Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Mayo Clinic

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Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). In 2019, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that originated in China.

The virus is now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Public health groups, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO, are monitoring the pandemic and posting updates on their websites. These groups have also issued recommendations for preventing and treating the illness.

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may appear two to 14 days after exposure. This time after exposure and before having symptoms is called the incubation period. Common signs and symptoms can include:

Other symptoms can include:

This list is not all inclusive. Other less common symptoms have been reported, such as rash, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Some people may have only a few symptoms, and some people may have no symptoms at all. People who are older or who have existing chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, chronic kidney or liver disease, or who have compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of serious illness. This is similar to what is seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

Some people may experience worsened symptoms, such as worsened shortness of breath and pneumonia, about a week after symptoms start.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or you've been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, contact your doctor or clinic right away for medical advice. Tell your health care team about your symptoms and possible exposure before you go to your appointment.

If you have emergency COVID-19 signs and symptoms, seek care immediately. Emergency signs and symptoms can include:

If you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor or clinic for guidance. Let your doctor know if you have other chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or lung disease. During the pandemic, it's important to make sure health care is available for those in greatest need.

Infection with the new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The virus appears to spread easily among people, and more continues to be discovered over time about how it spreads. Data has shown that it spreads from person to person among those in close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters). The virus spreads by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can be inhaled or land in the mouth or nose of a person nearby.

It can also spread if a person touches a surface with the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes, although this isn't considered to be a main way it spreads.

Risk factors for COVID-19 appear to include:

Although most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, the disease can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. Older adults or people with existing chronic medical conditions are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Complications can include:

Although there is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following these precautions for avoiding COVID-19:

If you have a chronic medical condition and may have a higher risk of serious illness, check with your doctor about other ways to protect yourself.

If you're planning to travel, first check the CDC and WHO websites for updates and advice. Also look for any health advisories that may be in place where you plan to travel. You may also want to talk with your doctor if you have health conditions that make you more susceptible to respiratory infections and complications.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Mayo Clinic

Florida’s cases of COVID-19 topped 56,000 Sunday; more than 1 million Floridians tested – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 738since yesterday morning as the virus spreads and as more people are tested across the state. The total number of cases in Florida is now 56,163.

The number of deaths has reached 2,451, an increase of 4since Saturday's update.

Of the 56,163cases, 54,764are Florida residents while 1,399are non-Florida residents currently in the state.

Bay Area COVID-19 cases by the numbers:

Hillsborough: 2,201

Pinellas: 1,297

Sarasota: 635

Manatee: 1,045

Sumter: 253

Polk: 1,027

Citrus: 121

Hernando: 115

Pasco: 386

Highlands: 129

DeSoto: 182

Hardee: 99

The state is not reporting atotal number of "recovered"coronavirus patientsor those currently hospitalized. As of Sunday, 10,190people had been hospitalized for treatment at some point.

A total of 1,022,265people have been tested in the state as of Sunday-- about 5.5% of the state's population -- according to the Florida Department of Health.

LINK:County-by-county Florida coronavirus cases and ZIP code map

Source: Florida Department of Health

After two peaks in early and mid-April, the states curve has generally flattened over the last few weeks. In the last 30 days, the state has averaged just under 700 new cases per day. Thats down to a level that the health care system can handle, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The new cases Friday mark the largest single-day number reported duringthe last month.

As Florida continues taking steps to ease restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts saynew cases and more deaths are expected.

Editor's note: The number of new cases and deaths reported each day does not necessarily reflect the day that the case was confirmed. The state says some private testing labs dump large batches of test results which include cases from previous days. Stats for today and previous days will likely change in the future as the state reviewsmore cases and updates retroactive data.

The state's number of deaths represents permanent Florida residents who have died from COVID-19. The number of non-Florida residents who have died from the coronavirus while in the state is not reported.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock.Questions may also be emailed tocovid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK:Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA:What youneed to know

AROUND THE WORLD:CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map

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Florida's cases of COVID-19 topped 56,000 Sunday; more than 1 million Floridians tested - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Coronavirus Update (Live): 5,792,314 Cases and 357,471 …

How dangerous is the virus?

There are three parameters to understand in order to assess the magnitude of the risk posed by this novel coronavirus:

The attack rate or transmissibility (how rapidly the disease spreads) of a virus is indicated by its reproductive number (Ro, pronounced R-nought or r-zero), which represents the average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus.

WHO's estimated (on Jan. 23) Ro to be between 1.4 and 2.5. [13]

Other studies have estimated a Ro between 3.6 and 4.0, and between 2.24 to 3.58. [23].

Preliminary studies had estimated Ro to be between 1.5 and 3.5. [5][6][7]

An outbreak with a reproductive number of below 1 will gradually disappear.

For comparison, the Ro for the common flu is 1.3 and for SARS it was 2.0.

See full details: Coronavirus Fatality Rate

The novel coronavirus' case fatality rate has been estimated at around 2%, in the WHO press conference held on January 29, 2020 [16] . However, it noted that, without knowing how many were infected, it was too early to be able to put a percentage on the mortality rate figure.

A prior estimate [9] had put that number at 3%.

Fatality rate can change as a virus can mutate, according to epidemiologists.

For comparison, the case fatality rate for SARS was 10%, and for MERS 34%.

See full details: COVID-19 Coronavirus Incubation Period

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 (estimated ranges vary from 2-10 days, 2-14 days, and 10-14 days, see details), during which the virus is contagious but the patient does not display any symptom (asymptomatic transmission).

See latest findings: Age, Sex, Demographics of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

According to early estimates by China's National Health Commission (NHC), about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60 and 75% of them hadpre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases anddiabetes.[24]

According to the WHO Situation Report no. 7 issued on Jan. 27:

A study of 138 hospitalized patients with NCIP found that the median age was 56 years (interquartile range, 42-68; range, 22-92 years) and 75 (54.3%) were men.[25]

The WHO, in its Myth busters FAQs, addresses the question: "Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?" by answering that:

As of Jan. 29, according to French authorities, the conditions of the two earliest Paris cases had worsened and the patients were being treated in intensive care, according to French authorities. The patients have been described as a young couple aged 30 and 31 years old, both Chinese citizens from Wuhan who were asymptomatic when they arrived in Paris on January 18 [19].

The NHC reported the details of the first 17 deaths up to 24 pm on January 22, 2020. The deaths included 13 males and 4 females. The median age of the deaths was 75 (range 48-89) years.[21]

See full details: WHO coronavirus updates

On January 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency.

For more information from the WHO regarding novel coronavirus: WHO page on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

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Coronavirus Update (Live): 5,792,314 Cases and 357,471 ...

Covid-19 and the Rural Fear of Taking Advantage – The New York Times

CLINTON, Ark. After a brief shutdown to hinder the coronaviruss spread, Arkansas began opening up, slowly and cautiously, on May 11. Businesses are placing limits on the number of customers they will serve at any one time, and social distancing and mask wearing is still required in establishments like restaurants. The states Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, has been critical of businesses and customers that dont follow these rules. Even so, Arkansas has seen a second peak of coronavirus infection, as cases surge especially among younger people and the Latino population in northwestern counties. On Thursday, Governor Hutchinson announced the largest single-day increase in community transmission 261 cases.

Despite this, and despite predictions that the virus will take a crushing toll in rural areas like ours, this part of Arkansas has so far been spared the worst health effects of Covid-19. Van Buren County, where I live, has fewer than 17,000 people and has had only 28 confirmed cases of the coronavirus to date. Two people died, but the rest have recovered. Early cases were concentrated in bigger cities, like Little Rock and a suburb of Memphis, and were disproportionately among black Arkansans. There have been more than 6,500 cases in the state about a fifth of them have been in prisons, and those cases werent even added to official totals at first, all of which is a human rights disaster but most families havent been affected. Any death is a tragedy, but death from Covid-19 hasnt personally touched very many people here. At least not yet.

I moved back here to my hometown two and a half years ago to write a book about it. Since returning, Ive become more active on Facebook, which is both a source of local gossip and official news; county officials and offices often post important updates, especially about the coronavirus outbreak, to their Facebook pages. Im also a member of three local news groups that are a source of insight into how my neighbors think about current events. Ive found that a vast majority of people here approach political issues, whether local or national, with suspicion of taxation and government spending, even when such spending is for their own benefit. This has remained true even during these unprecedented times.

We have been hit with the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. The median household income in the state is $45,726; for the county its $34,428, so there are many people who live paycheck to paycheck. While a large majority of Americans 74 percent support continued efforts to slow the viruss spread, and there are plenty of well-off Americans and business owners eager to get back to work, the divide over whether lockdowns should continue is a strongly partisan one. Many Republicans, including low- and middle-income whites think businesses should reopen now. For the most part, the people Ive spoken to and seen commenting online here accept as a given that the only way to be able to pay their rent or to feed their kids is to return to work: They dont think its possible to protect our health and our economic well-being at the same time.

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Covid-19 and the Rural Fear of Taking Advantage - The New York Times

UK Finalizes COVID-19 Production Guidelines Read Them In Full – Deadline

The UK production sector now has a comprehensive set of coronavirus safety protocols, with the British Film Commission (BFC) today publishing its guidelines following wide industry consultation.

The 34-page document, titled Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production, is available to read in full here. Scroll down for a summation.

The UK government has endorsed the publication of the guidelines.

The UK is recognized around the globe as a brilliant place to make films, and is home to the worlds best film and high-end TV talent, said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. Weve worked hard to support the industry through these difficult times, and Im delighted weve been able to agree this step forward towards getting the cameras rolling safely again.

As the government has already given the green light for production to resume in the UK once the guidelines were confirmed, theoretically the sector can get back up and running right away. Todays news does not, however, mean an automatic return to work. There are still hurdles to overcome, including insurance. As BFI chief exec Ben Roberts noted, There is still work to done to address the cost of recovery and business insurance as a result of COVID-19, but government support has been crucial in getting us to this point.

It is worth noting that the guidelines are intended to be advisory and not mandatory. They are also designed to be scalable to fit the needs of projects of all sizes. That means producers will need to make the call on exactly how they implement the protocols. The wording of many of the guidelines makes this clear, often encouraging those in charge to consider implementing certain protocols, rather than demanding they do so. The orgs involved said that further support regarding how to apply the guidelines will be provided in the coming weeks.

The news paves the way for big budget productions to resume on Brit shores including Warner Bros The Batman, Netflixs The Witcher, Universals Jurassic World: Dominion and Disneys The Little Mermaid. It is expected that the new guidelines will take time to be implemented, but it is thought that certain productions could get up and running as soon as July.

UK body ScreenSkills will be implementing training courses later in June to help workers get ready for being on set in the post-coronavirus reality.

The release of todays guidelines follows last weeks publication of a slimmer, 15-page document from a combo of British broadcasters and producers, which you can find here.

Separately, the UKs VFX and post-production sectors have combined to produce guidelines for how those industries will continue to operate post-pandemic, which you can read here.

Todays production guidelines emerge from the BFI Screen Sector COVID-19 Task Force, which was established to steer recovery initiatives after the pandemic hit the industry, forcing all production to shut down after the nation went into lockdown. Netflix, BAFTA, Disney, HBO and Bectu have all been a part of drawing up these initiatives. To date, the loss of revenues for UK production companies alone is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Deadline revealed a draft version of the BFCs safety protocols on May 6, which covered many of the same suggestions as those in todays document.

The finalized doc covers 30 individuals points, from COVID-19 awareness, through to travel, mental health, and location shooting. Here are some of the key points:

The industry is extremely keen to restart production as soon as possible, but not without a comprehensive road map for how to do it safely while the threat of COVID-19 still looms large, said Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the BFC. Todays guidance provides that reassurance, reflecting the latest government, technical and medical advice available. We will also update it on a regular basis, giving clarity on the latest measures recommended to ensure a safe shoot for cast, crew and the wider public.

Various industry figures have weighed in with their support for todays document.

This guidance, created by the BFC and their colleagues, forms the cornerstone for allowing productions to get back up and running in the UK. The resumption of filming will mean that thousands of people can return to work, most importantly, with safety being paramount, said Simon Emanuel, Executive Producer on The Witcherseason oneandThe Batman.

The BFCs guidelines enable us to take tentative steps to return to set, providing a promising breakthrough after thispainfully fallow production period.They are designed to be translatable to projects of all budget levels and needs,which is a welcome concept for the independent sector particularly, added NickyEarnshaw, Head ofProduction, See-Saw Films. These guidelines cannot stand alone, so it is crucial that they are seen as just part of the measures needed to help get the production sector back to work and sit alongside the other proposals being presented to government by thevarious bodies and individuals comprising the Screen Sector Task Force.

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UK Finalizes COVID-19 Production Guidelines Read Them In Full - Deadline

ICE keeps transferring detainees around the country, leading to COVID-19 outbreaks – NBC News

The immigrants began to show symptoms in late April, about a week after arriving at the Rolling Plains Detention Center in Haskell, Texas.

They had been held in dorms with other recent transfers, according to a county official. First three detainees tested positive for COVID-19. Then 20 more. As of Friday, 41 immigrants detained at Rolling Plains had been infected. Just three county residents have tested positive.

In Pearsall, Texas, 350 miles south, transfers turned another detention center into a virus hotspot. Frio County had just a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in early April. Then two detainees who had recently been moved to Pearsall's South Texas ICE Processing Facility tested positive, ICE told county officials. Thirty-two immigrants have now been diagnosed, almost 90 percent of the state's official COVID-19 tally in Frio County.

"Our vulnerability is absolutely that detention center," said Frio County Commissioner Jose Asuncion. "Once that facility is exposed, the employees are coming in and out, there's no way to contain it."

In the past several months, while most Americans have been ordered to shelter at home, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has shuffled hundreds of people in its custody around the country. Immigrants have been transferred from California to Florida, Florida to New Mexico, Arizona to Washington State, Pennsylvania to Texas.

These transfers, which ICE says were sometimes done to curb the spread of coronavirus, have led to outbreaks in facilities in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, according to attorneys, news reports and ICE declarations filed in federal courts.

ICE's actions have prompted an outcry from Democratic senators, who on Friday said the transfers had spread the virus and demanded Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf bring them to a halt.

"Until ICE halts transfers and expands testing, the agency will continue to exacerbate conditions for individuals in ICE custody and for all the communities surrounding its facilities," reads the letter signed by 18 senators.

Since ICE announced its first case in March, COVID-19 has surfaced in at least 55 of the roughly 200 facilities that ICE uses. More than 1,400 detainees have been infected, roughly half of all those tested, ICE data show. Two immigrants and three staffers have died.

ICE declined to provide information on how many transfers have occurred throughout the pandemic. But NBC News identified nearly 80 since the pandemic was declared, and that is not a complete accounting. The analysis includes moves between immigration detention facilities as well as from criminal to ICE custody. Individual detainees are often moved several times prior to deportation.

ICE has a protocol for transfers. Detainees are medically screened and cleared for travel, issued a mask, and in some cases, have their temperatures taken, according to court filings and ICE statements. But it does not routinely test prior to moving detainees from one place to the next.

An attorney representing ICE told a federal court in Florida that it only tests immigrants who display symptoms of COVID-19, the Miami Herald reported. ICE told NBC News in a statement that it tests some, but not all, immigrants before they are placed on planes and deported.

Without widespread testing and contact tracing, it is difficult to identify the source of infections inside ICE facilities. At several, employees have been the first to test positive, ICE data shows. But advocates, along with several federal judges overseeing lawsuits against the agency, have voiced concern that transfers are threatening immigrants' lives and contributing to the virus' spread.

"Transfers are ongoing, numerous, frequent and appear to be spreading COVID-19 from one place to another," said Jessica Schneider, director of the detention program at the nonprofit Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami, one of several groups that has filed a lawsuit on behalf of detainees in South Florida. "The folks that are detained are sitting ducks."

Even before the first ICE detainee was diagnosed with COVID-19, more than 4,000 doctors signed a letter warning ICE an "outbreak of COVID-19 in immigration detention facilities would be devastating."

It is difficult, if not impossible, to social distance in detention, doctors and corrections experts said. ICE detention is civil, and not supposed to be punitive. But detention centers share many traits with prisons. Men, women and children sleep, eat and watch television in close quarters, often in open dorms with beds and chairs bolted close together. Their movements, along with access to sanitary supplies, are tightly controlled.

Like nursing homes and meatpacking plants, prisons across the county have proven coronavirus hotspots. When state and federal prison officials in Ohio, Louisiana and California conducted mass testing, hundreds of prisoners came back positive. Most had no symptoms. The federal Bureau of Prisons, which decreased movement of prisoners 90 percent during the pandemic, announced earlier this month it would begin to phase transfers back in. Given the risks, it will conduct "aggressive testing" before and after transfers.

ICE's largest outbreak is currently at Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, Calif., where nearly 160 people have tested positive. Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, 57, was held at Otay before his death on May 7, the first from COVID-19 in ICE custody. On Sunday, Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, a 34-year-old held in a Georgia facility, became the second person detained by ICE to die of the virus.

"We've been saying since this started that if the government didn't act quickly, people were going to die," said Monika Langarica, a staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego, which has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of detainees at Otay Mesa. "We know that's not hyperbole. Someone has died."

But within its archipelago of detention centers, which includes county jails and privately operated facilities, ICE routinely tests only those who show symptoms. It also does not test all people before deportation, a spokesperson confirmed. Some governments abroad have demanded tests after people deported to Guatemala, Mexico and Haiti were found to have COVID-19.

If half of detainees tested come back positive, ICE isn't testing enough, said Dr. Anjali Niyogi, associate professor at Tulane School of Medicine, a public health expert who has been treating coronavirus cases in New Orleans. The more than 1,400 positive cases within ICE, she added, are "absolutely an undercount."

Doctors and attorneys around the country have argued ICE's best method to stop the spread of disease is to release detainees, particularly those with medical issues. Lawyers and advocacy groups have filed lawsuits nationwide in an attempt to force releases. They argue that because immigration detention is civil, the agency has wide discretion in who it detains. Former ICE officials have backed that claim.

ICE has voluntarily released more than 900 people as part of its own review of which detainees are medically vulnerable, a spokesman said, and several hundred more after court orders. Along with a drop in enforcement due to COVID-19, the number of people in immigrant detention has fallen to under 26,000, its lowest level during the Trump administration.

The agency has taken "important steps" to keep immigrants and staff safe since the outbreak of COVID-19, a spokesperson said, including medically screening incoming detainees, providing protective equipment and disinfecting facilities. It has also implemented safety measures for transfers. Those with COVID-19 are grouped together, or "cohorted," the spokesperson said, and new admissions are isolated for two weeks before moving into general population.

But every exit and entrance into a detention center increases the risk the virus will spread. ICE Assistant Field Office Director Alan Greenbaum acknowledged the dangers transfers pose in a declaration to a federal court in Massachusetts. He argued ICE should be able to move people from criminal to ICE custody within the same Bristol County facility, which the court had temporarily barred.

Transferring detainees to a new facility, he wrote, "creates a greater risk of detainees being exposed to, or exposing others to, COVID-19."

Read the court document here.

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While ICE asserts it has the right to move detainees at any time, for virtually any reason, the agency said transfers are "part of the agency's extensive efforts to stem the potential spread of COVID-19," including to facilitate social distancing. In some cases, that has backfired.

In early March, just as the coronavirus was beginning to surface on the coasts, ICE arrested K. at his home in Philadelphia. According to his lawyer, Lilah Thompson, the agency asserts a past criminal conviction made K., a legal permanent resident, deportable. (K.'s name is being withheld for fear of retaliation).

K. was taken to Pike County Correctional Facility in Hawley, Penn. Several men held there had tested positive for COVID-19. After showing symptoms, K. was also tested. He had the flu, but not COVID-19. He was recovering when he was woken up before dawn on April 11 to be transferred. Thompson didn't know where he was until ICE notified her K.'s case had been moved to Texas.

K. was among more than 70 people taken from two facilities with outbreaks in the Northeast and moved to the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas, according to interviews with attorneys and a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month. The move was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

They were loaded onto buses, taken to the airport, and flown to Dallas in shackles, according to the lawsuit and interviews with attorneys. Then another bus delivered them to Prairieland.

Days before, about 50 men detained at the Bluebonnet Detention Center in Jones County, Texas, were also transferred to Prairieland, according to an affidavit in the lawsuit.

"We were all squished together and there were people on the bus who looked very sick," a detainee stated in an affidavit. "There were a few people coughing a lot on the way."

No one wore masks, he added, and because everyone on the bus was cuffed, "they could not cover their mouths."

A few days after K. arrived at Prairieland, officers moved him from the dorm into isolation, Thompson said. When they tested K. again, he had COVID-19.

Prairieland had no confirmed cases before the transfers from the Northeast and Bluebonnet, ICE records show. A week later it had three. By May 1, there were 41.

"They put people on buses and planes without proper protection," said Thompson, an attorney with the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. "It shows a disregard for immigrants' lives, and a disregard for their rights."

In at least one case, ICE knowingly transferred a detainee with COVID-19.

In late April, an ICE official submitted a declaration to a federal court in Louisiana that one person who tested positive at the Catahoula Detention Center in Harrisonburg, La., had been transferred to the Richwood Correctional Center, 70 miles away in Monroe.

Richwood had 29 confirmed cases at the time. "Many of these positive cases were transferred from other facilities to Richwood," the official told the court.

That same week, the Associated Press reported, prison officials told employees they'd be required to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, due to staff shortages caused by a "high number of positive COVID 19 staff cases." About a week later, two Richwood guards died from COVID-19.

Positive cases there have climbed to 65.

Stories like that concern Rep. Jason Crow, D.-Colo. The weekly reports he gets about the Aurora Contract Detention Facility, outside of Denver, show hundreds of detainees have transferred in and out since the pandemic began.

"These aren't people coming from the border or picked up," said Crow, whose district includes Aurora. "These are people being moved around."

Crow began tracking disease at Aurora last year, when a mumps outbreak swept through nearly 60 detention facilities, infecting more than 900 immigrants.

In a letter to ICE early this month, Rep. Crow expressed concern that transfers could introduce the disease to facilities and surrounding communities, pointing to the admission of a detainee from the Sterling Correctional Facility, a state prison that then had the largest single COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado.

Last week, Aurora diagnosed its first cases of coronavirus among detainees, though several guards have been infected. One of the two men with COVID-19 had recently transferred from Sterling, according to his attorney, Henry Hollithron. Oscar Perez Aguirre, 57, arrived with a fever. After his health quickly deteriorated, said Hollithron, he was hospitalized. Aurora now has five cases.

GEO Group, the private prison company that runs Aurora, said it has been making every effort to keep both employees and detainees safe.

"Our utmost priority has always been the health and safety of all those in our care and our employees," a spokesperson said, adding the GEO Group has no role in the decisions of who ICE transfers or releases.

Federal courts have begun to question ICE about how its transfer practices may be putting detainees at risk.

On May 21, a court in South Florida requested that ICE disclose whether "transfers have been known to result in an increase in COVID-19 cases." ICE asserted they have not.

This came after the agency moved 33 detainees from the Krome Detention Facility in Florida to a nearby lockup in Broward County. Following the transfer, 16 detainees tested positive for the virus, as first reported by the Miami Herald, driving the number of cases at Broward from three to 19, according to ICE statistics.

ICE told the court that it has broad discretion under the law to relocate detainees as needed. The agency regularly transfers people due to risk level, where it has bed space, for medical reasons or to deport them, the agency said, adding that it does not transfer or deport those with symptoms, who are waiting for test results, or who are suspected to have COVID-19, unless medically necessary.

The detainees who were moved to Broward were cleared before leaving, ICE told the court, and were put into a 14-day quarantine.

Because they have been cohorted, the agency said, "ICE does not believe that the transfer has resulted in an increase in COVID-19 cases at" Broward.

Read the court document here.

A federal court in Louisiana has publicly questioned the agency's accounting of cases, particularly with regard to transfers. In response to another lawsuit seeking to free immigrants there, ICE stated in a sworn affidavit that as of the afternoon of May 18, there were "no known cases" at the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Jena, La. Days before, the agency reported 15.

In an order that led to the release of 14 detainees, the judges described ICE's approach to transfers as an outlier.

"We can only speculate that some of these detainees were moved to other facilities as it is well known that ICE has continued operations and not followed the lead of the Bureau of Prisons and Louisiana Department of Corrections, both of whom have largely precluded the movement of their inmates," the court wrote.

Those held inside the nation's immigrant detention facilities could see coronavirus coming, but could do little to stop it.

From inside his dorm at the Bluebonnet Detention Center in Anson, Texas, Oscar Mejia watched the new detainees arrive through April. He and those who slept on the bunks arranged in close rows worried that soon enough, the virus would make its way in, too.

"They've brought new people from other places from Dallas, from all over," Mejia said in a phone call from the facility, where he has been since February. "Those are people who are coming, they might not be well."

At least 200 people were transferred to Bluebonnet since mid-March, according to news reports and numbers provided by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), the private company that runs Bluebonnet. Whether the coronavirus was carried in by one of them, or the six officers who have tested positive, Mejia couldn't say.

But beginning in April, he and others in his dorm developed fevers and coughs. Treatment, he said, consisted of Tylenol, allergy pills and salt to gargle with.

"We told them there was corona but they didn't do tests," said Mejia.

That mirrors the account in a YouTube video posted on April 29 that shows a group of men pleading for help from a facility they say is Bluebonnet.

"We've been telling them we're sick, they're not doing anything right," a man in the video said. "All they're doing is giving us Tylenol."

NBC News could not verify the source of the video, but the detainees' uniforms, the ceiling of the dorm, and the dates mentioned in it correspond to verified information and images.

Mejia said he was finally tested for COVID-19 in mid-May. He came back positive, along with 131 other men at Bluebonnet, roughly a quarter of those held there.

The rural West Texas facility now has the second-largest outbreak of any ICE facility in the country, ICE data shows.

Both ICE and MTC told NBC News allegations they have not taken proper precautions are false.

"The health and safety of our staff and the men and women in our care is our top priority," a spokesperson said in a statement, adding that MTC is "strictly following" CDC guidelines and testing anyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms.

As similar stories have emerged nationwide, Washington has begun to respond. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General recently opened an investigation into whether ICE adequately safeguarded detainees and staff from COVID-19. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary will hold a hearing to examine best practices for incarceration and detention during the pandemic.

Meija's wife, Betsy, said she's tried for months to get help for the men at Bluebonnet. She posted on Facebook. She called the warden in Anson and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. From their home in Kilgore, Texas more than 300 miles from Bluebonnet she's not sure what more she can do.

"I'm fighting a losing battle," she said.

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ICE keeps transferring detainees around the country, leading to COVID-19 outbreaks - NBC News

Utah is averaging more than 200 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week as hot spots flare up from Logan to St. George – Salt Lake Tribune

Editors note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing free access to critical stories about the coronavirus. Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.

For the past several months, the news cycle has been dominated by little other than the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Over the past week, obviously, other issues have come to the forefront.

But the novel coronavirus does not take a break for issues of social justice.

On Sunday, the Utah Department of Health reported 264 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state the fourth consecutive day of more than 200 new cases, and the third-highest single-day total recorded in Utah since the pandemic began.

UDOH also reported one new death a male adult younger than 65 years old from Wasatch County. That now lifts Utahs death total from COVID-19 to 113.

The bulk of the new cases, as usual, came from Salt Lake County, with 124 of them coming from the states most populous area. However, Utah County also saw a sizable increase, with 59 new cases beyond the figures provided Saturday.

Worryingly, the Two-Week Cumulative Incidence Rate is now showing previously unseen hot spots in places from Logan to St. George. High rates (more than 100 cases per 100,000 people) have been established in Blanding, Logan, Monticello, north Orem, Payson, west Provo, San Juan County, St. George, Wasatch County and Washington City.

The Bear River area has shot up from 102 cases to 218 in seven days.

There has been a significant spike in new cases since May 16, when most of the state moved to the low-risk yellow category for COVID-19 restrictions, encouraging more people to leave their homes. That trend has escalated further still over the past week.

Indeed, with those four consecutive days now of 200-plus new cases, the seven-day average of new cases in the state is 200.71 the highest it has been since the pandemic began. By way of comparison, just a week ago, on May 24, the seven-day average was 164.86. And a week before that, on May 17, the average was 141.

In all, Utah has seen 1,405 new cases this past week; that compares with 1,154 last week, and 987 the week before. The weekly number of deaths decreased by one from 17 a week ago to 16 this week.

One potentially positive development is that hospitalizations in Utah have not seen an increase corresponding with the new-case totals. As of Sunday, it was reported that there 98 positive COVID-19 cases currently hospitalized. On May 24, there were 95 hospitalizations; on May 17, there were 98.

Nationwide, the figures are staggering, but perhaps also promising.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted, Marylands #COVID19 positivity rate has dropped to 10.9%, down 54.49% from its peak on April 17. Our states current total COVID-19 hospitalizations one of the states key recovery metrics have dropped to 1,183, their lowest level since April 15.

Fifty days ago, on April 12th, we lost 800 people from COVID. Yesterday, we lost 56. Sixty days ago, we had 3,400 people come into our hospitals. Yesterday, we had 191, Cuomo said. The number of lives lost is down to 56, which is in this absurd reality we live in actually very, very good news. This reduction in the number of deaths is tremendous progress. Weve gone through hell and back, and were on the other side.

Of course, given all the mass demonstrations that have erupted across the country over the past week in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, The Associated Press wrote that health experts fear that silent carriers of the virus could unwittingly infect others at protests where people are packed cheek to jowl, many without masks, many chanting, singing or shouting. The virus is dispersed by microscopic droplets in the air when people cough, sneeze, sing or talk.

Whether theyre fired up or not, that doesnt prevent them from getting the virus," Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Davis, told the AP about protesters.

By comparison, whites account for 78% of Utahs population, but just 37.2% of its COVID-19 cases as of Sunday.

And, finally, UDOH reported that the total number of Utahns tested is 213,914 meaning there is a 4.6% rate of positives. It also noted 6,137 of our cases are considered recovered. " A case with a diagnosis date of more than three weeks ago, who has not died, is considered recovered.

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Utah is averaging more than 200 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week as hot spots flare up from Logan to St. George - Salt Lake Tribune

Coronavirus daily news updates, May 31: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state, and the world – Seattle Times

On Saturday, representatives with the Seattle parks and neighborhoods departments handed out hundreds of single-use use masks to people taking part in the days demonstrations.Several groups at the protests handed out masks, water and sanitizing wipes to participants.

Seattle Premium Outlets on the Tulalip Reservation reopened Saturday, with restrictions, after a two-month closure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Snohomish County shopping centers 100-plus stores will limit how many customers can enter at one time, and face masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature testing will be available at the outlet malls entrances, owner Simon Property Group said Saturday in a news release. Some common areas will have signs directing traffic flow.

About 1% of kids who visited a Seattle hospital in April had been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to the first large-scale survey for antibodies in children. The study also found most of the youngsters developed a robust immune response, an encouraging sign for a future vaccine.Most of the children who tested positive for antibodies had no symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That fits with widespread evidence that children are much less likely than adults to become ill or die.

Throughout Sunday, on this page, well post updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Saturday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Saturday.

For many protesters in Seattle over the weekend, the outrage over racial injustices outweighed the risk of contracting COVID-19.

That calculus sent people streaming into the streets of downtown Seattle, where they shouted face to face with authorities andpushed into tight crowds, although many wore masks.

Now experts and public health officials are cautioning the large gatheringsthe first of this scale since the pandemic was declared could set back the regions recovery from the novel coronavirus epidemic.

We will need to watch COVID-19 activity closely in King County over the next several weeks, David Postman, Gov. Jay Inslees chief of staff, said in an email. The protests, though, would not affect the countyscurrent application to reopensome parts of the economy, he said.

Read more.

Mike Reicher

State health officials confirmed 353 new COVID-19 cases in Washington on Saturday, with no new deaths.

The update brings the states totals to 21,702 cases and 1,118 deaths, according the Department of Healths (DOH)data dashboard.

So far, 360,899 tests for the novel coronavirus have been conducted in the state, per DOH. Of those, 6% have come back positive.

King County, the state's most populous, has reported 8,092 total cases and 567 deaths, accounting for 50.7% of the state's death toll.

According to a Bloomberg article, small fitness clubs across Georgia and Oklahoma among the most aggressive U.S. states in reopening their economies are reporting that 75% or more of their customers have returned over past weeks. In most cases, gym owners say their clients are behaving, keeping distances and wiping down their equipment.

While some members are slower to return and other clubs are folding because their business is no longer viable, anecdotal evidence suggests that hardcore fitness addicts rushed to get back to their sweat-filled gyms as soon as they could.

Read more.

Michael Sasso, Olga Kharif and Emma Kinery

While most people desperately yearn for the moment its deemed safe for them to resume their former lives and all that goes with it even traffic jams and endless meetings are bathed in the rosy glow of nostalgia there are outliers who would like things to go on like this for a good long time. Not for them the mix of ennui and dread that characterizes sheltering in place.

They love sheltering in place.

They are, to a person, horrified by what the pandemic has wrought and are humbled by the sacrifices made by those on the front line. They do not, for a minute, minimize what it is going on. But they have, sometimes to their surprise, found contentment and peace in the situation that has been thrust upon them.

If Im honest I dont like leaving home anyway. I dont like crowds. I dont like going to the beach. Thats always been my personality, said New Jersey's Ethan Rasiel. Im Zooming with people and thats good enough for me.

To hear from more people like Rasiel, read the New York Times' "Loving the lockdown."

Joanne Kaufman, New York Times

The coronavirus pandemic that brought sports to a standstill for months has everyone wondering what games will be like when spectators are finally allowed back in.

The changes will be big and small, temporary and long-lasting.

Fans could have their every move scrutinized by cameras and lasers. There might be nobody in the next seat to high-five after a touchdown. The idea of passing cash to a beer vendor between innings will be a memory. Temperature screenings and medical checks could be mandatory to get in. By having virtual tickets scanned on their smart phones, fans could be acknowledging the health risk of attending a game while surrendering some of their personal privacy.

It all begs the question: Will fans be able to have any fun?

Learn more about all the changes under consideration and what they mean for sports fans.

Dave Skretta, Associated Press

Roughly16,000 DACA recipientsin Washington 650,000 in the U.S., as of December will be affected by a long-awaited decision from the U.S. Supreme Court onwhetherPresident Donald Trumps attempt to endthe Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was legal a decision that could come in June.

The pandemic has brought even more intensity to the debate and a new wrinkle for the court to consider.

Healthcare providers on the frontlines of our nations fight against COVID-19 rely significantly upon DACA recipients to perform essential work, reads an Aprilsupplemental plaintiffs brief,atypically acceptedby the court though oral arguments had happened months before.

Read the full story here.

Nina Shapiro

One of the first personal protective equipment drone drops in the U.S. took place this month.

The drone was launched by Novant Health, which operates 15 hospitals and close to 700 different facilities in the southeastern U.S. The health care system said it hopes to use regular flights to deliver masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear.

In the future, the company hopes to use them for testing, drug trials and vaccine distribution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tasked us with being even more nimble and innovative in how we solve complex challenges, said Angela Yochem, Novants chief digital and technology officer.

Read the full story here.

The Associated Press

Protests in cities across the U.S.over repeated racial injustices are raising fears of new coronavirus outbreaks, as thousands of people gather after weeks of social distancing efforts.

We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.

Health experts fear that silent carriers of the virus could unwittingly infect others at protests where people are packed cheek to jowl, many without masks, many chanting, singing or shouting. The virus is dispersed by microscopic droplets in the air when people cough, sneeze, sing or talk.

Read the full story.

The Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic's impact may even extend to orcas: With recreational boat traffic in the Salish Sea down due to stay-at-home orders, researchers are investigating how the orcas are responding.

The southern resident orcas hunt by sound, and disturbance and noise caused by boats and vessels form one ofthree main threats to their survival,in addition to lack of adequate chinook salmon (their preferred food)and pollution.

The Northwest whale watch industry is anticipating a restart at some point this summer, with retrofits for social distancing.

Read the full story.

Lynda V. Mapes

Seven new deaths and 278 additional COVID-19 cases were reported in Washington, bringing the state's total to 21,349 cases and 1,118 deaths.

Seattle City Council members are proposing that gig drivers for services like Instacart, Uber and Lyft should recieve paid sick days and an extra $5 in pay per trip until the pandemic subsides.

A new analysis shows that the U.S. likely reached the milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths three weeks ago.

Researchers continue to study the post-viral problems that patients suffer from after otherwise recovering from the virus. There have been reports ofdamage to lungs, kidneys and hearts, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, and cognitive problems.

Read more from the original source:

Coronavirus daily news updates, May 31: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state, and the world - Seattle Times

Incidents of Pediatric Illness Associated With COVID-19 Still Low In Southern California – KPBS

Credit: Kawasaki Research Foundation

Above: A red rash, as shown on this child's back in this undated photo, is a symptom of Kawasaki disease.

A new illness linked to COVID-19 that impacts children has yet to take much of a hold in southern California. Whats being called the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, which inflames blood vessels and could lead to organ damage, has been found worldwide by doctors in places hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles saw four cases of the illness among children and San Diegos Rady Childrens Hospital treated 1 patient that was discharged home. But on the whole, numbers in southern California remain quite low.

According to data provided to KPBS by the states Health Department, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties have each reported fewer than 11 cases of the illness.

RELATED: Rady Re-Evaluating Recent Kawasaki Cases For New Pediatric Illness Tied To Coronavirus

Radys Dr. Jane Burns told KPBS the illness is like Kawasaki Disease, which affects the blood vessels. She said COVID-19 could be a trigger.

We're trying to piece together all the bits of this puzzle, but it would seem to us that the exposure to the virus and the immune response that a genetically susceptible child makes could be one of perhaps many triggers for Kawasaki disease, Burns told KPBS in an interview earlier this month.

Patients usually have either tested positive for COVID-19 themselves or had contact with a parent or family member who has.

All of Californias confirmed cases were found in children nine years or younger.

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.

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Incidents of Pediatric Illness Associated With COVID-19 Still Low In Southern California - KPBS

The world’s new Covid-19 epicenter could be the worst yet – CNN

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"},{"title":"Brothel in lockdown leaves hundreds of sex workers hungry","duration":"03:46","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525151436-as-equals-daulatdia-brothel-video-thumbnail-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Nearly 1,500 sex workers and their children are desperately hungry in Daulatdia in eastern Bangladesh, as one of the world's biggest brothels is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus.","descriptionText":"Nearly 1,500 sex workers and their children are desperately hungry in Daulatdia in eastern Bangladesh, as one of the world's biggest brothels is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus."},{"title":"This country is rolling out universal Covid-19 testing","duration":"02:13","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526105818-denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00003020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"With a population of less than 6 million, Denmark is making coronavirus testing available to anyone who wants it and residents are flocking to test centers in Copenhagen and other towns. 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","descriptionText":"CNN's Atika Shubert reports on plans underway in Spain to ease foreign travel restrictions in an effort to welcome back tourists, despite concerns over Covid-19. "},{"title":"See landing of last resort in virus hotbed ","duration":"03:04","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/26/brazil-hardest-hit-city-manaus-last-resort-lead-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/26/brazil-hardest-hit-city-manaus-last-resort-lead-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526171256-manaus-npw-pkg-01-05262020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/26/brazil-hardest-hit-city-manaus-last-resort-lead-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Planes are bringing some of the sickest Covid-19 patients from hundreds of miles away to Manaus, Brazil's hardest-hit city. 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"},{"title":"Brothel in lockdown leaves hundreds of sex workers hungry","duration":"03:46","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525151436-as-equals-daulatdia-brothel-video-thumbnail-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/25/bangladesh-brothel-as-equals-intl.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"Nearly 1,500 sex workers and their children are desperately hungry in Daulatdia in eastern Bangladesh, as one of the world's biggest brothels is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus.","descriptionText":"Nearly 1,500 sex workers and their children are desperately hungry in Daulatdia in eastern Bangladesh, as one of the world's biggest brothels is on lockdown due to the Coronavirus."},{"title":"This country is rolling out universal Covid-19 testing","duration":"02:13","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526105818-denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00003020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/26/denmark-coronavirus-covid-19-mass-testing-pleitgen-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"With a population of less than 6 million, Denmark is making coronavirus testing available to anyone who wants it and residents are flocking to test centers in Copenhagen and other towns. 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CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports."},{"title":"UK care home manager: It's a national tragedy","duration":"03:27","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/26/uk-coronavirus-care-homes-nina-dos-santos-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/26/uk-coronavirus-care-homes-nina-dos-santos-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526100138-uk-coronavirus-care-homes-nina-dos-santos-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00021916-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/26/uk-coronavirus-care-homes-nina-dos-santos-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus-intl/","description":"More than a quarter of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have occurred at care homes. 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Excerpt from:

The world's new Covid-19 epicenter could be the worst yet - CNN

103-year-old woman celebrates beating Covid-19 with a cold beer – CNN

When Jennie Stejna tested positive for coronavirus in late April, her family began preparing for the worst, granddaughter Shelley Gunn said.

At one point, her family was told that Stejna had stopped eating and drinking and might not make it through the night. They called her for one last goodbye, Gunn said.

When Gunn's husband, a Navy retiree, asked Stejna if she was ready to pass away, she responded "Hell yeah," according to the family.

"She's always been a feisty woman," Gunn said.

But instead of a grim phone call from Stejna's nursing home, on May 8 they received the news that she had tested negative, and was symptom-free, the family said.

"The nurses came into her room, and she said, "I'm not sick anymore, Get the hell out,'" Gunn said.

The nursing home staff honored Stejna's perseverance with one of her favorite treats -- an ice-cold beer.

"I think it's given everyone a smile and some hope, while it's dark days for everybody," Gunn said.

Bonney Kapp contributed to this report.

The rest is here:

103-year-old woman celebrates beating Covid-19 with a cold beer - CNN

Navajo Nation Loses Elders And Tradition To COVID-19 – NPR

Traditional Din medicine practitioner Jeneda Benally, pictured here with her daughter Dahi, is trying to preserve cultural wisdom in danger of being lost during the pandemic. Laurel Morales/KJZZ hide caption

Traditional Din medicine practitioner Jeneda Benally, pictured here with her daughter Dahi, is trying to preserve cultural wisdom in danger of being lost during the pandemic.

In Navajo culture to speak of death is taboo. But since the tribe's coronavirus infection rate has become the highest in the country, they can't help but talk about it.

"It's killing every day," says medicine man Ty Davis, who knows at least five traditional practitioners who have died from COVID-19.

"It put me into shock," he says. "What do we do now? How do we retrieve that knowledge that these elders once knew now that they have died with those ceremonies? How do we get those back?"

Each medicine person specializes in different ceremonies. So when someone dies they take that knowledge with them. Over the last several decades the tribe has gone from a thousand Din or Navajo medicine people to just 300. The coronavirus threatens the few who remain.

Medicine man Avery Denny is attempting to change that trajectory by taking on apprentices where he teaches at Din College on the Navajo Nation.

Professor Avery Denny sings the the Journey Song to college graduates.

"I have great great concerns," Denny says.

Denny says he's up against centuries of colonialism when it comes to preserving Navajo culture and tradition. The federal government forced tribes to relocate, sent Native children to boarding schools where they were beaten for speaking their language for singing their songs.

"Young people are acculturated, assimilated, dominated. They're losing their language and their culture," Denny says.

Denny says white missionaries are also to blame for replacing Navajo religion.

"Christianity is the belief that our people turned to even our leadership so there's no guidance," Denny says. "There's no leader that says, 'OK we'll turn to Navajo values and Navajo Din medicine.'"

For instance, the Navajo president begins each meeting with a Christian prayer even though he also addresses his community in Navajo.

The loss of traditional practitioners is not just a cultural loss but also a personal one for people such as Jeneda Benally, whose aunt recently died from COVID-19.

"I am really emotional about this because it's so painful to lose so many loved ones," she says.

Benally is a traditional practitioner who works alongside her father who was the first medicine man to practice in a Western hospital.

"I felt very early on during this pandemic that I needed to protect my father so that way he can continue to help people in order to protect our future generations," Benally says.

One way she is doing that is working with her brother Clayson to produce youtube videos to share Navajo cultural practices like how to dry farm and how to shear sheep.

The Benallys hope their videos will encourage tribal members to reconnect with their culture, especially now while tribal members are spending a lot of time at home during during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've got this technology," Jeneda Benally says. "How are we going to find hope in this technology? How are we going to find the continuation of our culture where we can connect our elders to our youth?"

The dilemma is figuring out what parts of Navajo culture they can share publicly and what parts are too sacred and can only be passed down from one Navajo to another.

See original here:

Navajo Nation Loses Elders And Tradition To COVID-19 - NPR

Covid-19 misinformation: pro-Trump and QAnon Twitter bots found to be worst culprits – The Guardian

Misinformation about the origins of Covid-19 is far more likely to be spread by pro-Trump, QAnon or Republican bots on Twitter than any other source, according to a study commissioned by the Australia Institutes Centre for Responsible Technology.

In late March, when the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold in the US and across much of the rest of the world, two researchers at Queensland University of Technology, Timothy Graham and Axel Bruns, analysed 2.6m tweets related to coronavirus, and 25.5m retweets of those tweets, over the course of 10 days.

They filtered out legitimate accounts from those accounts most likely to be bots, which can be identified when they retweet identical coronavirus-related content within one second of each other.

Through this methodology, the researchers found 5,752 accounts retweeted coronavirus-related material in a coordinated way 6,559 times.

The researchers identified 10 prominent bot-like networks that were attempting to push political agendas, separate from those bot networks pushing commercial sites by hitching on to trending topics like coronavirus.

The researchers found a coordinated effort to promote the conspiracy theory that Covid-19 was a bioweapon engineered by China.

The researchers identified a co-retweet network of 2,903 accounts with 4,125 links between them.

Within this network, the researchers found 28 to 30 clusters of accounts which identified themselves as pro-Trump, Republican or associated themselves with the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.

There were 882 original tweets over the 10-day period pushing the bioweapon conspiracy theory, which were retweeted 18,498 times, and liked 31,783 times, with an estimated 5m impressions on Twitter.

The researchers said the effect of the bot networks was the amplification of the misinformation.

Whether the coordinated inauthentic behaviours we have observed for the bioweapon conspiracy are orchestrated by the hard core of participants in these groups themselves, or are designed by external operators to target and exploit the worldviews of such groups, the net effect is often the same: the themes and topics promoted by coordinated inauthentic activity are taken up by the wider fringe community, and thereby gain amplification and authenticity, the researchers said in the report.

The mis- and disinformation contained in the initial messages is no longer distributed solely by bots and other accounts that may be identified as acting in coordinated and inauthentic ways, but also and to a potentially greater extent by ordinary, authentic human users.

From there disinformation can easily garner broader public attention when media, or people with large numbers of followers on social media, engage with the conspiracy theory, even if to refute it, they said.

Official denials and corrections can perversely be exploited by the conspiracy theorists to claim that authorities are covering up the real truth, they said.

In Australia, for example, the effects of this vicious circle are now being observed in the sharp rise in concerns about 5G technology at least in part as a result of the circulation of the conspiracy theories about links between Covid-19 and 5G.

The report authors recommend that platform operators get better at detecting and mitigating bot activity on their platforms, and mainstream media should be encouraged to reduce clickbait conspiracy theory coverage that has the potential to introduce new audiences to the misinformation .

Such sites may frame the conspiracy theories as outlandish or laughable, but often present them without significant correction or fact-checking; as a result, such coverage puts substantial new audiences in contact with problematic content that they would not otherwise have encountered.

Tabloid media can therefore represent an important pathway for conspiracy theories to enter more mainstream public debate.

The US president, Donald Trump, signed an executive order last week seeking to make social media sites liable for what their users post on the platform in retaliation for Twitter factchecking a tweet he posted containing a false assertion about mail voter fraud.

Peter Lewis, director of the Centre for Responsible Technology, said it was a good start for Twitter to factcheck Trump, but more needed to be done on bot networks to stop the spread of misinformation.

Social media companies need to take greater responsibility for disinformation on their sites, particularly where coordinated and automated retweeting is promoting dangerous disinformation, he said.

While Twitter is starting to call out some of President Trumps more egregious tweets, social media companies have a long way to go to stem the flow of divisive and dangerous disinformation on their platforms.

The report authors noted that while the research had focused on Twitter, the bot-like activity is not limited to Twitter, and has been something other platforms like Facebook had been grappling with.

Facebook for its part has been factchecking select coronavirus claims, and banning some, including connecting 5G to the spread of coronavirus. But the companys chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said Facebook should not factcheck in a similar way to Twitter, saying it shouldnt be the arbiter of truth.

Read the original:

Covid-19 misinformation: pro-Trump and QAnon Twitter bots found to be worst culprits - The Guardian

One in 10 Covid-19 patients with diabetes die within a week, study finds – CNN

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CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/miguel-marquez-profile" target="_blank">Miguel Marquezu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Dr. Fauci: I wear a mask because it's effective","duration":"00:49","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/05/27/dr-fauci-intv-coronavirus-wear-mask-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/05/27/dr-fauci-intv-coronavirus-wear-mask-sot-nr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200527095817-fauci-new-day-interview-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/05/27/dr-fauci-intv-coronavirus-wear-mask-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jim Sciutto that he wears a mask because it's effective and to set an example for others during the coronavirus pandemic.","descriptionText":"Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jim Sciutto that he wears a mask because it's effective and to set an example for others during the coronavirus pandemic."},{"title":"Gupta explains why current antibody tests are unreliable","duration":"02:10","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-testing-cdc-sanjay-gupta-cpt-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-testing-cdc-sanjay-gupta-cpt-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200527085922-dr-sanjay-gupta-05262020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-covid-19-antibody-testing-cdc-sanjay-gupta-cpt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains why the reliability of coronavirus antibody tests should be considered questionable.","descriptionText":"CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains why the reliability of coronavirus antibody tests should be considered questionable."},{"title":"Farmers forced to dump dairy team up with local food bank","duration":"02:58","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/23/new-york-dairy-farmers-food-bank-food-supply-chain-gingras-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/23/new-york-dairy-farmers-food-bank-food-supply-chain-gingras-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200523191243-ny-dairy-farmers-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/23/new-york-dairy-farmers-food-bank-food-supply-chain-gingras-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"As Covid-19 disrupts parts of the US food supply chain, some farmers and food banks are teaming up to make sure excess product doesn't go to waste.","descriptionText":"As Covid-19 disrupts parts of the US food supply chain, some farmers and food banks are teaming up to make sure excess product doesn't go to waste."},{"title":"Coronavirus numbers in Georgia one month after reopening","duration":"01:46","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/26/georgia-numbers-coronavirus-reopening-valencia-pkg-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/26/georgia-numbers-coronavirus-reopening-valencia-pkg-newday-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200513041447-cdc-building-atlanta-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/26/georgia-numbers-coronavirus-reopening-valencia-pkg-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Nick Valencia looks at the numbers in Georgia one month after Gov. Brian Kemp announced the state would begin to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.","descriptionText":"CNN's Nick Valencia looks at the numbers in Georgia one month after Gov. Brian Kemp announced the state would begin to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic."},{"title":"John King crunches coronavirus numbers as states reopen","duration":"02:38","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/26/coronavirus-numbers-states-and-sports-reopen-john-king-magic-wall-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/26/coronavirus-numbers-states-and-sports-reopen-john-king-magic-wall-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526111805-john-king-wall-may-26-large-169.jpeg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/26/coronavirus-numbers-states-and-sports-reopen-john-king-magic-wall-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's John King looks at the numbers around the coronavirus pandemic across the US as states begin the process of reopening.","descriptionText":"CNN's John King looks at the numbers around the coronavirus pandemic across the US as states begin the process of reopening."},{"title":"Trump retweets criticism of Joe Biden for wearing mask","duration":"01:58","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/05/26/trump-retweets-brit-hume-biden-mask-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/05/26/trump-retweets-brit-hume-biden-mask-newday-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526072948-biden-mask-trump-split-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/05/26/trump-retweets-brit-hume-biden-mask-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"President Donald Trump retweeted Fox News analyst Brit Hume's criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public.","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump retweeted Fox News analyst Brit Hume's criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public."},{"title":"Northern Michigan reopens amid fears of virus spike","duration":"02:24","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2020/05/25/northern-michigan-reopens-tourists-covid-19-pkg-tsr-marquez-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2020/05/25/northern-michigan-reopens-tourists-covid-19-pkg-tsr-marquez-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525210911-michigan-businesses-reopen-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2020/05/25/northern-michigan-reopens-tourists-covid-19-pkg-tsr-marquez-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN'su003ca href="/profiles/miguel-marquez-profile" target="_blank"> Miguel Marquezu003c/a> speaks to tourists and business owners about the reopening of popular destinations in northern Michigan, despite concerns over Covid-19.","descriptionText":"CNN'su003ca href="/profiles/miguel-marquez-profile" target="_blank"> Miguel Marquezu003c/a> speaks to tourists and business owners about the reopening of popular destinations in northern Michigan, despite concerns over Covid-19."},{"title":"Americans flock to beaches for holiday weekend ","duration":"02:36","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/25/memorial-day-beaches-coronavirus-social-distancing-flores-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/25/memorial-day-beaches-coronavirus-social-distancing-flores-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200524031334-03-memorial-day-beaches-0523-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/25/memorial-day-beaches-coronavirus-social-distancing-flores-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Many Americans visited beaches for the Memorial Day weekend amid concerns from officials that the crowds could result in a spike of coronavirus cases. CNN's Rosa Flores has more.","descriptionText":"Many Americans visited beaches for the Memorial Day weekend amid concerns from officials that the crowds could result in a spike of coronavirus cases. CNN's Rosa Flores has more."},{"title":"Breaking down the latest US coronavirus trends","duration":"01:44","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/25/us-coronavirus-cases-trend-may-25-john-king-magic-wall-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/25/us-coronavirus-cases-trend-may-25-john-king-magic-wall-nr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525113749-john-king-may-25-2020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/25/us-coronavirus-cases-trend-may-25-john-king-magic-wall-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's John King looks at the trends in US Covid-19 cases and sees encouraging signs for some states.","descriptionText":"CNN's John King looks at the trends in US Covid-19 cases and sees encouraging signs for some states."}],'js-video_headline-featured-1cw79pw','',"js-video_source-featured-1cw79pw",true,true,'coronavirus');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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One in 10 Covid-19 patients with diabetes die within a week, study finds - CNN

CDC Says Cars Are Better Than Mass Transit during COVID-19 Crisis – Car and Driver

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You don't need us to tell you that this is a different and often difficult situation we're in during this coronavirus pandemic. Between the widespread lockdowns that, let's hope, are behind us and the gradual reopening ahead, people will start moving and interacting more as we all wait for a vaccine. That's going to be difficult. What we care about most, of course, is what this means for cars and driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering updated advice for dealing with the pandemic, including new recommendations for people who work in offices. Some are straightforward and could be easy to implement, like wearing face masks and holding small meetings and lunch outside when possible (good thing summer's on the way). But other recommendations will be difficult to implement, if not impossible. How is "maintain[ing] social distancing of at least six feet" inside an elevator going to work, for example?

During the day on Sunday, the CDC adjusted its recommendations to clarify that they are "if feasible," and that it doesn't object to people "driving or riding by car either alone or with household members." It also added a suggestion that employees be told to follow CDC guidance on "how to protect yourself when using transportation" if they found it necessary to use public transport methods.

There's also a change in where an employer's responsibility to their employees starts. The CDC saysand OSHA would agreethat "employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace." But what about getting to and from work safely? That wasn't necessarily in the employer purview before COVID-19 hit, but now the CDC is looking at the ways we commute to keep all workers safer. In short, it recommends private cars over public transportation.

The CDC recommends employers offer incentives for employees who usually commute on public transportation or ride sharing so they can "use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others." That means employers should help pay parking fees for people who drive in their own vehicles or ride in "single-occupancy rides." But even if all employees have access to cars, local infrastructure is not set up for this kind of vehicle influx in some areas. New York City, for example, simply does not have enough parking spaces for everyone who works there to drive in each day. The suggestion to give employees money for single-occupancy rides (i.e., taxis or using ride-hailing apps) could work better, but it also requires Uber and Lyft drivers who are willing to let strangers in and out of their cars throughout the day, which is a bigger challenge now than it was four months ago.

Changes Likely Coming in Workplace, Too

Some of the CDC's transportation suggestions should be easier to integrate into our new work life, like staggering work times. This could mean fewer people in the office at once and could also allow employees commute on public transportation during less busy times, minimizing potential contact vectors. The CDC also recommends employees wash their hands as soon as possible after their commute into work.

The CDC sees private cars as a good way to keep people socially distant from one another outside of office setting as well. In its section for restaurant and bar owners, it recommends asking customers to wait in their cars while waiting to pick up food and, if the establishment is accepting dine-in patrons, even while waiting to be seated.

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CDC Says Cars Are Better Than Mass Transit during COVID-19 Crisis - Car and Driver

70 soldiers and trainees at Fort Leonard Wood test positive for COVID-19 – News-Leader

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images Nearly a month before community spread was first detected, "sustained, community transmission" of the coronavirus in the United States began in late January or early February, a report from the CDC says. A "single importation" from China was followed by "several importations" from Europe, the study's authors found. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," said CDC Director Robert Redfield. Wochit

During a two-day period, 500 soldiers and trainees at Fort Leonard Wood were tested for COVID-19. Of those, 70 had positive results, according to a news release.

The soldiers and trainees were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment.

"Due to the aggressive mitigation strategies in place, the number of infected and exposed individuals has been minimized to the greatest extent possible, and contained within one training unit," the release said. "Affected individuals have been isolated or quarantined as appropriate and in accordance with CDC guidelines. In addition, all impacted buildings, dining facilities and training areas within the unit area have been sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines."

Upon arrival to Fort Leonard Wood, all 500 soldiers and trainees were medically screened and tested by health professionals at the beginning of their 14-day controlled monitoring phase of basic combat training and all test results at that time were negative, the release said.

Keep reading: Some Missouri counties offering free COVID-19 tests

Four days after the end of the groups controlled monitoring phase, a trainee reported to Harper In-processing Health Screening Facility with symptoms, and immediately, all 500 were tested again, resulting in the increased positive test results, the release said.

According to the release, all those who tested positive are being cared for and monitored according to CDC guidelines and have been isolated to prevent the potential spread to others. Most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic and none have been hospitalized.

"Contact tracing continues to be performed and aggressive measures are continuing to be used to ensure that further spread of COVID-19 is minimized," the release said. "Fort Leonard Wood continues the strict enforcement of social distancing and the wearing of cloth face coverings to mitigate the spread of the virus."

Others are reading: Soldier at Fort Leonard Wood tested positive for COVID-19

"Our people military, civilians and families and their health, welfare and safety are our highest priority. We continue to assess, refine and coordinate prevention and response efforts on post and in the local area to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population," the release said. "Fort Leonard Wood leadership remain in close coordination with local and state public health authorities and have assessed that the local communities are not at an increased risk."

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70 soldiers and trainees at Fort Leonard Wood test positive for COVID-19 - News-Leader

Global report: new clues about role of pangolins in Covid-19 as US severs ties with WHO – The Guardian

Scientists claim to have found more clues about how the new coronavirus could have spread from bats through pangolins and into humans, as India reported its worst single-day rise in new cases, and the number of Covid-19 infections worldwide neared 6 million.

Writing in the journal Covid-19 Science Advances, researchers said an examination of the closest relative of the virus found that it was circulating in bats but lacked the protein needed to bind to human cells. They said this ability could have been acquired from a virus found in pangolins a scaly mammal that is one of the most illegally trafficked animals in the world.

DrElena Giorgi, of Los Alamos national laboratory, one of the studys lead authors, said people had already looked at the pangolin link but scientists were still divided about their role in the evolution of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

In our study, we demonstrated that indeed Sars-Cov-2 has a rich evolutionary history that included a reshuffling of genetic material between bat and pangolin coronavirus before it acquired its ability to jump to humans, she said, adding that close proximity of animals of different species in a wet market setting may increase the potential for cross-species spillover infections.

The study stilldoesnt confirm the pangolin as the animal that passed the virus to humans, but it adds weight to previous studies that have suggested it may have been involved.

However, Prof Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney, in Australia, said more work on the subject was needed. There is a clear evolutionary gap between Sars-Cov-2 and its closest relatives found to date in bats and pangolins, he said. The only way this gap will be filled is through more wildlife sampling.

The findings came as Donald Trump announced that the United States was severing its ties with the World Health Organization because it had failed to reform.

In a speech at the White House devoted mainly to attacking China for its alleged shortcomings in tackling the initial outbreak of coronavirus, Trump said: We will be today terminating our relationship with theWorld Health Organizationand redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.

The US is the biggest funder of the WHO, paying about $450m (365m) in membership dues and voluntary contributions for specific programmes.

Trumps declaration was condemned in the US and around the world, with Australianexperts joining counterparts in the UK and elsewhere in voicing their support for the WHO. Prof Peter Doherty, a Nobel laureate and patron of the Doherty Institute, which is part of global efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine, said the WHO had the full support of the scientific community.

Deaths in the US have climbed to more than 102,000, with 1,747,000 infections. It is by far the biggest total in the world. On Friday it emerged that one person who attended the controversial pool parties in the Ozarks last weekend had tested positive for the virus.

In Brazil, there was another large rise in deaths. More than 27,000 people have died from the disease and the country has the worlds second highest number of cases, at 465,000.

There were also big surges in reported deaths in Russia, which identifiedmore coronavirus cases in a day than at any time since early April;2,819 more people tested positive on Friday.

Iran also recorded itsbiggest daily increase in deaths 232 in 24 hours bringing the total to 4,374. President Hassan Rouhani nevertheless said mosques were to resume daily prayers throughout the country, despite some areas reporting continuing high levels of infections. He added that physical distancing and other health protocols would be observed in mosques. He did not say when they were due to reopen.

India, meanwhile, reported a record daily jump of 7,964 new infections. With the latest tally, India has now reported 173,763 coronavirus cases and 4,971 deaths, making it the ninth most-affected country, according to Reuters. While the fatality rates in India have been lower than in worse-hit countries, experts fear the peak has not been reached. The latest numbers would appear to confirm that prediction.

Egypt registered 1,289 new cases and 34 deaths, the health ministry said, marking another record of daily increases on both counts despite stricter curfew rules.

Other developments across the world include:

A leading UK government adviser has warned that it is too early to lift lockdown restrictions as planned next month because the number of new infections is still too high. John Edmunds, a professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he wanted the level of new cases to be driven down further before larger gatherings are allowed as the government has said it wants to do. Tory MPs are still being bombarded by constituents with calls for Boris Johnsons top adviser to quit after he appeared to breach lockdown rules.

Restrictions continue to be lifted to some degree across Europe, with thousands flocking to open-air cinemas to see films together for the first time in weeks.

In Australia, where states are expected to move to relax the rules to allow gatherings of more people from Monday, anti-vaccine protesters gathered in several cities to claim that they believed Covid-19 was a scam.

Also in Australia, scientists are examining the sewage waste in a town in Queensland where a 30-year-old man died this week from the virus. Nathan Turner is the youngest victim in the country so far and the case has baffled experts because he had not left the remote town of Blackwater.

The global death toll passed 365,000, according to data compiled byJohns Hopkins University, with the number of cases just short of 6 million. The true number of infections is likely to be much higher, however, given the vast number of unrecorded and asymptomatic cases.

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Global report: new clues about role of pangolins in Covid-19 as US severs ties with WHO - The Guardian

Williams: America is battling two lethal adversaries, COVID-19 and racism. One is deadlier. – Richmond.com

The mood in the Museum District was curiously carefree on the sun-kissed afternoon following a night of arson and destruction.

Bubbles blew from a machine on the balcony of an apartment on Arthur Ashe Boulevard, across from the scorched United Daughters of the Confederacy building, where the message BUILT ON OUR BACKS was scrawled on the exterior.

Theres a riot going on, in Richmond and throughout the nation, in the aftermath of the 9-minute torture and death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody last Monday. The image of the white police officer pressing his knee into the black mans neck burned into the brain of a sick and smoldering nation, pent up physically and emotionally.

America is battling two potentially lethal adversaries, COVID-19 and racism. Too many folks think neither is a real problem.

Our black literary prophets saw the potential for this moment, from James Baldwin to Langston Hughes, who asked of the black American dream deferred: Does it sag like a heavy load? Or does it explode?

That were still unclear about the individuals, groups and motives behind this past weeks detonation doesnt speak well about the cohesion of the social justice movement.

The message of grassroots activists and peaceful protesters has been hijacked by looters and arsonists. The images are racially diverse, complicated and confusing. Salt Lake City, with a black population of less than 3%, is on curfew following protests. Its unclear whos fueling the lawlessness, though suspicion has been cast toward right-wing and left-wing provocateurs.

If we and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks ... do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world, Baldwin wrote in 1963.

If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophesy, re-created from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!

Prophesies are warnings, and America and Richmond cant say it wasnt warned. Our peaceful efforts to avoid this moment were met with resistance.

When black football players took a knee in protest of the sort of police misconduct that took Floyds life, they were assailed by no less than the president of the United States. The leader of that peaceful protest, Colin Kaepernick, has been blackballed from the NFL. Im sure his protests are looking not so unreasonable today.

For years, when the Virginia General Assembly was controlled by Republicans, our efforts to relocate Confederate monuments or add context to them where they stand were rejected.

These protesters didnt wait for permission, adding their own context in the form of often-profane graffiti.

Dont complain about the riots if you did nothing to acknowledge or address the injustices that sparked them. Policing the tone and methods of oppressed people only compounds their oppression.

Americas unwillingness to address police brutality in a meaningful way reflects its slow walk in acknowledging our discomfit with its glorification of racist iconography. Martin Luther King Jr. would be impatient with the pace of change. After all, he wrote a book titled Why We Cant Wait.

King called a riot the language of the unheard. But I must say, the language is hard to translate beyond its frustration. Raw fury is a poor substitute for strategy and leads to contradiction.

If black lives matter in Richmond, why were two of the targets of vandalism a black dentist, Dr. Randy Adams, and a venerable African American business, Waller & Company Jewelers?

If black lives matter, should these mass gatherings be occurring during a pandemic that has been particularly deadly for African Americans?

Andrea Simpson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Richmond, was a teen-age participant in the civil rights movement in Memphis during the late 1960s. She is a critic of Black Lives Matter and argues that social justice movements need visible leadership and structure.

Your message and how you want things to be redressed must be crystal clear to everyone who hears it, and you repeat the message over and over again, she said.

Part of staying on message is heading off violent distractions, from within the ranks or without. Im not sure whos directing what Im seeing, and toward what end.

America burned during my 1960s childhood, fueled by police brutality in places like Watts and Detroit. The Kerner Commission charged with investigating the unrest described a nation moving toward two societies, one black, one whiteseparate and unequal.

That the description still fits explains a lot. America feels broken.

It cannot be overstated how destabilizing the Trump presidency has been. A nation whose institutions were never as durable as imagined, and whose narrative was never as benevolent as the hype, is exposing the inequities baked into its foundation. The frenetic gun purchasing, dating back to the election of the first black president, seems less like a natural exercise of Second Amendment rights than the amassing of an arsenal for a cataclysmic confrontation.

For young people feeling betrayed by the American Dream, the racial inequality that led to Floyds death amplifies the economic grievances theyre experiencing. They want to tear the system down and start over. But I fear the undisciplined and violent among them are playing into the hands of a president whose talent is demolition, not repair; exploiting societal rifts, not healing them.

Tearing down is easy. The real work is in realizing a dream deferred and mending a fractured nation. We must dare everything to end this nightmare and achieve our country.

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Williams: America is battling two lethal adversaries, COVID-19 and racism. One is deadlier. - Richmond.com

Bars and restaurants roll with changes amid COVID-19 – Gazettextra

When head bartender Billy Burg showed up to Lark for his first work shift in weeks, he was dressed as usual: a white shirt, a black vest and slacks, a black bow tie, and spit-shined leather Oxford shoes.

Burg doesnt know how to tap dance, but he pirouetted behind the bar nonetheless, rattling cocktail shakers like maracas, his arms swooping in arcs as he splashed whiskey, grenadine and bitters into glasses.

It was a cocktail-makers mambo for no audience. The bar Burg stands behind remains closed to customers, cleared of chairs.

Thats part of a reopening plan by Larks management aimed at keeping patrons and staff at the downtown Janesville cocktail and small-plate restaurant safely separated during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many in the local restaurant industry, Burg is navigating dramatic changes in how customers and bar and restaurant workers can interact.

Burg has been back bustling at his job since late last week, but he was the lone employee at work at Lark on a recent day. The restaurants kitchen likely wont re-open until sometime in June as the restaurant overhauls how it will serves customers during the pandemic.

For now, Burg is maestro and server of fashionable drinks and, at times, enforcer of new, COVID-era rules Lark has put into place to try to keep its staff and patrons safe.

As Burg mixed a bourbon whiskey Vieux Carr for a woman in a floral sundress seated with two friends at a table halfway across Larks dining room, another woman walked in, moved to the bar and casually put an elbow down to beckon Burg for a cocktail order.

Bartender Billy Burg serves Gina Roberts and Brent Vogel during their visit to Lark on a recent evening. Lark opened its dining area only for cocktails and has started to meter the crowds to 20 at a time with a two-hour limit.

The woman didnt know the bar still is technically closed to the public. Burg had to tell her to find a seat in the dining area.

Above his cloth mask, Burgs eyes and creased forehead told the tale. He was reluctant. He instantly regretted having to shoo a patron from the bar where they would normally just sit down and order a drink.

This is a lot to get used to, a lot for me and everybody. But youve just got to get used to it for a while. The bar feels like a work station for me right now. No one can sit here, theyre all throughout the room, Burg said. Ive got to find other ways to do more to connect with people now. Its just a new part of this job.

Buffet-less buffet

At Macs Pizza Shack on Milton Avenue, restaurant staff watched the last table of a scant, Thursday afternoon lunch crowd finish. Their dine-in haul: just three tables.

The longtime restaurant announced its full reopening last week with a hand-painted, red and white lettering on the windows that read: OPEN, Dine in, Delivery, Curbside, Carryout.

Macs, like many local pizza restaurants, has remained open for delivery and carryout throughout the pandemic, but like other eateries, the longtime restaurant had to shutter its dining room for weeks under the pandemic.

The restaurant has done brisk business with carryout and delivery of pizzas. And at times, it has strained a kitchen that has worked under temporary state restrictions and public health recommendations that have limited the number of kitchen staff who can work at once.

Owner Ericka Bickle said she can remember days in March and April, during the states COVID-19 lockdown, where she felt glued in place at a kitchen work station, cutting cooked pizza after cooked pizza for hours.

Youd work for hours in one spot just to keep up, she said.

Under reopening plans, Macs management has decided at least initially to curb its pizza, broasted chicken and salad buffetone of the restaurants main calling cards. Thats an adjustment many Macs regulars will have to get used to as the restaurant monitors the pandemic and its own ability to serve its patrons safely, Macs manager Eric Carlson said.

Carlson said Macs has used its Facebook page to poll its customers on how they would like the restaurants dining room to operate during the pandemic. He said customers have tossed out dozens of ideas, some of which the restaurant might run with.

Weve gotten suggestions of a lot of different ways that we can do a buffet thats more cafeteria style, or a sit-down with a ticket system, maybe give people a small buffet menu they can choose from. Give them a checklist of the things theyd like a server to bring to their table, Carlson said. We got all these suggestions. Thats what is good about opening up to feedback from the thousands of people who know were a small business just trying to figure out how to do this.

Dramatic dining changes

Another sit-down restaurant, the Prime Quarter Steakhouse on Highway 14, for years has operated under a unique business model. It sells customers the option to select and cook their own steaks over the flame of on an in-house grill.

Dalton Kroeze, manager of the Prime Quarter, said even as other restaurants are beginning to reopen for dining in, his steakhouses owners are holding off on reopening the restaurant until September or October.

And when Prime Quarter does reopen, its likely, Kroeze said, it would no longer operate as a grill-your-own restaurant.

The way we think its going to go is it probably wont be cook-your-own anymore. And we probably wont even have the meat case for people to grab their own steaks. Were gearing it to have a chef behind a separate glass enclosure whod do the cooking. Thats just ... were coming up with different plans on how to make it safer for everybody for sure.

Kroeze said he cant know how customers would take a dramatic change to Prime Quarters signature dining experience, but he said that after a hard look at logistics, it became clear the restaurant couldnt operate a 12-foot grill for customers to use and keep people spaced apart enough to adhere to public health recommendations on social distancing.

He said amid that change, the restaurant will be dealing with spiraling costs for cuts of meat driven by nationwide bottlenecks in the meat supply.

At Lark, owner Joan Neeno said the restaurant for now is allowing in only 20 people at a time. And patrons must sign onto a reservation list that would give them a two-hour slot to have cocktails. Customers would cycle in and out on a timetable.

Lark opened its dining area for cocktails Thursday and has started to meter the crowds to 20 at a time with a two-hour limit.

Thats to limit occupancy at a time when public health officials recommend dining rooms and bars maintain about 25% full occupancy.

Its a model that you already see at some places in Chicago that have limited seating. Its not all that unusual, except for Janesville it is, and its being driven by something entirely unique. Its the pandemic, Neeno said.

For now, the restaurant will run only as a cocktail bar, but bigger changes are in store, Neeno said.

Neeno had been readying a storefront next door to Lark, originally as an offshoot pizza and pasta restaurant. Neeno pivoted on those plans when the curtain of COVID-19 dropped in March.

In coming weeks, Neeno said, the space next door will open as a fresh market selling some ingredients fresh made in Larks kitchen along with other specialty items such as artisan breads. The market should open sometime in mid-June, Neeno said, and when it does, Larks kitchen will reopen for a phased-in approach.

That would allow the kitchen to fuel both the new market and the restaurant crowd.

Neeno said most local restaurant operators shes spoken with say theyve seen only 25% to 30% of capacity in their dining rooms as they reopen.

Neeno believes having a market tied to Lark could give the restaurant an extra conduit to customers who might continue to be leery of dining out amid the pandemic.

The reality is 40% or even 50% occupancy isnt enough to pay the bills and keep people employed. Were hoping the market can bridge that gap moving forward, Neeno said.

People are going to be hesitant to dine in for a while, and we understand that. We want to make it easier for them to take some signature food home. We know the new reality. Were trying to be smart in how we address that.

Gina Roberts smiles with a cocktail in her hand during a during visit to Lark on Thursday evening.

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Bars and restaurants roll with changes amid COVID-19 - Gazettextra

Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected? – The Guardian

When Noopur Rajes husband fell critically ill with Covid-19 in mid-March, she did not suspect that she too was infected with the virus.

Raje, an oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had been caring for her sick husband for a week before driving him to an emergency centre with a persistently high fever. But after she herself had a diagnostic PCR test which looks for traces of the Sars-CoV-2 virus DNA in saliva she was astounded to find that the result was positive.

My husband ended up very sick, she says. He was in intensive care for a day, and in hospital for 10 days. But while I was also infected, I had no symptoms at all. I have no idea why we responded so differently.

It took two months for Rajes husband to recover. Repeated tests, done every five days, showed that Raje remained infected for the same length of time, all while remaining completely asymptomatic. In some ways it is unsurprising that the virus persisted in her body for so long, given that it appears her body did not even mount a detectable immune response against the infection.

When they both took an antibody test earlier this month, Rajes husband showed a high level of antibodies to the virus, while Raje appeared to have no response at all, something she found hard to comprehend.

Its mind-blowing, she says. Some people are able to be colonised with the virus and not be symptomatic, while others end up with pretty severe illness. I think its something to do with differences in immune regulation, but we still havent figured out exactly how this is happening.

Epidemiological studies are now revealing that the number of individuals who carry and can pass on the infection, yet remain completely asymptomatic, is larger than originally thought. Scientists believe these people have contributed to the spread of the virus in care homes, and they are central in the debate regarding face mask policies, as health officials attempt to avoid new waves of infections while societies reopen.

You dont need to be coughing to transmit a respiratory infection: talking, singing, even blowing a vuvuzela

But the realisation that asymptomatic people can spread an infection is not completely surprising. For starters, there is the famous early 20th century case of Typhoid Mary, a cook who infected 53 people in various households in the US with typhoid fever despite displaying no symptoms herself. In fact, all bacterial, viral and parasitic infections ranging from malaria to HIV have a certain proportion of asymptomatic carriers. Research has even shown that at any one time, all of us are infected with between eight and 12 viruses, without showing any symptoms.

From the microbes perspective, this makes perfect evolutionary sense. For any virus or bacteria, making people infectious but not ill is an excellent way to spread and persist in populations, says Rein Houben, an infectious diseases researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine.

However, when Covid-19 was identified at the start of the year, many public health officials both in the UK and around the world failed to account for the threat posed by asymptomatic transmission. This is largely because they were working on models based on influenza, where some estimates suggest that only 5% of people infected are asymptomatic. As a result, the large scale diagnostic testing regimes required to pick up asymptomatic Covid-19 cases were not in place until too late.

I warned on 24 January to consider asymptomatic cases as a transmission vehicle for Covid-19, but this was ignored at the time, says Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton. Since then, many countries have reported asymptomatic cases, never showing obvious symptoms, but shedding virus.

The first identified case of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 occurred in early January, when a traveller from Wuhan passed on the virus to five family members in different parts of the city of Anyang. After testing positive, she then remained asymptomatic for the entire 21-day follow-up period.

While scientists still dont know whether asymptomatic people are as contagious as those who display symptoms, there are still many ways in which they can pass on Covid-19. We know that you dont need to be coughing to transmit a respiratory infection like Sars-CoV-2, says Houben. Talking, singing, even blowing instruments like a vuvuzela in the past all of those have been shown to transmit respiratory viruses in some way.

Since January, the race has been on to try and identify just how many asymptomatic cases are out there, with varying findings. One study in the Italian town of Vo reported that 43% of the towns cases of Covid-19 were asymptomatic, while initial reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation into the spread of Covid-19 on the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in March, suggest that as many as 58% of cases were asymptomatic. Some 48% of the 1,046 cases of Covid-19 on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier proved to be asymptomatic while, of the 712 people who tested positive for Covid-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 46% had no symptoms.

Almost all evidence seems to point to a proportion of asymptomatic infections of around 40%, with a wide range, says Houben. The proportion is also highly variable with age. Nearly all infected children seem to remain asymptomatic, whereas the reverse seems to hold for the elderly.

Houben points out that, because most asymptomatic people have no idea they are infected, they are unlikely to be self-isolating, and studies have shown this has contributed to the rampant spread of the virus in facilities such as homeless shelters and care homes. He says this means there is a need for regular diagnostic testing of almost all people in such closed environments, including prisons and psychiatric facilities.

When it comes to controlling Covid-19, this really shows that we cannot rely on self-isolation of symptomatic cases only, he says. Going forwards we need trace and test approaches to account for individuals who are not reporting any symptoms.

Since February, the country that has arguably had the greatest success in suppressing asymptomatic spread of Covid-19 is South Korea. Armed with a rigorous contact tracing and diagnostic testing regime, which involved dozens of drive-through testing centres across major cities enabling tests to be carried out at a rate of one every 10 minutes, they put specific policies in place to offset the threat of asymptomatic carriers from the moment the virus began to spread out of control in Daegu.

Once identified, all asymptomatic people are asked to self quarantine in their house until they test negative, with health service officials checking on them twice daily, and monitoring their symptoms, says Eunha Shim, an epidemiologist at Soongsil University in Seoul.

As Korea attempts to prevent a second wave of infections while reopening schools and allowing people to return to offices, preventing asymptomatic spread is one of their main priorities. This is being done by a mass public health campaign advocating the wearing of masks at all times outside the home. In Seoul, it is not possible to access the subway without a mask.

Many scientists are increasingly calling for this policy to be officially introduced in the UK, especially as more and more people resume commuting in the coming months. Keevil says: There is a strong case to be made for the public wearing appropriate face covers in confined areas such as stations, trains, metro carriages and buses, where it is extremely difficult to maintain the two-metre gap, considered essential to allow respiratory droplets from infected people to fall down before making contact with other people.

The argument is that face covers may not protect the wearer, but might significantly reduce transmission of virus particles to adjacent people in the closed environment. If there is any benefit to be gained, then everyone should wear a mask, which is why some countries are fining people who do not wear a mask and preventing them travelling.

Some have argued that masks may pose a risk of harm to the wearer because of their potential to become an infectious surface, but Keevil says this can be avoided through proper cleaning.

There would need to be policies such as, when arriving at work, place the mask immediately in a plastic bag and wash your hands, he says. And then, when returning home, carefully take off the mask and place it immediately in a washing machine for a 60C wash and wash your hands.

It remains to be seen whether the UK government endorses this as an official recommendation, but a recent study across Barts NHS Trust hospitals in London has illustrated how regular testing and social distancing combined with use of facial protection in this case PPE can prevent asymptomatic spread of the virus. Researchers James Moon and Charlotte Manisty said they found that the rate of asymptomatic infection among hospital staff fell from 7% to 1% between the end of March and early May.

For Raje, understanding why asymptomatic patients like her respond the way they do to the virus, will have some critical implications for all of us over the coming months, for example in determining whether vaccines turn out to be effective.

The big question I have after my experience, is whether a vaccine will really work in all people, she says. The vaccination approach is to create an immune response, which then protects you. But if asymptomatic people are not producing a normal antibody response to the virus, what does that mean? Because its these people who are the vectors and the carriers of this virus, I think we cant get away from social distancing until we have some of these answers out there.

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Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected? - The Guardian