Tuesday CoronaBuzz, April 14, 2020: 29 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

LOL, I meant well, but when I got home yesterday I was wiped out. I didn’t realize how little sleep I actually got on that horrible couch in the basement. That’s the first day I’ve missed in almost three years. Welp, time to start another streak. Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. Please be careful. I love you.


NoCamels: New ‘CoronaTech’ Portal Explores Virus-Related Innovation In Israel. “….the site offers information about technological developments from Israel and abroad, open calls by healthcare providers, organizations, and corporations, proposals, and opportunities for cross-border collaborations, access to international grants, insights and analyses by Israeli experts and entrepreneurs, and an up-to-date dashboard to find potential technologies and solutions. It also includes information on online webinars, conferences, and hackathon.”

International Rescue Committee: IRC launches online platform for refugees and immigrants in the United States seeking to obtain medical accreditation and join the fight against Coronavirus. “The International Rescue Committee (IRC) announces today an online platform and collaboration with partners that will help refugees and immigrants who are trained medical and health professionals but are not credentialed in the U.S. to join the fight against COVID-19. There are currently 165,000 underutilized health-care refugee and immigrant workers who likely obtained their health-related education outside the United States, according to research from the Migration Policy Institute.”

KGUN: MAP: Coronavirus cases in Arizona by zip code. “A new tool from the Arizona Department of Health Services can show you how many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in your neighborhood. The data, which the AZDHS released starting April 12, is broken down by zip code and shows where some of the biggest hot spots are in the state.”

Columbia Regional Business Report: New website connects organizations with equipment providers. “The S.C. Emergency Supply Collaborative portal, located at, is a collaboration among the S.C Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the S.C. Hospital Association, the S.C. Department of Commerce and SCBio. It allows companies and community partners that can quickly produce, source, test, certify or contribute medical supplies — such as face shields, masks and ventilators — to connect with health care providers, first responders and industries.”

Geek Wire: Feel like visiting ‘just one friend’ during COVID-19 lockdown? UW illustrates damage it could cause. “That desire you have to get together with just one friend, and break the social distancing barrier which has kept us all apart during the coronavirus outbreak, may seem like a simple and harmless act. But a new website set up by University of Washington researchers illustrates how little it would take to undo the benefits of keeping our distance.”

PR Newswire: WebMD Launches Covid-19 Symptom Checker (PRESS RELEASE). ” WebMD has launched a new Covid-19 Symptom Checker to give consumers who are concerned they may have the virus practical next steps based on their symptoms and personal profile. Powered by a proprietary algorithm developed by WebMD’s medical team and driven by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, this new tool offers clear direction based on symptoms, possible exposure, and high-risk medical conditions.”


Ars Technica: University libraries offer online “lending” of scanned in-copyright books. “The coronavirus crisis has forced the closure of libraries around the world, depriving the public of access to millions of printed books. Books old enough to be in the public domain may be available for free download online. Many recent books are available to borrow in e-book form. But there are many other books—especially those published in the mid-to-late 20th century—that are hard to access without going to a physical library. A consortium of university libraries called HathiTrust recently announced a solution to this problem, called the Emergency Temporary Access Service. It allows participating HathiTrust member libraries to offer their patrons digital scans of books that they can ‘check out’ and read online.”

Penobscot Bay Pilot: New website launched supporting teachers, families in community-based learning. “Rural Aspirations, in collaboration with many other cross-sector organizations, has developed a tool for teachers and families to support and highlight community-based learning opportunities in Maine.”

Alexandria Living: Ford’s Theatre Offers Lincoln Assassination Online Programming. “History buffs and others will want to take note of some interesting programming coming available this week. Ford’s Theatre will begin live streaming digital programming Tuesday and throughout April to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.”


Wakefield Express: New website helps key workers locate open garages near them. “Garages and other car maintenance facilities are currently allowed to continue operating but many have chosen to shut down to protect staff and customers, while others are operating altered or limited services. In order to help key workers in need of car maintenance who might be struggling to find a service centre, the automotive insight website Cazana has launched a free garage tracking service at”

House Beautiful: “A Maker Movement” Is a New Way to Virtually Discover Artisans and Makers. “Amidst the closures and postponements during the coronavirus pandemic, we at House Beautiful were sad to hear of the postponement of one of our favorite design events: the beloved Field + Supply fair in upstate New York (to the weekend of July 17—mark your calendars!). But, those eager to discover new makers need not despair completely—the founder of Field + Supply, Brad Ford, has launched a new digital hub for discovering talented artisans: A Maker Moment. On the new website, Ford—also a designer and the owner of design showroom Fair—will spotlight furniture makers, ceramicists, lighting designers, and more creatives who are still working as we continue to stay at home.”

CBS 19: USDA announces new tool to assist rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Monday a resource guide of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leaders in rural communities can access the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide to look for federal funding and partnership opportunities.”

FLW Fishing: Get Covid-19 Fishing, Boating Info By State. “The State Agency COVID-19 Updates page is a hub for state-by-state fishing and boating information. It connects users to each state’s fish and wildlife service or department of natural resources website – or any website specific to COVID-19 information – where fishing and boating updates are posted. Users can choose any state and easily toggle between fishing and boating links. RBFF will update the information regularly to ensure links are live and accurate.”


New York Times: 52 Places, Virtually. “When we published our list of 52 places to visit in 2020 three months ago, no one could have guessed how much our world would change. And now, given our stay-at-home circumstances, we’d like to invite you on a series of virtual journeys: You can wander into the belly of an Egyptian pyramid, explore the house where Mozart was born, or fly over the rocky peaks of Glacier National Park.”

News-Press: COVID-19 fact & fiction: UF experts on how to safely handle groceries, restaurant takeout. “When it comes to safely shopping for groceries, eating takeout and handling food, it can feel like a battle between myths and facts. Can you trust that Facebook post? That Twitter meme? Anything? To suss fact from fiction on everything from washing produce to drive-thru fast food, a trio of experts from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reached out to remind us what the data says, and to answer common food-safety questions.”

Publishers Weekly: Covid-19 Updates: Special Offers, Events and Discounts. “Publishers Weekly is maintaining a listing of special offers, events, and discounts provided in an effort to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus on the book publishing industry and on related communities.”


Courthouse News Service: Coronavirus Controls Bring Live Audio Finally to Supreme Court. “In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the court had delayed two rounds of arguments set for the end of March and April, pushing off some of the most highly anticipated and politically consequential arguments of its term. In the meantime, the court has held remote conferences on Fridays and continued releasing opinions and orders lists while the justices and most court staff works remotely.”

Fast Company: Want to order groceries from Amazon? New customers will need to join a waiting list. “Anyone who tries to order groceries through Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market who has not previously done so will now be prompted to join a waiting list before they are able to place orders.”

USA Today: Hilton, Marriott donate free hotel rooms for medical workers responding to coronavirus crisis. “Beginning [yesterday], Hilton and American Express will donate 1 million hotel rooms for medical professionals working on the coronavirus pandemic response. The rooms will be available to doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and other workers through the end of May, according to Hilton.”


Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Church software companies rush to accommodate surge in usage. “As in-person worship services and religious gatherings have been shut down around much of the country, faith leaders have been left scrambling to shift all their worship services, fundraising, administrative work and community announcements to digital platforms. More than a few have been calling interfaith activist and digital media consultant Amanda Quraishi.”

CTV News: ‘We’ve got to lift up the spirits’: Front yards are the new entertainment spaces during COVID-19. “Yards have become oases for homeowners, or in the case of one man in England, a marathon route. Earlier this month, a former professional javelin thrower spent his birthday running 6-metre loops in his small backyard. James Campbell completed so many loops that he ran a full marathon in just over five hours, a feat he filmed and shared on social media.”

CityLab: Hit Hard by Covid-19, Transit Workers Call for Shutdowns. “The life of a transit worker was never easy in the United States. Then along came coronavirus. To enable the livelihoods of other essential workers, thousands of bus drivers, track repairers, yard masters, cleaners and others are still showing up to their jobs amid the pandemic. But the death toll among the ranks of front-line public transportation workers, who are considered part of the ‘essential workforce’ in most U.S. cities, suggests they are acutely vulnerable to the virus.”

British Vogue: Is The Future Of The Film Festival A Digital Experience?. “The Venice Film Festival launched the $1 billion (£802 million) hit Joker and Noah Baumbach’s critically lauded Marriage Story; Telluride followed with crowd-pleasers Judy and Ford v Ferrari (Le Mans ’66); and Toronto’s Audience Award secured Jojo Rabbit a spot on Hollywood’s awards circuit. So, now that a global pandemic has upended the 2020 festival calendar, how can programmers and filmmakers adapt? By going digital, of course.”

Abacus News: From QR codes to social media, four ways China tracks Covid-19. “China isn’t the only country using technology to track people who might have come into close contact with Covid-19. In a rare partnership, Google and Apple said that they will work together to build a system for Covid-19 contact tracing using Bluetooth. While the new system has faced criticism and raised privacy concerns, the companies promise it won’t allow people to be identified. But in China, where the government has been criticized for containment measures seen as draconian, people had little say in technological solutions that have been rolled out on a large scale. These solutions have been far from transparent and largely rely on users giving up personal information. Here’s a look at four pieces of technology that became a normal part of daily life in China.”


New York Daily News: FDA approves first saliva test for coronavirus. “Researchers at Rutgers University now have a new tool to diagnose cases of COVID-19. With the authorization of the FDA, the school said on Monday, they now have clearance to use a new saliva test for coronavirus, which both expands the current testing options available and potentially signals a safer path forward for health care workers.”


Washington Post: A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House. “A national plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and return Americans to jobs and classrooms is emerging — but not from the White House. Instead, a collection of governors, former government officials, disease specialists and nonprofits are pursuing a strategy that relies on the three pillars of disease control: Ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. Find everyone they interact with by deploying contact tracing on a scale America has never attempted before. And focus restrictions more narrowly on the infected and their contacts so the rest of society doesn’t have to stay in permanent lockdown.”

Politico: States still baffled over how to get coronavirus supplies from Trump. “The federal government’s haphazard approach to distributing its limited supplies has left states trying everything — filling out lengthy FEMA applications, calling Trump, contacting Pence, sending messages to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and trade adviser Peter Navarro, who are both leading different efforts to find supplies, according to local and states officials in more than a half-dozen states. They’re even asking mutual friends to call Trump or sending him signals on TV and Twitter. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.”

New York Times: Exclusive: Nurses at Mexico Hospital Hit by Coronavirus Say They Were Told to Avoid Masks. “Nurses at a public hospital hit by Mexico’s worst coronavirus outbreak were told by their managers not to wear protective masks at the start of the epidemic to avoid sowing panic among patients, nurses and other medical workers said. Two doctors and a hospital administrator have died and at least 51 staff members have been infected since the new coronavirus was detected at the IMSS General Hospital in Monclova in the northern state of Coahuila in late March, the state health department said.”

ABC 15: Some state data is suppressed, or missing in Arizona’s new database. “State leaders in Arizona have done a data drop of information related to COVID-19 cases, but some key pieces are missing or suppressed at this time. The state released a database of hospitalizations, medical equipment in use like ventilators, cases by zip codes and other pieces of information on Sunday. However, ABC15 is told it’s not from public pressure, but that the state has been working to get complete, clean data to give to the public.”

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