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Archive for May 15th, 2020

Facebook acquires Giphy to integrate with Instagram – VentureBeat

May 15th, 2020

Valve opens ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ level editing tools to the community – Engadget

May 15th, 2020

Monkey trial of Oxford vaccine shows encouraging results – CBS News

May 15th, 2020

Last Updated May 15, 2020 7:06 PM EDT

The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has said that no corners will be cut in the search for a coronavirus vaccine. But now, there’s encouraging news about a potential vaccine that’s now being tested on humans and monkeys. 

NIH researchers in Montana tested the vaccine using six rhesus macaque monkeys. They said the monkeys that got the vaccine developed protective antibodies against the coronavirus. 

But it’s what happened next that’s giving the doctors hope. When they exposed the animals to coronavirus, the monkeys that weren’t vaccinated developed pneumonia, a sign of COVID-19. But those that got the vaccine, and developed the protective antibodies, had no pneumonia and no virus in their lungs. 

“Why isn’t it enough to show that a vaccine elicits, say, an antibody response?” asked CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.

“We need to know that it protects the animal or the human from the infection,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, who directs vaccine research at Vanderbilt University. “And just having the antibody, if it doesn’t work to prevent disease, it’s not going to cut it.” 

The vaccine used in the study is being developed by Oxford University. It relies on a cold virus that’s been modified so it can’t spread infection. The vaccine is packed with genetic material from the coronavirus — and once injected, it triggers an immune response, teaching the body to recognize and fight a future infection. 

Oxford professor of human genetics Adrian Hill said that if the virus works, it has another important benefit. “This is not a hugely difficult vaccine to make,” he said. “So large scale is feasible, we believe.” 

A different study has shown that rhesus monkeys and humans have about 93% of their DNA in common. But researchers won’t be celebrating until there’s a vaccine that’s safe and effective in people. 

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How To Use Messenger Rooms, Facebook’s Zoom Competitor That Lets You Video Chat With Up To 50 People With No Time Limit – Forbes

May 15th, 2020

WorkSafeBC issues COVID-19 guidelines as businesses ready to reopen – CTV News

May 15th, 2020

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s workplace safety agency released new guidelines Friday as businesses across the province get set to reopen.

WorkSafeBC’s guidelines cover sectors ranging from restaurants to offices, including guidance on how many people should be allowed in a business as well as controlling entry and exit points.

Al Johnson, the agency’s head of prevention services, said the guidelines were a “collaborative exercise” that included employers, retail and safety associations, restaurants, agriculture groups and government ministries.

In every industry, the guidelines emphasize having as little contact with customers as possible and ensuring social distance is maintained when they reopen on Tuesday.

WorkSafeBC advises businesses to follow the protocol on gatherings, limiting events, such as museum tours, and working to establish safe occupancy limits.

It said specific guidelines for sports and recreation as well as child care will be released later.

But before reopening, the safety agency said businesses need to ensure they have a COVID-19 safety plan to protect workers and it must be displayed.

Johnson said every employer and business is different but the main safety issues revolve around the general principles of maintaining distance, and not just between workers but with members of the public as well. The principles also include good sanitation and hygiene, cleaning, and rethinking business practices.

“Undoubtedly, the devil is in the details when it comes to developing a plan, a safety plan … so there will be questions, there will be people who need more information and we’re prepared,” Johnson said in an interview.

Employers should seek input from workers to ensure their concerns are addressed, he added.

About 300 prevention officers will oversee enforcement of the guidelines through unannounced inspections and taking complaints, he said.

“We want employers to succeed here so we are wanting to do everything with them and make sure employers have everything in place,” Johnson said.

If employers don’t have a health and safety plan or don’t intend to create one then WorkSafeBC will take action, he said.

“We will write orders and take them to sanction should we need to like any other health and safety violation in the workplace,” he said.

Penalties could include a ticket, an order, monetary sanction or even shutting down a business until a violation is corrected.

“We’re hoping it doesn’t come to that,” he said.

Johnson said employees have a right to refuse to go to work if they feel unsafe and should follow information on the WorkSafeBC website to file a complaint.

The agency says it will continue developing industry-specific guidelines as more businesses across B.C. begin reopening over the coming months.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has previously said businesses are under no obligation to reopen on Tuesday, and they should only do so when they are ready.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2020.

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New York barber defies state orders and stays open | WNT – ABC News

May 15th, 2020

A Kingston barber with a positive coronavirus diagnosis has been operating “illicitly” throughout “the last few weeks”, according to the Ulster County Health Commissioner.

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Canada’s daily coronavirus death toll is lowest since late April – Globalnews.ca

May 15th, 2020

Canada reported fewer than 100 new deaths on Friday, bringing its national coronavirus death toll to 5,562.

The number of COVID-19 cases went up by just over 1,100 new cases, totalling 74,602, with more than 36,000 recoveries.

According to data collected by Global News, this is the first time since April 26 — when 95 deaths were reported — that the country has seen daily deaths reported in the double digits as opposed to triple digits.

Friday is also only the third time in the last 30 days that the daily death toll (90) has dipped into double digits.

Notably, Quebec reported 50 new deaths on Friday — significantly lower than its Thursday reported daily fatalities, which were 131 — and 696 new cases. Quebec Premier Francois Legault said it has been some time since those numbers have been that low, as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Montreal, the epicentre of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the province.

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READ MORE: Ontario reports highest number of COVID-19 cases in a week due to glitch

The province still carries the largest caseload in Canada, at 41,420 COVID-19 cases and 3,401 deaths. More than 11,000 people have recovered. On Friday, the province announced it will donate a million face masks to Montreal to help the reduce the spread of the virus.

In Ontario, a glitch in the data meant that the province saw the highest number of cases in a week, with 341 of them reported on Friday, bringing the provincial total to nearly 22,000 cases.

2:57Coronavirus: Quiet streets pilot creating ‘chaos’ in Toronto’s Kensington Market

Coronavirus: Quiet streets pilot creating ‘chaos’ in Toronto’s Kensington Market

More than 16,600 of these cases are considered recoveries. Ontario reported 27 new deaths, bringing its death toll to 1,825.

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Alberta reported 58 new cases and four new deaths, bringing its total to 6,515 cases and 125 deaths. More than 5,300 people have recovered. A little less than 1,100 active cases remain in the province.

Alberta is now allowing groups of up to 50 people to gather, as long as they’re outdoors and can maintain a two-metre distance from one another and handwashing or sanitization is done.

1:53Coronavirus: Quebec Premier vows to fix long-term care homes in the province

Coronavirus: Quebec Premier vows to fix long-term care homes in the province

Saskatchewan reported eight new cases and no new deaths, but an outbreak was declared at one hospital. The province has seen 590 cases in total and six people have died since the pandemic began. More than 400 people have recovered.

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British Columbia reported 15 new cases and five new deaths, for a total of 2,407 cases and 140 deaths. More than 1,900 people have recovered so far, leaving 359 active cases in the province.

READ MORE: How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Nova Scotia reported eight new cases as the province introduced household bubbles. Four deaths at a long-term care home in Halifax were also reported, bringing the province to 55 deaths and 1,034 cases — 49 of the 55 deaths are connected to Northwood, the largest long-term care home in Atlantic Canada.

More than 900 people have recovered in Nova Scotia so far.

No new cases reported

Manitoba saw no new cases for the fourth day in a row. Seven people have died in the province so far, which has seen 278 cases with 251 recoveries. This week saw Manitoba open up testing to anyone with symptoms without a compulsory initial call to public health. A province-wide state of emergency has also been extended.

2:51Coronavirus impacts May long weekend traffic to Ontario’s cottage country

Coronavirus impacts May long weekend traffic to Ontario’s cottage country

New Brunswick is down to one single active case, as 119 of its 120 cases have recovered. The province extended its state of emergency on Thursday for another two weeks.

Newfoundland and Labrador has nine active cases out of a total of 260, with 248 recoveries. Three people have died so far. On Friday, the province announced schools will remain closed until September.

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All cases resolved so far

Prince Edward Island had no new information to report Friday, with all 27 cases remaining resolved. The province is accelerating its restart plan.

READ MORE: Canadian campgrounds are reopening for summer. Here’s what will keep them safe

All cases in the Northwest Territories and Yukon are also resolved, with Yukon’s medical officer of health signalling the use of household bubbles in the first phase of its restart plan.

The territory’s government is requiring businesses to complete an operational plan. Physical distancing rules will also be loosened, allowing up to two households to spend time together.

1:35Coronavirus outbreak: Freeland won’t say if U.S. wants border deal extended beyond June

Coronavirus outbreak: Freeland won’t say if U.S. wants border deal extended beyond June

The territory’s border will remain closed but restrictions on travel within the territory will be eased. Premier Sandy Silver warned stricter measures may be reintroduced if COVID-19 cases begin to rise.

Nunavut remains the only region in Canada that has not reported a positive case of COVID-19 so far, after one false alarm.

READ MORE: ‘No one-size-fits-all solution’: How Ontario’s reopening differs from Quebec, Alberta

Worldwide cases, deaths

Globally, the virus has resulted in more than 4.5 million cases and more than 306,000 deaths, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.

The countries with the highest death tolls are: the U.S. (around 87,000 as of Friday), the U.K. (around 34,000), and Italy (more than 31,500).

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The U.S. accounts for close to a third of all cases worldwide, at 1.4 million cases, with Russia a distant second with nearly 263,000 cases.

— With files by The Canadian Press, Global News staff

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Apple Loop: New Radical iPhone Leaks, iPhone SE Solves Dangerous Problem, MacBook Pro’s Disappointing Delay – Forbes

May 15th, 2020

How Close Are We to a Coronavirus Vaccine? Inside the Race to Stop Covid-19 – Barron’s

May 15th, 2020

Even as some states move to ease the lockdowns that have cost tens of millions of jobs and tipped the economy into recession, a safe return to normal life without a widely available Covid-19 vaccine is looking more difficult.

In South Korea and Germany, countries that were among the most effective at controlling initial outbreaks of Covid-19, rollbacks of lockdowns have been stymied by new flare-ups. As long as the virus lurks in people’s throats and on elevator panels, doorknobs, and subway-car poles, it is hard to see how…

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Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine trial on monkeys shows promise – CBS Evening News

May 15th, 2020

Published on May 15, 2020

NIH researchers in Montana tested a vaccine being developed by Oxford University using six rhesus macaque monkeys. They say the monkeys that got the vaccine developed protective antibodies against coronavirus. Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

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