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Meghan Markle and Harry’s Hollywood Bond gig may create major clash with William and Kate – Express

June 28th, 2020

Producers of the latest upcoming James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ want Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond to be a US hit. With Meghan and Harry constantly the centre of attention, bosses are desperate to see the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex make an appearance at the eagerly awaited premiere.

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Their top priority is getting Harry and Meghan at the Los Angeles screening in November.

However, Prince William and Kate may attend the London premiere the week before.

It is unlikely that both couples will attend this year following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family, which could create a conflict of schedules.

A source said: “The team have recently adjusted the release date in the US to put it within a week of the UK’s — so they can have massive premieres in LA and London.

Meghan Markle and Harry

Meghan and Harry’s attendance at the latest Bond premiere is top priority for 007 bosses (Image: EMPICS)

Meghan, Harry, William and Kate

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s attendance at the Bond premiere could cause a potential clash with Prince William and Kate (Image: GETTY)

“For the Hollywood premiere they have signalled they want Harry and Meghan as guests of honour.

“It poses an interesting question over whether William and Kate will attend the London premiere.”

Harry, William and Kate were at the Leicester Square premiere for the last Bond film, Spectre, in 2015.

The new film, which cost £162million to make, was due out in April but got pushed back amid the coronavirus crisis.  

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Meghan, Harry and Kate

It is unlikely that both couples will attend this year following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family (Image: GETTY)

In the new film, Bond is shown enjoying retirement in Jamaica, having hung up his Walther PPK pistol in favour of a quieter life.

No Time To Die is set five years after the last Bond film, Spectre, which saw the secret agent fall in love with Dr Swann, a French psychologist.

The former ‘core four’ aren’t the only royals to have brushed paths with the 007 actor Daniel Craig.

In a new book by the Queen’s dressmaker Angela Kelly, it was the monarch broke royal protocol when she was presented with Danny Boyle’s plan to include her in the 2012 London Olympics James Bond sketch through Private Secretary Edward Young.

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Kate and William

William and Kate were at the Leicester Square premiere for the last Bond film, Spectre, in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

Kate and William

Bond bosses’ top priority is getting Harry and Meghan at the Los Angeles screening in November (Image: GETTY)

The short clip shows actor Daniel Craig, who played Agent 007 in the film, greeting the Queen and escorting her from the Palace to a helicopter.

Ms Kelly wrote in the book, titled The Other Side of the Coin, the Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe: “There are few occasions on which Her Majesty will agree to break protocol, but in 2011 when film director Danny Boyle approached the Royal Household, he had a request to make that we simply could not refuse.

“She was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately.

“I asked then if she would like a speaking part.

Royal Family tree

Royal Family tree (Image: EXPRESS)

“Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me.’

“I asked whether she would like to say: ‘Good evening, James,’ or ‘Good evening, Mr Bond, and she chose the latter, knowing the Bond films.

“Within minutes, I was back in Edward’s office delivering the good news to Danny.

“I think he almost fell off his chair when I said that the Queen’s only stipulation was that she could deliver that iconic line: “Good evening, Mr Bond.”

Meghan and Harry

The former ‘core four’ aren’t the only royals to have brushed paths with the 007 actor Daniel Craig, as the Queen herself was involved in the 2012 Bond sketch (Image: GETTY)

Queen Elizabeth II went on to record the five-minute film in secrecy four months before the London Olympics.

In it, she received Mr Craig’s James Bond at Buckingham Palace before accompanying him to a waiting helicopter, from which stunt doubles parachuted into the Olympic Park.

Wearing the same outfit as she had “parachuted” in, the Queen then made her entrance, taking her place in the Royal Box.

Ms Kelly, who got a job in the royal household in 1994, also reveals the monarch gave the book her personal blessing.

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As the coronavirus hits grim global milestones, Canada’s new cases, deaths drop – Globalnews.ca

June 28th, 2020

As novel coronavirus cases surged past 10 million worldwide, with 500,000 deaths, Canada reported six fatalities on Sunday and more than 200 new cases.

The day’s figures are incomplete, however, since British Columbia stopped issuing updates on the weekend weeks ago, and Quebec is resuming daily reporting on Monday.

Read more: Coronavirus cases have hit 10 million worldwide, with 500,000 deaths. Where do we go from here?

That said, Ontario added the highest number of cases on Sunday, reporting 178 infections and six deaths. The province has “surpassed Alberta in cumulative tests per capita” and is ahead of every other province, according to provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott.

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Alberta saw 39 new cases, bringing the province closer to 8,000 cases. The death toll remains 154.

Saskatchewan reported one new case. Manitoba reported no new cases, and the province’s curve remains relatively flat.

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Overall, a little over 28,500 active cases remain throughout the country, with more than 66,000 recoveries. Quebec makes up half of the country’s 103,000 or so cases and 64 per cent of the death toll.

6:43Coronavirus: ‘Be kind. Be calm. Be safe:’ Dr. Bonnie Henry, a beacon of hope during the pandemic

Coronavirus: ‘Be kind. Be calm. Be safe:’ Dr. Bonnie Henry, a beacon of hope during the pandemic

For the fourth day in a row, all four Atlantic provinces had no new cases or deaths to report. Nova Scotia marked its 19th days with no new cases, while New Brunswick has five active cases left.

Newfoundland and Labrador has had no active cases for several days now. All 27 cases on Prince Edward Island have been resolved since early May.

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Read more: For 3rd day in a row, U.S. coronavirus cases surge by more than 40,000

The Northwest Territories and the Yukon have seen all cases resolved for weeks now, leaving Nunavut as the only region in Canada yet to see a confirmed case of COVID-19.

5:16Coronavirus: Studying the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on kids and families

Coronavirus: Studying the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on kids and families

While Canada has gone down from reporting more than a thousand new cases per day throughout April and May, it has still recorded anywhere between 170 and 380 new cases daily in the last week.

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The Canada-U.S. border remains closed until July 21, as the U.S. is seeing a sharp surge in coronavirus cases in several states that didn’t wait for cases to decline before reopening.

5:58Coronavirus: The future of daycare and child care services

Coronavirus: The future of daycare and child care services

With the world’s largest outbreak at the moment, the U.S. has recorded more than 2.5 million infections and close to 126,000 deaths, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil is second, with more than 1.3 million cases and 57,000 deaths.

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

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‘They Want to Kill Me’: Many Covid Patients Have Terrifying Delirium – The New York Times

June 28th, 2020

Kim Victory was paralyzed on a bed and being burned alive.

Just in time, someone rescued her, but suddenly, she was turned into an ice sculpture on a fancy cruise ship buffet. Next, she was a subject of an experiment in a lab in Japan. Then she was being attacked by cats.

Nightmarish visions like these plagued Ms. Victory during her hospitalization this spring for severe respiratory failure caused by the coronavirus. They made her so agitated that one night, she pulled out her ventilator breathing tube; another time, she fell off a chair and landed on the floor of the intensive care unit.

“It was so real, and I was so scared,” said Ms. Victory, 31, now back home in Franklin, Tenn.

To a startling degree, many coronavirus patients are reporting similar experiences. Called hospital delirium, the phenomenon has previously been seen mostly in a subset of older patients, some of whom already had dementia, and in recent years, hospitals adopted measures to reduce it.

“All of that has been erased by Covid,” said Dr. E. Wesley Ely, co-director of the Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction and Survivorship Center at Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Veteran’s Administration Hospital, whose team developed guidelines for hospitals to minimize delirium.

Now, the condition is bedeviling coronavirus patients of all ages with no previous cognitive impairment. Reports from hospitals and researchers suggest that about two-thirds to three-quarters of coronavirus patients in I.C.U.’s have experienced it in various ways. Some have “hyperactive delirium,” paranoid hallucinations and agitation; some have “hypoactive delirium,” internalized visions and confusion that cause patients to become withdrawn and incommunicative; and some have both.

The experiences aren’t just terrifying and disorienting. Delirium can have detrimental consequences long after it lifts, extending hospital stays, slowing recovery and increasing people’s risk of developing depression or post-traumatic stress. Previously healthy older patients with delirium can develop dementia sooner than they otherwise would have and can die earlier, researchers have found.

“There’s increased risk for temporary or even permanent cognitive deficits,” said Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, director of consultation liaison psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. “It is actually more devastating than people realize.”

The ingredients for delirium are pervasive during the pandemic. They include long stints on ventilators, heavy sedatives and poor sleep. Other factors: patients are mostly immobile, occasionally restrained to keep them from accidentally disconnecting tubes, and receive minimal social interaction because families can’t visit and medical providers wear face-obscuring protective gear and spend limited time in patients’ rooms.

“It’s like the perfect storm to generate delirium, it really, really is,” said Dr. Sharon Inouye, a leading delirium expert who founded the Hospital Elder Life Program, guidelines that have helped to significantly decrease delirium among older patients. Both her program and Dr. Ely’s have devised recommendations for reducing delirium during the pandemic.

The virus itself or the body’s response to it may also generate neurological effects, “flipping people into more of a delirium state,” said Dr. Sajan Patel, an assistant professor at University of California, San Francisco.

The oxygen depletion and inflammation that many seriously ill coronavirus patients experience can affect the brain and other organs besides the lungs. Kidney or liver failure can lead to buildup of delirium-promoting medications. Some patients develop small blood clots that don’t cause strokes but spur subtle circulation disruption that might trigger cognitive problems and delirium, Dr. Inouye said.

ImageRon Temko on his 60th, and last, day at UCSF Medical Center. His delirium made him paranoid that he was being abducted.
Ron Temko on his 60th, and last, day at UCSF Medical Center. His delirium made him paranoid that he was being abducted.Credit…Susan Merrell/UCSF

“AK-47,” Ron Temko wrote in shaky handwriting from his hospital bed.

Then he pointed at his neck to show where the assault rifle should aim.

Mr. Temko, a 69-year-old mortgage company executive, couldn’t speak because of the breathing tube in his mouth — he’d been on a ventilator at U.C.S.F. Medical Center for about three weeks by then. So, on a Zoom call nurses arranged with his family, he wrote on paper attached to a clipboard.

“He wants us to kill him,’” his son gasped, according to Mr. Temko and his wife, Linda.

“No, honey,” Linda implored, “you’re going to be OK.”

At home now in San Francisco after a 60-day hospitalization, Mr. Temko said his suggestion that his family shoot him stemmed from a delirium-fueled delusion that he’d been abducted.

“I was in a paranoiac phase where I thought there was some sort of conspiracy against me,” he said.

When he was first placed on the ventilator, doctors used a lighter sedative, propofol, and dialed it down for hours so he could be awake and know where he was — a “regimen to try to avoid delirium,” said Dr. Daniel Burkhardt, an anesthesiologist and intensivist who treated him.

But then Mr. Temko’s respiratory failure worsened. His blood pressure plummeted, a condition propofol intensifies. To allow the ventilator to completely breathe for him, doctors had him chemically paralyzed, which required heavier sedatives to prevent the trauma of being conscious while unable to move.

So Mr. Temko’s sedation was switched to midazolam, a benzodiazepine, and fentanyl, an opioid — drugs that exacerbate delirium.

“We had no choice,” Dr. Burkhardt said. “If you’re very sick and very unstable, basically what happens is we conclude you have bigger problems. You know, I have to get you to live through it first.”

After about two weeks, the sedative-weaning process began, but other delirium-related quandaries emerged. Mr. Temko began experiencing pain and anxiety, compelling doctors to balance treating those conditions with using medications that can worsen delirium, they said.

Mr. Temko at home. “I did not know if I wanted to live or die,” he said.Credit…Cayce Clifford for The New York Times

The repeated nursing visits Mr. Temko needed interrupted his sleep-wake cycle, so he’d often take daytime naps and become sleepless and agitated at night, said Jason Bloomer, an I.C.U. nurse.

At home, his wife kept her phone by her pillow so she could hear him via a nurse’s tablet. “He would wake up and was confused and anxious and he’d start getting all worked up to where the ventilator couldn’t work,” said Mrs. Temko, who would reassure him, “It’s OK, breathe.”

His hallucinations included a rotating human head. “Every time it came around, someone put a nail in it, and I could see that the person was still alive,” he said.

He imagined that his wristwatch (which was actually at home) was stolen by a man who turned it into a catheter. The man played a recording of Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chair, and told Mr. Temko that because he recognized the name, “‘You know too much, you’re not leaving the hospital.’”

When Mr. Bloomer asked “Do you feel safe?,” Mr. Temko shook his head no and mouthed around his breathing tube: “‘Help me.’”

Later, he became despairing. “I did not know if I wanted to live or die,” he said.

He met with Dr. Kaplan, the psychiatrist, who recognized his symptoms as delirium, partly because Mr. Temko bungled tests like naming the months backward and counting down from 100 by sevens. “He could only get from 100 to 93,” Dr. Kaplan said, adding, “The cardinal sin of delirium is always impaired attention.”

Dr. Kaplan prescribed Seroquel, which he said helps with perceptual disturbances and anxiety.

Mr. Temko said another turning point came when Mr. Bloomer said that with months of hard work, recovery was likely.

An optimistic cognitive sign, said Dr. Kaplan, is that Mr. Temko can now describe his delirium in much more detail than he could several weeks ago.

Anatolio José Rios though the doctors outside his hospital room had guns and were threatening to kill him.Credit…Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

Some coronavirus patients develop delirium even after relatively short I.C.U. stints.

Anatolio José Rios, 57, was intubated for just four days at Massachusetts General Hospital and didn’t receive highly delirium-inducing sedatives. Still, as sedation was lifted, he heard booms, and saw flashes of light and people praying for him.

“Oh my God, that was scary,” he said. “And when I opened my eyes, I saw the same doctors, the same nurses who were praying for me in my dream.”


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 24, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


After the ventilator was disconnected, Mr. Rios, a normally gregarious man who hosts a radio show, only responded with one- or two-word answers, said Dr. Peggy Lai, who treated him.

“I saw people lying on the floor like they were dead in the I.C.U.,” he said. He imagined a vampire-like woman in his room. He was convinced people in the hall outside were armed with guns, threatening him.

“’Doctor, do you see that?’” he recalled saying. “’They want to kill me.”

He asked if the door was bulletproof and, to calm him, the doctor said yes.

Like many delirious patients, Mr. Rios warped typical hospital activities into paranoid imaginings. Watching a hospital employee hanging a piece of paper, he said, he thought he saw a noose and feared he would be hanged. His delusions were not helped by one of many seemingly small delirium-fueling factors: his eyeglasses had not yet been returned to him.

After 10 days of hospitalization, he spent two months in a rehabilitation center because of foot inflammation, recently returning to his East Boston apartment. In May, his father in Mexico died of Covid-19, Mr. Rios said. He reflected on another hallucination in the hospital.

“I saw the devil and I asked him, ‘Can you give me another chance?’ and he said, ‘Yes, but you know the price,’” Mr. Rios recalled. “Now I think I know the price was my father.”

Ms. Victory with her husband, Wess Victory, at home in Franklin, Tenn. She has been struggling with emotional and psychological fallout since her hospitalization.Credit…William DeShazer for The New York Times

Two months after returning home from her three-week hospitalization, Ms. Victory said she’s been experiencing troubling emotional and psychological symptoms, including depression and insomnia. She has been noticing the smell of cigarettes or wood burning, a figment of her imagination.

“I feel like I’m going down a rabbit hole, and I don’t know when I will be back to myself,” she said.

Dr. Kevin Hageman, one of her physicians at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said she “was pretty profoundly delirious.”

Ms. Victory, a Vietnamese immigrant and previously healthy community college student majoring in biochemistry, said she didn’t remember yanking out her breathing tube, which was reinserted. But she recalled visions blending horror with absurdity.

One moment, scientists in Japan were testing chemicals on her; the next she was telling them, “‘I am an American and I have a right to eat a cheeseburger and drink Coca-Cola,’” she recalled, adding: “I don’t even like cheeseburgers.”

Along with this agitated hyperactive delirium, she experienced internalized hypoactive delirium. In a recovery room after leaving the I.C.U., she’d stare for 10 to 20 seconds when asked basic questions, said Dr. Hageman, adding, “Nothing was quite processing.”

Ms. Victory managed to take a picture of herself with nasal oxygen tubes and a forehead scar, post it on Facebook and write “I’m alive” in Vietnamese so her parents in Vietnam would know she’d survived. But another day, she called her husband, Wess Victory, 15 or 20 times, repeatedly saying, “I give you two hours to come pick me up.”

“It was heartbreaking,” said Mr. Victory, who patiently told her she couldn’t be released yet. “For four or five days, she still couldn’t remember what year it was, who the president was.”

Finally, he said, “something clicked.”

Now, to help overcome the fallout from the experience, she’s started taking an antidepressant her doctor prescribed and recently saw a psychologist.

“People think when the patient got well and out of the hospital, it will be OK, it’s over,” Ms. Victory said. “I worry if the virus didn’t kill me back then, would that have affected my body enough to kill me now?”

Dabrali Jimenez contributed reporting,

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Allegheny County bans on-site alcohol consumption amid spike in coronavirus cases: ‘We’re going in the wrong – PennLive

June 28th, 2020

In a Sunday press release, Allegheny County officials announced new mitigation measures in response to the county’s recent increase in new coronavirus cases.

The measures include additional mask guidelines and the inability for customers to consume alcohol on-site at bars, restaurants and similar facilities.

Allegheny County Health Department officials said they are finalizing an order which will take effect at 5 p.m. June 30.

The order will restrict on-site alcohol consumption at any business in the county, according to the release.

(Click here if you cannot see the graphic below)

The order also requires the wearing of masks in all businesses, consistent with state guidelines. However, the county additionally ordered the use of masks even when seated. Customers may only remove the mask when eating or drinking, according to the release.

Officials said any reported violations will be investigated. Businesses found to be in violation will be ordered to be closed for a minimum of a week.

According to the release, restaurants will also need to enforce physical distancing while prioritizing outdoor seating and limit occupancy to 50 percent of the stated fire code maximum.

County executive Rich Fitzgerald said Allegheny County led Pennsylvania in new COVID-19 cases on Sunday for the first time since cases were confirmed in the state.

“We’re going the wrong direction,” Fitzgerald said. “While most resident and businesses have been following the rules, these requirements and mitigation measures address the hot spots that have been identified during case investigations. These are severe steps, but we have to take steps now to limit the community spread that endangers those who are older, high-risk or otherwise immunocompromised.”

TribLive reported that officials said the recent surge has been attributed to reports of county residents traveling across the country included Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Houston, Nashville and multiple cities in Florida.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf voiced his support for Allegheny health officials in a press release Sunday afternoon.

“This was the right move to work to stop the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in its tracks and to remind all residents and businesses that the best defense we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Pennsylvanians safe is to continue to follow the mask-wearing requirement, practice social distancing, and follow safety guidelines even and especially during the green phase of reopening,” Wolf said. “We cannot become complacent in practicing the measures we know can protect everyone from the spread of this very contagious virus.”

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debera Bogen gave the following recommendations to residents:

  • Consider rescheduling, changing or postponing travel and vacation plans.
  • Avoid crowded locations and close contact with others.
  • Wear a mask even if not required.
  • Frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer, especially when in public places or before eating or drinking.

Bogen is also recommending a 14-day quarantine for anyone in the area who is traveling out of state, particularly those who may travel to “hot spots” including Coastal Carolina, Florida and Texas.

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Allegheny County officials recommend quarantine, testing for travelers – WTAE Pittsburgh

June 28th, 2020

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen is recommending a 14-day quarantine for those traveling out of state or to have two negative tests at least 48 hours apart for the quarantine to be lifted. Case investigators over the last week have heard many new cases that they have traveled out of state, often to hot spots in the country like Florida, Texas and the beaches along the Carolina coast.“Recommending quarantine and testing after travel will help reduce spread from those individuals, and I am confident our county has the testing capacity to handle it,” Bogen said. “Locations such as the Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rite Aid, CVS and MedExpress will offer testing to people who have traveled, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.”Today’s report of 96 new cases brings the total for the week to 393. These numbers reflect a very rapid increase in cases as well as a significant rise in the percent positive among those tested. From a low of 1-2% just two weeks ago, the percent positive has now increased to 6% for the past couple of days.Finally, Dr. Bogen offered the additional reminders. If you are going to travel or have vacations planned:· Consider rescheduling, changing or postponing plans if the destination is seeing a recent surge in COVID-19 cases· Avoid crowded locations and close contact with others· Wear a mask even if they aren’t required· Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. This is especially important after being in public places, touching high-use surfaces such as door knobs and counters, and before and after eating, drinking or smokingThe department continues to track and investigate all cases of COVID-19 and reminds residents to stay safe.

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen is recommending a 14-day quarantine for those traveling out of state or to have two negative tests at least 48 hours apart for the quarantine to be lifted.

Case investigators over the last week have heard many new cases that they have traveled out of state, often to hot spots in the country like Florida, Texas and the beaches along the Carolina coast.

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“Recommending quarantine and testing after travel will help reduce spread from those individuals, and I am confident our county has the testing capacity to handle it,” Bogen said. “Locations such as the Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rite Aid, CVS and MedExpress will offer testing to people who have traveled, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.”

Today’s report of 96 new cases brings the total for the week to 393. These numbers reflect a very rapid increase in cases as well as a significant rise in the percent positive among those tested. From a low of 1-2% just two weeks ago, the percent positive has now increased to 6% for the past couple of days.

Finally, Dr. Bogen offered the additional reminders. If you are going to travel or have vacations planned:

· Consider rescheduling, changing or postponing plans if the destination is seeing a recent surge in COVID-19 cases

· Avoid crowded locations and close contact with others

· Wear a mask even if they aren’t required

· Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. This is especially important after being in public places, touching high-use surfaces such as door knobs and counters, and before and after eating, drinking or smoking

The department continues to track and investigate all cases of COVID-19 and reminds residents to stay safe.

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Country Stars Chase Rice, Chris Janson Spark Outrage With Videos of Packed Concert Crowds – Variety

June 28th, 2020

Country singer Chase Rice is taking heat after sharing video footage of a concerts he played in east Tennessee Saturday night, with footage showing large, packed outdoor crowds rocking out shoulder-to-shoulder with no sign of social distancing or masks.

Rice posted video of his riled-up audience in east Tennessee, taken from the stage, as part of an Instagram post with the caption: “We back.” The video clips remained up Sunday on his Instagram story, even as it became the subject of angry voices on social media.

One of those was country hitmaker Kelsea Ballerini, who ripped into Rice in a tweet. “Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect, and play a NORMAL country concert right now,” Ballerini wrote. “@ChaseRiceMusic, we all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”

Another country star, Chris Janson, also used social media to share footage of a concert he played to a sea of fans Saturday night , although it was difficult to tell from the footage whether any of the members of the similarly jam-packed audience at the Hwy 30 Fest in Filer, Idaho were wearing masks. Late in the day Sunday, he deleted his video footage from Instagram, along with a tweet that showed the festival crowd.

Although shots of jammed crowds at bars in Nashville had recently aroused controversy, these are believed to be the first instances of stars drawing standing-room-only, non-distancing crowds to ticketed performances in large numbers since national quarantining began … or at least the first where evidence of the complete lack of social distancing was proudly shared by the stars themselves.

Brian May, VP of the Brushy Mountain Group, which hosted the Rice concert at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, told Variety Sunday that “all local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken.” But he said that different protocols were being considered for future shows, up to and including postponements. (The venue has further shows booked in the coming weeks by country artists Kip Moore, Jamey Johnson and Sawyer Brown.)

Although the audience appears vast in the video Rice posted, and some news reports had attendance at 4,000, Brushy Mountain said the figure was actually well below that. “We drastically reduced our maximum venue capacity of 10,000 to 4,000 maximum capacity (lower than the state’s advisement of 50%) with less than 1,000 in attendance Saturday night, providing ample space in the outdoor lawn area for fans to spread out to their own comfort level,” said May. “All guests were given temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at entry. All vendors and staff were advised to wear masks and gloves when interacting with guests, and bandanas were available for purchase on-site.”

May indicated the crowd was not eager to voluntarily follow social distancing guidelines, which will prompt reevaluation. “We were unable to further enforce the physical distancing recommended in the signage posted across the property and are looking into future alternative scenarios that further protect the attendees, artists and their crews and our employees. We are reevaluating the series from the top to bottom — from implementing further safety measures, to adding stanchions, to converting the space to drive-in style concerts, to postponing shows.”

A Twitter user with the handle @AlexFountain23 was at the Rice concert and defended the show against several detractors. “I was there, it was a great concert,” he tweeted. “There was plenty of room for people who wanted to social distance. Masks do nothing. Can’t live in fear forever… The venue was so large that if you wanted you could be 50 ft away from people at times… There are plenty more things out there that we could get sick from that’s worse than COVID. Chase Rice put on a great show!”

Janson crowing about his un-socially distanced show in Idaho drew less immediate attention than Rice’s did. Attendance figures for Janson’s show in Idaho were not immediately known. The footage he shared on Instagram was being copied and shared on Twitter as well.

Rice has made his resistance to quarantining known before. Back on March 13, he tweeted, “I’m not throwing blame to any promoters or decision makers on this, they gotta protect themselves and the well being of people, so I get all sides of this deal. I personally choose not [to] live scared, especially of something that I can’t really control.” A few days later, he released a song he’d written about the coronavirus crisis: “Dear corona, you don’t know the heart of a country fan / You don’t know that we don’t give a damn / So you can reschedule Stagecoach / But you gotta understand / That you don’t know the heart of a country fan.”

Tennessee is one of many states that is seeing an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases. As of Saturday, the COVID-19 case count for Tennessee was 40,172, including 584 deaths, 2,564 hospitalizations and 26,159 recovered. The Tennessee Department of Health reported 728 new cases on Saturday. Friday had 1,410 new cases being announced, the largest single-day increase in reported cases in Tennessee since the crisis began.

Idaho is also experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. In the past week, the state twice set single-day records for new cases being reported, and added more to its COVID-19 tally during the week than for the entire month of May, the Idaho Statesman reported.

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Twitter user reacts to Chris Janson post about Idaho show Twitter

Rice and Janson were not the only country music stars taking a stage on Saturday night, although the others appeared to be in settings where social distancing was at more of a premium.

Jimmie Allen played a drive-in show for attendees who sat in or on their cars. “Played our first show last night since March 11,” Allen tweeted. “First ever ‘social distance’ show. Not gonna lie. it was weird at first. I got tired so I sat down and talked to the crowd for the while. I was totally out of ‘show’ shape but it felt great to play again.”

Jon Pardi was doing an outdoor show in Georgia, but those familiar with the concert describe it as a dinner show where patrons were set up at tables, each with their own 15 x 15 square they were asked to stay within, with six-foot distancing between table spaces. Temperatures were checked at entry and masks were said to be required on shuttles to the venue, although not during dinner or the performance.

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Allegheny County shutting bars back down due to ‘alarming’ COVID-19 spike – Morning Call

June 28th, 2020

A crowd gathers to drink at Standard Hall last month in Columbus, Ohio. Allegheny County is shutting down alcohol consumption in bars, fearing they are contributing to spiking rates of COVID-19 largely among young people. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch)

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Former CDC Head: Surge In Coronavirus Cases Due To New Spread, Not Increased Testing – HuffPost

June 28th, 2020

Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the recent surge in coronavirus cases across parts of the country is the result of the virus’s spreading, not increased testing, as President Donald Trump has argued.

“As a doctor, a scientist, an epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states where you’re seeing an increase, it is a real increase,” Frieden told “Fox News Sunday.”

He added: “It is not more tests. It is more spread of the virus. … The numbers you’re seeing are just a tip of the iceberg of even more spread.”

Trump said last week that he pushed administration officials to slow down testing to avoid the high numbers of confirmed infections. (White House officials claimed he was joking, but the president told reporters days later that he doesn’t “kid.”)

“To be honest with you, when you do more testing, you find more cases,” the president told CBN News on Monday. “And then they report our cases are through the roof.”

There have been more than 125,000 coronavirus-linked deaths in the U.S. and more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of the virus nationwide as of Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

On Friday, the U.S. reported more than 45,000 new cases ― shattering the record for the country’s largest single-day total. Hospitalizations have increased dramatically in several states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and South Carolina.

Frieden, who led the CDC from June 2009 to January 2017, suggested Sunday that these states reopened too early in the pandemic.

“If you open when cases are still increasing, as many states did, it’s like leaning into a left hook: You’re going to get hit hard,” Frieden said.

He estimated that another 15,000 people in the U.S. will die from COVID-19 in the next month.

Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump appointed to lead the White House coronavirus task force in February, said earlier this week that the death toll in the U.S. could top 240,000.

Meanwhile, Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, on Sunday warned that the wave of new infections is a “very serious situation.”  

“I encourage your listeners, if you’ve had COVID, call your blood bank, American Red Cross, and please donate plasma to increase our supplies,” Azar said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So we’ve got the tools to do this, we just did this in the past couple of weeks in North Carolina, but the window is closing. We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly.”

The majority of new infections in Southern states have been in people 35 years and younger who may be asymptomatic and not as seriously at risk, Azar added.

But Frieden on Sunday cautioned against taking too much comfort in the fact that it’s mostly young people testing positive in some states.

“What starts in the young doesn’t stay in the young,” he said. “Younger people have parents, uncles. … We’re going to see increasing spread. That’s why the three W’s are so important: Wear a mask, wash your hands or use sanitizer and watch your distance.”

Last June, Frieden pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a sexual harassment case. A 55-year-old woman alleged he grabbed her butt without her consent at his apartment in 2017. As part of his plea, the charges of forcible touching, sexual abuse and harassment against him were dropped.

Watch Frieden’s full interview on “Fox News Sunday” below.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

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Gov. Wolf Supports Allegheny County COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts – pa.gov

June 28th, 2020

June 28, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf today commended the Allegheny County Executive and Health Department for the additional mitigations the county is putting in place in response to significant COVID-19 case increases over the past few days, emphasizing that the situation in Allegheny County is a reminder for the entire state to follow mask-wearing and other mitigation requirements. The majority of new cases in Allegheny County are in people age 19-49 with an average age of 27.

“I commend Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen for the decision to shut down bars and restaurants for on-premises alcohol sales in Allegheny County effective June 30. This was the right move to work to stop the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in its tracks and to remind all residents and businesses that the best defense we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Pennsylvanians safe is to continue to follow the mask-wearing requirement, practice social distancing, and follow safety guidelines even and especially during the green phase of reopening. We cannot become complacent in practicing the measures we know can protect everyone from the spread of this very contagious virus.

“It is my hope that swift action on the part of the county results in swift containment and the return to an increased commitment to protect all residents, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and that this action sets an example for the rest of the state to continue to follow mitigation efforts put in place to protect lives and livelihoods.

“Mitigation efforts statewide include the requirement to wear a mask when in businesses, following occupancy limits in all businesses and gatherings, practicing social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing surfaces – these simple practices can make a huge difference in protecting ourselves, our seniors, our neighbors and our communities. Even if you believe you will not get sick, you can, and you can spread the virus to someone who may not be able to recover as easily.”

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Allegheny County closing bars and on-site alcohol consumption in result to spike in COVID-19 cases – PGH City Paper

June 28th, 2020
<a href="https://media1.fdncms.com/pittsburgh/imager/u/original/17538724/bars-closed-coronavirus.jpg" rel="contentImg_gal-17538719" title data-caption="   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge bars-closed-coronavirus.jpg

Today, Allegheny County officials announced that bars will be forced to close immediately, and restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol on-site, in result to a recent spike in coronavirus cases. Enforcement will begin on Tue., June 30 at 5 p.m.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at a press conference today that contract tracing completed by the county has shown a couple of hot spots since the county moved into green phase on June 5, and those hot spots have been bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Bars can still sell libations for take away.

Restaurants can still remain open, and can operate their dining rooms at 50% capacity and with physical distancing. Fitzgerald said that everyone should wear masks while in restaurants, including customers, except when eating. Restaurants and bars can still sell alcohol and cocktails to-go, but those beverages cannot be consumed on-site.

“We are going to vigilant about enforcing the mask rule, and encourage people to be outside,” said Fitzgerald, who added the county will be encouraging restaurants to expand patio space. He added that Pittsburgh city officials will be fast tracking permits to allow for restaurants to have more outdoor space on sidewalks and city streets.

Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said positive coronavirus cases in the county have reached an all-time daily and weekly high. She said the cases can’t be traced to one or two specific locations, meaning that the cases are coming from mostly bars and restaurants from all over the county.

“I am very concerned,” said Bogen. “I am concerned because they are rising rapidly, and have no known source. It shows community spread and we had almost no community spread before.”

Bogen said contact tracing has shown that many cases are linked to people who had traveled out of state and visited nightlife and bars in states like Florida and coastal sections of the Carolinas. She said that the county decided to shut down bars and selling alcohol because drinking led to gatherings that violated physical distancing and people conversing in close proximity without masks.

Bogen suggested that anyone who has traveled out of state to quarantine themselves for 14 days and to get tested. She said she’s concerned that the spike in positive tests will lead to an increase in hospitalizations. She said the cases have been primary younger people, and that bars and restaurants in Oakland and South Side have been linked to cases, and she is worried that people with possible infections may be unknowingly bringing cases to their parents, aunts, and grandparents.

She addressed concerns about Allegheny County potentially moving back into the yellow or red phase and noted that since we are now more prepared than when the pandemic first arrived — there are now more Personal Protective Equipment for health-care facilities and frontline workers, and we now have the ability to contract trace and determine where cases are coming from — she doesn’t foresee a need to move out of the green phase at this moment.

She says it is still safe to go out to other businesses, as long as masks are worn, physical distancing is adhered to, and hands are washed often. Bogen said part of the reason for the recent spike was that these things weren’t happening at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

“We want to make sure we can contain this and flatten the curve and send it back the other way,” said Fitzgerald.  

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