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More than 97,000 children in the US have tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s how to care for your kids during the pandemic.


The U.S. reported the most COVID-19-related deaths in one day since May but the nation’s most populous state was showing signs of improvement Thursday.

A Labor Department report issued Thursday on new unemployment claims reflected the mixed bag of virus data, with 963,000 new jobless claims filed. That’s the lowest in months, but it was considered a big number before the virus-driven recession.

California is seeing a decline in confirmed infections of COVID-19 and hospitalizations rates, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. But the latest daily U.S. death toll was 1,499, pushing the nation’s total above 166,000, the Johns Hopkins data dashboard reported Thursday. The U.S. was closing in on 5.2 million confirmed cases. Iowa reported its 50,000th case and Illinois was on the verge of 200,000 cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warns of a deadly autumn if Americans don’t stringently follow individual guidelines.

Here are some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: Worldwide, there have been 750,000 deaths and more than 20.6 million cases, according to John Hopkins University data.

📰 What we’re reading: Critics fear the economic downturn could give donors to public universities more leverage to quietly influence curriculum, hiring and scholarships.

Man who plotted to behead blogger freed to avoid virus in prison

A Rhode Island sentenced in 2017 to 15 years behind bars for plotting to behead a conservative blogger and other terrorist activities in the name of the Islamic State is being paroled early because of coronavirus inside a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Judge William G. Young revised Nicholas Rovinski’s sentence to time served and ten years of supervised release in home confinement. Rovinski’s lawyer, William Fick, said Rovinski, 29, is “medically vulnerable” due to cerebral palsy, cognitive limitations, hypertension, and depression.

Tom Mooney, Providence Journal

Back to school – and then back home for two weeks

One day after schools reopened for in-person learning in Martin County, Florida, one class at SeaWind Elementary School was sent home after a student exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, district officials confirmed. The nine students who were in the classroom will be required to quarantine for 14 days, district spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo said. The other students were already enrolled in remote learning. 

The teacher — deemed an essential worker — may return to the classroom to live-stream lessons but will maintain a distance from others, DeShazo said. The teacher will be required to stay at home and quarantine if symptoms begin, she said.

Sommer Brugal, Treasure Coast Newspapers

CDC warns of ‘worst fall from a public health perspective we have ever had’

Americans must wear masks, socially distance, wash their hands and avoid crowds in the next few months to avoid an avalanche of illness and death, says Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I’m not asking some of America to do it. We all have to do it,” Redfield told WebMD. “Or this could be the worst fall, from a public health perspective, that we have ever had.”

Redfield also said flu shots will be crucial to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by flu and COVID-19 cases. He said he expects a COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end, but did not detail how quickly it might become widely distributed and curb what he described as the “greatest public health crisis to hit this nation in a century.”

“We were unprepared,” he said. “We owe it to our children and grandchildren that this nation is never unprepared again.”

Maskless woman accused of striking gate agent after being denied boarding

A woman is accused of striking an American Airlines gate agent after she was denied boarding Wednesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for refusing to wear a mask. 

The woman was a passenger on American Airlines flight 2027 from Los Angeles, scheduled to connect to Las Vegas. After she refused to wear a mask on the first flight, crew members flagged her itinerary to be denied service in accordance with American’s policy on mask wearing.

Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, in an emailed statement, said the victim told officers “the suspect had struck him with her hand on his face.” Fortune said officers arrested Yolanda Yarbrough, 47, on assault charges.

Melissa Yeager, Arizona Republic

Less than 1 million more Americans filed unemployment claims

About 963,000 filed initial jobless claims, a rough measure of layoffs, the Labor Department said Thursday. It’s the first time weekly claims have dipped below 1 million in months. But the latest stream of applications still means nearly 56 million Americans have sought unemployment aid in little more than five months.

The report comes as out-of-work Americans make do without the extra $600 federal weekly benefit that began during the pandemic but ended in July. Unemployment fell to 10.2% in July, down from 11.1% in June. But the fledgling economic rebound has been uneven, with rehiring increasing in certain industries while stalling in others.

– Charisse Jones

Anxious teachers preparing wills before returning to classrooms

With the coronavirus pandemic still hitting local communities, teachers are being forced to think about a lot more than their lesson plans — they’re considering their own mortality. Across the country, teachers are drafting their wills as part of back-to-school preparation. Some are marching to cemeteries in protest. Others are inviting officials to their looming funeral services. 

“There’s a huge spike, like one-thousand percent,” said Teddy Rivera, a teachers union’s lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida. “Literally all I’m doing now is wills, wills, wills.” 

– Emily Bloch, Florida Times-Union

New Zealand, after no virus cases for 102 days, now has 17

New Zealand’s first known community outbreak in more than three months grew to 17 cases Thursday. Health officials are still working to trace where the virus came from, and a lockdown imposed in Auckland could be extended. Before the cluster was detected this week, no case of local transmission had been reported in New Zealand in 102 days. All of its other cases were travelers quarantined after arriving from abroad.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that the cluster in Auckland is expected to “get worse before it gets better.”

Basic hand-washing at schools around the world a struggle

The United Nations estimates that 43% of schools around the world don’t have access to water and soap for basic hand-washing. The new report comes as countries wrestle with when and how to safely open schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF says more than one-third of the 818 million children around the globe who lacked basic hand-washing facilities at their schools last year are in sub-Saharan Africa.

 “We must prioritize children’s learning,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore. “This means making sure that schools are safe to reopen – including with access to hand hygiene, clean drinking water and safe sanitation.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom: California COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations decreasing

California is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 confirmed cases and hospitalizations as the state begins to clear backlogged cases caused by a technical glitch, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. Hospitalization rates are down 21% with ICU admissions down 15% over the past two weeks, according to Newsom. 

The state reported 5,433 new infections Wednesday, which Newsom referred to as “another indication that we’re turning the corner on this pandemic.” Last month the state reached a record number of 12,807 new daily cases amid the pandemic. 

Report: Arizona has highest number of COVID-19 infections among children

Arizona is leading the country with its rate of COVID-19 infection among children, a national report says, though there are some limitations to the data. The report, from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, is updated weekly, with the most recent update published on Aug. 6. In both its July 30 and Aug. 6 rankings, Arizona led the nation in COVID-19 infections in children.

Arizona’s pediatric rate is reflective of its overall COVID-19 infection rate, which remains one of the highest in the country when all age groups are included. The state’s rate of cases in children and young adults ages 19 and younger is 1,206.4 per 100,000 people in that age group, and it’s the only non-Southern state in the top five. The states with the top rates in order are Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.

– Stephanie Innes, Arizona Republic

Disney World cast members to get COVID-19 testing after dispute

Florida will begin providing coronavirus testing for Disney World cast members this week, ending a nearly two-month dispute with a union that represents stage actors at the park. According to Disney, the testing site will be run by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and will be located on Disney property, though not in the park. Testing will be available to Disney employees and visitors, as well as Florida residents. 

According to Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for hundreds of actors to return to work. The union began pushing Disney World to offer testing for its members in late June, before the park’s July reopening. 

– Curtis Tate


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Last SlideNext SlideBig 12 plans to play college football this fall

The Big 12 Conference announced Wednesday that it will move ahead with its fall college football season. Its championship game has been scheduled for Dec. 5. The announcement comes a day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences postponed their seasons until spring.

Poll shows support for Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions, little else

Americans across the political spectrum support temporary immigration restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the nation remains divided when it comes to immigration enforcement, including President Donald Trump’s push to expand the southern border wall, according to a national survey released Thursday.

The Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll also highlights a growing disconnect between Trump’s hard-line immigration policies and the priorities of Republicans, who mostly support many of the immigration policies the president has tried to dismantle.

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., a large majority of Republicans (81%), a plurality of Democrats (49%) and a majority of independents (62%) said the U.S. government has done right by temporarily enacting immigration restrictions in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic. The national survey was conducted in May, after the president issued travel restrictions against China, Europe, Mexico and Canada.

– Alan Gomez

Seattle School Board considers outdoor classes

Seattle public schools will begin the academic year remotely but will the district superintendent will explore the creation of outdoor classes, The Seattle Times reported. Most details on how learning for the district’s 50,000 students will work is subject to negotiation between the teachers’ union and the district. With about three weeks to go before the school year’s start, much is still up in the air.

“Putting these plans together before the end of collective bargaining seems like putting the cart before the horse,” said school board member Leslie Harris.

Worries over measles, flu outbreaks grow as kids miss vaccinations


A recent survey serves as a small snapshot of a national problem that some fear may be exacerbated in the fall as children return to school for in-person instruction. The national survey, conducted by Orlando Health, found the vast majority of parents believe vaccines are the best way to protect their children from infectious diseases, but two-thirds are still nervous to take their kids to their pediatrician’s office due to COVID-19.

While it’s not certain if the new school year will bring about a new outbreak, doctors say it’s not out the realm of possibilities. Experts urge parents who have missed their child’s scheduled vaccinations to call their doctor and set up a plan to catch up.

– Adrianna Rodriguez

More COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

On Facebook: There’s still a lot unknown about the coronavirus. But what we do know, we’re sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, Coronavirus Watch, to receive daily updates in your feed and chat with others in the community about COVID-19.  

In your inbox: Stay up-to-date with the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for the daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter here. 

Tips for coping: Every Saturday and Tuesday we’ll be in your inbox, offering you a virtual hug and a little bit of solace in these difficult times. Sign up for Staying Apart, Together here.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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