Latest News: Spokane pasta plant signals virus outbreak

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SPOKANE, Washington – A pasta company has announced a coronavirus outbreak at its Spokane plant as Washington prepares to reopen part of its economy.

The spokesman reported that the Philadelphia Macaroni Company Inc. said in a statement on Friday that 72 workers were tested for COVID-19 and 24 were positive. Health officials say there has been an increase in Spokane County with 31 new positive cases between Thursday and Friday.

Company officials say all factory workers have since been tested and the facility has been disinfected. The company is working with the Spokane regional health district to conduct contact tracing and determine other preventive measures.

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BEIJING – China reported on Sunday three new confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Two of the cases were reported from outside the country and one was transmitted locally in the northeastern province of Jilin which experienced a seemingly largely contained minor outbreak.

No new deaths have been reported and 79 people are still on treatment, with 380 others being isolated and monitored for suspected cases or to have tested positive for COVID-19 without showing symptoms.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from COVID-19 out of 82,974 cases.

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CANBERRA, Australia – Government officials say six million Australians have downloaded a mobile phone app that helps health officials track coronavirus infections

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the COVIDSafe app plays an important role in Australia’s response to the pandemic and several countries have expressed interest in learning from its positive effects. If a user is diagnosed, the app works to identify other users who have been nearby for 15 minutes or more in the past three weeks.

The government has said that at least 40% of the 26 million people in Australia must use the app for it to be effective. Australia has around 17 million cell phones.

The government and the states have relaxed travel restrictions and increased the use of restaurants and bars in recent weeks. Australia has recorded more than 7,100 cases of COVID-19, with 102 deaths.

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NEW YORK – The New York Times devoted the front page of Sunday to a long list of names of people who died in the coronavirus pandemic.

Names and brief descriptions from obituaries across the country fill six columns under the heading “United States”. Almost 100,000 deaths, untold loss “, with a subtitle:” They weren’t just names on a list. They were us. “

According to Simone Landon, deputy editor-in-chief of the graphic design office, the list of full texts replaces the usual articles, photographs and graphics in order to convey the vastness and variety of lives lost.

A count by Johns Hopkins University indicates that more than 96,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

Tom Bodkin, creative director of The Times, said he did not remember any front pages without pictures, although there were pages with only graphics, during his 40 years at the newspaper.

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SANTA FE, N.M. – A New Mexico state official has said gatherings of more than 100 people may not be possible for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism secretary Jen Paul Schroer said it could take a year or 18 months before there is a vaccine or collective immunity. This creates the prospect that state stadiums, concert halls and conference centers may remain empty for months.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Schroer spoke at a webinar Thursday on the reopening of the state’s hotel industry.

The state had nearly 6,800 cases of COVID-19 with 308 deaths on Saturday.

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SACRAMENTO, California – Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday outside the California State Capitol to protest orders to stay home as residents enter Memorial Day weekend with new recreation options .

California Highway Patrol officers closed the Capitol lawn to protesters, so speakers addressed the crowd in the back of a platform truck as an aircraft flew overhead. a trailer with a photo of Governor Gavin Newsom and the words “End of his tyranny!” “

Protesters waved dozens of flags and signs, many in support of President Donald Trump. Few people wore masks and there was little room for social distancing.

The protest came as restrictions were eased across much of the state. Some 45 of 58 counties have been authorized to reopen most stores and many public spaces to meet state standards to control the new coronavirus.

Authorities continue to warn people of practicing social isolation and other anti-virus measures, noting that the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to increase.

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HAGATNA, Guam – The Guam Department of Agriculture has invited hunters to participate in a pig-hunting derby to provide food for families in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pacific Daily News reported that the department has announced that the two-day derby will begin next Saturday. The ministry released a statement that the derby is intended to feed families, promote the development of family hunters and reduce the wild pig population.

Event organizers are working with mayors to distribute whole and unprocessed pigs to residents of their villages and provide safe handling guidelines.

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Epidemics of coronaviruses in meat plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official.

Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told News & Observer that it was the first time during the pandemic that state farmers had to euthanize their animals. About a third of the 1.5 million chickens had already been killed, said Reardon.

Chicken and hog producers in other states also euthanized millions of animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pig breeders in North Carolina have taken no steps to euthanize their animals, said Reardon.

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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Eighteen soldiers assigned to the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division have returned to Fort Campbell after spending more than a month in New Jersey to assist in COVID-19 response operations.

Fort Campbell officials say soldiers were deployed on April 14 to help provide logistical support for the response to the new coronavirus outbreak in the Northeast. Troops have helped receive, process and move supplies, equipment and personnel to critical areas affected by the virus epidemic.

The soldiers will be subjected to a quarantine of precaution under medical supervision. An official welcome home event is planned, officials said.

Fort Campbell Army Post is located along the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

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MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz removes his limit of 10 people for group meetings and allows churches to open at 25% occupancy if certain security guidelines are followed.

Walz’s decision comes after the state reported a record number of COVID-19 cases. He says the problem has been “difficult” because large gatherings increase the risk of spreading the virus.

Walz says he understands the pandemic’s record on the spiritual health of residents. Its new executive order only applies to religious gatherings and not to receptions.

While the head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis welcomed the change, the governor said the parishes should not open if they do not feel that they can comply with security measures.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said in a letter to parishioners that limiting gatherings to 10 people “has hindered the ability of the Church to respond fully to the sacramental needs of our faithful.”

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida – A woman who raised questions about Florida COVID-19 data after being ousted because the data custodian had been repeatedly reprimanded for violating Department of Health policy, including for published political comments on the news, according to state records.

Rebekah Jones’ comments in the past week and a half in emails to researchers, interviews with a handful of media, and blog posts have sought to cast doubt on the credibility of the data now that it is playing. more this role.

State health officials vigorously deny any concerns about the accuracy of the information as Republican Governor Ron DeSantis seeks to advocate for the data for a step-by-step reopening of the state’s troubled economy to more secure orders at home.

Jones has not alleged any falsification of data on deaths, hospital symptom surveillance, hospitalizations for COVID-19, the number of new confirmed cases or overall screening rates. However, she suggested that health department officials wanted her to manipulate the information to paint a rosier picture and that she rejected it.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A hairdresser has served 84 clients over an eight-day period recently with symptoms of coronavirus, according to Missouri health officials.

The Springfield-Greene County health department said in a press briefing that the stylist worked between May 12 and 20 and announced Saturday in a Facebook article that 56 other clients were potentially exposed by a second stylist who worked five shifts from May 16 to 20 while experiencing very mild symptoms of the coronavirus.

All clients of the two designers wore masks and will be tested. The business owner said in a statement that the salon will be closed until it goes through sanitation and deep cleaning

The state health department has reported 218 new confirmed cases of new coronavirus, bringing the total to 11,558 since the start of the pandemic. This was the highest total on a day since 319 cases were reported on May 1. Ten new deaths brought the total to 671.

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RALEIGH, North Carolina – North Carolina has not changed its election laws to ensure that voters can vote safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, claim defenders in a federal lawsuit.

The non-profit Democracy North Carolina and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina sued Friday on behalf of several elderly and disabled residents whose medical conditions make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The lawsuit alleges that many aspects of the absentee voting requirements for North Carolina absentees are unconstitutional because voters will have to expose themselves to COVID-19 in order to vote successfully.

For example, absent voters sent by mail must complete the ballot in the presence of two witnesses or a notary. State law also requires voters to submit their application for registration at least 25 days before the election or to register in person at an early voting site, the lawsuit notes.

The lawsuit indicates that millions of state residents will lose their right to vote or be forced to compromise their health in order to vote. The State Election Council and other state officials are named as defendants.

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STURGIS, S.D. – The mayor of Sturgis says city officials can’t stop people from coming to the annual motorcycle rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota, regardless of the new coronavirus.

The 80th Sturgis motorcycle rally is scheduled from August 7 to 16. City council said it would make an official decision in mid-June on whether to host the event, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Mayor Mark Carstensen said in a Facebook video that “tourism is coming” in the Black Hills and Sturgis. An official at the Sturgis Hotel said that the 22 rooms had been reserved for the week of the rally and that there was a waiting list.

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DOVER, Del. – The University of Delaware says it is laying off more than 1,100 part-time workers, mostly students, to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The News Journal reports that students represent 805 of the 1,146 part-time workers who were informed of their layoffs on Thursday.

An email to employees said the layoffs, which take effect June 1, do not affect adjunct professors, graduate students, work-study students or employees whose salaries are paid for by outside funding.

But many adjunct professors will not be offered teaching positions in the fall due to a hiring freeze.

In April, the university announced that it was facing a $ 65 million budget deficit due to the financial toll of the pandemic, including loss of income from prorated housing and cancellations of sporting events.

The university hopes to reopen the campus in stages starting June 1 with some research facilities.

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BAGHDAD – The Iraqi Ministry of Health reports the fastest day-long peak in confirmed cases of coronavirus since the government started recording cases in late February.

The ministry reported 308 new cases on Saturday, a day before the celebrations marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Curfew hours were relaxed during the fasting month, which contributed to higher daily infection rates.

According to ministry figures, more than 4,200 people have tested positive for the virus in Iraq. At least 152 people have died.

Roads were obstructed by traffic and supermarkets and stores were crowded with people preparing for the celebrations, possibly contributing to the increase in infections.

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ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths in weeks in what Governor Andrew Cuomo described on Saturday as a critical reference.

The daily death toll was 84 after a peak of 799 on April 8.

It was almost impossible to reduce the number of daily deaths to less than 100 a few weeks ago, said the Democratic Governor. This figure remained stubbornly high even amid other signs of encouragement.

“In my head, I always wanted to be less than 100 years old,” said Cuomo. “To me, this is a sign that we are making real progress. “

The number of hospital patients in the state that was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States continued to drop to more than 4,600.

Cuomo also said the area along the Hudson River north of New York and south of Albany is slated to begin reopening on Tuesday, and Long Island may follow suit on Wednesday.

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ATHENS – Two deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Greece in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 171, health officials said on Saturday.

Three other new infections have been recorded since Friday afternoon, bringing the country’s total to 2,876. The number of patients on respirators is 20, while 99 have left intensive care.

The Greek authorities state that they have carried out 152,998 tests for the disease.

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