CORONAVIRUS:

 What You Need To Know

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance late Friday concerning the wearing of cloth face masks while out in public. The CDC, according to President Donald Trump, said that people, when going to public locations, should now wear “non-medical, cloth face coverings.” The action is voluntary, Trump said in his afternoon press briefing. Since the beginning of the battle against COVID-19, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said that people didn’t need to wear masks unless they were sick and coughing, The New York Times reported prior to Trump’s announcement. Thursday evening, Trump had said his administration would have regulations when it came to the general population and the wearing of masks. Some opportunities for wearing masks while in public would be when going to pharmacies and grocery stores, the Times reported. Many people may now be looking for ways to make their own personal protective equipment or to make PPE for those working the front lines. There are many designs to make, from no-sew options to ones that need some needle and thread. No Sew Supplies: A bandanna or piece of finished cloth Hair elastics Sewn versions Supplies: Paper, to make a pattern Cotton fabric Fusible interfacing Elastic Pins Sewing machine The New York Times has an alternate pattern. Click here for step by step instructions. Kaiser Permanente has also shared a design approved by the health system for donation to hospitals, The Washington Post reported.
  • During a meeting with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings Friday afternoon, he said there are nearly 600 cases of COVID-19 in the county alone. Dr. Raul Pino says that over 6,000 tests have been conducted for the virus and that he projects that the number of positive cases could reach 1,000 by next Friday. As a way of keeping track of 'hot spots' where the cases are spreading, they have released a 'heat map', which shows the total number of positive cases, as well as those persons who are being monitored or under investigation as a potential case.  You can see the map and the affected zip codes here.
  • The University of Central Florida east Orlando campus will open Orange County’s second drive-thru testing site for COVID-19. From UCF: A drive-through site where members of the community with an appointment can be tested for COVID-19 will open at UCF on Monday, April 6.  The site is a partnership between UCF and Aventus Biolabs, a private genetics testing lab owned and operated by Aventus Health, a healthcare company with headquarters in Orlando. Individuals must have an appointment in order to receive a test, which will be administered in UCF’s Garage A, located at 12491 University Boulevard, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (appointments may end before 5 p.m. if the daily appointments are filled earlier). Those who do not have an appointment will be turned away. To secure an appointment and have a test ordered for them, individuals must contact Aventus by calling 855-282-4860. Providers will screen patients for symptoms and issue an order form if they qualify for testing. UCF students can obtain an ordered test from Student Health Services telehealth by calling 407-823-2701. UCF faculty and staff members can obtain their ordered test from their primary care provider by contacting UCF Health at 407-266-3627. After the patient has been screened by a provider, Aventus’ client services team will reach out to complete all necessary paperwork and schedule an appointment for testing. Upon arrival during a scheduled time, individuals will drive through and receive the testing with a swab designated specifically for them. The average test takes about 10 minutes or less from the start of the appointment. The efficiency of this process will allow for individuals to receive their test results in about 24 to 48 hours. However, it is critical that appointments are made ahead of time, as this process does not allow for unscheduled testing.  Aventus has capacity to test about 250 people per day. The individuals who qualify for testing at UCF may not meet all of the criteria required by the Florida Department of Health in order to be tested at a county testing site, but still have been prescreened for symptoms and advised by healthcare providers to be tested. To learn more about COVID-19 and how testing is performed, visit Aventus’ site at https://www.aventushealth.com. UCF is regularly sharing information about COVID-19’s impact to university operations here: https://www.ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus/.
  • The break-in was in the middle of the night. Jenny Hackney, owner of Gratitude Coffee in College Park, told News 96.5 WDBO how her cafe was burglarized and trashed last month.  “The first night of the curfew, they came in the back door. I had a tray of pastries in my left hand, [and] as I unlocked the door, I saw just a mess everywhere,” said Hackney. Hackney says they caught the man on a camera from another business a couple of doors down. It was a man who had been in her shop a week before.  “He was in my shop, he was acting a little erratic and I had never seen him before. I gave him a free cup of coffee and he went to sit down and I stopped him and I said no one can stay it’s only takeout. He thought I was being critical of his appearance. I wasn’t. It was because of the virus,” said Hackney. Her most significant loss from the burglary was something of sentimental value. “But the saddest thing was he took my first-generation iPad. It’s got pictures of my son’s wedding and pictures of my beloved dogs that died. And all kinds of stuff that means something.”  When Hackney posted an update on Instagram saying her shop would be closed for the day, the community quickly came to her rescue. She received text messages, phone calls and nearly twenty people came out to help clean up!  “Somebody came from The Glass Knife—I’d never met them before—he was the Director of Operations, and he gave me five big bags of coffee and four gallons of milk because they saw my post online and they wanted to support me,” said Hackney. Rob Chase, the owner of Digress Wine, let her borrow his dehumidifier.  “I just happened to be driving by and I noticed her outside, which was odd. I checked in and the poor place was just trashed. She’s been a huge component of my success here, with caffeination. We have a great little community down here. Before we knew it, there were probably a dozen people out here helping,” said Chase.  “Everybody just wrapped me up with love and support—it was nice,” Hackney said with a smile.
  • A Pennsylvania man who lost a lung to cancer about a decade ago has survived another health battle -- this time, with the coronavirus. It started as what he assumed was just a cold, but when Richard Botti, 61, started to feel lung pain in early March, he thought his cancer had returned. It turned out to be COVID-19 instead. Because of his previous bout with cancer, he was at higher risk. His family told WPXI they got very concerned when his conditioned started to worsen. “It slowly got worse and he wasn’t getting out of bed,” said Vanessa Venezie, his daughter. “You immediately think the worst because of everything you’re seeing and reading.” He soon tested positive for the coronavirus and had to be hospitalized. However, he pulled through, spending 11 days at Heritage Valley Hospital hooked up to oxygen. Botti’s daughter wanted to share not all coronavirus outcomes are grim. “We’re just really happy and we want people to know there is hope for them,” Venezie said. “Stay focused on the positive. Do things that make you feel good. We can all get trapped in the negative.” Botti was taken back home by medics in an ambulance equipped to handle COVID-19 cases. He has to self-isolate in his room away from his family for two weeks.

Washington Insider

  • A new report from the Labor Department on Friday showed the economic storm associated with the Coronavirus battering the U.S. economy in March, causing the loss of 701,000 jobs, and pushing the jobless rate up by almost one percent, the largest monthly increase in over forty five years. The unemployment rate was at 4.4 percent in March, not far under the 4.7 percent rate when President Donald Trump took office in January of 2017, the highest jobless rate of his presidency. 'Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places,' the Labor Department reported.  'Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction,' the report added. Lawmakers and economists readily acknowledged upcoming unemployment reports would likely be even worse. 'Elevated unemployment at 4.4 percent in the March jobs report shows only a glimpse of the surge in layoffs caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus,' said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). '700k is an awful jobs month,' tweeted Austan Goolsbee, a top economic adviser under President Barack Obama. 'That it’s the best news we will get for some time should give us a terrible pit in our stomach.' Last week, 3.3 million Americans filed for initial jobless claims. That number doubled this week, as 6.6 million Americans made similar filings, indicating massive amounts of unemployment. The massive amount of job losses have sent state governments scrambling to help people seeking jobless benefits. But some states have found their systems ill-prepared for such a surge. “I'm in Florida and get an error on the unemployment website when trying to sign-up,” one person told me.  “I call and the phone number is busy.”