“The coronavirus is surging again” – Axios / Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: After a database error, Missouri has not reported cases since Oct. 10; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise / Axios

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The number of people who filed for jobless claims in the last week came in higher than expected, at 898,000. While unemployment is not at the same level seen in April, many Americans have permanently left the labor force. The number of people who are not employed but no longer looking for employment skyrocketed in April and remains at over 100 million. 

Hopes of a fresh round of stimulus before the Nov. 3 election are dying out. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that a bill passed in that timeline is unlikely as negotiations wear on with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats and Republicans remain “wildly divided” on the scope of another bill.

U.S. stock futures dropped on Thursday morning with fresh coronavirus restrictions in Europe suggesting a second wave is imminent. Residents of London will be banned from mixing households indoors as the region moves into Britain’s highest tier of restrictions, while Paris will enforce a 9 p.m. curfew starting on Saturday. The Czech Republic closed all schools on Wednesday, and the Catalan region of Spain will ban dine-in at bars and restaurants for two weeks. 

Human rights activists are calling out local officials in several European countries who they say have unlawfully targeted the Roma population under the guise of controlling the pandemic. In Bulgaria, Roma neighborhoods were showered with disinfectant sprayed down from helicopters, a measure that was not performed in non-Roma parts of the country.

First Lady Melania Trump revealed that the president’s youngest son, Barron Trump, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. The White House had said Barron, 14, tested negative when President Donald Trump announced on Oct. 2 that he and his wife had the coronavirus. However, Melania said he was tested again and rendered a positive result.

Migration to the U.S. is surging after strict restrictions limited movement across the border. More Central Americans are heading north as the coronavirus devastates their local economies, seeking the only viable option to stave off poverty and hunger. Coyotes, or human smugglers, say they have been instructed to reopen operations, but with precautions such as face masks and sanitizer. 

YouTube will remove content that spreads misinformation about a COVID-19 vaccine. The ban comes days after Facebook announced plans to ban ads that discourage the vaccine as several companies continue the final phase of their vaccination trials.

AI will soon face a major test: Can it differentiate Covid-19 from flu? – STAT – 10/15/2020
In studies, AI models have demonstrated increasing ability to home in on patterns that define Covid-19 and identify patients likely to require supplemental oxygen,[…] health informatics experts said it remains to be seen how AI will perform in a more complex clinical environment where large numbers of patients with different illnesses are arriving with similar symptoms.

It took a pandemic to make QR codes a global sensation – Quartz – 10/15/2020
During the pandemic, when nobody wants to touch anything, reopened restaurants have replaced paper menus with QR codes (and used the digital patterns to rescue soda machines). PayPal and Venmo rolled out a touchless payment option for businesses powered by QR codes, and CVS quickly announced plans to roll them out at 8,200 stores by the end of the year.

Voting In The 2020 Primaries Didn’t Worsen The COVID-19 Pandemic – FiveThirtyEight – 10/15/2020
We should note that our analysis is what statisticians call “ecological.” We examined whether primary elections affected the course of the pandemic in a county, not whether, at the individual level, going to the polls affects an individual’s risk of contracting the infection.

Why you should still take vacation time during the pandemic – Fast Company – 10/15/2020
“We watched the journey during the pandemic,” says Staples. “In the beginning, many of us were grateful to have a job. But six months of working from home is causing burnout and hurting work-life balance. More than ever, you need time off to take care of your mental wellbeing. It has a significant impact on productivity and creativity.”

The 4 simple reasons Germany is managing Covid-19 better than its neighbors – Vox – 10/15/2020
There’s the frequently praised mass testing program, which rivals  South Korea’s, and the oversupply of ICU beds — controversial before the coronavirus , now lauded. It also helps that Angela Merkel has a PhD in quantum chemistry and heads a country that treats scientists, like the Berlin-based virologist and podcaster Christian Drosten , like superstars.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Annie Yu @AnnieYuTV 15 Oct The FDA is giving a big drug manufacturer the green light to test potential COVID vaccines on children.

Renee Bracey Sherman @RBraceySherman 15 Oct According to the CDC, almost all children who died from Coronavirus were Black and/or Latinx.

NEWS CENTER Maine @newscentermaine 15 Oct The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending waivers for free meals for all children through the end of the 2020-21 school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department announced last week.

Dr Frank Atherton @CMOWales 15 Oct Whatever your age, you should get tested for #coronavirus as soon as symptoms start. You can get a test delivered to your home or there are test centres at walk-in or drive-through sites. Call 119 today or visit to book your test.#TestTraceProtect

Karen Travers @karentravers 15 Oct “Let Kids Have Halloween””The good will we generate that night might make the next few months of winter, which are likely going to be filled with disappointments for kids, a little easier to weather. “@aaronecarroll

CONTENT FACTS

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