How our sewage could warn us of future outbreaks of COVID-19
TACOMA, Wash. — Down a gravel pathway, past a scattering of needle caps and food wrappers and beneath a graffiti-sprayed overpass for Tacoma’s East 32nd Street, lies a portal into the public’s health.For millennia, sewer systems have carried off waste and disease. More recently, they’ve drawn coronavirus-searching scientists in their wake.On a Friday last month, Chad Atkinson, a senior environmental technician for Tacoma, lifted up a maintenance hole cover with a metal hook.The stench of decomposition pricked the nostrils as a flashlight beam illuminated a stream of untreated wastewater flowin...
The Seattle Times
Will MLB teams play ball? Why things may be OK, and how they might fall apart.
Major League Baseball unveiled a big surprise Thursday afternoon: A schedule for the 2021 season.Not 2020, 2021. And it came a few weeks earlier than it would in a non-pandemic-muddled year, too. It’s unclear why MLB felt the need to book their calendars next summer when the coronavirus trajectory and impact could not be more of an unknown.It seemed odd to plan for something more familiar when the most unfamiliar, unprecedented type of baseball season is still hanging precariously in the balance.There are two weeks until the season is scheduled to begin. Will it happen?Here are reasons to be p...
The Mercury News
FSU cuts athletic department budget 20% due to coronavirus pandemic
Florida State announced a 20% athletics department budget cut that includes job eliminations, pay cuts and other cost-cutting measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.“I am personally heartbroken over the impact this pandemic has had on our employees, and I am disappointed that I must give you this discouraging news today,” FSU athletics director David Coburn wrote in a letter sent to all athletics department employees Friday afternoon. “However, I am sure you have seen that other athletic departments around the country are also making reductions.”Coburn cites declines in football season ticke...
White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech opts out of the 2020 season for 'personal reasons'
CHICAGO — Michael Kopech, the top pitching prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization, has decided not to play this season, the team announced Friday.Kopech’s decision is for “personal reasons,” according to a team spokesman.“We recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”Hahn all...
With record 10,000 in Texas hospitals, Gov. Abbott warns: 'Things will get worse'
AUSTIN, Texas — With a record 10,002 coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott again warned that he expects hospitalizations and deaths to continue to rise.In a series of television interviews Friday, Abbott urged Texans to follow his statewide mask order and said more restrictions will be needed if it’s ignored.“We will not have to lock down if people follow the simple requirement of wearing a face mask,” Abbott said in an interview with KSAT.Abbott extended his coronavirus-related disaster declaration for all Texas counties Friday, hours before state health officials r...
Pandemic parties rage on across South Florida despite growing coronavirus crisis
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Pulsing parties in swanky South Beach mansions. Raging raves in Miami warehouses. Backyard bashes in Palm Beach manors where teenagers drink late into the night.South Florida is a world epicenter of coronavirus infections, but some irrepressible revelers insist on trying to live out the subtropical promise of fun, sin and sun — COVID-19 or not.Experts say the pandemic parties could cost them their life.A review of police records, social media accounts, and interviews with professional event planners who refuse to let COVID-19 kill the music shows that South Florida’s wo...
Carnival Corp. to sell 13 ships, resume cruises in Germany amid COVID-19 pandemic
MIAMI — After record-breaking second quarter losses, Carnival Corporation will begin cruising again during the COVID-19 pandemic in August and shed 13 of its ships by the end of the year.The company previously reported a loss of $4.37 billion, or $6.07 a share, during the second quarter — its largest quarterly loss ever — as cruises remain banned in the U.S. through at least late July.While U.S. health authorizes remain focused on curbing COVID-19 outbreaks among crews on cruise ships in U.S. waters, the cities of Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock, Germany, have given the industry the go-ahead to star...
'Catch and kill' air filter could destroy coronavirus instantly, Texas experts say
Researchers in Texas said they have designed a virus-trapping air filter that can kill the coronavirus instantly using extremely high temperatures, and can be installed in existing cooling and heating systems.The announcement comes as public health leaders are acknowledging that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be airborne indoors, meaning it can remain floating in the air long after an infected person leaves a room.The team says the filters could be used in airports, airplanes, office buildings, schools, cruise ships and other locations where airborne spread is of “high prior...
Election experts warn of November disaster
WASHINGTON — After a presidential primary season plagued by long lines, confusion over mail-in voting and malfunctioning equipment, election experts are increasingly concerned about the resiliency of American democracy in the face of a global pandemic.With four months until the presidential election, the litany of unresolved issues could block some voters from casting ballots and lead many citizens to distrust the outcome of one of the most pivotal races of their lifetimes.There is widespread concern among voting activists, experts and elections officials that it will take further federal inve...
Florida reports 11,433 new coronavirus cases, close to the one-day record high
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — After Florida notched another 92 people who died of COVID-19 on Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said deaths would likely be in the thousands had the state not made changes to long-term care centers. He also defended his decision to reopen the state in early May — which was criticized on Thursday by Dr. Anthony Fauci.“I think there was really no justification to not move forward,” DeSantis said.He said that in the initial weeks after the state reopened, positive test results trended under 5%. Given the virus’s incubation time of five to seven days, he said it doesn’t make sens...