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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The U.S. currently has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world. Coronavirus is real it is not a hoax. Coronavirus is not the flu no matter what they say, you can get a flu shot which reduces the chances of you getting the flu, you cannot get a coronavirus shot because there are currently no coronavirus vaccines shots. Coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and spreads faster than the flu. Currently there are no shots or cures for the coronavirus. Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more. #TrumpFlu

Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country due to the COVID 19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, historical data, and info. Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

View United States Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19.

A map of cases around the world

By Elena Renken, Daniel Wood

Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified more than 160,000 cases across the United States and more than 3,000 deaths. By March 17, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To avoid spreading the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends basic precautions such as hand-washing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces every day.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

On February 24, President Trump tweeted, ‘The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.’ It wasn’t.
By Michael A. Cohen Globe Columnist

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.” With these words, on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump sounded a new and welcomed tone on the coronavirus. But make no mistake, hard days lie ahead because of the president’s botched, selfish, and incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis. A change in tone can’t change that catastrophic reality. Trump’s calls for vigilance are a bit like declaring it’s time to close the barn doors after the horses have escaped — and the barn is on fire and it’s threatening to burn the entire farm down. Tens of thousands of Americans (and possibly more) are likely to die because of the president. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Trump’s public statements and actions have followed a similar trajectory: They have been dishonest, misleading, fantastical, and dangerous. It would blow over soon, he said early on. It would go away when the weather got warmer. “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he tweeted. It wasn’t.

   The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
   — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020

While thankfully there’s no more talk of re-opening the economy on Easter, the damage has been done. America has become the epicenter of a global pandemic. Consider that the United States and South Korea reported their first coronavirus cases on the same day — Jan. 20. More than two months later, South Korea has just under 10,000 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. By comparison, the United States has more than 216,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 5,000 people have died. Taking into account population differences (the US has 327 million people and South Korea has around 51 million people), the number of cases is more than three times greater than South Korea — and the death toll is nearly four times as great. These horrific numbers could have been avoided with genuine presidential leadership. After the initial case was diagnosed in January, South Korea immediately began aggressive testing and quarantines. Private companies were encouraged to develop diagnostic tests. Within a month drive-through screening centers had been set up and thousands were being tested daily. In the United States, Trump refused to focus on the issue. Two days after that initial positive case he declared "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.” When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was first able to talk to Trump about the coronavirus on Jan. 18, Trump wanted to talk about a recently announced vaping ban. Into February, Trump was still stubbornly resisting bureaucratic efforts to deal with the emerging crisis. The weeks lost in ramping up testing were a lost — and unforgivable —opportunity to save lives. Trump’s obstinance is bad enough — but the delay was also undoubtedly influenced by Trump’s diktat that testing should not be a priority. The more testing that was done, the more positive results there would be and that was an outcome the president did not want. Keeping the numbers low in order to avoid spooking Wall Street and negatively affecting Trump’s reelection became the administration’s focus. Those presidential-created obstacles did more than prevent essential equipment from getting to communities in need — it seeded a deadly message of doubt, particularly to Trump supporters. While more than 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders, a host of states have either not made such state-wide declarations or done partial orders. Nearly all are helmed by Republican governors. In Arizona, GOP Governor, Doug Ducey prevented cities and counties from putting in effect stay-at-home orders. He didn’t issue his own statewide decree until this week. Last week, the Republican governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves overruled city and county social distancing measures. Under pressure, he announced a stay-at-home order on Wednesday that will go into effect Friday. Trump has also publicly suggested that Democratic governors who don’t show him proper veneration will have to get in the back of the line for medical supplies. And there is emerging evidence that Republican states are having their requests for ventilators and protective equipment met while blue states are getting the short end of the stick. How many people, simply because they live in a blue state, are going to die because of this president’s petty cruelty?

By Reuters Staff

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) - The World Health Organization has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday after U.S. health officials published draft new guidance by mistake warning that it can spread through airborne particles. Mike Ryan, executive director of the UN agency’s emergencies programme, said he would follow up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the next 24 hours after it said COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet.

“Certainly we haven’t seen any new evidence and our position on this remains the same,” he said in a briefing. The CDC said a draft version of changes to its recommendations were posted in error on its website while it was in the process of updating its guidance. It would repost the guidance once it had completed the review. The CDC has previously said the virus mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks.  More...

*** How many America died and how more will die because of Trump’s interference with the CDC. ***

By Jamie Gumbrecht, Jen Christensen, Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas, USA TODAY

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday abruptly reverted to its previous guidance about how coronavirus is transmitted, removing language about airborne transmission it had posted just days earlier. A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted," Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, said in a response emailed to CNN.

The guidance pertained to the way the novel coronavirus is spread. While it's known it can spread through droplets among people standing less than 6 feet apart, research has continued to explore how the virus suspends in aerosolized particles in the air and transmitted to people more than 6 feet away. The CDC transmission guidance acknowledging airborne transmission had been quietly posted on Friday, according to the agency's website. CNN was first to report the change on Sunday. The CDC responded to CNN just before noon on Monday to say it was reverting to the previous guidance. More...

Will Feuer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reversed controversial coronavirus testing guidance that said people who were exposed to an infected person but weren’t showing any symptoms did “not necessarily need a test.” The new guidance said that people without symptoms who have been in close contact with an infected person “need a test.” The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed Covid-19 infection for at least 15 minutes.

“Please consult with your healthcare provider or public health official. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the new guidance said. “Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.”

Numerous studies have shown that people can carry and spread the virus without showing symptoms — both in the presymptomatic stage and in cases where they never develop symptoms. Public health specialists and officials at the World Health Organization have repeatedly emphasized the importance of testing people who don’t have symptoms in order to cut off chains off transmission. More...

The mood was grim as the nation entered its second full coronavirus lockdown on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Noga Tarnopolsky

Israelis just want to fly away. The atmosphere was so grim as the nation entered a coronavirus lockdown on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, that there appeared to be no escape. One meme making the rounds showed desperate hands reaching out of the sea towards a far-off airplane flying high in a deep blue sky, accompanied only by the traditional greeting of “Shana Tova,” a good year.

The greeting felt hollow as Israel entered into the year 5781 as the first country on earth to impose a second national lockdown. Alone in small home-bound pods, unable to gather or to pray in synagogues, and confused by the government's constantly evolving, often contradictory guidelines, Israelis feel alienated, angry, and appalled.One meme making the rounds showed desperate hands reaching out of the sea towards a far-off airplane flying high in a deep blue sky, accompanied only by the traditional greeting of “Shana Tova,” a good year.

The greeting felt hollow as Israel entered into the year 5781 as the first country on earth to impose a second national lockdown. Alone in small home-bound pods, unable to gather or to pray in synagogues, and confused by the government's constantly evolving, often contradictory guidelines, Israelis feel alienated, angry, and appalled. More...

From paradigm to pariah in just weeks, Israel has lost control of the contagion, the economy’s cratering, unemployment’s at 23 percent, and the new government is crumbling.
Noga Tarnopolsky

JERUSALEM—Like beachgoers informed there is no danger just before a tsunami hits, Israelis are stunned by the magnitude of the dramatic turn in their fortune. In under six weeks, they’ve gone from model nation fighting the novel coronavirus to a small, isolated country whose citizens face a long, deadly summer locked down. On May 17, Israel reported only 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the entire country. It looked like Israel had succeeded in subduing the coronavirus crisis with a lockdown enforced early and strictly, reemerging on the other side with only 271 dead.  

Announcing the imminent reopening of restaurants and pubs, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who usually sticks to a formal manner, beamed and told Israelis to “go out and enjoy yourselves.” The prime minister, who was indicted late last year and had failed to win enough votes to form a right-wing government in three successive electoral campaigns, was basking not only in his internationally applauded success against the virus, but in having remained head of government. After 18 months of political limbo, he’d been able to cobble together a team-of-rivals coalition with former opponent Benny Gantz, a centrist retired army chief of staff.

“Schools—not restaurants or gyms—turned out to be the country’s worst mega-infectors.”

That government, Netanyahu promised, would focus only on the “corona emergency” for its first six months. With Israelis under virtual house arrest and the number of patients under control, Netanyahu spent much of April boasting about his mastery of virus management. “Israel is the safest country on earth,” he crowed at one of his prime-time live appearances, citing statistics published by an unknown website, the Deep Knowledge Group. More...

Marisa Peñaloza

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Friday he's tested positive for the coronavirus. Giammattei made the announcement to Sonora, a local radio station. He said he feels well, is showing typical symptoms of high fever and body aches and has been treated at the Centro Medico Militar, one of the hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients in Guatemala City.

In a live appearance on the Guatemalan government website, Giammettei said he's following his doctor's recommendations, "resting and isolating myself from all public activity," though he said, "your government continues to work." Giammettei said he's asked his entire cabinet to be tested and to work remotely. More...

The type of pollution emitted by many chemical plants in Louisiana's industrial corridor is correlated with increased coronavirus deaths, according to new peer-reviewed research from SUNY and ProPublica.
by Lylla Younes, ProPublica, and Sara Sneath

The industrial plants in the riverside Louisiana city of Port Allen have worried Diana LeBlanc since her children were young. In 1978, an explosion at the nearby Placid oil refinery forced her family to evacuate. “We had to leave in the middle of the night with two babies,” said LeBlanc, now 70. “I always had to be on the alert.” LeBlanc worried an industrial accident would endanger her family. But she now thinks the threat was more insidious. LeBlanc, who has asthma, believes the symptoms she experienced while sick with the coronavirus were made worse by decades of breathing in toxic air pollution. “That is the one time in my life I thought, I’m not going to survive this,” she said. “I’m going to become a statistic.

I was that sick.” New research, conducted in part by ProPublica, shows she could well be right. COVID-19 can be made more serious — and, in some cases, more deadly — by a specific type of industrial emission called hazardous air pollutants, or HAPs, according to new peer-reviewed research by ProPublica and researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The study, published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found this association in both rural counties in Louisiana and highly populated communities in New York. More...

By Associated Press

A detailed look at COVID-19 deaths in U.S. kids and young adults shows they mirror patterns seen in older patients. The report, published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined 121 coronavirus-related deaths between Feb. 12 and July 31 in people younger than 21. Like older Americans, many of them had at least one medical condition before they were infected, such as lung problems like asthma, obesity, heart problems or developmental conditions. Also like older adults, deaths among younger people were also more common for those in certain racial and ethnic groups. The CDC found that among the 121 casualties, 54 were Latino, 35 were Black and 17 were white. More...

By Rebecca Klar

A pair of Massachusetts parents sent their child to school despite the high schooler having tested positive for the coronavirus days before, according to the town's mayor. Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux sj(D) aid in a Facebook post Wednesday that a student who had tested positive for the coronavirus had been in school Monday, urging other parents not to make the same mistake. The parents found out their child tested positive on Sept. 11 but thought that they could go to school after quarantining for several days, the mayor told CNN. "The parents used very poor judgment, it's very frustrating," Heroux told the outlet. "The school department did everything they were supposed to do."

Attleboro High School Superintendent David Sawyer sent a letter to parents notifying them that a student who tested positive for COVID-19 attended class on Monday but that the school was not aware of the diagnosis until the next day, according to CNN. The superintendent reportedly said 28 students who had close contact with the infected person have been notified and asked to quarantine for 14 days. More...

Abby Haglage

Officials in Maine revealed on Tuesday that more than 175 COVID-19 cases — seven of them fatal — have been linked to an Aug. 7 wedding in Millinocket, highlighting the danger of gathering indoors amid a deadly pandemic. More than 65 people reportedly attended the wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn in Penobscot County. The event broke the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s limit for indoor gatherings, which had been capped at 50. Since then, outbreaks of the virus linked to the event have appeared at a local county jail — where one of the wedding guests works — as well as at a nursing home. None of the seven who died attended the ceremony. During a press conference on Tuesday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah discussed the implications of the event. “The virus favors gatherings,” said Shah, according to WMTW Portland. “It does not distinguish between happy events, like a wedding celebration, or sad farewells, like funerals.” More...

Multiple outbreaks — including some over 200 miles from the wedding venue — have emerged in the last month.
By Jeremy Blum

At least seven people have died due to a coronavirus outbreak linked to an indoor wedding reception in Millinocket, Maine. One of those deaths occurred in a Millinocket hospital while six were at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison, a nursing home where 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases emerged last week. The nursing home is roughly 100 miles southwest of the Big Moose Inn, Cabins and Campground, where the wedding reception was held on Aug. 7. A spokesperson for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention previously told HuffPost that one of the wedding guests was in the same household as an employee of the nursing home.

The wedding, which saw attendance from more than 60 guests who did not wear masks or socially distance, is now linked to 176 COVID-19 cases in Maine, including an outbreak in York County Jail, which is over 220 miles southwest of Big Moose Inn. One of the wedding guests worked at the jail, according to the Bangor Daily News. Amanda Roy, whose mother Anna Littlejohn resides at Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center and tested positive for COVID-19, told the Bangor Daily News that she is angry at the wedded couple for the resulting virus spread.

“I’m glad they got the greatest day of their life,” Roy told the paper. “But it made a nightmare and probably the worst days of some other people’s lives.” During a media briefing this week, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah stressed that all Maine locals needed to remain vigilant to quell the spread of COVID-19. The state was facing over 4,400 confirmed cases and had seen 138 deaths as of Tuesday. More...

By Laura Smith-Spark and Vasco Cotovio, CNN

(CNN) The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that coronavirus cases are surging alarmingly in Europe, as a "very serious situation" unfolds across the continent. As Covid-19 infections spike to record numbers, European governments are imposing strict local measures and weighing up further lockdowns in a bid to halt a second wave of the pandemic. But WHO regional director Hans Kluge said at a Thursday news conference that the increase in cases should serve as a warning of what is to come. "Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March," Kluge said. "Last week, the region's weekly tally exceeded 300,000 patients." More than half of European nations have reported an increase of more than 10% in new cases in the past two weeks, Kluge added. "Of those, seven countries have seen newly reported cases increase more than two-fold in the same period," he said.

"In the spring and early summer we were able to see the impact of strict lockdown measures. Our efforts, our sacrifices, paid off. In June cases hit an all-time low. The September case numbers, however, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us," he said. "Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region." While there was an increase in cases in older age groups, those aged 50 to 79, in the first week of September, Kluge said, the biggest proportion of new cases is still among 25- to 49-year-olds. Countries across the continent have been easing lockdowns and reopening their economies, but governments are now scrambling to avert further outbreaks. "This pandemic has taken so much from us," Kluge said, citing the nearly 4.9 million recorded Covid-19 cases in Europe and more than 226,000 deaths. "And this tells only part of the story," he said. "The impact on our mental health, economies, livelihoods and society has been monumental." More...

The researchers reported that Ab8 is "highly effective" in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — University of Pittsburgh scientists have isolated a biomolecule that “completely and specifically” neutralizes the virus that causes coronavirus. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a report published Monday in the journal Cell. The antibody component is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody and has been used to create a drug known as Ab8 for use as a therapeutic and preventative against SARS-CoV-2, the report says. More..

More than 75 percent of children dying from covid-19 are minorities, a finding that echoes disproportionate death rates among adults
By William Wan

The coronavirus is killing Hispanic, Black and American Indian children at much higher numbers than their White peers, according to federal statistics released Tuesday. The numbers — the most comprehensive U.S. accounting to date of pediatric infections and fatalities — show there have been 391,814 confirmed cases and 121 deaths among people under the age of 21 from February to July. Of those killed by covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, more than 75 percent have been Hispanic, Black and American Indian children, even though they represent 41 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency collected data from health departments throughout the country.

The disproportionate deaths among youths echo pandemic disparities well-documented among adults. Previous studies have found the virus’s death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for White Americans. People of color also disproportionately make up “excess deaths” — those killed by the virus without being diagnosed or those killed indirectly by the virus’s wide effects on the health-care system.  The racial disparities among children are in some ways even more stark. Of the children and teens killed, 45 percent were Hispanic, 29 Black and 4 percent American Indian. “This is the strongest evidence yet that there are deep racial disparities in children just like there are in adults,” said John Williams, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “What that should mean for people is steps like wearing a mask are not just about protecting your family and yourself. It is about racial equity.” More...

health feed back

CLAIM
Cloth masks cannot block smoke particles which are larger than viruses, so masks cannot stop virus transmission
VERDICT Misleading

Misleading: The claim fails to account for the way that viruses travel in the air, which factors into the effectiveness of cloth masks at reducing transmission. Even though viruses are smaller than smoke particles and the pores in the fabric of a cloth mask, a virus cannot travel in the air on its own and must be transported by respiratory droplets, unlike smoke particles. Respiratory droplets are larger than smoke particles and pores in the fabric, hence they can be blocked by cloth masks. More...

Charlie Russell, 27, is one of an estimated 600,000 people with post-Covid illness, a condition that may give an insight into ME
James Tapper

It’s day 182 after being infected by Covid-19, and Charlie Russell is not doing the things that other 27-year-olds are doing. He’s not running 5km three times a week like he used to. He’s not going to the pub. He’s not working. And he’s not getting better. “If I had known that I’d be this ill, I would have taken everything a lot more seriously back in March,” Russell said. “But all that we heard back then was that if you were infected and you were a young person, you’d most likely not have any symptoms at all. Or you’d be ill for a couple of weeks and that would be it.”

Instead, Russell has suffered from chest pains, excruciating migraines, severe breathlessness, dizziness and exhaustion, one of the legions of “long Covid” sufferers who have experienced long-term symptoms from the coronavirus. Record numbers of people in their 20s are testing positive for covid-19, according to the latest figures from Public Health England, which showed 3,366 had the virus in the first week of September.

That is higher than the 3,325 cases at the end of April, although those tests were mostly conducted on people in hospitals. Although people under 40 face a much lower risk of dying from the illness, 20-somethings like Russell are catching covid-19 in far higher numbers than other age groups: 20- to 29-year-olds make up nearly 28% of all new infections. Few will need hospital treatment, but long-Covid support groups and medical experts fear that a significant minority will end up with a severely debilitating condition that scientists do not yet understand. More...

By Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Peeps treats are going on hiatus for several months — another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Just Born Quality Confections said it won’t be producing the popular marshmallow sweets for Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day as the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based company prepares for next Easter, PennLive.com reports. More...

Couple’s son doesn’t want anyone else to have the same experience
By WBTV Staff

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A husband and wife, married for 48 years, died within four minutes of each other, holding hands, in the hospital in Salisbury one week ago from COVID-19. Their funeral was held Wednesday. “They were married 48 years, been together 50, they walked hand in hand for those 50 years,” said son Shane Peoples.  One week ago, Shane Peoples says he was cheated. His mom and dad, 67-year-old Johnny Lee Peoples and 65-year-old Cathy Darlene Peoples died from COVID-19. It marked the end of a thirty-day ordeal of both parents contracting the virus, rapidly declining, and then dying. It started with his mother, just days away from retirement. “It was mainly the fever and loss of taste,” Peoples said. “My dad starting showing symptoms two days later. About two weeks later they were both put in the ICU. Everything just went south, everything just got worse.” More..

Will Feuer

Twelve kids who likely caught Covid-19 at three child care centers in Utah went on to spread the virus elsewhere and infected some parents and siblings, according to a new study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors of the study note that research had previously shown that kids 10 years and older could spread the virus in schools. The new study is evidence that even younger kids, including an 8-month-old baby, can still spread the virus, despite not getting severely sick from Covid-19, the researchers said.

The study looked at outbreaks that occurred in three child care centers in Salt Lake City, between April and July. Using contact tracing data collected at the time of the outbreaks, the researchers used the data to “retrospectively construct transmission chains” to determine precisely how the virus spread. A total of 83 kids attended the three child care centers included in the study, the researchers said. Among the three outbreaks, the researchers said 12 kids were infected with Covid-19 at the child care centers, though three of them never developed symptoms and nine developed just mild symptoms. The study says those 12 kids came into contact with 46 people not associated with the child care facilities and appear to have infected 12, or more than a quarter, of them. Those infected by the kids include six mothers, one of whom was hospitalized, three siblings and three others, the study says.

“Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19,” the researchers wrote, providing more evidence that those who do not have Covid-19 symptoms can still spread the virus. “COVID-19 is less severe in children than it is in adults, but children can still play a role in transmission.” More...

By Celine Castronuovo

A third grade teacher in South Carolina who was in her classroom less than two weeks ago has died from COVID-19, school district officials announced Wednesday. Demetria “Demi” Bannister, 28, was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and died Monday, Richland 2 school district spokeswoman Libby Roof said in a press release. Bannister had just started her fifth year teaching third grade at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, school officials said.

Officials said Bannister was at school on Aug. 28 for a teacher workday, but started working from home the following week as students began the school year with online classes. The district said it will be tracing anyone who may have come into contact with Bannister and instructed custodians to deeply clean the school. More...

CNBC Television

CNBC's Scott Wapner talks to Merck CEO Ken Frazier about how the company is manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine, and what may be next in the race to a vaccine. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi . More...

From double-decker party boats to shadowy riverside gatherings, college students have found a way to party. Will the fall semester survive?
Caitlin Faulds, Mary Claire Molloy, Franco LaTona, Rina Torchinsky, Colleen Vann, Danielle Sondgeroth, Dana Cassidy, Sabrina LeBoeuf, Daniel

Partying students would be dismissed without tuition refunds. Northeastern University had made that clear Friday, kicking out 11 first-year students who broke COVID-19 rules to gather in a Boston hotel room. Yet by that night, a few dozen students from Northeastern and Boston University found their way to the Charles River, their legs lit by the Esplanade lights, their faces by reflections of skyscrapers off the water. Bottles of Tito’s vodka, Gatorade, Coca-Cola and soda water were laid out on a park bench, a convenient bar for students seeking a way to party.

Any doubts that students would find a way to party, even during a pandemic, have been quickly dispelled as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed at colleges around the country. Some colleges promptly canceled in-person instruction, and social media videos and images of partying students helped feed a narrative of irresponsible behavior putting everyone in the university community at risk. More...

CBS News
By Peter Martinez

New data out Tuesday shows that more than 500,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic started, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group said children represented 9.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., where more than 6.3 million total cases have been reported, per a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The AAP reported there were 70,630 new child cases, a 16% increase over two weeks, between August 20 and September 3, which brings the national total to 513,415. Puerto Rico was among six states and territories that showed an increase in child cases. The AAP and the Children's Hospital Association compiled the data of children of varying ages as reported by 49 state health departments, New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam. Texas was excluded from the analysis, the AAP noted.

Coronavirus deaths among children
The report said the cumulative death toll in the U.S. for children due to the coronavirus is 103. In a subset of data that was analyzed from 42 states and New York City, children were 0-0.3% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 18 states reported zero child deaths. "At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children," the AAP said. But health experts have said that kids can spread COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new data about a deadly and mysterious pediatric illness with apparent links to the coronavirus. Since mid-May, the CDC has been following an outbreak of Multisystem Inflammatory Illness in Children (MIS-C), which is also or sometimes referred to as PMIS. The CDC describes it as "a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19" that sometimes presents after a COVID illness or after contact with someone with COVID-19. Instead of attacking the lungs like the new coronavirus disease does in adults, this syndrome, while seemingly very rare, can trigger serious, even deadly cardiac complications in kids.

Joe Palca, photographed for NPR

Drugmaker AstraZeneca has announced that it is pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial because of a "potentially unexplained illness" in one of the trial volunteers. The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca. It's being studied in thousands of patients in the United States and the United Kingdom. The illness apparently occurred in a U.K. volunteer. The company hasn't revealed the nature of the illness but did confirm that a pause in vaccination will allow a safety review. "This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials," an AstraZeneca spokesperson said in a statement to NPR.

The next step will be to determine whether the illness is related to the vaccine, or just a chance event. The AstraZeneca/Oxford partnership is one of the vaccine development efforts that is furthest along. The company recently began a Phase 3 trial in the United States that aims to enroll 30,000 volunteers. The vaccine is what's known as a nonreplicating viral vector vaccine. When injected into a volunteer, it tricks that person's cells into making a protein from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. That has the effect of prompting the vaccinated person to have an immune reaction that should be protective if the person were exposed to the coronavirus. More...

By Jordan Freiman

AstraZeneca on Tuesday temporarily halted its phase three trials of a possible coronavirus vaccine after one participant suffered what may have been a serious adverse reaction. The vaccine "candidate" was developed by the pharmaceutical giant along with Oxford University and is currently being tested in large-scale human trials in the U.K., the U.S., Brazil and South Africa.

All of those trials have been put on hold to give scientists time to scrutinize data, and the individual who showed the possible adverse reaction, to determine whether it was, in fact, related to the drug.

"As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee," a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said. "This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials."  more...

Megan Raposa Sioux Falls Argus Leader

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A study by a California research group estimates that the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota led to more than 260,000 coronavirus cases in the month following the event. Researchers from the Center for Health Economics and Policy Studies at San Diego State University published their findings Saturday in a 63-page report. The estimate is dramatically more than the number of cases tied to the rally reported by both the South Dakota health department and the Associated Press.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday said the study was "fiction," and she criticized journalists who reported on it. The goal of the study was to estimate the impacts of a single "super-spreader" event on the spread of COVID-19. The same group has conducted similar studies on cases resulting from events like the nationwide Black Lives Matter rallies and the June political rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma. More...

Sophie Lewis

A coronavirus models projects deaths due to the virus in the United States will top 400,000 by the end of the year, with 410,000 projected by January 1, according to new data. That would more than double the current U.S. death toll, which stood at more than 188,000 as of Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which has been cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said this week that deaths could skyrocket to 3,000 per day in December if current trends continue.

The projections are based on data including cases, deaths, antibody prevalence, testing rates, mobility, social distancing mandates, mask use, population density, age and pneumonia seasonality. Deaths could be reduced by 30% if more Americans wear face masks, researchers said, adding that mask-wearing is actually on the decline among Americans. The U.S. currently leads the planet in confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 6.2 million reported as of Saturday. More...

By Christina Zdanowicz, Amanda Jackson and Alanne Orjoux, CNN

(CNN) At least 147 Covid-19 cases are now linked to an August wedding reception in Maine, a state CDC spokesman said Saturday.
Three people connected to the outbreak have died of the virus, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Robert Long told CNN. The wedding was held in Millinocket on August 7. Since then, the cases have spread to a nursing home and a prison, both more than 100 miles away from the venue.  

The wedding outbreak investigation as of Thursday was still at 56 cases among the guests and their secondary and tertiary contacts. Secondary contacts are people who had close contact with someone who attended and tertiary contacts are people who had close contact with a secondary.
The state had 4,667 cases of coronavirus and 134 deaths through Friday, according to the Maine Covid-19 website.

The coronavirus is spiking around campuses from Texas to Iowa to North Carolina as students return.
By Sarah Watson, Shawn Hubler, Danielle Ivory and Robert Gebeloff

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Last month, facing a budget shortfall of at least $75 million because of the pandemic, the University of Iowa welcomed thousands of students back to its campus — and into the surrounding community. Iowa City braced, cautious optimism mixing with rising panic. The university had taken precautions, and only about a quarter of classes would be delivered in person. But each fresh face in town could also carry the virus, and more than 26,000 area residents were university employees. “Covid has a way of coming in,” said Bruce Teague, the city’s mayor, “even when you’re doing all the right things.” Within days, students were complaining that they couldn’t get coronavirus tests or were bumping into people who were supposed to be in isolation. Undergraduates were jamming sidewalks and downtown bars, masks hanging below their chins, never mind the city’s mask mandate.

More than 200,000 people attended the South Dakota State Fair last year.
By Erin Schumaker

Pandemic or no pandemic, the show will go on in South Dakota. The South Dakota State Fair opens Thursday and will run through Sept. 7. While it's not clear how many people plan to attend this year's event, more than 200,000 people visited the fair last year, according to the state's department of agriculture. Fair organizers have implemented health and safety measures, such as hand washing stations and social distancing requirements, at the five-day event, but assume no responsibility should guests become infected with COVID-19. "Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present," according to the fair website. "By visiting the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."

Joel Shannon USA TODAY

South Dakota is one of the nation's hot spots for COVID-19 infections. That didn't stop another large-scale event from kicking off Thursday. The rural South Dakota State Fair, which reported an attendance of 205,000 people last year, is set to run through Labor Day with more hand-washing stations, social distancing reminders and an encouragement — but not a requirement — for attendees to wear masks. It comes on the heels of the state's two largest events: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the The Sioux Empire Fair. In the weeks following those events, South Dakota has emerged as a virus hotbed, according to data analysis. State and national health experts say the rise in cases is likely fueled by a combination of factors, including school reopenings, small gatherings and major events.

Heard on All Things Considered
Will Stone

More than two weeks after nearly half a million bikers flocked to South Dakota, the tally of coronavirus infections traced back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has surpassed 260, an estimate that is growing steadily as more states report cases and at least one death. At least 12 states have turned up cases linked to the 10-day event. The greatest share of cases so far have emerged in the rally's home state, South Dakota, which has registered more than 100 cases so far.

A Minnesota man in his 60s who went to the rally was later hospitalized for COVID-19 and died earlier this week, said Kris Ehresmann, head of infectious disease for the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota has counted more than 45 cases tied to the rally, and that only includes people who got tested and then notified state health departments about their possible exposure at Sturgis.

The case, involving a biker in his 60s, is one of at least 260 infections traced to the event last month where many declined to wear masks.
By Brittany Shammas and Lena H. Sun

A Minnesota biker who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has died of covid-19 — the first fatality from the virus traced to the 10-day event that drew more than 400,000 to South Dakota. The man was in his 60s, had underlying conditions and was hospitalized in intensive care after returning from the rally, said Kris Ehresmann, infectious-disease director at the Minnesota Department of Health. The case is among at least 260 cases in 11 states tied directly to the event, according to a survey of health departments by The Washington Post.

Epidemiologists believe that figure is a significant undercount, due to the resistance of some rallygoers to testing and the limited contact tracing in some states. As a result, the true scope of infections stemming from the event that ran from Aug. 7 to Aug. 16 is unlikely to ever be known. Public health officials had long expressed concern over the decision to move forward with the annual event, believed to be the largest held anywhere in the U.S. since the pandemic shelved most large-scale gatherings.

By Theresa Waldrop, CNN

(CNN) A Rhode Island family is still mourning the deaths of a father and son who both died of Covid-19 -- about an hour apart.
Ron Remillard, 72, died June 28 at 2:45 p.m. His son, Dan, 43, died at 3:48 p.m. "We're having a very difficult time dealing with both loses," Ron's wife, Dianne Remillard, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday in a video interview from Woonsocket. Dan got sick first, his sister, Cindy Archambault, said. His wife worked in a nursing home, in the Covid unit, and "she tested positive one day." Dan's test came back positive, and the couple's youngest daughter also tested positive, Archambault said. Ron was in a nursing home and had dementia, Remillard said, and he kept forgetting that Dan was sick and in the hospital. Dan had been hospitalized for five weeks when his father was admitted to a different hospital. He wasn't aware that his father had the disease, too, Remillard said.

Oxford University researchers have started the final round of testing for their COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. — a significant leading step in the race to beat the coronavirus pandemic.
CBS News

Oxford researchers, in partnership with AstraZeneca, started dosing the first volunteers in Florida on Friday, and 31 Americans received either the vaccine or a placebo throughout the weekend, as part of the clinical trial. "Look at the amount of lives that we lost. And I just don't want that to keep occurring," 23-year-old trial volunteer Jacob Serrano told CBS News chief medical contributor Dr. Jon LaPook.  As the first American to be dosed with either the vaccine or its placebo from Oxford and AstraZeneca, Serrano has already lost seven family members to COVID-19 and says he wants to be part of the solution to save lives, no matter the cost.

"I know there was a risk because it's like — it's a trial," Serrano said. "But I'd rather have us one step closer, no matter what it takes."  During the third and final phase, the vaccine is tested for safety and how effective it is at reducing or blocking COVID-19 symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration would then consider approving it for public use. Serrano was dosed on Friday, August 28 at Headlands Jem Research Institute in Lake Worth, Florida. Infectious disease expert and lead principal investigator at the site, Dr. Larry Bush, said he was optimistic that the vaccine is effective. "The immune response is very encouraging," he said.

By Kaelan Deese

Thailand has gone 100 days without any locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases, relying on strictly-policed borders as its top strategy. The country joins a shortlist of other areas of the world such as Taiwan and New Zealand that have seen virtually zero COVID-19 cases for the past 100 days, save for marginal isolated and quarantined infections near borders, Bloomberg reported. On Wednesday, Thailand's Health Ministry reported no community transmissions of the virus since May 26. While the country has maintained its safety amid the global pandemic, the strategy comes at a cost as barring visitors have taken a toll on Thailand's tourism-reliant economy.

Pursuing herd immunity is a non-strategy that could cause mass death without boosting the economy. A Trump adviser may be pushing for it.
Morgan McFall-Johnsen

The White House may be considering a controversial and deadly path through the coronavirus pandemic: herd immunity before a vaccine is ready. The Washington Post reported on Monday that Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who joined the Trump administration as a top pandemic adviser earlier this month, has urged the president to adopt Sweden's laissez-faire approach. Herd immunity is the point a population reaches when enough people become immune to a virus to stop it from continuing to spread.

The most obvious path to that threshold is through mass vaccination. But five officials recently told the Post that Atlas, who is a healthcare policy fellow at Stanford University's conservative Hoover Institution, encouraged Trump to pursue herd immunity before a shot becomes available, as Sweden has. That would happen by reopening businesses and allowing the virus to spread among the young and healthy, while keeping elderly or vulnerable people at home.

Noah Higgins-Dunn

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci debunked online theories promoted by President Donald Trump that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its guidance for tallying coronavirus deaths, showing a fraction of total Covid-19 fatalities. On Sunday, Twitter removed a post retweeted by Trump that claimed the CDC had “quietly” updated its guidance to indicate only 6% of the country’s coronavirus death toll — roughly 9,000 deaths —  was actually caused by the virus, according to a CNN report. The tweet said the remaining 94% had “other serious illnesses.”

Fauci told the ABC program “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that the CDC guidance, last updated on Aug. 26, indicates that of the people who have died from the virus, “a certain percentage of them had nothing else but just Covid.” However, people with underlying illnesses also die from Covid-19, he said. “That does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of Covid didn’t die of Covid-19. They did,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the program. “So the numbers you’ve been hearing -- there are 180,000-plus deaths -- are real deaths from Covid-19. Let (there) not be any confusion about that.”  “It’s not 9,000 deaths from Covid-19, it’s 180-plus-thousand deaths,” Fauci said. *** If someone has an underlying condition and dies in car accident, killed by a knife, killed by a bullet or die from coronavirus it was not the underlying conditions that caused the death, it was the car accident, the knife, the bullet or coronavirus that caused the death. ***

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

(CNN) After months of effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, herd immunity has emerged as a controversial topic. White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Atlas responded to a report on Monday that claimed he is a proponent of a "herd immunity" strategy to combat Covid-19. "I've never advocated that strategy," Atlas said at a press conference in Florida. Such an approach -- similar to what was pursued in Sweden -- would mean that many people nationwide would have to get sick with the coronavirus in order to build up a natural immunity across communities. As the virus spreads and sickens people, many could die in the process.

Atlas explicitly denied that he is pushing a herd immunity strategy, but an administration official told CNN all of the policies Atlas has pushed for are in the vein of a herd immunity strategy. Atlas has rejected the need for widespread community testing, arguing that the administration should focus almost exclusively on protecting and testing elderly populations while pushing for the rest of the economy to return to normal, this official said. "Everything he says and does points toward herd immunity," the senior administration official said.

By Hollie Silverman and Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN) More than 1,000 students at the University of Alabama have tested positive for Covid-19 since classes resumed on the Tuscaloosa campus less than two weeks ago, according to the University of Alabama System. The UA System coronavirus dashboard notes another 158 cases were recorded on campus over the course of the year prior to August 18, bringing the total to 1,201 cases. Classes resumed August 19. UA in Tuscaloosa has by far the most students who have tested positive for Covid-19 among the three campuses that make up the University of Alabama System. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has confirmed 157 cases among students this year, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has reported 10, per the dashboard. No positive students have been hospitalized as a result of Covid-19, the UA System said in a news release Friday.

Melissa Brown Montgomery Advertiser

Coronavirus cases continue to mushroom at the University of Alabama, with 1,043 cases among faculty, staff and students since Aug. 19, the first day of on-campus classes. On Friday, newly released figures showed the university recorded 481 new cases of COVID-19 on its campus in the previous three days alone. The college had reported 158 cases among employees and students before Aug. 19. The cases are separate from the school's re-entry testing program, which required students to take a COVID-19 test before fall semester and returned only 310 positives out of 30,000 students. Cases quickly spread as students moved onto campus and Greek houses held pre-semester events.

The new cases are a small percentage of the more than 35,100 students, faculty and staff that make up Alabama's campus. But university and Tuscaloosa officials this week expressed concern about the school's quarantine dorm capacity along with the strain a rapid surge in cases would place on the city's health care infrastructure. 'A complete fantasy'? College students are moving in, but they're making COVID-19 backup plans

Isolation space at Alabama was occupied at 36% capacity as of Thursday, according to the university's dashboard. College reopenings across the nation have led to significant outbreaks, and in some cases, reversals of campus reopenings — many blamed on fraternity and sorority gatherings or residential spaces. UNC reported 130 student cases in the first week it met in person, and the school quickly switched to remote learning. Notre Dame University paused its in-person courses when it had 147 cases a week into its semester. Michigan State University followed suit before in-person courses even started.

Kashmira Gander

A COVID-19 patient in Nevada is thought to be the first person in the U.S. to catch the coronavirus twice. The unnamed 25-year-old individual from Reno tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 on April 18, and had symptoms including a sore throat, headache, nausea, and diarrhea, according to a pre-print study. By April 27 the symptoms had resolved, and two coronavirus tests came back negative on May 9. On 31 May, the patient reported having a fever, headache, feeling dizzy, as well as a cough, nausea and diarrhea. Five days later, the patient was hospitalized after their condition worsened, and tested positive for the coronavirus again. Samples from the patient also showed they had antibodies against the coronavirus.

The patient did not have any immune problems that might explain reinfection, and they were not taking immunosuppressant drugs the team said. The data supports "an instance of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 [the coronavirus]," according to the researchers. But they said: "this may represent a rare event." The scientists examined the genetic make-up of the virus found in the patient's samples, and found they were different enough to suggest they were infected twice. Scientists worked with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Forensic Sciences Unit to carry out identity tests on the samples to verify they were from the same patient.

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN Health

(CNN) Severe illness and death remain rare in children with Covid-19, a new study suggests, while disparities do appear in kids who may require critical care or suffer complications. Pediatricians described the findings as reassuring as children accounted for fewer than 1% of some coronavirus cases in England, Wales and Scotland; and only 1% of those children died, the researchers reported. The researchers -- from various UK institutions -- analyzed data on 651 Covid-19 patients under the age of 19 who were admitted to 138 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales between January and July. These young patients accounted for 0.9% of all patients in those hospitals at the time, the researchers noted. Six of those young patients -- or 1% -- died in hospital. In comparison, 27% of Covid-19 patients of all ages died over the same time period, the researchers noted in their study, published in the British medical journal BMJ on Thursday. Overall, 18% of the young patients needed critical care and "Black ethnicity was significantly associated with admission to critical care," the researchers noted. The most common symptoms the young patients had were fever, cough, nausea or vomiting, and shortness of breath. The researchers found that 52 patients -- or 11% -- met the criteria for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a troubling complication of Covid-19 in which different body parts can become inflamed.

Samantha Raphelson

A coronavirus outbreak originating from a wedding reception in Maine earlier this month continues to grow. Health officials say cases linked to the event have spread to a rehabilitation center and a jail. At least 87 coronavirus cases are associated with an outbreak from the Aug. 7 wedding at a church in Millinocket and a reception at the Big Moose Inn, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday.

"What concerns me in this situation is the fact that the number of individuals who were affected from that initial setting ... was higher than we would have anticipated," he said during virtual press briefing. "It suggests that there was already community transmission happening in Penobscot County by the attendees, and when they came together, it was kind of like a powder keg that was giving off sparks, and generated a higher-than-expected number of cases." The risk now is that this outbreak could "spiral," and these 87 cases could keep growing, Shah said. State data show that so far, Maine has recorded 4,436 cases of the coronavirus and 132 deaths.

The outbreak affected those who attended the wedding events, and also nine cases at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation & Living Center in Madison and 18 cases associated with the York County Jail complex, Shah said. At least one person has died after contracting COVID-19 from someone who attended the wedding, Millinocket Regional Hospital said in a statement. "Because we have identified an epidemiological link between and among all of these cases, they constitute a single outbreak," Shah said. Of the 65 people who attended the wedding, 30 people contracted COVID-19, Shah said. They infected 35 other people, and those people infected 22 more people. Among the 87 people total who were infected, 59 of them have shown symptoms.

Contessa Brewer

MGM Resorts International said Friday it is sending separation letters to 18,000 U.S. employees who were furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic, making their job cuts permanent for now. MGM’s Empire City remains closed in New York state, as does its Park MGM in Las Vegas. Casinos in Las Vegas, where MGM has an outsized presence on the Strip, continue to be especially affected by declines in tourism and travel, restrictions on capacity, the lack of fans at sports events, and negligible conference and group business. At the start of this year, the company employed 70,000 workers in the U.S.

“Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this,” CEO Bill Hornbuckle wrote in the separation letter to employees. “The heart of this company is our employees and the world-class service you provide. Please know that your leadership team is working around the clock to find ways to grow our business and welcome back more of our colleagues.” The company said it will extend health benefits for furloughed employees until Sept. 30. It’s promising workers who are recalled before the end of the year that they will retain their seniority.  

The plant in California's Central Valley was ordered to close temporarily so that a coronavirus outbreak can be brought under control, Merced County health officials said.
By David K. Li

A poultry-processing plant where at least 358 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and eight have died was ordered by county health officials in California to temporarily shut down, officials said Thursday. The Foster Farms plant in Livingston - in the heart of California's Central Valley, about 115 miles southeast of downtown San Francisco - was told to close this week by the Merced County Department of Public Health.

"Due to the number of deaths and a need to quickly test both permanent and temporary employees at the Foster Farms Livingston Facility, the Merced County Health Officer has ordered the Foster Farms Poultry Processing Plant to close until the plant is able to reopen safely," the health department said Thursday in a statement.

Later Thursday night, a Merced County spokesman told the Fresno Bee that the county granted a 48-hour stay on the order to “help facilitate logistics associated with any necessary closure.” The spokesman, Mike North, said the stay was issued following a phone call with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s secretary for food safety.

By Karl de Vries and Amanda Watts, CNN

Washington (CNN) Four people involved with the Republican National Convention meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, tested positive for Covid-19, county officials said, serving as a reminder that large GOP events that have largely eschewed safety measures could contribute to the spread of coronavirus. Two attendees and two individuals "supporting the event" tested positive, according to an official release from Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located. A spokesman for the party said the individuals tested positive upon arriving at the convention and were immediately sent home. In all, 792 Covid-19 tests were given to people who attended or provided support to the convention in Charlotte, the county said. The city was originally going to host the entire Republican convention, but coronavirus-related concerns limited activities there to largely party business earlier this week rather than speeches, and much of the event was remote or held in Washington, DC.

"These individuals were immediately issued isolation instructions and any known close contacts were notified and issued quarantine instructions by Mecklenburg County Public Health," the county said. Many Republicans, most prominently President Donald Trump, have downplayed the ongoing spread of coronavirus and disregarded the need for safety measures such as avoiding large crowds and wearing masks in an urge to return the country to normalcy. When he accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday evening at the White House, Trump appeared in front of an audience that was virtually entirely mask-less and attendees were sitting in close proximity to one another. And those who attended first lady Melania Trump's speech in the White House Rose Garden earlier this week were not required to get tested, a person who attended the speech has told CNN. Trump had long insisted on holding a full, in-person convention in Charlotte as planned before the pandemic, only to back down following objections from the state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, who expressed concerns about spreading the virus at such a large event.

Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said Friday the party had "diligent safety protocols in place" and tested all attendees both before and after they arrived in Charlotte. "Out of roughly 1,000 tests administered, two RNC attendees, despite having negative tests prior to travel, and two Charlotte locals who planned to serve as event support staff tested positive upon arrival. All were sent home," Ahrens said.

Will Feuer, Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the state won’t follow new federal guidance on coronavirus testing and urged others to do the same after CDC quietly revised its recommendations to downplay the importance of testing people without symptoms for Covid-19. “Shame on the people at the CDC,” Cuomo said, calling the change “indefensible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms. The previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus should be “quickly identified and tested.” Numerous studies have shown that people who don’t have symptoms can still carry and spread the virus — even a few days before symptoms appear or if they never develop symptoms.

The new guidance, published Monday, says people without symptoms who were in close contact with an infected person for at least 15 minutes “do not necessarily need a test.” The guidance still recommends testing for vulnerable people if they’ve come within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed infection for at least 15 minutes.

“We’re not going to follow the CDC guidance. I consider it political propaganda. I would caution private companies against following the CDC guidance. I think it is wholly indefensible on its face. I think it is inherently self-contradictory. It is the exact opposite of what the CDC has been saying,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters. “So either the CDC is schizophrenic or they are admitting error in their first position or this is just political dictations.”

By Kaelan Deese

The North Dakota Department of Health said COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month in South Dakota have been confirmed in eight states. The health department tweeted Monday that 17 additional people "who are connected" with the crowded rally have tested positive for coronavirus, NBC News reported. "Those who attended the rally should closely monitor for symptoms & get tested at a free ND testing site," the agency said. Reports emerged last week confirming several cases in connection with the 10-day motorcycle gathering — 103 in total so far.

In addition to North and South Dakota, states seeing COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis event include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming and Washington. Kris Ehresmann, the Minnesota Department of Health's infectious disease division director, said during a call with news outlets that the department expects more cases associated with Sturgis. "Thousands of people attended that event, and so it's very likely that we will see more transmission," she added.

By Amy Woodyatt, CNN

CNN) China has been using an experimental coronavirus vaccine on people who work in "high risk" professions since July, including front line medical professionals and border inspectors, a senior official from the national health commission revealed over the weekend. Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Science and Technology Development Center of the National Health Commission, said the vaccine had been approved for use on July 22 during an interview with a Chinese state media broadcaster on Saturday. Zheng told the CCTV-2 program "Dialogue" that the people who were at high risk of exposure to the virus -- including frontline medical personnel, epidemic prevention personnel, medical staff at fever clinics, and customs and border personnel -- were eligible to receive the vaccine. The vaccine was developed by Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group Company (CNBG). Phase 3 clinical trials of this vaccine have been conducted in the UAE, Peru, Morocco, and Argentina.


The owner of the funeral home allegedly told officials that their freezer had stopped working
By Gabrielle Chung

A New York City funeral home is under investigation after human bodies were discovered inside unrefrigerated trucks outside of its business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to officials. Officers arrived on scene around 11:20 a.m. on Wednesday after a 911 call was received about bodies being stored inside two vehicles parked on a street in Brooklyn, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department told PEOPLE. Upon further investigation, police determined that the trucks belonged to a nearby funeral home.

The exact number of bodies found by investigators could not be confirmed by police, who said no criminality was established. A spokesperson for the funeral home, identified as the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services, could not be immediately reached by PEOPLE. New York station WABC reported that a funeral director for the business told health officials that they ran out of freezer space for the bodies.

A representative for the New York State Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, though a spokesperson for the department told PIX11 that "funeral directors are required to store decedents awaiting burial or other final disposition in appropriate conditions and to follow their routine infection prevention and control precautions."

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday warned against the notion of early emergency use authorization for a potential coronavirus vaccine, explaining that such a step could damage efforts to develop other vaccines. His comments come as White House officials have raised the possibility of an early emergency authorization before late-stage trials are finished, two sources have told CNN. Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, has denied that there was any effort to fast-track vaccine development for political purposes. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, told Reuters that "the one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA before you have a signal of efficacy."

"One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial," he said. Several vaccines are being tested in the US and companies are working to ramp up production while testing is going on, so that if a vaccine is proved safe and effective it could be distributed immediately. President Donald Trump has promised that a vaccine would be available by the end of the year, though vaccinologists told CNN that timeline is unrealistic. And though Trump has commented that a vaccine could be ready "a lot sooner" than the end of the year, a senior administration official close to the coronavirus task force said the timeline for a vaccine remains the same and a vaccine is still expected late this year or early next year.

Rachel Treisman

A Florida judge on Monday ruled against the state's order requiring schools to open for in-person instruction by the end of August, calling parts of it "unconstitutional." He granted a temporary injunction, putting the decision-making power in the hands of individual districts. The emergency order was issued by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in early July as the state's coronavirus cases surged, and mandated that all districts open "brick and mortar schools" at least five days a week for families who want to send their students back, or else risk losing already-allocated funding.

Along with teachers and parents, the Florida Education Association — the state's largest teachers' union — quickly filed a lawsuit, alleging the order violated a provision in Florida's constitution requiring the state to ensure schools operate safely. They were joined by the NAACP and the NAACP Florida State Conference last week. In a 16-page decision, Circuit Judge Charles Dodson said the order is "unconstitutional to the extent that it arbitrarily disregards safety, denies local school boards' decision making with respect to reopening brick and mortar schools, and conditions funding on an approved reopening plan with a start date in August."

"Schools should reopen when the local decision makers determine upon advice of medical experts that it is safe to do so," he wrote. On Monday evening, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education told NPR that the department had appealed the decision. This automatically placed a stay on the judge's order, blocking it from taking effect until the appeal is over or unless the court rules otherwise. An FEA spokesperson said the union will return to court on Tuesday to ask the judge to reinstate his order. In a statement shared with NPR, Corcoran said he is "100% confident" the state will win the lawsuit.

By University of California - Davis

Humans are not the only species facing a potential threat from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis. An international team of scientists used genomic analysis to compare the main cellular receptor for the virus in humans — angiotensin converting enzyme-2, or ACE2 — in 410 different species of vertebrates, including birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. ACE2 is normally found on many different types of cells and tissues, including epithelial cells in the nose, mouth, and lungs. In humans, 25 amino acids of the ACE2 protein are important for the virus to bind and gain entry into cells. The researchers used these 25 amino acid sequences of the ACE2 protein, and modeling of its predicted protein structure together with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, to evaluate how many of these amino acids are found in the ACE2 protein of the different species.

“Animals with all 25 amino acid residues matching the human protein are predicted to be at the highest risk for contracting SARS-CoV-2 via ACE2,” said Joana Damas, first author for the paper and a postdoctoral research associate at UC Davis. “The risk is predicted to decrease the more the species’ ACE2 binding residues differ from humans.” About 40 percent of the species potentially susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 are classified as “threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and may be especially vulnerable to human-to-animal transmission. The study was published Aug. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By Quentin Fottrell

A new working paper looks at the effects of the 1918 influenza and COVID-19 pandemics on mortality and the economy, plus the role of non-pharmaceutical interventions. How much has changed? The 2020 coronavirus and 1918 Spanish influenza pandemics have many differences and share many similarities, but they also converge on one key point: their impact on the economy and employment and, in particular, how wealthier people had better odds of surviving their respective pandemics.

Both pandemics involve novel, highly contagious, respiratory viruses, spread across the world in a matter of months and, as of August 2020, COVID-19 — like the 1918 influenza — lacks a vaccine. During the 1918 pandemic, people wore masks and employed social distancing as much as possible instead, just like today. A new working paper released Monday looked at the effects of the 1918 influenza and COVID-19 pandemics on mortality and the economy, plus the role of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mask wearing and social distancing, and the impact on workers and socioeconomic status. Even though both of these pandemics occurred 100 years apart, they had one depressing commonality, according to the research carried out by economists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. During the 1918 influenza pandemic, wealthier people had a better chance of survival: Individuals of moderate and higher economic status had a mortality rate of 0.38%, versus 0.52% for those of lower economic status and 1% for those who were “very poor,” they wrote.

By Quentin Fottrell

‘We may never know the true mortality consequences of 1918 because of incomplete or inaccurate record keeping, issues that also undermine our ability to quantify the impact of COVID-19’ There’s still so much we don’t know. The 2020 coronavirus and 1918 influenza are two highly contagious respiratory diseases that spread around the world in months, and lacked a vaccine when they first occurred. People couldn’t understand why they affected some people more than others. For the 1918 flu, healthier, younger people were most at risk. In 2020, it’s older people with preexisting conditions.

But there is one cautionary note from the 1918 flu that has resonance in 2020, and it could reinvigorate social-distancing and mask-wearing behavior among those people who are feeling the fatigue of disruption to their daily lives: “While 1918 was deadly, most that contracted the virus survived. But survival does not mean that individuals fully recovered.” That’s according to a review of literature and studies on the 1918 flu by economists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “The evidence suggests that, in 1918, those that survived the initial infection faced an elevated mortality risk and some physiological conditions never fully healed.”

“The first lesson from 1918 is that the health effects were large and diffuse. We may never know the true mortality consequences of 1918 because of incomplete or inaccurate record keeping, issues that also undermine our ability to quantify the impact of COVID-19,” they wrote. “The range of lingering health effects for those that contract COVID-19 and survive remains to be seen.”

Jane Rioseco and Amy Thogmartin

Public health professionals have long fought to dispel myths and counter misinformation. With the rise and unfettered reach of social media platforms, health misinformation has become a viral pandemic of its own. A report released this week by the nonprofit activist group Avaaz estimates that networks amplifying misleading health information generated an astonishing 3.8 billion Facebook views in the past year alone. While this information did not surprise us, we feel gutted, knowing it threatens everything we are fighting to achieve.

Around the peak of New York City's COVID-19 surge, we co-founded AmplifyThis! to help frontline medical experts manage the sudden onslaught of media requests as they attempted to offer sound public health messaging to a country in crisis. While facing unthinkable numbers of critically ill patients, a novel virus for which treatment protocols were changing by the hour and confounding information from all levels of leadership, these doctors committed precious time and energy to interviews and other outreach efforts.

By Justine Coleman

A majority of Republicans said that the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. — now topping 176,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — is “acceptable,” according to a poll released Sunday. A CBS News-YouGov poll determined that 57 percent of Republican respondents said the U.S. death toll for COVID-19 was “acceptable,” while 43 percent said it was “unacceptable.” Republicans were the only partisan group of which a majority of voters said the number of deaths was acceptable. Among Democrats, 10 percent said the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. was acceptable, while 90 percent said it was unacceptable. For independents, 33 percent labeled the death toll as acceptable, and 67 percent called it unacceptable.

Blake Dodge

A wedding reception in Millinocket, Maine, led to 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. One woman who did not attend the event died on Friday after being infected with COVID-19 after coming in close contact with a guest, the Portland Press Herald reported. Sixty-five people went to the August 7 reception, which was largely indoors, Maine's CDC director Nirav Shah said in a press conference on August 20. The venue, "Big Moose Inn," exceeded the state's limit on indoor gatherings, which is 50 people, Shah said. The median age of infected people among the outbreak is 42, but there's a wide range from four years old to 78, Shah said on Thursday. Most of them reported symptoms about 4 days after the reception, but roughly 13% were asymptomatic, he added.

A six-minute clip from Plandemic: Indoctornation seeks to raise fears about the vaccines that could help address the COVID-19 pandemic.
By - AFP

A six-minute clip from the film titled "Plandemic: Indoctornation" seeks to raise fears about the vaccines that could help address the COVID-19 pandemic, and it makes misleading claims about the vaccines currently in clinical trials. "A Vaccine Or A Population Management Story," says the caption for a clip from the film watched tens of thousands of times on Facebook. Screenshot taken on August 20, 2020 of a Facebook post sharing a clip from the video "Plandemic: Indoctornation" The clip paints a misleading picture of the efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, questioning the research timeline and the recompense available in the rare case that a person suffered a serious side effect from the immunization.

The WHO said the document did not originate from them and includes "cherry picked" studies.
By - AFP

An image appearing to show an official World Health Organization (WHO) publication highlighting scientific research has been shared on social media in an attempt to prove the global health body does not recommend mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the WHO said the document did not originate from them and includes "cherry picked" studies. The agency -- like numerous other health bodies -- recommends mask wearing to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. "Does the WHO recommend wearing masks in public settings? Simple answer. No," claims an August 5, 2020 Facebook post featuring an image with the WHO logo and information about scientific studies said to back the assertion.

By Sophie Lewis

One of 53 coronavirus patients associated with a wedding reception in Maine has died, officials announced Friday. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is still investigating the incident, which is Maine's first outbreak directly linked to a social gathering.  The person, whose name was not released, was recently admitted to the Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) following the August 7 wedding reception. Hospital officials said she died early Friday afternoon.  "Our hearts go out to everyone in our community who is affected by this loss," the hospital wrote on Facebook on Friday. "Maine CDC expresses condolences to the individual's family and loved ones," officials said Saturday.
One person dead after wedding reception in Maine linked to COVID-19 outbreak

The Maine CDC reported Saturday that 41 coronavirus-positive individuals were linked to the wedding, with an additional 12 individuals presumed positive. The hospital said it has tested 366 people in connection with the party. Results for 103 people are pending. Investigators said Saturday that they have identified secondary and tertiary transmission of the virus, meaning it spread to people who were not present at the wedding "but had close contact with individuals who were present at the event (secondary cases) and close contacts of the secondary cases (tertiary cases)."

by John Anderer

Doctors say children who tested positive displayed much higher levels of coronavirus in their airways than adult ICU patients. BOSTON — The role of children in the spread of COVID-19 has been the subject of debate for months. It’s especially a concern with back-to-school in full swing, and parents torn over virtual or in-person learning. Now, a new study seemingly confirms a potential worst case scenario regarding kids and the coronavirus. Not only are children quite capable of “silently spreading” COVID-19, they appear to be significantly more contagious than infected adults. The study, led by doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital and Mass General Hospital for Children, suggests that kids likely play a much larger part in the spread of COVID-19 than originally thought.

Of the 122 children (ages 0-22 years old) included in this research, 49 tested positive for the coronavirus. Another 18 experienced late onset COVID-19 related symptoms. Kids who tested positive displayed much higher levels of the virus in their airways than even adult ICU coronavirus patients. “I was surprised by the high levels of virus we found in children of all ages, especially in the first two days of infection,” says lead study author Dr. Lael Yonker, director of the MGH Cystic Fibrosis Center, in a release. “I was not expecting the viral load to be so high. You think of a hospital, and of all of the precautions taken to treat severely ill adults, but the viral loads of these hospitalized patients are significantly lower than a ‘healthy child’ who is walking around with a high SARS-CoV-2 viral load.”

By Hannah Knowles

As hundreds of thousands flocked to rural South Dakota for a motorcycle rally this month, sparking fears of a coronavirus superspreader event, photos captured people crowding the streets without masks and packing local businesses in the city of Sturgis — including a bar on Main Street, One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon.

Now state health officials say a person who visited One-Eyed Jack’s for about five hours has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. So has an employee of the tattoo shop inside the bar who worked there from last Thursday through Monday. Both could have transmitted the virus to others at the time. At a news conference Thursday, South Dakota health officials expressed little alarm about cases confirmed among rally attendees. Four days after the event finished, they said they are aware of fewer than 25 infections among people who attended in the 14 days before illness set in.

The state Health Department says 15 cases have been tied to the South Dakota event.
By Christopher Snowbeck Star Tribune

State health officials say 15 Minnesotans who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this month have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including one state resident hospitalized with COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health received the first case report on Thursday and 14 more case reports on Friday, said Kris Ehresmann, the state’s director of infectious diseases, during a briefing Friday with reporters. People who have tested positive visited multiple campgrounds and bars at the South Dakota event, Ehresmann said, so cases apparently can’t be connected to any one location.

“We now have 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Minnesotans who had been to Sturgis earlier this month, with one individual who was hospitalized,” she said. “We know that there were many more people from Minnesota who attended the event and expect to see additional cases in the coming days.” The 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally drew more than 460,000 vehicles this year, according to state officials. Health officials this week in South Dakota have publicized two potential exposures in Sturgis during the time of the rally — one involving a saloon patron who tested positive and another involving an employee at a tattoo parlor.

CNN reported Friday that at least seven cases in Nebraska have been linked to the event. The Minnesota Department of Health reiterated its guidance that “it’s best,” Ehresmann said, for people who went to Sturgis to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. People who are feeling ill should get tested, she said, and self-isolate while waiting for results. Fourteen of the Minnesota cases were among attendees, Ehresmann said, while one worked temporarily at a Sturgis bar that hosted events for the rally. The event ran Aug. 7-16.

By Tim Elfrink

When a 17-year-old employee at Sesame Place, a Sesame Street theme park near Philadelphia, spotted two guests without masks last week, the teen asked the man and woman to cover their faces. Instead, the man punched the teen in the face, sending him crashing to the ground and then to the hospital, police said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service and New York Police Department arrested the man suspected in the Aug. 9 assault at his home in the Bronx, Middletown Township police said. Troy McCoy, 39, faces aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and other charges in the attack. His roommate, Shakerra Bonds, 31, has also been charged with simple assault and criminal conspiracy and has arranged to turn herself in, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The teenage employee, who hasn’t been named, had a tooth removed and needed double jaw surgery after the assault, according to a GoFundMe set up by a family friend. “This traumatic injustice dulled the spirits of a teenager who is so full of love, kindness, and overall radiates sunshine around family and friends,” wrote Quaneesha Shields, the fundraiser’s organizer.

Workers around the U.S. have dealt with a spate of violent attacks as they try to enforce mandatory mask rules, from Trader Joe’s employees beaten by irate customers in New York to a Family Dollar security guard fatally shot in Michigan to a cigar store clerk in Pennsylvania fired at by a man who later blasted at police with an AK-47.

Latest study is small but shows that kids’ rates of infection and viral loads may make them silent spreaders.
By Ariana Eunjung Cha - The Washington Post

As schools reopen in parts of the United States, a study published Thursday found that some children have high levels of virus in their airways during the first three days of infection despite having mild symptoms or none at all — suggesting their role in community spread may be larger than previously believed. One of the study’s authors, Alessio Fasano, a physician at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, said that because children tend to exhibit few if any symptoms, they were largely ignored in the early part of the outbreak and not tested. But they may have been acting as silent spreaders all along. “Some people thought that children might be protected,” Fasano said. “This is incorrect. They may be as susceptible as adults — but just not visible.”

The study in the Journal of Pediatrics comes on the heels of two others that offer insights about children and coronavirus transmission. On July 30, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics that children younger than 5 with mild or moderate illness have much higher levels of virus in the nose, compared with older children and adults. Shortly before that, investigators in South Korea published a household study that some believed implied older children could spread the virus as readily as adults, while younger children less so. But researchers later clarified that it was unclear whether the transmission came from the older children or from contacts that they shared with other family members.

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

(CNN) Coronavirus cases linked to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota last week have now reached across state lines to Nebraska, public health officials said. At least seven Covid-19 cases in Nebraska's Panhandle region have been tied to the rally, Kim Engel, director of the Panhandle Public Health District, confirmed in an email to CNN. The department said that contact tracing had been completed, and declined to comment further. The cases that have appeared in Nebraska are the latest to be connected to the 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, which took place August 7-16.

South Dakota state health officials announced Thursday that a person who worked at a tattoo shop in Sturgis had tested positive for the virus, and could have possibly exposed people during the event last week. The person was an employee of Asylum Tattoo Sturgis, and could have spread the virus to others on August 13-17 from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., officials said. Earlier this week, officials said a person who spent hours at a bar during the rally had also tested positive. That individual visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon in Sturgis on August 11 from noon to 5:30 p.m. while able to transmit the virus to others, health officials said. Anyone who visited either the tattoo shop or the saloon, which are located at the same address, during that period should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the visit.

Rally had raised concerns
Health experts were concerned that this year's Sturgis motorcycle rally could be a "super spreader" event. The 10-day mass gathering typically draws crowds of more than 500,000 people from all over the country, including coronavirus hotspots. South Dakota Department of Transportation officials tracked more than 462,000 vehicles entering Sturgis during the rally. Though the total was a 7.5% decline from the previous year, it is still one of the largest mass gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

By Alec Snyder, CNN

(CNN) A 26-day-old baby in Pennsylvania tested positive for Covid-19 following an autopsy, Berks County Acting Coroner Jonn Hollenbach told CNN Thursday. Hollenbach said the baby girl did not necessarily die from Covid-19 and the cause of death remains under investigation. There was no suspicion of foul play and a toxicology screening has been ordered, he said. The baby was found unresponsive Sunday morning and was taken to Reading Hospital, Hollenbach said. She died soon after being admitted. The coroner's office and Berks County detectives are leading the investigation, Hollenbach said.

By Chandelis Duster and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said Thursday.
He plans to quarantine for 14 days, according to this office. "I am strictly following the direction of our medical experts and strongly encourage others to do the same," the senator said in a statement. Several lawmakers from both parties have tested positive for coronavirus, including Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, who announced he tested positive earlier this month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in July mandated mask wearing on the House floor after Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert -- who was often in the chamber interacting with colleagues and refusing to wear a face-covering -- tested positive for coronavirus. The House sergeant-at-arms also issued an additional set of rules "upon the direction of the Speaker of the House" requiring face coverings in all House office buildings.

Findings suggest young people can transmit the virus in school, but not everyone agrees.
By Felice J. Freyer

Children infected with coronavirus can carry high levels of the virus even when they have few or no symptoms, according to a Massachusetts General Hospital study published Thursday that bolsters growing evidence that kids catch the virus even though they rarely get very sick from it. Coming as parents and school officials wrestle with whether it’s safe to reopen schools, the study adds fuel to worries that children may spread the virus — but it does not show that they do. “We cannot be cavalier — ‘OK, the kids are fine,’ ” said Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of Mass. General’s Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center and senior author of the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics. “If they carry the virus in high numbers in their airways, they can definitely spread the virus around,” he said. “We have to be aware of that when we open the schools.” But other experts who were not involved in research disputed that conclusion. The test used to detect coronavirus only shows the presence of viral genetic material, not live virus, and it doesn’t indicate how infectious a person is, these critics said.

Bloomberg News

Evidence shows that food is an unlikely route of transmitting the coronavirus across borders, but contaminated items continue to grab the spotlight, deepening the uncertainty over whether the $220 billion cold chain industry could be implicated in the spread of Covid-19. China has repeatedly found traces of the pathogen on packaging and food, raising fears that imported items are linked to recent virus resurgences in Beijing and the port city of Dalian. In the nation’s strongest action since it began testing food items in June, a major Chinese city on Sunday banned imports of frozen meat from coronavirus hotspots.

Cold-storage facilities and meat processing plants are ideal environments for the virus to spread, as the pathogen thrives in cold and dry environments. But there has been no concrete evidence the virus can be transmitted through food, and experts remain doubtful that it’s a major threat. “We know that viruses usually can survive being frozen. So that means in theory it’s possible that infection could spread that way,” said Benjamin Cowling, head of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong. “But in reality, it’s a very low risk that that would happen because so many steps would need to be involved.”

Actor blames ‘non-mask wearers’ for sister Kelly Stone’s condition and calls on viewers to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in US presidential run
Catherine Shoard - The Guardian

Sharon Stone has condemned “non-mask wearers” for the fate of her younger sister, who is hospitalised with coronavirus and “fighting for her life”. The actor, 62, shared photographs on Instagram of the equipment in her sister’s room, as well as a medical worker in full PPE. She wrote in the caption: “My sister Kelly, who already has lupus, now has Covid-19. This is her hospital room. One of the Non-Mask wearers did this,” Stone wrote. “She does not have an immune system. The only place she went was the pharmacy.” Stone added: “Can YOU FACE THIS ROOM ALONE? Wear a mask! For yourself and others. Please.”

Noah Higgins-Dunn

If the U.S. allowed the coronavirus to spread unchecked in an attempt to try to achieve so-called herd immunity, the “death toll would be enormous,” White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Thursday. “If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms ... a lot of people are going to die,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told actor Matthew McConaughey during a live discussion on Instagram.  According to epidemiologists, herd immunity is necessary to contain a virus and is reached when enough of the population is either vaccinated or survive infection and build antibodies to ward of new infections. The virus then doesn’t have enough hosts to infect.

Most scientists think 60% to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated or have natural antibodies to achieve herd immunity, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said last month. The coronavirus, however, has infected less than 2% of the U.S. population and has already killed at least 166,970 people, according to Johns Hopkins University data, though the actual number of cases in the U.S. could be higher, according to a recent CDC study.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The coronavirus is at least as deadly as the 1918 flu pandemic and the death toll could even be worse if world leaders and public health officials fail to adequately contain it, researchers warned in a study published Thursday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. “What we want people to know is that this has 1918 potential,” lead author Dr. Jeremy Faust said in an interview, adding that the outbreak in New York was at least 70% as bad as the one in 1918 when doctors didn’t have ventilators or other advances to help save lives like they do today. “This is not something to just shrug off like the flu.”

Researchers compared excess deaths in New York City during the peak of the 1918 pandemic with those during the first few months of the Covid-19 outbreak. They used public data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct their analysis. The increase in deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic was higher overall, but comparable to that observed in the first two months of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, the researchers found. But when taking into account improvements in hygiene, modern medicine and public health, the increase during the early coronavirus outbreak was “substantially greater” than during the peak of the 1918 pandemic, the researchers wrote. “If insufficiently treated, SARS-CoV-2 infection may have comparable or greater mortality than 1918 H1N1 influenza virus infection,” Faust wrote in the paper. He’s a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Roxanne Liu, David Stanway, Jake Spring

BEIJING/SHANGHAI/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Two cities in China have found traces of the new coronavirus in cargoes of imported frozen food, local authorities said on Thursday, although the World Health Organization downplayed the risk of the virus entering the food chain. A sample taken from the surface of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern city of Shenzhen from Brazil, as well as samples of outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in the northwestern city of Xian, have tested positive for the virus, local Chinese authorities said. Shenzhen authorities identified the chicken as originating from a plant owned by Aurora, Brazil’s third-largest poultry and pork exporter.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise globally, the discoveries raise fresh concerns that the coronavirus that causes the disease can spread on surfaces and enter the foodchain. A day earlier, officials started investigating whether the first COVID-19 cases in New Zealand in more than three months were imported by freight. Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, but scientists and officials say there is no strong evidence so far the coronavirus can spread via frozen food. “People should not fear food, food packaging or delivery of food,” the World Health Organization’s head of emergencies programme Mike Ryan told a briefing.

News Time

The self-styled “archbishop” of a purported church in Florida that sells industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for Covid-19 has been arrested with his son in Colombia and faces extradition to the US. Video footage posted to the Twitter feed of Colombia’s top prosecutor showed Mark Grenon and his son Joseph Grenon, dressed in blue jump suits and masks, being led away by armed police. The prosecutor’s office said the pair had been taken into custody on suspicion of selling a “miracle solution” that had caused the deaths of seven American citizens.

By Melissa Egan

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A mask or face covering is now, probably, part of your daily routine. But, is your mask actually working? KOLD News 13 has shared studies on the effectiveness of masks before. Now, a new study may have you switching you currently wear while out and about. The new study from Duke University looked at mask efficacy for filtering droplets when you talk.

Researchers tested 14 different kinds of masks. They shined iridescent light form a laser through slits in a box while someone repeated a single phrase, to create droplets. A cell phone camera was used to record the droplets. They then counted the droplets that were let through by the different kinds of masks. N-95 surgical masks were found to be the best, followed by the blue surgical masks you can by at a store. Professor Martin Fischer said cotton masks were also efficient in slowing the spread of droplets.

By Leah Asmelash, CNN

(CNN) A mandate from a local sheriff in Florida is going against the recommendations from scientists and government officials: masks will not be worn.
That was the requirement spelled out in an August 11 email to the department from Sheriff Billy Woods of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The mandate came as the City of Ocala, Florida put a required Mask Mandate Ordinance in place in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ocala City Council passed an emergency ordinance last week, requiring masks inside businesses. Though the city's mayor vetoed the ordinance on Monday, the City Council overrode the veto on Wednesday.

"Now, that ordinance exempts government entities and leaves the decision to the figure heads," Woods explained in the email, obtained by CNN. "So, as for us, my order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office -- masks will not be worn." Woods then listed out a few exceptions when masks need to be worn: at the courthouse, schools, hospitals and while on patrol and responding to a nursing home or involving a "High Risk Elderly individual," he said in the email. And the order doesn't just extend to those on the payroll -- anyone walking into a sheriff's office, either the main office or a district one, will be asked to remove their mask, Woods wrote. If they don't, they will be asked to leave.

By Jen Christensen, Lauren Mascarenhas, Christina Maxouris and Sandee LaMotte, CNN

(CNN) As the nation focuses on safety issues around going back to school during the pandemic, a new report found a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among children in the United States. There has been a 90% increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among children in the United States over the last four weeks, according to a new analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association that will be updated weekly.

Dr. Sean O'Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that coronavirus cases in children should be taken seriously. "It's not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children," said O'Leary. "We've had 90 deaths in children in the US already, in just a few months. Every year we worry about influenza in children, and there are roughly around 100 deaths in children from influenza every year."

Leary said that multiple factors have led to a recent increase in the number of coronavirus infections in children in the past couple of weeks, including increased testing, increased movement among children and a rise in infection among the general population. "When you see a lot more infections in the general population, you're going to see a lot more infections in children," said O'Leary.

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) A viral photo showing students in a Georgia high school crowded in hallways and with few visible masks resulted in the sophomore who posted it being suspended, she said. Hannah Watters, a student at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, saw a photo of packed halls on the first day of school go viral. And when she saw that little had changed after that, she told CNN's Laura Coates on Thursday, she felt she had to share what it looked like inside the school. So, she took a photo of the scene and posted it to social media. "I was concerned for the safety of everyone in that building and everyone in the county because precautions that the CDC and guidelines that the CDC has been telling us for months now, weren't being followed," Watters said.

As schools have opened for the new academic year around the country, parents and administrators are making difficult decisions about how to ensure students get the education they need while also staying safe in an ongoing pandemic. While many have responded to the resurgence of cases with completely remote schooling, others have opted to return to the classroom -- which the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said works if safety measures are the priority.

Noah Higgins-Dunn

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci agreed on Wednesday that the United States has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, pointing to the nation’s high number of Covid-19 infections and deaths. “Yeah, it is quantitatively if you look at it, it is. I mean the numbers don’t lie,” Fauci said when asked during an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta whether the U.S. had the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak. The U.S., which accounts for less than 5% of the world population, leads all other countries in global coronavirus infections and deaths. The nation represents more than 22% of global coronavirus deaths and more than 25% of infections as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“Every country has suffered. We, the United States, has suffered ... as much or worse than anyone,” Fauci said during the interview with CNN and the Harvard School of Public Health. “I mean when you look at the number of infections and the number of deaths, it really is quite concerning.” When the U.S. was hit with the coronavirus earlier this year, it didn’t respond in a coordinated effort, Fauci said. The nation was able to bring cases down to a plateau of 20,000 new infections per day, which Fauci said wasn’t an adequate “baseline” figure and allowed the virus to resurge in some states across the country as they reopened. “We can do much better, and we can do much better without locking down and I think that strange binary approach, either you lockdown or you let it all fly, there’s some place in the middle when we can open the economy and still avoid these kind of surges that we’re seeing,” Fauci said.

By Li Cohen

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that more than 200 children have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a summer camp in Georgia at the end of June. That's more than a third of the nearly 600 Georgia residents who attended, according to the CDC's report. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order on June 11 allowing campers and workers to attend overnight camps if they received a negative COVID-19 test within 12 days of starting camp. The camp ran from June 21 to 27, and more than 500 of the campers and staffers were children ages 17 and younger, the CDC reported. Out-of-state attendees were not included in the CDC's reporting.

On June 24, a teenage staff member who had been experiencing chills while at the camp tested positive for the virus. While campers began to be sent home that same day, the camp did not officially close until three days later, the CDC said. While the camp "adopted most components" of the CDC's official suggestions for summer camps, the CDC reported that the camp did not require campers to wear cloth face masks and did not open windows and doors of the buildings to allow increased ventilation. People sleeping in the same cabins and "engaging in regular singing and cheering" also "likely contributed to transmission," the CDC said.

Adrianna Rodriguez - USA TODAY

New evidence suggests the coronavirus has lasting impacts on the heart, raising alarm for cardiologists who have been concerned about potential  long-term heart injury from COVID-19. Two German studies, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Cardiology, found heart abnormalities in COVID-19 patients months after they had already recovered from the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The first study included 100 patients from the University of Hospital Frankfurt COVID-19 Registry who were relatively healthy adults in their 40s and 50s. About one-third of the patients required hospitalization, while the rest recovered from home.

Researchers looked at cardiac magnetic resonance imaging  taken nearly two and a half months after they were diagnosed and compared them with images from people who never had COVID-19. The study found heart abnormalities in 78 patients, with 60 of those patients showing signs of inflammation in the heart muscle from the virus. “When this came to our attention, we were struck,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and an editor at JAMA Cardiology. The findings would have been virtually impossible to pinpoint without this study, as the majority of patients didn't exhibit any symptoms and these specific abnormalities detected by the MRI wouldn't have been seen on an echocardiogram, which is more commonly used in the standard clinical setting.

By Sophie Lewis CBS News

Both California and Florida — the two states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country — set new records for single-day coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. The heartbreaking milestones come as the U.S. surpasses 150,000 deaths from the virus. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said 197 people in the state died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the state's highest in a single day. The state also reported 8,755 new positive cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, California has the highest number of confirmed cases in the U.S., with at least 473,785. If California were its own country, it would have the fifth-highest number of cases behind only the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia. "Please — WEAR A MASK," Newsom tweeted. Florida's Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that 216 people died from the virus on Tuesday, a new single-day record for the state just one day after setting its previous record of 186 new deaths. An additional 9,448 people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the state's total to at least 451,423 confirmed cases.



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