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CORONAVIRUS

‘Unfathomable’

AP Medical Writer The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 Tuesday, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation with its state-of-the-art laboratories, top-flight scientists and stockpiles of medicines and emergency ...

CDC changes, then retracts, take on virus spread

NEW YORK (AP) — The top U.S. public health agency has stirred confusion by posting — and then taking down — an apparent change in its position on how easily the coronavirus can spread from person to person on small droplets in the air. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and ...

Walz wonders about ‘more bipartisan approach’ to COVID-19

ST. PAUL(AP) — Six months after declaring a state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Tim Walz believes the steps he took saved lives but acknowledges that if he had known earlier in the crisis what he knows now, he would have done some things differently. For example, ...

Infection rates soar in college towns as students return

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Just two weeks after students started returning to Ball State University last month, the surrounding county had become Indiana’s coronavirus epicenter. Out of nearly 600 students tested for the virus, more than half have been positive. Dozens of infections have been ...

Gulf between White House’s words, Trump’s actions on masks

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials insist that President Donald Trump strongly supports face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus and always has. But the president’s own words and actions tell a very different — and sometimes puzzling — story. That’s created a gulf ...

Report: Much needs doing to shield nursing homes from virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is claiming “resounding vindication” from an independent commission’s report on the coronavirus crisis in nursing homes, but some panel members say that’s a misinterpretation of their conclusion that much remains to be done to safeguard ...

Study hints antibody drug may cut COVID-19 hospitalizations

The Associated Press A drug company says that partial results from a study testing an antibody drug give hints that it may help keep mild to moderately ill COVID-19 patients from needing to be hospitalized, a goal no current coronavirus medicine has been able to meet. Eli Lilly announced the ...

Trump predicts a safe vaccine by next month, disputes health officials

WASHINGTON (AP) — Openly contradicting the government’s top health experts, President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus could be ready as early as next month and in mass distribution soon after, undermining the director of the Centers ...

Experts worry as US virus restrictions are eased or violated

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State and local officials around the U.S. are rolling back social-distancing rules again after an abortive effort over the summer, allowing bars, restaurants and gyms to open. Fans are gathering mask-free at football games. President Donald Trump is holding crowded ...

Teacher departures leave schools scrambling for substitutes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With many teachers opting out of returning to the classroom because of the coronavirus, schools around the U.S. are scrambling to find replacements and in some places lowering certification requirements to help get substitutes in the door. Several states have seen surges ...

Virus America, six months in: Disarray, dismay, disconnect

For years, Erin Whitehead has been a committed fan of the crisis-fueled medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” She has watched its doctors handle all manner of upheaval inside their put-upon hospital — terrifying diseases, destructive weather, bombs, mass shootings, mental illness, ...

As Trump played down virus, health experts’ alarm grew

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public health officials were already warning Americans about the need to prepare for the coronavirus threat in early February when President Donald Trump called it “deadly stuff” in a private conversation that has only now has come to light. At the time, the virus was ...

GOP’s slimmed-down virus bill scuttled by Senate Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats scuttled a scaled-back GOP coronavirus rescue package on Thursday, saying the measure shortchanged too many pressing needs as the pandemic continues its assault on the country. The mostly party-line vote capped weeks of wrangling over a fifth relief bill ...

Smithfield Foods pork plant faces OSHA fine from outbreak

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Federal regulators said Thursday they have cited Smithfield Foods for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus at the company’s Sioux Falls plant, an early hot spot for virus infections that hobbled American meatpacking plants. The ...

Minnesota reports 3 more deaths, 638 new coronavirus cases

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials reported 638 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, and three additional deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 1,860. The state has reported a total of 81,225 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. As of ...

Amid virus surge, Noem pushes tourism with CARES Act funds

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration announced Tuesday that it is using federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for a $5 million tourism ad campaign aimed at drawing people to the state, even as it emerges as one of the nation’s top hot spots for ...

Bold hopes for virus antibody tests still unfulfilled

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the height of the coronavirus lockdown, President Donald Trump and his top health advisers trumpeted a new test that would help Americans reclaim their lives — one that would tell them if they already had the virus and were protected from getting it again. Their ...

MN COVID-19 testing options abound, but with waits

ST. PAUL (AP) — There are a growing number of ways Minnesotans can get screened for the coronavirus, but results can take days, even a week or longer. So if you need to know right away if you have COVID-19, you might have to pay out-of-pocket. Ongoing worldwide constraints on testing ...

States plan for cuts as Congress deadlocks on more virus aid

Spending cuts to schools, childhood vaccinations and job-training programs. New taxes on millionaires, cigarettes and legalized marijuana. Borrowing, drawing from rainy day funds and reducing government workers’ pay. These are some actions states are considering to shore up their finances ...

Budget deficit to hit record $3.3T due to virus, recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion as huge government expenditures to fight the coronavirus and to prop up the economy have added more than $2 trillion to the federal ledger, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The spike in ...