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Moving in itself is stressful, but it’s even harder during the pandemic.

USA TODAY

The number of new coronavirus cases may be falling in three Western states, but there is no holding back when it comes to testing.

California and Nevada say they are going to increase testing. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal that also will lower the costs of tests and lead to faster results. Oregon’s rate of positive coronavirus cases has fallen to the point that it almost meets Gov. Kate Brown’s threshold for reopening schools.

Also on testing, changes in guidelines from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention continued to prompt backlash and confusion from medical experts.

Nationally, economists estimate weekly unemployment claims will slightly dip from the 1.1 million who applied the week before. 

Some significant developments:

At the RNC, Vice President Mike Pence said the administration marshaled all its against COVID and had a “seamless partnership” with the nation’s governors.Amid Hurricane Laura, many Texans are staying in hotels, not shelters, as protection from the coronavirus. Texas is offering testing at some shelters.Disneyland says it is ready to reopen as soon as it gets the go-ahead from California.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 5.8 million confirmed infections and nearly 180,000 deaths. Worldwide, there have been more than 826,000 deaths and 24 million cases, according to John Hopkins University data. 

📰 What we’re reading: Can employers force their workers to get a COVID-19 vaccination? it’s a prickly subject.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to the Daily Briefing.

Confusion, criticism of CDC testing change: Policy ‘will kill,’ expert warns

Infectious disease experts are not only confused but also troubled by a change in testing guidelines made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said people without symptoms may not need a test – even if they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.

“Our work on the ‘silent’ spread underscored the importance of testing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 regardless of symptoms,” tweeted Alison Galvani, director for the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at Yale School of Medicine. “This change in policy will kill.”

Before changes were made Monday, the CDC website said testing was recommended “for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

The website now says someone who was in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes but doesn’t have symptoms does not “necessarily need a test.” The agency said exceptions are made for “vulnerable” individuals, or those who were recommended to take a test by a health care provider or public health official.

– Adrianna Rodriguez

Report: LSU offensive line down to four because of positives, quarantines

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LSU’s defense of its college football national championship is off to a rocky start, with just one month before the Tigers open their season. Positive COVID-19 tests or a risk of exposure to infected individuals have sidelined nearly the entire offensive line position group in quarantine, according to a report in the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Citing multiple people, the story by the Advocate said all but four members of the offensive line have either tested positive for the novel coronavirus or are isolating due to high-risk exposure. Players who test positive must isolate for 10 days and must be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to practice, according to SEC COVID-19 protocols. Individuals with high-risk exposure must quarantine for 14 days.

– Eddie Timanus

Mental health and college sports: Medical experts warn it is being overlooked, especially in Black athletes

California, Nevada to boost testing; Oregon reports lower COVID-19 case count

California will more than double its coronavirus testing to up to 250,000 people a day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced. It has a $1.4-billion contract with a Massachusetts company aimed at providing faster results and lower costs. In reporting 6,004 new cases, Newsom tweeted Wednesday that the state continues to see “modest declines” in case counts.

Nevada, too, says the number of new cases has decreased since peaking above 1,400 on July 15. Officials say the decrease is due at least in part to the state’s face-covering mandate and limits on large gatherings. It is also increasing testing in its high-population areas of Reno and Las Vegas.

In Oregon, officials note not only that the case counts are falling, but that the rate of positive tests also has declined. It stands at 5.1%. If it falls to 5%, one of Gov. Kate Brown’s requirements for reopening schools will have been met.

Disneyland ‘ready’ to reopen once it gets approval from California officials

Disneyland is ready to let the magic begin anew. All it needs is a go-ahead from California officials.

The head of Disney’s theme parks said Disneyland is ready to open once California releases its health and safety guidelines for theme parks, a move that’s been hampered by a more full retreat of cases of the coronavirus. 

Orange County, where Disneyland resides, was removed on Sunday from a list of counties on California’s monitoring list for coronavirus.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been fully open since July 15, after closing for nearly four months.

– Curtis Tate

COVID-19 cases may be falling in many states, but not unemployment

Though the number of Americans testing positive for the coronavirus may be ebbing in some cities, the economic damage drags on.

About 1 million workers filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, economists estimate, a slight dip from the 1.1 million who applied the week before. 

The number seeking unemployment aid for the first time has been volatile, slightly dipping and rising, yet remaining stubbornly high — far above the previous record of 695,000 weekly claims set during an economic downturn in 1982. 

The see-sawing numbers reflect the stops and starts occurring throughout the U.S. economy, as businesses gradually reopen in some parts, while others roll back or halt re-openings as COVID-19 cases spike.

– Charisse Jones

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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