The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read TIme: 6 Minutes

  • The U.S. recorded 54,184 new cases and 1,251 additional deaths on Thursday. 
  •  The U.S. recorded 52,810 new cases and 1,388 additional deaths on Wednesday. 
  • Masks continue to be one of the most effective ways to prevent Covid-19 transmission and there are many different types that serve this purpose, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained.

“There was a great study out of Lancet which basically said the likelihood of me transmitting the virus if I didn’t have a mask on was 17% or 18%. If I did have a mask on, it was closer to 3%. You are talking about a sixfold difference, potentially. It is not perfect but it can really help,” Gupta said.

  • The CDC does not recommend people use masks with valves or vents during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new mask recommendations.

The valves may provide the wearer more comfort, since the valves allow air to escape from the mask and can keep people cooler, but the valves also allow the virus to escape from the mask. Taping over the vents is recommended.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci,said goggles  or a face shield can serve as an extra degree of protection for teachers who are in close contact with children.

Fauci said that if he were in a classroom with children who often don’t cover their sneeze or cough, he “might very well” wear goggles.

  • Fauci said he wishes testing for Covid-19 in the country had worked out better. When asked about people waiting to get a test result back five or seven days later – he said it’s been “very difficult” to defend the government’s efforts on testing.
  • Fauci warned that if the United States does not have a unified response against Covid-19, the country is at risk of continuing to “smolder.”
  • Contradicting President Trump’s repeated claims it will “go away,” Fauci said the world may never eradicate coronavirus.
  • Researchers behind an influential model at the University of Washington are now projecting that the US death toll could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1 – but that can be changed if consistent mask-wearing occurs.
  • Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, said it has increased its manufacturing capabilities of the antiviral drug “to meet real-time global demand starting in October.”
  • A potential coronavirus vaccine should not have any “political spin attached to it,” Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health said. 
  • President Trump said he was “optimistic” a potential coronavirus vaccine could be ready by Nov. 3, noting that, while “It wouldn’t hurt” his chances for reelection, he was doing it “to save a lot of lives.”
  • The State Department lifted its global level 4 travel “Do Not Travel” advisory after more than four months of warning US citizens against traveling abroad.

However, there are currently only nine countries that allow U.S. citizens to enter freely and twenty-three that have restrictions. All other countries ban U.S. citizens entry. 

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said that he hopes the US will reconsider its decision to withdraw from WHO – and that the problem the withdrawal creates is not financial, but the lack of solidarity between global leaders.
  • Another 1.2 million Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits last week, down from the prior week’s 1.4 million claims.
  • President Trump tweeted that his staff is working on a possible executive order addressing some of the components of the stimulus negotiations.

“Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I’ve notified my staff to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut, Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment Options.” 

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she remains optimistic that despite hard negotiations, “we will” find a solution and come to an agreement on a new relief bill.
  • Twitter restricted President Trump’s campaign from tweeting after its account shared a video containing false claims about the coronavirus.

The tweet, a video of Trump’s interview with Fox News in which he said children are “almost immune” to the virus, “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on Covid-19 misinformation.”

  • 62 of the largest school districts accounting for nearly 7 million students will start with full online learning.
  • Major League Baseball has made several strict changes to its health and safety protocols in the wake of recent Covid-19 outbreaks.

Coronavirus-related postponements started after 21 members in the Marlins, including 18 players, tested positive for the virus. Earlier this week, an outbreak among Cardinals’ players and staff raised further questions about MLB’s plans to safely hold the season amid the pandemic.

  • Out of a total of 2,880 players in the National Football League, there are 66 who have opted out of the upcoming season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • More than 1,000 Big Ten college football players released a letter, writing that the NCAA “has had ample time to prepare for the safe return of its athletes to competition, yet it has done nothing.”
  • President Trump agreed to continue paying for the full cost of National Guard troops deployed to help with the coronavirus response in just two states — Texas and Florida — after their Republican governors appealed directly to him.

Other states will now have to pay a quarter of the cost of National Guard deployments in their states, despite their governors also requesting the federal government continue to foot the entire bill.

  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said the state is committing $266 million to school reopening efforts
  • Pennsylvania’s health and education departments jointly recommended that pre-K-12 school and recreational youth sports be postponed until at least Jan. 1 “to protect children and teens from Covid-19,” according to a release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) office.
  • Georgia reported 3,250 new cases and 42 additional deaths – raising the state total to over 4,000. 
  • Four students from three Georgia high schools who attended classes in person this week have tested positive.
  • At least two high school students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA have been suspended after sharing video and photo of how congested their hallways were during the pandemic with mostly maskless students. 
  • Florida reported 7,650 news cases and 120 additional deaths.
  • At least 53 Florida Hospitals have reached intensive care unit capacity and show zero ICU beds available. Another 33 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said shutting down youth sports if athletes tested positive for Covid-19 was “not an option.”

DeSantis wants to “give the fans what they want” when it comes to sports returning to schools and college campuses this upcoming school year.

“If they bring something back to the house, I mean, as much as I wouldn’t want that, I would rather take that risk,” DeSantis siad.

  • Hillsborough County Schools in Florida voted to start the school year with four weeks of remote learning.
  • Hours after he tested positive for the coronavirus, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced a second test had come back negative.
  • Ninety-one people in Ohio were infected with coronavirus after an infected man attended church services. 
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has extended the state’s mask mandate for another 30 days.
  • With Michigan experiencing outbreaks at child care centers and camps, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has signed an executive order requiring face coverings to be worn at these locations.
  • Illinois reported 1,953 new cases – the highest single-day count since May 24. There were 21 additional deaths.
  • The president of the South Dakota State Medical Association says he is “concerned” about the upcoming City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

About 500,000 people are estimated to have attended the rally last year, and the city’s mayor said there won’t be mask requirements or travel restrictions for out-of state visitors this year.

  • Texas reported  7,598 new cases and 306 additional deaths and a jump in the positive infection rate to above 17%.

Hospitalizations decreased for the third day in a row.

The positivity rate continues to climb, at 17.05% as of Aug. 5. The positivity rate was just 12.09% one week ago.

  • Hidalgo County, Texas’ shelter-at-home order has been extended another two weeks.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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