U.S. adds 81K COVID-19 cases; more than 260K sickened over last 3 days

Nov. 2 (UPI) — The United States has added more than a quarter-million new COVID-19 cases over the last three days — by far the largest national three-day tally of the pandemic. About 2,300 patients died.

According to updated data from Johns Hopkins University, 81,500 cases were reported Sunday — the most ever recorded for a Sunday, when figures are typically lower because of slower reporting over the weekend.

The United States obliterated its single-day record on Friday with almost 100,000 new cases. The three-day total ending Sunday was about 262,000. The five-day total is about 430,000 and the seven-day total close to 570,000.

There were also about 450 new deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 6,000 patients have died of the virus in the United States over the past week.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 9.21 million cases and 231,000 deaths nationwide.

With the disease surging in the Midwest, hospitalizations nationwide are close to 50,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

In Iowa, state health officials have seen seven straight days of increases of seriously ill patients. The state has averaged more than 2,000 new cases per day, a record high.

In Wisconsin, officials say a record number of patients are receiving hospital care, with about a fifth of them in intensive care. Several patients are being treated at a newly created field hospital at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

The state saw a record number of new cases over the weekend. Wisconsin’s positivity rate is about 19%.

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New backlog adds 1,700 coronavirus cases in Alabama for second consecutive day

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported an increase of exactly 1,700 new coronavirus cases in Alabama on Sunday, including 944 confirmed cases and 756 probables. The state also reported six new virus deaths.

The majority of those probable cases came in just two counties in northwest Alabama, and ADPH reported many of those new cases are the result of a new backlog of cases entering the system.

“On October 31, the Alabama Department of Public Health processed a historic lab result file from an entity in Northwest Alabama,” a notice on the state’s coronavirus dashboard read. “This file will result in 846 positive lab results from June, July and August of 2020. These results primarily affect data from Limestone, Lawrence, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale counties.”

Lauderdale County reported 270 new probable cases Sunday, and neighboring Colbert County reported 149 probable cases.

Similar backlogs have been frequent lately – APDH reported two very large backlogs of probable cases on Oct. 22 and 23, and the state dashboard currently shows a message about a backlog of 90 confirmed cases from Covington County, in south Alabama, that entered the system on Oct. 30.

Those data problems make tracking the state’s virus outbreak difficult. The 7-day average for total new virus cases – including both confirmed and probable cases – has moved around drastically in the last two weeks because of those backlogs. But the 7-day average for confirmed cases has been more reliable, and despite the backlog in Covington County reported on Halloween, it’s clear that number continues to trend up.

[Can’t see the chart? Click here.]

On Saturday, the 7-day average for new confirmed virus cases topped 1,000 for the first time since Sept. 1. On Sunday it ticked up again, and stood at 1,051 – the highest it’s been since Aug. 14. With probable cases included, the state’s 7-day average for new cases was 1,376 as of Sunday morning.

The state now has a total of 193,985 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 165,239 confirmed and 28,746 probable cases. It has also reported 2,973 deaths due to the virus.

Jefferson County, the most populous county in the state and home to Birmingham, saw the largest increase in new confirmed cases on Sunday at 172. Jefferson has now added at least 100 new confirmed cases in each of the last 13 days, and the county’s 7-day average for new cases has ticked up steadily over the last few weeks.

[Can’t see the chart? Click here.]

The 7-day average in Jefferson for new total cases – including probables – rose to 169 on Sunday, the highest it’s been there since Sept. 3, and an 80 percent increase since Oct. 8, when the average fell below 100 cases per day.

Only two counties reported new deaths on Sunday. Jefferson reported four deaths, bringing its total to 374 since the start of the pandemic. Two new virus deaths were reported in Mobile on Sunday, bringing the total there to 317. Those two

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Montgomery County adds 3 COVID-related deaths as total now 154

Montgomery County COVID-19 cases pushed passed 14,000 Thursday as public health officials confirmed three more deaths related to the virus.

The total number of cases is now 14,076. To date, 8,905 people have fully recovered.

According to the Montgomery County Public Health District, the county added 19 to its active case count to bring the total to 2,320. The reason for the difference in the new cases and active cases is the health district is continuing to process cases that were reported to The Department of State Health Services directly by health care providers and entered into the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System.

The deaths include a Spring man in his 50s who died at home; a Montgomery man in his 70s who was hospitalized at the time of his death; and a Magnolia man in his 70s who was also hospitalized at the time of his death. All three men had other health conditions in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.

The three deaths bring the county’s total to 154.

As for total hospitalizations, both county and noncounty residents, those totals increased by three to 68 with 20 of those patients in critical care beds.

Online registration is still available for COVID-19 testing in Montgomery County. To get a voucher, go to mchd-tx.org or mcphd-tx.org and click on the “need to be tested” link. Fill out the information. A voucher will be emailed. Once you have the voucher, make an appointment at your choice of testing centers and get tested.

Call the MCHD/MCPHD COVID-19 Call Center at 936-523-3916 for more information.

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Florida Adds 4,115 Coronavirus Cases; Halloween Safety Tips

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Florida experienced a statewide uptick of 4,115 coronavirus cases since Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health reported in Wednesday’s numbers.

The Florida Department of Health reported a total of 790,426 positive coronavirus cases; 48,722 hospitalizations; and 16,571 coronavirus Florida resident deaths. Florida saw an increase of 66 deaths since Tuesday’s update.

Hospitalization numbers included by the state are all coronavirus treatments ever done at medical facilities.

The current number of hospitalizations with primary diagnosis of coronavirus is 2,340.

The number of people hospitalized has been increasing in recent days, reported the Tampa Bay Times. Hospitalizations hit their peak in mid-July with just under 10,000 people seeking treatment.

The Florida Department of Health’s current coronavirus report for Pinellas is 25,534 cases; Hillsborough has 47,596 cases; Polk has 22,852 cases; Pasco has 10,781 cases; Sarasota has 9,567 cases; Manatee has 13,175 cases; and Dade has 183,996 cases.

The statewide weekly positivity rate is about 5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins.

Even though Florida is experiencing a high level of positive increases, many communities across Florida will be celebrating Halloween on Saturday traditionally, and the Center for Diseases Control offers recommendations for a safe celebration.

There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19 at a holiday celebration, the CDC reported on its website.

According to the CDC, in combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together:

  • Community levels of COVID-19 – Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, as well as where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Family and friends should consider the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when considering whether to host or attend a holiday celebration. Information on the number of cases in an area can be found on the area’s health department website.

  • The location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.

  • The duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.

  • The number of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees, the risk of spread between attendees, and state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.

  • The locations attendees are traveling from – Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community

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U.S. adds 73K more cases; Dr. Anthony Fauci says end of COVID-19 ‘not even close’

Oct. 28 (UPI) — The United States’ top infectious diseases expert says the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t even close to being finished, as another 73,000 cases were added nationwide — bringing the tally for the past week well over a half-million.

There were about 73,200 new cases on Tuesday, according to updated data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past seven days, there have been about 503,000 new cases.

There were nearly 1,000 coronavirus deaths Tuesday, the most in a week, the data showed.

“Unfortunately, we’re right now in the middle of what’s going to be referred to … as the mother of all outbreaks over the last hundred years,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a discussion at the Yale Institute for Global Health.

“And we’re not even close to being finished with it yet.”

For weeks, Fauci and other top health experts have warned of rising cases in the coming months as the pandemic enters a period of colder weather, when more people gather indoors, and flu season.

Fauci said he’d hoped the United States would use the summer to get a better grip on the health crisis before the winter months, but said “we are not well positioned” to handle the outbreak over the next few months.

“We need to continue with masks, safe distancing, and the other public health measures that we are adhering to now for at least a year,” he added.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 8.78 million infections and about 226,800 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins. Worldwide, there have been 44 million cases and almost 1.2 million deaths.

Tuesday, President Donald Trump listed “ending the pandemic” as one of the accomplishments of his first term.

“From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump has repeatedly clashed with scientists, including Fauci, and dismissed their proposals and advice for controlling the crisis. Trump has also consistently ignored safety guidelines like distancing and wearing masks at a number of gatherings at the White House and on the campaign trail.

Fauci has previously said mixed messages coming from the Trump administration about the pandemic has been a major obstacle in defeating the coronavirus.

“I am very disturbed by the intensity of divisiveness we are seeing,” Fauci told the Yale Institute for Global Health. “I have received serious threats to my life, there are federal agents guarding my office.”

In Wisconsin, health officials reported a record Tuesday for deaths in a single day. The state’s positivity rate has risen to about 26%. They also say hospitals are becoming overwhelmed and facing staff shortages.

“There is no way to sugarcoat it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you and your family

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Alabama adds another 1,000-plus coronavirus cases; When is mask order set to end?

Alabama added another 1,000-plus coronavirus cases overnight.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s Oct. 27 10 a.m. numbers show the state has had 186,437 cases since March, adding 1,115 since yesterday.  Of those cases, 159,439 are confirmed and 26,998 are probable. The state added 26 deaths to its total, bring the death toll to 2,892.

Hospitalizations also increased, rising by 32 to 967.

Alabama’s mask order

Alabama remains under a mandatory face mask covering order until Nov. 8.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris first issued the mask order on July 16.

The mask order requires people to wear coverings over their nostrils and mouth when within 6 feet of people from another household in indoor spaces open to the public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor space where 10 or more people are gathered. Masks are not required for children 6 and younger, people with a medical disability that prevents wearing a mask, people voting, or those “actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship.”

At the time of the most recent extension, Ivey cited the importance of protecting people from coronavirus on election day. She has not indicated if she will extend the order past next week.

Here are the latest county-by-county numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The numbers include both confirmed and probable cases with the overnight increases shown in parenthesis:

Autauga – 2082 (+6)

Baldwin – 6712 (+18)

Barbour – 1042 (+9)

Bibb – 850 (+7)

Blount – 1972 (+30)

Bullock – 650 (+1)

Butler – 1012

Calhoun – 4647 (+26)

Chambers – 1368 (+16)

Cherokee – 756 (+11)

Chilton – 1904 (+11)

Choctaw – 393 (+1)

Clarke – 1366 (+13)

Clay – 753 (+4)

Cleburne – 573

Coffee – 1807 (+12)

Colbert – 2060 (+19)

Conecuh – 565 (+4)

Coosa – 209 (+4)

Covington – 1759 (+4)

Crenshaw – 609

Cullman – 2557 (+49)

Dale – 1789 (+17)

Dallas – 1881 (+9)

DeKalb – 3492 (+31)

Elmore – 3246 (+19)

Escambia – 1749 (+19)

Etowah – 4341 (+19)

Fayette – 589 (+5)

Franklin – 2064 (+3)

Geneva – 921 (+5)

Greene – 346

Hale – 777

Henry – 723 (+4)

Houston – 4193 (+13)

Jackson – 2194 (+19)

Jefferson – 23,573 (+130)

Lamar – 508 (+2)

Lauderdale – 2338 (+25)

Lawrence – 869 (+8)

Lee – 6571 (+21)

Limestone – 2936 (+43)

Lowndes – 716 (+2)

Macon – 539 (+2)

Madison – 9422 (+28)

Marengo – 1026 (+1)

Marion – 1103 (+6)

Marshall – 4426 (+15)

Mobile – 16,994 (+60)

Monroe – 655 (+7)

Montgomery – 10,352 (+54)

Morgan – 4223 (+31)

Perry – 595 (+2)

Pickens – 869 (+9)

Pike – 1345 (+1)

Randolph – 835 (+6)

Russell – 1960 (+7)

St. Clair – 3040 (+41)

Shelby – 7504 (+68)

Sumter – 474 (+2)

Talladega – 2714 (+40)

Tallapoosa – 1339 (+9)

Tuscaloosa – 10,462 (+48)

Walker – 2837 (+14)

Washington – 751 (+2)

Wilcox – 570

Winston – 940 (+3)


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Alabama adds 3,852 COVID cases after influx of backlogged data dating back to June

Alabama added more than 3,800 COVID cases yesterday after a huge influx of backlogged data dating back to June.

The Alabama Department of Public Health showed a total of 180,916 coronavirus cases in the state, up 3,852 from the day before. Of that total, 973 were confirmed cases and 2,879 were probable. Of that 2,879, the 2,565 were antigen tests from a facility in Mobile that dated back to the summer.

The cases “will be classified as probable COVID-19 cases reported on 10/22/20 even though the tests were performed during June through Oct. 18. All laboratories are required by law to report all results (including positive and negative results) for (COVID-19) to ADPH,” the agency said in an announcement.

“Delays in reporting by required reporters is not within control of ADPH. Processing the backlog will not impact the ADPH COVID-19 Risk Indicator Dashboard,” ADPH added.

The state added 16 deaths to bring its total to 2,859.

ADPH reports 864 patients are currently hospitalized due to coronavirus.

Here are the latest county-by-county numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The numbers include both confirmed and probable cases with the overnight increases shown in parenthesis:

Autauga – 2030 (+7)

Baldwin – 6615 (+140)

Barbour – 1012 (+15)

Bibb – 825 (+14)

Blount – 1911 (+13)

Bullock – 639 (+2)

Butler – 1002 (+1)

Calhoun – 4224 (+35)

Chambers – 1343 (+7)

Cherokee – 731 (+5)

Chilton – 1858 (+17)

Choctaw – 390 (+2)

Clarke – 1336 (+36)

Clay – 736 (+7)

Cleburne – 551 (+8)

Coffee – 1732 (+15)

Colbert – 1987 (+20)

Conecuh – 560 (+3)

Coosa – 203 (+1)

Covington – 1714 (+15)

Crenshaw – 603 (+1)

Cullman – 2399 (+42)

Dale – 1665 (+11)

Dallas – 1863 (+1)

DeKalb – 3360 (+58)

Elmore – 3173 (+24)

Escambia – 1722 (+3)

Etowah – 4214 (+27)

Fayette – 569 (+8)

Franklin – 2032 (+11)

Geneva – 861 (+9)

Greene – 342

Hale – 758 (+9)

Henry – 643 (+4)

Houston – 3717 (+25)

Jackson – 2125 (+25)

Jefferson – 22987 (+137)

Lamar – 474 (+8)

Lauderdale – 2180 (+32)

Lawrence – 837 (+16)

Lee – 6517 (+21)

Limestone – 2797 (+32)

Lowndes – 704 (+1)

Macon – 530 (+1)

Madison – 9228 (+78)

Marengo – 1002 (+10)

Marion – 1071 (+9)

Marshall – 4372 (+42)

Mobile – 16,788 (+2,320)

Monroe – 645 (+5)

Montgomery – 9978 (+103)

Morgan – 4071 (+35)

Perry – 585 (+2)

Pickens – 836 (+12)

Pike – 1327 (+4)

Randolph – 820 (+8)

Russell – 1928 (+5)

St. Clair – 2891 (+20)

Shelby – 7274 (+70)

Sumter – 472 (+2)

Talladega – 2636 (+25)

Tallapoosa – 1313 (+8)

Tuscaloosa – 10,235 (+87)

Walker – 2755 (+33)

Washington – 734 (+100)

Wilcox – 564 (+2)

Winston – 919 (+6)

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Analysis: Lack of Antidotes Adds to Ethical Dilemmas for UK COVID-19 Challenge Trials | Top News

LONDON (Reuters) – UK scientists seeking approval to deliberately infect healthy people with COVID-19 in trials must first convince ethics specialists that, among other things, they have potential “rescue therapies” or antidotes to halt the disease.

The problem is that, for the novel coronavirus, there is still no effective treatment or cure.

That means, for now, that the best scientists planning the so-called human challenge studies can offer is Gilead’s remdesivir – an antiviral drug that was found in a large trial to have no impact on COVID-19 death rates.

Chris Chiu, a scientist at Imperial College London co-leading the COVID-19 challenge experiments, said the plan was to give remdesivir to infected volunteers based on a “strong belief” it will be effective if given in the very earliest stages of disease.

Some ethics and medicine experts said that posed problems.

“As an effective rescue therapy does not yet exist for SARS-CoV2, there is a serious ethical dilemma … to address here,” said Stephen Griffin, an associate professor in the school of medicine at Britain’s Leeds University.

Other specialists said the lack of antidotes or rescue therapies was only one of several risks the research team would have to minimise, and trial volunteers would have to accept, if the studies are to gain ethical approval.

Plans to reduce those risks include picking the most robust, healthy, young volunteers to be infected, and using the bare minimum amount of the coronavirus to infect them with COVID-19.

Dominic Wilkinson, a professor of medical ethics at Oxford university, said that, while desirable, having an effective treatment at the ready after deliberately infecting volunteers was “not essential for the ethics of such a trial”.

“The ethical necessity of these trials, and of any trial, is that you assess the risks, you minimise the risks, and you communicate the risks,” he told Reuters. “It’s not the case that you have a situation where there are no risks.”

Human challenge trials are not new. Scientists have used them for decades to learn more detail about – and develop treatments and vaccines against – several other diseases such as malaria, flu, typhoid and cholera.

“Generally with such trials in the past, they were done when you had a specific treatment,” said Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO), when asked about the planned UK trials using the novel coronavirus.

“You must ensure that everybody involved understands exactly what is at stake … and ensure informed consent is rigorous – that they really do understand all the risks,” she said.

Ohid Yaqub, a science policy expert at Britain’s University of Sussex, pointed to WHO guidelines on the issue, which among other things say human challenge trials “might be considered when the disease an organism causes has an acute onset, can be readily and objectively detected, and existing efficacious treatments … can be administered … to prevent significant morbidity, and eliminate mortality.”

Yaqub warned of a risk to public trust in science and medicine if these criteria

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India adds 61,800 new cases, 1,033 deaths

NEW DELHI — India has added 61,871 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to about 7.5 million.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also registered 1,033 new fatalities, taking the death toll to 114,031.

The country is continuing a downward trend in new cases, but virus-related fatalities jumped after recording the lowest daily figure of 680 in nearly three months on Friday.

Some experts say India’s numbers may not be reliable because of poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India is also relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

Health officials have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the religious festival season beginning later this month. New Delhi is also bracing for high air pollution levels, making the coronavirus fight more complicated in upcoming months.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked officials to prepare cold storage chains and distribution network for vaccine delivery along the lines of conducting elections, involving all levels of government and citizen groups.

According to Indian officials, three vaccines are in advanced stages of development.



— Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge

— Trump plays down virus as he steps up pitch for second term

— US resorts adapt to new normal of skiing amid pandemic

— Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to come together like they did in the spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the country posted another daily record of new cases.

— Iran has its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000, in what has been the Mideast region’s worst outbreak.

— Europe’s economy was just catching its breath from what had been the sharpest recession in modern history. A resurgence in coronavirus cases this month is a bitter blow that will likely turn what was meant to be a period of healing for the economy into a lean winter of job losses and bankruptcies.


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



MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has loosened lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 continue to decline.

From midnight Sunday, Melbourne residents will no longer face limits on the time they can spend away from their homes for education or recreation. Previous restrictions allowing Melburnians to travel only 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home will increase at midnight to 25 kilometers (15 miles).

Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from two households will be allowed and golf and tennis can resume.

Victoria state reported only two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and no deaths. The rolling 14-day average of cases dropped to eight, the lowest in four months.

There were only 137 active cases across Victoria state on Sunday with 12 people receiving hospital treatment, none in intensive care.

Regulations will be further loosened on Nov. 2 with the partial reopening

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Rockland Amends Mask Order, Adds Adults, Removes Day Care

NEW CITY, NY — On Friday, Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced amendments to the Commissioner’s Standing Order about coronavirus, masks and educational institutions that was issued Thursday.

To align the local order with New York State Department of Health and New York State Office of Children and Family Services guidance, early childhood day care was removed and adult learning programs were added.

Now the health order requires that all educational institutions, school-age childcare programs, adult learning programs including colleges and universities, and school transportation companies are responsible to require and ensure that all children, students, faculty and staff (who are able to medically tolerate a face covering) cover their noses and mouths with acceptable face coverings at all times, other than during approved mask breaks where students can maintain social distancing.

“It is critical that we do everything within our power to protect the children of our community,” said County Executive Ed Day. “This Order gives our inspectors the ability to issue fines to the businesses and institutions responsible for the safety of our children. While we have long been limited by the Governor in terms of actions that we can take locally related to COVID-19, his recent Executive Order 202.68 clarified the authority of the Health Department to act with respect to his Executive Orders and the New York State Department of Health’s regulations.”

If a child, student, faculty, staff member or visitor is observed without a face covering in any program, school or vehicle regulated under this Commissioner’s Order, that shall constitute a violation. Each violation is subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per violation per day.

“We are in the midst of a deadly Public Health Emergency, and we have seen many recent cases linked to schools, daycares and congregate settings throughout the County. Masks have shown to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Given the recent increases in active cases, we must all redouble our efforts to protect the health of residents and especially children,” said Dr. Ruppert.

Reports of possible violations can be made to the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at (845) 238-1956 on from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday or via email to [email protected] Staff from the Rockland County Department of Health, Rockland Codes Initiative will respond in a timely manner to complaints and in accord with operating hours of educational institutions and/or buses.

This article originally appeared on the New City Patch

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