13h ago / 5:54 PM UTC
People are engaging in extremely dangerous behaviors — including gargling with bleach — in an effort to prevent COVID-19, according to a report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Such acts are not only harmful, they also do nothing to prevent infections and should never be done.
13h ago / 5:21 PM UTC
Surgeon General: You don't have to choose between being heard and being safe
Protesters against the killing of George Floyd may feel they're caught between the two pandemics of COVID-19 and racism. While it'll be at least another week or two before cities and states see an uptick in new cases related to protests, many public health experts seem certain there will be a rise in transmissions — they just don't know how much. They also say there's a way to lessen the risks of being in close proximity to other protesters and police.
In a series of tweets Friday, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams advised participants that they "don’t have to choose between being heard and being safe."
"If going out in public for any reason — especially to protest in large groups — wear a face covering. Pay attention to hand hygiene (carry hand sanitizer & avoid touching your face), and practice social distancing as much as possible," Adams wrote.
6/ Be sure to wear clothing that you can easily remove & wash when home. Wash your hands thoroughly and take a shower/bath ASAP. Avoid accessories like watches, jewelry, backpacks, etc, to reduce surfaces that may be exposed to the virus. Clean/disinfect these items once home.
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) June 5, 2020
14h ago / 4:29 PM UTC
Florida announces more than 1,300 new coronavirus cases
Florida's health department announced 1,305 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the statewide total to 61,488.
The state also announced 53 additional deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak; some 2,660 people have died across Florida.
To avoid having Phase 2 of Connecticut's reopening efforts take effect during a busy Father's Day weekend, we're going to move it up a few days earlier to June 17.
We'll release additional safety guidance for businesses that fall under Phase 2 in the next couple of days.
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) June 5, 2020
14h ago / 4:00 PM UTC
Wisconsin's World Dairy Expo canceled due to COVID-19
The World Dairy Expo, a Wisconsin tradition that drew more than 60,000 attendees in 2019, was canceled for the first time in its 53-year history due to COVID-19 concerns.
This year’s expo was scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
By that point, members of the expo’s Executive Committee expect Dane County to be in the third phase of the state’s reopening plan, which sets a 250-person limit for outdoor events.
“Our collective heart is heavy as we share with you that World Dairy Expo 2020 has been cancelled,” Scott Bentley, WDE General Manager, said in a statement. “We know how much this hurts; we feel it, too. Please know other options were explored and considered by the World Dairy Expo Executive Committee and staff.”
13h ago / 5:03 PM UTC
CBP seizes 'unapproved' COVID-19 products, including hydroxychloroquine
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Friday that it "continues to ... seize a large number of counterfeit, unapproved or otherwise substandard COVID-19 products" and "unproven medicines," including chloroquine.
A CBP official said chloroquine is an umbrella term for drugs that include hydroxychloroquine, and that the agency's drug seizures included hydroxychloroquine. President Trump has taken the drug and touted it as a treatment for COVID-19.
Among the items CBP said it had seized as of June 1 were 107,300 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits in 301 incidents; 750,000 counterfeit face masks in 86 incidents; 2,500 EPA-prohibited anti-virus lanyards in 89 incidents; and 11,000 FDA-prohibited chloroquine tablets in 91 incidents.
In a press release, CBP said, "Criminal organizations are attempting to exploit the limited supply of and increased demand for some pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment and other medical goods required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other products, these criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products through the online marketplace."
15h ago / 3:41 PM UTC
Michigan governor signs executive orders reopening additional parts of the state
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put her signature on executive orders Friday to reopen more regions of the state, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The executive orders state that much of northern Michigan and all of the state's Upper Peninsula can reopen salons, movie theaters and gyms starting on Wednesday. The businesses in question will still be "subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19," the governor's office said.
The orders further state that businesses that provide personal services — including hair and nail salons, and massage parlors — can reopen on June 15.
“Today marks another milestone in the safe reopening of Michigan’s economy,” Whitmer said in the release. “As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections.
"The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we'll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part," Whitmer added.
15h ago / 3:39 PM UTC
Global coronavirus case numbers are spiking
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting new heights around the world.
Driven by surging case counts in Brazil and India, and a steady number of new cases in the United States and Russia, the number of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases globally has crossed the 100,000 mark all but once this week.
More than 6.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide.
According to worldwide coronavirus case numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center and NBC News' collection of U.S. case counts, new infections have totaled more than 100,000 14 times during the pandemic. Twelve of those 14 have occurred in the last two weeks.
Jane C. Timm
14h ago / 4:07 PM UTC
Fact check: Trump touts job gains as 'tribute to equality.' Black, Asian unemployment went up.
Touting surprising job gains in May’s jobs report, President Donald Trump said the jobs report was “a tremendous tribute to equality.”
“This is a great tribute, what we’re announcing today, is a tremendous tribute to equality — we’re bringing our jobs back,” he told reporters on Friday.
This is not an accurate interpretation. White Americans saw much better numbers than minorities.
White unemployment dropped nearly two points to 12.4 percent in May, while Hispanic unemployment fell 1.2 percent, from 18.9 to 17.6 percent. Black unemployment ticked up from 16.7 percent in April to 16.8 percent in May. Asian unemployment ticked up half a point from 14.5 percent to 15 percent.
"What's happened to our country... is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African American community, for the Asian American community, for the Hispanic community, for women, for everything," Trump said, when asked about a plan to address systemic racism. "That's what my plan is — were going to have the strongest economy in the world."
Pressed on black and Asian unemployment rising, Trump told PBS' Yamiche Alcindor, "You are something."
16h ago / 2:38 PM UTC
Tennesseans can vote by mail during the pandemic, judge rules
A Tennessee judge ruled Thursday that all eligible voters in the state could apply for a mail-in ballot because of dangers posed by the coronavirus.
Despite unsubstantiated claims from President Trump against the practice, the overwhelming majority of states either already offered voting by mail or have moved to increase the practice this year to avoid unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus.
Separately, Missouri signed legislation Thursday to allow voters with medical risk to mail in their ballot, though it has stopped short of offering that option to all eligible voters.
Only Texas and Mississippi require voters to provide an excuse for them to vote absentee and haven't taken any steps to make it easier for voters to mail in their ballot this year.
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