WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The U.S. on Tuesday recorded 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus, returning to a milestone first reached on June 10 and bringing the country’s death toll to 142,000. California has surpassed New York as the state with the highest COVID-19 case count, exceeding 400,000 cases. A new federal study confirms that the actual case count could be anywhere from 6 to 24 times higher than what is recorded daily by public health officials. State leaders in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have expanded quarantine requirements to travelers from 31 states that are now seeing a rise in cases.
The governors of Texas, Florida and Georgia are clashing with local officials in a deadlock over how to respond to the crisis. Among the contentions are the Texas governor’s reversal of one county’s stay-at-home order, the Georgia governor’s end to an Atlanta mask mandate and a teacher’s union lawsuit against Florida’s governor for a full return to the classroom in the fall.
U.S. President Donald Trump has reversed his rhetoric regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, noting in his first coronavirus press briefing in several months that the pandemic is likely to “get worse before it gets better. ” Trump also urged Americans to wear a mask if they can not socially distance and asked young people to avoid going to crowded bars.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two Chinese men who allegedly spied on U.S. companies conducting coronavirus research for a COVID-19 vaccine. The cyberattacks are the latest in what federal regulators say is a “ relentless campaign” of cyber espionage targeting intellectual property in the U.S. The U.S. State Department later ordered China to close its consulate in Houston by Friday following videos of papers that were burned in containers outside of the consulate, a move that Chinese authorities said they would respond to with “ firm countermeasures.”
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced a $1.95 billion contract with the U.S. government to secure 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccines are still undergoing clinical studies and have not been approved for use anywhere in the world.
United Airlines has announced the company will maximize airflow in all of its aircraft in an effort to distinguish the airline’s filtration systems from regular air conditioning cited as a common culprit in the spread of COVID-19. The company hopes to bring attention to the fact that all modern airplanes use high-efficiency particulate air filters capable of capturing nearly all bacteria, virus and other particles.
Spending more time at home is altering many of our relationships, experts say. Meaningful friendships may no longer be found at the workplace due to working from home, yet many Americans report being in better touch with old friends and family via video chat or phone calls. Even so, psychologists say it is unlikely Americans will continue to stay or feel in touch once restrictions are lifted. While Zoom continues to enjoy high usage, the social media platform Snapchat has already reported the tapering off of an initial spike in users looking to stay connected during the pandemic.
California resident Jen Welter, who was the first female coach in the National Football League, has created a children’s book based on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus press briefings. Welter said that Cuomo’s words, now the title of her book, “Wearing a Mask Says I Love You,” inspired her to find a positive way to show kids the importance of wearing a mask.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Confusion spreads over selection of priority groups for Covid-19 vaccines – STAT – 7/22/2020
The health of untold numbers could hang in the balance, given that initial batches of vaccine are likely to be available only for a sliver of the population. Additionally, most vaccines will probably be given in two-dose regimens, meaning any figure of available doses would have to be divided in half to see how many people could be vaccinated.
Retailers Are About to Get Schooled – Wall Street Journal – 7/22/2020
As school officials try to figure out what the fall semester will look like, the buying season is likely to be compressed into August and maybe even into successive months as parents put off purchases until there is certainty on what items their children will need. That makes inventory tougher to plan.
COVID Pandemic Shows Telecommuting Can Help Fight Climate Change – Scientific American – 7/22/2020
In the U.S., Los Angeles might be one of the places most likely to see a benefit from increased telecommuting, Gillingham says. According to data from the 2018 American Community Survey, roughly 70 percent of the people who worked in the city drove alone in their commute; only about 9 percent took public transit.
Study suggests increased risks for COVID-19 patients who smoke, vape – Science Codex – 7/22/2020
There are within the human body approximately 13 blood coagulation factors that can be increased due to hypoxia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of sufficient amounts of oxygen at the tissue level, as occurs with smoking.
Swedish epidemiologist says COVID-19 immunity likely lasts six months—even without antibodies – Fortune – 7/22/2020
“We don’t see cases of people falling ill twice from Covid-19,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said during a press conference in Stockholm. “Hence, our assessment is that if you do get Covid-19 you are immune, even if you don’t develop antibodies.”
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Orlando Sentinel @orlandosentinel 22 Jul Cops will crack down on wearing masks as part of new wave of enforcement
CBS New York @CBSNewYork 21 Jul Gov. Cuomo drops the hammer on 4 area bars and restaurants, announces State Liquor Authority has stripped them of their liquor licenses because of a failure to enforce social distancing guidelines. @AndreaGrymesTV reports #coronavirus
Amy Maxmen @amymaxmen 21 Jul I am trying to imagine what it must feel like to be a medically vulnerable, immobile patient in a hospital that doesn’t enforce mask rules in a coronavirus hotzone.
David Papp @DavidPapp 22 Jul Ky. couple on house arrest after wife tests positive for coronavirus but refuses to sign quarantine order
NPR @NPR 21 Jul Black mayors formally called on governors to repeal orders prohibiting local leaders from implementing strategies that reduce the spread of the coronavirus — such as requiring the use of face masks.
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