COVID-19 testing in Mass. is ‘far short’ of levels needed to stop the spread

Another takeaway: A ramped-up testing infrastructure will remain crucial to public health, well after vaccines are widely available.

“It’s not at the pace we would have expected,” said Donna Hochberg, a partner at consultancy Health Advances who leads the firm’s diagnostics practice. “Testing really does help control the pandemic.”

Bain Capital cochair Steve Pagliuca, who leads the tech council’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, hosted the event on Monday. The tech council’s main goal is to educate employers and public leaders about the continued need to focus on testing strategies even as the fight against COVID-19 enters a new phase with the arrival of vaccines. In its latest report on the issue, the tech council recommended that federal, state, and local governments develop a systematic, expanded testing regime using multiple kinds of tests and employing public-private partnerships.

Pagliuca, also a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, noted how the number of

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Minnesota launches smartphone app to slow spread of COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials urged residents Monday to download a free app for their smartphones that will notify them if someone who’s been near them later tests positive for the coronavirus and will allow them to warn others anonymously if they test positive themselves.

Tarek Tomes, the state’s information technology commissioner, stressed at a briefing for reporters that participation in COVIDaware MN is voluntary, and that the system contains ample privacy safeguards for those who opt in. It uses exposure notification technology developed by Google and Apple that is already being used under different names in around 20 other states and 35 countries around the world to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“If communities are willing to adopt the app, use it to report positive test results and follow health recommendations when notified of an exposure, this app can help us return to many of the activities

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Use technology to reduce spread of secondhand smoke

Imagine a world free from secondhand smoke. San Francisco can make it a reality, but it is missing its opportunity.

On Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to outlaw smoking and vaping in apartment buildings of three or more units. Board President Norman Yee, who authored the legislation, said, “We are discussing the right of our residents to breathe clean air.” Yee is correct that breathing clean air is a human right; the National Institutes of Health and the United Nations affirm this, and we all should support his mission to secure that right.

The problem with Yee’s proposal, though, is that it misses the mark: Rather than a ban on smoking and vaping — which has proved ineffective — we should direct our sights on eliminating their harmful byproduct, secondhand smoke. San Francisco has a golden opportunity to be the first jurisdiction in the country

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Research shows test turnaround-time, frequency far more important than sensitivity in curbing spread — ScienceDaily

Testing half the population weekly with inexpensive, rapid-turnaround COVID-19 tests would drive the virus toward elimination within weeks — even if those tests are significantly less sensitive than gold-standard clinical tests, according to a new study published today by University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard University researchers.

Such a strategy could lead to “personalized stay-at-home orders” without shutting down restaurants, bars, retail stores and schools, the authors said.

“Our big picture finding is that, when it comes to public health, it’s better to have a less sensitive test with results today than a more sensitive one with results tomorrow,” said lead author Daniel Larremore, an assistant professor of computer science at CU Boulder. “Rather than telling everyone to stay home so you can be sure that one person who is sick doesn’t spread it, we could give only the contagious people stay-at-home orders so everyone else can go about their

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Full body health check point, a device aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (KABC) — While the wait continues for a COVID-19 vaccine to be widely distributed, one company is introducing a new tool, a full-body health checkpoint, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

The coronavirus has forced so many aspects of life to change. Technology firm Multimedia Care is attempting to make life a little easier and allow for safer gatherings.

“First thing you do when you step up is you get your shoes cleaned, and then you’re looking at a thermographic camera. That will take your temperature and it will verify the presence of a mask,” says Seth Rubenstein, Multimedia Care Executive Director.

With the device ideally placed outside of the entrance of a building, individuals step onto the check point’s floor mat. There it sprays the bottoms of their shoes with a cleaning solution.

The checkpoint uses a contactless gel dispenser to distribute

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Pollution may bear part of the blame for rapid spread SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S.

The United States may have set itself up for the spread of a pandemic without even knowing it.

According to new research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, pollution may bear part of the blame for the rapid proliferation in the United States of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the spread of COVID-19.

The research, from the lab of Rajan Chakrabarty, associate professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, was published online ahead of print in the journal Science of The Total Environment.

When it comes to how ill someone gets after contracting COVID-19, medical professionals believe that a person’s health — having certain medical conditions, for example — can play a vital role. When it comes to how fast the virus can spread through the community, it turns out the health

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Miami vs. Virginia Tech: Prediction, pick, odds, point spread, live stream, TV channel, football game lines

No. 9 Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech are ready to be in the spotlight for the next chapter of a bitter rivalry that has lived on across multiple conferences and frequently plays a role in the race for the ACC Championship. That will be the case once again Saturday as the Hurricanes look to maintain their one-loss conference record against a Hokies team needing a bounce back after a crushing, last second-loss to Liberty. 

Miami and Virginia Tech have played 37 times with with Miami holding a 22-15 advantage in the all-time series, though the Hokies have a 9-7 edge since the two programs moved to the ACC from the Big East together in 2004. There have been some classic showdowns between these two programs, including a 42-35 thriller win for Virginia Tech last October in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Since the Hurricanes only have one loss on the year, they

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Stocks pull further below record highs as infections spread

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks pulled back on Thursday, amid increasing worries about worsening coronavirus counts across the country.

Markets around the world have taken a pause after galloping higher this month, at first on expectations that Washington will continue several pro-business policies following last week’s U.S. elections. More recently, encouraging early results for a potential COVID-19 vaccine have investors envisioning a global economy returning to normal.

The S&P 500 index lost 35.65 points, or 1%, to 3,537.01. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 317.46 points, or 1.1%, to 29,080.17 and the Nasdaq composite lost 76.84 points, or 0.7%, to 11,709.59.

Analysts are still largely optimistic the market can climb even higher, largely because they see a potential vaccine as a game changer. Despite the declines, the S&P 500 and Dow are both close to their record highs. But several risks remain that could trip up markets in the

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Republican distrust of news may be helping election misinformation spread.

In looking for reasons behind the misinformation that is casting doubt about last week’s election Joseph R. Biden Jr., some researchers are drawing a link to the growing distrust of the news media among conservatives.

Research from Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found a long and steady decline in trust in traditional media among more conservative Americans. In its place, they are increasingly relying on right-wing media outlets like Breitbart News and One America News and conservative pundits with a history of spreading falsehoods.

From 2015 to 2020, trust in media fell from 25 percent to 13 percent among conservative-leaning respondents, according to the institute’s annual poll on news habits. Among left-leaning respondents, trust grew slightly, to 39 percent from 35 percent, according to the latest results, which were published in June.

The declining trust in news has been years in the making and coincides

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Smell and taste changes provide early indication of COVID-19 community spread — ScienceDaily

Self-reports of smell and taste changes provide earlier markers of the spread of infection of SARS-CoV-2 than current governmental indicators, according to an international team of researchers. The researchers also observed a decline in self-reports of smell and taste changes as early as five days after lockdown enforcement, with faster declines reported in countries that adopted the most stringent lockdown measures.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have taken drastic measures to prevent their intensive care units from becoming overwhelmed with patients,” said John Hayes, professor of food science, Penn State. “Our research suggests that an increase in the incidence of sudden smell and taste change in the general population may indicate that COVID-19 is spreading. This knowledge could help decision-makers take important measures at the local level, either in catching new outbreaks sooner, or in guiding the relaxation of local lockdowns, given the strong impact of lockdown

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