Day: May 13, 2020

Coronavirus Ravaged a Choir. But Isolation Helped Contain It.

It was a chilly evening in Mount Vernon, Wash., on March 10, when a group of singers met for choir practice at their church, just as they did most Tuesday nights.

The full choir consists of 122 singers, but only 61 made it that night, including one who had been fighting cold-like symptoms for a few days.

That person later tested positive for the coronavirus, and within two days of the practice, six more members of the choir had developed a fever. Ultimately, 53 members of the choir became ill with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and two of them died.

The event, which was reported in March by various news organizations, demonstrated how contagious and dangerous the coronavirus is, especially among older populations. The median age for those attending the practice that night was 69.

A study since then has showed that swift action by the

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App Shows Promise in Tracking New Coronavirus Cases, Study Finds

In the absence of widespread on-demand testing, public health officials across the world have been struggling to track the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in real time. A team of scientists in the United States and the United Kingdom says a crowdsourcing smartphone app may be the answer to that quandary.

In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers found that an app that allows people to check off symptoms they are experiencing was remarkably effective in predicting coronavirus infections among the 2.5 million people who were using it between March 24 and April 21.

The study, which tracked people in the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden, found that the loss of taste and smell was the No. 1 predictor of whether a person was going to get sick with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, followed by extreme fatigue and acute muscle pain.

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California’s Plan to Trace Travelers for Virus Faltered When Overwhelmed, Study Finds

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the United States, like many countries, had a very brief chance to limit the spread of the disease at its borders. Identifying travelers from high-risk countries and tracing their contacts with others would have been critical measures, if put in place early enough.

In California, the largest state and a point of entry for thousands of travelers from Asia, a program was established to do just that. But its tracing system was quickly overwhelmed by a flood of passengers, many with inaccurate contact information, and was understaffed in some cases, rendering the program ineffective, according to a study released on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked exclusively at California.

“Despite intensive effort, the traveler screening system did not effectively prevent introduction of Covid-19 into California,” the report said.

In early February, over 11,000 travelers from China

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Coronavirus Live Updates: In Senate Hearing, Top Officials Paint Bleak Picture of Pandemic

[singing] Singing: “Oh, brother, I want you to keep on marchin’. And one of these days, and one of these days, you shall be free.” Albany, Ga., became an epicenter for Covid-19 in April. Hundreds of cases were traced to two funeral services, and led to one of the highest death rates in the country. “It was like a tornado that nobody prepared for. Our churches weren’t prepared for it, and before we knew it, people were dropping like flies.” Pastor Orson Burton lost members of his congregation in the surge, including his wife’s father. “I can see the park.” “You can see the park?” “But we can’t go to the park.” “No.” “It’s still not safe.” “No.” “Because the whole world is sick.” “Yeah, but we’re praying that the world gets better, right?” On April 20, Gov. Brian Kemp announced small businesses could reopen less than three weeks after

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