"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 14th May 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus: How to look after your mental health if you're 'shielding' and facing uncertainty
The Government has set out its plan for returning life in the UK to ‘as near normal as we can’ following weeks of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Astronaut Christina Koch on Dealing with Isolation, Coronavirus, and Space
On this week’s episode of Tying It Together with Tim Boyum, Tim and Ben talk with NASA astronaut Christina Koch. After spending 328 days in space, the North Carolina native returned to earth and found herself back in isolation at home due to the coronavirus stay-at-home orders. Koch tells us how she coped with isolation, loneliness, and other issues aboard the International Space Station, and how it can help all of us facing these stay-at-home orders. She also talks extensively about her record-breaking mission in space, adjusting to life back on Earth, and returning home to North Carolina.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus: how to put on a face mask and other things you need to know
A doctor's guide to types of face masks, how to put one on and take it off and dispose of it safely to stop the spread of COVID-19.
One of the best defences against coronavirus
One of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is frequent handwashing with soap and water. But for many children and families, basic water and hygiene facilities remain out of reach. Forty per cent of the world’s population lacks access to soap and water at home, while 900 million children lack soap and water at their school. UNICEF is working with governments and companies around the world to urgently reach them with safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. As of 30 April, we have reached more than 11.5 million people with such services and supplies. We are committed to not only making sure families, health workers, students and teachers have this means of protecting themselves against the virus, but to build back better – to ensure water, sanitation and hygiene is a reality for every child.
Why Oral Hygiene Matters During The Coronavirus Outbreak, And How To Care For Your Mouth
Oral hygiene like brushing your teeth and flossing may feel basic, but it's a big window to your overall health.
Community Activities
Coronavirus creates resurgence of drive-in movie theaters
There aren't many individuals or institutions that can claim to have done well during the coronavirus pandemic, with one exception being the nation's few remaining drive-in movie theaters. With indoor theaters closed, drive-ins have provided movie-goers the opportunity for a shared audience experience. It is also inspiring a new generation of screen junkies with something they've only read about in history books.
Great-great grandmother hopes to raise thousands for NHS charities with 'Knittingale Hospital'
While Nightingale hospitals were being built across the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak, a great-great grandmother was creating her own "Knittinggale" hospital in wool. Known as "Norfolk's knitting queen", 91-year-old Margaret Seaman was desperate to do something to help raise money for NHS charities while in isolation with her daughter Tricia at their home in Caistor, near Yarmouth - and the "Knittinggale" hospital is her response. The masterpiece is still a work in progress, but already includes a plaster clinic, adult and children's wards, an A&E department and a reception.
From albums to videos, how Milwaukee musicians are using their creativity to address the coronavirus pandemic
The toll of the times also inspired the debut for a new Milwaukee hip-hop supergroup — Jillian's Revenge, featuring Shle Berry, Keez and Yogie B. Work had begun on an album, but that's been put on pause. But on April 20, a date that's become an international celebration of cannabis, they released a new tune, the deceitfully titled "Everyday Is 420, So Here's a Regular Song."
Coronavirus: Llamas deliver shopping to those in self-isolation
Those opening their front door to get their shopping delivered in Pembrokeshire might be in for a surprise. Instead of a delivery driver, elderly residents are having their groceries delivered to their doorsteps by llamas. The woolly animals, usually used for trekking adventures around the county, have been roped in to carry essential supplies to those in self-isolation.
Working Remotely
Twitter Announcement Heralds 'New Normal' of Permanent Remote Work
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused a huge work-from-home surge, Twitter this week announced it will let some employees work from home "forever" if they choose. Speaking of its early embrace of remote work after the pandemic hit, the company yesterday said: "The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."
America's hospitals have embraced remote technology amid COVID-19: Tech
: A doctor controls a robot with a mobile as she talks from distance to a coronavirus patient at the Abderrahmen Mami hospital, the robot was manufactured by a Tunisian company and was donated to the hospital to limit contact between medic staff and infected coronavirus
CIOs Spearhead Well-Being Initiatives to Make Remote Work Less Remote
After deploying the tools to support remote work, IT leaders now see their job as helping manage its impact on a now distant workforce
Rise In Remote Work Could Spark A New Suburban Boom
A new survey from Zillow, conducted last week by The Harris Poll, finds 75% of Americans working from home due to COVID-19 say they would prefer to continue that routine at least half the time, if given the option, after the pandemic eases. The rise in sophisticated technology has enabled them to create an environment at home, or practically anywhere for that matter, to be productive.
66% of Employees Now Working from Home Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
The research shows that out of the 66% working from home, 44% are working remotely five days or more a week. This is a 17% rise compared to before the pandemic. 39% would prefer to work in an office. 40% prefer to work remotely, the survey found. For small businesses, the newfound commitment to remote work and enthusiasm for it among employees, presents opportunities and challenges. With 40% of employees preferring to work from home, businesses may want to offer the option to work from home on a permanent basis.
Coronavirus Dried Up This Production Company’s Business. Then It Created Remote Shooting Kits
To shoot its music-video cover of Lil Nas X’s hit “Panini” in April, the children’s entertainment brand Kidz Bop Entertainment LLC needed to direct and choreograph young performers in four cities—while navigating the stay-at-home orders of the pandemic. It turned in part to drop-offs of sterilized production equipment organized by Hayden5, a New York-based production company that has turned the idea into a lifeline for its business during lockdown. Revenue on the service, called Drop Kits, and accompanying remote production work has topped $1 million, Hayden5 co-founder Todd Wiseman said. “Virtually none of these new jobs would have come to us without Drop Kits,” Mr. Wiseman said.
How to stay productive and creative while working remotely amid coronavirus lockdown
A new survey from LinkedIn found 54% of Americans say working at home has made them more productive, while 51% also said it increased feelings of loneliness. While trading an office desk for a kitchen table has been a drastic shift for millions under coronavirus lockdowns, LinkedIn editor-in-chief Dan Roth said there are ways to take advantage of tools at home to keep the productivity up and creativity flowing. "The amount of time that we lose trying to get to work and trying to get home from work, that is all time that you can now use answering emails or trying to get through your to-do list, or even dealing with standing around at home," Roth told "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil.
Coronavirus has lifted the work-from-home stigma. How will that shape the future?
On Tuesday, Twitter told its employees that many of them will be allowed to work from home in perpetuity, even after the pandemic ends. The move signaled a growing shift in attitudes in certain industries toward remote working — a change that could have lasting implications. Gallup data from the end of April showed that 63 percent of U.S. employees said they had worked from home in the past seven days because of coronavirus concerns, a number that had doubled from 31 percent three weeks before.
Remote work is good for business, and the world
The success of remote work is no coincidence. Studies have shown that when it is done right, remote work can improve employee productivity, creativity and morale. It has also been established that remote work leads workers to take fewer sick days and less vacation time, resulting in more workdays overall. Moreover, it can save businesses thousands of dollars a month per employee in office and other expenses.
Virtual Classrooms
What it's like to attend a virtual dance class alone amid the pandemic
Dance Church Go is the virtual version of Dance Church — an open-format dance class designed to be inclusive that is typically available in New York, Seattle, Portland, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Dance Church Go is a live-streaming donation-based dance class that takes place on the Dance Church website on Sundays and Wednesdays. Kate Wallich, the founder of Dance Church, told Business Insider that Dance Chuch Go has had an average of almost 4,000 participants in each class. I love dancing, but I've never been good at it. While I took this class with the hopes of brushing up my skills, it instead boosted my confidence as an awkward dancer and made me feel less alone while social distancing.
Make UK's virtual classroom brings elearning into employees' homes
After several al successful IOSH Managing Safely courses run in its virtual classroom for a major customer, Make UK can now offer the same benefits to employees, working from home or furloughed during the COVID-19 lockdown. The virtual classroom includes interactive, multi-user whiteboards, quiz and polling functions, and collaboration tools for small group work. Make UK delivers accredited training for industry, including NEBOSH and IOSH health and safety courses, with classroom and elearning options.
Public Policies
Northern Ireland GPs fear 'tsunami' of mental illness if Covid-19 shielding extended
Extending the shielding period for vulnerable people in Northern Ireland will have a "significant impact" on their mental health, a leading GP has warned.​ Dr Laurence Dorman, chair of the local branch of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said GPs across Northern Ireland were bracing themselves for a "tsunami" of mental health cases after the easing of lockdown. Dr Dorman spoke out after Professor Ian Young, the Department of Health's Chief Scientific Officer, said that in the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment, vulnerable people may have to shield for a year.
Wales' new coronavirus testing and contact tracing plan: How it will work and what's expected of you
The Welsh Government has unveiled its new strategy to drastically boost testing capacity and trace the spread of coronavirus as lockdown measures are gradually eased. The 'test, trace and protect' strategy, which aims to help "lead Wales out of the pandemic", sets out how Wales will enhance its public health surveillance and response to Covid-19 outbreaks in communities.
Coronavirus: Saskatchewan government detaining people who won’t self-isolate
The Saskatchewan government is detaining people who are allegedly not self-isolating and putting them in a place where prisoners who are awaiting bail or trial are usually held. According to the Ministry of Justice, the White Birch Remand Centre in Regina is being used as an “isolation centre” for those “unwilling or unable to follow the self-isolation orders established by the chief medical officer of Saskatchewan.”
Coronavirus: German contact-tracing app takes different path to NHS
Germany's forthcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app will trigger alerts only if users test positive for Covid-19. That puts it at odds with the NHS app, which instead relies on users self-diagnosing via an on-screen questionnaire. UK health chiefs have said the questionnaire is a key reason they are pursuing a "centralised" design despite privacy campaigners' protests. Germany ditched that model in April.
Dr. Anthony Fauci warns Congress reopening risks more outbreaks and backfires on local economies
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that some states are prematurely reopening businesses, risking additional outbreaks and deaths, particularly among the most vulnerable populations. The White House health advisor testified remotely that a vaccine will be essential to stopping the spread of the coronavirus and reducing the rate of deaths from the pandemic. He also warned that it may take a while before a usable vaccine will be available. Fauci testified remotely from an office while under self-quarantine.
Hong Kong reports first locally transmitted coronavirus cases in weeks
Hong Kong reported its first two coronavirus cases in three weeks not linked to anyone who travelled overseas, with authorities scrambling to trace the origin of the infections. The Asian financial hub has been one of the most successful cities in the world at containing the pandemic, with most cases imported and quarantined immediately, and the discovery of new cases raises worries of renewed local transmission.
Moscow defends reporting of low coronavirus death statistics
Russia's high number of confirmed coronavirus cases but low number of deaths has raised questions about the veracity of the Kremlin's reporting of the pandemic's statistics. But Moscow hit back on Wednesday, saying its way of counting and attributing deaths was the most accurate.
Coronavirus: Russia now has second highest virus case total
Russia has confirmed 232,000 cases of coronavirus - the second highest toll in the world after the US. In the last 24 hours the country has reported 10,899 infections, the tenth consecutive day that number has been above 10,000. Among the infected is President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, local media report. He is the latest high profile official to test positive, after Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin caught the illness.
Anonymous virus testing tied to Itaewon outbreak jumps eightfold
Diagnostic testing for the novel coronavirus linked to the Itaewon cluster surged eightfold on the back of anonymity guaranteed to encourage sexual minorities to get tested, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Thursday. The number of accumulated tests related to Itaewon, a popular nightlife district in Seoul, stood at 24,082 in the capital city, according to Mayor Park. “We are seeing the effects of anonymous testing. … After the implementation of anonymous testing, the average number of testing in Seoul has risen eight times,” Park said during an interview with a local radio show.
Coronavirus: German contact-tracing app takes different path to NHS
Germany's forthcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app will trigger alerts only if users test positive for Covid-19. That puts it at odds with the NHS app, which instead relies on users self-diagnosing via an on-screen questionnaire. UK health chiefs have said the questionnaire is a key reason they are pursuing a "centralised" design despite privacy campaigners' protests. Germany ditched that model in April. And on Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel said there would be a "much higher level of acceptance" for a decentralised approach, which is designed to offer a higher degree of anonymity.
Coronavirus UK: Contract tracing may mean 770k self-isolate a day
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) made the estimate. They say for every 20,000 new cases each day, 770,000 people would be traced. Currently 3,000 cases are diagnosed per day but it is heavily under-reported. The study measured the impact of app-based tracing against manual tracing. Both methods are due to be implemented by health chiefs in the coming weeks.
Coronavirus patients should test negative before leaving isolation, study suggests
A CDC strategy for releasing COVID-19 patients from isolation that relies on symptom checking instead of testing may result in patients returning to their communities too soon, according to a letter from researchers in the Journal of Infection. The CDC's non-test strategy recommends that COVID-19 patients discontinue self-isolation when they have not had a fever for 72 hours without the use of medications; have shown improvement in respiratory symptoms; and have gone at least 10 days since the start of symptoms, the researchers wrote in the letter. The test-based strategy makes the same recommendations as the symptom-based strategy, but also recommends that the patient have two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests, conducted more than 24 hours apart, before discontinuing isolation.
Brazil's coronavirus cases pass Germany's as Bolsonaro fights to open gyms
Brazil’s confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus passed Germany on Tuesday, as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fought states over his wish to reopen gyms and beauty parlors even as his country becomes a new global hotspot for the pandemic.
Maintaining Services
EU Releases Hotel Guidelines: How Your Greek Holiday Will Look Like
The European Commission agreed on Wednesday to advise member states to open their borders to countries with similar coronavirus risk profiles under a plan to bolster the ailing tourist industry. Among the recommendations proposed by the European authorities are those that affect the operation of hotels in the coronavirus era. Greece is scheduled to open all of their year-round hotels on June 1, and seasonal hotels will open at some unspecified time in July. The Commission says that a precondition for any touristic activity to resume is that the incidence of COVID-19 has declined to low levels and sufficient health system capacity is in place for local people and tourists, so that in the event of a sudden increase in cases, primary care, hospital and intensive care services are not overwhelmed.
Coronavirus - Guinea: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports the COVID-19 pandemic response in Guinea
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending additional resources to support the COVID-19 response in Guinea, one of the countries on the African continent most affected by the virus, with nearly 2,000 confirmed cases. MSF will provide healthcare for patients in Conakry, the Guinean capital. The number of people infected with COVID-19 has increased rapidly in the country since the first cases appeared in March. Five years after the ravages caused by the West Africa Ebola epidemic, the new coronavirus is posing an additional challenge in this country where access to healthcare remains a daily challenge due to shortages of health facilities, medical staff, equipment and drug supplies.
Coronavirus: Social distancing 'impossible' on London commute
Commuters in London said social distancing was "next to impossible" as many made their first journeys to work since lockdown rules were eased. People in England are being encouraged to return to work if they cannot work from home. The government said it would have to "take steps" if too many people used public transport. One commuter said most people were not wearing masks, leaving him fearing "a second wave of infection". Passengers using public transport should stay 2m (6ft) apart and wear face coverings, under government guidelines.
Universities should capitalise on surging interest in nurse training
NHS England has called on universities to increase the number of places on nursing courses to give people interested in nursing more opportunities to sign up. The call comes after the NHS Health Careers website has seen a 220% rise in people expressing an interest in becoming a nurse amid the global pandemic.
Healthcare Innovations
Exclusive: First coronavirus antibody test given approval by Public Health England
(PHE), The Telegraph has learned, in a breakthrough that could be key to easing the UK's lockdown restrictions. The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health is in negotiations with the Swiss healthcare company Roche to buy millions of the kits. The accuracy of the test was given approval by experts at PHE’s Porton Down facility last week.
App Shows Promise in Tracking New Coronavirus Cases, Study Finds
The Covid Symptom Study, developed by Zoe Global, a health science company, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and King’s College in London, had 2.5 million users who reported their symptoms in four weeks.
Triple-drug combo of anti-malaria pill hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and ZINC improved coronavirus patients' chances of being discharged and cut death risk by almost 50%, study finds
Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine looked at 932 coronavirus patients hospitalized between March 2 and April 5. Half were given a combination of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc sulfate and the other half did not receive zinc. Patients receiving the triple drug combination were 1.5 times more likely to recover enough to be discharged and 44% less likely to die. The team believes hydroxychloroquine helps zinc, which has antiviral properties, get into infected cells
WHO sees 'potentially positive data' in treating coronavirus
The Geneva-based WHO is leading a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19. The respiratory illness has infected 4.29 million people around the world, according to a Reuters tally. “We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing. “We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100% confident that we can say this treatment over that one,” she added, saying more research was needed and planned. Harris did not name the treatments. She later said she had been referring to early results of four or five treatments already in the public domain and not to the WHO’s Solidarity Trial which is broader in scope but whose results are not yet available
Coronavirus: New 100% accurate COVID-19 antibody test approved for use in UK
Boris Johnson has previously called antibody testing a "game-changer" as it may reveal how many people have had COVID-19.
80% of children in Italian hospital with rare inflammatory disorder tested positive for coronavirus
In Lombardy, Italy, over the last 5 years, 19 children were admitted to a hospital with an inflammatory syndrome with symptoms resembling Kawasaki Disease. Between February 18, 2020 and April 20, 2020, 10 children were admitted with the same symptoms such as a full body rash. 80% of the 10 tested positive for coronavirus bodies and 60% had more severe complications such as heart issues. Researchers say this is evidence the mysterious condition is linked to COVID-19 and that it should be classified as 'Kawasaki-like Disease.' On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed 15 US states are investigating a link between coronavirus and the syndrome