Archive for July 5th, 2020

Marin County shuts indoor dining amid increase in coronavirus cases – San Francisco Chronicle

July 5th, 2020

Marin County officials will suspend indoor dining for at least three weeks amid an influx in new coronavirus infections, reversing course one week after giving restaurants the green light to serve customers inside.

The decision, effective at midnight Monday, comes days after the state added Marin County to its watch list, which closely tracks counties struggling to clamp down on a surge in cases and hospitalizations. The county’s decision was based on a lack of improvement in case counts, officials said in a release Sunday.

Marin had 2,861 total coronavirus cases and 21 deaths as of Sunday afternoon. There were 29,174 cases and 601 deaths across the Bay Area.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed counties on the watch list to reimpose parts of their stay-at-home orders.

The governor last week ordered 19 counties with surging coronavirus outbreaks — including Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano — to close indoor restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other venues, saying California must keep the pandemic from spiraling out of control.

Twenty-two counties remained on the list as of Saturday.

Restaurants in Marin County may continue outdoor seating and take-out service, officials said.

Teams with the state health department will patrol restaurants and other businesses that are not complying with COVID-19 measures.

“Wearing facial coverings in public, washing hands often, adhering to social bubble guidelines, and practicing social distancing are among practices that will help curtail the coronavirus outbreak and lead to more openings in economic sectors,” Marin officials said.

Tatiana Sanchez is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @TatianaYSanchez.


Nick Cordero, Tony-nominated Broadway star, dies at 41 of coronavirus – The Washington Post

July 5th, 2020

Mr. Cordero’s wife, a fitness trainer and former Radio City Rockette, had posted regular updates on his health, launching a daily singalong with the hashtag #wakeupnick to show support for Mr. Cordero during the six weeks he was in a medically induced coma.

Standing 6-foot-5, with dark hair and a baritone voice, Mr. Cordero was a menacing presence on TV shows such as “Lilyhammer,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and the police drama “Blue Bloods.” But he was best known for his work on Broadway, playing charismatic brutes in musicals including “Bullets Over Broadway” and “A Bronx Tale” — two shows in which his character was previously portrayed on-screen by Bronx-born actor Chazz Palminteri.

Those roles gave Mr. Cordero a chance to take major parts, after years of being passed over in favor of shorter actors who, he once joked, looked “better next to the leading lady.” Before he was cast in “Bullets Over Broadway,” he had appeared in the off-Broadway musical “The Toxic Avenger” and as a replacement performer in the jukebox hit “Rock of Ages,” but was preparing for a fallback career by taking real estate classes.

Adapted from Woody Allen’s 1994 black comedy film of the same name, “Bullets Over Broadway” featured Mr. Cordero as Cheech, a tap-dancing mob enforcer who dumps rival gangsters into the noxious Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. “The producer kept telling me, ‘Get tough. Get mean. Get angry,’ ” Mr. Cordero told the New York Times in 2014. “But I’m a nice guy. I’m Canadian.”

With a score of 1920s standards and an ensemble cast helmed by Zach Braff and Marin Mazzie, the show received six Tony nominations, including best featured actor for Mr. Cordero. He ran away with the show, wrote Times theater critic Ben Brantley, but lost to “Aladdin” star James Monroe Iglehart.

“Chazz Palminteri received a deserved Oscar nomination as Cheech, and Mr. Cordero is just as good,” Brantley wrote. “It’s not that Cheech’s lines are any more outrageous than a lot of what the other cast members have to say. But unlike most of those others, Mr. Cordero never pushes for effect, even when he’s leading a homicidal dance number to ‘ ’Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do.’ ”

Mr. Cordero later starred in the crowd-pleasing musical “Waitress” as Earl, the abusive husband of actress Jessie Mueller’s title character. He left the show in September 2016, six months after its opening, to play Sonny in “A Bronx Tale,” adapted from a one-man play by Palminteri that had inspired a 1993 film starring and directed by Robert De Niro.

With De Niro co-directing, the show ran for 700 performances, the vast majority starring Mr. Cordero, who received a Drama Desk Award nomination as a killer whose brutal crime is witnessed by an impressionable boy, Calogero, played — at different ages — by Hudson Loverro and Bobby Conte Thornton.

Nicholas Cordero was born in the steel city of Hamilton, Ontario, on Sept. 17, 1978. His parents were schoolteachers, and his father was a Costa Rican immigrant. Mr. Cordero recalled participating in Latin dances as a boy, dancing with older girls (“I thought I was super cool”) years before he learned to tap-dance for “Bullets Over Broadway.”

“Theater kept me out of trouble,” said Mr. Cordero, who began performing cabaret at age 14 and later sang on a cruise ship. He studied acting at Ryerson University in Toronto for two years before dropping out to play guitar and sing with his rock band, Lovemethod.

By the early 2000s, he had begun focusing on acting, performing in Canadian stage productions and appearing in an episode of the Showtime series “Queer as Folk” before moving to New York City in 2007.

Soon after arriving, he was cast in a New Jersey production of “The Toxic Avenger,” which ran off-Broadway beginning in 2009. Written by Joe DiPietro and Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, the musical was adapted from a schlocky 1984 movie about a geek named Melvin who is thrown into a vat of toxic waste and becomes a slimy green superhero.

As Melvin in the stage adaptation, Mr. Cordero played a comically deformed crusader against environmental destruction who tries to save his home state of New Jersey while winning the love of a blind librarian and singing pop-rock songs with titles like “Hot Toxic Love” and “Thank God She’s Blind.”

“All of this is carried out in deliciously bad taste that somehow isn’t really offensive,” Stephen Wells wrote in the Times, reviewing the original production in New Brunswick.

Mr. Cordero took on another unusual superhero role in 2015, playing the Avenging Angelo — a villainous character with the special gift of locating empty parking spots — in the off-Broadway musical “Brooklynite.”

In 2017 he married Kloots, who had danced in “Bullets Over Broadway.” They had a son, Elvis, born in 2019, and recently moved to Los Angeles, where Mr. Cordero starred as the Hollywood nightclub owner Dennis in a new production of “Rock of Ages.”

Complete information on survivors was not immediately available.

Even Mr. Cordero seemed taken aback by the timing and success of his breakout role in “Bullets Over Broadway.” Had he not been cast, he said, he would probably be working in real estate somewhere.

“I guess I was always hoping for a moment like this, but I kept wondering if it was ever going to happen,” he told the Toronto Star after receiving a Tony nomination. “But now that it’s come along,” he added, “it seems like a validation of my whole career, everything I worked for and struggled for all these years.”


Canadian Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, dies from coronavirus complications –

July 5th, 2020

Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as WaitressA Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. He was 41.

He grew up in Hamilton’s west end and attended Ryerson University for acting.

Cordero died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai hospital after more than 90 days in the hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots. “God has another angel in heaven now,” she posted on Instagram. “Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband.”

Cordero entered the emergency room on March 30 and had a succession of health setbacks, including mini-strokes, blood clots, septis infections, a tracheostomy and a temporary pacemaker implanted. He had been on a ventilator and unconscious and had his right leg amputated. A double lung transplant was being explored.

Kloots, sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis, so he could see them if he woke up, and urged friends and fans to join a daily sing-a-long. A GoFundMe page to pay for medical expenses has raised over $600,000 US.

“I tell him, I say, ‘You’re gonna walk out of this hospital, honey. I believe it. I know you can,”‘ she told CBS This Morning over the summer. “‘We’re gonna dance again. You’re gonna hold your son again.’ My line is, ‘Don’t get lost. Get focused.”‘

Acting roles

The lanky Cordero originated the menacing role of husband Earl opposite his estranged wife, played by Jessie Mueller, in Waitress as well as the role of Sonny in Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale. It was at Bullets Over Broadway where Cordero met his wife. The two married in 2017.

Castmembers from Waitress — Jessie Mueller, Keala Settle, Kimik Glenn and songwriter Sara Bareilles — helped raise money for Cordero by covering his song Live Your Life. Sylvester Stallone sent a video with best wishes.

Kloots had said that it was difficult to tell whether Cordero understood happened to him, but said he could respond to commands by looking up and down when he was alert.

Her husband played a mob soldier with a flare for the dramatic in Broadway’s Woody Allen 1994 film adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway, for which he received a Tony nomination for best-featured actor in a musical. He moved to Los Angeles to star in Rock of Ages.

On the small screen, Cordero appeared in several episodes of Blue Bloods and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and he had a role in the film Going in Style.

Actor and guitarist for Bruce Springsteen Stevie Van Zandt offered Cordero his first TV acting gig in the final episode of Lilyhammer. After he was hospitalized, Van Zandt teamed up with Constantine Maroulis and Vincent Pastore to make a video performing Live Your Life.

Cordero was last onstage in a Kennedy Center presentation of Littler Shop of Horrors. His off-Broadway credits include The Toxic Avenger and Brooklynite.

The virus has sickened other Broadway veterans, including the actors Danny Burstein, Tony Shalhoub, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Gavin Creel, Aaron Tveit and Laura Bell Bundy as well as composer David Bryan. It has also claimed the life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally.

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India may require online shops to hand over site code – Engadget

July 5th, 2020

32 new COVID-19 cases announced Sunday, most in Anchorage – Anchorage Daily News

July 5th, 2020

We’re making coronavirus coverage available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting local journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 32 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, with 27 cases in Alaskans and five cases in nonresidents.

Twenty-three of the new cases announced Sunday were in Anchorage. There were three cases in Fairbanks, two in Seward and one case each in Palmer, Valdez, Petersburg and the Bristol Bay area. Twenty-two of the cases in Anchorage were in residents, according to the state’s coronavirus response site.

In total, there have been 1,373 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alaska. Nonresidents account for 235 of the confirmed cases and the other 1,138 cases are Alaskans. On Sunday there were 753 active cases statewide. There have been 604 people that have recovered from the virus in Alaska.

Sixteen Alaskans have died of the virus and 72 people have been hospitalized. The state did not report any additional deaths or hospitalizations Sunday.

Sunday’s case announcements follow a week of record-breaking COVID-19 numbers in Alaska. There were several days last week that included case counts higher than 50.

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Brain-eating amoeba: Warning issued in Florida after rare infection case – BBC News

July 5th, 2020
A microscopic image of Naegleria fowleriImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose

A case of a rare brain-eating amoeba has been confirmed in Florida, according to health officials in the US state.

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) said one person in Hillsborough County had contracted Naegleria fowleri.

The microscopic, single-celled amoeba can cause an infection of the brain, and is usually fatal.

Commonly found in warm freshwater, the amoeba enters the body through the nose.

The DOH did not outline where the infection was contracted, or the patient’s condition. The amoeba cannot be passed from person to person.

Infections are typically seen in southern US states. They are rare in Florida, where only 37 cases have been reported since 1962.

But given the potentially deadly consequences of infection, the DOH issued a warning to residents of Hillsborough County on 3 July.

Health officials urged locals to avoid nasal contact with water from taps and other sources.

This includes bodies of open water such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals, where infections are more likely in the warmer summer months of July, August and September.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Naegleria fowleri infections are usually fatal

Those infected with Naegleria fowleri have symptoms including fever, nausea and vomiting, as well as a stiff neck and headaches. Most die within a week.

The DOH has urged people who experience those symptoms to “seek medical attention right away, as the disease progresses rapidly”.

“Remember, this disease is rare and effective prevention strategies can allow for a safe and relaxing summer swim season,” the DOH said.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare in the US, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Between 2009 and 2018, only 34 infections were reported in the country. Of those cases, 30 people were infected by recreational water, three after performing nasal irrigation with contaminated tap water, and one person was infected by contaminated tap water used on a backyard slip-n-slide, the CDC said.


Scientists urge WHO to address airborne spread of coronavirus – The Washington Post

July 5th, 2020

Until recently, most public health guidelines have focused on social distancing measures, regular hand-washing and precautions to avoid droplets. But the signatories to the paper say the potential of the virus to spread via airborne transmission has not been fully appreciated even by public health institutions such as the WHO.

The fact that scientists resorted to a paper to pressure the WHO is unusual, analysts said, and is likely to renew questions about the WHO’s messaging.

“WHO’s credibility is being undermined through a steady drip-drip of confusing messages, including asymptomatic spread, the use of masks, and now airborne transmission,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University who provides technical assistance to the organization.

He praised the WHO for hosting regular briefings and acknowledged that the organization is in a tough spot because it “has to make recommendations for the entire world and it feels it needs irrefutable scientific proof before coming to a conclusion.”

But he warned that “the public, and even scientists, will lose full confidence in WHO without clearer technical guidance.”

A spokesperson for the organization said it is aware of media reports about the issue and will have technical experts review the matter. The agency has repeatedly defended its handling of the pandemic.

The WHO, which was founded in 1948, is the U.N. agency tasked with promoting global health. It plays a critical role in expanding access to health care, setting up vaccination programs and fighting diseases such as polio.

But its portfolio has grown faster than its budget. And in times of crisis, it has often struggled to lead.

Since the early days of the coronavirus crisis, the WHO and its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have been dogged by questions about whether the agency’s effusive praise for China created a false sense of security and potentially spurred the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

That criticism has been compounded at various points by questions about its positions on technical issues, including transmission, mask use — and, now, airborne transmission.

The signatories to the paper contend that the virus can still spread through aerosols, or tiny respiratory droplets, that infected people cough or otherwise release into the air. In crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings, this could be especially dangerous, and would account for a number of “superspreading” incidents.

“There is no reason for fear. It is not like the virus has changed. We think it has been transmitted this way all along,” said Jose Jimenez, a chemist at the University of Colorado who signed the paper. “Knowing about it helps target the measures to control the pandemic more accurately.”

Co-author Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland, said the WHO’s apparent reluctance to emphasize this aspect of the virus’s ability to spread is probably because of the difficulty identifying tiny infectious particles.

“It is easy to find virus on surfaces, on hands, in large drops,” he said in an emailed statement. “But, it is very hard to find much less culture virus from the air — it is a major technical challenge and naive investigators routinely fail to find it. . . .

“Because a person breathes 10,000 to 15,000 liters of air a day and it only takes one infectious dose in that volume of air, sampling 100 or even 1000 liters of air and not finding virus is meaningless.”

Whatever the verdict on transmissibility, the paper is another headache for the WHO as it seeks to lead the response while fending off months of criticism.

In the early days of the crisis, WHO repeated Chinese claims on case numbers and transmission uncritically. When questioned, WHO officials defended Beijing, with the director-general, Tedros, going so far as to personally laud Chinese President Xi Jinping’s leadership.

Tedros’s defenders thought he was merely being diplomatic. It is true that as a member-state organization, the WHO could not compel China to provide accurate data — or march in to collect it.

But by early February, even the organization’s traditional supporters, including current and former advisers, were expressing concern about the praise, worried that the tone was undermining other aspects of the response.

In news conferences, Tedros and other top officials tried to deliver an important message — “test, test, test” — but were often pulled off course by questions about the organization’s ties to China.

As the crisis spread from Asia to Europe and the United States, President Trump seized on the critique, using the agency’s treatment of China to divert attention from shortcomings in the U.S. response.

In April, Trump announced that he was freezing all new funding to the organization. In late May, he said the United States planned to withdraw from the organization.

Jimenez said the scientists’ purpose was not to hurt the agency, but merely to encourage it to consider new information.

“Our group of scientists doesn’t want to do anything that would undermine the WHO as an organization,” he said. “We only want it to adapt its guidance on aerosol transmission to the increasing evidence.”


Chrome update may extend your laptop’s battery life by up to 2 hours – Engadget

July 5th, 2020

Americans Charged For Breaking Quarantine Rules In Canada – HuffPost Canada

July 5th, 2020

JEFF KOWALSKY via Getty Images

Travelling between the Canada-U.S. border is still shut down for non-essential visitors.

Two American citizens were arrested for breaking quarantine rules after entering Canada through an Ontario border town.

Ontario Provincial Police said the pair came in through Fort Frances, a town that borders  Minnesota. Canada Border Services officers told them to drive directly to their destination and self-isolate for 14 days, as is required under federal regulations, but police said the Americans were spotted making stops in Fort Frances on June 24.

David and Anee Sippell, from Excelsior, Minn., have been charged with failure to comply with an order prohibiting of subjecting to any condition the entry into Canada. The charge comes with a $1,000 fine. 

Any travellers entering Canada have to quarantine themselves for 14 days, regardless of whether they show symptoms of COVID-19. They are responsible for having a place to self-isolate, including a way to get there, get groceries and access essential medical services. Penalties for breaking mandated quarantine orders can range from a maximum fine of $750,000, six months of jail time and a year-long ban from Canada.

 The U.S.-Canada border has been shut down to non-essential visitors since mid-March. Prime Minister Trudeau has extended the order three times since then, given the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States. It is set to expire on July 21, but the Canadian government reviews the agreement every month.

Only Americans who are essential workers, have an essential reason to visit, or hold dual citizenship are currently allowed into Canada. But the government of Canada has warned that even dual passport holders can be denied entry.

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Canadian troops headed to Latvia turn around, return home due to COVID-19 scare – Global News

July 5th, 2020

OTTAWA — A military plane carrying Canadian troops to Latvia was forced to turn around and return home because of concerns those on board might have been exposed to COVID-19..

The Polaris aircraft carrying about 70 military members and aircrew took off from Canadian Forces Base Trenton on July 2 after those on board had spent two weeks in quarantine at the Ontario base, Defence Department spokeswoman Jessical Lamirande said.

All military personnel deploying on overseas missions are required to undergo such quarantine measures as the Canadian Armed Forces has implemented strict measures to ensure troops do not carry COVID-19 to another country or spread the respiratory illness among their unit.

Read more: Calgary soldiers ‘absolutely stoked’ to be joining NATO forces in Latvia

Yet despite those precautions, the plane was forced to turn around in midair after the military received word that someone at CFB Trenton who may have come in contact with the plane and passengers had tested positive for the illness.

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“The health and well-being of our members and that of our allies and partners in Latvia is a priority,” Lamirande said in a statement. “As such, the decision was made to return the aircraft en route — rather than land in Latvia — to avoid the possible risk of spreading the disease.”

Those on board will now have to undergo another 14 days in isolation at the base before resuming their mission, though Lamirande played down any potential impact the delay would have on Canada’s mission in Latvia.

2:19Coronavirus: Gen. Vance discusses the 55 Canadian Forces members who contracted COVID-19 while deployed to long-term care homes

Coronavirus: Gen. Vance discusses the 55 Canadian Forces members who contracted COVID-19 while deployed to long-term care homes

Canada has 540 troops in Latvia, where they form the core of a 1,500-strong multinational battlegroup established by the NATO military alliance three years ago. Similar battlegroups led by Britain, Germany and the U.S. have been established in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, respectively.

The battlegroups were created after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and began to support separatist forces in Ukraine’s eastern regions. That sparked concerns the Kremlin could launch similar efforts against the Baltics and other parts of eastern Europe.

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Read more: Canadian soldiers leave Edmonton for Latvia to play role in ‘deterrence mission’ for NATO

The battlegroups are designed to defend against a Russian invasion, but their small size means they would almost certainly be overwhelmed in a real war. Instead, their main utility is to deter against Russian aggression, with the idea that an attack on one would draw in all of NATO.

The arrival of the 70 Canadian soldiers in Latvia was to mark the start of a rotation of troops, which the Armed Forces has decided will go ahead despite concerns about the pandemic.

Another group of soldiers deploying to the Middle East as part of a similar rotation of Canada’s mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Lamirande said that deployment was not affected by the COVID-19 scare.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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