Widespread COVID-1

9 testing is key to fighting the pandemic, but are there enough tests? The answer is in the positivity rates.


The timing for a coronavirus vaccine gets darker by the day as political leaders and pharmaceutical companies don’t seem to agree on when a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for public use.

President Donald Trump told Fox & Friends Tuesday morning that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready “in a matter of weeks”. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS News that the company will know if its candidate vaccine works by the end of October. And the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a vaccine could be ready for public use in November or December, according to state TV.

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said on Tuesday he sees a slim chance that drug makers could obtain enough data by the end of October to apply for emergency approval for their COVID-19 vaccines, the Associated Press reported. But he expressed confidence that several vaccines would gain approval by early 2021.

Meanwhile, researchers at Northeastern University have found that if a COVID-19 vaccine were stockpiled by rich countries instead of being distributed equally based on population proportions, it could cause twice as many coronavirus deaths.

Some significant developments:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that the House will remain in session until a step is taken on a proposed coronavirus stimulus bill.
  • The University of Missouri in Columbia said on Tuesday that two students were deported and three suspended for violating coronavirus-related regulations.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 500,000 counterfeit N-95 breathing masks destined for New Jersey from China.
  • UCLA researchers say the coronavirus may have been in the country as early as December, weeks before U.S. health officials announced the nation’s first case.
  • Travelers from California and five other states will no longer need to quarantine on arrival in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
  • Holiday sales are expected to increase between 1% and 1.5% from November to January compared to last year due to the pandemic.

📈 Today’s numbers: New case records have been set in North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through the end of Monday. Record numbers of deaths have been reported in Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Tennessee and Guam. The United States has reported more than 6.5 million cases and more than 195,000 deaths. Globally, there have been more than 29 million cases and more than 930,000 deaths.

📰 What we are reading: Although thousands of their employees have fallen ill with COVID-19, meat packaging executives have lobbied federal regulators to help keep their factories open, according to a series of emails obtained by USA TODAY. Read more.

🗺️ Coronavirus mapping: Track the outbreak in the United States, state by state

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Pelosi: House will remain in session until agreement on the coronavirus stimulus is reached

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday The House will remain in session until a step is taken on a coronavirus stimulus bill, while moderate lawmakers pressured leaders to find a relief deal ahead of November’s elections.

“We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement, an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” Pelosi told CNBC on Tuesday.

His words signaled that the rescue talks between Congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump’s White House could be bailed out even if the two sides no longer seem close to a deal. Pelosi has not moved on her desire for a large multi-billion dollar plan to aid schools, the unemployed and local governments strapped for money. And on Tuesday the Republican leadership no longer appeared open to recent Democratic proposals.

– Christal Hayes, Nicholas Wu and Ledyard King

University of Missouri expels 2 students, suspends 3 for violating COVID rules

The University of Missouri in Columbia said Tuesday that two students were deported and three suspended for “knowing and intentional actions that threatened the safety of campus and the wider Columbia community,” according to a statement.

The students violated the university’s regulations related to coronavirus, including the requirements that COVID-positive individuals isolate and comply with social distancing requirements, the school said.

“When we see those who intentionally violate these expectations, we will take disciplinary action, including deportation,” University of Missouri Chancellor Mun Choi said in a statement. “It is a shame that we had to take these actions, but we felt it was necessary. These students voluntarily put others at risk, and this is never acceptable.”

The university is also investigating 11 student organizations for possible violations. About 470 student cases were reported for possible violations from August 16 to September 11, the university said. The school had 332 active COVID-19 cases on Monday.

Customs seizes 500,000 counterfeit N-95 masks bound for New Jersey

US customs and border protection officers in Chicago seized a shipment containing 500,000 counterfeit N-95 respiratory masks arriving from Shenzhen, China, the agency announced on Monday.

Officers removed 30 of the masks and sent them to a CDC testing office in West Virginia, which found that 10 percent of the respirators tested had a filter efficiency rating of less than 95 percent. The package, worth $ 3 million, was intended for a company in Manalapan, New Jersey, the agency said.

“Our CBP officers working with (Homeland Security Investigation) partners were able to prevent these defective masks from being sold under the pretext of fully protecting Americans,” Area Port Director Shane Campbell said in a statement. of Chicago. “These masks did not meet the safety standards outlined by the CDC, which puts the public at risk, putting everyone’s health and well-being at risk.”

The agency said it is targeting imports and exports that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods because some organizations are attempting to exploit the limited supply of certain medical goods during the pandemic.

The death toll from marriage-related viruses in Maine rises to 7

At least seven people have died in connection with a coronavirus outbreak that continues to make people ill in Maine following a wedding reception held over the summer that violated state virus guidelines, public health authorities said. .

The August wedding reception at Millinocket’s Big Moose Inn is linked to more than 175 confirmed cases of the virus, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

Maine authorities have identified overlaps between the wedding reception and outbreaks elsewhere in the state. An employee of the York County Jail attended the wedding, Maine CDC officials said. Maine health officials also said that a staff member from a Madison rehabilitation center, which is the site of six of the seven deaths, attended the event.

– The Associated Press

COVID-19 may have been in the United States as early as December, the study says

UCLA researchers say the coronavirus may have been in the country as early as December, weeks before U.S. health officials announced the nation’s first case, according to a study in this week’s Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the United States in January. But researchers analyzing electronic health records found that there has been a significant increase in patients with cough and acute respiratory failure in UCLA Health hospitals and clinics since the end of December.

This increase in patients with these symptoms continued through February and represents an unexpected 50% increase in these cases over the same time period in each of the previous five years, according to the study.

You have been removed from the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut quarantine order

Travelers from California and five other states it will no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, according to the latest list released Tuesday.

New Jersey and Connecticut have confirmed that the nation’s most populous state is no longer included in the three-state travel order, which requires anyone traveling from states with moderate to high rates of positive COVID-19 cases to isolate themselves. for 14 days, unless you are passing through or arriving for essential work.

The quarantine list is now in 30 states and territories after Maryland, Ohio, Nevada, Hawaii, and Minnesota were also removed. Puerto Rico was re-added after it was removed last week.

– Jon Campbell, New York State team

Disneyland, Universal Studios ask the governor to reopen the theme parks

After six months of closure, Disneyland and Universal Studios are asking California Governor Gavin Newsom to allow theme parks in the state to reopen.

The California Attractions and Parks Association, which represents popular theme parks such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland, Disneyland and Universal Studios, on Monday called on the governor to implement COVID-19 regulations to allow parks to return to work.

“California amusement parks urge the Governor to quickly enact amusement park guidelines so these vital community attractions can reopen their doors responsibly and get residents back to work,” said Erin Guerrero, director executive of the CAPA, in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.

– Rasha Ali

The blockade of New York led to a 70% drop in the spread of COVID-19, according to a study

According to scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the city public, mandatory stay-at-home measures contributed to an approximately 70% reduction in COVID-19 transmission in New York City during the wave of spring pandemic from March to June. Department of health.

Widespread use of face covers contributed to a further 7% reduction in transmission, and a 20% reduction among people aged 65 and over during the first month of face cover was mandatory in the public places.

“Overall, our study supports the need for more interventions,” said lead author Dr. Wan Yang, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. “We need to implement all of these simultaneously to effectively mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The study appears prior to peer review in the medRxiv prepress server, however, the researchers said it is in line with previous modeling studies which estimate that blocks have reduced transmission in Wuhan, China, Italy and France.

Experts predict more deaths if rich countries hoard COVID-19 vaccines

Researchers found that if rich countries monopolize COVID-19 vaccines instead of distributing them equally, it could cause twice as many coronavirus deaths, according to models from the MOBS Lab of Northeastern University.

The models found that 61% of deaths could be avoided if the vaccine were distributed to all countries in proportion to the population, while only 33% of deaths would be avoided if high-income countries had the vaccines first.

There are many confounding factors in this model, including how many people will be immune to the virus in the coming months, how efficient the vaccine will actually be, and how countries’ distribution resources will be.

But the researchers still say the results are clear: “When countries cooperate, the death toll is halved,” said Matteo Chinazzi, senior researcher.

The coronavirus vaccines developed in China could be ready by November

An official from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that four COVID-19 vaccines in the final phase of clinical trials could be ready for the general public in November or December, according to Reuters.

CDC chief biosecurity expert Guizhen Wu said in an interview on state TV on Monday that he took one of the experimental vaccines in April and had no adverse effects, but did not specify which vaccine he took.

At least three Chinese candidate vaccines have already been offered to essential workers as part of an emergency program in July.

Trump admin. still owes USPS $ 28M for COVID-19 postcards

The Trump administration has not yet reimbursed the U.S. postal service more than six months after the agency sent out the COVID-19 guidelines on postcards with the president’s name.

USA TODAY reported earlier this year that the total cost of printing and shipping postcards was $ 28 million, with a total printing cost of $ 4.6 million, and the Trump administration was negotiating reimbursement with the postal service for the cost.

The postcards were sent to more than 138 million residential addresses.

“President Trump’s coronavirus guidelines for America” ​​were printed in capital letters on one side of the postcard. The other side of the card included social distancing recommendations, encouraging Americans to avoid restaurants and bars, to forgo discretionary travel, and to cancel social gatherings with more than 10 people.

– Nicholas Wu

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press

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