Monday CoronaBuzz, September 6, 2021: 92 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


Washington Post: U.S. covid death toll hits 1,500 a day amid delta scourge. “Nationally, covid-19 deaths have climbed steadily in recent weeks, hitting a seven-day average of about 1,500 a day Thursday, after falling to the low 200s in early July — the latest handiwork of a contagious variant that has exploited the return to everyday activities by tens of millions of Americans, many of them unvaccinated. The dead include two Texas teachers at a junior high, who died last week within days of each other; a 13-year-old middle schoolboy from Georgia; and a nurse, 37, in Southern California who left behind five children, including a newborn.”

Route Fifty: Pandemic Hardship is About to Get a Lot Worse for Millions of Out-of-Work Americans. “In all, an estimated 8.8 million people will stop receiving unemployment insurance beginning on Sept. 6, 2021. An additional 4.5 million will no longer get the extra US$300 a week the federal government has been providing to supplement state benefits. But with the pandemic still raging thanks to the rise of the delta variant, particularly in Southern states, the expiration of these benefits seems ill-timed. While some claim that the aid is no longer needed and doing more harm than good, we believe that the data tell another story.”

Associated Press: Florida grapples with COVID-19′s deadliest phase yet. “Funeral director Wayne Bright has seen grief piled upon grief during the latest COVID-19 surge. A woman died of the virus, and as her family was planning the funeral, her mother was also struck down. An aunt took over arrangements for the double funeral, only to die of COVID-19 herself two weeks afterward.”

The Register-Herald: W.Va. Covid cases have yet to peak. “Active Covid cases in the state rose by 513 to 18,177 in the Thursday morning report by the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), slightly off of its daily average of 845 cases per day over the past week. But deaths were in double digits again at 11, pushing the cumulative total to 3,117. In the past week the state has added 63 deaths. The week before, 46.”

New York Times: Covid Deaths Surge Across a Weary America as a Once-Hopeful Summer Ends. “Labor Day weekend bears little resemblance to Memorial Day, when the country was averaging fewer than 25,000 cases daily, or to the Fourth of July, when President Biden spoke about nearing independence from the virus. Instead, with more than 160,000 new cases a day and about 100,000 Covid patients hospitalized nationwide, this holiday feels more like a flashback to 2020.”


The Grio: Candace Owens denied service at COVID test site for spreading misinformation. “Conservative personality Candace Owens was trending on Twitter Wednesday after a private COVID-19 testing service denied her service for spreading misinformation.”

Poynter: Thalidomide, morning-sickness drug that caused disabilities, wasn’t FDA-approved for pregnant women. “Thalidomide was widely prescribed to pregnant mothers around the world before it was shown to cause thousands of cases of babies born with disabilities, such as missing and malformed limbs. But the post gets a key fact wrong: The FDA didn’t approve thalidomide for pregnant women.”

Tech Xplore: Computer scientists create new search systems to limit COVID-19 misinformation. “Researchers have created a new system that increases the correctness and reliability of health-related searches by 80 percent to help people make better decisions about topics like COVID.”

The Batavian: Doctors, medical experts call on residents to reject social media misinformation about COVID-19. “More than 40 health care organizations along with 40 physicians from throughout Western New York have issued a statement calling on area residents to ignore social media misinformation about COVID-19 treatment and prevention and asking them to follow the recommendations of doctors and scientists. Among the organizations: Erie County Medical Center, Veterans Affairs, Kaleida Health, Horizon Health, Lake Plains Community Care, and Independent Health. ”

Business Insider: Anti-vaxxers are targeting pregnant women with misinformation that can lead to tragedy, experts warn. “Samantha Willis, a 35-year-old mother of three other children, died after choosing to wait for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy. Data now shows that the inoculation is completely safe to have whilst pregnant: but a dedicated misinformation campaign is trying to make people believe otherwise.”


Fox 4 Southwest Florida: Stores running out of Ivermectin as Poison Control asks people not to use it to treat COVID-19. “The drug is meant to kill parasites in livestock, but people across the country, and right here in Southwest Florida, have been taking it trying to treat their symptoms. On Wednesday, Florida Poison Control tweeted out a warning — saying it has treated 39 people in Florida for exposure to Ivermectin.”

New York Times: Health experts keep warning against using ivermectin as a Covid treatment. Some Americans refuse to listen.. “Public health warnings against using the drug as a treatment for Covid-19, especially not in the large doses crafted for livestock, appear to have made little dent in its surging popularity in the United States — or in the minds of its defenders in the conservative and fringe right-wing media sphere.”

Dayton Daily News: Butler County judge modifies Ivermectin treatment order for COVID-19 patient. “A Butler County judge did not make a decision Friday on a Fairfield Twp. woman’s request that UC Health West Chester Hospital treat her husband suffering from COVID-19 with Ivermectin for a longer period, but he did give the treating physicians some control of a temporary order.”


Route Fifty: Business Travel Isn’t Bouncing Back. “U.S. business travelers are scaling back travel plans amid rising Covid-19 cases, according to a national survey conducted for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The survey found that 67% of business travelers surveyed are planning to take fewer trips, 52% are likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling, and 60% are planning to postpone travel plans.”

Axios: America’s in a COVID funk. “The pandemic may not be over, but Americans are over the pandemic — and it’s starting to show in our collective willingness to cooperate with public health guidance.”

BuzzFeed News: COVID Has Worsened The Impact Of Hurricane Ida, Creating A “Major Disaster” For Louisiana. “As Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans with 150 mph winds, which shook the trees and knocked off a parking sign outside Tulane Medical Center, two people died from COVID in its ICU ward. The morning after the hurricane, a young 20-something arrived at the hospital suffering from COVID symptoms. The patient worked in a restaurant and caught the virus from one of their colleagues who, they said, didn’t wear a mask despite having recently tested positive for COVID.”

Washington Post: The covid endgame: Is the pandemic over already? Or are there years to go?. “Innumerable predictions over the course of the pandemic have come up lame. Some scientists have sworn off soothsaying. But as they learn more about the coronavirus that bestowed covid-19 on mankind, they build models and make projections and describe the hurdles that remain before people can pull off the masks and go about their lives. The good news is there is some fuel for optimism.”

Associated Press: Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID. “The pandemic didn’t just threaten Americans’ health when it slammed the U.S. in 2020—it may also have posed a long-term threat to many of their jobs. Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines couldn’t easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand.”

BBC: Has Covid killed off business cards for good?. “Before the pandemic a vast amount of business cards were being printed around the world. One estimate put it at 27 million per day, or more than seven billion each year. But Covid-19 has made many of us more nervous about spreading germs. Even as we return to workplaces, or get back to networking face-to-face, will the habit, or for some – the ritual – of handing over a paper business card become a thing of the past? And what technology could fill the gap?”

Associated Press: NHTSA: Traffic deaths rise again as drivers take risks. “The increase in traffic fatalities is a continuation of a trend that started in 2020. In June, the [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] reported that traffic deaths rose 7% last year to 38,680, the most since 2007. That increase came even as the number of miles traveled by vehicle fell 13% from 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.”


Florida Today: Anti-mask protesters picket schools and Brevard County School Board member’s home. “Tensions over the mask mandate at Brevard Public Schools ran high Wednesday, with protests staged outside schools and outside a School Board member’s home. At times the protests have turned ugly, with obscenities shouted and protestors urging students on school property to remove their face coverings.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting: 3 Vancouver schools placed on lockdown after Proud Boys try to enter during masks protest. “Vancouver Public Schools officials confirmed on Friday that the Skyview High School, Alki Middle School and Chinook Elementary were put in lockdown after members of the far-right Proud Boys tried to gain access to school grounds, according to witnesses.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The Jolt: Anti-vaxxers shut down vaccination event, harass state health workers. “The headlines out of Gov. Brian Kemp’s latest press conference focused on the thousands of Georgia National Guard troops he’s preparing to deploy to help hospitals fight the pandemic. But it was Dr. Kathleen Toomey who stopped us in our tracks when she revealed that anti-vaxxer protesters had disrupted several vaccination drives — and forced one to shut down.”

Route Fifty: State Efforts to Ban Mask Mandates in Schools Mirror Resistance to Integration. “I don’t bring up this Southern resistance to federal mandates that affect U.S. schools merely to recount history. As a researcher who focuses on the role of federalism in U.S. education, I believe this resistance helps shine light on why several Southern states today are pushing back against federal guidance for teachers and students to wear masks in schools to lessen the risks of contracting the more dangerous delta variant of COVID-19.”


Idaho Capital Sun: Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: ‘This patient isn’t leaving the hospital alive’. “A middle-aged man arrived on a stretcher at an Idaho emergency room last month. He’d tested positive for COVID-19 several days before, then took a turn for the worse. He couldn’t breathe. His fever was high enough to cause organ damage. His heart stopped, twice. Paramedics and hospital staff managed to revive him. But he died later that day. His daughter was there. She began ‘wailing,’ a health care worker told the Sun. The child wanted to see her father. The worker left the hospital crying that day.”

CNN: ‘Surprised and disappointed.’ Doctors in Covid-19 hotspots last year are dealing with new record hospitalizations. “Total hospitalizations in the US nearly tripled in July and doubled again in August, according to HHS data, but weekly national numbers only went up by 2% on Thursday, a potential sign of improvement on the horizon. But this comes as little relief to hospitals in hotspots seeing ICU beds fill up.”

BBC: NHS blood test tube shortage set to worsen. “NHS England has admitted that a shortage of vials used for blood tests will worsen over the next few weeks and will last until mid-September. It said supplies remain constrained and are forecast ‘to become even more constrained over the coming weeks’.”

Reuters: Each COVID-19 surge poses a risk for healthcare workers: PTSD. “Nurse Chris Prott’s knees jump, his heart races, his mouth goes dry and his mind floods with dark memories when he talks about working in the Milwaukee VA Medical Center’s intensive care unit (ICU) during pandemic surges. Prott shares a struggle common to many of the military veterans for whom he has cared for years: symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Tampa Bay Times: Twelve hours in a Florida COVID-19 ICU. “Jen’s unit has 18 beds. In June, there were only an average of three COVID-19 cases each day. Then, two weeks into July, cases started spiking. In one month, infections increased 10-fold. To make room, BayCare had to suspend elective surgeries in its 14 hospitals across Tampa Bay. About 40 percent of the beds in those facilities now are filled with COVID-19 cases. On this day, near the end of August, BayCare’s hospitals have 1,164 cases — 462 more than during the peak in July 2020, before there was a vaccine.”

CBS News: In Florida, funeral home workers struggle to keep up with the dying. “In the last week of August, Florida hospitals averaged 279 deaths per day, up from 52 in July, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The spike in fatalities, although not yet definitively linked to the coronavirus, is strongly suspected to stem from the ongoing surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. Overall, the state has reported a total over 44,000 coronavirus deaths over the course of the pandemic, according to a New York Times tracker.”


WKBW: CDC seeing more children, adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 as delta variant spreads. “On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the U.S. had seen an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in children and adolescents in recent weeks as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Friday said the hospitalization rate of children and adolescents infected with COVID-19 increased by nearly five times between June 26 and Aug. 14.”


HuffPost: Coronavirus Pandemic Sparks Nurse Staffing Crisis At U.S. Hospitals. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a nurse staffing crisis that is forcing many U.S. hospitals to pay top dollar to get the help they need to handle the crush of patients this summer. The problem, health leaders say, is twofold: Nurses are quitting or retiring, exhausted or demoralized by the crisis. And many are leaving for lucrative temporary jobs with traveling-nurse agencies that can pay $5,000 or more a week.”

AP: ‘Loss of hope’: Idaho hospitals crushed by COVID-19 surge. “Idaho hit a grim COVID-19 trifecta this week, reaching record numbers of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and ICU patients. Medical experts say the deeply conservative state will likely see 30,000 new infections a week by mid-September. With a critical shortage of hospital beds and staff and one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, Idaho health providers are growing desperate and preparing to follow crisis standards of care, which call for giving scarce resources to patients most likely to survive.”

WRAL: NC man begs people to get vaccinated after wife’s hospital stay was cut short. “Jason Arena’s wife had stage 4 breast cancer. According to Arena, he drove her to the hospital for treatment because she was having severe symptoms, including trouble breathing due to excess fluid in her lungs and jaundice. Arena said they got to the hospital at 4:30 a.m. but had to wait four hours to be seen.”

KITV: State secures supply of oxygen, expected to arrive in Honolulu over Labor Day weekend. “The Hawaii Department of Emergency Management agency worked with multiple agencies to secure about 35,000 gallons of liquid oxygen. It’s expected to be in Honolulu tomorrow. HI-EMA reports the daily consumption of medical grade oxygen across the state has increased by more than 200% since the beginning of August.”

Deadline: Critically Low ICU Capacity Across Swath Of California Triggers State’s Emergency Surge Protocols. “In mid-August, there were 7,166 people with Covid-19 hospitalized in the state. Today, there are 8,630 such patients, with the number of available staffed ICU beds statewide down from 1,861 then to 1,533 today. Those changes are more acute in some areas than others.”

Associated Press: Hospitals in crisis in least vaccinated state: Mississippi. “Mississippi’s low vaccinated rate, with about 38% of the state’s 3 million people fully inoculated against COVID-19, is driving a surge in cases and hospitalizations that is overwhelming medical workers. The workers are angry and exhausted over both the workload and refusal by residents to embrace the vaccine.”

NPR: A COVID Surge Is Overwhelming U.S. Hospitals, Raising Fears Of Rationed Care. “The U.S. health care system is again buckling under the weight of a COVID-19 surge that has filled more than 100,000 hospital beds nationwide and forced some states to consider enacting ‘crisis standards of care’ — a last resort plan for rationing medical care during a catastrophic event. The idea is an alarming sign of how the delta variant has ripped through large swaths of the country — primarily sickening the unvaccinated and straining an already depleted health care workforce.”


Fond du Lac Reporter: Library archives turn up a treasure trove of history rediscovered during pandemic. “Old records and leather-bound volumes chronicling Fond du Lac’s past were put aside years ago, tucked away for safekeeping when everyday tasks that need attention at the library took precedence. Those forgotten treasures, stored away in the archives at Fond du Lac Public Library, were rediscovered in the throes of a global pandemic, among them hand-illustrated plat books from the 1800s, old tourist travel maps, long-forgotten funeral home records of early settlers and photographs of the county fair from the turn of the century.”


The Hill: Texas oil refinery partially suspends operations, citing oxygen supply shortage . “Sulfur recovery units use oxygen in an effort to retrieve sulfur, which comes from raw materials, to meet the chemical element’s emissions standards. A Texas environmental filing noted that Citgo Petroleum Corp. had halted part of that unit’s operations due to a higher medical need for oxygen in the area, Bloomberg noted.”

NBC News: Moderna expected to miss Sept. 20 deadline for booster approval. ” U.S. regulators don’t expect to meet the Biden administration’s Sept. 20 timeline of making booster shots widely available to those who received the Moderna Covid vaccine, said a person familiar with the process.”

Business Insider: An Oregon McDonald’s is so desperate for workers it hung a huge banner outside calling on 14-year-olds to apply. “A McDonald’s in Medford, Oregon, has a banner out front advertising that it is hiring 14- and 15-year-old workers. ‘There are always staffing issues, but this is unheard of,’ the Biddle Road restaurant operator, Heather Coleman, told Insider. She said the situation is unique in her family’s 40-year history operating McDonald’s franchises.”

New York Times: Google delays its return to office until January.. “Google is pushing back its return-to-office date by three months, to Jan. 10, in a decision that reflects the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.”

KITV: HLTA: Hotel industry seeing large number of cancelations. “Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association president and CEO Mufi Hanneman says many visitors are listening to Governor David Ige’s message to postpone traveling to Hawaii during the current surge. He says the hospitality industry is seeing a record number of cancelations and forcing many businesses to revise budgets.”

New York Times: Why You Might Not Be Returning to the Office Until Next Year. “First it was January, a full year after the coronavirus first surfaced in China. January slipped to July, as tens of millions of people lined up across America to be vaccinated. But then the surge of vaccinations peaked, and the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus drove another spike in cases. For many companies, September became the new July. Now September is out as an option, and it’s anybody’s guess when workers will return to their offices in large numbers.”

News4Jax: Until 2023? Parts shortage will keep auto prices sky-high. “Back in the spring, a shortage of computer chips that had sent auto prices soaring appeared, finally, to be easing. Some relief for consumers seemed to be in sight. That hope has now dimmed. A surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant in several Asian countries that are the main producers of auto-grade chips is worsening the supply shortage. It is further delaying a return to normal auto production and keeping the supply of vehicles artificially low.”


Defense One: As Delta Variant Spreads, Trade Shows Impose Mask Mandates. “Military and defense trade organizations are pushing ahead with plans to hold in-person conferences this fall, despite the uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The Association of the U.S. Army, which organizes the country’s largest military trade show, said attendees at its October event will be required to wear face masks, per COVID restrictions in the nation’s capital.”


The Register: Indonesian authorities probe million-record leak from national COVID app. “Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics is investigating a leak of over a million records from the nation’s COVID-19 quarantine management app. News of the leak was revealed on August 30th by security review site vpnMentor, which wrote that its research team discovered exposed databases generated by eHAC, an app that is mandatory for use by travellers moving into and out of Indonesia, or within its borders.”

BBC: Covid-19: Vaccine passports to start in England this month. “Plans to introduce vaccines passports in nightclubs and other indoor venues in England will go ahead this month, the vaccines minister has confirmed. Nadhim Zahawi said it was the right time to introduce the certificates, as all over-18s will have been offered two jabs by the end of September.”


WKRN: Tennessee’s #1 ranking for new COVID-19 cases per capita leads to call for state leaders to ‘step up & take action’ . ” The Volunteer State is leading the nation in new daily COVID-19 infections. Doctors are warning if nothing drastic changes Tennessee hospitals will be pushed to the brink. Governor Bill Lee recently met with doctors regarding the pandemic but is sticking with his current plan.”

Grand Forks Herald: North Dakota leaders plead for vaccination, masking as COVID-19 surge looms. ” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and top hospital officials assembled at a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 1, to deliver a uniform message: If residents don’t seek COVID-19 vaccines, wear masks and resume social distancing at greater rates, the state’s health care system could become overwhelmed in the weeks ahead.”

Houston Public Media: Doctors Say Texas Leaders Failed To Stop COVID-19 From Spreading . “Hospitals across the state are running low on pediatric intensive care unit beds. Texas’ Department of State Health Services says only 81 of them remain — and just a couple hundred more regular ICU beds are available in the state of 29 million people.”

New York Times: Arizona Banned School Mask Mandates. Now Some Kids Are Sick and Parents Are Angry.. “Only weeks after Arizona’s students went back to school, coronavirus infections are forcing thousands of children and teachers into quarantine. Outbreaks around Phoenix are surging. In one suburban district, so many drivers are sick that school buses are running 90 minutes late. All this in a state that ignored C.D.C. recommendations and banned school mask mandates weeks before classes resumed.”

WRAL: NC State Fair encourages vaccinations, will not require them . “The state fair was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitalizations and average deaths reported daily are close to the number North Carolina saw during the winter COVID-19 peak. Just about 14% of all tests reported to the state recently have come back positive. Over the past decade, the fair has drawn just about 1 million visitors annually over the course of its 10-day run.”

NBC News: Mask tracker: State mask mandates are trickling back. “Throughout the summer, many statewide mask mandates have expired, causing some cities to create their own. But with schools reopening and the delta variant becoming an increasing concern, some states are now opting to reinstate or strengthen their mask requirements.”


Miami Herald: Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths. “As the delta variant spreads through Florida, data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest this could be the most serious and deadly surge in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic. As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found.”


WESH: ‘Stop listening to social media’: Florida sheriff encourages people to get vaccinated. “Some law enforcement officers have been hesitant to get vaccinated. But now, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is taking a firm stance to push his deputies to get the shot…. ‘Stop listening to the politicians. Start listening to the medical professionals and the scientists and get vaccinated,’ Chronister said. ‘If you don’t want to do it for yourself do it for your coworkers, do it for your family and do it to stay alive.'”


CBS 2 Chicago: Jacqueline Jackson, Wife Of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Going Home After Fight With COVID-19. “Jacqueline Jackson, the wife of Rev. Jesse Jackson, is out of intensive care and heading home after her fight with COVID-19, according to a statement from the couple’s son, Jonathan Jackson. Jonathan reported Friday afternoon that Jacqueline was leaving Northwestern Memorial Hospital and heading home.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette: South Hadley man quits school board after online abuse over masks. “A member of the School Committee has resigned amid online attacks after a right-wing blogger called him a ‘child abuser’ for supporting a masking requirement for town schools, posted pictures of his children and made derogatory remarks about them.”


Sora News 24: 74-year-old Japanese politician starts Instagram account for open dialog about COVID-19. “Shigeru Omi is the current head of the Japan Community Health Care Organization, which is the government department that manages the social health care system. Prior to that he also served as a director for the WHO and tackled past pandemics such as polio and SARS. Omi has also been heavily involved in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan since February, 2020. However, despite advances in vaccines and treatments, infection rates have been soaring to their highest levels ever. Fearing that the causes for this are becoming more social than medical, the 74-year-old virologist is taking the fight against COVID-19 to an arena way outside his comfort zone: the Internet.”


Omaha World Herald: Family of Omahan who died of COVID asks people to get vaccinated in his memory. “”Relatives of Omahan Mike Leick have a request of people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19: Please get your shots, in memory of Mike. Leick, who was 65, shared that message before he died Monday from COVID complications. He said it in conversations with friends and relatives and in an interview with a local TV station shortly before his death.”


CBS Chicago: Cubs Manager David Ross, President Jed Hoyer Test Positive For COVID-19. “Chicago Cubs Manager David Ross and President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer have both tested positive for COVID-19. Ross and Hoyer are both vaccinated, a spokesperson for the Cubs confirmed.”

Yardbarker: Fully vaccinated Oscar De La Hoya hospitalized by COVID-19. “De La Hoya updated via Twitter that he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but nevertheless is receiving treatment in the hospital after the virus hit him hard.”

BBC Sport: Brazil-Argentina game halted after confusion over Covid regulations. “Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifier was halted just minutes after kick off on Sunday after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they believe broke quarantine rules.”


Texas Tribune: At least 45 districts shut down in-person classes due to COVID-19 cases, affecting more than 40,000 students. “At least 45 small school districts across Texas have been forced to temporarily stop offering in-person classes as a result of COVID-19 cases in the first few weeks of the new school year, according to the Texas Education Agency. The shutdowns, which affected about 42,000 students as of Thursday, come as cases caused by the highly contagious delta variant have plagued administrators who hoped for a normal return to the school year.”

KSL: Grand County High School classes canceled next week due to COVID cases among staff, students. “Classes are canceled for Grand County High School next week after 10 staff members and nine students tested positive for COVID-19. All classes and after-school activities, including athletics, are canceled Sept. 7-10, according to a Grand County School District Facebook post.”

My Canyon Lake: All Kindergarten Teachers at Kinder Ranch Test Positive for COVID-19. “All of the kindergarten teachers at Comal ISD’s Kinder Ranch Elementary School (KRES) in San Antonio have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from a teacher that was shared today on the Open Comal County Schools Safely Facebook page.”

HuffPost: Georgia Parents File Complaint With Education Department Over Schools’ Opt-Out Mask Policy. “Parents in a Georgia school district have filed a complaint with the Department of Education over their schools’ policy allowing students to opt out of wearing a mask in school, even as COVID-19 cases mount across the district.”

New York Times: Kentucky’s schools struggle as coronavirus outbreaks close entire districts.. “About a fifth of Kentucky’s school districts have had to temporarily close since classes began last month because of coronavirus infections, an indication of the dire impact the most recent wave of the virus has had on the state.”


NBC Miami: Mentor to Young Men Among 15 MDCPS Staff to Die of COVID in Ten Days. “Fifteen staff members in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District have died from COVID-19 in the past 10 days. Sonia Diaz, a spokesperson for several unions in the school district, confirmed the number of deaths to NBC 6. Miami-Dade County Public Schools resumed classes on Aug. 23, and it’s unknown when the employees contracted COVID-19.”

NBC 2: WATCH: Deputies break up physical fights at Lee Schools HQ after mask mandate announcement. “The Lee County School District will now require masks for teachers and students, eliminating the opt-out form. The school superintendent made the announcement Monday. The new COVID-19 protocol will go into effect for 30 days and will start on Sept. 1.”


Dallas Morning News: University of Dallas temporarily cancels in-person classes as cases of COVID-19 rise. “The University of Dallas abruptly paused in-person classes and many in-person events this week as COVID-19 cases surged on campus. President Jonathan J. Sanford announced the closure on Tuesday, citing rising COVID-19 cases among students. In-person classes are expected to resume Sept. 13.”

The Crimson White: UA reports 58% student vaccination rate as campus cases double. “The University of Alabama System reported student vaccination data for the first time on Monday, revealing that 58% of UA students have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Yahoo Finance: Liberty University COVID-19 outbreak on campus worsens, vaccinations now offered. “The private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia last week ordered a campus-wide quarantine from Aug. 30 to Sept. 10. Prior to the fall semester beginning on Aug. 24, the school did not have a mask or vaccine mandate in place. Liberty’s COVID-19 dashboard on August 25 reported 159 active COVID-19 cases, out of which 124 were students. On September 1, the number of total active cases reported within the last 10 days spiked to 488, out of which 430 were students.”


CNN: It’s the same pandemic, but now it’s drastically different for kids. “Kids are heading back into the classroom for yet another pandemic school year, but this time with the more contagious Delta variant getting more people sick. Navigating school safely will be trickier than ever.”

Star Tribune: State Fair study tests which masks are best in COVID fight. “The share of Minnesotans who said they wore masks in public most or all of the time peaked at 87% in early May and was better than the national average, according to the COVIDcast tracker of pandemic trends maintained by Carnegie Mellon University. However, that rate plummeted to 20% this summer after Gov. Tim Walz lifted a statewide mandate, and has only returned to 42% this month now that masks are recommended, but not required, in high-risk transmission areas.”

New York Times: Covid Ravaged South America. Then Came a Sharp Drop in Infections.. “There have been no new sweeping or large-scale containment measures in the region, although some countries have imposed strict border controls. A major factor in the recent drop in cases, experts say, is the speed with which the region ultimately managed to vaccinate people. Governments in South America have generally not faced the kind of apathy, politicization and conspiracy theories around vaccines that left much of the United States vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant.”


WRAL Tech Wire: In search of a better face mask: NCSU uses new tech in push for improvements. “North Carolina State University researchers at the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) are developing a test method to be able to simultaneously assess how respirators, surgical masks and face coverings fit, breathe and filter. The project, backed by a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to help researchers develop better tests for face coverings used by the public.”


Bloomberg Quint: Covid-19 Boosters Work at Curbing Severe Cases, Israel Data Show. “A third Covid vaccination shot appeared to significantly curb a delta-led surge in cases and prevent severe illness, according to a study in Israel, the first country to offer boosters to seniors.”

CNN: Being fully vaccinated reduces odds of long-term Covid-19 symptoms by half, UK study suggests. “A new study of breakthrough Covid-19 infections finds that vaccines not only reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, but can lower the odds of having long-term Covid-19 symptoms too.”

Ubergizmo: Researchers Create A COVID-19 Antibodies Testing Kit That Can Return Results In 30 Minutes. “Over the years, the tech has been improved upon and has since expanded to cover more than 40 different allergens, and now also covers several key COVID-19 proteins. How it works is that a microchip is coated with a substance that can react to light. A sample liquid containing the protein of interest is dropped onto the microchip and then exposed to ultraviolet light that immobilizes the protein. A CCD camera is then used to measure the amount of emitted light which happens when antibodies in the blood serum bind to the viral proteins, and from there, the system can then quantify the number of antibodies present.”

WRAL: Study: Mask type really matters, ventilation may matter more. “A recent study out of Canada shows wide disparities in the effectiveness of different types of masks and suggests ventilation improvements can do better than common cloth and surgical masks in reducing transmission of COVID-19.”

NewsWise: Language barriers do not explain why immigrants have higher mortality from COVID-19. “Language barriers or lack of institutional awareness do not explain why immigrants in Sweden have a higher mortality from COVID-19. These are the conclusions of a new population-based study from Stockholm University that analyzed intermarried couples–immigrants partnered with Swedes.”


BBC: New Zealand cinema worker left red-faced after voicemail blooper. “The man was trying to inform customers that the Movie Max in Timaru was closed due to Covid restrictions. But, the employee struggled to get his words out and that left him frustrated. Instead of deleting his failed attempts, the employee’s bloopers were accidentally uploaded to the voicemail.” Mostly video, mostly captioned.

This is just one long cascade of f-bombs. Because of that I can’t really post an excerpt. I will on RB Firehose where I don’t have to worry about an email filter deleting it. I have censored the headline. McSweeny’s: Oh My F*cking God, Get The F*cking Vaccine Already, You F*cking F*cks.


Texas Tribune: Verbal and physical attacks on health workers surge as emotions boil during latest COVID-19 wave. “The pandemic-related rise in tensions across the U.S. is not unique to the hospital industry. Airlines are reporting an increase in aggressive passengers as flight attendants take self-defense classes. Police are reporting an increase in violent crime and road rage incidents…. But unlike airlines, which can permanently ban passengers, hospitals are more limited in how they can respond or prevent those instances.”

Law .com: California Judge Tells Unmasked Attorneys, ‘If You Get COVID, Congratulations’. “While masks are required to enter all Central District buildings, judges are allowed to impose their own courtroom standards, and Judge David Carter has opted not to require masks or social distancing.”

Business Insider: A leader of a movement touting toxic bleach as a ‘miracle’ COVID-19 cure has been charged following a 5-year-old boy’s death. “Argentinian authorities have charged Andreas Kalcker, a key figure in a sprawling movement that hails toxic bleach as a ‘miracle’ medical treatment. The charges follow a seven-month-long investigation by the Unidad Fiscal para la Investigación de Delitos contra el Medio Ambiente (UFIMA), which investigates medical crimes in Argentina.”

The Daily Beast: Angry Men With Zip-Ties Ambush School Principal After COVID Masking Request. “Police arrested a 40-year-old Arizona dad after he stormed into an elementary school principal’s office with a friend wielding plastic handcuffs, insisting the administration broke the law by asking his child and six others to wear a mask and quarantine after being in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.”

Business Insider: Buyers and sellers of fake vaccine cards have flocked to messaging app Telegram, which has reportedly seen a 200% increase in sales since March. “Shady deals for fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards have blossomed on messaging platform Telegram as mainstream social-media companies and authorities have cracked down on buyers and sellers.”


Washington Post: Opinion: Doctors should be allowed to give priority to vaccinated patients when resources are scarce. “This conflicts radically with accepted medical ethics, I recognize. And under ordinary circumstances, I agree with those rules. The lung cancer patient who’s been smoking two packs a day for decades is entitled to the same treatment as the one who never took a puff. The drunk driver who kills a family gets a team doing its utmost to save him — although, not perhaps, a liver transplant if he needs one. Doctors are healers, not judges. But the coronavirus pandemic, the development of a highly effective vaccine, and the emergence of a core of vaccine resisters along with an infectious new variant have combined to change the ethical calculus.”

HuffPost: I Was An ‘Anti-Vaxxer.’ This Year, I Changed My Mind.. “When I became pregnant with my first child, over six years ago, I went from really never having given much thought to vaccines (other than getting them) to discovering this whole other world of people who believed they were harmful. The seed of fear was planted in me, and over time, it only grew bigger.”

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