New dates announced for delayed Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.
Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on August 9. The near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on August 8.
New York still America’s virus epicenter, but other states’ also seeing a sharp rise
More than 143,000 coronavirus cases have been reported across the United States, and more than 2,500 people have died. New York has the most cases by far with more than 59,000, but the numbers are going up rapidly in other states, too, including Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois and California.
While the total number is still lower than in those hard-hit states, Texas saw the largest single-day increase in cases Sunday, with a 38% jump bringing the tally to 2,823, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Connecticut, and South Dakota where there are now at least 90 cases, also saw jumps Sunday of greater than 30%.
watch the video below for David Begnaud’s report on how bad experts believe the outbreak in the U.S. could get.
U.S. aircraft carrier stuck in Guam as 2 dozen crew test positive for COVID-19
The Navy is the U.S. military service hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis, and it’s been forced to sideline a symbol of American sea power.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was docked in Guam after being hit by a wave of infections following a port visit in Vietnam. The carrier has a crew of more than 5,000 sailors and Marines. At least two dozen have tested positive for the virus. The setback may be short-lived, but it highlights the Navy’s vulnerability to the global-circling disease. It also may be a harbinger of setbacks ahead for a sea service that cannot avoid close-quarters training and operations.
In a statement published Thursday, the U.S. Pacific Command said the Roosevelt’s crew would be limited to the pier, to which no personnel from the major American base on the island would be given access.
“We’re taking this day by day. Our top two priorities are taking care of our people and maintaining mission readiness. Both of those go hand in glove,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said in the statement. “We are confident that our aggressive response will keep USS Theodore Roosevelt able to respond to any crisis in the region.”
Florida church jammed for Sunday service despite pandemic
A Florida church was packed with worshippers Sunday despite a local “safer-at-home” order designed to help curb the spread of COVID-19, reports CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV. A live-stream of the service at The River at Tampa Bay Church showed its crowded main sanctuary.
WTSP says the sheriff told church leaders they were in direct violation of the order, which was issued by Hillsborough County officials and went into effect Friday. It requires that businesses and organizations considered essential abide by social distancing guidelines and keep people six feet away from each other or shut down.
Attorneys for local officials and the church were working to resolve things as quickly as possible, WTSP reported.
A grim milestone passed, but a glimmer hope for COVID-19-battered Spain
Spain has become the third country to surpass China in coronavirus infections after the United States and Italy. With a population of 47 million, the country’s tally of infections reached 85,195 on Monday, a rise of 8% from a previous day.
Monday also saw 812 new fatalities confirmed, bringing the country’s toll to 7,300 since the outbreak started in earnest in early March, Spain’s Health Ministry said in a statement.
Despite the grim milestone, it was the first decline in deaths reported in a 24-hour period that Spain had seen in several days. Even the 8% rise in new infections represented a slower growth rate, and brought hope that the peak of Spain’s outbreak could be approaching.
At least six of Spain’s 17 regions are at their limit of ICU beds and three more were close to it, authorities said, while frantic construction of field hospitals continues.
U.K. health service asks furloughed airline cabin crew to help in makeshift hospitals
Britain’s health service is asking airline cabin crew who have been furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients. The National Health Service says easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff — especially those with first aid training — asking them to work at hospitals being built inside convention centers in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
It said those who sign up will perform support roles under the supervision of doctors and nurses. Under the U.K. government’s coronavirus financial rescue plan, most salaried workers on furlough, across all sectors, will be given up to 80% of their usual pay for a three month period.
EasyJet announced Monday it was grounding all of its 344 planes amid a collapse in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. It said there was “no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights.” Virgin Atlantic has cancelled most of its flights and has urged the British government to help keep struggling airlines aloft.
Co-writer of “I Love Rock and Roll” dies of coronavirus complications
Alan Merrill — who co-wrote the song “I Love Rock and Roll” that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett — died Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69.
Laura Merrill said on her Facebook account that he died in the morning.
“I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen,” she wrote. “By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone.”
Merrill said her father was in good spirits recently. “He played down the ‘cold’ he thought he had,” she said. “I’ve made a million jokes about the ‘Rona’ and how it’ll “getcha”… boy do I feel stupid.”
Governor lauds FDA for approving wide use of Ohio firm’s face mask sterilization system
Ohio’s governor said Sunday that federal regulators had cleared the way for wide use of a Columbus-based company’s services to sterilize the vital N95 masks that are in short supply around the country.
Battelle, a private research lab, says its process, which involves the use of hydrogen peroxide under pressure, can refurbish a single mask up to 20 times before the mask has to be discarded.
Governor Mike DeWine thanked the Food and Drug Administration and President Trump for hurriedly granting the company approval “to sterilize masks without a daily limit,” saying the move “will save lives!”
DeWine had called it reckless that Battelle was only authorized by the FDA to sterilize 10,000 per day until Sunday. The company has said it can handle up to 80,000 masks per day and that it is working to set up sterilization systems in other parts of the country.
Instacart workers set to go on strike over coronavirus concerns
A possible strike by Instacart workers highlights the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the grocery delivery business, where workers are worried about their safety as they try to meet a surge in demand for online groceries.
A group called the Gig Workers Collective is calling for a nationwide walk-out Monday. They’ve been asking Instacart to provide workers with hazard pay and protective gear, among other demands. Instacart said Sunday it would soon provide workers with a new hand sanitizer upon request and outlined changes to its tip system. The group said the measures were too little too late.
While some workers say they intend to join the strike for at least a day — or have stopped filling orders already for fear of getting the virus — other, newer workers are content to have a paying job at a time of mass layoffs in other industries.
The San Francisco-based delivery app is trying to hire 300,000 more workers — more than doubling its workforce — to fulfill orders it says have surged by 150% year-over year in the past weeks.
– Associated Press
Twitter removes tweets by Brazilian president questioning virus quarantines
Two tweets by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus were removed Sunday, on the grounds that they violated the social network’s rules.
The far-right leader had posted several videos in which he flouted his government’s social distancing guidelines by mixing with supporters on the streets of Brasilia and urging them to keep the economy going.
Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down.
U.S. counties with no coronavirus cases largely rural, and poor
As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that 1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of 3,142 counties nationwide.
Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas — from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to majority Hispanic and Native American stretches of the American Southwest — that generally have less everyday contact between people that can help transmit the virus.
At the same time, counties with zero positive tests for COVID-19 have a higher median age and higher proportion of people older than 60 — the most vulnerable to severe effects of the virus — and far fewer intensive care beds should they fall sick. Median household income is lower, too, potentially limiting health care options.
– Associated Press
Oklahoma governor orders anyone traveling from 6 states to self quarantine
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Sunday issued an executive order requiring anyone traveling to the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington state to self quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
The order comes one day after the CDC issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott issued a similar order Sunday, requiring anyone driving to Texas from Louisiana or flying to Texas from Miami, Detroit, Chicago, California or Washington state. Abbott had already ordered those traveling to Texas from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days beginning March 26.
Already struggling farmers hit hard by coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected America’s farmers, who were already facing financial hardships, worsened by a trade war and labor shortages.
In the heart of Dallas, Bonton Farms planted roots in an often-forgotten neighborhood that’s long been a food desert with no grocery store nearby. Daron Babcock started the small urban farm and 40-acre extension to solve a health crisis in the region.
“We have over double the rate of cancer, double the rate of stroke, double the rate of heart disease, double the rate of diabetes and double the rate of childhood obesity than the county we’re in,” he explained.
The farm provides fresh fruits and vegetables for the community and restaurants across north Texas. However, their two years of successful growth has become stunted by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“Just day one, when they announced they were gonna quarantine, business dropped 90%,” Babcock told CBS News.