Tag: rise

City Suspends Indoor Recreation Due To Rise In Covid-19 Cases

Oakland’s Town Camp Enrichment Program is being suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials announced Thursday.

The program provides indoor recreation to school-age youth from kindergarten through fifth grade. Outdoor youth programs, senior programs, library services and homeless services will still be provided, according to city officials.

According to Alameda County, 10,884 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Oakland as of Thursday. City officials said the recent spike in virus cases and possibly a further increase because of family holiday gatherings were behind the decision to suspend the enrichment program.

“We realize that this will be a burden on some families,” city officials said. “However, we feel it is gravely necessary for us to play our part to control the spread of COVID-19, for both the customers we serve AND our own staff and their families.”

In-person enrichment programs were provided during the summer and at recreation centers since the beginning of the school year.


“We will continue following Alameda County Public Health guidelines and protocols over the next few weeks and will communicate when we feel we can safely resume indoor programming,” city officials said.

Head Start in Oakland remains open for in-person as well as virtual services but will have an extended winter break in anticipation of the increase in coronavirus cases.

Head Start locations will be closed from Dec. 21 through Jan. 8 and open again on Jan. 11. Families will be served virtually during the winter break.

Senior centers are not open for in-person services but are delivering food and making it available for pickup as well as providing virtual classes and information and referral services. More information can be found at https://www.oaklandca.gov/topics/senior-services.

Housing services for homeless residents remain in operation. Anyone interested in providing food or supplies to help homeless residents is encouraged to work with a provider of those services to reduce the risk of exposing homeless residents to the coronavirus.

Sidewalk library services continue to be provided at 16 locations during limited hours while indoor areas will stay closed to the public.

Library materials can be returned at outdoor bookdrops. The materials are quarantined for 96 hours before they are checked in.

Oakland Public Library reference librarians can be reached by calling (510) 238-3134 or by email at [email protected]

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After Thanksgiving travel, Washington region braces for coronavirus rise

While it could be weeks before the region sees the effect of Thanksgiving travel, Bowser on Monday pointed to a nationwide jump in cases that is still being felt in the nation’s capital. She reminded residents to adhere to city travel guidelines, which call on those who visit a “high-risk” state to limit activities for 14 days when returning to the city. Residents and visitors can also get tested within three to five days of arriving and self-monitor for symptoms until receiving a negative test result.

“We expect that we’re going to have more cases,” Bowser said. “We’re also in a good position to do a lot of testing. We have a very robust testing program which we feel strongly will help us identify and isolate people who have been infected by covid.”

The seven-day average of new daily infections across the greater Washington region on Monday was 4,662, down slightly from a high of 4,989 recorded on Thanksgiving Day.

The region recorded 3,920 new coronavirus cases and 20 deaths on Monday. Maryland added 1,923 cases and 16 deaths, Virginia had 1,893 cases and four deaths, and D.C. recorded 104 cases and no additional deaths.

Neil J. Sehgal, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland, said it could be weeks before spikes in cases are seen that stem from Thanksgiving holiday travel. Health experts had long cautioned residents to avoid traveling over the traditionally busy period — and also to avoid hosting gatherings at home.

“With the public attitude we saw towards travel over Thanksgiving, it’s very hard to think we won’t see an impact,” Sehgal said. “Cases will undoubtedly increase in the D.C. region.”

Maryland health officials said Monday a child died Sunday of the coronavirus, becoming the pandemic’s youngest victim in the state. Officials didn’t release the child’s age, saying only that the victim was 9 or younger. No other information was available about the child or the nature of the death.

As caseloads continue to jump, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) wrote Monday to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, saying the state’s top priority is another wave of stimulus funding to help with the coronavirus fight.

Hogan, who has advocated for more federal funding since the spring, told the transition team that small businesses, as well as state and local governments, need money soon. Many state and local governments, which are unable to carry a budget deficit, face significant shortfalls as tax revenue declines and price tags rise for the public health response to the pandemic.

“States are already fighting an uphill battle to rebuild our economies and maintain services in education, health care, emergency operations and public safety,” Hogan wrote. “Without federal assistance, we could be forced to consider furloughs and job cuts, halts to construction, reductions in government services, and other measures that will cause an increase in unemployment and further delay the economic recovery.”

Hogan’s request comes as officials across the region make similar pleas for additional federal

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New Jersey drops travel formula, urges quarantine amid COVID-19 rise

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Traveling during the coronavirus outbreak? Here is the latest on NJ Transit and toll updates.

NorthJersey.com

With COVID-19 cases rising at an “alarming rate,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday abandoned the formula to determine which out-of-state travelers should quarantine once they reach the state.

Instead, Murphy said anyone coming into the Garden State from beyond the four-state region of Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania should isolate for 14 days.

“Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time,” Murphy said in a statement. 

His announcement came on one of the busiest traveling holidays of the year.  About 50 million people were expected to travel in the United States for Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

That would be a decline from past years, but federal and state officials, including Murphy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have urged people to stay home this year and keep their Thanksgiving celebrations to immediate family members and fewer than 10 people to avoid spreading the coronavirus. 

Murphy and the governors of Connecticut and New York first issued the travel advisory in June to try to limit the virus’ reach from states seeing surges similar to what the region experienced in the spring.

States would make the advisory list if they had an average daily number of new cases higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period or had at least a 10% positivity rate over seven days.

The list gradually grew through the summer into the fall until it had 47 states and jurisdictions as of Tuesday. 

But there was no enforcement in place, and in New Jersey, contact tracing and other public health efforts were minimal at airports.

Now that the second wave of cases is here — and counties throughout New Jersey would qualify for isolation — the metrics used for the travel advisory have been rendered obsolete. 

The Department of Health will issue more information “in the coming days,” Murphy said. 

New Jersey added 4,073 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 50 new lab-confirmed deaths and 2,902 hospitalizations. 

More: As COVID cases spike in NJ, contact tracing at EWR is minimal compared to NY, travelers say

More: NJ, NY quarantine advisory expands to 19 states including Delaware

Dustin Racioppi is a reporter in the New Jersey Statehouse. Email: [email protected]; Twitter: @dracioppi 

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Court filing says 345-unit apartment building would rise near Boscov’s

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Santa Claus has arrived at the Cherry Hill Mall, this time with measures intended to curb the spread of the coronvirus

Cherry Hill Courier-Post

MOORESTOWN – Three apartment buildings and a hotel could be developed at Moorestown Mall under a proposed agreement between the township and the shopping center’s owner.

The four-story apartment buildings would hold up to 1,065 homes, with 213 units to be affordable housing, according to a court filing.

The buildings would rise, along with a 112,000-square-foot hotel, in a three-phase development at the 84-acre mall property, the filing says.

The first phase calls for a 375-unit apartment building in a parking lot between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive, according to a concept plan that accompanies the proposed order. The 412,500-square-foot building would hold 75 affordable homes and a parking structure.

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The initial phase also envisions the hotel in a parking lot off Lenola Road, near the rear of the shopping center.

Those projects would require no demolition of the mall, according to the concept plan.

A concept plan for Moorestown Mall’s redevelopment shows an apartment building, left, between Boscov’s and Nixon Drive. A hotel would rise off Lenola Road. (Photo: Photo provided)

But the second phase would put a 345-unit apartment building on an area that includes the former Lord + Taylor department store and an adjacent parking lot.

The third phase calls for development of a similar building at a site that includes the former Sears store and a parking lot off Route 38.

The plans are outlined in a proposed consent order filed Friday before Superior Court Judge Paula Dow in Mount Holly.

The proposal was reached after mediation between the township, mall owner PREIT and Fair Share Housing Center, a Cherry Hill-based nonprofit that advocates for low-income residents.

Dow ordered the talks earlier this year after PREIT objected to a township plan to provide affordable housing there.

A proposed zoning overlay that received initial approval from township council in January would have required the mall’s demolition, according to PREIT.

The proposed agreement would “address a significant portion of the township’s ‘unmet need’ for affordable housing,” according to the filing.

It says the apartment buildings in the second and third phases would hold a total of 137 affordable units. Those buildings “may or may not” have parking structures.

“Phase One can stand on its own without the need for future development of Phase Two and Three,” it notes.

It adds the later phases are “more conceptual at this point” and “shall proceed at developer’s sole discretion.”

The proposed “affordable housing settlement agreement” also says the parties have recognized “at least initially, the existing portion of

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COVID-19 tests rise as people prepare for Thanksgiving travel

The number of coronavirus tests administered each day has increased by nearly 500,000 in the past month, spurred, in part, recently, by people preparing for holiday travel, despite pleas from federal health officials to stay home.

The week-long average number of coronavirus tests performed daily jumped from just more than 1.1 million to more than 1.6 million on average in the past seven days, according to COVID Tracking Project data.

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., require incoming travelers from states with especially high test positivity rates to produce proof that they have tested negative for the coronavirus. New York, for instance, requires visitors to provide their negative results from a test taken within three days before their arrival. Then, visitors have to quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, they have to test negative again before leaving quarantine.

College students are also flocking to testing centers ahead of the holiday, and schools are scrambling to get enough tests to meet the demand, the Financial Times reported. An estimated 100,000 students in the State University of New York system are expected to get a test. Thousands more at Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Michigan will undergo tests before the holiday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, is imploring people to skip travel this year and avoid gatherings with people from other households.

“What’s at stake is inadvertently someone is infected in that particular household, in that larger family, and then spreads it to others. They become infected, and then they go back to their own community, and then that infection is spread to someone else,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, told reporters Thursday.

To date, more than 11.8 million coronavirus infections and nearly 254,000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University.

Healthcare providers braced for further increases in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths Friday as cases across the U.S. have surged to record highs in recent weeks, Reuters reported. The week-long average number of cases confirmed daily reached 161,449 on Nov. 19, while nearly 2,000 deaths due to COVID-19 were confirmed Thursday, the highest since early May.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer, along with its partner BioNTech, submitted its vaccine candidate for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, becoming the first companies to do so since the pandemic began.

The FDA announced Friday evening that its panel of scientists evaluating the vaccine, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, will meet on Dec. 10 to begin the regulatory process.

“While we cannot predict how long the FDA’s review will take, the FDA will review the request as expeditiously as possible, while still doing so in a thorough and science-based manner, so that we can help make available a vaccine that the American people deserve as soon as possible,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

New research from the Centers for Disease Control

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Why Thanksgiving travel may lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases



Duration: 03:42

CNN’s Bianna Golodryga reports on the impacts holiday travel may have on the rising number of coronavirus infections, as students try to return home for Thanksgiving break.

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As virus cases rise, Southwest sees slower travel recovery | National News

Southwest said in a regulatory filing that October revenue is down about 65% from a year ago, and that November and December revenue will be off 60% to 65%. It is unclear whether the weakening booking trends is directly related to the surge in virus cases. Other industry officials left little doubt, however.

“Demand is softening, and in the wake of the news, it’s probably not hard to figure out why,” said Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America.

Air travel remains deeply depressed — in the U.S., it’s down about 65% from a year ago. Although that is improvement over April’s 95% decline, Calio told reporters that U.S. airlines are still losing about $180 million a day.

Airlines have added more flights for Thanksgiving, but health officials are warning against big gatherings over the holiday. This week, New York limited private gatherings to 10 people, even for outdoor events.

In the early days of the pandemic, several airlines tried to reassure frightened travelers by blocking some seats to create more space between passengers. As flights have become more crowded in recent months, airlines are losing money by leaving seats empty.

JetBlue is the latest U.S. carrier to abandon seating limits. Southwest will stop blocking middle seats on Dec. 1. The last holdouts — Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines — plan to eliminate their seating limits early next year.

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Coronavirus second wave | Himachal Pradesh declares ‘special vacation’ for educational institutes as cases rise



Coronavirus second wave | Himachal Pradesh declares 'special vacation' for educational institutes as cases rise


© Nachiket Deuskar
Coronavirus second wave | Himachal Pradesh declares ‘special vacation’ for educational institutes as cases rise

Amid spurt in coronavirus cases, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to shut all educational institutions from November 11 to 25. The decision to close schools and colleges for 15 days was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said.

Bhardwaj said the cabinet decided to grant “special vacation” to all government and private schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, engineering colleges and coaching institutes from November 11 to 25 for students, teaching and non-teaching staff in view of the COVID-19 situation, the Indian Express reported.

Click here for all the latest updates on coronavirus pandemic

The education institutions had opened on November after a gap of 7 months. Attendance was not mandatory and students were allowed to attend lectures only after written consent by parents.

Under the ‘Unlock 5.0’ guidelines, schools and coaching institutes were allowed to reopen in a phased manner from October 15.

States and Union Territories have been given a free hand to decide whether they want to reopen these institutions.

Himachal Pradesh reported 611 new cases on November 10, pushing the infection count to 26,809. The death toll has risen to 391.  The state currently has 5,365 active COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, India has recorded 86,36,012 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1,27,571 deaths so far. A total of 80,13,784 people have recuperated from COVID-19.

Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic here

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Australia shares rise as vaccine hopes lift energy, travel stocks

By Deepali Saxena



graphical user interface: FILE PHOTO: A board displaying stock prices is seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney


© Reuters/DAVID GRAY
FILE PHOTO: A board displaying stock prices is seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney

(Reuters) – Australian shares closed higher for a fourth straight session on Tuesday as progress in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine raised hopes of a swifter recovery in the global economy and bolstered hard-hit travel, tourism and energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index <.axjo>, however, ended 0.7% higher after jumping 2.2% to a more than eight-month high in early session as a slump in overnight bullion prices weighed on gold stocks <.axgd>.

Risk appetite got a boost globally after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech said a large-scale trial of their vaccine showed it was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.

“Investors appeared to have switched out from big tech into the long-underperformed traditional industries last night, kicking off a new chapter of sectoral rotation,” Margaret Yang, a strategist with news and research website DailyFX, wrote in a note.

“How to strike a balance between an escalating pandemic wave against vaccine hopes will likely be a main theme for trading till year end.”

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Tourism and travel-related stocks such as Flight Centre Travel Group , Sydney Airport Holdings and Qantas Airways rose more than 8% each on the news.

Energy stocks <.axej>, which have been among the worst hit by the pandemic due to a plunge in fuel demand, surged as much as 8.9% to record their best session since early April.

Nearly all stocks on the sub-index were higher, with Oil Search and Beach Energy climbing more than 14% each.

Heavyweight financial stocks <.axfj> rose to their highest levels since June 10, with the “Big Four” banks adding between 3% and 7.6%.

National Australia Bank ended 7.6% higher, overtaking Sydney-based rival Westpac Banking Corp as the country’s second-largest lender based on market value.

However, tech <.axij> and consumer <.axsj> stocks, which have so far benefited from an online shopping boom and panic buying triggered by the pandemic, dropped more than 3%.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index <.nz50> hit a record high before closing marginally higher at 12,612.39.

Investor attention will turn to country’s central bank meeting on Wednesday, where it is expected to unveil a new monetary policy tool to drive borrowing costs for lenders lower and maintain the official rate at 0.25%.

(Reporting by Deepali Saxena; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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As COVID-19 cases rise, Yale tightens restrictions on gatherings, travel; increases testing for some staff

Yale University in New Haven announced Friday it is tightening restrictions around gatherings and travel for all school community members in an effort to mitigate rising COVID-19 case numbers.



a large tall tower with a clock at the top of a stone building: A file image of Harkness Tower on Yale University in New Haven, Conn.


© Dreamstime/Hartford Courant/TNS/Hartford Courant/TNS
A file image of Harkness Tower on Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

“Consistent with local and national trends, we are also experiencing increased levels of infection on our campus among students, faculty and staff,” Provost Scott Strobel and Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity Stephanie Spangler, who also serves as Yale’s COVID-19 coordinator, wrote in a letter to the Yale community.

As of Friday afternoon, Yale’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 28 cases among students and 14 cases among faculty and staff from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Any results from Nov. 5-6 were not yet posted. Since August, the university has reported a total of 99 cases among students and 52 cases among faculty and staff.

The sources of viral spread among the Yale community are “frequently associated with social gatherings, often with extended family or friends, where facemasks are removed; with dining indoors at a restaurant; or during travel to campus from out-of-the-area locations,” the administrators said.

For the foreseeable future, all Yale community members are asked to avoid in-person dining in restaurants, and gatherings that involve serving food or drinks where masks are removed are strongly discouraged.

In accordance with state guidelines, gatherings larger than 10 people in a private residence are prohibited. All on-campus events, and all gatherings of more than 10 people, must be approved by the school.

“In no case may [gatherings] exceed 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors,” the university said.

Travel outside of the New Haven region is also discouraged for all community members, and no student may travel outside of Connecticut for the remaining two weeks of the residential semester. In case of an out-of-state emergency, students must obtain preapproval for travel from their school’s health and safety leader.

Full-time faculty who live outside Connecticut “must not commute to campus unless there is a very compelling reason to do so,” administrators wrote. “This applies to travel from any state, not just those affected by the Connecticut travel advisory. Faculty who reside outside the state and who are not full-time and teach only on an episodic basis must teach remotely.”

All staff who can work remotely are required to do so, and COVID-19 testing frequency for certain high-contact staff will increase to twice a week. All undergraduate students, as well as graduate and professional students living in high-density dormitory housing, will continue to be tested twice a week.

Other faculty, staff and graduate and professional students continue to be eligible for regular testing and are strongly encouraged to participate in voluntary testing up to twice weekly, stated the guidelines.

Students leaving campus prior to Thanksgiving are strongly encouraged to receive a negative test result no more than 72 hours prior to their departure, and any staff and faculty who plan to travel are also encouraged to

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