Police Given Access to Details of People Told to Self-Isolate by UK Government’s System | World News

(Reuters) – British police forces have been granted access to details of people who have been told to self-isolate under the government’s ‘test and trace’ system, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said late on Saturday.

A spokesman for the department said it agreed with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) that officers could have access on a case-by-case basis to information on whether a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.

“The memorandum of understanding ensures that information is shared with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No testing or health data is shared in this process,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The development was reported earlier by Sky News, which also cited an NPCC statement saying police will continue encouraging voluntary compliance but will enforce regulations and issue fixed penalty notices (FPN) when needed.

“Where people fail to self-isolate and refuse to comply, officers can issue FPNs and direct people to return to self-isolation. Officers will engage with individuals to establish their circumstances, using their discretion wherever it is reasonable to do so,” the NPCC statement said.

The test and trace system, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised would be world beating, has seen setbacks including a glitch identified earlier this month that delayed the upload of nearly 16,000 cases into computer systems, including for contact tracers.

In recent weeks, the COVID-19 infection rate has risen sharply in Britain with an accelerating second wave, prompting Johnson and other regional leaders to introduce tighter restrictions and local lockdowns.

Britain has one of the highest death rates from the virus in Europe and previously suffered the worst economic contraction of any leading nation from the outbreak.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Fitness Influencer Who ‘Thought Covid Didn’t Exist’ Dies From It

A popular fitness influencer has died from the coronavirus after claiming that he believed the disease “didn’t exist.”

The 33-year-old Ukraine native, Dmitriy Stuzhuk, reportedly contracted the virus while vacationing in Turkey.

Stuzhuk, who boasted more than 1 million followers on Instagram, tested positive after returning home and immediately went to the hospital.

In his final post on Instagram, Stuzhuk, who said that the hospital was “completely filled with people,” admitted that he was wrong about the disease and urged his followers to stay vigilant.

“I want to share how I got sick and to strongly warn everyone,” he wrote. “I was one who thought that Covid does not exist… Until I got sick.”

Stuzhuk further told his followers that “COVID-19 IS NOT A SHORT-LIVED DISEASE!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGVXb6mHmEZ/

Although Stuzhuk was eventually discharged from the hospital after being treated with oxygen, he was rushed back just hours later after his situation began to worsen.

Stuzhuk’s ex-wife Sofia stated on Instagram that her former husband began having heart-complications linked to “problems with his cardiovascular system.”

Sofia added that Stuzhuk went “unconscious” soon after as his health deteriorated.

“His state is extremely grave,” Sofia said. “No-one can do anything with this.

Stuzhuk, whose heart stopped and was restarted by health professionals at one point, eventually passed away.

“God, it is so terrible to realise that he is not with us anymore…” Sofia added.

The couple had three children together, the youngest of whom was just 9 months old.

“Only warm memories remain, three beautiful kids and valuable experience,” Sofia said.


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*First Published: Oct 17, 2020, 3:25 pm

Police given access to details of people told to self-isolate by UK government’s system

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – British police forces have been granted access to details of people who have been told to self-isolate under the government’s ‘test and trace’ system, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said late on Saturday.

A spokesman for the department said it agreed with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) that officers could have access on a case-by-case basis to information on whether a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.

“The memorandum of understanding ensures that information is shared with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No testing or health data is shared in this process,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The development was reported earlier by Sky News, which also cited an NPCC statement saying police will continue encouraging voluntary compliance but will enforce regulations and issue fixed penalty notices (FPN) when needed.

“Where people fail to self-isolate and refuse to comply, officers can issue FPNs and direct people to return to self-isolation. Officers will engage with individuals to establish their circumstances, using their discretion wherever it is reasonable to do so,” the NPCC statement said.

The test and trace system, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised would be world beating, has seen setbacks including a glitch identified earlier this month that delayed the upload of nearly 16,000 cases into computer systems, including for contact tracers.

In recent weeks, the COVID-19 infection rate has risen sharply in Britain with an accelerating second wave, prompting Johnson and other regional leaders to introduce tighter restrictions and local lockdowns.

Britain has one of the highest death rates from the virus in Europe and previously suffered the worst economic contraction of any leading nation from the outbreak.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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Woman files $10M suit against dentist after alleged botched procedure

A clarinetist claims she could literally lose face after an allegedly botched procedure by a Manhattan dentist.

Boja Kragulj, who has performed in orchestras in Philadelphia and New York, claims in a $10 million lawsuit that her face could “prematurely age” because of “irreversible” bone loss from the work of Martha Cortes.

Facing the prospect of double jaw surgery after lifelong dental and breathing problems, Kragulj turned to Cortes in 2013 for an alternative. The dentist, who has an office on Central Park South, treated Kragulj unsuccessfully for years before placing a device called an Anterior Growth Guided Appliance, or AGGA, and controlled arch braces, in the musician’s mouth.

The AGGA was supposed to be a substitute for jaw surgery by stimulating new bone growth, helping to move Kragulj’s teeth and jaw forward and improve her airway. Instead, Kragulj claims in court papers, the device left her in worse shape than before.

AGGA is “unproven [and] not supported by medical knowledge or science,” according to the lawsuit.

Now Kragulj could lose four to six front teeth, and, over time “vertical dimension” — the space between her nose and chin — leading to the early aging of her face, she alleges.

Cortes should have known the AGGA wouldn’t work as advertised and failed to immediately repair it when part of it broke, according to Kragulj’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

It’s unclear how the dental disaster impacted the musical career of Kragulj, who is suing Cortes along with others.

Cortes did not respond to a message.

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Even dentist visits go remote during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many in-person activities into remote services delivered over the internet. The latest example is the dreaded visit to the dentist.

Dvora Brandstatter used to drive her son Elchanan half an hour to the orthodontist and back every month to make sure his braces were working properly. Now, from the comfort of her home in Bergenfield, New Jersey, she attaches a special scope to her smartphone camera, opens an app and inserts the contraption into the 11-year-old’s mouth. A video of the boy’s choppers is sent to his dentist, who checks progress, diagnoses any issues and sometimes ends the appointment right there.

“As a parent, having fewer appointments is a good thing,” Brandstatter said. “I haven’t seen a downside so far. It’s probably the way everything is moving anyway.”

The app and the scope were created last year by New Jersey-based startup Grin. After the pandemic hit, Chief Executive Officer and dentist Adam Schulhof said the company sped up development of the technology and partnered with manufacturer 3M to quickly distribute it to as many orthodontists as possible. About 5,000 units have shipped out and roughly 1,000 patients have used the system so far, according to Grin.

Schulhof, who uses the system for his own practice, said the coronavirus has spurred huge demand for new procedures that help people reduce the close contact that typically happens when they visit the dentist. The CDC has warned that dental instruments create spray that can contain droplets of water, saliva, blood and other debris, and has advised the use of “teledentistry” as an alternative to in-office care.

When the Grin videos arrive at the dentist’s office, other software from the startup helps practitioners analyze the condition of the teeth and integrates the footage with existing patient management systems. The app also lets patients see what the dentist sees inside their mouth. Not for the faint of heart.

There are already new, internet-focused dental services that Grin is going up against. Companies such as SmileDirectClub mail invisible aligners and braces to consumers. SmileDirectClub shares have more than doubled since the middle of March. Schulfhof said Grin’s offering is aimed at fighting the challenge to conventional dentistry from such direct-to-consumer offerings. “We’re trying to disrupt the disrupters,” he added.

In the short term, the technology will help orthodontists keep their businesses running while many patients avoid the dentist’s office completely, the CEO said. As smartphone capabilities improve and the software develops, Schulhof expects Grin’s scope to use artificial intelligence image analysis to become a more powerful diagnostic tool for dentists.

The CEO also sees the technology gaining traction in general dentistry where insurance companies may back its use. People’s teeth decay at different rates and more regular, remote checks, could be used to identify problems before they require more complicated and expensive treatment at in-person visits every six months, he said.

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One in four Americans believe coronavirus was engineered in Wuhan lab

  • Researchers surveyed people in five countries to assess which coronavirus-related conspiracy theories have taken root.
  • The most popular theory suggests the virus was “bioengineered in a laboratory in Wuhan.” Between 22% and 23% of Americans and Britons viewed that as “reliable.”
  • The study found that people who are older, numerically savvy, and trust scientists are less likely to fall for coronavirus misinformation.
  • Genetic evidence discredits the theory that the coronavirus was man-made.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Lingering uncertainty how the coronavirus pandemic started creates fertile territory for conspiracy theories.

About one in four Americans and Britons think the idea that the virus was engineered in a Wuhan laboratory is a “reliable” claim, according to a recent study, despite abundant scientific evidence to the contrary.

The research, published earlier this week in the journal Royal Society for Open Science, found that an even higher portion of respondents in Ireland and Spain — 26% and 33%, respectively — put stock in that theory, as do nearly 40% of survey participants in Mexico.

“Certain misinformation claims are consistently seen as reliable by substantial sections of the public,” Sander van der Linden, a co-author of the new study and a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge, said in a press release.

What’s more, people who found the lab conspiracy idea reliable were generally more hesitant about getting a coronavirus vaccine.

“We find a clear link between believing coronavirus conspiracies and hesitancy around any future vaccine,” van der Linden added.

People who trust scientists are less likely to fall for misinformation

covid vaccine turkey

Dr. Mustafa Gerek is vaccinated in volunteer in trials of a COVID-19 vaccine from China at Ankara City Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 13, 2020.

Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


The study authors sent an online survey to groups of 700 people in the US, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain, and to more than 1,000 people in the UK. They asked participants to rate how reliable certain statements about COVID-19 were on a scale of 1 to 7, and also asked about participants’ attitudes about a vaccine.

The researchers wanted to assess whether certain beliefs or demographics are correlated with how susceptible a person is to misinformation.

The results showed that respondents with “significantly and consistently” low levels of susceptibility to false information in all five countries also declared they trusted scientists and scored highly on a series of tasks designed to test their understanding of probability. Being older was linked to lower susceptibility to misinformation as well, in every country surveyed except Mexico.

Additionally, those who reported trusting their politicians to effectively tackle the crisis in Mexico, Spain, and the US were more likely to fall for conspiracy theories.

The study also found that respondents in Ireland, the UK, and the US who were exposed to coronavirus information on social media were more susceptible to misinformation.

Van der Linden’s team also found that as participants’ susceptibility increased, their intent to get vaccinated or recommend the vaccine to friends

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Southwest Virginia Coronavirus Hospitalizations Climb Past NoVA

VIRGINIA — Southwest Virginia has surpassed population centers in Northern Virginia and the Tidewater area in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Statewide, cumulative hospitalizations stood at 11,831 as of Saturday, while current patient numbers totaled 993, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That includes 218 hospitalizations in the state’s southwest region, compared to 216 in the northern region and 187 in the eastern region. The central region led the state with 238 hospitalizations on Saturday and the northwest region had the fewest hospitalizations at 134.

The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations in the southwest region has grown from 161.7 a month ago on Sept. 17 to an average of 204.6 hospitalizations on Saturday. In Northern Virginia, the seven-day moving average of hospitalizations has dropped from 237.7 on Sept. 17 to 221.7 on Oct. 17.

Southwest Virginia also has seen a growing number of positive coronavirus cases since July 1. The region was reporting a seven-day moving average of 79.6 positive cases on July 1 compared to an average of 292.4 on Oct. 17.

The VDH reported 1,114 additional coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the cumulative total to 165,238 cases. Saturday’s new cases included 348 in the southwest region, 273 in the central region, 216 in the northern region, 152 in the eastern region, and 125 in the northwest region.

Health officials had viewed the rise in cases in southwest Virginia since August as predominantly student-related, with students at Virginia Tech, Radford University and other colleges returning to school.

But an increase in hospitalizations in southwest Virginia may indicate the disease is spreading to older populations in the region.

At a news conference last month, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state needs to keep an eye on the southwest region due to its high positivity rate. “Since Southwest Virginia has fewer people and fewer hospitals with fewer ICU beds and capabilities, this continues to be concerning to us,” the governor said at the time.

The latest statewide seven-day average is 4.9 percent on Oct. 13, with the southwest region still far above the rest of the state at a 7.2 percent average. The rest of the state is in the 4-percent range: central region at 4.7 percent, eastern region at 4.5 percent, northwest region at 4.3 percent and northern region at 4.1 percent.

According to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, there are 100 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 219 in the intensive care units. Ventilator use among all hospital patients is at 23 percent of capacity as of Friday, while ICU occupancy stands at 82 percent. No hospitals are reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment or other medical supplies in the next 72 hours.

As for the positive rate of PCR tests, the latest statewide seven-day average is 4.9 percent on Oct. 13. Regions in the 4-percent range are the central region (4.7 percent), eastern region (4.5 percent), northwest region (4.3 percent) and northern region (4.1 percent). The southwest region’s average is 7.2 percent.

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New Mexico sets another one-day COVID-19 record

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico health officials on Friday confirmed the state set another single-day record with 819 COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 35,770 since the pandemic began.

New rules to limit gatherings to five people or less, reduce hotel capacities and impose a 10 p.m. closing time for bars and some restaurants also took effect Friday after successive days of record-breaking daily infection rates.

The previous record of 672 on Thursday already had eclipsed records set in recent days.

The state on Friday also reported six additional deaths related to the pandemic, bringing that total to 928.

At the University of New Mexico, eight football players and one assistant coach have tested positive for the coronavirus and high positivity rates in the county where the school is located have forced the postponement of practice.

University athletic director Eddie Nuñez said if the team is unable to practice for the next week, they will not be able to safely play their first scheduled game on Oct. 24 against Colorado State.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— France records 30,000 virus cases, highest single-day rise

— WHO study finds remdesivir didn’t help COVID-19 patients

— U.S. testing 3 drugs to try to tamp down coronavirus

— Coronavirus cases are rising in key U.S. presidential battleground states ahead of Election Day.

— White House puts political operatives at CDC to try to control virus information

— Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing allowing no quarantine

___

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SALT LAKE CITY — One of Utah’s largest hospitals had no beds left Friday in its regular intensive-care unit as the governor declared the state’s weekslong spike in coronavirus cases “unsustainable.”

The University of Utah Health had to set up extra ICU beds staffed by doctors and nurses working overtime to care for its critical patients this week as the unit hit 104% capacity, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Russell Vinik.

“We’ve cut back where we can but it’s precarious,” he said. “We are very concerned about flu season, particularly if people don’t get vaccinated. We can’t take another hit.”

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MIAMI – Florida has reported a slight uptick in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, adding 3,449 to its total caseload on Friday.

The new state report raises the seven-day average of new infections close to 2,800, a figure that had dropped under 2,300 in late September and early October, when the state lifted restrictions on restaurants and the largest school districts began welcoming students.

The COVID-19 hospitalization and deaths figures have been relatively stable in recent weeks.

The number of people being treated in Florida hospitals peaked in late July at more than 9,500, then declined for about two months. But the figure has leveled off for the past three weeks at around 2,000 to 2,200 without further decline.

The state tallied 98 new virus-related deaths on Friday,

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Giuliana Rancic Gives Coronavirus Recovery Update After Testing Positive: ‘All Better Now’

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Giuliana Rancic has given an update on her and her family’s coronavirus recovery, weeks after first announcing she tested positive.

The longtime E! host, 46, shared a photo on her Instagram page for Breast Cancer Awareness month on Friday and a fan commented asking, “How are you feeling from the Covid?”

“We are through it and all better now,” Rancic replied. “Thank you for asking. We appreciate it.”

Rancic revealed she tested positive for COVID-19 in the preliminary testing required by E! and parent company NBCUniversal prior to the Emmy Awards in September. Rancic announced her absence from the awards show red carpet with a video filmed from her home, in which she also said her husband Bill Rancic, 49, and their son Duke, 8, tested positive.

RELATED: Vivica A. Fox Tests Negative for COVID-19 After Pulling Out of Emmys Due to False Positive

“Hey, everyone. As I go into my 20th year on the E! red carpet I have to say I do not take missing an award show lightly, but unfortunately, this year is just so different,” Rancic said in the video. “As part of E! and NBCUniversal’s very strict testing guidelines, especially before an event like this, I did find out that I tested positive for COVID-19. Now as much as I didn’t want to hear that, I’m very thankful I heard it before I traveled and possibly could have exposed other people. So for that, I’m thankful.”

Rancic continued, “As far as my health, I’m doing well. My husband Bill and our son also did test positive, but we’re all doing well and taking care of each other so I’m going to get back to doing that. But I just want to say I’m wishing you all the best and please protect yourselves and protect those around you. Take good care and I’ll see you on the next red carpet.”

In an appearance on The Doctors shortly after, Bill sat down with Dr. Ian Smith for his first broadcast interview about his coronavirus diagnosis, sharing details about how he and his family were coping.

Bill Rancic The Doctors Exclusive Clip

In the exclusive clip, Bill Rancic discusses COVID-19 diagnosis on The Doctors.

RELATED: Bill Rancic Says Wife Giuliana’s Coronavirus Symptoms Were Less Severe than His: ‘She’s Strong’

Bill admitted that the news of diagnosis came as a shock as the family of three has been quarantined together in Idaho since March, taking precautions to stay healthy during the pandemic.

“Shockingly me, Giuliana and our son Duke, we all tested positive, needless to say we were rather shocked because we were all so cautious wiping every package down,” Rancic said, adding, “We got it while we were in seclusion which tells you anyone can get it … this is not a joke.”

“I had some respiratory symptoms and a little bit of body aches …” he added, before noting that Giuliana, who has a history of breast cancer, had milder symptoms. “Fortunately her

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Doctors Rail Against Trump’s Michigan, Wisconsin Rallies Amid Surging COVID Cases

Doctors in Michigan and Wisconsin are encouraging President Donald Trump to cancel campaign rallies planned for Saturday afternoon, as coronavirus cases are rising in both states.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Attendees wait to hear President Donald Trump speak at a campaign rally on October 16, 2020 in Macon, Georgia. President Trump continues to campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with 18 days until election day.


© Elijah Nouvelage/Getty
Attendees wait to hear President Donald Trump speak at a campaign rally on October 16, 2020 in Macon, Georgia. President Trump continues to campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with 18 days until election day.

Michigan doctors Rob Davidson and Susan Fabrick held a virtual press conference on Friday afternoon, the day before Trump is expected to arrive at FlyBy Air near the airport in Muskegon County, located just northwest of Grand Rapids, the Detroit Free Press reported. The president is failing to listen to health officials’ advice, the doctors said.

“As physicians, we are really concerned about the inaccurate misinformation that President Trump repeats day after day, multiple times a day,” said Fabrick, a family medicine doctor who has practiced in Muskegon for 26 years. “No matter what he claims, COVID-19 is still with us and it is still killing people.”

On October 15, Michigan reported a record number of coronavirus cases statewide since the crisis began earlier this year, with 2,517 new cases, according to the New York Times’ database.

In Muskegon County, which has a population of just under 175,000, more than 1,700 people have tested positive for coronavirus, with case numbers continuing to steadily increase, according to the county’s public health department.

“Instead of coming to Muskegon to continue spreading misinformation and packing people close together with COVID-19 cases going up, President Trump should cancel his campaign event and focus on fighting the pandemic with science and evidence,” said Davidson, executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, which hosted the press conference. “As a physician, I’m concerned that his campaign events endanger public health. They have also become platforms for spreading medically inaccurate information that puts people’s lives at risk.”

‘Get Out There’: Trump Removes Face Mask For Photo Op As He Returns To White House

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Trump’s campaign rallies typically attract thousands, even amid a global pandemic. While most of his events this year have been held in large outdoor venues, photographs show many of Trump’s supporters without face coverings and with little regard to social distancing—two measures strongly encouraged by health officials.

His campaign doesn’t require that face coverings be worn at rallies, but it does provide masks and encourages their use, Politico reported. Temperature checks and hand sanitizer are also provided.

“We take strong precautions for campaign events,” Tim Murtaugh, communications director, said in a statement to Politico.

The president will head to the neighboring state of Wisconsin later Saturday, where he plans to host a rally in Janesville, located about 75 miles west of Milwaukee. City leaders held a virtual press conference Saturday morning, criticizing Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and his decision to hold a large event where cases are also surging, local station WMTV reported.

“These are super spreader events and health care

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