What's slowing Miami's COVID spread? Partial 'herd immunity' may play a part
MIAMI — As a deadly summer wave of virus continues to recede, Miami-Dade County officials and scientists are trying to figure out what combination of factors may have contributed to slowing a surge of COVID cases that at one point threatened to topple South Florida’s healthcare infrastructure.Social distancing measures, face mask orders and curfews certainly helped, public health experts say, but so did other factors that they’re still working to understand — specifically, the seasonality of the virus and so-called herd immunity, which occurs when enough people in an area are infected with a v...
No shortfall in US supply of ventilators as GM, Ventec end contract
Five months ago, as the coronavirus pandemic surged across the nation, the urgency to build more critical care ventilators swelled to meet a shortage of the life saving machines.So General Motors and Ventec Life Systems teamed up to produce ventilators. In just two weeks, the companies will deliver the full 30,000 ventilators they owe the U.S. government, helping to bring the U.S. stockpile closer to an inventory level that positions the nation to withstand any near-term pandemic spikes.“While there is not currently a shortfall of ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), the new ...
Detroit Free Press
For healthcare 'heroes,' death toll keeps rising
ATLANTA — David Plater knew all the risks and took every precaution.It wasn’t enough.The 45-year-old radiology technician at Emory Hillandale Hospital died June 9 from COVID-19, becoming one of the nearly 100 Georgia healthcare workers who have fallen to the coronavirus since March. The deaths call into question the ability of hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities to protect the workers they celebrate as heroes in the fight against an unrelenting plague.The toll may be much higher. An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that Georgia officials have undercounted death...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Chicago restaurants sue for coronavirus insurance payouts, struggle to hang on. 'We're just hoping it's not too little too late.'
CHICAGO — Since suing his insurance carrier nearly five months ago, in hopes of recovering some of the money he’s lost during the pandemic, Ryan Marks has been doing what he can to keep his three restaurants afloat.Neither he nor his business partners are taking salaries. He moved to a smaller apartment that costs half as much. He has been negotiating his restaurants’ rent with his landlords, some of whom are more sympathetic than others, but worries even a deferral won’t help much in the long term.“There is not going to be a magic double year coming up where I can just make it up,” said Marks...
Canadian travel ban extended another month as US continues to wrestle pandemic
DETROIT — Border closures to Canada and Mexico were extended Friday for at least another month as a precaution aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.As with previous bans, limits on nonessential travel do not cover trade or air travel.“We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19,” tweeted Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of nonessential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21.”The restrictions initially were announced in mid-March and were...
Detroit Free Press
NJ will vote mostly by mail for 2020 election despite lingering post office concerns
New Jersey’s election in November will be mostly mail-in due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday on CNN.The state will follow the same approach it followed during its delayed primary July 7, Murphy said. Every registered voter in the state will be mailed a ballot, which they can either mail back or drop off in secure drop boxes across the state. A limited number of polling places will also be open to voters on Election Day.Murphy said there were small problems that occurred during a local May election in Patterson, where four men — including a city councilman — have ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Hurricane evacuees from South Florida would spread COVID-19 cases by the thousands, new study finds
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — South Florida residents fleeing the path of a powerful hurricane would almost certainly cause a spike in coronavirus infections across the state and beyond, according to a new study.And decisions made during a hurricane evacuation could mean a difference of tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases.The study, conducted by scientists with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Columbia University, examines how four South Florida counties that are hotspots for coronavirus — Miami Dade, Palm Beach, Monroe and Broward — would influence the spread of COVID-19 should a Category ...
A coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon, thanks to a key discovery by these researchers
AUSTIN, Texas — When the latest coronavirus emerged, Jason McLellan and his team were ready to take action.McLellan, an associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Texas, has been studying respiratory diseases for years. In 2017, McLellan’s postdoctoral researcher Nianshuang Wang identified genetic mutations necessary to stabilize a key component of diseases like MERS, also a coronavirus.So when Chinese researchers shared the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus on Jan. 10, UT researchers were able to quickly map the virus and inject it with previously-discovered mutat...
Death of funeral home matriarch points to COVID-19's reach
AUSTIN, Texas — For decades, Lois Villaseñor had helped Latino families coping with the death of loved ones.Recently, the East Austin funeral home she and her late husband founded in the late 1950s has been busier, as the coronavirus pandemic swept over the community it serves. The business has adopted funeral rites — limited, masked services with burials often viewed through car windows.In late July, at age 87, Villaseñor herself died of COVID-related complications, one of scores of coronavirus deaths last month in Travis County at the height — thus far — of the pandemic in Texas. Her service...
Coronavirus school reopening complicates life for students with special needs
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Everything Denise Jolly is struggling from, thousands of other South Carolinians have been struggling with amid the coronavirus pandemic.But very few of them are struggling with it all at once.Jolly is a cancer patient and the mother of two boys, one of whom is in gifted classes, and the other is on the autism spectrum.“Our situation is more extreme than most are facing, but I know there are a lot of special needs parents in Columbia,” Jolly told The State.Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the disadvantages special needs students face on a normal basis have been magnified, ...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)