China tests millions after coronavirus flare-ups in 3 cities

Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week

As temperatures drop, large-scale measures are being enacted in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, despite the low number of new cases compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

Many experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater during the cold weather. Recent flare-ups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.

On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 total cases and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The two latest cases confirmed in Shanghai were close contacts of another airport worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in November. On Sunday night, the city’s Pudong International airport decided to test its workers, collecting 17,719 samples through the early hours of Monday morning. Plans call for testing others in surrounding communities if further cases are detected.

Videos on social media purportedly from workers showed what appeared to be chaotic scenes at the airport as they were given last-minute orders to get tested. In the videos, people are seen standing in large groups pushing back and forth against officials in hazmat suits.

Shanghai has been more selective with mass testing, targeting people associated with a particular place, such as the airport or the hospital where someone who has tested positive had worked, rather than an entire district.

China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighborhoods, and testing millions.

Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.

A worker for UPS at Pudong airport said one of those who tested positive earlier in the month

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China tests millions after coronavirus flareups in 3 cities

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.

As temperatures drop, widescale measures are being enacted in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, even though the number of new cases remains low compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

Experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater in cold weather. Recent flareups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.


On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 cases overall and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The two latest cases confirmed in Shanghai were close contacts of another airport worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in November. On Sunday night, the city’s Pudong International airport decided to test its workers, collecting 17,719 samples through the early hours of Monday morning. Plans call for testing others in surrounding communities if further cases are detected.

Videos on social media purportedly from workers showed what appeared to be chaotic scenes at the airport as they were given last-minute orders to get tested. In the videos, people are seen standing in large groups pushing back and forth against officials in hazmat suits.

Shanghai has been more selective with mass testing, targeting people associated with a particular place, such as the airport or the hospital where someone who has tested positive had worked, rather than an entire district.

In Tianjin, health workers have collected more than 2.2 million samples for testing from residents in the Binhai new district, after five locally transmitted cases were discovered there last week.

In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 people, local health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.

China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighborhoods, and testing millions.

Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.

China’s approach to controlling the pandemic has been criticized for being draconian. It locked down the city of Wuhan, where cases were first reported, for more than two months to contain the virus, with the local government shutting down all traffic and confining residents to their homes. Domestically, however, China has called its strategy “clear to zero” and has boasted of its success.

“In the entire world, only China has

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Atalanta v Liverpool: Joel Matip and Naby Keita face late fitness tests before Champions League tie

Liverpool
Liverpool have won 1-0 away at Ajax and 2-0 at home against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League this season

Defender Joel Matip and midfielder Naby Keita face late fitness tests before Liverpool’s Champions League game at Atalanta on Tuesday (20:00 GMT).

The pair trained on Sunday, but midfielder Thiago Alcantara was absent as he recovers from a knee injury.

“We have to wait until the medical department gives us a green, orange or red light,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool have won both of their Champions League games this season and are top of Group D.

Meanwhile, Atalanta, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 competition, have picked up four points from their opening two matches and are second.

This will be Liverpool’s first European match against the Italian side and Klopp is expecting a tough game.

“They obviously have a really good atmosphere, a good mood and are a proper fighting unit,” said the German.

“They are very well organised; play their system with 100% conviction, they know exactly what everybody has to do.

“I know how good they are. I actually enjoyed the analysis, I enjoyed watching them because it’s really interesting.”

Premier League leaders Liverpool will be playing their sixth game in 18 days.

Matip has only featured twice this season and missed the past four matches, while Keita has been absent for five games because of a muscle injury.

Centre-half Virgil van Dijk is expected to miss most of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, while stand-in defender Fabinho sustained a hamstring problem in the 2-0 home win against Danish side FC Midtjylland last week.

“We have, in the moment, more centre-halves available than we probably will line up together, which is good,” added Klopp.

MATCH FACTS

Atalanta

  • Atalanta are set to face their third different English opponent, having previously met Everton in the 2017-18 Europa League (played two, won two) and Manchester City in the Champions League last season (played two, drew one, lost one).
  • Since losing their first three group-stage games in the Champions League last season, Atalanta have gone unbeaten in their past five group-stage games in the competition (won three, drew two), including both this season (won one, drew one).
  • Excluding qualifiers, Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their past 19 games in major European competition (4-0 v Dinamo Zagreb last season), while they have averaged 2.1 goals per game over the course of this run (40 goals in total).
  • Duvan Zapata has been directly involved in six goals in five Champions League starts for Atalanta (four goals and two assists), while he scored twice in their 2-2 draw against Ajax on matchday two.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool have lost all three of their away Champions League matches in Italy under manager Jurgen Klopp, losing to Roma in May 2018 and Napoli in October 2018 and September 2019.
  • Liverpool have won each of their past three away games in the Champions League group stage, after losing four in
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Hygea Precision Medicine Partners With 1health.io to Provide COVID-19 Saliva Tests That Can Be Administered Remotely

Genetic Testing Solution to Offer Easy and Convenient COVID-19 Testing for Providers Everywhere

Hygea Precision Medicine, a company focused on developing a precision medicine software system for healthcare providers and patients to effectively manage genetic testing, announced today that it has partnered with 1health.io, the leading Testing as a Service (TaaS) company. Hygea Precision Medicine’s partnership with 1health.io will allow it to deliver saliva-based COVID-19 tests to providers across the country.

1health.io empowers partners with the ability to offer convenient, non-invasive, and remote options for diagnostic testing. Partners can offer their patients, customers or employees diagnostic testing that eliminates inconvenient or even risky visits to testing centers while also eliminating long wait times for results. 1health.io’s platform allows partners, like Hygea Precision Medicine, to launch their private, secure, and scalable testing portal quickly, and to have tracking and reporting that is essential for supporting a large distributed team.

Hygea Precision Medicine provides a platform that promotes communication between a patient and their healthcare provider to optimize the patient’s treatment plan. The Hygea solution is a HIPAA compliant web-based software platform that connects providers, patients, and CLIA labs.

“When COVID-19 hit, we realized we could step in to deliver even more than genetic tests to providers,” said Devina Do, COO and Co-Founder of Hygea Precision Medicine. “Our intuitive software is trusted by physicians everywhere to assist in selecting, ordering, and assessing the most relevant genetic tests from laboratories. Now, with the help of 1health.io we are leveraging our seamless processes to deliver convenient at-home COVID-19 testing in order to fight this pandemic.”

1health.io provides testing as a service, enabling partners to easily deploy, manage, and personalize testing at scale. The company pioneered the concept and are the first in the field of DNA testing with a simple self administered COVID-19 saliva test that was authorized by the FDA under EUA earlier this year.

“We aim to make testing easy and accessible for everyone, and have developed the first technology infrastructure that turns testing into a service allowing our partners to launch testing in days all across the country,” said Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of 1health.io. “Hygea Precision Medicine has fantastic infrastructure for providers, and their expertise in the field of genetic testing makes this partnership an evergreen one. For the time being, we are excited to help them provide their customers with an easy and convenient COVID-19 test option to help contain this pandemic.”

The tests can be taken from anywhere – at home, at work, in a hotel, or on-the-go. Saliva is collected in a tube, sealed with reagents, and shipped to a qualified lab in a secure envelope. Test results are delivered digitally to the person within 48 hours of the lab receiving the sample, and can be viewed on the secure patient dashboard on the 1health.io online platform.

About 1health.io

1health.io is the pioneer in enabling testing as a service, making diagnostic testing easy and accessible for everyone. Its platform powers engaging health applications for telehealth companies,

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Doubts over ‘rapid turnaround’ Covid tests pledged by Johnson

The “rapid turnaround” coronavirus tests the prime minister announced on Saturday are not approved for the public to interpret themselves without an expert’s help and so will not provide results in the promised 15 minutes, the Guardian has learned.



Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: WPA/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: WPA/Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s briefing about this week’s national lockdown in England included the promise of a mass rollout of “tests that you can use yourself to tell whether or not you are infectious and get the result within 10 to 15 minutes”, which would be made available at universities and across whole cities.

He said the army would be deployed to roll out the “many millions of cheap, reliable and above all rapid turnaround tests” everywhere they were needed.

Three of these rapid antigen tests, called lateral flow tests, have passed an assessment by Porton Down with Oxford University. The government has bought one of them. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, announced the government had signed a deal for 20 million, from the company Innova Tried and Tested, on 19 October.

But the Innova tests are not for people without symptoms, such as university students or people wanting to get on a plane or go to the theatre. They are designed for people who already have Covid symptoms. And the devices, which look like a pregnancy test, are intended to be read by a healthcare professional.

The company is clear about their limitations on the instructions for use, which can be found on its website. The tests analyse throat and nose swabs “from individuals who are suspected of Covid-19 by their healthcare provider, within the first five days of the onset of symptoms”. The test is designed for use by trained lab and healthcare staff, it says.



Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson announced the promise of a mass rollout of the tests, to be made available at universities and across cities.


© Photograph: WPA/Getty Images
Boris Johnson announced the promise of a mass rollout of the tests, to be made available at universities and across cities.

Johnson hopes the tests will help show the way out of the pandemic. They will be deployed in a wide range of situations, he said, “from helping women to have their partners with them in labour wards when they’re giving birth, to testing whole towns and even whole cities.

“The army has been brought in to work on the logistics and the programme will begin in a matter of days, working with local communities, local government, public health directors and organisations of all kinds to help people discover whether or not they are infectious, and then immediately to get them to self-isolate and to stop the spread.”

Prof Jon Deeks from Birmingham University and a member of a working group of the Royal Statistical Society, which is looking at coronavirus tests, said they were not ready for this type of use.

“At the moment, if you were bought this test, you would not be using it for this purpose,” he told the Guardian.

Lateral flow tests are now being offered to students at two universities – Durham and De Montfort – in

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Tests Show Genetic Signature of Coronavirus That Likely Infected Trump

President Trump’s illness from a coronavirus infection last month was the most significant health crisis for a sitting president in nearly 40 years. Yet little remains known about how the virus arrived at the White House and how it spread.

The administration did not take basic steps to track the outbreak, limiting contact tracing, keeping cases a secret and cutting out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The origin of the infections, a spokesman said, was “unknowable.”

But one standard public health technique may still shed some light: tracking the cluster’s genetic fingerprints.

To better understand the outbreak, The Times worked with prominent geneticists to determine the genetic sequence of viruses that infected two Times journalists believed to been exposed to the coronavirus as part of their work covering the White House.

The study reveals, for the first time, the genetic sequence of the virus that may have infected President Trump and dozens of others, researchers said. That genome is a crucial clue that may allow researchers to identify where the outbreak originated and whether it went on to infect others across the country.

The White House has not disclosed any effort to conduct similar genetic testing, but the study’s results show that it is still possible, even weeks after positive tests. Additional sequencing could help establish the path of the virus through the White House, the role of a possible super-spreading event for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the origin of an outbreak among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence in the last week or so.

The journalists, Michael D. Shear and Al Drago, both had significant, separate exposure to White House officials in late September, several days before they developed symptoms. They did not spend any time near each other in the weeks before their positive tests.

Mr. Shear traveled with Mr. Trump and other staff on Air Force One on Sept. 26, when Mr. Trump approached within five or six feet without a mask. Mr. Drago covered the Judge Barrett event that day and a news conference the next day near officials who were not wearing masks and later tested positive.

The viral genomes of the two journalists shared the same distinct pattern of mutations, the research found. Along with their exposure history, the findings suggest that they were infected as part of the broader White House outbreak, said Trevor Bedford, a geneticist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington who led the research team.

“These mutations that are possessed by these viruses are quite rare in the United States,” Dr. Bedford said. “I am highly convinced that these viruses come from the same outbreak or cluster based on their genomes.”

The study, which has been posted online but not yet peer reviewed or published in a science journal, followed academic protocols that require genetic samples to be anonymous. Mr. Shear and Mr. Drago chose to disclose their identities for this article.

Viruses constantly mutate, picking up tiny, accidental alterations

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Cats, dogs, dolphins and more animals get Covid-19 tests

As Covid-19 cases surge in the US, one Texas veterinarian has been quietly tracking the spread of the disease — not in people, but in their pets.



a dog sitting on a table: Texas A&M University student Ed Davila holds Stella, one of hundreds of household pets tested during A&M's study of pets exposed to Covid-19 by their infected owners. The 2½-year-old Pomeranian tested negative.


© Sarah Hamer/Kaiser Health News
Texas A&M University student Ed Davila holds Stella, one of hundreds of household pets tested during A&M’s study of pets exposed to Covid-19 by their infected owners. The 2½-year-old Pomeranian tested negative.

Since June, Sarah Hamer and her team at Texas A&M University have tested hundreds of animals from area households where humans contracted Covid-19. They’ve swabbed dogs and cats, sure, but also pet hamsters and guinea pigs, looking for signs of infection. “We’re open to all of it,” said Hamer, a professor of epidemiology, who has found at least 19 cases of infection.

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One pet that tested positive was Phoenix, a 7-year-old part-Siamese cat owned by Kaitlyn Romoser, who works in a university lab. Romoser, 23, was confirmed to have Covid-19 twice, once in March and again in September. The second time she was much sicker, she said, and Phoenix was her constant companion.

“If I would have known animals were just getting it everywhere, I would have tried to distance myself, but he will not distance himself from me,” Romoser said. “He sleeps in my bed with me. There was absolutely no social distancing.”

Across the country, veterinarians and other researchers are scouring the animal kingdom for signs of the virus that causes Covid-19. At least 2,000 animals in the US have been tested for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to federal records. Cats and dogs that were exposed to sick owners represent most of the animals tested and 80% of the positive cases found.



a woman holding a cat: Kaitlyn Romoser and her 7-year-old cat, Phoenix, both tested positive for the coronavirus. Romoser tested positive in March and again in September.


© (Emil Koseoglu/Kaiser Health News
Kaitlyn Romoser and her 7-year-old cat, Phoenix, both tested positive for the coronavirus. Romoser tested positive in March and again in September.

But scientists have cast a wide net investigating other animals that could be at risk. In states from California to Florida, researchers have tested species ranging from farmed minks and zoo cats to unexpected critters like dolphins, armadillos and anteaters.

Fur farm outbreaks

The US Department of Agriculture keeps an official tally of confirmed animal Covid-19 cases that stands at several dozen. But that list is a vast undercount of actual infections. In Utah and Wisconsin, for instance, more than 14,000 minks died in recent weeks after contracting Covid-19 infections initially spread by humans.

So far, there’s limited evidence that animals are transmitting the virus to people. Veterinarians emphasize that pet owners appear to be in no danger from their furry companions and should continue to love and care for them. But scientists say continued testing is one way to remain vigilant in the face of a previously unknown pathogen.

“We just know that coronaviruses, as a family, infect a lot of species, mostly mammals,” said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and the director of the University of Washington Center for One Health Research

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Space Force vice chief of space operations tests positive for COVID-19

Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Commander of the United States Space Force, seen at the Air Force Association, Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Photo by Jonathan Snyder/U.S. Air Force

Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Commander of the United States Space Force, seen at the Air Force Association, Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Photo by Jonathan Snyder/U.S. Air Force

Oct. 29 (UPI) — Space Force’s vice chief of space operations tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, Space Force announced.

According to a press release issued jointly by the Space Force and the Air Force, Gen. David D. Thompson took a test for the virus after learning that a close family member had tested positive.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Thompson has not shown symptoms of COVID-19 so far and was on leave last week, but returned to the Pentagon for work on Monday and Tuesday to address a virtual symposium for the National Defense Industrial Association and Texas A&M University.

He is now self-isolating and working from home.

According to Stefanek, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett have not tested positive for the new virus within the past 24 hours.

Raymond and Brown recently ended a period of isolation after a potential exposure among the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The Department of the Air Force continues to follow established DoD and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policies and guidelines for COVID. Measures include temperature testing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, the wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible, and contact tracing and quarantining, if needed,” the press release said.

As of Thursday morning a total of 55,443 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the military since the beginning of the pandemic, with 8,839 of those reported among Air Force personnel.

Earlier this month Marine Corps assistant commandant Gen. Gary Thomas and Adm. Charles Ray, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, tested positive for COVID-19.

And last week United States Forces Korea said 13 service members had tested positive for the virus, the second time in two weeks that USFK reported personnel arriving in Korea had tested positive.

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Second highest ranking officer in US Space Force tests positive for Covid-19

“General David D. Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations, tested positive today for COVID-19. He took the test today after learning that a close family member, with whom he had contact, tested positive for the virus,” the statement read. “In accordance with established COVID policies, General Thompson is self-quarantining and working remotely from home.”

The US Space Force is a newly formed military service branch structured within the Department of the Air Force that “trains, equips and maintains mission-ready space forces that provide missile warning, space domain awareness, positioning, navigation and timing, communications and space electronic warfare,” according to the US Defense Department.

Thompson isn’t the first Defense Department official to have been diagnosed with the virus. The vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, Adm. Charles Ray, tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. His diagnosis prompted Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and several members of the Pentagon’s senior leadership to quarantine.
Additionally, during the coronavirus outbreak among members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle who had attended a Rose Garden event earlier this month, at least one staffer — who is military personnel directly assigned to support the President in the Oval Office and residence — tested positive, according to a person familiar with the matter at the time.
The Defense Department has struggled with several coronavirus outbreaks during the pandemic. CNN reported earlier this month that the coronavirus had returned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the same aircraft carrier that experienced a major outbreak earlier this year, the handling of which caused the ship’s captain to be fired and led to the resignation of the acting Navy secretary.
In March, the department banned travel for members of the armed services, Defense Department civilian employees and their family members who are living on or serving at military properties to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday morning, there had been 81,288 cases of coronavirus and 105 deaths from the virus among Defense Department personnel, according to department data. That includes military, civilian, dependents and contractors.

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Space Force’s No. 2 officer tests positive for Covid-19

The Space Force’s No. 2 officer has tested positive for coronavirus, the service announced Wednesday night.



Pamela Melroy et al. sitting at a table: Then-Lt. Gen. David Thompson, left, testifies before the Senate Aviation and Space Subcommittee in May 2019.


© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Then-Lt. Gen. David Thompson, left, testifies before the Senate Aviation and Space Subcommittee in May 2019.

Gen. David Thompson, the vice chief of space operations, took a test after a close family member also tested positive, according to a news release. He is self-quarantining and working from home.

Despite one of the service’s top officers being sidelined with the virus, the Space Force “remains operationally ready to answer the nation’s call,” the release said.

Video: UN Chief: conflicts must stop to prevent COVID (Associated Press)

UN Chief: conflicts must stop to prevent COVID

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Contact tracing to determine if other military leaders may have been exposed to Thompson was underway Wednesday night, an Air Force spokesperson said. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown all tested negative within the last 24 hours, she said.

The news comes three weeks after the Coast Guard’s second in command, Adm. Charles Ray, tested positive, forcing members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high-ranking military officials who had been in contact with Ray during a meeting at the Pentagon to self-quarantine.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas tested positive two days later on Oct. 7. No other members of the Joint Chiefs got sick and all were cleared to return to work after a two-week quarantine.

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