“Tracking coronavirus’ global spread” – CNN / Data: Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering / Note: Regions are based on United Nations definitions. Americas have been broken down into subregions (Latin America and the Caribbean and North America). / Last updated: September 17, 2020 at 8:45 a.m. ET

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. jobless filings held steady last week at a seasonally adjusted 860,000, continuing concern from economists over unemployment and a potential second wave of coronavirus infections. The Federal Reserve set new projections with interest rates near zero through 2023, setting a high standard for rate changes that rely on an improved labor market and a 2% inflation rate. According to new data collected by Yelp, more than 60% of businesses that shuttered with the onset of the pandemic are now permanently closed.

Face masks may provide more protection than a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers in a Congressional hearing. Dr. Robert Redfield said that a vaccine may be only about 70% effective, which is higher than influenza efficacy rates but lower than the measles vaccine. Even so, he said that universal use of face masks could reduce infection rates in a matter of weeks. The CDC has sent all 50 states a book of planned procedures for free distribution of a vaccine, which the agency said would be shipped within 24 hours of approval and could be available in limited quantities by the end of the year. President Donald Trump disputed the timeline, saying that vaccinations should start sometime in October.

Younger people have been identified as those driving the virus’ spread, but infections may not solely be due to gatherings that ignore social distancing rules. Millennials and Generation Z are more likely to work in the service industry, which could expose them to COVID-19 at higher rates.

Factories across the U.S. are struggling to meet production demands due to high absentee rates caused by workers who are staying home to watch their children. A Morning Consult survey found that high-income parents are significantly more likely to get time off, work flexible hours or receive financial assistance from their employer to aid with child care, worsening disparities in the wealth gap.

Big Ten university leaders have reversed their decision to abstain from playing football, announcing on Wednesday that they will resume play without fans as early as Oct. 23. Their initial decision was motivated by medical advisers who cited a condition called myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by infection. Cardiologists say that strenuous activity while the heart is inflamed could cause cardiac arrest or other complications. Some studies indicate that even mild COVID-19 infections can cause cardiac abnormalities.

Authorities in Hawaii are changing their policy on mandatory quarantines for visitors in an effort to revitalize tourism. Travelers can now provide a negative COVID-19 test no longer than 72 hours old to board their flight. The policy is similar to that in Alaska, which requires a negative test result before arriving in the state or the option to pay $250 for a coronavirus test once off of the plane. 

The risks of moving too fast on a coronavirus vaccine – Axios – 9/17/2020
The scientific race for a coronavirus vaccine is moving at record-shattering speed. Making the most of that work — translating a successful clinical product into real-world progress — will require some patience.If we get a vaccine relatively soon, the next big challenge will be balancing the need to get it into people’s hands with the need to keep working on other solutions that might prove more effective.

Choosing a College During Coronavirus: How Four Students Decided – Wall Street Journal – 9/17/2020
I got into the Wofford Scholars Program. It’s an academic-merit scholarship that covers most of the cost of attendance. And I have always learned better in a smaller environment, smaller classroom. So Wofford provided that. When I got on campus I just kind of fell in love with it.

Zoom parties, throwing candy: How Halloween might happen during Covid-19 – Quartz – 9/17/2020
Those industries are doing what they can to encourage people to spend like they might have without a pandemic. Earlier this week, several companies and associations launched Halloween2020.org, a website that offers recommendations about how to have a safer Halloween.

A pandemic surge in food delivery has made ghost kitchens and virtual eateries one of the only growth areas in the restaurant industry – Washington Post – 9/17/2020
Ghost kitchens, dark kitchens, virtual restaurants, cloud kitchens: The path forward for restaurateurs trying to escape the collapse of their business models is illuminated by a digital glow. The stratospheric rise in online ordering and food delivery during the pandemic has prompted restaurateurs to chase those delivery dollars in a number of novel ways.

One coughing child – and three fruitless trips to the same Covid test centre | Coronavirus outbreak – The Guardian – 9/17/2020
“I put food on your shelves,” shouted a woman who worked in a supermarket, “does that not count?” Another woman complained that her son was very ill, and “loads of people getting tested here don’t have symptoms”.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

James C. Morrison @JCMorrisn 16 Sep They may have Ok Boomer’ed you, but Gen Z might just be the only thing keeping your polling place running in November

John Lynch @JohnLynchWTRF 16 Sep Gov. Justice: The elderly are the number one target, they can’t fight this off, please step up. @WTRF7News @WVGovernor #coronavirus #COVID19 #WV

Alison Young @alisonannyoung 17 Sep “People with dementia are dying not just from the virus but from the very strategy of isolation that’s supposed to protect them. In recent months, doctors have reported increased falls, pulmonary infections, depression & sudden frailty” in stable patients

WNYT NewsChannel 13 @WNYT 17 Sep State lawmakers want independent investigation of coronavirus nursing home deaths

Cheryl Bolen @cherylbolen 16 Sep Trump adviser Scott Atlas says everyone in “high risk” category will have #coronavirus vaccine no later than January 2021. “We’re focused on high risk, but we’re going to focus also on general public very much,” Trump adds. First will be elderly with heart problems & diabetes

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