Katya is ready to blast your earholes with Vampire Fitness

KATYA ZAMOLODCHIKOVA

Your dad just calls her Katya, but the ghost of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is about to label her the lithe ingenue coming for his crown as the most iconic musician of all time.

The drag icon has made a (super Russian) name for herself as one of the world’s premier comedy queens, but after climbing the New York Times best-seller list and maintaining her comedic reign over digital streaming, for her next career move, the Boston native exclusively tells EW she “wanted to answer the [call] that so many fans have been asking: Please don’t do music” by, well, doing music.

“I’m not a planner. I’ve actually been working on it for two or three years just trying to get all the melodies right,” Katya says of her forthcoming EP Vampire Fitness on a recent installment of EW’s Instagram Live show Queening Out, though it’s unclear whether she’s speaking earnestly or in jest as she references the onslaught of fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race alums who have taken a stab at recording careers, whether vocally inclined or otherwise. Luckily, Katya falls into the former category, just not in ways you might expect. “I’ve been at the piano for two or three years. I had to take a break so I kind of shelved it…. I’m vacillating between periods of humiliation and enthusiasm about the project.”

The result is an experimental digital distortion of European dance, sex, orgasmic wailing, the sounds of murder, spoken sermons about self-administered dentistry, and, of course, Italian cuisine, all tied together as a “multi-pronged, many-tiered assault” on listeners with “consonant clusters” found in Russian pop songs.

“I wanted to do music that you could hear, like, in a club that I’ve never been to,” Katya promises. “Maybe in a Diane Keaton movie.”

Vampire Fitness is out Nov. 13. Read on for EW’s exclusive track-by-track breakdown with Katya.

“Come in Brazil”

Drag superstar Alaska joins Katya for a divine intercontinental expression of lust as the pair crafts a lush soundscape inspired by incessant fan pleas for drag queens to perform in the song’s titular South American nation. “The chorus is in Portuguese,” Katya reveals of the EP’s first single, though the lyrical content is far too explicit to list here, but we can confirm that it does involve commanding a derriere onto one’s facial region. “These are things I learned not through reading books or watching television programs, but through people screaming them at me all the time,” recalls Katya.

“Ding Dong”

Katya describes her collaboration with longtime professional partner Trixie Mattel as a “bar mitzvah barn-burner,” and that her fellow Drag Race alum and Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood co-author was “really cooperative” in the songwriting process. “To me, this is such a joke, because once you hear the song, it’s like four words from a movie,” Katya says of the number that takes cues from Ukrainian star Svetlana Loboda’s “Boom Boom” and Eurodance — a stark genre departure from

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‘Technical Issue’ Renders State Website Stuck

ATLANTA, GA — Health experts in Georgia say they’re concerned that COVID-19 hospitalizations may be increasing. There was no way of knowing whether that was true Wednesday, though, because the state’s online dashboard was stuck most of the afternoon.

As of 6:45 p.m., Wednesday’s coronavirus statistics from the Georgia Department of Public Health had yet to be posted because of a “technical issue,” according to the department’s website. Normally, statistics are posted daily at about 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the chief medical officer of one of Atlanta’s biggest hospitals said he’s starting to see a slight increase in coronavirus cases arriving in intensive care.

“We’ve gone back up a little bit over the last several days,” Dr. Robert Jansen of Grady Memorial Hospital said Wednesday to Atlanta news station WSB-TV.

Jansen told WSB-TV’s Carol Sbarge that he’d heard the same thing from other metro Atlanta hospitals. He urged everyone to continue following COVID-19 safety measures.

Jansen’s observation squares with comments Sunday by an immunology expert and veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now blogs on the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think we have bottomed out on the descent from the summer surge,” Amber Schmidtke wrote in an Oct. 18 post. “We are seeing increases once again in cases and hospital admissions.”

The worst part, Schmidtke continued, is that it’s “likely our next peak will be even bigger than the summer surge.” But that’s “not a foregone conclusion,” she added.

“We have the power to stop that, but we need to do so now with our actions,” Schmidtke wrote.

Globally, more than 41 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 1.1 million people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday.

In the United States, more than 8.3 million people have been infected and nearly 222,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Wednesday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world’s population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.

RELATED: CDC Updates Guidance; North Dakota Suspends Contact Tracing

This article originally appeared on the Dallas-Hiram Patch

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Mira Mesa Dentist Gets Six Years For Insurance Fraud

SAN DIEGO, CA — A former Mira Mesa dentist who bilked insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting claims for procedures she never performed, including hundreds of supposed root canals, has been sentenced to six years in state prison, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

April Rose Ambrosio, 59, pleaded guilty to three counts of insurance fraud earlier this year for fraudulently billing insurance companies for $866,700, for which she received more than $400,000 from 10 insurance companies, according to prosecutors.

The DA’s Office said Ambrosio falsely claimed she performed 800 root canals on 100 patients, despite not having specialized training as an endodontist to perform such procedures.

Ambrosio was sentenced earlier this month, and in addition to a six- year prison term, was ordered to pay $405,633 in restitution. Her license to practice dentistry was also suspended last year, a few months after she was charged.

Prosecutors say the fraud occurred between 2014 and 2018.

During that time, Ambrosio billed for work she said occurred on days her office was closed and billed for more than 100 root canals during a three- month period, all of which were supposedly performed for a family of four, according to the DA’s Office. She also billed for root canals on teeth patients didn’t have or double billed for teeth she previously said she performed root canals on, the DA’s Office said.

“The way this defendant bilked the system is astounding,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “Unfortunately, when insurance companies get ripped off, consumers ultimately pay the price through higher premiums.”

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U.S. again tops 60K new COVID-19 cases; Surgeon General Jerome Adams rejects ‘herd immunity’

Oct. 21 (UPI) — U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams joined other top health experts Wednesday in opposing a dangerous “herd immunity” strategy, as the United States again added another 60,000 COVID-19 cases.

According to updated data from Johns Hopkins University, there were 60,300 new cases nationwide on Tuesday — the third time in the past week that the level has topped 60,000.

Deaths in the United States also increased on Tuesday, the data showed, to more than 900. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 8.28 million cases and about 221,100 deaths nationwide.

Wednesday, Adams joined Dr. Antony Fauci and other top health officials in opposing a herd immunity strategy, which is purportedly being considered by the Trump administration. Adams said pursuing such a strategy, which effectively allows the coronavirus to spread unchecked, would result in an unacceptable death toll.

Adams tweeted that there’s no “example of a large-scale successful intentional infection-based herd immunity strategy” and warned that the course would “lead to many complications/deaths.”

The strategy reasons that letting the virus spread would infect large populations, who would then develop a natural immunity to COVID-19 and thereby reduce the number of people who can be infected afterward. Eventually, the theory goes, the virus would run into a dead end.

“Large numbers of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine,” Adams wrote, warning that such a path could “overwhelm” healthcare systems.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, rejected the idea of herd immunity last week, calling it “ridiculous” and “total nonsense.”

Most scientists say there would be no feasible way to isolate and protect vulnerable Americans who face a greater risk of death from COVID-19 in such a scenario.

Researchers at the University of Washington say a herd immunity strategy would likely lead to tens of thousands of additional deaths by the start of 2021.

Child cases have increased by almost 15% — 84,000 cases — in the first two weeks of October, according to an update from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association.

Since the start of the crisis, about 740,000 children have tested positive in the United States — almost 11% of total cases, it said. The overall infection rate is 986 per 100,000 children.

Though severe illness and deaths still appear to be rare among children, the groups urged authorities to “provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations and mortality by age and race/ethnicity so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday there have been about 300,000 deaths more than normal so far this year due to the pandemic.

In a typical year, the CDC said, there are about 1.9 million deaths from all causes between February and October. This year, COVID-19 has pushed that figure to near 2.2 million, an increase of 14.5%.

About 200,000 of the extra deaths may be attributed to

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Medicine Disposal Pouches Promote National Drug Take-Back Day

Press release from RALI NH:

Oct. 21, 2020

With National Drug Take Back Day approaching, the Amherst Police Department will be distributing safe disposal pouches at the police department located at 175 Amherst St, Amherst in addition to housing a drug drop-off box located at the station. Disposal pouches were donated by the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of New Hampshire to help raise awareness of the importance of safe disposal practices and prevent substance misuse. As first responders work to help families stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a critical priority is the safe disposal of unused medications in the home.

RALI and partners across New Hampshire are committed to finding solutions to end the opioid epidemic through awareness efforts in identifying substance misuse and addiction, in support of successful recovery and in promoting safe disposal, the most effective way of preventing substance misuse. Safe disposal pouches are used to deactivate prescription medicines, making them a key resource for reducing the possibility of prescription drug misuse. At a time when many are practicing social distancing and some National Drug Take Back Day events have been canceled, at-home methods of safe disposal are critical.

“At-home drug disposal is an incredibly important part of combatting the opioid crisis that continues to affect our communities,” said Police Chief, Mark Reams. “We have seen too many families and individuals across our state facing the challenges of substance misuse, and with the compounding difficulties posed by COVID-19, we all have a responsibility to take the preventive, and often times even lifesaving, actions of safely disposing unused medications.”

RALI partners across the state have worked throughout the pandemic to continue supporting those facing addiction and working to manage recovery. Drug take back locations can be found across the state, please find the closest location to you here: https://www.doj.nh.gov/criminal/documents/prescription-drug-drop-box.pdf

To learn more about safe disposal and other ways to take action against the opioid epidemic, please visit ralinh.org.


This press release was produced by RALI NH. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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Kansas gov. again urges statewide mask mandate

MISSION, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura is again calling for a statewide mask mandate as coronavirus infections climb in rural parts of the state that don’t require face covering.

Kelly said Wednesday that two-thirds of the state’s confirmed cases now are outside the Wichita and Kansas City region.

Over the summer, the governor issued an order requiring Kansas residents to wear masks, but more than 90 counties chose to opt out. Kelly says she plans to discuss with legislative leaders on working toward a bipartisan requirement with more teeth.

The state health department says Kansas had 1,488 new confirmed coronavirus cases since Monday, an increase of 2% that brought the total number of infections for the pandemic to 74,456. Kansas has had 952 deaths from COVID-19.

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

— Spain reaches 1 million cases of coronavirus

— North Dakota Republican governor calls National Guard to help with test results

— CDC redefines coronavirus close contact, adds brief encounters

— Next up in hunt for COVID-19 vaccine: Testing shots in kids. Pfizer received permission last week to test its vaccine in U.S. kids as young as 12.

— Boston schools will switch to all-remote learning in response to rising coronavirus cases in the city.

— Brazil President overrules own health minister, rejecting purchase of 46 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine tested in Sao Paulo state.

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s lieutenant governor, who has called the state face mask order a government overstep during the pandemic, says he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said Wednesday that so far, he has no symptoms. He said he took the test earlier in the day after being notified that a member of his Sunday school group had been infected.

Ainsworth has criticized mandatory mask orders, but he personally wears one. He says that “because I follow social distancing rules and wear a mask both in church and in my daily interactions, the positive result shows that even those of us who are the most cautious can be at risk.”

Data show coronavirus virus infections appear to be rising in Alabama again weeks of improvement.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Health officials in New Mexico have reported a single-day record of 827 newly confirmed coronavirus cases.

The increase reported Wednesday raised the state’s total of confirmed cases during the pandemic to 38,715. There have been 950 deaths linked to COVID.19.

New Mexico’s previous one-day high for new coronavirus infections was 819 reported Friday.

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BEAVER, Pa. — A large, for-profit Pennsylvania nursing home where dozens of residents died of COVID-19 has been sued over allegations that it failed to take basic steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County near the Ohio border was among the hardest-hit nursing homes in the state. It had

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Survey: Alabama child care enrollment down by 23,000 kids

Enrollment in child care centers across Alabama has dropped by more than 23,000 children since the coronavirus pandemic began even though most facilities have reopened, a new state report showed Wednesday.

While 85% of the 2,381 facilities surveyed by the Department of Human Resources have reopened since the initial lockdown period that forced businesses to close in March, centers are operating at only 66% of capacity compared to 88% in January, a news release said Wednesday.

Overall October enrollment in licensed centers, licensed family child care homes and exempt facilities was down by 23,241 kids, the agency said.

“The providers that have been able to reopen are providing a much-needed service to the people of Alabama. As the survey reveals, however, not all children have returned to their child care providers,” Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner said.

The department didn’t say what was behind the decline, but Alabama’s unemployment rate is up from a year ago and many people are still working from home, possibly reducing the need for child care.

More than 2,800 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, which ranks 20th highest in the nation for fatalities on a per-person basis, and almost 175,000 have tested positive, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials say key pandemic statistics are worsening in Alabama as cases also rise across much of the nation.

While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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A pandemic didn’t deter this 102-year-old from voting

To maximize her safety, she submitted her absentee ballot at an in-person ballot box this month in Hampton, South Carolina.

Dr. Quentin Youmans was so inspired by his 102-year-old great aunt that he tweeted photos of her, bundled up in a trench coat and head scarf, with her absentee ballot in one hand and a disposable face mask in the other.

“If she can do it, you can too!” wrote Youmans, a cardiology fellow at Northwestern Medicine.

With this much on the line, Ora wouldn’t have missed it. And she was still able to vote with her health and safety in mind, Youmans said.

Ora says it’s an ‘enjoyment’ to vote

Ora told CNN it’s an “enjoyment to go vote,” but she voted absentee this year for her safety — older adults are more likely to become severely ill if they’re infected with Covid-19.
Not even a global pandemic could stop this 102-year-old from voting in this election

“Well, I think we need to change presidents, for one,” she said. “So I voted for this man (Biden). I hope he does a good job.”

A staunch supporter of former President Barack Obama, Ora said she doesn’t like the way President Donald Trump has led the country during his time in office.
“Things were pretty good until this other man got there,” she said. “It looks like he wants things to go back to Hoover times,” a reference to the Great Depression when millions of Americans struggled to find work and poverty was widespread.

“We don’t want that to come back to the generation coming now,” she said. “That’s why I’m so happy if this puts Trump out.”

Youmans said his great aunt is an inspiration

Youmans explained why Ora’s vote was especially significant: A lifelong resident of the Deep South, Ora’s grandmother had been enslaved.

Ora was in her late 40s when the Civil Rights Act finally passed and outlawed segregation, though she lived in a state where poll taxes and other tools of voter suppression attempted to keep Black voters out.

Worried about coronavirus? If your loved one is over 60, read this

Ora remained steadfast in her commitment to voting then as she does now, something Youmans said inspires him.

“To think she was born the year of the last pandemic, and now here we are going through another pandemic, and she still got up and made sure her voice was heard,” he said. “It was something I hoped to share with the world.”

The photos of Ora have already reached former residents of the White House. Since Youmans tweeted the photos on Wednesday, thousands of Twitter users have seen Ora pose with her ballot — including Obama, who quipped that “102 never looked better.”

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Illinois starts planning for COVID-19 vaccine as cases surge

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — While battling a recalcitrant coronavirus pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday started laying plans for distributing a safe and effective vaccine.

But other than saying that a vaccine would go first to health care providers, long-term care residents and other vulnerable populations, Pritzker, at his renewed daily COVID-19 briefing, offered few details, saying much depends on what the federal government ultimately approves to prevent the virus.

“The challenge of designing a plan now, of course, is that there’s so much about the vaccines that we don’t know,” Pritizker said in Chicago. “The most defining characteristic of this plan is that it’s adjustable as we go forward and learn more.”

Details such as whether a vaccine will require one or more than one dose to be effective, whether it needs refrigerated storage or could be stored at room temperature, and even how vaccine delivered in large containers will be broken down for specimens to be shipped to small health care facilities will affect the state plan, Pritzker said.


Talk of a coming vaccine offered a bit of good news rarely available from the Democratic governor in the past week, after record-setting days for new infections and tighter restrictions starting in the coming days for parts of the state.

The Illinois Illinois Department of Public Health reported 69 new COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, the highest single-day total since June 16, among 4,352 new infections, the next-to-highest single-day total.

Deaths now total 9,345 among the 355,217 confirmed cases.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration has suggested that the earliest a vaccine would be available is by year’s end. That simply would mark the start of the rollout process for the states, said Dr. Ngoze Ezike, state health department director.

“Vaccinations, once they arrive, will take many, many months at the minimum to actually get into the arms of the people of Illinois,” Ezike said. “So this will unfold in phases, with initially only a small amount of vaccine available, and as production ramps up more individuals will be able to avail themselves of this countermeasure.”

Health care centers will register to be vaccine providers and order it through the state, Ezike said. The vaccine will not be required, but the health department will publicize its availability and its benefits. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of the population will need to be vaccinated to establish an acceptable level of “herd immunity” to prevent ongoing widespread illness.

There will be no charge for the vaccine, she said.

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Follow Political Writer John O’Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor

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CDC broadens definition of who’s at risk of getting coronavirus

The CDC on Wednesday ramped up its criteria for who’s at risk of contracting the coronavirus, in a move with major implications for school and workplace reopenings.

The updated guidance defines a “close contact” as anyone who spends at least 15 minutes within six feet of an infected individual over a 24-hour period. The agency previously applied that designation to people who spent 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of someone with Covid-19.

“Individuals who had a series of shorter contacts but over time added up to more than 15 minutes became infected,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a briefing, citing a study of multiple non-consecutive exposures. Redfield was joined by HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, who warned that the U.S. is showing a “distressing trend” with cases surging over 75 percent of the country.

The details: The guidance is based on a study out today showing brief exposures to infected individuals and resulted in virus spread. The study involved a Vermont correctional facility employee who tested positive after short interactions with multiple inmates who were infected.

The study said the correctional officer was never with the inmates for 15 consecutive minutes. The Vermont Department of Health said the officer wore a cloth mask, gown and goggles and had 22 interactions totaling about 17 minutes with six unmasked inmates who tested positive for the virus.

What’s next: The updated guidance could change how public health departments across the country conduct their contact tracing, by increasing the pool of potentially infected individuals. It also could upend plans to reopen schools and businesses that had been based around the earlier guidance, as President Donald Trump continues to call for a return to pre-pandemic conditions. The CDC in May released guidelines for reopening schools that Trump later disavowed, saying they were too burdensome.

The U.S. is reporting an average 60,000 cases per day with the Midwest seeing the largest increases in cases. Officials warned conditions could get worse as the cold weather sends people indoors, where the virus can spread more rapidly.

So far, there have been 8.3 million reported cases in the U.S. and more than 221,000 deaths.

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