Gov. Cuomo Gives Update On State’s Contact Tracing Program

first_imgPhoto by Darren McGee / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.ALBANY – New York is taking more steps to fight COVID-19 across the state, including an aggressive statewide contact tracing program.“We’re doing the testing; we’re coming up to scale on the testing. You need the tracing to come up to scale to meet what we’re doing on testing,” said Governor Cuomo.Cuomo said the state will need 6,400 to 17,000 tracers depending on the infection rate. He says government employees like those who work for health departments will be deployed to become tracers.If there’s not enough, then they’ll have to make new hires. The state is also teaming up with Johns Hopkins University to do the training. “You have to train them right away because nobody’s done this before,” Cuomo said. “They’re going to need help; they’re going to need technology; they’re going to need monitoring. They’re going to have to be tested before they can do this.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Italy launches antibody tests for virus immunity in hard-hit Lombardy

first_imgRisks remainImmunity to the virus is little understood and hopes about its efficacy possibly exaggerated. Lacking data, virologists and epidemiologists must extrapolate information from past coronaviruses to make predictions. Experts believe at least 60 to 70 percent of a population must be immune to the virus in order to gradually wipe it out. But recent studies, such as one conducted in March and April by France’s Institut Pasteur, have found that so-called “herd immunity” was harder to attain than believed. At a high school in the Oise department, site of one of the country’s first outbreaks, researchers found only 26 percent of students, teachers and their families carried antibodies. Moreover, it is not known for how long immunity to coronavirus lasts, meaning there is a risk those deemed “immune” may be re-infected and pass along the virus to others. In the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, those who had contracted the virus but recovered were immune for two to three years on average, according to Francois Balloux, director of the Genetics Institute at London’s University College.”One can certainly get reinfected but the question is, after how much time? We won’t know until retroactively,” Balloux told AFP.Even more risky, a person who has developed antibodies can still carry traces of the virus, and thus be contagious. Therefore, experts such as Italy’s Locatelli say antibody tests should be accompanied by swab testing.Immunologist Jean-Francois Delfraissy, who heads France’s scientific council formed to fight coronavirus, said many doubts remain. “We’re currently asking the question whether someone who has had COVID-19 … is as protected as we think,” said Delfraissy.Scientists must wait until more reliable data is available, said Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.”It’s too premature,” Omer told AFP. “We should be able to get clearer data very quickly — in a couple of months — when there will be reliable antibody tests with sensitivity and specificity.” Although Germany has already started nation-wide antibody tests and countries such as Finland and Britain have announced plans to roll them out, many questions remain about how reliable data derived from the tests will be.Health authorities have said 20,000 tests would be performed every day in Lombardy. First to be tested are those in the worst-hit provinces: health workers, those under quarantine showing coronavirus symptoms and those they have been in contact with, as well as others with mild symptoms.Authorities hope to roll out the tests to the wider region after April 29. The head of Italy’s National Health Council, Franco Locatelli, said last month antibody tests would help authorities determine the spread of the coronavirus.  Data would also provide “very relevant information on herd immunity” which would useful in developing strategies to help restart the country, he said, such as who could be allowed to go back to work.The kits, made by Italian biotech firm DiaSorin, look for the presence of antibodies in the blood. Such antibodies indicate that the person has been exposed to the virus, pointing to some level of immunity. They differ from the more common swab tests, which test molecules from nasal secretions to determine whether a person currently has the virus. Lombardy’s swab testing has revealed that 24 percent of those tested have the virus. Italy began conducting antibody tests in one northern region on Thursday seeking information about coronavirus immunity to help guide authorities as they reopen the long locked-down country.Lombardy, the region hardest-hit by the coronavirus crisis in Europe’s worst-affected country, is betting that the science about “herd immunity” derived from the blood tests will help the prosperous industrial region return to work faster and safer. Nearly 13,000 people have already died of the virus in densely populated Lombardy, whose capital is Milan — or more than half of Italy’s total dead. Topics :last_img read more

Three days of rain thwart Florida reopening, cause severe flooding

first_img“This is epic. Never had this much rain in 3 consecutive days in 8 years of living here. 10.58″ and counting… will be over a foot easily,” tweeted Brian McNoldy, a hurricane and climatology expert at the University of Miami.As of Tuesday night, there were no reports of damage.The rain ruined the long Memorial Day weekend and prevented crowds from forming at the recently reopened restaurants and beaches in Broward County, north of Miami, that opened Tuesday.The weather also puts at risk the launch, planned for Wednesday, of a rocket with two astronauts on board from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, in the center of the state. South Florida residents were unable to enjoy the reopening of restaurants and beaches after two months of coronavirus lockdown, when three straight days of rain Tuesday caused severe flooding in Miami and other coastal cities.Floridians have received warnings for severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods since Sunday, as streets turned into rivers and electricity flickered.Images of cars flooded up to their windows have circulated on social media, as well as photos of people kayaking through the streets of Miami. Some people were even surfing, towed along by a rope attached to an SUV. Meanwhile, in northeast Florida, another disturbance producing storms has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center.Hurricane season officially begins June 1, but this year it was pushed forward by Tropical Storm Arthur, which formed two weeks ago in the Atlantic Ocean and passed by the coast of Florida and the Carolinas.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Jol could include Davies in squad

first_imgMartin Jol could include Simon Davies in his squad to face Swansea City this weekend.The Fulham midfielder is yet to feature in the league this season because of a knee problem but is back in training and looks set to return to first-team action in the near future.Whites boss Jol will assess Davies on Friday and the ex-Wales international could travel to the Liberty Stadium.AdChoices广告Davies appeared to be making a good recovery from the injury but suffered complications, and in August it was announced that he faced a longer spell out of action.Meanwhile, skipper Danny Murphy has picked up a knock and faces fitness ahead of Saturday’s game, as does Steve Sidwell.Defender Chris Baird is expected to miss the match for personal reasons, while Damien Duff will be absent again because of a calf problem.Follow West London Sport on Twitterlast_img read more

Businessman Kenpong makes cash donation to coach Attuquayefio

first_imgFormer Asante Kotoko vice chairman Kennedy Adjepong has made a 2,000 Ghana Cedi cash donation to his personal friend coach Jones Attuquayfio who is recovering from throat cancer.Adjepong, popularly known as Capuccino, has also promised to pay him a monthly amount of 600 Ghana cedis for his upkeep.Attuquayfio has been out coaching since undergoing surgery in 2010 to cure the throat cancer.The renowned trainer expressed his gratitude in a text message which read: “Kenpong, your visit to my house was a great honour to me. Indeed, I’m so glad and I very much appreciate your package of love. God bless you.”Adjepong, President of the Kenpong Group of Companies, explained his widow’s mite to the retired Liberty Professionals technical director.“This is something small to my friend as a gift. Jones is not in financial crises but I believe this will be of some assistance,” the businessman told myjoyonline.com Attuquayfio was named CAF Coach of the Year in 2000 after guiding Hearts to win the Champions League and Super.He led Benin to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations appearance in 2004.last_img read more

55th Annual Foofaraw Will Take Place September 8

first_imgFacebook32Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Chamber of CommerceNow in its 55th year, the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce will once again partner with the Olympia Yacht Club to host local military personnel at Foofaraw, an event unmatched anywhere else in the world.After cheering military guests, participants gather near the new harbor security vessel.Always the first Friday after Labor Day, we will be shoving off from the Olympia Yacht Club main station Friday, Sept. 8.Foofaraw has gained in popularity with every passing year and is well-known throughout the United States Armed Forces. Yacht club members transport guests to Island Home, where the Yacht Club and the Chamber treat them to a full day of games and a terrific salmon barbecue lunch. Finally, local dignitaries honor the military personnel.The event averages two service members to every one civilian.For the last several years, the Port of Olympia has shown their gratitude of service to our military by arranging an unofficial send-off which includes representatives from local police, medic, and fire departments and always hanging a large American flag from one of their cranes.Boats are bid farewell by a contingent of local first-responders.One dictionary defines Foofaraw as “much ado about nothing” and, at one point in history the official “purpose” of the day, claimed that a “Foofarite [military attendee] has earned the right to say ‘Foof’ to all duties and responsibilities for one day each year.”Sponsor tickets for this year’s event are limited and available to Chamber Members only. We are collecting donations for the free military raffle that takes place throughout the day.For more information about Foofaraw or to make a donation, please call the Chamber at 360.357.3362. Thank you to our sponsor, America’s Credit Union.last_img read more