Friday CoronaBuzz, October 16, 2020 27 pointers to updates, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


Columbus Dispatch: Ohio reports new single-day record high of 2,039 COVID-19 cases. “Ohio reported a new single-day record number of new coronavirus cases Wednesday, as 2,039 more people tested positive across the state. That surpasses Ohio’s previous record for new cases reported in a single day of 1,840, which was set only last Friday. Wednesday’s new cases brings the statewide total to 173,665 cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.”

Courier-Journal: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announces record-high total of new COVID-19 cases. “Andy Beshear announced 1,346 new coronavirus cases in the state Wednesday — the highest single-day total yet, with the exception of last week’s report that included backlogged cases.”

WRAL: NC reports highest single-day number of new coronavirus cases. “North Carolina reported 2,532 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. To date, 239,939 people have tested positive for the virus in North Carolina out of a population of about 10 million. While most people recover – at least 206,471 are assumed recovered to date, or 86% – almost 4,000 North Carolinians have died of COVID-19 in the past seven months.”

Casper Star-Tribune: Wyoming Medical Center declares ‘Code Orange’ status, opens COVID-19 surge unit. “A record number of COVID-19 patients have been admitted to Wyoming Medical Center, with 21 of the facility’s 149 total patients receiving treatment for the coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon. The spike in patients has already prompted the Casper hospital to divert patients from outside Natrona County unless they are suffering heart attacks, strokes or traumatic injuries.”


NBC News: Trump repeats inaccurate claim about masks, citing CDC study.. “President Donald Trump is again questioning the effectiveness of masks in protecting against catching the coronavirus. On Thursday, he repeated an incorrect claim about masks, citing a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”


New York Times: Inspired by Trump, Hasidic Backlash Grows Over Virus Rules. “Orthodox Jewish leaders have seen a growing, raucous faction of young men in the community, tired of pandemic guidelines and resentful of the secular authorities.”

ABC News: Med students on how COVID-19 pushed them to take action, highlighted health care inequities. “It was on a Saturday in mid-March when Abby Schiff, then a third-year medical student at Harvard working through surgery clinical rotations, found out she wouldn’t be going back to the hospital. She had worked the day before, but with the coronavirus threat growing quickly, Schiff, like thousands of other medical students across the country, was sidelined when the Association of American Medical Colleges issued a temporary suspension of clinical rotations in hopes of protecting students and patients, and conserving personal protective equipment (PPE).”


New York Times: BuzzFeed News Pulls Reporter From White House, Citing Virus Risk. “BuzzFeed News has pulled a political correspondent from the White House press pool, citing concerns that the area has become a coronavirus hot zone after President Trump, many of his top aides — including the press secretary Kayleigh McEnany — and several journalists have tested positive for the virus.”


NBC News: Amazon Ring call center workers in Philippines ‘scared’ to go to work during pandemic. “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, call center workers in the Philippines who are contracters for Amazon’s Ring home security division have been required to report to the office. At first, employees said, they had no choice but to sleep at work so they could respond to the calls of Amazon Ring’s customers in American time zones. The conditions spurred an Amazon investigation after pictures of employees on mattresses and blankets on the floor became public in news reports.”


BuzzFeed News: State Health Officials Say They Aren’t Getting Contact Tracing Information From The White House. “As the nation’s capital reeled with news of one high-profile presidential aide after another testing positive for COVID-19, officials in local health departments in several jurisdictions said the White House has complicated efforts to identify and contract trace anyone whom the president and his entourage may have exposed to the coronavirus during his recent travels.”

Connecticut State Library: Connecticut Public Libraries will receive $2.6M in Coronavirus Relief Funds. “Governor Ned Lamont announced that his administration is dedicating $2.6 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to support the state’s public libraries as they continue to make health and safety improvements and offer more services to residents amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting: Gov. Beshear Offered ‘Self-Quarantine’ Unemployment. Now State Is Backtracking — And Billing. “[Tracey] Hayes is one of many people who received unemployment benefits in Kentucky during the coronavirus pandemic and are now learning they were retroactively deemed ineligible. Not only does this cut people off from unemployment for crucial months during the pandemic, many of those found ineligible now owe a debt to the state or federal government that could mean their tax refunds or other money get garnished.”


BBC: Covid: One-way ‘travel bubble’ opens between Australia and NZ. “The first passengers from New Zealand have arrived in Australia under new ‘travel bubble’ arrangements between the two countries. None of the passengers on the flight from Auckland to Sydney will be required to quarantine in Australia. However they will have to pay for their own quarantine in a hotel when they return to New Zealand.”

New York Times: As Virus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Sell-Off. “On the afternoon of Feb. 24, President Trump declared on Twitter that the coronavirus was ‘very much under control’ in the United States, one of numerous rosy statements that he and his advisers made at the time about the worsening epidemic. He even added an observation for investors: ‘Stock market starting to look very good to me!’ But hours earlier, senior members of the president’s economic team, privately addressing board members of the conservative Hoover Institution, were less confident.”


Denver Post: U.S. Rep. Lamborn staffers in D.C. test positive for COVID-19, sources say. “Two members of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn’s Washington, D.C., staff have tested positive for COVID-19, staffers of the Colorado Springs Republican confirmed to The Denver Post on [October 6].”

New York Times: Christie Says He Was ‘Wrong’ Not to Wear Masks at White House. “Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who was recently battling a coronavirus infection, said on Thursday that he was ‘wrong’ not to wear a mask at an event honoring Judge Amy Coney Barrett and in his debate preparation sessions with President Trump, and that people should take the threat of the virus seriously.”

CBS News: Dr. Fauci on COVID surge, Trump’s recovery, and a “very different” Thanksgiving. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell that the United States needs to redouble its efforts to contain the coronavirus as we enter the fall and winter months.”


Deadspin: Sports may be back, but the ratings aren’t — a new Marist poll tells us why. “There was an assumption that when sports returned, fans would be relieved and eager. No less a figurehead than President Donald Trump has pushed for professional leagues to get back up and running, starting with a conference call with sports commissioners in early April. Leagues scrambled, and sports came back. As for the fans, not so much.”


NBC News: As dentists reopened in late spring, very few got Covid-19, survey finds. “Rates of Covid-19 among dentists were low in the late spring as dental practices reopened and patients returned, a report published Thursday by the American Dental Association suggests. Researchers conducted a nationwide survey June 8 with responses from more than 2,000 dentists from across the country. Just 0.9 percent, they found, had either confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19.”

Reuters: Coronavirus exposure risk on airplanes very low, U.S. defense study finds. “When a seated passenger is wearing a mask, an average 0.003% of air particles within the breathing zone around a person’s head are infectious, even when every seat is occupied, it found. The testing assumed only one infected person on the plane and did not simulate the effects of passenger movement around the cabin.”

San Diego Union-Tribune: Husband-and-wife nurses contract COVID-19. She died in the hospital where she worked. “When coronavirus cases began to tick up in the spring, Saludacion ‘Sally’ Solon Fontanilla, a nurse at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, took some time off. As a diabetic with a history of asthma, she worried she could contract the virus from a patient. But the veteran nurse couldn’t stay away long. Her professional calling was too great, and her patients needed her, so she she returned to work in July.”

NBC News: What’s your blood type? It may affect your risk for Covid-19. “A growing body of evidence suggests that blood type may play a role in the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus or developing life-threatening complications from the illness. But it does not mean that any single blood type is more protective or more dangerous regarding Covid-19, and the evidence may indeed raise more questions than answers.”


CNN: One client in one spin studio that followed all the rules triggers a coronavirus outbreak with at least 61 cases. “SPINCO, in Hamilton, Ontario, just reopened in July and had all of the right protocols in place, including screening of staff and attendees, tracking all those in attendance at each class, masking before and after classes, laundering towels and cleaning the rooms within 30 minutes of a complete class, said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, in a statement. But it still wasn’t enough.”


Forbes: THC May Help Treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome In Mice, Researchers Say. “Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that THC might be an effective way to treat some potentially lethal COVID-19 complications. The researchers recently published the preliminary results of their study in a report in Frontiers in Pharmacology.”

CNN: Big global study finds remdesivir doesn’t help Covid-19 patients. “In a study it described as both conclusive and disappointing, the World Health Organization said the antiviral drug remdesivir has ‘little or no effect on mortality’ for patients hospitalized with coronavirus and it doesn’t seem to help patients recover any faster, either.”


Bon Appetit: I Miss Restaurants, So I Opened My Own…for a Chipmunk. “The aromatic broth of vegetable scraps, mushrooms, and scallions simmers on the stove. I place a twirl of noodles into a bamboo bowl, ladle in the steaming broth, add chopped shiitakes and bamboo shoots, then tweezer on a few sesame seeds for flavor and garnish. There is a diner already seated at my new ramen-ya, awaiting the artful balance I hope to have achieved. He sniffs, sips, and in one giant slurp, it’s gone—bowl and all. Sometimes this happens with chipmunks. Did I mention my food is tiny and my ‘restaurant’ is on the front steps of my porch?”


Washington Post: How the mask became a symbol of Biden’s campaign. “It was a jarring image: a presidential candidate appearing on-camera with a mask covering his nose and mouth, muffling his words as he strained to speak through a black face covering that looked like something from a dystopian movie. America was just two months into the coronavirus pandemic — a time when masks were not routine, Zoom gatherings felt novel, stay-at-home orders had begun lifting and Americans were grappling with a new kind of life amid contagion. But Joe Biden had been wearing a mask for weeks when he interacted with others in private, and he now decided it was time to go public.”

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