Here's latest

Here’s why the latest Texas polls are so ominous for the GOP — even if Trump wins the state – Salon

Donald Trump and Joe Biden | Texas (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Some pundits continue to describe Texas a “deep red state,” but at this point “light red” may be more accurate

Alex Henderson
September 26, 2020 7:07PM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

More polls on the 2020 presidential race have come in for Texas — and once again, former Vice President Joe Biden is within striking distance of President Donald Trump, who is ahead by only 3% in a New York Times/Siena poll and by 5% in a Quinnipiac poll. Texas is still in play for Biden, but even if Trump ultimately wins the Lone Star State, these polls are an ominous sign for the GOP and underscore the inroads Democrats are making in a state that Republicans can no longer take for granted.

Texas’ U.S. Senate race is another ominous sign for the GOP. Incumbent Sen. John Cornyn is ahead of Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar, but only by single digits. According to polls released in September, Cornyn is winning the race by 6% (New York Times/Siena and Morning Consult), 2% (the Tyson Group), 5% (YouGov), 4% (Public Policy Polling) or 8% (Quinnipiac). If these polls are accurate, Cornyn will probably be reelected on November 3. But the very fact that Hegar is doing as well as she is in Texas is bad news for the Republican Party and demonstrates that Republicans are having to work harder in a state where they could usually count on double-digit victories back in the 1990s and 2000s.

Some pundits continue to describe Texas a “deep red state,” but at this point, a more accurate description would be “light red.” While Republicans still have an advantage in statewide races in Texas, that advantage is smaller than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

It isn’t hard to understand why so many Democratic strategists have been pessimistic about Texas. The last Democratic nominee to win Texas in a presidential race was Jimmy Carter in 1976, and during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, Texas was a state in which Democrats performed well at the local level but struggled badly in statewide races. Democratic strategists viewed Texas as state where Democrats were mayors or city council members and performed well in some congressional districts but struggled when it came to gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards was voted out of office in 1994, and the state has only had Republican governors since then.

But in 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke performed shockingly well when he challenged incumbent Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in a U.S. Senate race. O’Rourke lost to Cruz, but only by 2% — which was a major departure from all the double-digit victories that Texas Republicans enjoyed in statewide races in the 1990s and 2000s. After Cruz was reelected, GOP strategists were hoping that O’Rourke’s campaign was a fluke. But in 2020, the single-digit leads that Trump and Cornyn are having in Texas show that it was not. The GOP’s advantage in Texas hasn’t disappeared by any means, but it is shrinking.

One warning sign for Republicans in Texas came in 2016, when Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 9% — compared to 2012, when Republican Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama by 16% in Texas. In 2012, Obama lost to Republican Sen. John McCain by 12% in Texas.

There are plenty of deep red states where Trump is almost certain to win, including Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alabama, West Virginia and Nebraska — and he can carry those states without a great deal of effort. But in 2020, Trump is having to work extra hard to avoid a Biden victory in Texas. Similarly, Cornyn — in light of O’Rourke’s performance in 2018 — is taking nothing for granted in his battle against Hegar.

Demographics are not advantageous for Republicans in Texas, a state that is only 41% non-Hispanic white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas is a state where a non-white minority dominates the electorate, but if Democrats can increase turnout among Latino and African-American voters in the Lone Star State, it could be a major headache for the GOP.

Moreover, Texas’ major urban centers lean Democrat, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and Dallas. But a heavy turnout among the GOP base in rural counties has given Republicans an advantage in Texas.

Texas has the most electoral votes of any red state: 38, to be exact. It has been a major cushion for GOP candidates in presidential races, but Republicans are having to work harder and harder to hold onto that cushion. And the harder Republicans have to work in statewide races in Texas, the worse it will be for the GOP in the long run.

Alex Henderson

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COVID Here's

Yes, you can have Covid-19 and the flu at the same time. Here’s what that could do to your body – CNN

(CNN)As doctors worry about a coronavirus-and-flu “twin-demic” that could overwhelm the health care system, Americans must contend with another possibility: fighting both viruses at the same time.

“You can certainly get both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, which could be catastrophic to your immune system,” said Dr. Adrian Burrowes, a family medicine physician in Florida.
In fact, getting infected with one can make you more vulnerable to getting sick with the other, epidemiologist Dr. Seema Yasmin said.
“Once you get infected with the flu and some other respiratory viruses, it weakens your body,” said Yasmin, director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative.
“Your defenses go down, and it makes you vulnerable to getting a second infection on top of that.”
On their own, both Covid-19 and the flu can attack the lungs, potentially causing pneumonia, fluid in the lungs or respiratory failure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Each illness can also cause sepsis, cardiac injury and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues.
Having both illness simultaneously “would increase the risk of longer-term effects of any of those organ systems,” said Dr. Michael Matthay, a professor of medicine and a critical care specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
But it’s too early to know exactly how much worse that double whammy could be, compared to having each virus on its own.
That’s because Covid-19 didn’t spread across the US until near the end of the last flu season, Matthay said. So there’s not a lot of data yet on people who get both illnesses at the same time.
But Matthay suspects the potential for pneumonia would be greater if the body is infected with both the flu and coronavirus.
“The two (viruses) together definitely could be more injurious to the lungs and cause more respiratory failure,” he said.
Respiratory failure doesn’t necessarily mean your lungs stop working. It means the lungs can’t get enough oxygen into the blood.
“Acute respiratory failure can be a life-threatening emergency,” the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says. “Respiratory failure may cause damage to your lungs and other organs, so it is important to get treated quickly.”

How can I tell if I have Covid-19 or the flu (or both)?

“Symptoms of influenza and Covid-19 are pretty similar, so it’s difficult to distinguish the two,” said Dr. Leonard Mermel, medical director for the Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control at Rhode Island Hospital.
Both the flu and Covid-19 can give you a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, body aches and a runny or stuffy nose, the CDC said.
“Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults,” the CDC said.
But unlike the flu, Covid-19 can cause a loss of taste or smell.
So the best way to know if you have the novel coronavirus or the flu (or both) is to get tested.
The CDC has created a test that will check for both viruses, to be used at CDC-supported public health labs. The agency said it is continuing to manufacture and distribute these tests.

How can I avoid this flu-Covid-19 double whammy?

Wear a mask and keep physical distancing. Health officials have stressed the importance of masks and physical distancing if Americans want to control Covid-19 — and get the economy back on track.
With the imminent flu season, such precautions can “doubly protect us from both of those viruses,” Yasmin said.
In the Southern Hemisphere, which is just ending its winter months and flu season, several countries have reported astonishingly low flu numbers as people wear masks and social distance.
In Australia, for example, the number of lab-confirmed flu cases plummeted from 61,000 in August 2019 to 107 cases this August.
But in the US, some people are getting lax about mask wearing and social distancing. And that’s a big problem, said Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She said there could be a “perfect storm of accelerated Covid-19 activity, as people gather more — inside, in particular — as they become continually fatigued with the mask wearing, the social distancing and the hand hygiene, and as they are exposed to seasonal influenza.”
Get a flu vaccine. This may sound obvious. Yet about half of all Americans don’t get vaccinated against the flu, including most children who die from the flu.
Even if you get a flu shot and still catch the flu later, the symptoms are usually less severe than if you got no flu vaccine at all.
And since no Covid-19 vaccine is publicly available yet, the flu shot is the only way you can help inoculate yourself against having both viruses at the same time.
Pediatricians say it’s important for children 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine, ideally before the end of October. “Timely influenza vaccination is particularly important” this flu season, the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote this week.
Getting a flu shot can also help many more people than just yourself, said immunologist Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association.
“Since hospitals and doctors’ offices are going to be very busy caring for Covid-19 patients, a flu vaccine can help decrease burdens on the health care system and make sure that those who need medical care are able to get it,” Bailey said.
About 140,000 to 810,000 Americans get hospitalized with the flu each year, according to the CDC. And the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations are expected to surge more than 150% between now and December 1, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
“Every year, many patients get severe influenza with respiratory failure,” Matthay said. Among patients who get severe pneumonia from the flu, “the vast majority of those patients have not had their flu vaccine that year.”

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Here's Stock

Here’s why the stock market tumbled last week and what’s ahead for Wall Street – MarketWatch

A bout of volatility returned to financial markets with a vengeance last week, disrupting a nearly uninterrupted climb to records for U.S. stock indexes and raising questions about the path for Wall Street headed into a hornet’s nest of challenges for investors.

Perhaps, the overarching question is, “What the heck just happened to equity markets in the 48 hours after the S&P 500 index

and Nasdaq Composite Index

on Wednesday notched their 22nd and 43rd closing records of 2020 respectively, and the Dow

scored its first finish above 29,000 since February, bringing it within 2% of its Feb. 12 all-time closing high?”

The bull perspective

From the bull’s perspective, not a lot has changed.

Bullish investors see the promise of lower interest rates for years to come and further injections of money by the Federal Reserve into various parts of the financial system, along with perhaps another fiscal stimulus from the government, as buttressing the market and offering a floor against future dramatic losses.

Optimists see the slump that the equity market experienced this week as a bump in the road to greater gains.

“Since the current bull market kicked off in March, there have only been two pullbacks of more than 5%. Recent bull markets have tended to have three or four setbacks over the first nine months,” wrote SunTrust Advisory chief market strategist Keith Lerner in a research note on Thursday — see chart:

Lerner also notes that the five-month winning streak for the S&P 500 since August, which has only occurred 27 times since 1950, is a good sign because it tends to imply that further returns are ahead.

So, investors may view this retreat as a natural corrective phase that removes some of the euphoric froth from equity valuations that had far exceeded the metrics that pragmatic investors use to assess an asset’s value compared against its peers.

MarketWatch’s William Watts wrote last Thursday, citing Dan Suzuki, deputy chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors, that technology stocks — particularly, a cohort that includes Facebook

and Google parent Alphabet


(or FANMAG) — had seen their valuations rise by dint of multiple expansion, or rapidly rising prices, while other segments of the market had seen earnings estimates fall out of whack with their prices, distorting the “P” portion of the commonly used priced-to-earnings metric, or P/E, used to gauge a stock’s worth.

“But these two groups of stocks have gotten more expensive for completely different reasons,” he noted. “FANMAG’s P/E has risen because their ‘P’ (prices) has gone up faster than their ‘E’ (earnings), while the P/E for the rest of the S&P 500 has expanded because ‘E’ has gone down much more than ‘P’,” wrote Suzuki.

Indeed during the period between the market’s March lows and early last week, investors have maintained a voracious appetite for technology-related stocks, and a group known as “stay-at-home companies”, including Zoom Video Communications Inc.
due to the belief that not only are they receiving a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic but also that they are best positioned to benefit when the economy eventually emerges from the recession.

A bounce off Friday’s lows, aided by moves into financials also was viewed as constructive for the broader market, heading into the three-day Labor Day weekend.

“The move higher was mostly led by financials, which came as a result of slightly higher rates rate on the long end of the curve, notably the 10 basis point move in the 10-year Treasury,” wrote Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network, via email.

Yields in the 10-year Treasury

benchmark bond rose to 0.72%, marking the biggest single-day rise on Friday since May 18.

It’s unusual for yields to climb as stocks are falling as they did on Friday because investors usually turn to the perceived safety of government debt, driving prices higher and yields lower, in times of uncertainty. That didn’t occur on Friday and may be interpreted by some as signaling that at least fixed-income investors see the move in stocks as indicative of a temporary pullback rather than a more significant and lasting decline.

UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele said that he viewed this week’s market drop as investors consolidating gains. “We view the latest selloff as a bout of profit-taking after a strong run,” he wrote.

“The S&P 500 enjoyed its strongest August in 34 years, gaining 7%, and added a further 2.3% in the first two days of September, to reach a fresh record high,” he wrote. “Stocks are still well-supported by a combination of Fed liquidity, attractive equity risk premiums, and a continuing recovery as economies reopen from the lockdowns.”

The bear’s perspective

From a bearish vantage point, the outlook for stocks looks more uncertain for investors. This uncertainty may have well laid the groundwork for substantial episodes of turbulence if not gut-wrenching drops in stocks, some experts say.

“The mini-tech selloff on Thursday has left a lot of scarring; it is not overly surprising that in New York equities trading, things were relatively muted into a long weekend,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, in a Friday research note.

September is a notoriously weak month for investors, and even if that weakness is somewhat moderated in an election year, October also has the hallmarks of a rough patch for Wall Street, with the Nov. 3 presidential election looming.

Chris Senyek, chief investment strategist at Wolfe Research, said the possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19 headed into the fall and winter also is cause to lighten up on stocks.

“Our sense is that a similar resurgence in infection rates is likely to occur in the United States this fall as children and college students returns to school and flu season begins,” analysts at Wolfe Research wrote on Friday.

Michael Kramer, founder of Mott Capital Markets, in a blog on Friday described the recent swings in the market as “insane” and said that it is difficult to gauge what’s ahead for the market, but he notes that an explosion in volumes related to the selloff could signal a change in the uptrend for stocks.

He noted that for the first time since April 3, the S&P 500 closed below its uptrend. “This is typically not something we want to see; it would indicate that momentum is likely shifting,” he wrote (see attached chart).

Of Friday’s paring of losses into the close, Kramer said: “The rally into the close was impressive, but it could have just as easily been on the heels of short-covering as it was on real buying.”

Part of the downturn occurred as two popular companies saw their shares drop after stock splits: Apple

and Tesla

Tesla has been among the highest of highfliers in recent months and viewed by some as a gauge of sentiment in the overall market. Its recent retreat is something bearish investors have pointed to as a signal of weakness in the market.

On top of that, Tesla wasn’t announced as a new entrant into the S&P 500 index late Friday, which may cast a pall over the stock that has lost about 20% from its peak.

The road ahead

Looking ahead, investors turn next to the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 15-16 policy meeting, which could be important in clarifying the length of the time interest rates could be held lower but also what, if any, new quantitative easing the central bank will implement.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in an interview with National Public Radio conducted Friday afternoon said that the 1.4 million jobs added to the labor market in August and an unemployment rate falling to 8.4% from 10.2% as a good sign of progress in the economy.

But he did emphasize that progress is going to be slow: “We do think it will get harder from here,” Powell said.

Doubts that the government will soon provide a fresh round of fiscal stimulus for out-of-work Americans has put some pressure on the Fed to do more to dull the impact on the economy from disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The Fed’s role may be the most important feature of whether the stock market is able to continue to make progress higher. As it stands now, there are few alternatives to stocks, with long-dated government bonds yielding around 1% or less.

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Astro Here's

Here’s how your Astro Gaming headsets will work on PS5 and Xbox Series X – Destructoid

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Ray ID: 5cc082202c27a922

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health Here's

Here’s where each health region in northern Illinois stands as of Sunday – Northwest Herald

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,992 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths Sunday.

The state received the results of 43,693 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday afternoon. The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate increased to 4.2%.

Illinois now has seen 233,355 total cases of the virus and 8,019 people have died. The state has now surpassed the four million mark of tests conducted with a total of 4,016,782 test results received since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Saturday, Illinois had 1,472 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 328 were in intensive care units, and 155 were on ventilators.

Regional update: According to a July 15 update to the governor’s COVID-19 response plan, the state will be tracking public health metrics in a slightly different way to monitor any potential resurgences of COVID-19. Additional restrictions can be placed on any of the state’s 11 health regions if the region sustains an increase in its average positivity rate for seven days out of a ten day period.

A region may also become more restrictive if there is a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-related illness or a reduction in hospital medical/surgical beds or ICU capacity below 20%. If a region reports three consecutive days with greater than an 8% average positivity rate, additional infection mitigation will be considered through a tiered system of restriction guidelines offered by the IDPH.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen four days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate increased for the third straight day to 6.4%. Currently, 36% of medical/surgical beds are available and 50% of ICU beds.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen five days of positivity increases and two days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate remained flat at 5.9%. Currently, 33% of medical/surgical beds are available and 46% of ICU beds.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen six days of positivity increases and two days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate increased to 8.5%. Additional mitigation measures from the IDPH have been placed on the region and it has less than two weeks to get down below 8%, or it will face additional mitigations. To return to the standard Phase 4 restrictions, the region will need to maintain an average positivity rate of less than or equal to 6.5% over a 14-day period. Currently, 27% of the region’s medical/surgical beds are available and 27% of ICU beds.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) has seen five days of positivity increases and one day of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate decreased slightly to 5.0%. Currently, 45% of medical/surgical beds are available and 50% of ICU beds.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen five days of positivity increases and three days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate increased to 6.6%. Currently, 41% of medical/surgical beds are available and 43% of ICU beds.

Chicago has seen five days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate remained flat at 5.6%. Currently, 24% of medical/surgical beds are available and 38% of ICU beds.

Suburban Cook County has seen four days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region’s positivity rate decreased slightly to 6.8%. Currently, 27% of medical/surgical beds are available and 34% of ICU beds.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

– Bureau County: 1 male 70s

– Cook County: 1 female 30s, 2 females 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 70s

– Lake County: 1 female 80s

– Madison County: 1 female 70s

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Here's Truth

Here’s The Real Truth About That ‘Election Day’ Asteroid on Its Way to Earth – ScienceAlert

If you’ve looked at the news today, you’d be forgiven for thinking a huge asteroid is on track to collide with Earth the day before the 2020 US Presidential election.

At least that’s the takeaway from quite a few news outlets. And, understandably, some people are freaking out. In a year with a literal pandemic, an asteroid collision really just puts a cherry on the top of a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad cake.

But we have good news for you! Despite the headlines, there’s no need to worry about this particular asteroid – known as 2018VP1. 

2018VP1 is not a surprise to scientists. As its name suggests, it was discovered back in 2018 while it was around 450,000 kilometres (280,000 miles) away from Earth.

It’s got a two-year orbital period, and it’s currently on its way back around again towards us.

Fortunately, this is not one of the many asteroids that we don’t know about until they’ve already exploded, or flown by.

This time though, the Apollo-class asteroid is estimated to come within 4,994.76 kilometres of Earth. That’s really close in space terms.

And because it’s so close, there’s a slight chance (1 in 240 or 0.41 percent) that it’ll hit Earth on 2 November 2020 – the day before the US Presidential election.

Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth! It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.

— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) August 23, 2020

Considering the stakes and the year we’re all having, maybe a 1 in 240 chance still feels a little high for comfort. We get it.

Well, we have even better news. Even if 2018VP1 is an asteroid lucky enough to have a date with our pale blue dot, the overwhelming odds are that it still won’t hurt you.

Why? Well, it’s only the size of a small car – around 2 metres (7 feet) in diameter. That kind of asteroid just doesn’t have the girth for large-scale damage.

NASA’s list of potentially hazardous objects has a cut off minimum of 140 metres (460 feet). The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was at minimum 10 kilometres (6 miles) in diameter on impact, after it lost some of its volume in its descent. 

Asteroids the size of 2018VP1 will easily burn up in the atmosphere long before they make it to the ground.

So, although there’s every chance that one day a killer asteroid might finally crash into Earth, 2018VP1 isn’t that asteroid.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared for asteroids that do pose a risk. NASA and other space agencies around the world are working on making us better at detecting these ‘near earth objects’, and one day, potentially even deflecting them.

So, for the moment at least, the US November election will be going ahead – or, at least, this asteroid isn’t going to put a dent in the democratic process.

We’re not sure how these stories got started, but not long after, NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted a response explaining the size, and (very low) likelihood of impact. 

2020 has been quite the year, but at least we don’t have to add ‘deadly asteroid’ to the list of horrors. At least, not yet.

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Everything Here's

Here’s everything to know about coronavirus in Arizona on June 12 – KPNX

There are 32,918 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,144 coronavirus-related deaths, as of Friday morning.

PHOENIX — The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Arizona continue to rise. 

In an effort to track the changes, 12 News has started a daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Friday, June 12.

Major updates: 

  • There are 32,918 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,144 coronavirus-related deaths, as of Friday morning.  
  • The state does not record how many people have recovered.
  • Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Friday

There are 32,918 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,144 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the state’s latest numbers.

That’s up from 31,264 confirmed cases and 1,127 deaths on Thursday.

One week ago, there were 24,332 cases across the state with 1,012 deaths.

More virus cases in Phoenix jails than state prisons

The number of jail inmates in metro Phoenix testing positive for the coronavirus has surpassed the total among state prisoners.

Officials say 313 of Maricopa County’s 4,400 inmates tested positive as of Friday morning.

That compares to 249 confirmed cases among the nearly 41,000 inmates in Arizona’s prisons.

The sharp case growth in the county’s jails has been attributed to more testing and contact tracing within the jails. Officials are considering whether to test all jail inmates.

Arizona is among states seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases after stay-home orders were lifted.

The state hit a new daily high Friday with 1,654 new cases reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sun City West requires face masks in shared spaces

Sun City West residents and employees will be required to wear masks in shared spaces starting Saturday, according to a news release from the community.

“This includes club rooms, fitness centers, pro shops, Member Services, the Village Store, Sports Pavilion, Library, etc. In outdoor areas where members can maintain 6 feet distancing, the masks are optional but encouraged.  The mandate is in place until further notice,” the announcement read.

“Mandating masks will allow us to keep our facilities open for now, unless this crisis worsens,” said General Manager Bill Schwind in the emailed announcement. “Compliance with this is critical to keeping our facilities available. And as we’ve said before, we will not tolerate any members taking their frustrations out on front-line staff. This is a difficult time for all of us.”

Arizona State University requires face masks on campus

Arizona State University will require all employees, students and visitors to wear face coverings while in buildings.

Face coverings will also be required in outdoor community spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, President Michael Crow said in a statement.

Examples of outdoor community spaces include garages and parking lots, ASU shuttles, bicycle racks and sidewalks. 

“ASU had already announced this requirement for the start of the fall semester,” part of the statement read. 

“But, given the current rise in COVID-19 cases we’re seeing in Arizona and a lax attitude toward face coverings and other social distancing measures since Gov. Ducey’s Stay At Home Executive Order was lifted, we feel it is important to accelerate our policy.”

Restaurants in Phoenix close due to potential coronavirus exposures

Hash Kitchen Arcadia said in a Facebook post that an individual tested positive for COVID-19.

It was not immediately known whether the individual was a customer or an employee. 

The company said the location temporarily closed and contracted a disinfection service to completely disinfect the restaurant.

Hash Kitchen will remain closed until all employees test for COVID-19 and the restaurant feels that it is safe to reopen its doors.

ARCADIA * To our community: Hash Kitchen Arcadia management has b… een alerted that an individual with close contact to the restaurant has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Porch Arcadia also said in a Facebook post that it is temporarily closing after someone who was at the restaurant tested positive. 

It was not immediately known whether that person was an employee or a customer. 

The closure will allow all employees to get tested. 

The restaurant will reopen “when we have all test results from our team, and have ensured that it is safe for our staff and customers to return,” part of the post read. 

“During our temporary closure, we will be doing a thorough deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire building, and we will be completing some planned new construction projects, which will also include special features to help further minimize risk of exposure and transmission.”

TO OUR ARCADIA FAMILY: The Porch Arcadia ownership and management l… earned that an individual who was in The Porch has tested positive for Covid-19. We understand that this news may cause you concern.

Ducey touts hospitals amid focus on rise in virus cases

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is dismissing concerns about the state’s sharp rise in coronavirus cases and is instead focusing on hospitals’ capacity to care for patients. 

The Republican governor said Thursday that what’s most important now is that any Arizonan who gets COVID-19 can get medical care. 

Critics say Ducey is not doing enough to slow the spread of the virus. 

He has said the rise in cases was expected and partly resulted from increased testing. 

But public health experts have said it is clear the increase goes well beyond that, and some have called for the governor to tighten restrictions.

Navajo residents urged to stay the course, keep curve flat

Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 125 new coronavirus cases and five new related deaths on the reservation. 

The death toll is approaching 300 and reservation-wide cases totaled 6,275 as of Wednesday. 

Tribal officials said preliminary reports from 11 health care facilities indicate nearly 3,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 with more reports pending. 

Navajo officials are cautioning tribal members about letting up their guard too soon while the pandemic remains a serious threat throughout U.S. 

In Arizona, health care officials are reporting spikes in new cases and hospitals have been told to prepare for the worst.

Maricopa County health official: ‘We cannot go back to the way things were’

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is encouraging residents to continue to play a part in helping slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

“Until we have a vaccine, we cannot go back to the way things were pre-COVID-19,” executive director Marcy Flanagan said in a statement. 

“I know this is not what people want to hear, but in order to keep our community safe and protect our most vulnerable, we have to create a new normal,” she continued. 

“We expected to see an increase in cases with more people out and about, but the rate at which cases are increasing is concerning. And, the thing is, we have the tools to absolutely slow our rate of infection if each of us does our part.”

The department is working with partners to educate the public, facilitate testing in high-risk settings, provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, and conduct investigations and contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases. 

Medical director Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine pointed out what is required of each resident in order to slow the spread. 

“Regardless of age or risk, all persons in Maricopa County should take the following precautions to keep themselves, those they love and our community safe,” she said in a statement. 

People are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community marks first COVID death

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community confirmed its first death due to COVID-19. 

The individual is an enrolled member of the tribe and resides on the Salt River Indian Community. 

“I am very sad to report the loss of one of our own Community member to the coronavirus. Our prayers go out to the family on the passing of their loved one,” President Martin Harvier said in a statement. 

“Our SRPMIC health representatives have reached out to the family to assist and provide support.”

The Salt River Indian Community issued a local Emergency Declaration that is still in effect requiring members to stay home except for essential trips along with limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.

“The State of Arizona and businesses have opened, but the virus is still among us,” said Harvier. 

Arizona releases ZIP code locations of coronavirus cases, other data

The Arizona Department of Health Services has released expanded data points regarding coronavirus cases in the state. 

The AZDHS website now features the location of confirmed cases in Arizona by zip code. 

You can see the current ZIP code map below and can find yours by clicking around or searching for your ZIP code in the top right of the map.

More information on coronavirus cases from Friday

There are 32,918 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,144 coronavirus-related deaths.

That’s up from 31,264 confirmed cases and 1,127 deaths on Thursday.

That’s an increase of 1,654 new cases reported on Friday, a record high and an increase from the 1,412 new cases reported on Thursday.

There were 17 new deaths reported on Friday, down from the 32 new deaths reported on Thursday.

In total, 13,559 new tests were reported on Friday, up from 12,383 tests that were reported on Thursday.

There have been a total of 442,886 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Friday. 

6.7% of those tests have been positive, up from Thursday’s 6.5%.

Here’s a county breakdown:

  • Maricopa: 17,010
  • Pima: 3,628
  • Pinal: 1,363
  • Coconino: 1,345
  • Navajo: 2,512
  • Apache: 1,927
  • Mohave: 584
  • La Paz: 217
  • Yuma: 2,841
  • Graham: 48
  • Cochise: 178
  • Santa Cruz: 833
  • Yavapai: 367
  • Gila: 54
  • Greenlee: 11

Click on the links below to find more information from each county’s health department:

COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes. 

It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says. 

You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Wear face coverings while in public.
  • Practice social distancing while in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.

Coronavirus facts you should know


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exactly Here's

Here’s exactly how T. rex grew from a slender tot into a massive carnivore –

A cast of a juvenile T. rex nicknamed Cleveland next to the skull of a young adult, known as B-rex, on display at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.

A cast of a juvenile T. rex nicknamed Cleveland next to the skull of a young adult, known as B-rex, on display at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.

(Image: © Thomas Carr)

Tyrannosaurus rex wasn’t born the massive beast known for ripping prey to shreds. A paleontologist has found the beast goes through 21 distinct growth stages as it develops from a wee, slender tot to a full-grown, massive dinosaur king. And the two most important stages on its growth chart occurred when T. rex became a teenager and around its 18th birthday.

The study — the most comprehensive to date focused on T. rex growth — also revealed: The male and female skeletons look exactly alike; the controversial Nanotyrannus is not a separate species; and adult T. rex‘s size and weight are not predictive of its age. 

Paleontologist Thomas Carr spent about three years studying 44 different T. rex skeletons being stored at natural history museums across North America. It was a laborious but rewarding scrutiny of the hypercarnivore, which lived from about 67 million to 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, he said. 

“I just love the way these animals look,” Carr, a vertebrate paleontologist and an associate professor of biology at Carthage College in Wisconsin, told Live Science. “I’m in love with their faces. I think they’re beautiful. And I want to understand every little [developmental] change that happens. I want to see through their eyes, if that’s at all possible.”

Related: Gory guts: Photos of a T. rex autopsy

The dinosaurs in the study ranged in age from a 2-year-old at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to the 28-year-old Sue at the Field Museum in Chicago. 

Every time Carr examined a different T. rex, he assessed up to 1,850 features on it, such as skull length, chronological age (as determined from the growth rings in certain bones) and the presence of certain bumps on the bones. 

Paleontologist Thomas Carr examines the

Paleontologist Thomas Carr examines the “Tufts-Love” T. rex at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, Washington. (Image credit: Courtesy of Thomas Carr)

After studying the 44 T. rexes, Carr excluded 13 “wildcards” because they didn’t fit in with the rest of the data. But even with 31 T. rexes, “this work is clearly the most massive, time-intensive effort to understand the growth of the tyrant king,” said Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, who wasn’t involved in the study.

For instance, the data revealed that the two most important stages happened when T. rex roared into its teenage years and later, when it lumbered into young adulthood. 

The first change happened when T. rex exited its preteen years. Just before turning 13, “when T. rex was young, the skull was very long and low, [with] fairly narrow teeth,” Carr said. “These animals are about 21 feet [6.4 meters] long.” The sleek juveniles “don’t look like adults at all. In fact, juveniles have been mistaken as a different species called Nanotyrannus, but they’re really young rexes,” he said. 

Then, sometime between age 13 and 15 (there are no specimens that died at age 14), “everything changes,” Carr said. “In a span of two years, the entire head and jaw deepen, the teeth get thick and basically they now look like T. rexes.”

The second monumental change happened just after that, around the time of their 18th birthday. “That’s when T. rex is heavier than 3 tons [2.7 metric tons]. And that’s important because no other tyrannosaurs are that heavy,” Carr said. “By the time T. rex is between 15 and 18 years old and reaches its giant size — it leaves all other tyrannosaurs in the dust in terms of size.”

This diagram shows the 21 different stages that T. rex went through as it grew from a slender tot into a hulking giant.

This diagram shows the 21 different stages that T. rex went through as it grew from a slender tot into a hulking giant. (Image credit: Copyright Thomas Carr; PeerJ (2020) Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0)

It was already known that T. rex outpaced its fellow tyrannosaurs in terms of growth, “achieving colossal size by packing on the pounds faster,” Zanno told Live Science. “We knew that Tyrannosaurus rex had to morph from baby into a bone-crunching behemoth in just around two decades, but until now, we didn’t have a complete understanding of how this transition occurred.”

Related: Photos: Newfound dinosaur had tiny arms, just like T. rex

However, big and heavy T. rexes weren’t necessarily older than less robust adults. “For example, one of the least mature adults [known as Scotty] is also the largest and most massive example of the species,” Carr wrote in the study. His research puts Scotty in the 23 to 27 age bracket, meaning the dinosaur is younger than Sue.

Carr’s data also revealed that T. rex male and female skeletons looked exactly alike, as is true of other dinosaurs. The only known ways to sex a dinosaur are to see if it has eggs inside of it, or to find medullary bone, a special bone tissue found in the long bones of females only when they are pregnant.

Is Nanotyrannus real?

As for the Nanotyrannus controversy, Carr studied the Cleveland skull (the first so-called Nanotyrannus) and the teenage Jane, another Nanotyrannus candidate. Some people think that Nanotyrannus is a type of dwarf tyrannosaur, but many paleontologists think that it’s simply a young T. rex

According to data gathered on each specimen, these so-called Nanos fit perfectly into the T. rex growth series , Carr said. 

“If they were a separate species, they ought to be sharing a branch and they ought to be on a branch separate from the other T. rex, but they aren’t; they’re successive,” Carr said. In addition, Jane is at a transitional stage between the younger Cleveland skull and the older T. rexes, he said.

“It turns out that Jane actually shows the first indications that the skull is starting to get deep. You don’t see that in the Cleveland skull,” Carr said. “So, Jane is actually almost like a missing link between the Cleveland skull — a really slender-snouted juvenile — and the subadults and adults that look like normal rexes.”

These results jibe with those of another study, published in January in the journal Science Advances, which looked at Jane’s bone growth. Jane’s bones showed “features characteristic of actively growing juvenile dinosaurs that had not yet entered an exponential phase of growth,” the researchers wrote in that study, meaning that Jane was a growing T. rex, not a dwarf dinosaur. 

Nanotyrannus, however, still needs to be investigated further, said Mark Norell, the chair and Macaulay Curator of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, who was not involved in the research, but has worked with Carr on other studies.

Related: In photos: Montana’s dueling dinosaur fossils (including the so-called Nanotyrannus)

Even though Norell said he personally agrees that Nanotyrannus is likely a young T. rex, and even though the Cleveland skull and Jane fit into Carr’s T. rex growth series, there are still questions about Nanotyrannus‘ anatomy, including the length of its forelimbs and the fact that it has more teeth than adult T. rexes do, he said. 

“I don’t think the case is open and shut on that animal yet,” Norell noted.

Not enough rexes?

Norell questioned some of Carr’s other findings, too. That’s because even with 31 T. rexes “the sample [size] is still small, especially when you take into account how poorly preserved the specimens are,” Norell told Live Science.

A better sample size would have included 25 T. rexes for each age group, Norell said. (Granted, that many T. rexes haven’t been found yet, Carr previously told Live Science.) With so few dinosaurs in the study, the assessment that there are 21 growth stages “is a little over-split, especially concerning the sample size,” Norell added. Even the lack of sex differences is suspect: “Because of [the] sample size, I don’t think that you can tell either way,” Norell said.

Carr defended his work, saying that his method to uncover the T. rex’s growth over time “isn’t a statistical test that is dependent upon a high sample size. In fact, the sample size of the specimens in my analysis (31) is at the norm, whereas the amount of data (1,850 characters [per dinosaur]) is extraordinarily high for an analysis of this type.”

For comparison, in another study, this one co-led by Carr, the researchers analyzed 30 species of tyrannosaur and examined “a mere 386 characters,” per specimen to come to the conclusion that T. rex might have been an invasive species from Asia, he said.

If the growth results weren’t truly present in the new analysis, “a growth series wouldn’t have been recovered in the first place,” Carr added. 

The new study was published online June 4 in the journal PeerJ

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Golden Here's

Here’s why the Golden Gate Bridge sings in San Francisco now – CNN

(CNN)You can hear it, no doubt, while sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge is “singing” and its neighbors aren’t quite sure if they love it or hate it.
Residents in the Bay Area said they can hear sounds from the 83-year-old bridge as far as three miles away.
The “musical tones” coming from the bridge are a result of a project “designed to make the bridge more aerodynamic under high wind conditions and is necessary to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the bridge for generations to come,” a Golden Gate Bridge district spokesperson told CNN.
Shirin Kermani and her family have been frequent visitors of the bridge for the past five years under several different weather conditions, but she’s never heard a sound like this before.
“Even when we were walking up toward the bridge from around Battery East and Lincoln Boulevard, we heard something very sad,” Kermani said. “Like a loud didgeridoo or meditation song being played all around us.”
Though others have said the sound is annoying, Kermani said she found them peaceful.
Part of the project includes replacing handrails on the west sidewalk with new, thinner vertical slats so that more air can flow through, according to the Bridge District spokesperson.
“We knew going into the handrail replacement that the Bridge would sing during exceptionally high winds from the west, as we saw yesterday,” he said.
Ray Ryan, who has lived in San Francisco since the 1990s, told CNN he first noticed the “haunting yet kind of beautiful” noise Friday afternoon while his friends had heard it last weekend.
Ryan said his family argued over what the tones are comparable to and have boiled it down to a sound similar to a train or an organ.
He tweeted the City and County of San Francisco looking for an answer for the sounds and was met with an apology.
“Sorry this is happening,” San Francisco 311 replied.
For the neighbors who aren’t so thrilled with the sounds, the Bridge District spokesperson said the new design is necessary to keep the bridge safe.

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Here's Unemployment

Here’s why the real unemployment rate may be higher than reported – CNBC

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The unemployment rate in the U.S. improved last month as millions of people returned to the workforce.

But the official 13.3% unemployment rate, while still high relative to any point since the Great Depression in the early 20th century, likely understates the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The real unemployment rate is likely at least 16%, according to the federal government.

That would mean roughly 1 in 6 people can’t find work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which published its monthly jobs report Friday morning, admitted the official unemployment rate may be low relative to reality due to an error in data collection.

Furloughed workers

Around 21 million Americans were unemployed as of mid-May, a reduction of 2.1 million people from a month earlier, according to BLS data.

The BLS determines how many people are unemployed based on a household survey. Survey interviewers misclassified several furloughed workers as being “absent from work due to ‘other reasons,'” according to the BLS.

That’s the same category of workers who’d be on vacation, for example.

16.3% unemployment rate

The overall unemployment rate would have been “about 3 percentage points higher than reported” if those individuals had been identified correctly, according to the agency. (The estimate isn’t seasonally adjusted.)

That would put the official unemployment rate at 16.3%.

The true rate could be higher still.

The unemployment rate doesn’t include the share of workers who may have dropped out of the workforce, perhaps due to feeling pessimistic about the chances of finding a job in the current economy. More than 6 million workers have dropped out of the labor force since February.

In fact, the unemployment rate is a much-higher 21.2% as judged by another metric.

This metric, which the BLS calls U-6, includes people “marginally attached to the labor force.” These are people who aren’t currently working or looking for work but are available for work, as well as part-time employees who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for part-time employment.

The U-6 metric doesn’t include the workers misclassified by the agency.

Of course, furloughed workers could be recalled back to work quickly, depending on the speed of the economic rebound as states begin to reopen certain business sectors. The unemployment rate would likely rebound faster in this eventuality than if the layoffs were permanent. 

The same misclassification phenomenon occurred in April, too — the official 14.7% unemployment rate would have been nearly 20% if furloughed workers had been identified correctly, the BLS said.

“BLS and the Census Bureau are investigating why this misclassification error continues to occur and are taking additional steps to address the issue,” the agency said Friday in the jobs report.

“According to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted as recorded,” the agency said. “To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.”

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