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‘I thought this was a hoax’ | 30-year-old patient dies in local hospital after attending ‘COVID Party’ – KENS5.com

July 10th, 2020

“The thought is that people get together to see if the virus is real if anyone gets infected,” a hospital official said.

SAN ANTONIO — A 30-year-old patient died after attending what’s being called a “COVID Party,” said Methodist Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jane Appleby.

“This is a party held by someone diagnosed with the COVID virus, and the thought is that people get together to see if the virus is real if anyone gets infected,” Appleby said. 

Appleby said she heard the heartbreaking story from a member of her staff this week.

“Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said, ‘I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not,'” Appleby said. 

Appleby said several of their critically ill coronavirus patients are in their twenties and thirties. It’s a growing trend seen across San Antonio.

During Friday night’s briefing, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said young adults made up 25% of positive cases in Bexar County. 

“We’re in a period of very high community transmission,” Nirenberg said. “If you’re having a party with people who aren’t part of your social circle in your household, it has the potential to be a COVID party whether you like it or not.”

Appleby said she’s not trying to be an alarmist. She hopes this patient’s case helps people realize the severity of what’s going on around them. 

“This is just one example of a potentially avoidable death in a young member of our community and I can’t imagine the loss of the family,” Appleby said. “We’re here to help you, at the same time, we hope that you don’t need our help. Please wear a mask, stay at home when you can, avoid groups of people and sanitize your hands.”

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Amid record case counts, OHA asks Oregonians to reel in indoor gatherings – KGW.com

July 10th, 2020

“We’re asking everyone in our state to voluntarily limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than ten people,” the agency’s director said Friday.

PORTLAND, Ore — On Friday, state officials delivered something of a wakeup call to Oregonians who are letting their guards down at indoor parties and gatherings. 

A behavior that, officials said, is exacerbating the spread of COVID-19 and contributing to record numbers of confirmed cases.

“We’re asking everyone in our state to voluntarily limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than 10 people for at least the next three weeks,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority.

The voluntary cap, announced during a media briefing via phone, would be a tightening of guidelines laid out in Phase 1 of Oregon’s re-opening plan, which allowed for social gatherings of up to 25.

The announcement came after case counts in Oregon repeatedly broke records this week.

The current record was set Thursday, with 389 new cases and six deaths in one day.

Officials said Friday, when counties began re-opening, they knew the virus would spread, but, they noted, it’s spreading more than it has to.

Allen said Oregonians are letting their guards down in social settings like “…graduations, birthdays, weddings, holidays like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July,” he said. “We’ve seen outbreaks linked to exercise classes, fraternity parties, bachelor parties.”

Oregon’s state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger noted restaurants, grocery stores and businesses that host the public are not being asked to limit groups inside to 10 people.

In short, he said, they’re not the problem.

“We have strong recommendations, strong guidance for business, and most businesses are following those,” he said

Dr. Sidelinger added, right now, state officials aren’t considering closing counties again.

That said, they want to get the problem under control fast.

While they can’t diagnose them all, the OHA estimates roughly 1,100 Oregonians are contracting COVID-19 each day.

The agency’s modeling shows, even if residents buckle down and slow the spread by 10%, officials expect that number to keep rising. Within the next month, they estimate, it would reach 1,600 new infections per day.

If nothing changes, they expect the number to climb to 3,600 new infections each day.

If things get worse and people mingle more, they estimate we’ll see 7,300 new infections per day.

At that rate, it wouldn’t take long for the infections to overwhelm our hospitals, like they are in Texas, Florida and Arizona.

While the rate of people surviving the virus is increasing, Dr. Sidelinger noted, COVID-19 is still dangerous and unpredictable.

”Yes, our healthcare system has gotten better at treating this disease and treating the complications of this disease and preventing deaths,” he said. “But there’s still a significant number of that and increasing deaths across the United States from this disease. There are still people who are discharged from the hospital who have ongoing complications.”

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Pasquale (Pat) Musitano, Hamilton mob boss, shot dead in Burlington – National Post

July 10th, 2020

Article content continued

Peel Regional Police found Musitano with gunshot wounds just after 7 a.m., near Hurontario Street and Matheson Boulevard East in Mississauga. He was sent to a trauma centre in Toronto for his life-threatening injuries, but recovered.

Musitano is the presumed boss of a Hamilton crime family originally hailing from Calabria, Italy. Their specialities include gambling, extortion and racketeering.

The eldest son and apparent heir of Dominic Musitano, who died in 1995, Pat had been stalked by a wave of attacks as a mob war erupted in recent years across the Greater Toronto Area. His family’s enemies are known to include criminal groups in Hamilton, Buffalo, Montreal and elsewhere, including the Luppino and Papalia crime gangs.

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University of Houston researches create heated air filter that can kill coronavirus ‘instantly’ – Fox News

July 10th, 2020

Researchers at the University of Houston claimed to have designed a special air filter that can trap the novel coronavirus and blast it with heat to kill the disease on contact.

Dr. Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center of Superconductivity at UH, is the brains behind the project, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Ren worked with Medistar CEO Monzer Hourani to bring about a “unique design” made from heated nickel foam, which was detailed in a paper published by Materials Today Physics.

Researchers reportedly conducted tests at Galveston National Laboratory and found that 99.8 percent of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was killed “instantly,” after a single pass through the filter. The process does, however, require the foam to be heated at 392 degrees Fahrenheit.

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“This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ren explained. “Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society.”

He also said Medistar is looking into offering smaller personalized models that could purify the air around a single employee’s desk or work station, according to the Chronicle.

Dr. Garrett Peel of Medistar, who helped craft the design, suggested that the filters be deployed to “high-priority venues where essential workers are at elevated risk of exposure (particularly schools, hospitals and health care facilities, as well as public transit environs such as airplanes),”

“It’s basically a high-performance COVID-19 killer,” he said. “This is safe and effective. We want to roll this out of Texas first and start deploying them in schools, nursing homes. This unit could be deployed in 60 days.”

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“It provides an extra sense of security, knowing that our children and elderly are protected,” Peel added. ‘We need our leaders to step up and create private and public partnerships to get this product into our schools and protect our children.”

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Notorious Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano gunned down in Burlington, Ont.: police – CBC.ca

July 10th, 2020

Notorious Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano, head of the Musitano crime family, died in a Friday afternoon shooting in Burlington, Ont., police say.

Halton Region police say they responded to reports of a shooting at about 1:10 p.m. at 484 Plains Rd. E., the site of a small business plaza. The shooting took place in front of Pro Patio Furniture.

When police arrived, they said in a news release, they found “two victims with gunshot wounds.”

“One victim in this shooting has succumbed to their injuries,” police said in a tweet Friday afternoon. “A second victim has been transported to hospital. Suspect(s) remain outstanding at this time.”

Police have since confirmed the victim who died is 52-year-old Musitano.

The Burlington shooting took place at 1:10 p.m. on Friday. Officers say there are two victims and one has died. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Const. Steve Elms of the Halton Regional Police Service, west of Toronto, told CBC News that the suspect reportedly fled westbound on Plains Road East in a grey sedan.

The licence plate of one of the vehicles at the scene, a black GMC Denali, matches the plate of a black GMC Denali found outside the office of a lawyer near where Musitano was shot in 2019.

Police say people in the area should expect a “heavy police presence throughout the afternoon and into the evening,” but they don’t believe there is an active threat to public safety. Roughly a dozen police vehicles lined the street and parking lot near the shooting. Dozens more officers were on the scene.

Plains Road East is closed in both directions between King Road and Waterdown Road.

Ahmed Shaarwar works at the Shoppers Drug Mart across the street from the shooting. He said he didn’t see the shooting take place, but it is still a shock.

“I’m surprised. Usually we don’t see such stark things,”  Shaarwar told CBC News.

“I’m scared, of course, especially for my kids as well. Any innocent bystander can get wounded.”

He said the fact that an infamous Mob boss was killed makes it “even stranger.”

Ahmed Shaarwar works across the street from the crime scene. He said the area is normally safe and quiet. Now he fears his own family may get hurt. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Darcy and Andrew Briand, who stopped by the store to buy snacks, said they’ll be thinking about the fatal shooting on their walk home, which is just down the street.

“You see it on TV and stuff, but you never really see it in person,” Darcy said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Angelo Musitano shot to death in 2017

Musitano’s brother, Angelo, was shot to death in front of his Waterdown, Ont., home in May 2017.

Weeks later, Pat Musitano’s home on St. Clair Boulevard in Hamilton was also shot up.

The Musitano family is linked to convictions for bombings and extortion in the 1970s, as well as the hit on mobster Domenic Racco in the 1980s, and the murders of Johnny “Pops” Papalia and one of his lieutenants, Carmen Barillaro, in 1997.

Halton Regional Police say one person is dead and another is fighting for their life in hospital after a shooting in Aldershot, a neighbourhood in Burlington, Ont., Friday afternoon. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

The Musitano brothers reached a deal and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Barillaro. In turn, the charges against them in connection with Papalia’s death were dropped. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison but were released in 2007, and had made little noise since then — until bullets started flying once more.

The Musitanos were once protected by an alliance with the famed Rizzuto crime family, based out of Montreal. 

The 2013 death of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto created a power vacuum within the organization, and now warring factions have weakened the once mighty Montreal Mafia. That left the Musitanos to fend for themselves.

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CDC: Covid-19 death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for white Americans – The Washington Post

July 10th, 2020

Most of the people who died were older than 65, and most had underlying medical conditions. But researchers obtained more complete data on race, ethnicity and underlying conditions for a subset of about 10,000 people. Most of those deaths occurred in New York City, New Jersey and Washington state, three areas hardest hit at the dawn of the pandemic.

The study found stark differences in the age at which people from different racial and ethnic groups died of covid-19. Among white people, the median age was 81, while for Hispanics it was 71, and for all nonwhite, non-Hispanic people it was 72.

Researchers found that the virus exacted a vastly steeper toll on people of color who were younger than 65. About 35 percent of Hispanic people who died of covid-19 were under 65, and about 29.5 percent of nonwhite, non-Hispanics who died were under 65. By comparison, 13.2 percent of deaths among white people were in those younger than 65.

The percentage of deaths among Hispanic and nonwhite people exceeded their representation in the U.S. population. That suggests rates of coronavirus transmission are higher among younger members of those groups than among their white counterparts and may reflect their greater presence in front-line jobs that don’t allow them to work from home. It could also suggest they are more likely to live in crowded or multigenerational homes where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

Authorities on health disparities say racial differences arise from social and structural inequities that leave some racial and ethnic groups around the world acutely vulnerable to the most devastating effects of the coronavirus. Those differences have helped fuel protests for racial justice that have swept the nation.

Among those older than 65 who died of covid-19, nearly 41 percent were white and non-Hispanic, 21 percent were Hispanic and 32 percent were nonwhite and non-Hispanic.

The CDC report found that diabetes was common among those younger than 65 who died. Nearly half of the deaths in people under 65 were in people with diabetes. Overall, 35 percent of patients under age 65 hospitalized with covid-19 had diabetes.

The CDC recently broadened its warning about the groups at risk of developing severe complications from covid-19. Officials said even younger people who are obese or have other health conditions, such as diabetes, can become severely ill if they contract the virus.

A CDC study last month found that people with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and diabeteswere hospitalized six times as often as otherwise healthy individuals infected with the coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic and they died 12 times as often.

In the report released Friday, nearly 1 in 12 deaths in people under 65 took place at home or in an emergency department, suggesting they may not have had access to health care, may have delayed seeking care or may have been delayed in getting diagnosed.

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Samsung’s 5G Galaxy Z Flip may have been fully revealed in these latest leaks – The Verge

July 10th, 2020

WHO still skeptical SARS-CoV-2 lingers in air—despite what the NYT says – Ars Technica

July 10th, 2020
A serious woman speaks into a microphone.
Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan attends a press conference organized by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

If you happened to read The New York Times this week, you may be under the false impression that the World Health Organization significantly changed its stance on whether the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, spreads by lingering in the air.

Around midday Thursday, the paper declared: “W.H.O., in Reversal, Affirms Virus May Be Airborne Indoors.” The paper also called it an “admission” and, in a subsequent article, said the WHO had “conceded.” The articles both noted that a group of more than 200 researchers had also published a commentary piece this week urging the WHO and other public health bodies to acknowledge and address the potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The problem: the WHO did not change its stance on airborne transmission. And, as such, it did not issue any new recommendations or guidance on how people can stay safe.

What the organization did do is release an update of its review of the data on transmission, which it said it had been working on for weeks—well before the published commentary.

New data

In its updated scientific brief on transmission, the WHO said, basically, the same thing it has said for months on airborne transmission. That is: the question of whether SARS-CoV-2 lingers in the air is a topic of active discussion and, while it may be possible in some settings, the data in aerosol transmission so far is inconclusive or unconvincing. But, as always, the WHO welcomes more high-quality research on this topic.

In the latest brief, the WHO reviewed recent physics studies looking at aerosol production, but it noted: “the proportion of exhaled droplet nuclei or of respiratory droplets that evaporate to generate aerosols, and the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2  required to cause infection in another person are not known.” It reviewed experiments on droplets and aerosols from normal speech and coughing and concluded, “To date, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by this type of aerosol route has not been demonstrated; much more research is needed.” Likewise, studies using nebulizers to suspend SARS-CoV-2 in the air “do not reflect normal human cough conditions,” the WHO concluded.

The WHO noted that clinical reports of exposed health workers “suggest that aerosol transmission did not occur in this context.” And, the organization added, air sampling in health care settings has been inconsistent in finding genetic traces of the virus.

Same tune

Perhaps there was some rush to declare victory in the great aerosol war because the WHO did discuss recent reports of possible airborne transmission in specific outbreaks.

The WHO noted in the updated brief:

[S]ome outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes. In these events, short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.

It seemed some were happy that the WHO acknowledged the existence of these reports—though the main purpose of these periodically updated scientific briefs is to review new data. And perhaps some interpreted the “cannot be ruled out” piece as the WHO admitting it as a possibility. But, of course, the WHO went on: “However, the detailed investigations of these clusters suggest that droplet and [transmission from contaminated surfaces or objects] could also explain human-to-human transmission within these clusters.”

This is not exactly a warm embrace of the airborne transmission. It’s more like the brief, awkward sideways hug you’d give a friend who doesn’t shower enough.

But most importantly, it’s not substantively different from what the WHO has said before on this. The organization said something very similar in its June 5 guidance on masks. Likewise, in the previous version of the scientific brief on transmission, published March 29, the WHO acknowledged the possibility of airborne transmission, writing: “To date, some scientific publications provide initial evidence on whether the COVID-19 virus can be detected in the air.”

But, it cautioned, “[t]hese initial findings need to be interpreted carefully.” Just as it did in the updated version of the brief, the WHO went on to note the weaknesses of the data, suggesting that it was not yet convinced. And, as always, it called for more research.

When Ars reached out to the WHO to ask if the new scientific brief represented a “reversal” on its stance, a spokesperson responded concisely: “WHO has not changed its guidance.”

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WHO changes guidance on airborne transmission of coronavirus – KARE11.com

July 10th, 2020

Leaders with the Minnesota Department of Health said they will not be changing any safety guidelines until further evidence of airborne transmission warrants it.

ST PAUL, Minn. — The World Health Organization now recognizes the potential for airborne spread of the coronavirus through microscopic particles that remain in poorly ventilated air for hours.

The change comes after 239 scientists from around the world issued an open letter saying recent studies have shown “… beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation,” and that they can pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond two meters.

The letter has convinced the WHO to now consider the possibility of airborne spread of the virus, but the WHO has not gone as far to say the virus travels on droplets solely through breathing, as oppose to just coughing, singing, sneezing or loudly talking.

In the WHO’s update on the potential for aerosol transmission of the virus, outside the healthcare setting, it says, “There have been reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in some closed settings, such as restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship or places of work where people may be shouting, talking, or singing. In these outbreaks, aerosol transmission, particularly in these indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out. More studies are urgently needed to investigate such instances and assess their significance for transmission of COVID-19.”

“The [scientists’] document lays out exactly that answer and why the WHO has to look at the aerosol transmission as being an important part of the transmission of the SARS-COV-2 virus,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota.

Friday, leaders with the Minnesota Department of Health said they will not be changing any safety guidelines yet until further evidence of airborne transmission warrants changes.

Kris Ehresmann, director the Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease division, said that mask wearing and, in particular, six feet of social distancing are still the best practices even with the little we know about possible airborne transmission.

“The data that has looked at the impact of social distancing does show that when you are social distancing it makes a difference in reducing transmission,” said Ehresmann.

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KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus 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: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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Ontario mobster Pat Musitano shot to death in broad daylight at Burlington plaza – CTV News

July 10th, 2020

TORONTO — Convicted mobster Pasquale (Pat) Musitano was shot to death in broad daylight at a plaza in Burlington, Ont. on Friday afternoon.

Shortly after 1 p.m., emergency crews were called to the area of Plains Road East and King Road for reports of a shooting.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers said they located two male victims suffering from gunshot wounds. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was transported to hospital with serious injuries.

A third male victim was located at the scene with unknown injuries. Officers said he was not shot.

halton shooting

The deceased male has since been identified by police as Pat. He was 52 years old. 

Pat was a well-known fixture of Ontario’s organized crime scene for many years.

Pat and his brother Angelo were charged with first-degree murder in the 1997 deaths of Hamilton mob boss Johnny “Pops” Papalia and his underboss Carmen Barillaro. The hitman who pleaded guilty in both shootings said the Musitano brothers had ordered the killings. The brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in Barillaro’s death as part of a plea deal and the charges relating to Papalia’s death were withdrawn.

The brothers were sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 2000 and were released from prison in 2006.

musitano

On May 2, 2017, Angelo was fatally gunned down while sitting in his vehicle in the driveway of his home in Hamilton, Ont.’s Waterdown neighbourhood. He was 39 years old.

One man was arrested in connection with Angelo’s death and two other suspects are wanted on Canada-wide warrants.

Meanwhile, Pat’s vehicle was torched in his driveway back in 2015 and a month after Angelo was killed Pat’s home was sprayed with bullets.

Pat was targeted once again last year. He was shot on April 25, 2019 in a Mississauga, Ont. parking lot while leaving his lawyer’s office at around 7 a.m.

The family’s patriarch, Pat and Angelo’s uncle, Tony Musitano died of natural causes at the age of 72 in April 2019. He was described as a former mobster.

No threat to public safety, police say

In the aftermath of the Burlington, Ont. shooting, Halton Regional Police said there is no ongoing or immediate threat to public safety.

halton

Speaking at the scene of the shooting just before 4 p.m., Const. Ryan Anderson with Halton Regional Police told reporters officers are searching for a male suspect who fled the area westbound on Plains Road East in a newer model grey four-door sedan with a sunroof, similar to an Infiniti Q50.

According to investigators, the suspect vehicle would have “fresh damage to the driver’s side in the area of the doors.”

No further suspect description has been provided by officials thus far.

“Our investigators are going to be doing an extensive investigation,” Anderson said. “We are going to be canvassing the area for evidence, cameras, those sorts of things. It requires a large road closure at this point and a large scene.”

“We do have some witnesses and we would love to hear from anyone else who may have seen something, who may have been driving in the area, who has a dashcam from the approximate time of 1 p.m. on Plains Road East in Burlington.”

Roads remain blocked off nearby as an investigation into the matter is conducted.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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