HomeFederal government will continue to distribute supplies to states for nowBusinessFederal government will continue to distribute supplies to states for now

Federal government will continue to distribute supplies to states for now


The latest:There have been more than 988,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 56,000 people, according to Hopkins.Globally, there have been more than 3 million cases with more than 211,000 deaths.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work Monday three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.A lingering heat wave lured people to Southern California beaches, rivers and trails again Sunday, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress and bring the coronavirus surging back.A major New York hospital network has given high doses of an over-the-counter heartburn drug to patients with COVID-19 to see if it works against the coronavirus.Maryland has received hundreds of calls from people asking if they can effectively combat coronavirus by injecting or ingesting disinfectants, Gov. Larry Hogan told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.Admiral Brett Giroir, director of U.S. coronavirus testing, said the federal government will continue to help states procure supplies for testing, despite new guidelines that describe it as a “supplier of last resort” in obtaining tests.“It’s very important that I think we don’t interrupt our commercial channels, because they’re very efficient and this is what they do, but we do have to prioritize them,” Giroir told reporters at the White House on Monday. “Some of the larger companies, the testing companies, we need to make sure that the states that have a certain machine or a certain test are adequately supplied until we get 10 times the amount that we need,” he added.Giroir described supplies like swabs as a “small, fragile ecosystem right now.” “For the next couple of months, we’re going to procure them at the federal level to make sure they’re distributed to the states,” he said, “but towards the middle or the end of the summer that supply chain will be very robust.”Starting as early as late next week, Giroir said, “for say, swabs and media, we know what the plan is. “We’re going to be sending the states what they need every week without them asking,” he said.Trump announces new coronavirus testing and guidance on reopening statesPresident Trump announced a “blueprint” to set guidance on how states should handle coronavirus, distinguishing the roles between states and the federal government.”We are continuing to rapidly expand our capacity and confident that we have enough testing to begin reopening and the reopening process. We want to get our country open. And the testing is not going to be a problem at all. In fact it’s going to be one of the great assets that we have,” he said.Trump added: “Today we releasing additional guidance on testing to inform the states as they develop their plans for a phased and very safe reopening. Our blueprint describes how states should unlock their full capacity, expand the number of testing, establish monitoring systems to detect local outbreaks on the testing platform, and conduct contact tracing. We have it all.”A White House official told CNN the goal was to help each state reach the ability to test at least 2% of its residents, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations and emergency workers.Trump and Pence brief governors on new testing blueprintPresident Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and members of the coronavirus task force briefed the nation’s governors Monday afternoon on a new testing blueprint. According to audio of the call obtained by CNN, Trump said the U.S. has now completed 5.4 million tests and the number of tests being performed each day has “began to skyrocket,” citing more than 200,000 tests performed last Wednesday. He praised governors who have implemented testing strategies and contracted with the public and private sector to get what they need. “As the rate of new cases continues to decline, we’re glad to hear more than half of our nations governors have announced plans to begin as a phased opening up of your states. I hope that’s going to continue because people want to see these states open,” he said. “There is a thirst to get back to business, and whatever you can do. Make them safe but I think you have a lot of people wanting to see this open.” Trump noted newly-released funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. He then told the governors that as long as they continue to combat the virus with “unity, strength and resolve” – “for the most part … not in all cases but for the most part we have” — that the US would get “safely and confidently back to work.”Trump turned the call over to Pence, who said that Monday’s blueprint announcement is a “continuation” of the April 16 phased reopening guidelines. “It is science-based and, hopefully, will give you great confidence going forward,” Pence said, noting that the task force believes there is currently the testing capacity for every state to meet the testing criteria for phase one. “We’ve seen a rapid expansion of testing,” Pence said. Health officials ready new guidelines as restrictions easeBusinesses should close break rooms. Restaurants should consider disposable menus and plates. Schools should have students eat lunch in their classrooms.These are some of the recommendations offered in new federal plans designed to help restaurants, schools, churches and businesses safely reopen as states look to gradually lift their coronavirus restrictions.The draft guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sent to Washington but still could be revised before the Trump administration unveils it to the public. The recommendations were obtained from a federal official who was not authorized to release them publicly.The CDC put together so-called “decision trees” for at least seven types of organizations: schools, camps, childcare centers, religious facilities, mass transit systems, workplaces, and bars/restaurants.White House officials previously released a three-phase reopening plan for the nation that mentioned schools and other organizations that come back online at different points. But it hadn’t previously offered more specific how-to guidelines for each kind of entity.The new guidance still amounts to little more than advice. State and local officials will be the ones to adopt and enforce them. Some state and local governments have already put rules in place for businesses that are operating. For example, Michigan requires businesses to limit how many customers can be in a store at one time.”The pandemic is far from over,” World Health Organization saysTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General said, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over.“The pandemic is far from over,” he said at a news conference.He said the World Health Organization “continues to be concerned about the increasing trends in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.”“As in all regions, cases and deaths are underreported in many countries in these regions, because of low testing capacity,” Tedros said. “This virus will not be defeated if we are not united, if we are not united, the virus will exploit the cracks between us and continue to create havoc. Lives will be lost,” Tedros added. Some states gradually ease lockdownsSome states have begun gradually easing coronavirus lockdowns, each pursuing its own approach — but all with a common goal in mind: restarting their economies without triggering a new wave of infections.In the state of Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has moved aggressively to get businesses back on track, restaurants received the go-ahead to resume dine-in service on Monday as long as they follow certain restrictions, including keeping tables 6 feet apart.At Plucked Up Chicken & Biscuits in Columbus, Georgia, eight regulars showed up in the morning to have their coffee and breakfast and “chatted at each other across the room,” manager Alesha Webster said. But the rules meant only 10 customers could be inside at a time, well below the capacity of 45.Alex Brounstein, owner of the Atlanta-based chain Grindhouse Killer Burgers, had no plans to reopen right away.“You’re talking about people putting their mouths on things in your restaurant. You now have dirty dishes going back into your kitchen. To me, it’s just completely illogical,” he said.Technology is likely to play an important role in helping countries ease their restrictions. Many governments are working on mobile virus-tracking apps and other technology, keen for automated solutions to the time-consuming task of tracing an infected person’s contacts. The apps can detect when a user comes near someone who is infected.Activists and researchers worry about the privacy implications.“We can’t allow our response to this pandemic to be used as a justification for compromising people’s digital safety and security,” said Michael Kleinman, director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said that with hospitalizations dropping, he will reopen churches and restaurant dining on Friday while keeping social-distancing guidelines.But Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, told ABC her state is not ready and needs more robust testing, community tracing and a plan for isolating the sick.“We’ve got to be nimble and we have to follow the science and be really smart about how we re-engage,” she said.People who have had coronavirus in US nears 1 million A new week in the coronavirus crisis is beginning with the United States case count approaching 1 million and several cities and states preparing to loosen stay-at-home restrictions. As the numbers continue to climb, several state and city officials are expected to announce plans to reopen their economies this week.A University of Washington model frequently cited by the White House coronavirus task force suggests that no state should open their economies before Friday — and many should wait much longer.In New York, one of the hardest hit states, rates of hospitalization, intubation and deaths were down on Sunday.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is planning for a phased reopening, starting with construction and manufacturing activities at “those businesses that have a low risk.”The earliest the state will begin its first phase of reopening is May 15 — but only in regions that have seen a 14-day decline in hospitalizations. How much longer to stay at homeOfficials at all levels of government are weighing how to proceed and when to reopen their communities.While states from Hawaii to Texas and Michigan to Alaska are loosening restrictions on certain businesses and outdoor recreation, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that his state is still weeks away from reopening.Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will explain emergency orders Monday on the reopening of parks, waterways and golf courses, his press office said Sunday. But at the state level, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is not putting a date on the state reopening, even though the Florida’s stay at home orders are set to expire Thursday.”We are going to do everything in a smart way,” DeSantis said in a news conference Sunday. “I am less concerned about the date and more concerned about getting it right.”Reports of overexposure to disinfectantsSeveral states also are grappling with an increase in calls to their poison control centers, following President Donald Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectants as a treatment for the coronavirus during a White House briefing on Thursday. He later said he was being “sarcastic.”Maryland has received hundreds of calls from people asking if they can effectively combat coronavirus by injecting or ingesting disinfectants, Gov. Larry Hogan told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.In Michigan, there were 65 reported overexposure cases between April 1 and April 25, a 400% increase from the same time last year. In addition to cleaning supply overexposure, Tennessee’s poison control center has seen a jump in the number of people hospitalized from exposure to hydrogen peroxide, a common ingredient in disinfectants, according to the Tennessean newspaper.In Illinois calls to poison control included someone who used a detergent based solution for a sinus rinse and another who gargled a mixture of mouthwash and bleach to kill germs, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said during a Saturday afternoon news conference.”All I know is this, when the person with the most powerful position on the planet is encouraging people to think about disinfectants whether it was serious or not, people listen,” Whitmer told ABC’s “This Week.” “I want to say unequivocally, no one should be using disinfectants to digest it to fight COVID-19. Please don’t do it.”Hope in antibodies and treatmentsResearchers across the country are working to find effective methods to fight the virus.Preliminary results of a clinical trial for heartburn medicine in coronavirus treatment could come out in the next few weeks, said Dr. Kevin Tracey, president of Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health.”We don’t know if it has any benefit. We really don’t. I swear we don’t,” he said. “People are hoping for anything. But we need to do this clinical trial.”And while final results are not expected until mid-to-late May, preliminary results for a clinical trial of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir could come out in a week or two, a principal investigator in the trial Dr. Andre Kalil said Sunday.Physicians at a hospital in Orlando, Florida, said Sunday that at least two patients are seeing “drastic improvements” after convalescent plasma transplants, which uses the antibodies from recovered patients to treat those who are currently sick.Testing of antibodies will also help Boston to evaluate exposure to the virus in the city. Mayor Martin Walsh announced that 1,000 asymptomatic residents will undergo diagnostic and antibody testing, which is expected to be done by Friday.More outbreaks at meat plantsThe ongoing pandemic, meanwhile, has led to the closure of another meat production plant.A JBS USA beef production plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will temporarily close due to the pandemic, the company announced Sunday. The county where the plant is located has at least 776 confirmed cases and two deaths as of Sunday.Processing plants and slaughterhouses have been shutting their doors in recent weeks. Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, JBS pork processing in Worthington, Minnesota, and Tyson Fresh Foods in Waterloo, Iowa, three of the largest pork processing plants in the country, have already closed indefinitely while smaller ones have done so temporarily.”The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Smithfield Foods CEO Ken Sullivan said. “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running.”

The latest:

  • There have been more than 988,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 56,000 people, according to Hopkins.
  • Globally, there have been more than 3 million cases with more than 211,000 deaths.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work Monday three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • A lingering heat wave lured people to Southern California beaches, rivers and trails again Sunday, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress and bring the coronavirus surging back.
  • A major New York hospital network has given high doses of an over-the-counter heartburn drug to patients with COVID-19 to see if it works against the coronavirus.
  • Maryland has received hundreds of calls from people asking if they can effectively combat coronavirus by injecting or ingesting disinfectants, Gov. Larry Hogan told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Admiral Brett Giroir, director of U.S. coronavirus testing, said the federal government will continue to help states procure supplies for testing, despite new guidelines that describe it as a “supplier of last resort” in obtaining tests.

“It’s very important that I think we don’t interrupt our commercial channels, because they’re very efficient and this is what they do, but we do have to prioritize them,” Giroir told reporters at the White House on Monday.

“Some of the larger companies, the testing companies, we need to make sure that the states that have a certain machine or a certain test are adequately supplied until we get 10 times the amount that we need,” he added.

Giroir described supplies like swabs as a “small, fragile ecosystem right now.”

“For the next couple of months, we’re going to procure them at the federal level to make sure they’re distributed to the states,” he said, “but towards the middle or the end of the summer that supply chain will be very robust.”

Starting as early as late next week, Giroir said, “for say, swabs and media, we know what the plan is.

“We’re going to be sending the states what they need every week without them asking,” he said.

Trump announces new coronavirus testing and guidance on reopening states

President Trump announced a “blueprint” to set guidance on how states should handle coronavirus, distinguishing the roles between states and the federal government.

“We are continuing to rapidly expand our capacity and confident that we have enough testing to begin reopening and the reopening process. We want to get our country open. And the testing is not going to be a problem at all. In fact it’s going to be one of the great assets that we have,” he said.

Trump added: “Today we releasing additional guidance on testing to inform the states as they develop their plans for a phased and very safe reopening. Our blueprint describes how states should unlock their full capacity, expand the number of testing, establish monitoring systems to detect local outbreaks on the testing platform, and conduct contact tracing. We have it all.”

A White House official told CNN the goal was to help each state reach the ability to test at least 2% of its residents, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations and emergency workers.

Trump and Pence brief governors on new testing blueprint

President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and members of the coronavirus task force briefed the nation’s governors Monday afternoon on a new testing blueprint.

According to audio of the call obtained by CNN, Trump said the U.S. has now completed 5.4 million tests and the number of tests being performed each day has “began to skyrocket,” citing more than 200,000 tests performed last Wednesday. He praised governors who have implemented testing strategies and contracted with the public and private sector to get what they need.

“As the rate of new cases continues to decline, we’re glad to hear more than half of our nations governors have announced plans to begin as a phased opening up of your states. I hope that’s going to continue because people want to see these states open,” he said. “There is a thirst to get back to business, and whatever you can do. Make them safe but I think you have a lot of people wanting to see this open.”

Trump noted newly-released funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

He then told the governors that as long as they continue to combat the virus with “unity, strength and resolve” – “for the most part … not in all cases but for the most part we have” — that the US would get “safely and confidently back to work.”

Trump turned the call over to Pence, who said that Monday’s blueprint announcement is a “continuation” of the April 16 phased reopening guidelines.

“It is science-based and, hopefully, will give you great confidence going forward,” Pence said, noting that the task force believes there is currently the testing capacity for every state to meet the testing criteria for phase one.

“We’ve seen a rapid expansion of testing,” Pence said.

Health officials ready new guidelines as restrictions ease

Businesses should close break rooms. Restaurants should consider disposable menus and plates. Schools should have students eat lunch in their classrooms.

These are some of the recommendations offered in new federal plans designed to help restaurants, schools, churches and businesses safely reopen as states look to gradually lift their coronavirus restrictions.

The draft guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sent to Washington but still could be revised before the Trump administration unveils it to the public. The recommendations were obtained from a federal official who was not authorized to release them publicly.

The CDC put together so-called “decision trees” for at least seven types of organizations: schools, camps, childcare centers, religious facilities, mass transit systems, workplaces, and bars/restaurants.

White House officials previously released a three-phase reopening plan for the nation that mentioned schools and other organizations that come back online at different points. But it hadn’t previously offered more specific how-to guidelines for each kind of entity.

The new guidance still amounts to little more than advice. State and local officials will be the ones to adopt and enforce them. Some state and local governments have already put rules in place for businesses that are operating. For example, Michigan requires businesses to limit how many customers can be in a store at one time.

“The pandemic is far from over,” World Health Organization says

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General said, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over.

“The pandemic is far from over,” he said at a news conference.

He said the World Health Organization “continues to be concerned about the increasing trends in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.”

“As in all regions, cases and deaths are underreported in many countries in these regions, because of low testing capacity,” Tedros said.

“This virus will not be defeated if we are not united, if we are not united, the virus will exploit the cracks between us and continue to create havoc. Lives will be lost,” Tedros added.

Some states gradually ease lockdowns

Some states have begun gradually easing coronavirus lockdowns, each pursuing its own approach — but all with a common goal in mind: restarting their economies without triggering a new wave of infections.

In the state of Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has moved aggressively to get businesses back on track, restaurants received the go-ahead to resume dine-in service on Monday as long as they follow certain restrictions, including keeping tables 6 feet apart.

At Plucked Up Chicken & Biscuits in Columbus, Georgia, eight regulars showed up in the morning to have their coffee and breakfast and “chatted at each other across the room,” manager Alesha Webster said. But the rules meant only 10 customers could be inside at a time, well below the capacity of 45.

Alex Brounstein, owner of the Atlanta-based chain Grindhouse Killer Burgers, had no plans to reopen right away.

“You’re talking about people putting their mouths on things in your restaurant. You now have dirty dishes going back into your kitchen. To me, it’s just completely illogical,” he said.

Technology is likely to play an important role in helping countries ease their restrictions. Many governments are working on mobile virus-tracking apps and other technology, keen for automated solutions to the time-consuming task of tracing an infected person’s contacts. The apps can detect when a user comes near someone who is infected.

Activists and researchers worry about the privacy implications.

“We can’t allow our response to this pandemic to be used as a justification for compromising people’s digital safety and security,” said Michael Kleinman, director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said that with hospitalizations dropping, he will reopen churches and restaurant dining on Friday while keeping social-distancing guidelines.

But Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, told ABC her state is not ready and needs more robust testing, community tracing and a plan for isolating the sick.

“We’ve got to be nimble and we have to follow the science and be really smart about how we re-engage,” she said.

People who have had coronavirus in US nears 1 million

A new week in the coronavirus crisis is beginning with the United States case count approaching 1 million and several cities and states preparing to loosen stay-at-home restrictions.

As the numbers continue to climb, several state and city officials are expected to announce plans to reopen their economies this week.

A University of Washington model frequently cited by the White House coronavirus task force suggests that no state should open their economies before Friday — and many should wait much longer.

In New York, one of the hardest hit states, rates of hospitalization, intubation and deaths were down on Sunday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is planning for a phased reopening, starting with construction and manufacturing activities at “those businesses that have a low risk.”

The earliest the state will begin its first phase of reopening is May 15 — but only in regions that have seen a 14-day decline in hospitalizations.

How much longer to stay at home

Officials at all levels of government are weighing how to proceed and when to reopen their communities.

While states from Hawaii to Texas and Michigan to Alaska are loosening restrictions on certain businesses and outdoor recreation, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that his state is still weeks away from reopening.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will explain emergency orders Monday on the reopening of parks, waterways and golf courses, his press office said Sunday. But at the state level, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is not putting a date on the state reopening, even though the Florida’s stay at home orders are set to expire Thursday.

“We are going to do everything in a smart way,” DeSantis said in a news conference Sunday. “I am less concerned about the date and more concerned about getting it right.”

Reports of overexposure to disinfectants

Several states also are grappling with an increase in calls to their poison control centers, following President Donald Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectants as a treatment for the coronavirus during a White House briefing on Thursday. He later said he was being “sarcastic.”

Maryland has received hundreds of calls from people asking if they can effectively combat coronavirus by injecting or ingesting disinfectants, Gov. Larry Hogan told Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

In Michigan, there were 65 reported overexposure cases between April 1 and April 25, a 400% increase from the same time last year. In addition to cleaning supply overexposure, Tennessee’s poison control center has seen a jump in the number of people hospitalized from exposure to hydrogen peroxide, a common ingredient in disinfectants, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

In Illinois calls to poison control included someone who used a detergent based solution for a sinus rinse and another who gargled a mixture of mouthwash and bleach to kill germs, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said during a Saturday afternoon news conference.

“All I know is this, when the person with the most powerful position on the planet is encouraging people to think about disinfectants whether it was serious or not, people listen,” Whitmer told ABC’s “This Week.” “I want to say unequivocally, no one should be using disinfectants to digest it to fight COVID-19. Please don’t do it.”

Hope in antibodies and treatments

Researchers across the country are working to find effective methods to fight the virus.

Preliminary results of a clinical trial for heartburn medicine in coronavirus treatment could come out in the next few weeks, said Dr. Kevin Tracey, president of Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health.

“We don’t know if it has any benefit. We really don’t. I swear we don’t,” he said. “People are hoping for anything. But we need to do this clinical trial.”

And while final results are not expected until mid-to-late May, preliminary results for a clinical trial of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir could come out in a week or two, a principal investigator in the trial Dr. Andre Kalil said Sunday.

Physicians at a hospital in Orlando, Florida, said Sunday that at least two patients are seeing “drastic improvements” after convalescent plasma transplants, which uses the antibodies from recovered patients to treat those who are currently sick.

Testing of antibodies will also help Boston to evaluate exposure to the virus in the city. Mayor Martin Walsh announced that 1,000 asymptomatic residents will undergo diagnostic and antibody testing, which is expected to be done by Friday.

More outbreaks at meat plants

The ongoing pandemic, meanwhile, has led to the closure of another meat production plant.

A JBS USA beef production plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will temporarily close due to the pandemic, the company announced Sunday. The county where the plant is located has at least 776 confirmed cases and two deaths as of Sunday.

Processing plants and slaughterhouses have been shutting their doors in recent weeks. Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, JBS pork processing in Worthington, Minnesota, and Tyson Fresh Foods in Waterloo, Iowa, three of the largest pork processing plants in the country, have already closed indefinitely while smaller ones have done so temporarily.

“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Smithfield Foods CEO Ken Sullivan said. “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running.”



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