Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Updates: Study Finds Fewer Than 10% Of Americans Have Antibodies – Gothamist

Outdoor Dining Space Bubbles--people encased in clear plastic hubs--at Cafe du Soleil in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


Outdoor Dining Space Bubbles at Cafe du Soleil in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Andrew H Walker/Shutterstock

This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Saturday, September 26th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

Here’s the latest:

Fewer than 10% of Americans have antibodies from COVID-19, according to a study conducted across 46 states by Stanford University scientists.

The study, published in The Lancet, surveyed plasma from 28,503 people receiving dialysis in July through partnerships with 1300 dialysis centers across the country. They found, “Residents of non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic neighborhoods experienced higher odds of seropositivity… compared with residents of predominantly non-Hispanic white neighborhoods. Residents of neighborhoods in the highest population density quintile experienced increased odds of seropositivity…compared with residents of the lowest density quintile.”

This corresponds with data showing that Black and Hispanic communities were more badly hit by the coronavirus, as well as those living in more crowded conditions.

The NY Times reports that this study’s “results roughly matched those of an analysis to be released next week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that about 10 percent of blood samples from sites across the country contained antibodies to the virus.” Further, the Times points out:

An accurate estimate of the country’s immunity is important because President Trump, in collaboration with his new medical adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, has tentatively promoted the idea of reaching herd immunity by canceling lockdowns, mask-wearing campaigns and social-distancing mandates. The plan would be to let the virus wash through the population while attempting to protect the people deemed most vulnerable.

Most public health experts say that such a policy would lead to hundreds of thousands more deaths, as it is impossible to protect all Americans who are elderly or have one of a dozen underlying conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, that render a person more likely to become seriously ill or to die.

In New York, which saw the most cases and deaths in the early weeks of the pandemic, the study found prevalence of antibodies was 33% among the dialysis patients. An upcoming Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study finds that about 10% of Americans, and 22.5% of NY State residents, have antibodies, according to the NY Times.

During a press conference on Friday, Dr. Mitchell Katz, president of NYC’s public hospital system, said there is no herd immunity in NYC, further explaining, “Herd immunity occurs when more than 80% of people are immune and that protects everyone,” while emphasizing the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing, and adhering to COVID-19 guidance from public health authorities.

As Flu Season Draws Closer, COVID-19 Positivity Cases Remain At 1%

1 p.m. As parts of New York City grapple with an uptick in COVID-19 cases, New York State overall is seeing 1% of New Yorkers testing positive for the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday.

“It’s vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight COVID-19 as we move into the fall and flu season. Wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands make a critical difference, as does the deliberate enforcement of state guidance by local governments,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We’ll continue to closely monitor the data and keep New Yorkers updated so they can make educated decisions for themselves and their families. We can move through COVID-19 if we stay New York Tough and if we do so together.”

More than 1,000 of 99,953 people tested positive for the virus across the state, the first time the state surpassed 1,000 positive cases since June 5th. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 454,760. A total of 51 counties also saw new cases. Four people, including two in Brooklyn, have died from the virus on Friday, according to the state Department of Health.

With colder weather arriving and flu season just around the corner, health experts are wary of a second wave that could set back the city’s progress.

As a way of enforcing social distancing rules, officers with the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force stopped by 1,480 establishments in New York City and Long Island and determined only three businesses violated the rules.

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Sept. 26 – Raleigh News & Observer

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus live updates: CDC flips on airborne virus spread; millions in danger of missing stimulus checks – CNBC

U.S. deaths related to Covid-19 are quickly approaching 200,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It’s a dire benchmark as the country continues to debate public safety measures and looks ahead to a contentious presidential election. It’s also far higher than every other nation’s official death toll — Brazil is the only other country to have recorded more than 100,000 virus-related deaths, with roughly 136,000 fatalities so far. 

Here are today’s top headlines: 

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 31.16 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 962,008
  • U.S. cases: More than 6.82 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 199,636

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Friday updates

Live updates: Friday marks second-highest daily COVID-19 count for MN, highest for St. Louis County –

Here are the latest COVID-19 case numbers, trends and developments in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Friday, Sept. 18

  • Friday’s 1,000+ cases represent Minnesota’s second-highest daily total
  • 50 new cases in St. Louis County; the county’s largest single-day increase yet
  • Five more counties show case rates high enough for ‘full distance learning’ recommendation
  • MSHSL sued over moving football, volleyball seasons due to COVID
  • MDH has a website with resources for families and those in need of child care.
  • MDH will be doing free testing in Grand Rapids, Pine City and Waseca starting Sept. 21

11 a.m.

Both COVID-19 cases and testing volume are up across the state, according to new numbers released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

MDH reports that 1,099 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the last day from the results of 29,431 tests processed in private and state labs. That brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Minnesota to 87,807 since the pandemic began. 

Friday’s report is the second-highest daily total in Minnesota yet. The previous high in August involved a backlog of testing data.

Eight more Minnesotans have died from the virus, pushing fatalities to 1,950. Of those deaths 1,414, or 73% of them, occurred in long-term care or assisted living settings. 

Currently 250 people are being treated for COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals, with 136 showing symptoms serious enough to require treatment in the ICU. MDH says 80,221 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have improved to the point they no longer need to be isolated. 

People between the ages of 20 and 24 make up the largest group of Minnesota’s coronavirus cases, with 12,005 and one death. Those ages 25 to 29 account for 8,716 cases and three deaths, while people between 15 and 19 make up 8,268 cases and zero deaths. 

The largest group of fatalities involves those from ages 85 to 89, with 331 deaths in just 1,187 diagnosed cases. That means 28% of people from that age grouping who tested positive for coronavirus died from it. 

St. Louis County reported 50 new cases, which is that county’s largest single-day increase to date. The latest cases range in age from younger than 10 to older than 100; with 64% of the cases being people in their teens and 20s. Forty of the 50 cases are in the Duluth area. Health officials in St. Louis County said the cases in young people are part of a “troubling trend” often connected to social gatherings.

Hennepin County has the most reported COVID activity with 25,454 cases and 917 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 10,349 cases and 316 fatalities. Dakota County reports 6,995 cases and 125 deaths. 

Cook County in far northeastern Minnesota has the least COVID activity with just six confirmed cases since the pandemic began. 

Thursday, Sept. 17

2 p.m. 

Beginning the week of Sept. 21, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will launch a four week effort to provide increased access to “no-barrier” testing: That means coronavirus tests that are free and available to anyone who wants one, whether they’re showing symptoms or not.

The first week of targeted testing will occur in Grand Rapids, Pine City and Waseca.

You do not need to have insurance or an ID in order to get the free test. You only need your name and a way for officials to contact you with your test results.

Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff said they are nervously watching what is happening in neighboring states like the Dakotas and Wisconsin. Huff hopes to increase testing. The no-barrier testing hopes to curve the recent increase in community spread, meaning decreasing the amount of people who got infected but don’t know how they became infected.

12:30 p.m.

New weekly school guidance data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows six Minnesota counties now have COVID-19 case rates high enough for the state to recommend full distance learning, and a majority of Minnesota counties now fall under recommendations for at least some level of hybrid in-person and distance learning.

The counties currently falling under the full distance learning recommendation include Blue Earth, Lyon, Stevens, Waseca, Winona, and Yellow Medicine. Only Waseca County was in the category last week.

The guidance is based off of data reflecting COVID-19 cases rates per 10,000 people from Aug. 23 to Sept. 5. Waseca County had the highest rate in the state in that period, with 72.84 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 57.95 the week before.

State officials have emphasized that this case data alone does not automatically determine the learning plan for a particular county or school district, but is meant to be used in guidance in each district’s decision-making process.

According to the state’s Safe Learning Plan, the county case data leads to five recommended learning models:

  • 0-9 cases per 10,000: In-person learning for all students
  • 10-19 cases per 10,000: In-person learning for elementary students, hybrid learning for secondary students
  • 20-29 cases per 10,000: Hybrid learning for all students
  • 30-49 cases per 10,000: Hybrid learning for elementary students, distance learning for secondary students
  • 50 or more cases per 10,000: Distance learning for all students

In the metro area, Dakota County reported the highest case rates for the two week period, falling under recommendations for a hybrid learning model. All other metro counties were under the recommendations for in-person learning in elementary schools and hybrid learning for secondary students.

Only 24 Minnesota counties still have case rates low enough for full in-person learning under the guidance.

11 a.m.

Numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect a significant increase both in confirmed cases of COVID-19 and test numbers from the previous day. 

MDH is reporting 931 new cases based on the results of 19,743 tests, just short of double the testing numbers reported Wednesday (9,887). That brings the total of confirmed cases in Minnesota to 86,722 since the pandemic began.

Nine more Minnesotans have died of coronavirus, bringing fatalities to 1,942. Of those deaths 1,408, or 72% of them, occurred in long-term or assisted living settings.

As of Thursday 242 people are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals across the state, including 132 with symptoms serious enough to require care in the ICU. State health officials says 79,878 people who tested positive for the virus at one time have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

People between the ages of 20 and 24 continue to make up the largest subset of Minnesota’s coronavirus cases with 11,828 cases and one fatality, followed by those 25 to 29 with 8,604 cases and three deaths. Minnesotans ages 15 to 19 now comprise 8,106 cases but zero fatalities. 

The age group with the greatest number of COVID-19 fatalities are those from 85 to 89, with 330 deaths in just 1,178 cases. That means 28% of the people from that demographic who were diagnosed with the virus died from it. 

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity with 25,264 cases and 915 fatalities, followed by Ramsey County with 10,267 cases and 314 deaths. Dakota County reports 6,942 cases and 124 deaths. 

Cook County has the least coronavirus activity with just six cases, followed by Kittson County with 13 cases.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what businesses are open as the state slowly lifts restrictions. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need:

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus updates: CDC reverses controversial testing guidance; public still split on COVID-19 vaccine; Las Vegas bars to reopen – USA TODAY


Without masks and a vaccine, we could reach Herd Immunity from COVID-19, but deaths would skyrocket. We break down the science of it.


With the U.S. approaching 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and worldwide infections topping 30 million, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that all people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.

The recommendation Friday reverses controversial guidance the agency issued at the end of August, which said that someone who was in close contact (within 6 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes but doesn’t have symptoms does not “necessarily need a test.”

Asked about the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine, President Donald Trump on Friday said the U.S. will have manufactured more than 100,000,000 doses of vaccine before the end of the year, with “enough vaccines for every American by April.” But CDC Director Robert Redfield told a Senate panel this week that a vaccine may not be available to the American public until summer or fall 2021.

Meanwhile, Texas and Nevada are set to ease restrictions for some businesses beginning this weekend, and four more states began-in person voting Friday.

Some significant developments:

  • As in-person voting began in Virginia on Friday, lines at voting locations in Fairfax County were already out the door. A photo shared by the county on Twitter showed a long line of people wearing masks, standing 6 feet apart on sidewalks or camped out on benches and curbs.
  • The U.S. public is still divided over whether to get COVID-19 vaccine one it becomes available, with nearly half saying they wouldn’t get vaccinated in a Pew Research Center survey. 
  • A drafted announcement that was never sent illustrates how the United States Postal Service had planned to send 650 million masks to Americans during the early parts of the pandemic, according to a document obtained by the watchdog group American Oversight through the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Moderna, one of the companies leading the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, announced it could have enough clinical trial results as soon as November to confirm the effectiveness of its candidate vaccine.

? Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 6.6 million cases and 198,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been more than 30 million cases and 947,000 fatalities. New case records were set in six states: Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Kansas, North Dakota and Puerto Rico.

? What we’re reading: Didn’t hear from contact tracers about that guy coughing on your flight? You might not – even if he had COVID-19

?️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

Parents knowingly sent child to school with COVID-19

Twenty-nine high school students in Massachusetts were told to quarantine after parents sent their child to in-person class despite having tested positive for the coronavirus days earlier, reports say.

According to NBC News, the student tested Sept. 9 and got positive results back on Sept. 11. They went for their first day of class at Attleboro High School, located about 39 miles southwest of Boston, on Sept. 14.

Parents learned the next day that a student who attended the public school had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter sent to parents obtained by USA TODAY. 

CDC reverses controversial guidance on COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed controversial guidance on coronavirus testing Friday, now recommending that people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested, even if they’re not symptomatic.

The recommendation departs from guidance the agency issued at the end of August, which said that someone who was in close contact (within 6 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes but doesn’t have symptoms does not “necessarily need a test.”

Infectious disease experts were confused and troubled by the change, as people who are not showing symptoms can still have and spread COVID-19.

The CDC estimates that 40% of infections are asymptomatic and 50% of transmissions occur before symptoms appear. Experts worry that failing to test asymptomatic carriers could not only result in more infections but also hinder contact tracing efforts.

CDC director called in favor to help Nevada GOP leader get COVID-19 test

A USA TODAY investigation found that Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, called Nevada’s chief medical officer in early March to request a COVID-19 test for a Nevada GOP leader who could not get one.

Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general of Nevada until 2019 and booster for President Donald Trump, believed he was exposed to the coronavirus while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. But Laxalt was not showing symptoms and could not get approved for a test through a local hospital back home. 

On the phone call, Redfield asked the medical officer, Dr. Ihsan Azzam, to get it done, according to interviews and internal communications USA TODAY received through records requests.

The special treatment is a stark example of how political influence has penetrated the CDC during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating challenges for local health authorities. It came at a time when his agency knew thousands of Americans needed testing but could not get it due to supply shortages.

– Brett Murphy and Letitia Stein

Europe battles COVID-19 resurgence

Amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, several nations are implementing new restrictions.

  • England: A ban on social gatherings of more than six people, including children, went into effect this week, and fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions appear to be in the cards soon.
  • Denmark: Officials announced a nationwide order lowering the size of approved gatherings from 100 to 50 and telling cafes, bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.
  • Spain: A line of tents has been installed at the gates of a Madrid military hospital four months after similar structures for triaging patients were taken down. Spain’s Defense Ministry said the tents are empty, installed protectively ahead of the second wave taking hold on the Spanish capital.
  • Italy: The Sicilian town of Corleone, made famous by the fictional Mafia clan in “The Godfather,” has ordered schools closed and a limited lockdown because of a coronavirus spike.

Meanwhile, Israel has returned to a full lockdown to contain a worsening coronavirus outbreak.

– The Associated Press

270 million are ‘marching toward the brink of starvation’ amid pandemic

U.N. World Food Program chief David Beasley is warning that 270 million people are “marching toward the brink of starvation” because of the toxic combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beasley on Thursday urged donor nations and billionaires to contribute $4.9 billion to feed the 30 million he said will die without U.N. assistance. He reminded the U.N. Security Council of his warning five months ago that “the world stood on the brink of a hunger pandemic,” and welcomed the response then, which averted famine and led countries to fight back against the coronavirus.

– The Associated Press

13% of world’s population have purchased majority of promised vaccines

Wealthy nations representing 13% of the world’s population have already purchased approximately 51% of the promised doses of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, nonprofit group Oxfam warned Thursday

Oxfam analyzed the deals that pharmaceutical corporations and vaccine producers made with nations around the world for the five leading vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials. Even in the event that all five vaccines succeed, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022, Oxfam estimates.

Earlier this week, researchers at Northeastern University warned that more people will die if wealthy nations hoard vaccines. The models found 61% of deaths could be averted if the vaccine was distributed to all countries proportional to population, while only 33% of deaths would be averted if high-income countries got the vaccines first.

Nearly half of school employees in high risk group for COVID-19, study says

While students may be in the group that poses the least risk for COVID-19 infection, a study says nearly half of school employees potentially have the highest risk.

According to a pre-print study to be published in Health Affairs, between 42% to about 51% of all school employees meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition for being at increased risk for COVID-19.

The CDC says that underlying health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and older age put people into the highest risk groups.

The results align closely with a recent survey by the Education Week Research Center that said 43% of teachers have reported having a physical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19.

USPS scrapped plan to send 650M masks to Americans, document reveals

A plan by the United States Postal Service to send 650 million masks to Americans at the start of the pandemic was scrapped, according to a document obtained by the watchdog group American Oversight through the Freedom of Information Act.

The announcement, which was first reported by the Washington Post on Friday, was drafted but never sent. USPS said in the plan that first shipments of masks were expected to reach U.S. households at an unspecified date in April.

The document demonstrates how the Postal Service’s role in the pandemic response may have been more involved than initially reported this spring.

Nearly half of US public say they wouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine: Pew study

Even after government agencies and pharmaceutical companies pledged their independence in the race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus, Americans are still divided over whether they would get vaccinated.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, nearly half of U.S. adults (49%) say they definitely or probably would not get vaccinated at this time. Intent to get a COVID-19 vaccine has fallen by 21% since May.

While intent to get a vaccinated has declined across all major political and demographic groups, some differences remain. Just 32% of Black adults say they would definitely get a vaccine compared with 52% of white adults, 56% of Hispanics and 72% of Asian Americans.

The national survey was conducted Sept. 8-13 among more than 10,000 U.S. adults.

Las Vegas bars, taprooms, breweries will be allowed to reopen on Sunday

After a six-month shutdown due to COVID-19, Nevada officials announced bars, taprooms and breweries can reopen Sunday night in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. Nevada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force on Thursday unanimously approved the county’s plan to reopen drinking businesses throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick told the task force that bar owners are committed to following health and safety protocols. State biostatistician Kyra Morgan revealed the COVID-19 positivity rate dropped from 8.6% to 7.8% between Monday and Thursday. The World Health Organization’s recommends that rate should be no higher than 5%.

Meanwhile, one resort, Wynn Las Vegas has logged almost 500 positive COVID-19 cases among employees since it reopened in June.

– Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal

Utah governor considers statewide mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he is considering a statewide mask mandate and planning expanded coronavirus testing in response to what he called an alarming spike of infections in the state.

The state counted 911 new confirmed cases on Thursday, a new record for any single day. The rolling average of daily new cases has increased by about 54% over the past two weeks, according to state data, and has jumped to 661 per day this week compared to 381 per day last week.

“We are taking this spike and the magnitude of it very seriously,” Herbert told reporters.

Herbert, a Republican, has urged residents to wear masks for months but has stopped short of implementing a statewide mandate. He has instead allowed counties to decide if they needed bans.

– Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Spectrum & Daily News (St. George, Utah)

India’s coronavirus case count increases by 96K over 24 hours

India’s coronavirus cases jumped by another 96,424 infections in the past 24 hours, showing little sign of leveling.

The Health Ministry on Friday raised the nation’s total past 5.21 million, or about 0.37% of its nearly 1.4 billion people. It said 1,174 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 84,372 fatalities, but experts say India’s death toll may be a significant undercount.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday on Thursday made a fresh appeal to people to wear masks and maintain social distance as his government chalked out plans to handle big congregations expected during a major Hindu festival season beginning next month.


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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott relaxes limit restrictions on businesses; bars must stay closed

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that he would allow businesses to expand pandemic limits on capacity in most of the state, citing a decline in coronavirus hospitalizations.

The order allows businesses operating at 50% capacity to move to 75% starting Monday. That includes restaurants, retail, office buildings, manufacturing, gyms, libraries and museums. Bars remain closed under the order, although some have been able to reopen by selling more food than alcohol.

“Without vaccines available, containing COVID is a challenge, but Texans have already shown that they are up to that challenge,” Abbott said at a Capitol news conference. “As we go about the process to continue to contain COVID, we will also continue to work to open up Texas.”

And Abbott is allowing hospitals in much of the state to resume elective surgeries, effective immediately. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities may resume visitations next Thursday, as long as there are no outbreaks at those facilities.

– Nicole Cobler, Austin-American Statesman

Survey: 751 Arizona teachers have resigned or retired since school began

There are fewer teachers than ever in Arizona classrooms, according to a new survey from the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association. 

Just a few weeks into the school year, about 28% of teacher positions in the state remained vacant compared with 21% vacant last year, the data shows, which means about 3 in 10 classrooms are not led by a qualified teacher. Schools have had to fill those open positions with long-term substitute teachers or others without teaching qualifications. 

Teachers across the state have said COVID-19 adds to the pressure to quit, especially when faced with the threat of returning to the classroom amid the pandemic. Some medically vulnerable teachers are particularly worried about contracting the virus while around students. Arizona school districts had about 6,145 open positions this year — 1,728 remain vacant, compared with 1,443 in 2019. 

– Lily Altavena, Arizona Republic

Moderna says vaccine trial results could come in November

Moderna, one of the companies leading the effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, announced Thursday it could have enough clinical trial results as soon as November to confirm the effectiveness of its candidate vaccine.

Results of the vaccine’s effectiveness will be presented to an independent review committee after 53 people in the trial contract COVID-19, and again after 106 and 151 infections. Half the participants are getting a placebo and half the active vaccine, called mRNA-1273.

Statistically, if the vaccine is effective 75% of the time, it should take only 106 infections in both groups to prove its effectiveness, Dr. Jacqueline Miller, Moderna’s senior vice president of infectious disease development, told company investors on Thursday. ­­At that point, which will likely come in November, Moderna could apply for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin distributing the vaccine.

The FDA has said a vaccine must be at least 50% effective to win federal approval, but the companies developing vaccines have said they are aiming for at least 60% and hopefully even higher effectiveness. Moderna had originally predicted that it might take until May 2021 to prove its vaccine’s effectiveness, but pushed up that timeline because participants joined quickly, the COVID-19 infection rate remained high around trial sites and the company was able to start the trial earlier than originally expected.

– Karen Weintraub

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press


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Moderna updates

Moderna CEO updates timing for COVID-19 vaccine trial results – msnNOW

Moderna, the first pharmaceutical firm to conduct human trials of a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., said it should know sometime in November whether its vaccine works. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Thursday that it could have enough data by October from its late-stage trial to evaluate its efficacy, although he said he viewed that timeline as unlikely, according to the report. 

President Donald Trump has asserted that a vaccine could be ready “during the month of October.” Experts say that is unlikely given the time required to test and evaluate the vaccines for efficacy and safety. U.S. Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield told Congress Wednesday that a vaccine wouldn’t be widely available until the second or third quarter of next year — a projection that Mr. Trump took issue with, saying that Redfield “made a mistake.”

Redfield also said a mask could be even more effective in fighting the virus than a vaccine for someone who fails to build an immunity response from the vaccine. 

“This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield said while showing his mask. “… If I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will.”

So far, there are seven vaccines, including Moderna’s product, in final Phase 3 testing, which involves large-scale tests on people.

“If the infection rate in the country were to slow down in the next weeks, it could potentially be pushed out in a worst-case scenario in December,” Bancel told CNBC.

Final clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines


During a presentation on Thursday about Moderna’s research and development efforts, the company said it has enrolled more than 25,000 people in the Phase 3 trial. The company had reported promising results in a smaller-scale test earlier this year.

The company also said it was scaling manufacturing to produce between 500 million to 1 billion doses of the vaccine. 

Moderna’s vaccine, which uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, to trick the body into producing viral proteins to fight disease, could require two shots to provide protection from the coronavirus. About 10,000 volunteers have received a second shot in the Phase 3 trial, Moderna said on Thursday.  

However, no mRNA vaccine has so far been approved for an infectious disease, and Moderna has yet to bring a product to market, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. 

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Sept. 9 – Raleigh News & Observer

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updates wildfires

Wildfires Live Updates: Helicopter Rescue Missions and Power Shutoffs in California – The New York Times

Extreme weather is battering the Western United States, with fires raging along the Pacific Coast and snow falling in Colorado.

Right Now

Helicopter flights by the California National Guard brought at least 148 people to safety on Tuesday as a fire burned in the Sierra National Forest.


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Wildfires wreaked havoc in states including California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon over the weekend.CreditCredit…Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Wildfires, winds and extreme temperatures are battering several Western states.

Raging wildfires, windy conditions and a heat wave with temperatures reaching upward of 100 degrees converged in a dangerous combination over the weekend, as extreme weather continued to batter much of the Western United States on Tuesday.

In California, helicopters battled smoky skies overnight in an attempt to rescue dozens of people trapped in the fiery depths of the Sierra National Forest and at least 148 people had been flown to safety by Tuesday morning.

In Oregon, whipping winds and dry conditions have helped fuel fire outbreaks. South of Portland, officials in Marion County implored some residents to “please leave now” as fires that have burned through more than 27,000 acres approached more densely populated areas.

And in Washington State, officials said that 80 percent of homes and structures in Malden, a town of 200 in the eastern part of the state, had been destroyed by fire. Deputies began going door to door and announcing evacuations, but officials said many buildings, including the fire station, post office, city hall and the library, were completely burned to the ground.

“The scale of this disaster really can’t be expressed in words,” said Brett J. Myers, the sheriff of Whitman County, Wash. “I pray everyone got out in time.”

From California to Colorado, the dueling threats left millions of people in the West grappling with dangerous weather conditions on Tuesday, adding to the devastation of a year marked by illness and job loss during the coronavirus pandemic.

A gender-reveal celebration gone wrong ignited a wildfire that consumed thousands of acres east of Los Angeles, and utility companies were shutting off power for more than 170,000 customers in Northern California, where record amounts of land have burned this year.

In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert said that the State Capitol building would be closed on Tuesday because of “high winds and dangerous conditions.”

And in Colorado, fiery conditions and 101-degree weather are giving way to another extreme: a rapid cold front. Snow was falling in Denver on Tuesday morning.

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Helicopters have flown dozens of people to safety as the Sierra National Forest burns.

As the fires rage on in California, almost 150 people were rescued on Tuesday morning in the Sierra National Forest, according to the state’s National Guard.

A video posted to social media showed dozens of people, some with their dogs in tow, dressed in hiking clothes and big backpacks, as they stepped off a California National Guard helicopter after being rescued.

More than 360 people and 16 dogs have been rescued in recent days from the Creek Fire, which has grown to almost 144,000 acres and is still zero percent contained.

After several rescue attempts were thwarted by thick smoke Monday night, the weather cooperated enough for the National Guard to access some remote areas and complete rescue missions overnight, said David Hall, a Colonel in the California National Guard on the “Today” show on Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the weekend, roughly 200 people were rescued from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir Area after being trapped by the Creek Fire, crowding into California National Guard helicopters as embers rained down. Two people were in serious condition from burns.

Even as the greatest concern was focused on the Creek Fire, some two dozen other fires were burning up and down the state, prompting warnings that more residents in some places could be forced to evacuate. The Bobcat Fire is raging in the Angeles National Forest, east of Los Angeles, raising fears that it could get worsen with predictions of high winds Tuesday evening and threatening communities in the foothills.

Also in Southern California, the El Dorado Fire burned over 10,000 acres in San Bernardino County. And closer to San Diego, the Valley Fire churned through more than 17,000 acres and forced some communities to evacuate.

The fires burning now are adding to an already brutal toll for California in 2020. As of Monday morning, Cal Fire reported that eight people have died and more than two million acres have burned across the state this year, destroying more than 3,300 structures and narrowly edging out a 2018 record for most acres burned in a single year.

Malden, Wash., is ‘pretty much devastated throughout.’

A wildfire has destroyed about 80 percent of homes and structures in the town of Malden, turning the eastern Washington town into “a kind of moonscape,” Sheriff Brett J. Myers of Whitman County said Tuesday as officials surveyed the damage.

The fire ripped through the town of about 200 people within three to four hours on Monday, Sheriff Myers said, devouring many prominent buildings and between 75 and 90 homes.

“It’s pretty much devastated throughout,” Mr. Myers said in an interview on Tuesday.

Authorities believe the fire originated on a nearby road in Spokane County, and was fueled by extremely high winds, standing timber and dry fields.

There were no reported injuries or deaths yet, Mr. Myers said on Tuesday, but he noted that an urban search and rescue team would be arriving from Spokane to verify that there were no casualties from the fire.

“The fire will be extinguished but a community has been changed for a lifetime,” Mr. Myers said in a statement on Monday. “I just hope we don’t find the fire took more than homes and buildings.”

Local news images posted on social media showed thick smoke as flames devoured buildings, cars and homes. The little that remained of some structures, such as the post office, was badly charred and building debris was scattered across the surrounding area.

The town of Pine City, about three miles from Malden, was also severely damaged by the fire, officials said.

Chelsea Atchison, who lives in Rosalia, a town northeast of Malden, said that she was working at the Harvest Assembly of God Church in her town, offering food, water, clothes and other necessities to evacuees from Malden and Pine City.

“We’ve seen a lot of people who have been visibly upset and emotional over what they’ve lost,” Ms. Atchison, 22 said.

About 15 people have come into the church looking for help, she said, and a few have stayed the night. Some had lost their homes, she said. “As long as we’re needed we will be open,” Ms. Atchison said. “We are here and we want to help our community.”

Wildfires stretched across about 400,000 acres in Washington State as of Tuesday morning, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

“We’re still seeing new fire starts in every corner of the state,” the state commissioner of public lands, Hilary Franz, said in a statement on Monday evening. “My heart is with all of these families through this tragedy.”

In Colorado, ‘We switched from summer to winter in a day.’

On Monday, the scorched skies around Denver were thick with haze, smoke and ash from a wildfire roaring through the dried-out forests near Rocky Mountain National Park. By Tuesday morning, there was snow on the ground and temperatures had plunged more than 50 degrees.

“We switched from summer to winter in a day,” said David Barjenbruch, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service in Boulder. Outside his office, an inch or so of snow already sticking to hillsides and tree branches on Tuesday morning offered a preview of a daylong snowstorm that was expected to dump more than a foot in the foothills and mountains and three to six inches around Denver.

Mr. Barjenbruch said the weather had rolled in from north of the Arctic Circle, traveling along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. Some of Colorado’s ski resorts, which have been preparing for a socially distanced ski season, were expected to get an early dump, though probably not enough to last till they open around Thanksgiving. Live cameras showed that mountain passes were already a blur of white.

Across Denver, people were hauling potted herbs and flowers indoors and wrapping their bushes in burlap and plastic. Mr. Barjenbruch said one of the biggest threats posed by the storm was that overloaded tree branches, still leafed out for summer, could snap and tumble onto power lines.

Forecasters and fire crews were hoping that the snow might damp the Cameron Peak fire in Northern Colorado, a blaze that exploded to more than 102,000 acres and forced a round of evacuations on Monday. Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County said the respite from a record string of 90-degree days and punishing drought across Colorado was “certainly not going to stop this fire,” the Colorado Sun reported. It remains to be seen whether fire conditions bounce right back to hot, windy and dry, but Mr. Barjenbruch said snow was already falling on the fire on Tuesday.

“It’s going to hang on trees and give the fire no fuel to burn, and give firefighters a chance to catch up,” he said. “This is the best thing that could’ve happened for this fire.”

PG&E has shut off power to tens of thousands of customers over wildfire fears.


Credit…Etienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock

The strong winds, hot temperatures and dry conditions along the West Coast sent utilities scrambling to keep the lights on, even as California’s largest electricity provider cut power to 170,000 of its customers to prevent wildfires.

Utilities in Oregon and Washington State reported that tens of thousands of their customers were without power on Tuesday. But nowhere has the power grid been more under siege than in Northern and Central California, where more than two million acres have burned and scorching temperatures have prompted calls by the system managers for federal assistance.

Late Monday, Pacific Gas & Electric began the largest safety power shutoff of the year in 22 counties across Northern and Central California. Some customers could remain in the dark for as long as two days.

PG&E, the state’s largest power provider, just emerged from bankruptcy this summer, after amassing $30 billion in liability from wildfires in 2017 and 2018, including the devastating Camp Fire that killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. The utility pleaded guilty to manslaughter for all but one of the deaths and for starting the fire, sparked by the failure of a 100-year-old tower.

Since the Camp Fire, PG&E has worked to improve its safety and prevention measures, including use of intentional safety blackouts. The widespread use of the tactic a year ago left millions in the dark for as long as a week, angering residents, business owners and government officials. Regulators ordered PG&E to limit cutting power to a measure of last resort.

A heat wave last month led the manager of the state’s electric grid to order rolling blackouts to customers throughout the state because of fear of electricity shortages, though some experts argued that the problem was planning and management of the system.

PG&E officials said extreme weather conditions this week forced the company to use the program, again.

Southern California Edison, the state’s second largest utility, experienced record electricity demand Saturday and Sunday, as days of temperatures above 100 degrees tested the electricity grid’s ability to keep up.

There is a strong link between California’s wildfires and climate change, experts say.

While California’s climate has always made the state prone to fires, the link between human-caused climate change and bigger fires is inextricable, said Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “This climate-change connection is straightforward: warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark,” he said.

“In pretty much every single way, a perfect recipe for fire is just kind of written in California,” Dr. Williams said. “Nature creates the perfect conditions for fire, as long as people are there to start the fires. But then climate change, in a few different ways, seems to also load the dice toward more fire in the future.”

Even if the conditions are right for a wildfire, you still need something or someone to ignite it. Sometimes the trigger is nature, like the unusual lightning strikes that set off the L.N.U. Lightning Complex fires in August, but more often than not humans are responsible, said Nina S. Oakley, a research scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Whether it is downed power lines or the fire ignited last weekend by smoke-generating fireworks as part of a gender-reveal party, humans tend to play a part — and not just in the initial trigger of a blaze, she said.

“You also have the human contribution to wildfire,” which includes the warming that has been caused by greenhouse gas emissions and the accompanying increased drying, as well as forest policies that involved suppressing fires instead of letting some burn, leaving fuel in place. Those factors, she said, are “contributing to creating a situation favorable to wildfire.”

‘We lost our home’: A small California town was hit hard by the Creek Fire.


Credit…Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

It was an old company town tucked away in the Sierra Nevada, where life revolved around shifts at the Edison hydroelectric plant. Neighbors visited at the post office and had coffee at a general store that smoked its own meats. And every wildfire season, the threat of destruction loomed like the granite rock faces towering over their town.

On Monday, residents of Big Creek, Calif., population 200, began coming to grips with the reality that this time much of their tiny community in the Sierra National Forest northeast of Fresno had burned.

“We lost our home,” said Nettie Carroll, 40, who taught science and has lived in the area for 16 years. “It looks like everything is completely gone.”


Big Creek residents who fled the galloping Creek Fire over the weekend said that more than a dozen homes had been incinerated. The Creek Fire had burned 135,000 acres by Tuesday and was zero percent contained, according to Cal Fire, the state fire agency.

From hotel rooms in Fresno and Modesto or family members’ spare bedrooms where they had fled, Big Creek’s evacuees spent Monday sending one another photographs of flames and char and comparing notes on what had survived and what had not.

The school, which has just 47 students, appeared to suffer some damage but was still standing, residents said. They said the community church, volunteer fire department and post office all apparently survived.

The fire also forced workers to evacuate the 1,000 megawatt Big Creek hydroelectric project, which can power 650,000 homes and was America’s first large-scale pumped hydro plant of its kind with the ability to produce power and store electricity. There was no immediate indication the plant had been damaged.

One fire in California was caused by a gender-reveal celebration.


Credit…Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

An elaborate plan to reveal a baby’s gender went disastrously wrong when a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” ignited a wildfire that consumed thousands of acres east of Los Angeles over the holiday weekend, the authorities said.

The device ignited four-foot-tall grass at El Dorado Ranch Park on Saturday morning, and efforts to douse the flames with water bottles proved fruitless, Capt. Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, said Monday. The family called 911 to report the fire and shared photos with investigators.

By Monday, the fire had burned more than 7,300 acres and was only 7 percent contained, the authorities said. Evacuations were ordered, including in parts of Yucaipa, a nearby city of nearly 54,000.

No injuries or serious structural damage were immediately reported.

Criminal charges were being considered, but would not be filed before the fire is extinguished, Captain Milloy said. Cal Fire could also ask those responsible to reimburse the cost of fighting the fire, he added.

Gender-reveal celebrations became popular about a decade ago as a way for new parents to learn the sex of their child, often in the presence of family and friends. Simple versions of these celebrations often involve couples cutting open pink or blue cakes, or popping balloons filled with pink or blue confetti.

In April 2017 near Green Valley, Ariz., about 26 miles south of Tucson, an off-duty Border Patrol agent fired a rifle at a target filled with colored powder and Tannerite, a highly explosive substance, expecting to learn the gender of his child.

When placed with colorful packets of powder and shot at, Tannerite can fill the air with colorful residue for gender-reveal parties: blue for boys or pink for girls.

The resulting explosion sparked a fire that spread to the Coronado National Forest. It consumed more than 45,000 acres, resulted in $8 million in damages and required nearly 800 firefighters to battle it. The border agent immediately reported the fire and admitted that he started it, the United States Attorney in the District of Arizona said in September 2018.

Reporting was contributed by Tim Arango, Jack Healy, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Sarah Mervosh, Christina Morales, Ivan Penn, John Schwartz, Kate Taylor, Lucy Tompkins and Allyson Waller.

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roster updates

NFL roster cuts live updates: Follow the latest deadline news as all 32 teams reduce rosters to 53 players –

While some teams got a jump on making the moves necessary to reduce their rosters to 53 players over the past few days — including Washington moving on from veteran running back Adrian Peterson and the Dolphins saying goodbye to 2019 trade acquisition Josh Rosen — the bulk of roster cuts will happen throughout the day Saturday ahead of the 4 p.m. ET deadline to finalize each team’s initial roster. That means there’s plenty of action on tap as we get ready to welcome actual football into our lives with Week 1 just around the corner.

We’re here to bring you all the latest roster news as it happens leading up to the deadline, but you can keep up with every player cut in our team-by-team tracker, which will be updated throughout the day. Stay with us in the time leading up to the deadline and even just past 4 p.m. ET as every bit of roster news trickles in.

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Hector was solid during his stint with the Eagles. Good find for Carolina.

Ravens bubble

The Browns have FIVE tight ends on their roster: Pharaoh Brown, Harrison Bryant, Stephen Carlson, Austin Hooper, David Njoku

Geno Smith the backup in Seattle

The Browns announce their 53-man roster

The Broncos roster cuts

Nelson Agholor will remain on the Raiders

Good look for seventh-round pick Casey Twohill.

Both Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, picks of Joe Douglas (now Jets GM) in 2017, are out. Avonte Maddox will be the No. 2 CB opposite Darius Slay as expected. Craig James received a one-year extension Friday and Nickell Robey-Coleman will man the slot. Cre’von LeBlanc plays a huge role in the secondary as well.

More on the Shareef Miller front. His DL coach at Penn State, Sean Spencer, is the DL coach with the Giants. Perhaps they take a flyer on him.

The Eagles also released Shareef Miller, who just couldn’t get on the field. 2019 fourth-round pick.

The Eagles are desperate to rid themselves of this contract. With the injury and the fact he’s on the PUP, this isn’t going to happen.

As what R.J. said. Drafted by Joe Douglas in 2017 and the Jets released a bunch of cornerbacks today. The Giants should be interested too.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Sidney Jones winds up with the Jets and Joe Douglas.

Jones just never could overcome injuries and inconsistent play with the Eagles. Fans certainly won’t forget his pass breakup on Michael Gallup in the end zone that clinched theNFC East title for the Eagles.

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Election updates

Election 2020 live updates: Biden heading to Kenosha, Wis., while Trump travels to Pennsylvania – The Washington Post

Trump and the White House also sought Thursday to clarify comments from the president’s trip to North Carolina on Wednesday, when he suggested that those who vote by mail vote again in person. Trump said Thursday that he was merely suggesting that voters follow up to ensure that mail-in ballots are counted. The White House said he wasn’t advocating breaking the law.

Here are some significant developments:

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