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Florida Breaks Its Record for Most Coronavirus Deaths in a Day Florida Breaks Its Record for Most Coronavirus Deaths in a Day
(about 1 hour later)
After Florida reported a record 132 deaths on Tuesday, a group of mayors from Miami-Dade County, the center of the state’s crisis, warned Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, that local officials are running out of time to avoid another painful economic closure.After Florida reported a record 132 deaths on Tuesday, a group of mayors from Miami-Dade County, the center of the state’s crisis, warned Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, that local officials are running out of time to avoid another painful economic closure.
“There is a significant amount of pressure for us to shut down,” Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami told Mr. DeSantis at an event in the city. “We have between one week and four weeks to get this thing under control, or we will have to take some aggressive measures.”“There is a significant amount of pressure for us to shut down,” Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami told Mr. DeSantis at an event in the city. “We have between one week and four weeks to get this thing under control, or we will have to take some aggressive measures.”
The mayors took issue with messaging about the pandemic, which has been confusing and inconsistent, from President Trump on down, they said. Mr. DeSantis, who notably wore a mask while speaking indoors, tried to acknowledge how difficult the pandemic has been for Floridians, adding that “people are apprehensive.”The mayors took issue with messaging about the pandemic, which has been confusing and inconsistent, from President Trump on down, they said. Mr. DeSantis, who notably wore a mask while speaking indoors, tried to acknowledge how difficult the pandemic has been for Floridians, adding that “people are apprehensive.”
“We have to have a greater sense of urgency,” said Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who told the governor point-blank that he should endorse a mask order.“We have to have a greater sense of urgency,” said Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who told the governor point-blank that he should endorse a mask order.
It was an unusual public chiding — though delivered with a light touch — for Mr. DeSantis. The death record in Florida comes as the number of U.S. deaths has begun to rise again after weeks of declines.It was an unusual public chiding — though delivered with a light touch — for Mr. DeSantis. The death record in Florida comes as the number of U.S. deaths has begun to rise again after weeks of declines.
More than 900 coronavirus deaths were announced in the U.S. on Tuesday, including single-day records in Alabama and Utah; Oregon matched its daily death record.More than 900 coronavirus deaths were announced in the U.S. on Tuesday, including single-day records in Alabama and Utah; Oregon matched its daily death record.
The nation was averaging 724 deaths a day as of Monday, up from below 500 a day as July began. While deaths are up nationally, they remain far below the more than 2,200 deaths recorded each day during the deadliest phase of the outbreak in April. But 23 states are reporting more deaths each day than they were two weeks ago, according to a Times database.The nation was averaging 724 deaths a day as of Monday, up from below 500 a day as July began. While deaths are up nationally, they remain far below the more than 2,200 deaths recorded each day during the deadliest phase of the outbreak in April. But 23 states are reporting more deaths each day than they were two weeks ago, according to a Times database.
By Tuesday evening, more than 65,500 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the United States, the second-highest daily total of the pandemic. California, Texas, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma all set single-day case records.By Tuesday evening, more than 65,500 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the United States, the second-highest daily total of the pandemic. California, Texas, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma all set single-day case records.
In some states, like Texas, where the death toll is sharply rising, local officials have responded by putting refrigerated trucks on standby, in order to increase morgue space.In some states, like Texas, where the death toll is sharply rising, local officials have responded by putting refrigerated trucks on standby, in order to increase morgue space.
The preparations have only just started, and officials said the situation has not reached the same level of urgency it did in New York City during the early stages of the pandemic, when the city had set up 45 mobile morgues and allowed crematories to work around the clock.The preparations have only just started, and officials said the situation has not reached the same level of urgency it did in New York City during the early stages of the pandemic, when the city had set up 45 mobile morgues and allowed crematories to work around the clock.
Officials in Texas said the refrigerated trucks were being readied because hospital morgues were filling up and nearing capacity, and additional space would be needed to store bodies.Officials in Texas said the refrigerated trucks were being readied because hospital morgues were filling up and nearing capacity, and additional space would be needed to store bodies.
Eight FEMA vehicles known as mortuary-support trailers were delivered to state officials in early April and 14 additional vehicles are en route, a FEMA spokesman said Tuesday. State and local leaders will determine where the additional trailers will be sent.Eight FEMA vehicles known as mortuary-support trailers were delivered to state officials in early April and 14 additional vehicles are en route, a FEMA spokesman said Tuesday. State and local leaders will determine where the additional trailers will be sent.
In Arizona, two hospital systems in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, also plan to use refrigerated trucks. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix has said that the county morgue is near capacity and officials are working to secure refrigerator trucksIn Arizona, two hospital systems in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, also plan to use refrigerated trucks. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix has said that the county morgue is near capacity and officials are working to secure refrigerator trucks
In Florida, Republican officials are planning to move the three nights of their national convention in Jacksonville from an indoor arena to an outdoor venue, Maggie Haberman reports. It’s still unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the events, people familiar with the discussions said Tuesday.In Florida, Republican officials are planning to move the three nights of their national convention in Jacksonville from an indoor arena to an outdoor venue, Maggie Haberman reports. It’s still unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the events, people familiar with the discussions said Tuesday.
After Mr. Trump pushed to move the convention to Florida from Charlotte, N.C., last month after North Carolina officials refused to guarantee a convention free of social distancing and other health measures, the fortunes of the two states have diverged. Since June 11, the day the convention was officially moved, the average number of cases reported daily in Florida has grown eightfold.After Mr. Trump pushed to move the convention to Florida from Charlotte, N.C., last month after North Carolina officials refused to guarantee a convention free of social distancing and other health measures, the fortunes of the two states have diverged. Since June 11, the day the convention was officially moved, the average number of cases reported daily in Florida has grown eightfold.
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.
The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Officials said the change should help ease data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and the drug remdesivir.Officials said the change should help ease data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and the drug remdesivir.
Hospital officials want to streamline reporting, saying it will relieve them from responding to requests from multiple federal agencies, though some say the C.D.C. — an agency that prizes its scientific independence — should be in charge of gathering the information.Hospital officials want to streamline reporting, saying it will relieve them from responding to requests from multiple federal agencies, though some say the C.D.C. — an agency that prizes its scientific independence — should be in charge of gathering the information.
“The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,” said Dr. Bala Hota, the chief analytics officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.“The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,” said Dr. Bala Hota, the chief analytics officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Public health experts have long expressed concern that the administration is politicizing science and undermining the disease control centers; four former C.D.C. directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.Public health experts have long expressed concern that the administration is politicizing science and undermining the disease control centers; four former C.D.C. directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.
“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”
The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
After Dr. Birx complained that hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated.After Dr. Birx complained that hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated.
But news of the change came as a shock inside the C.D.C., which has long been responsible for gathering public health data, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. A spokesman for the disease control centers referred questions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which has not responded to a request for comment.But news of the change came as a shock inside the C.D.C., which has long been responsible for gathering public health data, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. A spokesman for the disease control centers referred questions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which has not responded to a request for comment.
The dispute exposes the vast gaps in the government’s ability to collect and manage health data — an antiquated system at best, experts say.The dispute exposes the vast gaps in the government’s ability to collect and manage health data — an antiquated system at best, experts say.
The Trump administration has walked back a policy that would have stripped international college students of their U.S. visas if their coursework was entirely online, ending a proposed plan that had thrown the higher education world into turmoil.The Trump administration has walked back a policy that would have stripped international college students of their U.S. visas if their coursework was entirely online, ending a proposed plan that had thrown the higher education world into turmoil.
The policy, announced on July 6, prompted an immediate lawsuit from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and on Tuesday, the government and the universities reached a resolution, according to the judge overseeing the case.The policy, announced on July 6, prompted an immediate lawsuit from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and on Tuesday, the government and the universities reached a resolution, according to the judge overseeing the case.
The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March amid the pandemic that gave international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March amid the pandemic that gave international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.
“Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace” under the resolution, Judge Allison Burroughs said, adding that the agreement applied nationwide.“Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace” under the resolution, Judge Allison Burroughs said, adding that the agreement applied nationwide.
The initial guidance, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would have required foreign students to take at least one in-person class or leave the country. Students who returned to their home countries when schools closed in March would not have been allowed back into the United States if their fall classes were solely online.The initial guidance, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would have required foreign students to take at least one in-person class or leave the country. Students who returned to their home countries when schools closed in March would not have been allowed back into the United States if their fall classes were solely online.
The higher education world was thrown into disarray, with most colleges already well into planning for the return to campus in the fall. Two days after it was announced, Harvard and M.I.T. filed the first of several lawsuits seeking to stop it.The higher education world was thrown into disarray, with most colleges already well into planning for the return to campus in the fall. Two days after it was announced, Harvard and M.I.T. filed the first of several lawsuits seeking to stop it.
The attorneys general of at least 18 states, including Massachusetts and California, also sued, charging that the policy was reckless, cruel and senseless. Scores of universities threw their support behind the litigation, along with organizations representing international students.The attorneys general of at least 18 states, including Massachusetts and California, also sued, charging that the policy was reckless, cruel and senseless. Scores of universities threw their support behind the litigation, along with organizations representing international students.
On Tuesday, more than a dozen technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, also came out in support of the Harvard and M.I.T. lawsuit, arguing the policy would harm their businesses.On Tuesday, more than a dozen technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, also came out in support of the Harvard and M.I.T. lawsuit, arguing the policy would harm their businesses.
Responding to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, the city government on Wednesday raised its pandemic alert level to “red,” its highest, although the caution appeared to change little in terms of behavior.Responding to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, the city government on Wednesday raised its pandemic alert level to “red,” its highest, although the caution appeared to change little in terms of behavior.
Tokyo recorded two consecutive daily records last week, with a peak of 243 cases Friday. So far, the sprawling metropolis of 14 million has reported a total of just under 8,200 cases and 325 deaths since February.Tokyo recorded two consecutive daily records last week, with a peak of 243 cases Friday. So far, the sprawling metropolis of 14 million has reported a total of just under 8,200 cases and 325 deaths since February.
Officials had debated whether to raise Tokyo’s alert level, given that a large proportion of the new cases were among younger people who had only mild symptoms, Dr. Norio Ohmagari, director of infectious diseases at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, told reporters on Wednesday.Officials had debated whether to raise Tokyo’s alert level, given that a large proportion of the new cases were among younger people who had only mild symptoms, Dr. Norio Ohmagari, director of infectious diseases at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, told reporters on Wednesday.
In April, when Tokyo was put under a state of emergency, more older people were infected and a higher proportion suffered serious illness and required hospitalization and ventilators. “This time is quite different from the last wave,” Dr. Ohmagari said.In April, when Tokyo was put under a state of emergency, more older people were infected and a higher proportion suffered serious illness and required hospitalization and ventilators. “This time is quite different from the last wave,” Dr. Ohmagari said.
He said that while 40 percent of the new cases were among people in their 20s, some infections were now being detected among people in their 60s and 70s, as well as in children under 10.He said that while 40 percent of the new cases were among people in their 20s, some infections were now being detected among people in their 60s and 70s, as well as in children under 10.
Dr. Ohmagari said that it appeared many people were becoming infected after visiting nightlife venues, but that infections were also being detected in offices, restaurants, nursing homes, day care centers and kindergartens, as well as in multiple wards around Tokyo.Dr. Ohmagari said that it appeared many people were becoming infected after visiting nightlife venues, but that infections were also being detected in offices, restaurants, nursing homes, day care centers and kindergartens, as well as in multiple wards around Tokyo.
“We cannot deny the fact that we have higher numbers,” he said. “We have to say the infection is spreading.”“We cannot deny the fact that we have higher numbers,” he said. “We have to say the infection is spreading.”
Still, the government took no concrete action corresponding with the raised alert. Yuriko Koike and restaurants that “don’t take enough measures to prevent infections,” but made no mention of asking any businesses to close down as she had during the state of emergency.Still, the government took no concrete action corresponding with the raised alert. Yuriko Koike and restaurants that “don’t take enough measures to prevent infections,” but made no mention of asking any businesses to close down as she had during the state of emergency.
Tokyo’s move came as the authorities in Okinawa reported an additional 36 infections at a United States Marine base on the southern island, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136, according to the national public broadcaster NHK. . Tokyo’s move came as the authorities in Okinawa reported an additional 36 infections at a United States Marine base on the southern island, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136 since March. .
U.S. ROUNDUPU.S. ROUNDUP
As California grapples with a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases, officials announced a rollback on its testing guidelines that will now prioritize patients who display symptoms of the virus.As California grapples with a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases, officials announced a rollback on its testing guidelines that will now prioritize patients who display symptoms of the virus.
Though the state’s testing capacity has increased, “new national supply chain challenges and large volumes of specimens sent to commercial laboratories have resulted in growing delays in processing times,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s head of health and human services, said in a statement on Tuesday.Though the state’s testing capacity has increased, “new national supply chain challenges and large volumes of specimens sent to commercial laboratories have resulted in growing delays in processing times,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s head of health and human services, said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said the new rules were needed “so that testing is readily available and affordable to those who need it, especially those communities experiencing the worst impacts.”He said the new rules were needed “so that testing is readily available and affordable to those who need it, especially those communities experiencing the worst impacts.”
Under the new guidelines, people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms, as well as people who live and work in certain high-risk places — like nursing homes, prisons and hospitals — will have priority over people who work at other essential businesses like grocery stores and who don’t have symptoms.Under the new guidelines, people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms, as well as people who live and work in certain high-risk places — like nursing homes, prisons and hospitals — will have priority over people who work at other essential businesses like grocery stores and who don’t have symptoms.
Previously, state and local officials had encouraged anyone who wanted to get tested to sign up. In a virtual news conference, Dr. Ghaly said California was also exploring opportunities for pooled testing, a strategy that could help identify infections in large groups more quickly.Previously, state and local officials had encouraged anyone who wanted to get tested to sign up. In a virtual news conference, Dr. Ghaly said California was also exploring opportunities for pooled testing, a strategy that could help identify infections in large groups more quickly.
The rollback on testing comes as more states around the country have scrambled to ramp up testing, which has resulted in tighter supply chains and longer turnaround times in the nation’s most populous state. As of Monday, California was averaging 8,334 new cases per day over the past week, compared with 3,041 new cases per day, on average, a month earlier, according to a New York Times database.The rollback on testing comes as more states around the country have scrambled to ramp up testing, which has resulted in tighter supply chains and longer turnaround times in the nation’s most populous state. As of Monday, California was averaging 8,334 new cases per day over the past week, compared with 3,041 new cases per day, on average, a month earlier, according to a New York Times database.
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday the most sweeping rollback yet of reopening plans.California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday the most sweeping rollback yet of reopening plans.
In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, President Trump was asked about a plan by the Los Angeles school district to go online-only in the fall. He called it a “mistake.”In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, President Trump was asked about a plan by the Los Angeles school district to go online-only in the fall. He called it a “mistake.”
“I would tell parents and teachers that you should find yourself a new person, whoever’s in charge of that decision, because it’s a terrible decision,” he said.“I would tell parents and teachers that you should find yourself a new person, whoever’s in charge of that decision, because it’s a terrible decision,” he said.
In other news from around the United States:In other news from around the United States:
North Carolina will allow schools to reopen in the fall, but at no more than half their usual capacity, the governor announced on Tuesday. He said districts could meet the capacity restriction by, for example, having students attend on alternate days. Everyone would have to wear masks. And districts could opt to continue with all-remote instruction, the governor said.North Carolina will allow schools to reopen in the fall, but at no more than half their usual capacity, the governor announced on Tuesday. He said districts could meet the capacity restriction by, for example, having students attend on alternate days. Everyone would have to wear masks. And districts could opt to continue with all-remote instruction, the governor said.
New York, grappling with how to keep the virus suppressed, will now require travelers from Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to also quarantine for 14 days. Delaware has been removed from the list of such states with accelerating outbreaks, which now number 22, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday. New Jersey and Connecticut are also asking travelers from those states to quarantine. Travelers arriving at New York airports starting Tuesday are required to fill out a form with their personal information and planned whereabouts, or face a $2,000 fine.New York, grappling with how to keep the virus suppressed, will now require travelers from Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to also quarantine for 14 days. Delaware has been removed from the list of such states with accelerating outbreaks, which now number 22, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday. New Jersey and Connecticut are also asking travelers from those states to quarantine. Travelers arriving at New York airports starting Tuesday are required to fill out a form with their personal information and planned whereabouts, or face a $2,000 fine.
More than 1,000 employees of the C.D.C. have signed a letter calling for the agency to address “a pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization” against Black employees. The pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated racial inequities in the United States. A C.D.C. spokesman said the C.D.C. director has already responded to the letter, but did not provide details.More than 1,000 employees of the C.D.C. have signed a letter calling for the agency to address “a pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization” against Black employees. The pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated racial inequities in the United States. A C.D.C. spokesman said the C.D.C. director has already responded to the letter, but did not provide details.
For the third time in its 120-year history, Philadelphia is canceling its Mummers Parade as the city is banning all public events involving more than 50 people for the next seven months.For the third time in its 120-year history, Philadelphia is canceling its Mummers Parade as the city is banning all public events involving more than 50 people for the next seven months.
A Michigan man was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday after the authorities said that man got into a heated argument with a fellow customer over the man’s refusal to wear a mask inside a store as he was required to under a new state order.A Michigan man was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday after the authorities said that man got into a heated argument with a fellow customer over the man’s refusal to wear a mask inside a store as he was required to under a new state order.
Global roundupGlobal roundup
With a lengthy shutdown of her electric bike tour company in western Ireland only recently ended, Janet Cavanagh is not eager to turn away customers, but she found herself doing just that last weekend.With a lengthy shutdown of her electric bike tour company in western Ireland only recently ended, Janet Cavanagh is not eager to turn away customers, but she found herself doing just that last weekend.
They were two visitors from the United States, she said, and they didn’t seem to think that Ireland’s quarantine rules for new arrivals applied to them. Ms. Cavanagh felt a responsibility to decline their business for the safety of her staff and community.They were two visitors from the United States, she said, and they didn’t seem to think that Ireland’s quarantine rules for new arrivals applied to them. Ms. Cavanagh felt a responsibility to decline their business for the safety of her staff and community.
“You don’t want to be responsible for endangering anybody here, because you have to live here,” she said.“You don’t want to be responsible for endangering anybody here, because you have to live here,” she said.
Americans may not be the only tourists ignoring the requirement that people arriving in Ireland isolate themselves for 14 days, but most of the public complaints about quarantine violators involve people from the United States.Americans may not be the only tourists ignoring the requirement that people arriving in Ireland isolate themselves for 14 days, but most of the public complaints about quarantine violators involve people from the United States.
And with the pandemic still raging in much of the United States, unlike in Europe, Americans are among those most likely to be infected.And with the pandemic still raging in much of the United States, unlike in Europe, Americans are among those most likely to be infected.
While most European Union countries have barred travelers from the United States, the Irish government merely advises against nonessential travel to the country.While most European Union countries have barred travelers from the United States, the Irish government merely advises against nonessential travel to the country.
In County Clare, Simon Haden, the owner of Gregans Castle Hotel, said he had recently received a call from Americans who wanted to book a reservation in his restaurant soon after arriving. Like Ms. Cavanagh, he turned them away.In County Clare, Simon Haden, the owner of Gregans Castle Hotel, said he had recently received a call from Americans who wanted to book a reservation in his restaurant soon after arriving. Like Ms. Cavanagh, he turned them away.
“The first thing I want to see is American guests return,” Mr. Haden said. “But not if it’s going to put the health and safety of our guests, our staff, the community under threat after the sacrifices we’ve made.”“The first thing I want to see is American guests return,” Mr. Haden said. “But not if it’s going to put the health and safety of our guests, our staff, the community under threat after the sacrifices we’ve made.”
Updated July 7, 2020
The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
Scientists around the country have tried to identify everyday materials that do a good job of filtering microscopic particles. In recent tests, HEPA furnace filters scored high, as did vacuum cleaner bags, fabric similar to flannel pajamas and those of 600-count pillowcases. Other materials tested included layered coffee filters and scarves and bandannas. These scored lower, but still captured a small percentage of particles.
A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
In other news from around the world:In other news from around the world:
The authorities on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday confirmed 36 more infections at a United States Marine base, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136, the national broadcaster NHK reported.The authorities on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday confirmed 36 more infections at a United States Marine base, bringing the number of cases at U.S. bases on the island to 136, the national broadcaster NHK reported.
In the Philippines, the Defense Department began a two-day lockdown on Wednesday after several employees tested positive for the virus, including the top aide to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.In the Philippines, the Defense Department began a two-day lockdown on Wednesday after several employees tested positive for the virus, including the top aide to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
France celebrated its roughly 1.8 million public health workers as heroes during Bastille Day celebrations on Tuesday, a day after granting them 8 billion euros ($9.06 billion) in pay raises. President Emmanuel Macron also said on Tuesday that he wanted to make mask wearing mandatory in enclosed public spaces, perhaps as soon as August.France celebrated its roughly 1.8 million public health workers as heroes during Bastille Day celebrations on Tuesday, a day after granting them 8 billion euros ($9.06 billion) in pay raises. President Emmanuel Macron also said on Tuesday that he wanted to make mask wearing mandatory in enclosed public spaces, perhaps as soon as August.
The Maldives, a nation composed of more than a thousand tiny, idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean, was scheduled to reopen its border on Wednesday to international tourists with confirmed bookings at resorts and hotels on otherwise uninhabited islands.The Maldives, a nation composed of more than a thousand tiny, idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean, was scheduled to reopen its border on Wednesday to international tourists with confirmed bookings at resorts and hotels on otherwise uninhabited islands.
Researchers on Tuesday reported strong evidence that the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus. A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said the doctor who led the research team. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment, the doctor said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy. The virus appeared to have been transmitted through the placenta.Researchers on Tuesday reported strong evidence that the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus. A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said the doctor who led the research team. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment, the doctor said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy. The virus appeared to have been transmitted through the placenta.
Relations between China and the United States are in free fall, laying the foundation for a confrontation that will have many of the characteristics of the Cold War — and the dangers.Relations between China and the United States are in free fall, laying the foundation for a confrontation that will have many of the characteristics of the Cold War — and the dangers.
The relationship is increasingly imbued with deep distrust and animosity as the two superpowers jockey for primacy, especially in areas where their interests collide: cyberspace and outer space, the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and even in the Persian Gulf.The relationship is increasingly imbued with deep distrust and animosity as the two superpowers jockey for primacy, especially in areas where their interests collide: cyberspace and outer space, the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and even in the Persian Gulf.
And with the world distracted by the pandemic, China has wielded its military might, as it did by testing its disputed frontier with India in April and May. That led to the first deadly clash there since 1975.And with the world distracted by the pandemic, China has wielded its military might, as it did by testing its disputed frontier with India in April and May. That led to the first deadly clash there since 1975.
Now the pandemic and China’s recent aggressive actions on its borders have turned existing fissures into chasms that could be difficult to overcome, no matter the outcome of this year’s American presidential election.Now the pandemic and China’s recent aggressive actions on its borders have turned existing fissures into chasms that could be difficult to overcome, no matter the outcome of this year’s American presidential election.
From Beijing’s perspective, it is the United States that has plunged relations to what China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said last week was their lowest point since the countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1979. Beijing accuses the Trump administration of attacking China to detract from its failures to contain the virus.From Beijing’s perspective, it is the United States that has plunged relations to what China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said last week was their lowest point since the countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1979. Beijing accuses the Trump administration of attacking China to detract from its failures to contain the virus.
President Trump, for his part, has called the contagion the “Chinese virus” and accused the World Health Organization of helping Beijing cover up the early days of the coronavirus epidemic in China.President Trump, for his part, has called the contagion the “Chinese virus” and accused the World Health Organization of helping Beijing cover up the early days of the coronavirus epidemic in China.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump referred to the pandemic as “the plague pouring in from China,” and said that the Chinese “could have stopped it.”On Tuesday, Mr. Trump referred to the pandemic as “the plague pouring in from China,” and said that the Chinese “could have stopped it.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the United States was “unequivocally” seeing a rise in coronavirus infections, continuing to put him at odds with Mr. Trump’s reassurances that more cases are the product of increased testing.Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the United States was “unequivocally” seeing a rise in coronavirus infections, continuing to put him at odds with Mr. Trump’s reassurances that more cases are the product of increased testing.
“There is no doubt that there are more infections, because the percentage is increasing,” Dr. Fauci said at a digital event sponsored by Georgetown University, referring to the ballooning rate of positive test results in many states. He added that the spike in cases across the country would inevitably be followed by more hospitalizations and deaths.“There is no doubt that there are more infections, because the percentage is increasing,” Dr. Fauci said at a digital event sponsored by Georgetown University, referring to the ballooning rate of positive test results in many states. He added that the spike in cases across the country would inevitably be followed by more hospitalizations and deaths.
But the younger average age of those infected in recent weeks, he said, would likely sustain mortality rates lower than those several months ago.But the younger average age of those infected in recent weeks, he said, would likely sustain mortality rates lower than those several months ago.
In a question about the politicization of coronavirus information, one of the event’s hosts mentioned the White House’s recent anonymously-attributed distribution of what it said were Dr. Fauci’s misjudgments in the early days of the coronavirus. (Several White House officials this week have denied any attempts to undermine Dr. Fauci, but Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications and one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted advisers, undercut that message by sharing an insulting Facebook cartoon. )In a question about the politicization of coronavirus information, one of the event’s hosts mentioned the White House’s recent anonymously-attributed distribution of what it said were Dr. Fauci’s misjudgments in the early days of the coronavirus. (Several White House officials this week have denied any attempts to undermine Dr. Fauci, but Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications and one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted advisers, undercut that message by sharing an insulting Facebook cartoon. )
Dr. Fauci was asked whom Americans should trust.Dr. Fauci was asked whom Americans should trust.
“You can trust respected medical authorities. You know, I believe I’m one of them. So I think you can trust me,” Dr. Fauci said, grinning coyly. “For the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth.”“You can trust respected medical authorities. You know, I believe I’m one of them. So I think you can trust me,” Dr. Fauci said, grinning coyly. “For the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth.”
And he spoke about the importance of the World Health Organization, which Mr. Trump has criticized repeatedly and moved to withdraw from amid the pandemic.And he spoke about the importance of the World Health Organization, which Mr. Trump has criticized repeatedly and moved to withdraw from amid the pandemic.
“They are an imperfect organization,” Dr. Fauci said. “They have made mistakes, but I would like to see the mistakes corrected and for them to be much more in line with the kinds of things that we need.”“They are an imperfect organization,” Dr. Fauci said. “They have made mistakes, but I would like to see the mistakes corrected and for them to be much more in line with the kinds of things that we need.”
“There are some very good people at the W.H.O.,’’ he said. “So I hope this kind of tension between the United States and the W.H.O. somehow ultimately gets settled in a favorable way, because the world does need a W.H.O. for outbreaks like this.”“There are some very good people at the W.H.O.,’’ he said. “So I hope this kind of tension between the United States and the W.H.O. somehow ultimately gets settled in a favorable way, because the world does need a W.H.O. for outbreaks like this.”
An experimental coronavirus vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna provoked promising immune responses and appeared safe in the first 45 people who received it, researchers reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.An experimental coronavirus vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna provoked promising immune responses and appeared safe in the first 45 people who received it, researchers reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Moderna’s vaccine, developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans, and the company announced on Tuesday that large, Phase 3 tests would begin on July 27, involving 30,000 people. The vaccine uses genetic material from the virus, called mRNA, to prompt the immune system to fight the virus.Moderna’s vaccine, developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans, and the company announced on Tuesday that large, Phase 3 tests would begin on July 27, involving 30,000 people. The vaccine uses genetic material from the virus, called mRNA, to prompt the immune system to fight the virus.
The report Tuesday provided details on findings the company announced on May 18 in a news release that was criticized for lacking data. Moderna defended itself at the time, saying that as a publicly traded company it had a legal obligation to disclose results that could affect its share price, and that the actual data would be published later.The report Tuesday provided details on findings the company announced on May 18 in a news release that was criticized for lacking data. Moderna defended itself at the time, saying that as a publicly traded company it had a legal obligation to disclose results that could affect its share price, and that the actual data would be published later.
The results are from an early, Phase 1 study that was designed to test low, medium and high doses of the vaccine to gauge both its safety and its ability to create immunity. The participants were 45 healthy adults, ages 18 to 55, who received two vaccinations 28 days apart.The results are from an early, Phase 1 study that was designed to test low, medium and high doses of the vaccine to gauge both its safety and its ability to create immunity. The participants were 45 healthy adults, ages 18 to 55, who received two vaccinations 28 days apart.
After the second shot, all the participants developed so-called neutralizing antibodies, which can inactivate the virus in lab tests.After the second shot, all the participants developed so-called neutralizing antibodies, which can inactivate the virus in lab tests.
Updated July 7, 2020
The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
Scientists around the country have tried to identify everyday materials that do a good job of filtering microscopic particles. In recent tests, HEPA furnace filters scored high, as did vacuum cleaner bags, fabric similar to flannel pajamas and those of 600-count pillowcases. Other materials tested included layered coffee filters and scarves and bandannas. These scored lower, but still captured a small percentage of particles.
A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
More than half the participants had side effects, including fatigue, chills, headaches, muscle aches and pain at the injection site. Some had fever. One person who received the low dose developed hives and was withdrawn from the study. None of the side effects was considered serious.More than half the participants had side effects, including fatigue, chills, headaches, muscle aches and pain at the injection site. Some had fever. One person who received the low dose developed hives and was withdrawn from the study. None of the side effects was considered serious.
Experts not involved with the study said that the results were encouraging, but that it was still early.Experts not involved with the study said that the results were encouraging, but that it was still early.
Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the neutralizing antibodies and other immune responses were a good sign, but that it was not known yet whether they would actually protect people against the virus, or how long they would last.Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the neutralizing antibodies and other immune responses were a good sign, but that it was not known yet whether they would actually protect people against the virus, or how long they would last.
He said that only a large controlled study could determine whether the vaccine is truly safe and effective.He said that only a large controlled study could determine whether the vaccine is truly safe and effective.
Otherwise, he said, “it’s reading the tea leaves.”Otherwise, he said, “it’s reading the tea leaves.”
After months of equivocation over mandating face coverings to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain announced on Tuesday that people in England would be required to wear masks inside shops and supermarkets.After months of equivocation over mandating face coverings to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain announced on Tuesday that people in England would be required to wear masks inside shops and supermarkets.
The reversal, set to take effect next week, caps months of dithering over face coverings in England that many scientists found mystifying — and uneasily reminiscent of delays in imposing a lockdown in March, a decision that cost thousands of lives and has left Britain with one of the highest death rates in the world.The reversal, set to take effect next week, caps months of dithering over face coverings in England that many scientists found mystifying — and uneasily reminiscent of delays in imposing a lockdown in March, a decision that cost thousands of lives and has left Britain with one of the highest death rates in the world.
More than 50,000 people in Britain have died from the virus, the third-highest total in the world, and the majority of the deaths were in England.More than 50,000 people in Britain have died from the virus, the third-highest total in the world, and the majority of the deaths were in England.
In mandating face masks, England followed the path of other European countries, like Germany and Italy, and other parts of the United Kingdom, like Scotland, which had already mandated face coverings. (Each country in the United Kingdom has power over its own public health measures and has moved at different speeds on matters like face coverings and reopening shops.)In mandating face masks, England followed the path of other European countries, like Germany and Italy, and other parts of the United Kingdom, like Scotland, which had already mandated face coverings. (Each country in the United Kingdom has power over its own public health measures and has moved at different speeds on matters like face coverings and reopening shops.)
Unlike in the United States, where feelings about masks often fall along political lines, England’s hesitation stemmed in part from a scientific debate among advisers about the masks’ usefulness.Unlike in the United States, where feelings about masks often fall along political lines, England’s hesitation stemmed in part from a scientific debate among advisers about the masks’ usefulness.
Masks have been mandatory on public transportation in England since mid-June. The government had previously encouraged masks in enclosed spaces, but Mr. Johnson resisted wearing one himself until Friday.Masks have been mandatory on public transportation in England since mid-June. The government had previously encouraged masks in enclosed spaces, but Mr. Johnson resisted wearing one himself until Friday.
The government has indicated that the police, rather than shop owners, will enforce the new rules, with anyone who refuses facing a fine up to 100 pounds, or $125.The government has indicated that the police, rather than shop owners, will enforce the new rules, with anyone who refuses facing a fine up to 100 pounds, or $125.
Vigilant mask wearing may have spared nearly 140 people in Missouri who unknowingly went to two infected hair stylists but did not themselves get the virus, according to a report published Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The authors of the study, which includes members of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, cannot said they could not be certain about all the factors that may have helped avert an outbreak. But they pointed to mask policies in the city of Springfield and at the salon where the stylists worked, Great Clips.
The findings reinforce what scientists have been saying for months.
“Face masks are essential,” said Juan Gutiérrez, a mathematical biologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio who models coronavirus transmission, but wasn’t involved in the study. “This gives us a path to move forward.”
Both stylists fell ill in mid-May and continued to work with clients for about a week after their first symptoms, before their infections were confirmed. They came into close contact with 139 people.
None of these clients reported feeling sick in the weeks after they had been exposed, though not all of them responded to interview requests for the study. Of the 100 or so who did respond, 67 voluntarily agreed to be tested for the virus, and were found to be negative.
The researchers reported that the clients and their stylists wore masks for the duration of almost all the encounters documented by the study, with most opting for cloth coverings or surgical masks.
These products are imperfect. But several studies, including some initiated long before the pandemic’s start, have pointed to their usefulness in stymieing the spread of viruses from the wearer’s airway, Julian Tang, a virologist at the University of Leicester who wasn’t involved in the study, wrote in an email. To a lesser extent, they may also protect the user from incoming, virus-laden droplets and aerosols.
Many retailers across the United States have quietly stopped paying their employees “hero pay,” despite surging virus numbers across the country. Their rationale is that the panic buying that flooded stores during the early days of the pandemic has waned.
Stop & Shop is the latest retailer to end the 10 percent pay raise it previously gave its 56,000 employees, as an acknowledgment that their work was essential and appreciated. Amazon, Kroger and Albertsons have also ended pandemic hourly pay raises, though some of them continue to give out bonuses. ShopRite said it planned to end its $2-an-hour raise early next month.
Infection remains a very real threat, especially in environments like retail stores where it can be difficult to maintain social distance. And as cases rise in dozens of states, many workers say the job of the essential retail worker has actually become even more difficult.
The politicization of mask wearing has not helped. Store employees now risk heated and even violent confrontations when they remind customers and colleagues alike to cover their faces.
“What we are doing is still very risky,” said Eddie Quezada, a produce manager at a Stop & Shop store on Long Island who contracted the virus. “We should get at least something for that.”
But while health threats and other challenges for workers remain, the economics for their employers have changed. The surging sales of March, which allowed some retailers to pay for raises, have slumped at some stores.
An argument over mask wearing in a dairy store near Lansing, Mich., turned violent early on Tuesday, ending with one man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy and another treated for stab wounds.
The Eaton County authorities said the dispute erupted before 7 a.m. when Sean Ernest Ruis, 43, was in the store and not wearing a mask, as he was required to do under a state order that took effect early Monday. An older customer argued with Mr. Ruis about it, and the store refused to serve him.
Officials said that Mr. Ruis pulled out a knife and stabbed the older man, and then fled the scene, but was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy, who shot Mr. Ruis after he walked “towards the deputy with knife in hand.” Mr. Ruis died during surgery at a nearby hospital.
People have been arguing over compliance with mask-wearing orders and guidelines since the pandemic took hold. Though health experts stress that wearing face masks in public can greatly retard the spread of the coronavirus, some people resent being told to wear them, and others resent their refusal. Tempers have often flared, and arguments have sometimes turned violent.
As many U.S. courthouses try to reopen, people who work in the courts are coming down with the virus, forcing the buildings to close again.
In St. Louis, the federal courthouse closed Monday after a security guard tested positive and that person’s contacts had to be quarantined. In the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County, Ga., an employee came down with the virus, shutting the clerk’s office for two weeks. And in Kanawha County, W.Va., the court clerk’s office was shuttered abruptly on Monday after a worker tested positive.
“This emergency makes it unsafe for court personnel, attorneys, parties, and others to be at or near the Kanawha County Circuit Clerk’s office until negative test results are obtained for remaining employees,” the chief judge there said in an emergency order.
In Johnson County, Kan., where new infections are being reported at twice the rate they were two weeks ago, cases among court employees and their acquaintances prompted the chief judge to call off this week’s in-person hearings.
“We must be cautious and responsible to minimize exposure to ourselves, our staff and the public who use the courthouse facilities expecting to be safe,” court officials said in a statement. “We must remember we are still dealing with a highly contagious and unpredictable disease.
Researchers are reporting what they say is the first confirmed case of the virus being transmitted during pregnancy from a woman to her baby.
The baby, born in a Paris hospital in March, developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, but recovered without treatment, said Dr. Daniele De Luca, who led the research team and is chief of the division of pediatrics and neonatal critical care at Paris Saclay University Hospitals.
The baby, now more than three months old, is “very much improved, almost clinically normal,” Dr. De Luca said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is now completely healthy.
Dr. De Luca said the virus appeared to be transmitted through the placenta of the 23-year-old pregnant woman.
Since the pandemic began, there have been isolated cases of newborns testing positive for the virus, but there has not been enough evidence to rule out the possibility that the infants became infected by the mother after they were born, experts said. In this case, Dr. De Luca said, the team was able to test the placenta, amniotic fluid, cord blood and the baby’s blood.
The testing indicated that “the virus reaches the placenta and replicates there,” Dr. De Luca said. It can then be transmitted to a fetus, who “can get infected and have symptoms similar to adult Covid-19 patients.”
Dr. Yoel Sadovsky, executive director of Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study, said he thought the claim of placental transmission was “fairly convincing.” He said the relatively high levels of virus found in the placenta and the rising levels of virus in the baby, along with the baby’s symptoms “are all consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Still, Dr. Sadovsky said, it is important to note that cases of possible coronavirus transmission in utero appear to be extremely rare. With other viruses, including Zika and rubella, placental infection is much more common, he said. With the coronavirus, “we are trying to understand the opposite: what underlies the relative protection of the fetus and the placenta,” he said.
Revenue at Delta Air Lines declined by 88 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, reflecting what its chief executive described as the “truly staggering” toll the pandemic has had on the aviation industry. That decline contributed to a $5.7 billion quarterly loss, compared to last year’s $1.4 billion profit.
“Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The company’s quarterly losses were driven by a 93 percent decline in passengers, though they included a more than $2 billion write-down associated with investments in a trio of troubled foreign carriers: Latam Airlines Group, Grupo Aeroméxico and Virgin Atlantic.
More than 45,000 employees have taken temporary voluntary unpaid leave. Last week, United Airlines said it could furlough as many as 36,000 workers when federal stimulus funding for payroll runs out at the end of September. Delta has not yet detailed what impact the expiration of funds may have, though it did warn nearly 2,600 pilots last week that they could be furloughed.
Stocks fell on Tuesday amid a re-tightening of restrictions on businesses and fresh data showing slower-than-expected economic activity. The S&P 500 fell about half a percent in early trading. European markets were broadly lower, most by more than 1 percent and stocks in Asia also fell.
As the pandemic continues, many parents, struggling to balance work and child care, are hiring nannies again. But some parents are looking for new qualifications, including whether a caregiver had the virus, is willing to relocate or has teaching experience.As the pandemic continues, many parents, struggling to balance work and child care, are hiring nannies again. But some parents are looking for new qualifications, including whether a caregiver had the virus, is willing to relocate or has teaching experience.
Reporting was contributed by Liz Alderman, Sarah Almukhtar, Pam Belluck, Aurelien Breeden, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Michael Corkery, Jill Cowan, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Emily Flitter, Jacey Fortin, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Michael Gold, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Erica L. Green, Maggie Haberman, Shawn Hubler, Makiko Inoue, Mike Ives, Miriam Jordan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Benjamin Mueller, Azi Paybarah, Alan Rappeport, Dagny Salas, Nate Schweber, Michael D. Shear, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Mitch Smith, Megan Specia, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Lucy Tompkins, Hisako Ueno, Declan Walsh, Noah Weiland and Sameer Yasir. Reporting was contributed by Liz Alderman, Sarah Almukhtar, Pam Belluck, Aurelien Breeden, Niraj Chokshi, Michael Cooper, Michael Corkery, Jill Cowan, Reid J. Epstein, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Emily Flitter, Jacey Fortin, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Michael Gold, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Erica L. Green, Jason Gutierrez, Maggie Haberman, Shawn Hubler, Makiko Inoue, Mike Ives, Miriam Jordan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Dan Levin, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Benjamin Mueller, Azi Paybarah, Alan Rappeport, Dagny Salas, Nate Schweber, Michael D. Shear, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Mitch Smith, Megan Specia, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Lucy Tompkins, Hisako Ueno, Declan Walsh, Noah Weiland and Sameer Yasir.