pcloudy.png
Sunday August 9th, 2020 4:31PM

The Latest: Georgia hospitals groan under COVID-19 assault

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA — Many Georgia hospitals are groaning under the assault of COVID-19 infections, with total hospitalizations from the illness remaining above 3,000 statewide for the 10th day in a row.

As of Monday, 25 Georgia hospitals reported no critical care beds available. Nine reported no general inpatient beds, according to data obtained by The Associated Press from the state Department of Public Health.

Statewide on Tuesday, 88% of critical care beds were in use, tying the highest level since the pandemic began. Not all critical care patients have COVID-19, however.

In southeast Georgia, where cases are rising rapidly, officials at Southeast Georgia Health System’s main hospital in Brunswick told The Brunswick News on Monday that patients are sometimes being held in ambulances because no beds are available.

Chief Operating Officer Christy Jordan told the newspaper the hospital hopes to open up 32 beds by Wednesday as part of a renovation, but is trying to staff up rapidly.

Jordan said the hospital has turned to staffing agencies.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Teachers’ union in U.S. supports striking if unsafe to return to school

— Florida reports more than 9,000 new virus cases

— Greece says it will allow cruise ship travel on Aug. 1.

— President Donald Trump is back to pushing unproven claims that an anti-malaria drug is an effective treatment for the coronavirus. He’s also lobbing new attacks on the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.

— Britain’s effective ban on travel to Spain following an upswing in coronavirus cases in the country’s northeast has hammered home the l ack of a comprehensive, Europe-wide approach to suppressing the virus.

— Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Miami Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season but he doesn’t believe games needs to stop now.

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

____

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana’s revenue department says payments start going out this week to front-line workers who remained at grocery store checkouts, in health care facilities and on bus routes in the first months of the coronavirus outbreak.

Louisiana is offering $250 one-time payments to as many as 200,000 people who meet eligibility requirements set by state lawmakers. Approved applicants will receive payment through a check or direct deposit into a bank account.

The payments are financed with federal relief aid.

More than 205,000 people have applied, but not all have been deemed eligible. The Department of Revenue is urging people to continue registering for the one-time payment at frontlineworkers.la.gov.

___

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon officials say under new COVID-19 metrics, students in most Oregon counties may not be able to return to their classrooms this fall.

Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday that in order for a school district to start any form of in-person learning, the county must have 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days. In addition, the countywide and state test positivity rate must be 5% or less over the span of a week.

State Epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger said Oregon is not currently where it needs to be to safely reopen schools. In the past week, case rates across Oregon were about 50 per 100,000 people, and the state’s test positivity is approaching 5%.

Sidelinger says the current case rates are higher than they need to be and higher than they were in countries that have started to reopen schools. But, he said, Oregon can suppress COVID-19 and return to levels where schools are reopened.

___

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Hospitals are urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to extend a statewide face mask order as the state continues to see high numbers of coronavirus cases.

Ivey is expected to announce this week whether she will extend the face covering mandate and other health orders that are set to expire Friday. The current mandate, which she announced on July 15, requires anyone older than 6 to wear a mask when in public and within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone who’s not a relative.

The current face covering mandate, which makes exceptions for people who have certain medical conditions, are exercising or performing certain types of jobs, is set to expire before most public schools reopen.

___

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota health officials say the number of newly confirmed coronavirus case slipped after several days of large case counts.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 480 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the state to 52,281 since the pandemic began.

Minnesota reported its largest one-day case count on Sunday with more than 860 cases. That continued a four-day stretch where cases exceeded 700.

The drop in newly confirmed cases could be the result of a decrease in tests processed, the Star Tribune reported. About 9,000 diagnostic tests were reported Tuesday, down from nearly 13,600 reported on Monday. New case reports on Mondays and Tuesday are usually lower, reflecting lower testing volume over the weekends.

Health officials reported four additional deaths Tuesday, raising Minnesota’s total to 1,580. Three of the deaths were long-term care residents.

___

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday that reopening schools in-person is the “medically sound, preferred option,” but he said it’s dependent on quickly isolating those who are sick and quarantining their close contacts.

The Republican rolled out his K-12 school reopening plan the same week as the state has been warned by the White House that Tennessee is at a precipice of reaching new levels of infection.

“Our state is doing everything we can to work with local school districts and ensure that in-person learning is made available in a way that protects the health and safety of our students and educators, and this plan helps us accomplish that goal,” Lee said in a statement.

According to Lee’s new school guidelines, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms or isolate 10 days from the date they were tested for the virus.

Those who were within 6 feet of anyone who has COVID-19 for 10 minutes or longer must also quarantine for at least 14 days.

The day before, teachers within Nashville’s Metro Education Association led a caravan past the governor’s mansion with messages that included, “Dead Students Can’t Learn. Dead Teachers Can’t Teach.”

___

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has reported a new one-day high deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus, and the state’s virus cases have exceeded 40,000.

The Department of Health on Tuesday reported 20 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state’s total fatalities to 428. The state’s health secretary said six of those deaths were late reports and did not occur in the last 24 hours.

The state’s total confirmed virus cases rose by 734 since Monday to 40,181. The number of people hospitalized has increased by 12 to 501.

Before Tuesday, the largest number of deaths reported in a day in Arkansas was 12 on July 17.

___

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear expressed hope that a fairly stable number of coronavirus cases reported in the state Tuesday signals his mask-wearing mandate might be “starting to kick in and help.”

Beshear reported 532 more confirmed virus cases in the state, up by 10 cases from the previous day but below the 10-day average. The state’s positivity rate — reflecting the average number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 — dropped for the first time in four days, the governor said.

He also reported 10 more virus-related deaths, raising the state’s death count to 719.

The Democratic governor has taken several steps — which he says are backed by federal health officials — to try to slow a recent surge of virus cases. Those actions include a mandate he announced nearly three weeks ago that most people wear masks in public.

On Monday, Beshear ordered Kentucky bars to close and restaurants to scale back indoor service in what he hopes will be short-term steps to stop the spike in cases. The governor also reduced the number of people allowed at social gatherings from 50 to 10.

___

WILMINGTON, Delaware — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he personally had not been tested for the coronavirus, but did not elaborate on why he hasn’t sought such a screening protectively.

Speaking to reporters after giving a speech in his hometown of Wilmington on Tuesday, Biden also said President Donald Trump needs to appoint a federal official in charge of equitably distributing a vaccine when one is available, adding “the president should have put someone in charge” of that “three months ago.”

Biden used the speech to lay out how he will rebuild the economy in a way that promotes racial equality. He also accused the Trump administration of using coronavirus relief funds to allow large banks to enrich themselves through loans while “closing the door” on small businesses, especially those owned by African Americans.

“A change of ‘tone’ over a few days does not change the facts of the last four years,” Biden said, referring to the past few days, when Trump spoke about the coronavirus in somber terms. “Donald Trump fails the basic threshold test of being president — the duty to care about the entire country, not just himself. He has shown that he can’t beat the pandemic to keep you safe.”

___

NEW JERSEY — Three more states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have been added to the list of places whose residents traveling to New Jersey must quarantine for two weeks because of COVID-19.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, along with the capital and the Caribbean island bring the total list of affected states and territories to 36.

The travel advisory calls for travelers from those places to quarantine for 14 days and applies to states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

New Jersey’s positivity rate has been hovering around 2% or lower and has seen new hospitalizations fall 40% from two weeks ago, according to the governor’s office. New hospitalizations since the virus’s peak in April are down 97%. The state has 4.5 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, ranking 44th in the country, according to Murphy’s office.

___

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday he’s curbing alcohol sales hours at restaurants later this week as a way to discourage the spread of COVID-19 during late-night gatherings.

Starting Friday, the eateries and other establishments offering drinks by the glass like distilleries and breweries will have to cut off sales at 11 p.m. State law usually allows sales until 2 a.m. It doesn’t apply to grocery stores that sell beer and wine.

Standalone bars have been shuttered since March. He said he’s been worried increasing numbers of positive cases of the coronavirus among young people, and points out reports of restaurants acting more like bars, with patrons hanging out without social distancing. Some local governments had already issued sales restrictions.

“We know that the ‘bar scene’ has been a place where we have seen increased transmission,” Cooper said at a media briefing. “We want to drive those numbers down.”

Cooper’s announcement came on the same day North Carolina reported another record number of current hospitalizations involving coronavirus patients at almost 1,250. But state Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said Tuesday that some case trends appear to be stabilizing.

More than 116,000 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began, with more than 1,800 deaths, Cohen’s department said.

NORFOLK, Va. --- The state of Virginia will enact new rules in the Hampton Roads region that will ban alcohol sales after 10 p.m. as well as gatherings of more than 50 people.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that the emergency order is aimed at stopping the surge of coronavirus cases in cities near the coast.

The Democratic governor cited a rise in infections among young people in the Hampton Roads region as well as alcohol use. The restrictions take effect at 12 a.m. Friday.

They are Virginia’s latest effort to reign in a virus that has largely slowed its spread in much of the rest of the state.

___

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire health and fire safety officials will spend the next two weeks investigating whether ventilation systems contributed to coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes, Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday.

More than 30 long-term care facilities have experienced outbreaks, and their residents account for 82 percent of the state’s deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. As of Tuesday, only four outbreaks remained active, said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette.

She said the review by her department and the state Fire Marshal began Monday and is initially focused on facilities that have had outbreaks. The goal is to investigate possible patterns in terms of how outbreaks moved through buildings and whether ventilation systems can be improved at other facilities.

Sununu, a Republican, earlier this month vetoed a Democrat-backed bill that would have created an independent review of long-term care facilities.

___

PRISTINA, Kosovo — The Kosovar government on Tuesday imposed most of the previous lockdown measures, such as banning religious ceremonies and other activities, in an effort to prevent an alarming escalation of coronavirus cases.

The government ordered that public gatherings, including family traditional ceremonies and mass gathering of more than five people, are banned in squares or parks. Restaurants, cafes, night clubs cannot operate during 10.30 p.m. until 5 a.m. (2030-0300 GMT).

Citizens from neighboring Western Balkan countries where new virus cases have risen too need to present a negative virus test to enter the country.

Citizens are advised to wear the mask in all closed buildings or spaces and institutions and companies should create the proper social distancing environment for the employees.

Kosovo has reported 7,652 confirmed virus cases and 192 deaths as of Tuesday.

___

DENVER — Democratic Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado on Tuesday laid out key demands for the next U.S. coronavirus relief package, urging Congress to deliver uninterrupted benefits for the growing ranks of people without jobs, cash instead of supplies for state testing and contact tracing, and billions of dollars to backfill long-term losses in state and local government budgets.

Polis warned of dire consequences to the economic welfare of millions of Coloradans and to the state’s ability to contain the pandemic in a letter sent to the state’s congressional delegation as the U.S. Senate begins deliberating the next phase of coronavirus relief while infections surge across the nation.

“The continued uncertainty regarding the extension and funding of key federal programs for Coloradans is making many of our neighbors contemplate extremely difficult choices regarding their financial futures,” Polis said.

___

ALBANY, N.Y. — Travelers from 34 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, must now quarantine for 14 days when they travel to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Governors of New York and New Jersey announced Tuesday that Illinois, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and D.C. are now now on the list of states that face quarantine restrictions under a joint travel advisory issued last month.

The advisory includes states if their seven day rolling average of positive tests exceeds 10%, or if the number of positive cases exceeds 10 per 100,000 residents. The list has included Texas, California and Florida for weeks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed worry for weeks that infection rates in hard-hit New York could once again rise because of travel from high-risk states.

In New York, airport travelers from states on the joint advisory face a $2,000 fine if they leave the airport without filling out the form.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business, AP Health - Senior Health, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Georgia hospitals groan under COVID-19 assault
Many Georgia hospitals are groaning under the assault of COVID-19 infections, with total hospitalizations from the illness remaining above 3,000 statewide for the 10th day in a row
7:34PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Rembrandt, Miro fetch millions at Sotheby's virtual auction
A self-portrait by Rembrandt has sold for 14.5 million pounds ($18.7 million) at a Sotheby’s virtual auction
7:30PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Source: US, Oregon in talks about pulling agents in Portland
A senior White House official says the Trump administration has started talks with the Oregon governor’s office and indicated that it would begin to draw down the presence of federal agents in Portland if the state steps up its own enforcement
7:25PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Arizona suspends player for breaking virus rules
Arizona has suspended junior offensive lineman Edgar Burrola for violating school coronavirus protocols
6:55PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Jets' Gase: Trade of Adams a 'win-win' for both sides
New York Jets coach Adam Gase had mostly positive words to say about Jamal Adams a few days after the star safety was traded to Seattle
6:53PM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Number of new virus cases drops in Minnesota
Minnesota health officials say the number of newly confirmed coronavirus case slipped after several days of large case counts
6:51PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Biden says he hasn't been tested for coronavirus
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he personally had not been tested for the coronavirus, but did not elaborate on why he hasn’t sought such a screening protectively
6:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
TV viewers welcome baseball back, at least for now
Television viewers warmly welcomed baseball back, even if they don't know how long it will last
5:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: North Carolina limits late-night alcohol sales
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has announced that he’s curbing alcohol sales hours at restaurants later this week as a way to discourage the spread of COVID-19 during late-night gatherings
5:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
GOP tucks $8 billion for military weaponry in virus bill
A new $1 trillion COVID-19 response package by Senate Republicans is supposed to give the government all the weapons it needs to battle the surging coronavirus pandemic
6:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation
The U.S. government has identified two suspected Russian military intelligence operatives who it believes are helping direct the spread of disinformation through websites that have published extensively on the coronavirus pandemic, American politics and international affairs
6:20PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden vows to fight racial inequality with economic agenda
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is promising that his economic agenda will combat long-standing racial inequalities as he seeks to draw another sharp contrast with President Donald Trump
6:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Barr says unrest not linked to Floyd, defends feds' response
Attorney General William Barr is defending the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police
3:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
Barr says unrest not linked to Floyd, defends feds response
Attorney General William Barr is defending the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police
3:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Portland protest groups sue US over tear gas, rubber bullets
Groups protesting in Portland, Oregon against federal agents sent to guard a courthouse have sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over the agents' use of tear gas and rubber bullets
3:04PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump defends disproved COVID-19 treatment
President Donald Trump has issued a stout defense of a disproved use of a malaria drug as a treatment for the coronavirus, hours after social media companies moved to take down videos promoting its use as potentially harmful misinformation
6:48PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Virus exacts a heavy toll in Queens neighborhood of Corona
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of many in Corona, a Latino neighborhood in Queens that registered the highest overall case and death counts in New York City
5:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Okla Gov. Stitt back at work after positive test
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt returned to his office two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus
3:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Health
AMC, Universal agree to shrink theatrical window to 17 days
In a sign of how the pandemic is remaking Hollywood traditions, AMC Theatres and Universal Studios on Tuesday announced an agreement for a shortened theatrical window, with the studio’s films playing for a minimum of just 17 days in cinemas
7:00PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Virgin Galactic shows off passenger spaceship cabin interior
Virgin Galactic has revealed what the interior of the rocket ship will look like that will carry passengers on suborbital flights into the space's lower reaches
6:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Visa's profits shrink as virus stops consumers from spending
Credit card processing giant Visa says its fiscal third quarter profit fell by 23% from a year ago, undercut by the world’s consumers and businesses dramatically slowing their spending as the coronavirus pandemic took hold
5:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
With no new law to curb drug costs, Trump tries own changes
President Donald Trump has been unable to land the big deal he sought with Congress to curb drug costs
12:18AM ( 3 days ago )
With no deal to curb drug costs, Trump tries his own changes
President Donald Trump has been unable to land the big deal with Congress to curb drug costs
3:30PM ( 4 days ago )
Cognitive Test. Trump. Biden. Campaign. Flashpoint.
President Donald Trump is boasting about his performance on a "mental fitness' test
1:05AM ( 4 days ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
AP source: 4 more Marlins test positive for coronavirus
A person familiar with the situation says four additional Miami Marlins players have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number to 15
2:16PM ( 5 hours ago )
Yankees-Phillies postponed for 2nd day amid virus worries
The New York Yankees-Philadelphia Phillies game was postponed Tuesday for the second straight day amid coronavirus concerns
1:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
Renteria not cleared to join White Sox amid virus concerns
Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria has not been medically cleared to return to the team after experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms
1:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Rembrandt, Miro fetch millions at Sotheby's virtual auction
A self-portrait by Rembrandt has sold for 14.5 million pounds ($18.7 million) at a Sotheby’s virtual auction
7:30PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Source: US, Oregon in talks about pulling agents in Portland
A senior White House official says the Trump administration has started talks with the Oregon governor’s office and indicated that it would begin to draw down the presence of federal agents in Portland if the state steps up its own enforcement
7:25PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Democrats, GOP far apart on virus aid; Trump wants a deal
The differences in Washington over the next coronavirus aid package are vast
7:24PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Trump administration won't accept new DACA applications
The Trump administration says it will reject new applications and shorten renewal periods for an Obama-era program that shields young people from deportation
7:08PM ( 39 minutes ago )
NASCAR champ Johnson enamored with IndyCar after test
Jimmie Johnson is more determined than ever to race in the IndyCar Series after his long-awaited test session
7:05PM ( 42 minutes ago )