“Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million” – Axios – September 29, 2020 / Data: Our World in Data / Chart: Sara Wise / Axios

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stock futures were paused Tuesday morning as investors awaited the first presidential debate scheduled for this evening. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will face off in a socially distanced debate in Ohio amid rising coronavirus cases and a tumultuous economy. 

House Democrats on Monday revealed a scaled-back coronavirus aid package in an attempt to compromise with Republican lawmakers. The $2.2 trillion bill, among other initiatives, would revive expired federal jobless benefits, but for a shorter period of time.

A rapid results COVID-19 test has been greenlighted for distribution around the world, marking a potential game-changer for low-income countries set to receive 120 million tests through partnerships with the drugmakers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Trump administration on Monday announced plans to distribute 150 million of the rapid tests, although public health experts say that need will quickly outpace that number.

Retail bankruptcies reached a new record in the first half of 2020, mostly concentrated among stores selling apparel, footwear and home furnishings. Eighteen retailers filed for bankruptcy protection in that period, and 11 more have filed through mid-August. The news comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection warns against entering crowded stores to shop during the holiday season, adding the activity to the agency’s list of “high risk” activities. 

As COVID-19 data points to a growing third wave of infections in the U.S., grocers across the nation are grappling with how to predict what goods to purchase. Rapidly changing consumer behavior has upended the computer-driven models that grocers normally use to drive their purchasing, meaning grocery supply in the next wave of infections will likely be the result of “a lot of calculated best guesses.”

Teenagers are twice as likely to catch COVID-19 compared to younger children, according to newly released analyses from the CDC. Physicians say the infection rates are likely only reported among children and teens who have symptoms, meaning that data for young asymptomatic patients is largely still missing. 

The pandemic has continued to worsen class and race gaps in the nation’s education system, compounding challenges for schools that report an outbreak. The opportunity for students to return to the classroom or partake in effective hybrid education models is often reliant on whether a school can shoulder the costs of increased cleaning or reliant technology, resulting in disproportionate opportunities in mostly white, affluent schools. 

The National Hockey League concluded a pandemic-delayed season on Monday with the final game of the Stanley Cup finals, declaring a win for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 following a season staged almost entirely under quarantine.

Coronavirus spike protein morphs into 10 different shapes to invade cells – Live Science – 9/28/2020
“The spike protein is the focus of so much research at the minute,” said co-lead author Donald Benton, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Francis Crick Institute’s Structural Biology of Disease Processes Laboratory in the United Kingdom. Understanding how it functions “is very important because it’s the target of most of the vaccination attempts and a lot of diagnostic work as well.”

6 ways the pandemic is changing the benefits employees want – Fast Company – 9/29/2020
The report also found that 57% of employees said their well-being had a big impact on their productivity. Financial wellness was a part of that equation for roughly half of employees. But overall, employee financial wellness is in decline, according to the report. Just 49% rated it good or excellent, down from 61% just two years ago.

When Young People Get COVID-19, Infections Soon Rise Among Older Adults – NPR – 9/29/2020
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults were more likely to get infected, but when researchers analyzed cases from June to August, they found that people in their 20s accounted for the largest share of confirmed cases compared to other age groups. And public health experts say this is a worrying trend.

The lockdown tweet that launched a COVID-19 ‘supertracker’ – Nature – 9/29/2020What started as a spontaneous endeavour had soon grown into a project involving more than 100 different organizations and several thousand researchers. At present, it is a global directory for COVID policy trackers. In future we hope to create one unified data set of social-policy measures.

Coronavirus is in the air. Here’s how to get it out. – Vox – 9/29/2020
“Cleaning the air is at least as important as cleaning surfaces, but you do it very differently,” says Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech engineer who studies the airborne spread of viruses. “We end up having to breathe whatever it is we spray. And if it’s harmful to the virus, it’s likely it’s also harmful to us. So we need to take a totally different approach.”

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Capital Journal @WSJPolitics 29 Sep Here’s what you need to know about some key areas Trump and Biden are expected to cover during their first presidential debate on Tuesday night

Phil Amato @PhilAmatoANjax 29 Sep Tonight is the first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign. Due to Coronavirus concerns there will be no handshakes – not even elbow bumps. @jackiefell explains what we can expect in this first faceoff and why the stakes are so high for each candidate at 7:45am.

Jenna Johnson @wpjenna 29 Sep Post-ABC poll: One quarter of Pennsylvania’s registered voters cite the economy as the most important issue in their vote choice, followed by the coronavirus outbreak. Ranking lowest is “the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Emily Stephenson @ewstephe 29 Sep The debate tonight will cover the coronavirus pandemic, and protests against racism and police brutality, the Supreme Court vacancy and more. Here’s what Trump and Biden are saying, via ⁦@SabrinaSiddiqui⁩ ⁦@DannyDougherty⁩

Bob Wachter @Bob_Wachter 29 Sep 8/ But in our me-oriented culture, attitudes are linked to perceived personal/family risk. In a new @abcnews / @washingtonpost poll, 62% worry that they or a family member might get Covid. Voters who express this concern overwhelmingly favor Biden, 71%-27%

CONTENT FACTS

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