Tag: virus

As Hospitals Fill, Travel Nurses Race to Virus Hot Spots

“I’m taking care of this man and he said, ‘I can’t take wait for the election to be over so all this will all go away,’” she said. “And I’m like, ‘That’s not happening. It’s real, I promise you, it’s real.’”

Others have all but shrugged when they receive a positive coronavirus result.

“A lot of people tend to have the response, when they’re told they have it, they’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve got the Covid,’” said Heather Ozmun, 46, a travel nurse in Green Bay. “They’re treating it like a rite of passage, like it’s their turn to have it.”

John Deaton, 27, has spent most of his nursing career so far as a traveler, as they are commonly called.

Throughout the pandemic, he has treated Covid-19 patients and even caught a mild case of the virus himself, working in El Centro, Calif., near the border with Mexico; Sacramento; and now Green Bay.

Places to stay in northeastern Wisconsin were difficult to find. He settled for renting the basement in a house while the owner lives upstairs, negotiating for shared use of the kitchen so he would have more than a microwave to use for cooking.

Mr. Deaton, who is from Akron, Ohio, was attracted to travel nursing because it pays so well — he estimated that he makes four times what he would earn if he accepted a staff position somewhere. There is a range of pay for such work, but a weekly paycheck could be more than $5,000 during the pandemic, by some of the nurses’ estimates, in addition to benefits.

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EU Sounds Cautionary Note on Virus With New Travel Guidance

(Bloomberg) — European Union regulators offered a fresh set of safe-travel recommendations in bid to make it easier for people to cross national borders within the bloc while guarding against another resurgence of the coronavirus.



a group of people walking down a street: Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.


© Bloomberg
Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.

The guidelines in the run-up to the end-of-year holidays are the latest attempt to strike a balance between the responsibility of EU governments for health policy and the role of the European Commission in preventing barriers in the bloc’s single market.

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The commission, the 27-nation EU’s regulatory arm, accompanied its latest recommendations with an appeal for prudence. The goal is to avoid a repeat of a rush to looser measures — something that EU countries did several months ago in a bid to salvage the summer tourist season and that fueled spikes in Covid-19 infections.

“Like everything else this year, end-of-the-year festivities will be different,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement on Wednesday in Brussels. “We cannot jeopardize the efforts made by us all in the recent weeks and months.”

Pfizer Vaccine Cleared by U.K.; German Deaths Jump: Virus Update

At the same time, the EU’s disease-control and aviation agencies issued a separate set of non-binding guidelines that urge member countries to avoid treating travelers as automatic high-risk sources of Covid-19 because the virus is now “well established” across the bloc.

“In such a scenario, testing and quarantine have only a limited impact on reducing the risk of spread, particularly with respect to travel between areas of similar risk or when moving from less risky ‘green’ areas to ‘orange’ or ‘red’ areas with greater prevalence of the disease,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Aviation Safety Agency said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

European airline and airport groups, which have been vocal critics of what they say has been a patchwork of measures across Europe to tackle the pandemic, jumped on the ECDC-EASA input to call for an end to quarantines on travelers.

European governments should “immediately abolish quarantine measures and other travel restrictions,” Airlines for Europe and the Airports Council International Europe said in an emailed statement.

Following are the latest commission travel-related recommendations to EU governments:

Where available, encourage people who intend to travel to get the season flu vaccine.Strongly discourage people with symptoms of Covid-19 from travelingWhere possible, increase public transport options and capacities to reduce crowdingRequire the use of masks in public transport and ensure all vehicles are well ventilatedEnsure that workers in transport, tourism and other exposed sectors have protection measuresEnsure that, if quarantine and testing of travelers are requested, these requirements are proportionate and non-discriminatoryAssess how testing can lead to the lifting of quarantine or other

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EU stops short of advising against holiday travel over virus



European Council President Charles Michel arrives to participate in a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)


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European Council President Charles Michel arrives to participate in a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)

BRUSSELS (AP) — As millions of European citizens gear up for the festive season, the European Union’s executive commission urged member countries to keep strong anti-COVID 19 restrictions in place to avoid a post-holiday surge of coronavirus cases and deaths but stopped short of advising against travel.



European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)

The European Commission said in non-binding recommendations published Wednesday that easing pandemic-containment measures this month would jeopardize the efforts that have helped slow infections across the EU in recent weeks.

According to predictions made by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, lifting all anti-coronavirus restrictions on Dec. 21 would result in “a subsequent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions…as early as the first week of January 2021.”

New confirmed cases are falling steadily across Europe, where more than 300,000 people with COVID-19 have died. Until vaccines against the virus are rolled out, the EU commission is recommending prudence.

“Every 17 seconds a person loses their life due to COVID-19 in Europe,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said. “The situation may be stabilizing, but it remains delicate. Like everything else this year, end of the year festivities will be different. This year, saving lives must come before celebrations.”

EU health ministers discussed the European Commission’s strategy Wednesday as European countries famous for their skiing resorts struggled to find a common approach.

Restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have kept ski lifts closed in Italy, France and Germany but other nations have expressed concerns about the decision, which has a big economic impact. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, supports a common approach.



European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a video conference with member states in preparation for the upcoming EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)

Earlier this year, ski resorts in France, Italy and Austria were the sites of several superspreading events that helped seed COVID-19 outbreaks across the continent.

The commission, however, did not discourage tourism and cross-border traveling.

“Whilst travel itself is a risk factor, the generalized widespread transmission of COVID-19 across member states means that at present, intra-EU cross-border travel does not present a significant added risk,” it said.

Still, the commission “strongly discouraged” people with coronavirus symptoms from traveling and recommended vaccination against the season flu for travelers.

“Where possible, public transport options and capacities should be increased to reduce crowding, particularly on days

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Washington region braces for increase in virus cases after Thanksgiving travel

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Monday said she expects a rise in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks, underscoring concerns about holiday travel as leaders across the Washington region lobby the federal government for additional financial relief.

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The District reported 371 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its highest total in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The city’s daily case rate per 100,000 people, calculated on a seven-day rolling basis, reached 27 in recent days — a number not seen since May.

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.

[D.C. eases travel restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving while urging caution during holidays]

“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 on Monday recorded 3,920 new cases and 20 deaths. 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 travel. Health experts had long cautioned residents to avoid traveling over the traditionally busy period — and also to avoid in-home gatherings.

“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 that 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) on Monday wrote to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, saying the state’s top priority is another round of stimulus funding to help battle the virus.

[Coronavirus cases and metrics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia]

Hogan, who has advocated for more federal funding since spring, told the transition team that small businesses, as well as state and local governments, need money soon.

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Public hospital suspends staff vacation due to virus cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A state-run psychiatric hospital in Rhode Island has suspended all medical staff vacation in response to a rising number of coronavirus cases among patients and workers.

“We regretfully are canceling all direct care patient support vacations” effective midnight Nov. 25, according to a letter to Eleanor Slater Hospital staff, The Providence Journal reported.

The letter also said, “We hope this vacation hold is temporary as we recognize the hard work and dedication of our staff and the need for time off.”

The letter was signed by Kathryn Power, director of the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which oversees the Cranston facility.

A Slater spokesperson earlier this week confirmed that 14 patients and 35 staffers had tested positive for the virus.

Another hospital group, Lifespan, previously issued an appeal for retired doctors and nurses to return to work, and even sought medical students and interns, to help relieve the medical staff shortage. Lifespan operates Rhode Island, Miriam, Hasbro Children’s and Newport hospitals.

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Japan Debates Travel Push; Astra Plans New Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

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As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19. AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

New infections in New York reached a seven-month high, while hospitalizations rose to their highest level since June. In Europe, the total number of cases in Germany topped 1 million, and the number of patients in intensive care rose to record levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic and called on Europe’s ski resorts to close.

Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, the number of severely ill French patients in intensive care fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks. Argentines mourning the death of soccer icon Diego Maradona ignored virus restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 60.8 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressLondon avoids toughest curbs as Tories protestAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black market

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart, histogram: U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May


© Bloomberg
U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May

India’s Zydus Plans Launch of Vaccine by March (11:05 a.m. HK)

Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine is likely to enter phase III trials next month and a launch is expected by March if things go according to the plan, The Economic Times reported.

South Korea to Decide on Social Distancing Rules Soon (11 a.m. HK)

South Korea will decide soon whether further tightening of social distancing rules is needed as the nation reported more than 500 daily cases for second day, a health ministry official said.

Debate Erupts Over Japan Travel Campaign (10 a.m. HK)

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19.

The popular “Go To Travel” campaign, which discounts trips to boost regions hit hardest by a lack of tourists, is one of the government’s most prized projects for spurring the economy, and has been heavily backed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

U.K. Moves to Get Vaccine Approved Before EU (8:03 a.m. HK)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked the U.K. medical regulator to potentially bypass its European Union counterpart and approve the supply of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine to speed its deployment.

AstraZeneca Eyes Extra Global Vaccine Trial (8:02 a.m. HK)

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as

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Japan Debates Travel Campaign; Astra’s New Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19. AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

New infections in New York reached a seven-month high, while hospitalizations rose to their highest level since June. In Europe, the total number of cases in Germany topped 1 million, and the number of patients in intensive care rose to record levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic and called on Europe’s ski resorts to close.

Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, the number of severely ill French patients in intensive care fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks. Argentines mourning the death of soccer icon Diego Maradona ignored virus restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 60.8 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressLondon avoids toughest curbs as Tories protestAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black market

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart, histogram: U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May


© Bloomberg
U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May

Debate Erupts Over Japan Travel Campaign (10 a.m. HK)

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19.

The popular “Go To Travel” campaign, which discounts trips to boost regions hit hardest by a lack of tourists, is one of the government’s most prized projects for spurring the economy, and has been heavily backed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

U.K. Moves to Get Vaccine Approved Before EU (8:03 a.m. HK)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked the U.K. medical regulator to potentially bypass its European Union counterpart and approve the supply of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine to speed its deployment.

AstraZeneca Eyes Extra Global Vaccine Trial (8:02 a.m. HK)

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

The company wants the new test to confirm the 90% efficacy rate that the shot showed in a portion of an existing trial, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said. It’s favoring that option rather than adding an arm to a separate study that’s already underway in the U.S.

California’s Positive-Test Rate Hits 6.1% (6:15 p.m. NY)

California reported 14,640 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total for the state to

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Police forced to isolate after virus exposure at hotel

An incident at a Queensland quarantine hotel has led to almost a dozen officers being forced into isolation after potentially being exposed to COVID-19.

Some 11 police officers have been asked to isolate in hotels or at home after a returned traveller tried to flee their hotel, a Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed to news.com.au.

A police source told 7 News the returned traveller, 41, was suffering from psychosis when they tried to leave the Rydges Hotel Southbank. The man was stopped by police given a medical assessment.

Police later took him back to his hotel, and the man later tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

RELATED: Tourists face lengthy queues in sweltering heat when Qld reopens

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RELATED: Queensland border restriction to ease early with Sydney, Victoria

The officers involved have been told to self isolate. Some are quarantining in their homes and others are in the Rydges Hotel Southbank.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said the officers were wearing personal protective equipment at the time of the incident.

“The 11 officers remain in isolation and as of today, all have returned negative tests,” the spokesperson said.

“The Queensland Police Service is conducting welfare checks on the members each day and has been able to make arrangements to ensure adequate staffing is in place while they are isolating.”

Meanwhile, traces of coronavirus have been detected in wastewater in far north Queensland, despite the state celebrating more than 70 days without transmission.

Viral fragments were found in samples of wastewater collected in Cairns last Tuesday, in sewers servicing quarantine hotels and Cairns Hospital, according to reports.

A spokesperson for Queensland Health told The Cairns Post the discovery could mean there are undetected cases in the area.

“People shouldn’t be alarmed but they shouldn’t be complacent either, if you are sick with symptoms which could be due to COVID-19 go and get tested and then stay home until you get your results,” the spokesman said.

He added the detection of the virus in the wastewater did not necessarily indicate there was a positive case in the community.

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

– Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

– More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

– Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

ICYMI: The virus has scuttled a long-standing holiday tradition in the tiny Kansas town of Norcatur. In a decades-old tradition that evokes Norman Rockwell nostalgia, the whole town gathers for a potluck dinner at Christmastime and conducts a prize drawing for a plethora of donated meats, crafts and goodies. This year, it’s off.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his response to the pandemic. He i s delivering a national Thanksgiving address in an attempt to unify the country in the face of the resurgent virus, and congressional leaders are waiting for his strategy for fighting the pandemic.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | Nation



Americans risk traveling over Thanksgiving despite warnings

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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