear to whip up his supporters? Mr. Biden asked. He is recklessly encouraging violence. He may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is.

The latest social media outburst by the president came just days after he accepted the nomination for a second term in an election in which he has been trailing for months. Mr. Trump sought to capitalize on any momentum generated by the Republican National Convention, posting a series of tweets asserting that he is actually leading in polls.

A new poll by Morning Consult, however, showed that Mr. Trump had narrowed Mr. Bidens lead but that the president still trailed. The survey, conducted on Friday, the day after the conclusion of the Republican convention, found Mr. Biden ahead 50 percent to 44 percent, a six-point lead compared with the former vice presidents 10-point advantage a week ago after his own convention. Another poll by Yahoo News and YouGov likewise showed Mr. Bidens lead shrinking to six percentage points, down from nine points.

A post-convention bounce is typical in presidential years but it does not always last, and an ABC News-Ipsos poll showed that Mr. Trump did nothing to improve his own standing with voters, only 31 percent of whom reported a favorable view, roughly the same as before the Republican convention. Democrats, however, are growing more concerned that Mr. Trump is successfully using violence in the streets after police shootings of Black Americans to energize his own supporters and tar Mr. Biden and his party as weak on law and order.

In that vein, many of Mr. Trumps Sunday morning tweets focused on the violence in Portland, where the shooting death of a man exacerbated an already tense situation. The man was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in the Portland area that has clashed with protesters before.

Updated August 27, 2020

Mr. Trump repeatedly assailed Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland for resisting federal help and delighted in showcasing a peaceful protest held at the mayors own home on Friday, even retweeting a post accusing the Mr. Wheeler of committing war crimes. Rather than calling for calm, Mr. Trump seemed to justify aggressive action against demonstrators by his supporters.

The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing, Mr. Trump wrote, as he retweeted a journalists post reporting that Trump supporters were firing paintballs and pepper spray, including at the reporter. The people of Portland wont put up with no safety any longer. The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!

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Trump Embraces Fringe Theories on Protests and the Coronavirus - The New York Times

Elites are flouting coronavirus restrictions — and that could hurt us all – CNN

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Although nearly half of the country's homes don't have internet connection, about 93 percent have television. CNN's Matt Rivers reports on how Mexico's government hopes to reach all children.","descriptionText":"More than 30 million students in Mexico will restart classes with all schooling virtual. Although nearly half of the country's homes don't have internet connection, about 93 percent have television. 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French authorities have dispatched police to enforce coronavirus regulations. CNN's Melissa Bell reports.","descriptionText":"Marseille, a popular tourist city on France's southern coast, has seen a spike in positive coronavirus cases. French authorities have dispatched police to enforce coronavirus regulations. 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CNN's Milena Veselinovic reports.","descriptionText":"Researchers in Leipzig, Germany, staged a 1,500-person experimental indoor concert to better understand how Covid-19 spreads at big events and how to prevent it. CNN's Milena Veselinovic reports."},{"title":"Defying Bolsonaro, Brazilian congress orders mandatory mask wearing","duration":"01:24","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/21/brazil-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-congress-jair-bolsonaro-masks-romo-lkl-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/21/brazil-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-congress-jair-bolsonaro-masks-romo-lkl-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200821113009-brazil-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-congress-jair-bolsonaro-masks-romo-lkl-intl-ldn-vpx-00004317-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/21/brazil-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-congress-jair-bolsonaro-masks-romo-lkl-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Brazil's congress voted for mandatory mask wearing in closed spaces such as commercial establishments, offices, schools and places of worship, overturning President Jair Bolsonaro's previous veto. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.","descriptionText":"Brazil's congress voted for mandatory mask wearing in closed spaces such as commercial establishments, offices, schools and places of worship, overturning President Jair Bolsonaro's previous veto. CNN's Rafael Romo reports."},{"title":"WTO Director-General candidate: Trade can play part in economic recovery","duration":"04:44","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/08/21/wto-global-trade-coronavirus-pandemic-okonjo-iweala-busari-intv-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/08/21/wto-global-trade-coronavirus-pandemic-okonjo-iweala-busari-intv-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200821123415-ngozi-okonjo-iweala-nigeria-wto-qmb-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/08/21/wto-global-trade-coronavirus-pandemic-okonjo-iweala-busari-intv-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"CNN's Stephanie Busari interviews Nigeria's former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who says global trade can play an important role in helping the global economy bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.","descriptionText":"CNN's Stephanie Busari interviews Nigeria's former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who says global trade can play an important role in helping the global economy bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."},{"title":"Russia announces large-scale vaccine trial after registering it","duration":"03:15","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/20/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-trials-cohen-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/20/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-trials-cohen-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200820155626-production-russia-coronavirus-vaccine-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/20/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-trials-cohen-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Russia announced it will begin post-registration clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate next week -- and 40,000 people will participate. 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View post:

Elites are flouting coronavirus restrictions -- and that could hurt us all - CNN

Governor Cuomo Announces New Record High Number of COVID-19 Tests Reported to New York State – ny.gov

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 100,022 test results were reported to New York State yesterdaya new record high. Hospitalizations dropped to 429, a new low since March 16, and intubations dropped to 47, a new low since March 14. New York State's infection rate has been below 1 percent for 23 straight days. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available atforward.ny.gov.

"Yesterday's highest-ever number of tests and infection rate of 0.69 percent are great news, especially when you consider what's going on around the country and around the world,"Governor Cuomo said."The state is doing extraordinarily well, and again, kudos to allNew Yorkers because there's no mystery as to how this happens. It's a social action and it's the community of the people of the State of New York acting out of mutuality and concern for one another. Everyone should continue to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and local governments should continue to enforce state guidance so we can get through this together."

Governor Cuomo also reminded Western New York residents that ongoing rapid testing is being conducted at eight sites in the region. Residents can call 833-NYSTRNG to make an appointment. On August 27, the governordeployed a testing SWAT teamto Western New York to address the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region. He also announced the eight sites, which can be found here:

Delavan-GriderCommunity Center

877 E. Delavan Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14215

True Bethel Baptist Church

907 E. Ferry St.

Buffalo, NY 14211

Northwest Buffalo Community Center

155 Lawn Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14207

Dunkirk Fire Murphy Training Grounds

665 Brigham Road

Dunkirk, NY 14048

SUNY ECC North

6205 Main St.

Williamsville, NY 14221

Union Fire Company

1845 Union Road

West Seneca, NY 14224

John A. Duke Senior Center

1201 Hyde Park Blvd.

Niagara Falls, NY 14301

YWCA of the Niagara Frontier

32 Cottage St.

Lockport, NY 14094

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visited 1,734 establishments in New York City and Long Island and observed 11 establishments that were not in compliance with state requirements. A county breakdown of yesterday's observed violations is below:

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

Of the 100,022 test results reported to New York State yesterday, 698, or 0.69 percent, were positive. Each region's percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

REGION

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

Capital Region

0.5%

0.7%

0.6%

CentralNew York

0.8%

0.4%

0.8%

Finger Lakes

0.3%

0.5%

0.6%

Long Island

0.5%

0.6%

0.8%

Mid-Hudson

0.9%

0.8%

0.8%

Mohawk Valley

0.1%

0.6%

0.5%

New York City

0.6%

0.7%

0.7%

North Country

0.8%

0.2%

0.4%

Southern Tier

0.5%

0.4%

0.3%

WesternNew York

1.2%

1.2%

1.6%

The Governor also confirmed 698 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 434,100 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 434,100 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:

County

Total Positive

New Positive

Albany

2,764

10

Allegany

See original here:

Governor Cuomo Announces New Record High Number of COVID-19 Tests Reported to New York State - ny.gov

How Italy’s ‘father of the swabs’ fought the coronavirus – Science Magazine

Lock down the village, test everybody, and isolate the positives. It really works, Andrea Crisanti says.

By Douglas StarrAug. 27, 2020 , 12:00 PM

Sciences COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Andrea Crisanti was on a 30-hour flight from Italy to Australia for a conference on 22 February when some disturbing news appeared on his phone. Italy had just had its first COVID-19 death, and more cases were accumulating fast. He asked conference organizers to move his talk to the first day, and made the grueling trip back home after that. Its something I do not recommend, he says.

Crisanti, head of the microbiology department at the University of Padua, already knew trouble was coming and had geared up his lab to do large-scale testing for the new coronavirus. As it began to devastate his nation, Crisanti put his university and region at the forefront of the fight with an all-out campaign of testing and quarantine, even when that meant defying conventional wisdom.

A soft-spoken 65-year-old with graying hair and soft brown eyes, Crisanti has a matter-of-fact way of stating his opinionseven when he opines that something is bullshit. Hes an innovative person who knows his own worth and has confidence in his judgments, says Jules Hoffmann, a Nobel Prize winner and professor of integrative biology at the University of Strasbourg. His decisiveness helped rein in his regions outbreak and show the rest of Italy how to tame the virus, which hit the country early and hard.

Crisanti, who trained in immunology and biotechnology in Rome before spending 25 years at Imperial College London, was used to fighting another scourge: malaria. Last fall, the University of Padua recruited him to continue his research on genetic strategies to block mosquito reproduction. But when news about the coronavirus began to emerge from China, Crisanti immediately shifted his focus.

In late January, when Chinese scientists published the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus, Crisanti began to test university students returning from China, symptomatic or not. He had conducted a few hundred tests when the regional health department told him to stop. Guidelines from the World Health Organization and Italys National Institute of Health said to test only patients with symptoms, he was told. Crisanti says the restriction made no sense: I know very few infectious diseases where asymptomatic people do not play a major role.

Thats where things stood when he got word of the first Italian COVID-19 fatality. The patient was from Vo, a prosperous village in the region of Veneto, about 50 kilometers west of Venice. The regions governor ordered a 2-week quarantine of the town and testing of almost all 3300 residents. Anyone who tested positive was put on lockdown.

At the time, anecdotal reports were emerging from China about asymptomatic transmission, but no one had produced definitive evidence. Crisanti saw Vo as an ideal place to conduct an epidemiological experiment: a small population, universally tested, whose progress could be monitored closely. He got approval to retest everyone in the village 9 days after the first round of testing.

The numbers confirmed his thinking about asymptomatic transmission. In the first round of testing, 73 residents were positive for the virus. More than 40% of them had no symptoms yet had levels of the virus similar to those who were visibly ill. The Vo study also confirmed that isolating people helps stem transmission. Everyone who had tested positive was confined to their home, regardless of whether they had symptoms. By the second round of testing, a week and a half later, the number of positives had dropped to 29; they, too, were isolated. A third round of tests 2 months after the second found no positive cases.

If you want to eliminate a cluster you have to lock down the village [or neighborhood], test everybody, and isolate the positives, Crisanti says. It really works.

Crisanti persuaded the regional government of Veneto to test anyone with even the mildest of symptoms, and to trace and test their contacts as well. The effort targeted medical personnel and essential workers, such as supermarket cashiers. It helped that Veneto has a long tradition of taking strong public health measures, dating back to the invention of the quarantine during the 14th century plagues. (The word quarantine is derived from the word for 40 days in an old Venetian dialectthe period for which incoming ships had to anchor in the harbor to avoid bringing in plague.) The regions infrastructure was ready for a pandemic, with a health care policy that emphasizes decentralized primary care. In this case,that meant sending well-equipped nurses to test people at home or admitting them to small local hospitals with dedicated COVID-19 units.

In contrast, neighboring Lombardy, the prosperous region in which Milan is located, has emphasized large, urban hospitals offering first-rate surgical and specialty care. That system backfired in the pandemic, funneling sick people into the hospitals, which in turn became sources of infection. Lombardy became the worst affected region of Italy, with 2.5 times the number of cases and four times the number of deaths per capita as Veneto.

From the beginning, Crisanti was prescient. In late January he ordered enough reagent to process half a million swabs; then had his lab analyze the reagents and begin to produce its own. Thus, when other regions were running short, Veneto had a surplus of reagents. Later he ordered a piece of equipment that could process tests at high speed, tracking down a demo machine in London when he couldnt procure one through the usual means because of heightened demand from the pandemic. We got the only one in Italy, he says. The machine quadrupled his laboratorys throughput to more than 6000 swabs per day. Along the way, Veneto became an example of the value of extensive testing, tracing, and isolationand ensuring the means to do it.

Newspapers hailed Crisanti as the father of the swabs, and the rebel scientist, for his defiance of official policy in the early days of the pandemic. He received the Lion of Veneto award for his service to the region, the seal of the city of Padua, and was honored by a special concert in Vo. Yet it hasnt all been smooth. As the outbreak began to abate, the regions governor, Luca Zaia, downplayed Crisantis contribution in comments to the press and claimed that he and his government deserved credit for taming the virus. Eager to reopen Veneto for tourism, Zaia became irritated by Crisantis insistence to go slow and turned to other scientists for advice. The freeze-out became so severe that in July, Crisanti said he would resign from the regions advisory board, only to be talked out of it by colleagues and admirers.

Now, theres a truce between the scientist and the politician. It may have been a joint effort, says Antonio Cassone, professor emeritus of medical microbiology at the University of Perugia. But Andrea proved essential.

Moving forward, Crisanti is analyzing the genetic and blood samples his team collected during the Veneto outbreak to learn more about individual susceptibility and antibody response. He remains undaunted by his encounter with politics. The most important thing is to convey simple, clear, and honest messages, he says. And if you dont know something just say it openly. People need to know the truth.

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How Italy's 'father of the swabs' fought the coronavirus - Science Magazine

Alaska coronavirus Q&A: How are people here getting COVID-19? And what’s the deal with testing numbers? – Anchorage Daily News

We're making this important information about the pandemic available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting independent journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week.

It might feel like the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on forever. But the disease caused by the novel coronavirus is still relatively new. Questions abound, and information from public officials is at times contradictory or confusing.

As the weeks and months push on, we want to know what questions you might have about COVID-19, and we want to help answer them.

Have a question of your own? Fill out the form at the bottom of this article.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, which reports all of the states COVID-19 data, recently changed the way it reports testing data.

Before, the department reported all of the test results it received each day on that day. Now, instead of displaying results based on the day the department received them, it is displaying them based on the day the tests were conducted.

Doing so better portrays when people are getting tested and smooths out day-to-day variability caused by lags in test completion, such as fewer tests being completed on weekends or labs that might have backlogs, according to the department.

Since COVID-19 tests can take a few days to return results, it looks like there were fewer tests conducted recently. But officials at the department say thats because they just dont have the results for the most recent tests yet.

The states health department sends out a recap of the previous weeks COVID-19 data every Wednesday, which helps paint a more specific picture of the pandemic in the 49th state.

In their most recent summary, Alaska health officials wrote that in March, many of the states cases were related to travel. In April and May, fewer Alaskans traveled but as more Alaskans have started to travel since June, more cases are now again tied to travel.

The most recent week saw 61% of Alaskas cases tied to secondary or community transmission. And, the largest increase in cases has been among people in their 20s and 30s.

The spread of COVID-19 among people at social gatherings, community events, churches and bars in addition to the spread of the virus within families has significantly contributed to Alaskas rising case counts, a previous report said.

Anchorage continues to see cases citywide, Anchorage Health Department medical officer Dr. Bruce Chandler said during a briefing on Aug. 21. He said Anchorage had identified infectious cases at a child care facility, an adult care facility, a shelter and an athletic team group residence, as well as cases involving employees at several local businesses.

Im sure there are others that havent come to our attention, Chandler said.

There are thousands of people who are still at a high risk for the virus in Anchorage. Plus, even if people have no symptoms at all, they can be highly infectious to others nearby, he said.

Seven people from Anchorage had died with COVID-19 in the past month, Chandler said Aug. 21 a number that has since risen.

I think some of those people would well be alive if wed done a better job of protecting them from the virus, Chandler said.

Inbound passengers Alex Koehler and Melissa Engelhardt listen to instructions from Marvell Robinson at the COVID-19 testing site in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on July 17, 2020. (Emily Mesner / ADN)

For context: Alaska has changed its rules for incoming travelers. Since Aug. 11, nonresidents arriving into the state have been required to take a COVID-19 test before departing or pay $250 for a test at the airport.

So far, the state hasnt had to deal with someone refusing to get tested at the airport after arriving without proof of a test, according to Coleman Cutchins, clinical pharmacist and testing coordinator with the state.

But if people do refuse, the airport screeners will ask for their contact information so the state can come up with a plan, he said on an Aug. 20 call with reporters. If a person truly cannot afford a test, the state might find a way for the person to get tested for free and quarantine until they get their results, he said.

False positive test results showing that someone has the illness when they actually dont are not common in coronavirus testing. The test for the virus is highly specific, according to the states health department, meaning it almost never gives a false positive.

However, false negatives, which show that someone doesnt have the virus when they really do, can happen. This might happen if its too early in someones illness to detect COVID-19.

Jesse Guyer, left, and Callie Palmer, right, hike Little O'Malley Peak in Chugach State Park on Aug. 22, 2020. (Emily Mesner / ADN)

The states epidemiologist, Dr. Joe McLaughlin, uses Anchorages trail system, he said during a recent public video call. Navigating the outdoors comes down to personal choice, he said.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, anyone who was within 6 feet of them for more than fifteen minutes is deemed a close contact, which means walking past someone on the trail doesnt fit that category.

Now, certainly, if the person is breathing hard and were to cough right on you, like give you a direct face shot of a cough, you might get exposed to COVID if theyre infected, McLaughlin said.

When hes out hiking, McLaughlin said, hell step off the trail, turn his head or will even hold his breath if he starts to get too close to someone.

But, if someone is at a higher risk for COVID-19, he said they should take more precautions.

Similarly, the states chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, said her kids use the grumpy dog theory, meaning to stay away from people the way youd keep a grumpy dog away from people along trails. They often dive into the woods and go 6 feet off the trail, Zink said.

She also keeps a mask around for crowded trailheads and wears one if she goes blueberry picking by a trail where others might show up.

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Alaska coronavirus Q&A: How are people here getting COVID-19? And what's the deal with testing numbers? - Anchorage Daily News

A case of coronavirus reinfection shows the complexities of the pandemic – The Verge

The scary thing finally happened: someone caught the coronavirus twice and got sicker the second time around. A 25-year-old man in Nevada got COVID-19 in March, got better in April, and got sick again in May. He had worse symptoms on the second bout, bad enough that he had to be hospitalized.

Three other cases of confirmed reinfection were also reported this week: one in Hong Kong (the first documented case) and two in Europe. These dont necessarily make me any more worried about our vaccine prospects, though, and they dont mean the pandemic will go on forever. We have four documented cases of reinfection. But thats out of the 24 million cases of this disease so far, and rare shit happens. Most experts expected that wed see at least a few.

For months, there have been occasional, anecdotal reports of people testing positive for COVID-19 twice. None of those were proven to be reinfections. For most of those people, the second test probably picked up residual, dead virus that was still floating around in peoples noses and throats after their first infection.

In these reinfection cases, though, researchers actually analyzed the virus from the first time the people got sick and compared it to the virus from the second time they got sick. In each case, the two viruses had slightly different genetic sequences, showing that the second positive tests werent just leftover virus.

Heres the other important thing: in the Hong Kong case, the second infection caused no symptoms at all. That means his immune system probably recognized the virus from the first infection and kept it in check. We dont know why that didnt happen for the man in Nevada. He wasnt tested for antibodies the first time he got sick, so its possible that he just didnt make any. Thats the more encouraging option. The other possibility is that he had antibodies, but they made the infection worse (it happens with other viruses, like dengue).

Case studies only answer one question: can you catch COVID-19 twice? But thats about all they do. Mostly, they raise questions rather than answer them. How common is reinfection? How infectious are people if they get sick a second time? Are people who dont generate many antibodies the first time they contract the virus the only people who can catch it again?

The pandemic feels like its gone on for 1 million years, but in a more real way, the coronavirus has only existed in the human population for about nine months. Scientists have learned so much, so fast, but theres still a long way to go. The human immune system is weird and confusing, and its squaring off against a new, never-before-seen virus. Its going to take time to understand whats happening.

Oh, and the other thing this is a reminder that even if youve already had COVID-19, you still need to be careful.

Heres what else happened this week.

Biogen conference likely led to 20,000 COVID-19 cases in Boston area, researchers say

In February, before we knew the extent of COVID-19 in the US, 175 biotech executives gathered for a conference in Boston. At that meeting, the virus spread from attendee to attendee and the outbreak eventually led to tens of thousands of cases all around the world, according to one analysis. The study shows that even a small gathering can have wide-ranging, devastating ripple effects on the course of the pandemic. (Jonathan Saltzman / The Boston Globe)

Four scenarios on how we might develop immunity to Covid-19

Months into the pandemic, scientists still arent sure what happens to our immune systems after we recover from COVID-19. Most researchers think people will have some protection against the virus, but they still dont know what that protection will look like. Stat News broke down some of the possibilities. (Helen Branswell / Stat News)

FDA authorizes Abbotts fast $5 COVID-19 test

The Food and Drug Administration authorized a $5, 15-minute COVID-19 test that works like a pregnancy test: a nasal swab gets inserted into the bottom of a test card and a colored line appears if the sample is positive for the coronavirus. Its a big step forward, experts say. (Nicole Wetsman / The Verge)

Moderna Says Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Signs of Working in Older Adults

The drug company ran a small study testing their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in people over the age of 56, and it found they produced the same types of immune response that younger people did. This doesnt mean that theyre protected from infection with the coronavirus we still need data from much bigger trials to prove that. But it is a promising sign: older peoples immune systems are weaker than younger peoples, and vaccines sometimes dont work as well for them. (Peter Loftus / The Wall Street Journal)

What if the First Coronavirus Vaccines Arent the Best?

While companies like Moderna and Pfizer are racing to collect data on their COVID-19 vaccine candidates by the end of the year, dozens of other companies are moving at a slower pace. Theyre building their vaccines using different types of technology than the ones at the head of the pack, and some researchers think they may have more staying power. The first vaccines may not be the most effective, Ted Ross, the director of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology at the University of Georgia, told The New York Times. (Carl Zimmer / The New York Times)

What happened in Room 10?

Reporter Katie Engelhart investigated the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, the first virus hotspot in the United States. Something clearly went wrong but who was to blame?

Later, the story of the Life Care outbreak would be flattened by the ubiquitous metaphors of pandemic. People would say that COVID-19 hit like a bomb, or an earthquake, or a tidal wave. They would say it spread like wildfire. But inside the facility, it felt more like a spectral haunting. A nurse named Chelsey Earnest said that fighting COVID was like chasing the devil.

(Katie Engelhart / California Sunday)

Were Living The News: Student Journalists Are Owning The College Reopening Story

On college campuses around the country, student journalists are tirelessly documenting reopening plans and COVID-19 outbreaks. It takes a toll. We are scared because not only is this news that were writing about for other people to hear, were also hearing about it ourselves for the first time usually when were writing about it, Brandon Standley, managing editor at UNCs The Daily Tar Heel, told NPR.

(Elissa Nadworny and Lauren Migaki / NPR)

More than numbers

To the more than 24,775,245 people worldwide who have tested positive, may your road to recovery be smooth.

To the families and friends of the 837,908 people who have died worldwide 181,779 of those in the US your loved ones are not forgotten.

Stay safe, everyone.

Originally posted here:

A case of coronavirus reinfection shows the complexities of the pandemic - The Verge

Coronavirus news of the week (VIDEO) – Live Science

Since the discovery of the virus that causes COVID-19, the daily news cycle has become swamped with updates about how the pathogen spreads, what the bug does to the body and what solutions might finally bring an end to the pandemic.

But staying up-to-date on all the latest coronavirus news can be a challenge. To help keep you informed, we at Live Science have compiled a short list of standout news stories from the week these are the ones that really caught our attention.

Related: 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history

Researchers reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection in a man in Hong Kong. The news initially came out on Aug. 24 in a press release from the University of Hong Kong, and the formal study was published Aug. 25 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. But don't panic an expert called the case "a textbook example of how immunity should work."

The 33-year-old was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and had mild symptoms at the time, including a cough and fever. The man was released from the hospital on April 14 after testing negative for the virus twice, but he tested positive again during an airport screening on Aug. 15. The virus that infected the man the second time around carried several genetic differences to the first one, suggesting that the man had been infected by a new variant of the virus that subtly mutated through time, as all viruses do. But the man showed no symptoms of illness the second time, hinting that his body retained some immunity against the pathogen.

"While this is a good example of how primary infection can prevent disease from subsequent infection, more studies are needed to understand the range of outcomes from reinfection," Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the Yale School of Medicine, wrote on Twitter.

Since this news came out, two more cases of reinfection have been confirmed in Europe, and one in the U.S., The New York Times reported. Like the Hong Kong case, the two European cases showed milder or no symptoms during the second infection; however, the U.S. patient developed severe symptoms and scientists are investigating several theories as to why. We don't yet know how commonly reinfection occurs, how often people develop severe symptoms the second time around or what these trends mean for vaccine development that information will only come from further research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) abruptly changed its COVID-19 testing guidance, stating that those who have come in contact with an infected person don't necessarily need a test if they are not in a high-risk group or showing symptoms of the disease.

Prior to the change, the CDC recommended that all close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 also be tested, given that we know the virus can spread before people show symptoms, and that testing close contacts helps keep outbreaks in check. The Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Dr. Brett Giroir told CNN that the new guidelines are intended to encourage tests to be used "appropriately," and not to reduce the number of tests given overall. But public health officials say the guidance directly conflicts with scientific evidence.

"These testing recommendations make no scientific sense, unless there are plans to demand isolation of all known contacts of COVID-19," said Krys Johnson, an assistant professor of instruction in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Especially as schools and universities reopen, the U.S. should be testing more asymptomatic people for the virus, not fewer, she said.

In response to outcry from public health officials, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield clarified the new guidance on Aug. 27, saying "testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients," but should be prioritized for symptomatic people, people with risk factors for severe infection and people at high risk of exposure. However, at the time of this verbal statement, the official guidance on the CDC website remained unchanged.

Last week, we highlighted news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not authorize the use of blood plasma to treat COVID-19 patients without more data from clinical trials. This week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the treatment without any additional data in hand.

Emergency use authorization allows doctors to administer an unapproved medical treatment "when there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives," and patients don't need to be enrolled in a clinical trial to receive the therapy, according to the FDA website. But infectious disease experts and public health officials argue that convalescent plasma therapy which uses antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from a disease has not earned this seal of approval.

To demonstrate that plasma helps COVID-19 patients recover, scientists must conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs), wherein participants randomly receive either plasma or the standard of care; outcomes can then be compared between the two groups without bias. RCTs of plasma have proven difficult to organize, given that the supply of eligible plasma and number of people sick with COVID-19 varies from region to region.

With many RCTs for plasma still underway, the authorization of the treatment could make recruiting patients for these trials even more difficult. While patients in an RCT randomly receive either plasma or the standard of care, patients treated under the emergency authorization would not be subject to this randomization; the guarantee of plasma outside of an RCT could make participating in the trials a hard sell.

If RCTs do get derailed, it will be harder to collect solid evidence that plasma therapy works.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Coronavirus news of the week (VIDEO) - Live Science

New drool-based tests are replacing the dreaded coronavirus nasal swab – Science Magazine

A woman spits into a tube so that her saliva can be tested for the presence of the novel coronavirus.

By Robert F. ServiceAug. 24, 2020 , 5:00 PM

Sciences COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

First, a technician pushes a pencil-length swab to the very back of your nasal passages. Then you pay $100 or more, and wait days for an answer. But faster, cheaper, more pleasant ways to test for the novel coronavirus are coming online. This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for two tests that sample saliva instead of nasal fluid, and more innovations are likely after FDA relaxed rules to allow new tests to be adopted more quickly. One candidate was announced last week: an experimental test, potentially faster and cheaper, that analyzes saliva in a new way.

There is real promise here, says Anne Wyllie, a microbiologist at Yale University who helped develop one of the new tests authorized this month. Takanori Teshima, chief of laboratory medicine at Hokkaido University, who also reported successful results testing saliva, agrees. It will have a big impact worldwide.

When SARS-CoV-2, the respiratory virus that causes COVID-19, emerged in December 2019, researchers scrambled to develop tests to detect the virus. Initially, they turned to a long-trusted technique for diagnosing respiratory infections: looking for viral genetic material in mucosal fluid, thought to be the best hunting ground for a respiratory virus, collected from deep in a patients nasal passages. Thats where the 15-centimeter swab comes in. The swab goes into a plastic tube with a chemical mixture that stabilizes the virus during transport to a diagnostics lab. There, technicians extract its genetic material and load it into a machine to carry out the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which amplifies snippets of genetic material unique to the virus.

The procedure accurately identifies infections about 95% of the time. But the test is uncomfortable and, because collecting the swab requires close contact with patients, it puts medical personnel at risk of contracting the virus. Nobody wants to do that job, Teshima says.

Testing saliva for SARS-CoV-2 was no sure thing. Studies with other respiratory diseases showed saliva tests identified only about 90% of people for whom swab tests indicated an infection. But the appeal of an easier and safer test for the new coronavirus led researchers to try. People being tested simply drool into a bar-coded plastic tube, seal it, and drop it in a pouch thats shipped to a lab for PCR analysis. Because the procedure directly tests the fluid responsible for transmitting the virus between people, it may give a better indication of who is most contagious, says Paul Hergenrother, a chemist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who led his universitys saliva test development.

As early as 12 February, researchers in Hong Kong and China reported inClinical Infectious Diseasesthat they couldidentify SARS-CoV-2 from salivain 11 of 12 patients whose swabs showed virus. Since then, groups in the United States, Singapore, and Japan have confirmed and further simplified the procedures, cutting out costly steps such as adding specialized reagents to stabilize the virus during transport and extract the genetic material.

In May, Wyllie and Yale colleagues teamed up with the National Basketball Association, which provided $500,000 to develop Yales saliva test; the test is now used for frequently testing players. On 4 August, the Yale team posted a preprint on medRxiv that said its saliva testagreed with swab results 94% of the time, at a cost of as little as $1.29 per sample, roughly 1/100 as much as commercial swab-based tests. On 15 August, FDA granted emergency approval for the SalivaDirect test, so that other FDA-approved labs can use the protocol. Last week, the agency extended approval to the UIUC test given its similarity to the Yale test. UIUC is now using its saliva test to test all 60,000 students, faculty, and staff twice a week, so they can isolate infected individuals as quickly as possible. Testing saliva makes sense scientifically, and it makes sense logistically, Hergenrother says.

Anew saliva test for RNA viruses, such as Zika and SARS-CoV-2, was reported last week inScience Advancesby researchers at the University at Albany. It could be even faster and cheaper because it does not need expensive lab equipment such as PCR machines. Rather than amplifying RNA to identify the virus, the approach uses snippets of DNA that bind to short, unique sections of RNA and change them from linear strands to loops. That alters how the RNA behaves in a common lab procedure known as gel electrophoresis, making it easy to detect. This is innovative, Wyllie says.

A relaxation of FDA rules announced last week could lead to still more variants. The new rules allow approved clinical labs to use tests they have developed without any additional approval step. In a tweet, Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard Universitys T.H. Chan School of Public Health, called FDAs decision Huge news!! because it would encourage labs to develop novel tests. It may also help speed development ofrapid tests that look for viral proteinsrather than genetic materialan efficient way to screen large numbers of asymptomatic people.

We dont need one test to be the end all and be all, Wyllie says. We just want options.

Originally posted here:

New drool-based tests are replacing the dreaded coronavirus nasal swab - Science Magazine

How Minnesota’s biggest beef producer is weathering the coronavirus – Minneapolis Star Tribune

OLIVIA, MINN. Tom Revier said he knew his cattle operation was in for a jolt when the Chinese government cordoned off the city of Wuhan because of the coronavirus.

That scared the heck out of me, he said. First time that I can recall a large city being quarantined.

This year has forced his farm, Revier Cattle Co., Minnesotas largest beef cattle operation, to shift how it raises animals and sells meat.

The farm near the central Minnesota city of Olivia is unusual in that it bypasses the commodity beef market to sell its own brand directly to customers.

About 50% of pre-COVID sales were to restaurants and food service. The business that was lost because of restaurant shutdowns had to be made up at the grocery store.

The biggest story for us was the transition from food service or restaurants to retail, said Revier, the fifth-generation owner of the farm. That was a big shift for us.

When he first heard about the trouble in China, Revier called ranchers raising his cattle out west to tell them to keep the animals longer than usual. By March, restaurants were shutting down across the country, beef prices had fallen by about a third, and his farm was running about half-full as his animals kept grazing in the Dakotas and eastern Montana.

The Revier model of raising cows in a specific way for a unique brand of beef is one strategy for weathering the vagaries of cattle farming. But amid a pandemic that has reshaped the way Americans get their food, it has been tested. And its an option thats only available to big farms.

Were about as small as you can be to do what weve done, Revier said.

Reviers great-great-grandfather started the farm in 1867 and it was a classic diversified, small operation cows, turkeys, hogs.

Now Revier can raise about 10,000 Black Angus cattle in Olivia at any one time. Compared to feedlots in Kansas, Texas and other states to the west, the operation is small. Its massive for Minnesota, though.

Revier, who pushed the Black Angus angle at his family farm, tried to start his own brand of beef called Medallion.

When I first did Medallion I didnt want to put my name on a box, Revier said. What I did back then was really vertical. We tried to do it all ourselves. We did the delivery, the selling, from the packing plant to distribution and sales. We learned that what were really good at is farming and producing cattle. Thats what we do best.

Having scrapped the brand, Revier still wanted to brand his beef to get a better price, and when he met a former Cargill executive named Paul Hillen, he found a kindred spirit.

Hillen, who was also a veteran of Procter & Gamble, was working in private equity at the time and brought distribution and marketing experience to the Revier farm.

The beef was the high-quality, sustainable beef Revier advertises now, but it was sold into the commodity beef market.

He was selling his cattle to other packing plants, but they were kind of trading off of his story, Hillen said.

Revier put his name on the box in November 2017. They now send the cattle to a packinghouse in Aberdeen, S.D., where the meat is cut into wholesale ribs, shipped under the Revier brand and sold through regional distributors.

We started working with packers without cattle, packing our cattle and beef, and using distribution and supply chain pieces that already existed, Revier said. We didnt need to own delivery trucks.

By the time COVID-19 hit, Revier was selling meat in 21 states, 300 grocery stores, and more than 2,500 restaurants. Last fall, they started selling to Cub Foods, where some beef in the service case is from Revier, and they launched Revier ground beef at Cub in the spring.

Some workers at the Aberdeen packinghouse contracted COVID-19 and the operation had to reduce production. But unlike hog farmers, cattle producers can leave the animals grazing and take them to slaughter at a later time. Revier got back to full capacity in early May.

Revier and Hillen stress the consistency of their meat. Cows get different diets in different parts of the country, so the meat at the grocery store can taste different on different days.

Revier cows always eat the same diet ground corn and corn bran and distillers grains in all different shades of brown and yellow.

In Minnesota, some of the biggest farms the Riverview and Lewiston dairies, for instance come under the most criticism from environmental groups. But their scale does allow them to do things smaller farmers cant.

The manure from the pens and barns gets flushed into a treatment plant that separates the liquid from the solid. They get fertilizer and fuel for methane from the liquid while the fluffy solid is used for bedding for other livestock.

Like the owners of the Riverview dairies not too far away, Revier wants to convert methane into clean natural gas. For now, the raw gas is flared from pits covered in black tarps.

The cows are big but timid, shying away from visitors, even Hillen and Revier.

Their pens are clean and the concrete is grooved so they cant slip as easily. Keeping the cows calm reduces stress and makes the meat more tender, Revier said.

The hope right now is that customers will notice the difference and keep paying a little extra for their beef.

People want to know where their food comes from or at least I think they do, Revier said. How its raised, where it comes from.

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How Minnesota's biggest beef producer is weathering the coronavirus - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Coronavirus worries force election officials to get creative – Wink News

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP)

The coronavirus has upended everyday life in ways big and small. What happens when those disruptions overlap with voting? Thousands of state and local election officials across the U.S are sharing ideas and making accommodations to try to ensure that voters and polling places are safe amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Some are finding ways to expand access to voter registration and ballot request forms. Others are testing new products, installing special equipment or scouting outdoor voting locations.

Here are virus-related obstacles voters could face during this unprecedented presidential election year along with some of the solutions being tried:

CLOSURES AND CURTAILED HOURS

What if you need a voter registration form or absentee ballot application and all the normal go-to places are closed or open by appointment only? Its a problem nationwide.

The most recent American Library Association survey found that 62% of U.S. libraries, which are sources for voting documents, were fully closed while another 26% were offering only curbside service. Likewise, the vast majority of state motor vehicle departments the largest source of voter registrations nationally and of the voter IDs needed in some states are operating on limited hours, at reduced capacity or by appointment only, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Appointments in New Mexico, as just one example, are being scheduled two months out.

Benjamin Hovland, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, said 40 states have online voter registration, a particular benefit during the pandemic. The commission has beefed up its website, http://www.vote.gov, with links to register in all 50 states. Among states, Ohio has earned points for its creativity. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose struck partnerships with grocers and newspapers to distribute absentee ballot applications this spring, and hes tapped breweries to promote voter registration in the fall: Beer drinking and democracy go together, he said of the program, noting the pivotal role of pubs in Colonial America.

POLLING PLACE CONTAMINATION

Perhaps the most pressing worry of most voters is how polling places will be kept virus-free. A CDC study conducted after Wisconsins primary, the first in-person election after states began issuing stay-at-home orders, found 37 of the states new COVID-19 cases in the days after the election were among voters, a warning to other states.

As an example of how seriously theyre responding, California issued 50 pages of instructions to its election boards last month calling for site-specific virus prevention plans and extensive training. Thats on top ofCDC-recommended guidelinesthat include social distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand-washing.

In Maine, single-use pens have replaced the usual I Voted stickers for marking the occasion Nov. 3. South Carolina has piloted ear swabs for touchscreen voting, while Indiana and Louisiana are among states offering latex finger coverings. Voters might see Plexiglas shields at some check-in tables, and poll workers dressed head-to-toe in protective gear. Voting machines and poll books will be sanitized on a regular schedule throughout the day.

Public-private partnerships also are taking shape. Anheuser-Busch, the beer maker, is distributing 8 million ounces of hand sanitizer in coordination with the National Association of State Election Directors and others. Sanitizer is expected to be placed liberally around polling places. In Ohio, manufacturer RB Sigma has donated more than 450,000 surgical masks for use by poll workers and voters.

SICK OR QUARANTINED VOTERS

What if you plan to vote in person but receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, and its too late to request a mail-in ballot? Or perhaps youve traveled out-of-state and gotten held up by a virus-related travel restriction.

Planning ahead to vote early or by mail is still the best way to avoid getting tripped up by a virus diagnosis, quarantine or travel restriction ahead of Election Day, experts agree. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is working to open more early voting locations to accommodate such concerns.

Dealing with voters who are sick is nothing new. In Alaska, for example, anyone unable to vote in person because of age, illness or a disability can appoint a personal representative to pick up and deliver their ballot. Many states provide similar options for emergencies though often not right up until Election Day. If you simply have no choice, election officials say to show up at your polling place, and you will be accommodated. Separate voting stations, far from the rest, are being set up where possible to accommodate those who know or suspect theyre infected with the virus and decide to self-report.

Ari Schaffer, a spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said State Farm Arena in Atlanta is large enough to have a separate voting station for those who have a positive COVID-19 test, though not all polling locations will be.

In Iowa, curbside voting already available to voters with disabilities was expanded to other vulnerable voters during the primary. Polling locations also were consolidated in some cases into larger venues, such as school gymnasiums, auditoriums and stadiums, to allow for social distancing.

WHAT ABOUT UNMASKED VOTERS?

What if you, or a fellow voter, choose not to wear a mask, as election and health officials are pretty much universally recommending?

States are mostly stopping short of requiring masks on Election Day because voting is a protected right. The most common scenario envisioned is that voters who decline to wear a mask will be offered one. If they refuse it, theyll be directed to a voting station away from other voters, where possible. In some locations, no other voters would be allowed inside until the person has voted.

All the virus-related precautions states are pursuing will likely increase the average time its expected to take to cast a ballot. Thats yet another reason to heed the advice state and local elections officials are giving most often this year: Make a plan to vote and prepare early.

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Coronavirus worries force election officials to get creative - Wink News

When the Threat of Eviction Meets the Threat of Coronavirus – The New York Times

A week passed, then another, and Mr. Loaiza still did not know if the aid had arrived. On June 23, the landlord texted him. Jhon, u said u were vacating the home last weekend. Is the home vacant now?

Mr. Loaiza felt emptied out and powerless; impotent, he told me. He began to lose sleep, and the stress snaked through his body like poison. Mr. Loaiza thought seriously about killing himself. He had never before entertained that obliterating thought, but the sheer hopelessness of the situation was suffocating. Marshals that carry out evictions are full of suicide stories: the early morning rap on the door followed by a single gunshot from inside the apartment, the blunt sound of giving up. From 2005 to 2010, years when housing costs were soaring across the country, suicides attributed to eviction and foreclosure doubled.

Mr. Loaiza pushed through it, the pull to sleep, to bury himself, and with the rent assistance seemingly stalled, he began calling friends in San Antonio, asking if they would consider taking his family in. No one had room. Finally, friends in Florida offered two rooms in their home and storage space in their garage. Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoya began packing and scrubbing the apartment, hoping to receive their security deposit back. To afford the U-Haul, Mr. Loaiza jumped at the first job opportunity he found, joining a construction crew working inside a large building.

Jhon, Is the home now vacant? Mr. Acosta again texted on July 1. It was. At dawn, the family had begun their trek east. Mr. Loaiza drove the U-Haul, while Ms. Bedoya and the girls followed in the family car. A few hours in, Mr. Loaiza began to feel sick, feverish. It got so bad that Ms. Bedoya took to keeping her husband on the phone to make sure he was lucid.

A legal aid lawyer from St. Marys volunteered to represent Mr. Loaiza and Ms. Bedoyas case in their absence. The day before the eviction court hearing, the lawyer called the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department to inquire about the familys stalled rental assistance payment. She learned that $3,000 had in fact been issued to the landlord, and that he had cashed the check weeks earlier, on June 19, days before he texted Jhon about vacating the house. (Mr. Acosta did not consent to an interview, despite multiple requests, but he did tell me by text that the tenant vacated the home in order to find work elsewhere. The court records will show that. Mr. Loaiza told me that he moved because he felt forced from his home and that he had never told Mr. Acosta that he was moving for job opportunities.)

All this pain the stress so crippling that suicide begins to appear as relief, the severing of church and school ties, friendships; uprooting a family from community and work it wasnt for $3,190. If it was for anything, it was for $190. The lawyer tried calling Mr. Loaiza, over and over, but she couldnt reach him. By that time, he was already in Florida, lying in a hospital bed with Covid-19.

Rent its the greediest of bills. For many families, it grows every year, arbitrarily, almost magically, not because of any home improvements; just because. Demand, they say, when they hand you a new lease with a stiff rent hike. Or costs are rising. What they mean is: Because I can. And unlike defaulting on other bills, missing a rent payment can result in immediate and devastating consequences, casting families into poverty and homelessness. If you cant afford enough food, you can usually qualify for food stamps. If you miss a mortgage payment, you typically have 120 days before your bank can initiate the foreclosure process. But if you cant pay your rent, you can lose your home in a matter of weeks. During the first half of July, landlords collected 37 percent of total rent from families living in Class C properties typically older stock, home to low- and moderate-income workers compared with 80 percent during the first three months of the year.

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When the Threat of Eviction Meets the Threat of Coronavirus - The New York Times

This Trawlers Haul: Evidence That Antibodies Block the Coronavirus – The New York Times

A fishing vessel that left Seattle in May returned with an unexpected catch: the first direct evidence in humans that antibodies to the coronavirus can thwart infection.

More than a hundred crew members aboard the American Dynasty were stricken by the infection over 18 days at sea. But three sailors who initially carried antibodies remained virus-free, according to a new report.

Although the study is small, it addresses one of the most important questions in the pandemic: whether the immune response to one bout with the virus protects against reinfection.

Knowing the answer to this question is critical for vaccine design and epidemiology, tweeted Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and one of the studys authors.

The study was posted online last week and has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Still, the finding set off optimistic chatter among scientists, who have been relying on monkey studies for evidence of antibodies potency.

I thought it was very exciting good enough news that I was telling my family about it, said Michal Tal, an immunologist at Stanford University who was not involved in the work.

Several research teams have reported that an encounter with the virus triggers a robust immune response in most people, including in those who may have been only mildly ill. And the vaccine candidates now in trials also seem to elicit strong neutralizing antibodies, the kind that can block the virus.

But the amount of those antibodies needed to prevent the virus from returning is unclear. Scientists measure neutralizing antibodies in titers, an indication of their concentration in the blood.

The three sailors who remained protected from the virus had widely varying titers; two had only moderate quantities, a finding the researchers said was reassuring.

People have been so worried about the titers, and the titers going down, Dr. Alexander Greninger, a virologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said.

The results indicate even moderate titers prevented reinfection in a situation in which exposure to the virus was high, he said: These are attainable titers, right? Hopefully, itll be helpful to see, and makes make me very optimistic about the vaccines.

The American Dynasty carried 113 men and nine women. All crew members had been tested for both virus and antibodies as part of a routine screening before setting sail. (The researchers did not have access to the results from two members.)

The trawler returned to shore after 18 days at sea when a crew member became ill enough to need hospitalization. The sailors were tested for the presence of virus and antibodies again and for up to 50 days after their return.

The three sailors confirmed to have neutralizing antibodies did not test positive for the virus during the course of the study; 103 of the remaining 117 became infected.

These numbers may be small, but theyre highly significant, Dr. Greninger said.

A lot of people, when they see this are like, Oh come on, it could be due to random chance, he said. In fact, the likelihood that the results are just chance is extremely low, he added.

Updated August 17, 2020

Other experts agreed. Just looking at the numbers, it becomes clear that its unlikely that all of these three people were protected by chance, said Florian Krammer, an immunologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Dr. Krammer and his colleagues are tracking antibody levels in people who have recovered from the coronavirus once to see at what point they might be vulnerable to reinfection. The team began with people in New York, but the virus is circulating at such low levels in the city now that Dr. Krammer and his colleagues have had to expand the study to other locations.

Data from vaccine trials also will identify the antibody titers required to disarm the virus. But in the meantime, this is the first evidence in humans, Dr. Krammer said. It made my weekend.

The study raised other questions. Based on the Abbott Architect assay, six of the 120 people tested before the boats departure had antibodies to the virus indicating prior exposure.

But when the researchers reanalyzed those samples using more sophisticated tests, only three of the six were confirmed to have antibodies, suggesting that three test results were false positives.

The Abbott test is advertised as returning fewer than one false positive for every 100 samples. Thats a little concerning that the Abbott may be a little less specific than we thought, Dr. Tal said.

The researchers also looked at antibodies in the blood, as most teams do. But those levels may not be the same as those in the nose or in saliva, the two major entry points for infection, Dr. Tal added.

Were looking in the wrong place, she said. If we want to look at protection from reinfection, we need to be looking in the nose.

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This Trawlers Haul: Evidence That Antibodies Block the Coronavirus - The New York Times

NIH imposes ‘outrageous’ conditions on resuming coronavirus grant targeted by Trump – Science Magazine

Michael Lauer, deputy director for extramural researchat the National Institutes of Health

By Meredith WadmanAug. 19, 2020 , 10:55 AM

Sciences COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

The National Institutes of Health is requiring a small nonprofit research organization to take unusualand perhaps impossiblesteps to end a controversial suspension of an NIH grant related to bat coronavirus research in China. NIHs conditions for reinstating the funding to the EcoHealth Alliance are outrageous, former NIH Director Harold Varmus told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an article published today that first reported the agencys demands.

The controversy began in April, after President Donald Trump complained about NIHs grant to the EcoHealth Alliance because it involved researchers at Chinas Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Conservative commentators, Trump, and Trump administration officials have asserted, without evidence, that the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 escaped from WIV. Shortly after Trumps complaint, NIH abruptly canceled the grant, stating that its goal of studying bat coronavirus spillovers into humans did not align with agency priorities. NIHs move drew extensive criticism from the scientific community.

Last month, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Michael Lauer sent the EcoHealth Alliance a letter stating the agency was reinstating the grant, but also instantly suspending it again pending the completion of certain actions. (ScienceInsider has now independently reviewed a copy of the 8 July letter.)Among the conditions included:

NIH declined interview requests for Lauer and agency Director Francis Collins, saying in a statement: NIH does not discuss internal deliberations on specific grants.

The EcoHealth Alliance said in a statement that NIHs letter cynically reinstates and instantly suspends the EcoHealth Alliances funding, then attempts to impose impossible and irrelevant conditions that will effectively block us from continuing this critical work.

Varmus, one of 77 Nobel laureates who wrote to current NIH Director Francis Collins in May demanding that he review the grants initial cancellation, told WSJ that NIHs list of conditions for reinstating the funding is outrageous, especially when a grant has already been carefully evaluated by peer review and addresses one of the most important problems in the world right nowhow viruses from animals spill over to human beings.

Peter Daszak, the EcoHealth Alliances president, called out Collins in an interview with ScienceInsider today, saying: It undermines biomedical science to give in to politics. I think thats a failure. And I think that Dr. Collins fell at the first hurdle. When challenged by the White House to cancel this grant he just gave in.

Jeremy Berg, who directed NIHs National Institute ofGeneral Medical Sciences from 2003 to 2011, notes that Collins is a political appointee who serves at the presidents pleasure. (Berg was also editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals until 2019.) He says: The question for anybody in [such] a leadership position is: Is there a line that you are not willing to cross? And that you think it would be more appropriate to stand on principle and resign rather than to give in? In my view, that line has been crossed with this.

With reporting by Kai Kupferschmidt.

*Update, 19 August,5:10 p.m.: This story has been updated to include additional material from NIHs 8 Julyletter to the EcoHealth Alliance,a statement from NIH,and comments from Jeremy Berg and Peter Daszak.

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NIH imposes 'outrageous' conditions on resuming coronavirus grant targeted by Trump - Science Magazine

Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today – The New York Times

Hauling in a revelation

An accidental experiment on a fishing boat is offering the best evidence yet that antibodies at even moderate levels offer protection from the coronavirus.

The vessel, American Dynasty, set sail from Seattle in May with 122 crew members who were all tested for both the virus and antibodies. But the ship returned to port after 18 days at sea when one crew member became ill enough to need hospitalization. More than 100 sailors eventually tested positive but not the three sailors who were the only ones to show antibodies at the start, according to a new report. And two of them had only moderate levels.

The study addressed one of the most important unanswered questions of the pandemic: whether an immune response from contracting the virus protects against reinfection.

Although the study was small, the chance that the crew members with antibodies would, by chance, not have been infected is incredibly small (0.002 percent). The findings are reassuring to scientists, who have been relying on studies of monkeys for evidence of antibodies potency.

The researchers dont know how the virus got on board, according to Apoorva Mandavilli, who reported on the study. It could have been one of two people whose tests they couldnt assess, she said, or could have been someone newly infected, so too early to test positive yet.

Treatment on hold. Antibody-rich blood plasma, donated by those who have survived Covid-19, is being tested in clinical trials as a treatment for the disease. But an emergency authorization for its use in the U.S. is on hold, after top federal health officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned that the data on the treatment is still too weak.

Iran, a country hit early and hard by the virus, is in the midst of a second wave.

The countrys health ministry announced today that it had reached 20,000 deaths from the virus, but health experts inside and outside Iran, and even members of the Iranian Parliament, suggest that the number may be many times higher.

To understand whats going on, we spoke to our colleague Farnaz Fassihi, who covers Iran for The Times. She painted a picture of an outbreak still out of control.

Whats the situation in the country?

Its very bad. Its in the thick of a second surge worse than the first one in March. The majority of provinces, including the capital, Tehran, are red zones. Doctors are saying hospitals and I.C.U. beds are full. At the same time, there are some restrictions for public gatherings but, generally, its open for business.

Even by the governments own numbers, cases are on the rise. What happened?

They opened too soon. When the virus first arrived in the country, they closed down for just two weeks during the New Year holiday in mid-March. They didnt meet any of the benchmarks when they reopened. Theres no contact tracing. Theres no quarantine.

What are Iranians feeling?

In the early months, people were very scared. They were self-isolating and staying home and not sending their kids to school, even when the schools were still open. But I think as time has passed, like a lot of places, we see that people are becoming more reckless.

Theres also a nuanced dynamic here. This is a government that for 40 years has told people what to do, how to dress, how to behave and many peoples mind-set is to always defy what the government says. So now, when theres a pandemic, and the government tells them, Stay home, wear a mask, theyre like: No. We dont trust you. And you dont tell us what to do.

Updated August 17, 2020

And so for Iran, I think the challenge to contain a pandemic may be greater than it is for other countries because the government is dealing with 70 million people whose default mode is to defy it.

The Mariinsky Ballet, one of the most renowned companies in Russia, returned to the stage last month but was abruptly ordered to quarantine last week after about 30 members contracted the virus.

Finland, which has some of the most severe travel restrictions in Europe, announced that it would tighten restrictions on incoming travelers starting on Monday.

Nepal plans to reimpose a strict lockdown and curfew in the Kathmandu Valley for a week, when all movement except essential services will be restricted.

Heres a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.

Im a widow, age 84, in a single-family home in Southern California, praying daily for the world. To overcome loneliness, I telephone family and friends, read on my front porch and greet neighbors. I drive around town, reminiscing about meeting my husband and raising our children here.

Ann Gideon, Redlands, Calif.

Let us know how youre dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

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Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today - The New York Times

Coronavirus updates: University of North Carolina temporarily suspends fall sports; Pope warns against the rich getting vaccine first – USA TODAY

You can work from home without feeling so isolated. Here are some great ways to stay connected with your team. USA TODAY

Florida, one of the hardest hit states from the coronavirus, just registered its 10,000th death due to COVID-19.

It came after the state recorded 174 new deaths Wednesday, giving it a total that's fifth highest among states around the country. It has recorded more than 584,000 cases of COVID-19 so far.

The virus, meanwhile, continues to play havoc with colleges' attempts to reopen classes.

A day after officials at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill decided to pivot to online classes afterat least four clusters of outbreaks in student living spaces, North Carolina State University reported its firstcluster of positive cases in off-campus housing.Also Tuesday, the University of Notre Dame said it was movingto online classes for two weeks in hopes that infections won't surge.

And sports fans who thought they could get a break from the coronavirus fallout can't catch a break: new NFL rules will keep mascots and cheerleaders -- as well as sideline reporters -- off the field.

Some significant developments:

Today's numbers:The U.S. has 5.4million confirmed infections and more than 171,000 deaths. Worldwide, there have been more than 781,000deaths and 22.1 million cases, according toJohn Hopkins University data.

What we're reading:Wearing a mask inpublic restrooms should be mandatory during thepandemic, researchers say, because there'sincreasing evidence that flushingtoilets and now urinals can release inhalable coronavirus particles into the air.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox,subscribe to the Daily Briefing.

Tourists visiting The Strip could befueling the pandemic,according to a ProPublica investigation. An analysis of smartphone data during four days,a Friday to Monday in mid-July,revealed how most of theU.S.is connected to Las Vegas a likely hot spot of COVID-19 spread.

During that time frame, about 26,000 devices were identified on The Strip, according to data mined by the companiesX-ModeandTectonix. Some of those smartphones thentraveled to every state on the mainland except Maine.

Heres a look at where those devices ended up during thosesame four days, according to Propublica:

The cellphone analysis highlights a reason the virus keeps spreading and shows how travel to Las Vegas could be fueling the pandemic, according to health officials.

Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal

Just 48 hours after saying a COVID-19 outbreak on campuswouldn't affect plans to play football this fall, the University of North Carolina has suspended all athletic activities through at least Thursday afternoon. In addition, all recreational facilities on the Chapel Hill campus willbe closed to students, coaches and staff.

"After consulting with our health experts and University leadership, we are taking this action to protect our students, coaches and staff,''UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said. "We want to make sure we continue to do everything we can to ensure that that our teams, campus and community remain healthy.''

The school welcomed students back to campus for in-person classes last week, butafter at least four clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks,university officials reversed course and moved all classes online.

Steve Gardner

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defended his administrations handling of the coronavirus pandemic in fiery remarks Wednesday after a report from the White House coronavirus task force said Georgia led the nation last week in new cases per capita.

The White House report, dated Aug. 16, recommends several steps to curb the virus that Kemp has declined to take, including closing bars and issuing mask mandates in counties with 50 or more active cases.

Kemp was among the first governors to ease earlier restrictions this spring, and while infections declined for weeks afterwards, they began to rise in June and peaked in late July.

First reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the report says Georgias small gains are fragile and statewide progress will require continued, expanded, and stronger mitigation efforts, including in all open schools.

Kemp insisted Wednesday that other markers hes watching paint a different picture.

Associated Press

Puerto Ricos governor announced Wednesday that she will place the U.S. territory on a 24-hour lockdown every Sunday as part of stricter measures to fight a spike in coronavirus cases.

Gyms, theaters and bars will remain closed and only restaurants with outdoor areas will be allowed to seat people, but at 25% capacity. Gov. Wanda Vzquez said violators will be shut down for a month.

In addition, beaches will remain open only to those doing exercise such as runners and surfers, and businesses, malls and banks will be allowed to operate at only 25% capacity.

The new measures go into effect Saturday and will remain in place until Sept. 11. Face masks remain mandatory.

We have to adjust to living in a new reality, Vzquez said, blaming the jump in cases on careless people.

Associated Press

Cheerleaders and mascots will not be allowed to be on the field during NFL games this season.

The league-wide policy was part of new protocols unveiled Wednesday in conjunction with the NFL Players Association, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Previously, some of these decisions were being left to individual teams.

Sideline reporters and pregame panelists also will not be allowed on the field level, per the agreement.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

A new study casts doubt on whether a virus can be transmitted by breast milk.

The study found only one of 64 samples of breast milk from 18 women in the U.S. who had become infected with the virustested positive. Further tests found that the virus couldn't replicate, making it unable to potentially infect a breast-fed infant.

The study by was conducted jointly by researchers at the University of California campuses in San Diego and Los Angeles and the results were published Wednesday in the online edition of the medical journal JAMA.

We hope our results and future studies will give women the reassurance needed for them to breastfeed. Human milk provides invaluable benefits to mom and baby, said Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, co-principal investigator of the study and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Childrens Hospital.

Chinese government officials were involved in a coverup about the coronavirus, but not at the national level, says a U.S. intelligence report obtained by the New York Times.

Officials in the Wuhan and Hubei provinces in central China, where the virus first appeared, attempted to keep China's central leadership in Beijing from knowing key information about the early outbreak, concludes the report compiled by several U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA. Local officials feared reprisal from the central government.

The report, prepared in June with a mix of classified and unclassified data, backs the overall view that Communist Party officials hid important information from the World Heath Organization even as they sought to get details on the outbreak themselves from recalcitrant local officials.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused China of a coverup, alleging the virus could have been stopped much faster if it had been more forthcoming.

Deaths in Florida from the coronavirus surpassed 10,000, while teachers and state officials argued in court over whether in-person schools should reopen this month.

Florida reported 174 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed deaths to at least 10,067 the fifth-highest death toll in the nation. The state reported an additional 4,115 confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 584,047. The positivity rate for coronavirus testing in Florida has averaged about 11.4% during the past week.

There were 5,351 patients being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals on Wednesday, down from peaks above 9,500 patients in late July.

Meanwhile, Floridas largest teachers union is seeking an injunction from a judge in Tallahassee to stop schools from reopening by this Friday.

Associated Press

Dreamed of actually snagging tickets to screenings at a major film festival? Because of the coronavirus pandemic, you make be able to see the films from your living room.

The festivals are where critics and insiders get early peeks at movies either slated for theaters or those hoping to receive the kind of breakout attention that will get them there. Because of the virus, the festivals have gone virtual streamed to living rooms.

The New York Film Festival is kicking off Sept. 25 with an opening night featuring Steve McQueens Lovers Rock, and will premiere two other of the Black filmmakers works, Mangrove and Red, White and Blue, part of the same anthology. Also on tap: Chloe Zhaos anticipated Nomadland with Frances McDormand, Sam Pollards documentary MLK/FBI, and the documentary Time, about a woman trying to get her husband released from his 60-year prison sentence.

Jeff Friday, founder of the American Black Film Festival, which runs through Aug. 30, has already seen the positives of making the move to virtual. Usually, 10,000 film fans show up for his annual June event in Miami; this year, he's predicting 200,000 people interested in streaming more than 90 films celebrating Black cinema, as well as panel discussions featuring Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Candyman director Nia DaCosta, Mary J. Blige, Lena Waithe and Gabrielle Union.

Brian Truitt

Bars that cater to members of the LGBTQ community are not just bars: they serve as community hubs and safe spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer folks.So when they had to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, those spaces were lost. Fighting back, some have launched crowdfunding campaigns to stay afloat until they are full back in business.

The owner of Harlem's Alibi Lounge, one of the only Black-owned LGBTQ bars in New York City, unveiled a campaign in May that has raised more than $166,000 and counting.

Julius Bar part of the National Register of Historic Places, the oldest gay bar in New York City and one of the oldest continually operating bars in the city overall has raised more than $97,000 via a GoFundMe campaign since early July.Its Greenwich Village neighbor, the Stonewall Inn, has raised more than $320,000 on the platform.

When, all of a sudden, a pandemic like COVID-19 tells you that you have to isolate, that you have to stay home and if you go to a bar, you go to a restaurant, you could be at a high risk to be exposed to the virus, it makes people not even think twice," said Alibi Lounge owner Alexi Minko. "They decide, Well, in that case I am not going to a bar, Im not going to a restaurant until I know that its safer.

Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press

Many furloughed workers were not being immediately called to report back to duty, a new study finds.In an analysis of its small business clients, payroll service Gusto found that only 37% of workers who were initially furloughed in March and 47% of those who were furloughed in April had returned to their jobs by July. Furthermore, among those furloughed in March who were able to go back to work, nearly 25% had their wages reduced.

Furloughed workers are counted as unemployed when determining the jobless rate, which means the fate of those still in limbo could drive unemployment up or down in the coming months.

Since April, the jobless rate has slowly declined, but if a large number of furloughed workers are able to return to their employers, we could see those numbers drop even more. That would spell good news for an economy that's stuck in a recession. On the other hand, a large chunk of furloughed workers could be permanently laid off in the coming months, too.

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

Pharmacists in all 50 states are now allowed to give childhood vaccinations under a new directive aimed at preventing future outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases.

Alex Azar, the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, took the step using emergency powers he has during the coronavirus epidemic, which was declared a public health emergency.The directive announced Wednesday will temporarily preempt restrictions in 22 states starting this fall.

The move is designed to help prevent vaccination rates from falling during the pandemic, Azar said.

Separately, Massachusetts officials announced Wednesday that they will require flu vaccinations for all students, from child care to college. The vaccinations are required by Dec.31. Home-schooled students and those who are studying entirely remotely are exempted.

Associated Press

The New York Police Department announced its created a task force specifically to deal with a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 21 reported anti-Asian hate crimes leading to 17 arrests since March around the time the pandemic intensified in the United States, whichChief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters is higher than normal Tuesday.

"Thisincrease was cultivated due to the anti-Asian rhetoric about the virus that was publicized and individuals began to attack Asian New Yorkers either verbal attack or physical assault," Harrison said. "We saw a spike in every borough throughout the city."

N'dea Yancey-Bragg

A patron who spent hours inside a bar during the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, which ended last Sunday, has tested positive for COVID-19, health officials confirmed.

The person spent nearly six hours atOne-Eyed Jacks Saloon on Aug. 11. State officials are encouraging anyone at the bar to monitor themselves for any symptoms of the coronavirus.

The 2020 Rally drew more than 460,000 vehicles during the 10-day event, according to a count South Dakota transportation officials released Tuesday. The event was scaled down, but face coverings were not required during the event.

Michael Klinski, Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Pope Francis on Wednesday cautioned against prioritizing future coronavirus vaccines based on wealth. Deviating fromhis plannedweekly public address, he said that "we must come out better" from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How sad it would be if for the COVID-19 vaccine priority is given to the richest," he said. The pandemic has laid bare the difficult situation of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world."

The pontiff added that the vaccine should be "universal and for all," rather than "the property of this nation or another," not naming any countries in particular.

At least two dozen Maine residents tested positive for COVID-19 after a wedding reception in rural Maine the states first outbreak linked to a social gathering.

About 65 people attended theindoor event at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, said Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long. About 18 people in attendance and around 10others who came into contact with attendees all tested positive, according to WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine.

The owner of the Big Moose Inn could face a $10,000 fine if the state's executive orders limiting group gatherings to 50 were violated, officials said.

R-0 may be the most important scientific term youve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic. USA TODAY

During the pandemic, people are talking a lot about children missing classes, graduations and proms. What has received far less attention, child development experts say, is the impact the pandemic is having on the youngest children: babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners.

Birth to age five is a critical time for child development, research shows, and new data from the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development Early Childhood Household Survey Project (RAPID-EC Project) shows caregiver distress is cascading down to young children in ways science shows can be toxic in the short- and long-term.

The project has been conducting weekly surveys since April and has found caregivers of young children are experiencing distress, material hardship and loss of emotional supports. Since the project's data is sequential, it also is able to show a chain reaction. When a family is stressed about meeting basic needs, the next week they report more emotional distress, and the week after report increases in their child's emotional distress.

"if you can't buy food or you can't pay your rent, that you are experiencing the kind of stress that is going to be toxic to your children,"said RAPID project director Phil Fisher.

Alia E. Dastagir

Nearly 80 teachers in Utah's Salt Lake County have resigned or retired as in-person classes are set to resume at schools this year, the Salt Late Tribune reported.

The Tribune tallied 79 teachers who left their posts due to concerns about COVID-19. At least 16 of the resignations came in the last week, the newspaper reported.

Salt Lake County has the highest number of virus cases in the state, and teachers leaving the classroom told the newspaper that they'd rather resign or retire now than return in the fall, risking their own health or the health of their students.

Were just being told to jump in like nothing is wrong, Jan Roberts, a teacher of32 years who just retired, told the Tribune. Its not OK.

Health officials have identified a COVID-19 cluster at another North Carolina university.

A statement from North Carolina State University confirmed on Tuesday that Wake County health officials identified of COVID-19 cases at off-campus housing east of the Raleigh, North Carolina, campus.

The school said several people who have tested positive as part of this cluster have been identified, including some who are N.C. State students. Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone known to have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school.

The school said reports indicated a party or some type of gathering was hosted at the location on or around Aug. 6. The notice said it was not known how many people were at the gathering, but encouraged anyone who attended to visit their personal healthcare provider or Student Health Services.

Switching from in-person to online schooling has been hard on many families and on their budgets.

About one-quarter of parents say theyve gone into debt to pay for their kids at-home school expenses, and many blame the cost of their kids breakfasts and lunches when they switched to learning remotely from home.

A survey from Credit Karma examines how this school year could affect household finances. More than half of parents say they expect to spend slightly to significantly more on school supplies, the survey of more than 1,000 parents found.

The reasons for the debt are higher grocery prices and the sudden switch to at-home schooling in March.

See more here:

Coronavirus updates: University of North Carolina temporarily suspends fall sports; Pope warns against the rich getting vaccine first - USA TODAY

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, August 19 – CNN

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CNN's Scott McLean reports."},{"title":"New Zealand just hit a milestone in its fight against Covid-19","duration":"01:58","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200810131516-new-zealand-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"New Zealand marked 100 days without a local infection of Covid-19. 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","descriptionText":"CNN's Max Foster shows us how one school in Scotland has prepared to reopen and what safety measures they have put in place. 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CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the red light district in Tijuana, Mexico, is still bustling with tourists. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Covid-19 takes toll on mental health in India","duration":"02:52","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200816150715-india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg-00010107-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Coronavirus is taking a toll on the mental well-being of people worldwide. Many who have recovered find they can't really leave the experience behind. CNN's Vedika Sud reports.","descriptionText":"Coronavirus is taking a toll on the mental well-being of people worldwide. Many who have recovered find they can't really leave the experience behind. 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CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/scott-mclean-profile" target="_blank">Scott McLeanu003c/a> reports from London.","descriptionText":"Thousands of British holidaymakers have been trying to u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/british-tourists-france-quarantine-restrictions-gbr-scli-intl/index.html" target="_blank">return home from Franceu003c/a> in an attempt to avoid new quarantine restrictions imposed by the UK government. CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/scott-mclean-profile" target="_blank">Scott McLeanu003c/a> reports from London."},{"title":"Spanish official says outbreaks are the 'new normal' as cases rise in Europe","duration":"01:51","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200814105606-europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00001613-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Spain, France and Greece are all seeing sharp rises in coronavirus cases as experts warn more deaths will come if measures to slow the spread aren't taken soon. CNN's Scott McLean reports.","descriptionText":"Spain, France and Greece are all seeing sharp rises in coronavirus cases as experts warn more deaths will come if measures to slow the spread aren't taken soon. CNN's Scott McLean reports."},{"title":"How US military is patrolling virus cases among troops in Asia","duration":"02:28","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200814120413-us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx-00013109-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Dozens of US military personnel are testing positive for coronavirus while transferring from the United States to South Korea. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/paula-hancocks" target="_blank">Paula Hancocksu003c/a> gets an exclusive look at how US Forces Korea are keeping incoming cases away from the rest of the base.","descriptionText":"Dozens of US military personnel are testing positive for coronavirus while transferring from the United States to South Korea. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/paula-hancocks" target="_blank">Paula Hancocksu003c/a> gets an exclusive look at how US Forces Korea are keeping incoming cases away from the rest of the base."},{"title":"Hear from Wellington mayor after New Zealand reimposes lockdown","duration":"03:20","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200813151857-andy-foster-wellington-mayor-quest-interview-08132020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Andy Foster, the mayor of New Zealand's capital Wellington, about the country's response to the coronavirus as New Zealand reported 14 new coronavirus cases and imposed a lockdown in the city of Auckland.","descriptionText":"CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Andy Foster, the mayor of New Zealand's capital Wellington, about the country's response to the coronavirus as New Zealand reported 14 new coronavirus cases and imposed a lockdown in the city of Auckland."},{"title":"Global coronavirus cases hit 20 million. 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The country appears to be a rare success story in a world that continues to grapple with the virus. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/michael-holmes-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Michael Holmesu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"New Zealand marked 100 days without a local infection of Covid-19. 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Read the rest here:

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, August 19 - CNN

If New Zealand’s Covid-19 outbreak is ‘terrible’ like Trump says, then how bad is the rest of the world? – CNN

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Hear Ardern's reply","duration":"01:07","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/18/donald-trump-jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-outbreak-newsroom-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/18/donald-trump-jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-outbreak-newsroom-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200818094811-new-zealand-jacinda-ardern-trump-cluster-response-08182020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/18/donald-trump-jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-outbreak-newsroom-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"After President Trump called New Zealand's coronavirus outbreak "terrible," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she didn't see any real comparison between New Zealand's current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are reported daily in the US.","descriptionText":"After President Trump called New Zealand's coronavirus outbreak "terrible," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she didn't see any real comparison between New Zealand's current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are reported daily in the US."},{"title":"Japanese less keen on voluntary Covid-19 restrictions amid surge","duration":"02:33","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/18/japan-coronavirus-covid-19-fatigue-enjoji-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/18/japan-coronavirus-covid-19-fatigue-enjoji-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200818160137-tokyo-street-scene-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/18/japan-coronavirus-covid-19-fatigue-enjoji-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"With no legal means to impose lockdowns, Japan has to count on its citizens' public conscience to contain fresh Covid-19 outbreaks. 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"},{"title":"Covid-19 is making a risky industry even riskier in South Africa","duration":"03:01","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/08/18/south-africa-coal-mining-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-giokos-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/08/18/south-africa-coal-mining-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-giokos-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200818110110-south-africa-coal-mining-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-giokos-intl-ldn-vpx-00004526-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/08/18/south-africa-coal-mining-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-giokos-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"CNN's Eleni Giokos reports exclusively from one of South Africa's largest coal mines where employees remain at work despite rising coronavirus cases in the country.","descriptionText":"CNN's Eleni Giokos reports exclusively from one of South Africa's largest coal mines where employees remain at work despite rising coronavirus cases in the country."},{"title":"See the precautions a Scottish school is taking as children return to class","duration":"02:41","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/17/scotland-school-reopening-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-foster-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/17/scotland-school-reopening-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-foster-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200817102336-scotland-school-reopening-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-foster-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00010421-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/17/scotland-school-reopening-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-foster-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"CNN's Max Foster shows us how one school in Scotland has prepared to reopen and what safety measures they have put in place. ","descriptionText":"CNN's Max Foster shows us how one school in Scotland has prepared to reopen and what safety measures they have put in place. "},{"title":"WHO reports record global Covid-19 increase over 24 hours ","duration":"02:14","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/17/global-coronavirus-covid-19-wrap-brunhuber-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/17/global-coronavirus-covid-19-wrap-brunhuber-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200817091237-global-coronavirus-covid-19-wrap-brunhuber-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx-00002708-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/17/global-coronavirus-covid-19-wrap-brunhuber-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"As the World Health Organization reported a global record of new Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period over the weekend, u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kim-brunhuber-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Kim Brunhuberu003c/a> reports on how the pandemic is spreading across the world.","descriptionText":"As the World Health Organization reported a global record of new Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period over the weekend, u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/kim-brunhuber-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Kim Brunhuberu003c/a> reports on how the pandemic is spreading across the world."},{"title":"Jacinda Ardern announces postponement of New Zealand elections ","duration":"02:26","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/17/new-zealand-delays-parliament-election-covid-19-coronavirus-watson-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/17/new-zealand-delays-parliament-election-covid-19-coronavirus-watson-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200817114030-ardern-august-17-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/17/new-zealand-delays-parliament-election-covid-19-coronavirus-watson-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is delaying the country's parliamentary election by four weeks after the reemergence of Covid-19 in the country. Journalist Angus Watson reports. ","descriptionText":"New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is delaying the country's parliamentary election by four weeks after the reemergence of Covid-19 in the country. Journalist Angus Watson reports. "},{"title":"Tijuana's red light district is bustling despite pandemic ","duration":"02:44","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/16/tijuana-mexico-red-light-district-coronavirus-rivers-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/16/tijuana-mexico-red-light-district-coronavirus-rivers-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200806185650-zona-norte-mexico-file-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/16/tijuana-mexico-red-light-district-coronavirus-rivers-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the red light district in Tijuana, Mexico, is still bustling with tourists. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the red light district in Tijuana, Mexico, is still bustling with tourists. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Covid-19 takes toll on mental health in India","duration":"02:52","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200816150715-india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg-00010107-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/16/india-coronavirus-covid-mental-health-vedika-sud-pkg.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Coronavirus is taking a toll on the mental well-being of people worldwide. Many who have recovered find they can't really leave the experience behind. CNN's Vedika Sud reports.","descriptionText":"Coronavirus is taking a toll on the mental well-being of people worldwide. Many who have recovered find they can't really leave the experience behind. CNN's Vedika Sud reports."},{"title":"British tourists rush back from France to avoid restrictions","duration":"01:30","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://edition.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/travel/2020/08/15/uk-france-quarantine-restrictions-travel-mclean-coronavirus-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"travel/2020/08/15/uk-france-quarantine-restrictions-travel-mclean-coronavirus-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200815055912-france-quarantine-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/travel/2020/08/15/uk-france-quarantine-restrictions-travel-mclean-coronavirus-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Thousands of British holidaymakers have been trying to u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/british-tourists-france-quarantine-restrictions-gbr-scli-intl/index.html" target="_blank">return home from Franceu003c/a> in an attempt to avoid new quarantine restrictions imposed by the UK government. CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/scott-mclean-profile" target="_blank">Scott McLeanu003c/a> reports from London.","descriptionText":"Thousands of British holidaymakers have been trying to u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/british-tourists-france-quarantine-restrictions-gbr-scli-intl/index.html" target="_blank">return home from Franceu003c/a> in an attempt to avoid new quarantine restrictions imposed by the UK government. CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/scott-mclean-profile" target="_blank">Scott McLeanu003c/a> reports from London."},{"title":"Spanish official says outbreaks are the 'new normal' as cases rise in Europe","duration":"01:51","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200814105606-europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00001613-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/14/europe-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-spike-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Spain, France and Greece are all seeing sharp rises in coronavirus cases as experts warn more deaths will come if measures to slow the spread aren't taken soon. CNN's Scott McLean reports.","descriptionText":"Spain, France and Greece are all seeing sharp rises in coronavirus cases as experts warn more deaths will come if measures to slow the spread aren't taken soon. CNN's Scott McLean reports."},{"title":"How US military is patrolling virus cases among troops in Asia","duration":"02:28","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200814120413-us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx-00013109-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/14/us-military-south-korea-coronavirus-pandemic-hancocks-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Dozens of US military personnel are testing positive for coronavirus while transferring from the United States to South Korea. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/paula-hancocks" target="_blank">Paula Hancocksu003c/a> gets an exclusive look at how US Forces Korea are keeping incoming cases away from the rest of the base.","descriptionText":"Dozens of US military personnel are testing positive for coronavirus while transferring from the United States to South Korea. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/paula-hancocks" target="_blank">Paula Hancocksu003c/a> gets an exclusive look at how US Forces Korea are keeping incoming cases away from the rest of the base."},{"title":"Hear from Wellington mayor after New Zealand reimposes lockdown","duration":"03:20","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200813151857-andy-foster-wellington-mayor-quest-interview-08132020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/13/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-cases-quest-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Andy Foster, the mayor of New Zealand's capital Wellington, about the country's response to the coronavirus as New Zealand reported 14 new coronavirus cases and imposed a lockdown in the city of Auckland.","descriptionText":"CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Andy Foster, the mayor of New Zealand's capital Wellington, about the country's response to the coronavirus as New Zealand reported 14 new coronavirus cases and imposed a lockdown in the city of Auckland."},{"title":"Global coronavirus cases hit 20 million. Here's how we got here","duration":"02:25","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/11/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-global-cases-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/11/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-global-cases-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200811100539-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-global-cases-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/11/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-global-cases-mclean-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"The world has 20 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than half of those from just 3 countries: Brazil, the United States and India. CNN's Scott McLean reports.","descriptionText":"The world has 20 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than half of those from just 3 countries: Brazil, the United States and India. CNN's Scott McLean reports."},{"title":"New Zealand just hit a milestone in its fight against Covid-19","duration":"01:58","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200810131516-new-zealand-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/08/10/new-zealand-coronavirus-covid-19-100-day-no-local-transmission-mark-holmes-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"New Zealand marked 100 days without a local infection of Covid-19. The country appears to be a rare success story in a world that continues to grapple with the virus. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/michael-holmes-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Michael Holmesu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"New Zealand marked 100 days without a local infection of Covid-19. The country appears to be a rare success story in a world that continues to grapple with the virus. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/michael-holmes-profile" target="_blank">CNN's Michael Holmesu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Putin announces approval of coronavirus vaccine, amid skepticism ","duration":"01:50","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/08/11/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/08/11/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200811141543-putin-vaccine-grab-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/08/11/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Russian President Vladimir Putin u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/11/europe/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-putin-intl/index.html" target="_blank">announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccineu003c/a> called Sputnik-V, claiming it as a "world first," amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.","descriptionText":"Russian President Vladimir Putin u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/11/europe/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-putin-intl/index.html" target="_blank">announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccineu003c/a> called Sputnik-V, claiming it as a "world first," amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness."}],'js-video_headline-featured-1cihp5n','',"js-video_source-featured-1cihp5n",true,true,'coronavirus-intl');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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If New Zealand's Covid-19 outbreak is 'terrible' like Trump says, then how bad is the rest of the world? - CNN

Faster test results and ‘robust’ immune response may offer hope of curbing the pandemic, experts say – CNN

Tests have been delayed and in short supply as the United States surpassed 5.4 million cases, leaving many uncertain about their risk of spreading the virus. And as researchers rush to develop vaccines, they've had little evidence to tell if antibodies that protect against Covid-19 last long enough to get the virus under control. But developments from researchers Monday brought optimistic outlooks to both fronts.

SalivaDirect, a test that does not require specialized supplies and can deliver results in less than three hours, could be available to the public in a matter of weeks, according to Anne Wyllie, an epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health who was part of the team responsible for the protocol.

"It skips so many steps up front, so it makes it much more amenable to be used as a surveillance tool like in schools or universities," Dr. Brett Giroir, the White House coronavirus testing coordinator, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

And though many are in early stages and have not been peer-reviewed, a recent batch of studies show that humans -- even those with mild symptoms -- have a "robust" immune response to coronavirus that could provide evidence that a vaccine could protect the public for more than just a short period of time, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

"This is very good news and it's optimistic," Lipkin said Monday. "You know, it is a bit of blue sky that we've been looking for."

How long that protection lasts is still unclear, but the studies indicate it could last for months.

The outbreaks at universities continue

Campus life is returning to full swing as college students come back to school -- and now several universities are reporting coronavirus outbreaks.

Add North Carolina State University, where there are two clusters of cases, to the list of schools with outbreaks on or near campus.

Eight members of the Greek Life system have tested positive for Covid-19, school spokeswoman Lauren Barker said in a statement.

Those students live in chapter houses that are either university-owned or privately owned.

Officials at the school said they were also notified by the Wake County Health Department of another cluster at an off-campus housing facility. The health department said reports indicated there was a gathering there August 6.

As part of the university's contact tracing program, close contacts have been advised to quarantine for 14 days, which in some cases could mean the entire house being quarantined, Barker said.

The university announced Tuesday that undergraduate students will shift to online classes for the next two weeks.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in your first weeks back on campus," the Rev. John I. Jenkins, university president, said. "The spike in cases is very serious. And we must take serious steps to address it."

Analysis from contact tracers has shown that most infections have been the result of off campus gatherings, Jenkins said.

Some K-12 school districts are seeing outbreaks too.

In Florida, more than 25 districts are due to have started in-person instruction by week's end. Three districts -- in Baker, Bradford and Martin counties -- reported having to place students in quarantine after a week of in-person classes. Martin County alone has quarantined 321 students, district spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo said Tuesday.

The school district -- the country's second-largest with more than 600,000 students -- is beginning the new school year without in-person classes. The hope, Superintendent Austin Beutner told CNN Tuesday, is to build a foundation for when the district opens for in-person learning.

"If we want to keep schools from becoming a petri dish and we want to keep all in the school community safe, we need to test and trace at schools," he said.

Study: No apparent racial difference in Covid-19 death rates if there's equal access to health care

The research found no difference in mortality among Black and White patients hospitalized for coronavirus infection, after adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors.

Dr. Baligh Yehia of Ascension Health in Missouri and colleagues studied 11,210 adult coronavirus patients between February and May in 92 hospitals across 12 states. They found no statistical difference in the risk of mortality between White and Black patients, after adjusting for age, sex, insurance status, comorbidity, neighborhood deprivation and site of care.

Of the 11,210 patients, 37.3% were Black. Black patients were younger, more likely to be women and more likely to have Medicaid insurance than their White counterparts. Black patients were also more likely to have other health conditions such as asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

About 63.7% of patients were hospitalized and 39.4% were Black. After adjusting for outside factors, the team found that mortality was 19.2% among Black patients and 23.1% among White patients. The overall mortality rate was 20.3%.

Similar rates of Black and White patients needed an intensive care unit. Among those in the ICU, 35.2% of Black patients died and 36.4% of White patients died.

"Although current reports suggest that Black patients represent a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infections and death in the United States, in this study, mortality for those able to access hospital care did not differ between Black and White patients after adjusting for sociodemographic factors and comorbidities."

They called for additional research on coronavirus mortality by race.

CNN's Annie Grayer, Jamiel Lynch, Artemis Moshtaghian, Topher-Gauk Roger, Amanda Watts, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jason Hanna, Eric Levenson, Naomi Thomas and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.

Read more here:

Faster test results and 'robust' immune response may offer hope of curbing the pandemic, experts say - CNN

Why Pooled Testing for the Coronavirus Isn’t Working – The New York Times

Pooling accounts for about one-third of the samples that are processed at Poplar, Mr. Sweeney said, adding that percentage is going to get much higher.

But in many other regions, experts are having trouble clearing the hurdles to benefit from pooling in part because needs differ so vastly from institution to institution, and even from test to test.

Theres been a lot of concerns about all the challenges, said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the clinical parasitology laboratory at Mayo Clinic, which processes tens of thousands of coronavirus tests each week, but has yet to roll out pooling.

Experts disagree, for instance, on the cutoff at which pooling stops being useful. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions coronavirus test, which is used by most public health laboratories in the United States, stipulates that pooling shouldnt be used when positivity rates exceed 10 percent. But at Mayo Clinic, wed have to start to question it once prevalence goes above 2 percent, definitely above 5 percent, Dr. Pritt said.

And prevalence isnt the only factor at play. The more individual samples grouped, the more efficient the process gets. But at some point, poolings perks hit an inflection point: A positive specimen can only get diluted so much before the coronavirus becomes undetectable. That means pooling will miss some people who harbor very low amounts of the virus.

Updated August 17, 2020

Are we going to cause harm if we miss them? I think thats still a difficult question to answer, Dr. Liesman said. These people may be less likely to pass the virus to others, and may be at lower risk of getting severely ill. But thats no guarantee. Some might simply be early on in their infection.

Pooling can also be onerous for lab technicians many of whom have been working grueling hours for months on end. Though simple in theory, batching samples is tedious and time-consuming, as researchers carefully transfer precise amounts of liquid from one tube to another hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times over.

Originally posted here:

Why Pooled Testing for the Coronavirus Isn't Working - The New York Times

Coronavirus outbreak linked to wedding reception in Maine – CNN

The wedding guests attended a reception on August 7 at Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Big Moose Inn is a 37 acre property that includes a restaurant, cabins and campgrounds near Baxter State Park. The Inn has hosted weddings since the 1970s and can accommodate 100 guests in their Fredericka's Restaurant, according to their website.

"Right now, we do not know if the outbreak originated at the Big Moose Inn or whether there may have been additional sites of transmission at other points during the gathering," Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, said during a news conference on Tuesday.

He added that the reception was a connecting point for the group and the agency is still investigating the outbreak.

"What we know right now is that the reception that occurred there on August 7 was a connecting point and that there may have been other sources of transmission in addition to the reception at Big Moose Inn," Dr. Shah said.

CNN reached out to Big Moose Inn for comment and did not receive a response.

On Monday, Maine CDC announced the wedding reception had approximately 65 guests. In total, 24 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in connection with the event, according to the agency. They added that 18 of those cases were individuals who attended the reception and six others who had close contact with reception attendees.

The agency is conducting contact tracing for guests, staff and people who might have had close contact with individuals with confirmed cases. They encourage anyone who attended the event and has symptoms to contact their health care provider.

"What I think is really important about this situation is that it is another reminder that Covid-19 exist everywhere in Maine and it can spread really quickly when large groups of people gather," Dr. Shah said.

"I ask everyone to remember this situation as you attended social gatherings of your own," Dr. Shah said. "Things like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing is as important today as any time in the outbreak investigation."

CNN's Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

Read more from the original source:

Coronavirus outbreak linked to wedding reception in Maine - CNN


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