The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first rapid coronavirus detection test, with a results-time of about 45 minutes
Molecular diagnostics company Cepheid said it had received an emergency use authorization from the FDA and that the test will be used primarily in hospitals and emergency rooms. Cepheid said it plans to begin shipping the test to hospitals this week. “During this time of increased demand for hospital services, Clinicians urgently need an on-demand diagnostic test for real-time management of patients being evaluated for admission to health-care facilities,” said the chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid. (Reuters)
Northern Virginia teens cough on grocery store produce, upload videos on social media
Juveniles in Loudoun County, Virginia reportedly filmed themselves coughing on grocery store produce and then posted the videos to social media, police say. The incident took place on Thursday in Purcellville, Virginia. The grocery store has since removed the tainted items and has reportedly taken appropriate health safety measures to protect the public. The group was seen taking videos by another patron but had not yet been able to locate the video in question on social media. The grocery store surveillance was not able to capture the incident, but showed the teens in the store. Authorities are reporting a disturbing trend involving these types of activities being uploaded onto social media. Police are asking for parental assistance in monitoring their teenager’s activities during these stressful times when area school systems have closed due to COVID-19 fears. (WJLA)
8 people arrested in California for reselling toilet paper and hand sanitizer at ridiculous prices
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says deputies have been monitoring multiple online websites in person-to-person sales where people were selling products like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks and gloves at insanely high prices. Through a sting operation, deputies dressed in plain clothes met the sellers, made the transactions, and then arrested them. It is illegal in California to sell essential goods and services at excessive and unjustified prices during a declared emergency. Violators can face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $10,000. (AZ Family)
COVID-19 can live in the air for 3 hours, plastic for 3 days
The Centers for Disease Control has released new numbers for how long novel coronavirus can live on surfaces. According to the CDC:
- Coronavirus can live in the air for 30 minutes to 3 hours.
- It lives on cardboard for 24 hours.
- Stainless steel for 2 days
- Plastic for 3 days
- Mild respiratory illness with:
- Shortness of breath
- Some patients have severe symptoms that require hospitalization
Here are the latest guidelines from the White House on coronavirus:
- Older people and those with a serious underlying health condition should stay home and stay away from other people.
- If you, your children, or anyone in your household is sick, you should stay home and contact your medical provider.
- Everyone should avoid social gatherings in groups of 10 or more people.
- Everyone should avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts. Instead, guidelines suggest using the drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
- Everyone should avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
- Everyone should avoid visiting nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Health officials said these are the best ways to prevent illnesses from spreading:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
(Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
A 7-year-old boy uses $600 of savings to make coronavirus care packages for seniors, feed 90 students
A first-grader in Gaithersburg, Maryland used money he saved up to help those in need as a way to overcome fear with acts of love. The student spent $600 of his own money, saved up from two birthdays and three Christmases, to purchase and package 65 “COVID-19 Carepacks” along with 31 hot meals from a local restaurant to serve to senior citizens and help the local businesses impacted by being closed after Governor Larry Hogan shut down restaurants. He filled several shopping carts with food and a bottle of bleach to hand out to seniors. On top of that, he also helped feed 90 students in need. (Fox News)
Funeral home operators indicted, accused of selling body parts for nearly a decade
For nearly a decade, two Colorado funeral home operators illegally sold body parts (and, in some cases, entire bodies) without families knowing about it and often gave them ashes that didn’t belong to their loved ones, federal prosecutors announced. A 43-year-old woman and her 66-year-old mother were indicted this month on nine counts of mail fraud and transportation of hazardous materials, according to court documents. The two ladies owned and operated the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose, on Colorado’s Western Slope. In dozens of alleged instances from 2010-2018, they two sold body parts and bodies to third parties without informing families of the decedent, an indictment said. When families did agree to donate the body parts, the two women sold more than the families allowed, prosecutors said. They shipped the body parts in the mail. A U.S. Attorney said they also kept a container in their office of various ashes, which they would give to families, even if the remains weren’t their loved ones. They appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Grand Junction where they face up to 20 years in prison for each of the six counts of mail fraud and up to five years in prison for each of the three hazardous materials counts. (The Denver Channel)
Domestic violence calls increase as people shelter in place during COVID-19 outbreak
Domestic violence shelters are seeing a dramatic increase in calls for help as people shelter in place to avoid COVID-19 exposure. Staying at home can be a horrible situation for domestic violence victims. Domestic violence shelters say they are seeing a big increase in calls for help. This is going to be similar to what happens during the holiday when everyone is together and a lot of frustration. Some shelters have run out of room and are looking to put victims in hotel rooms and other places, because of social distancing rules. What has also happened is because some shelters don’t have private bedrooms, they are having to isolate people and spread them apart, which has reduced how many people they can take in. Some shelters are getting extremely violent calls that are COVID-19 related. (WFAA)
SC man lied about positive coronavirus test to get paid vacation
A South Carolina man was facing charges after being accused of forging a doctor’s note saying he had tested positive for the coronavirus and presenting it to his employer which shut down for five days for disinfecting. The 31-year-old man was arrested in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and charged with breaching the peace and forgery. The doctor’s note said he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and could return to work in two weeks on March 27 after retesting, according to the station. Spartanburg County Sheriff said during a news conference, “It’s bad enough that everybody’s lives have been put in upheaval just trying to stay safe and get ahead of the curve here and get a grip on this coronavirus without having somebody causing basically massive panic.” He also said he couldn’t imagine the stress the man caused his co-workers and employer. “It seems to me that this fella just wanted a two week paid vacation but we’re going to give him a little time in the Hotel California,” the sheriff said. In addition, the man’s employer fired him for this con. (Fox Carolina)
The severe costs of ‘phubbing’
If you’re having a conversation with another person, put the phone, smartwatch, laptop and any other screen you might possess out of sight. Such phone-based snubbing (or “phubbing”) can rapidly damage morale, erode trust and, in turn, hurt business, according to research from Baylor University. “Phubbing” sends a message to your conversation partner that they aren’t important, leading others to question their value altogether. So, keep the screens at bay. And in emergencies, be transparent if you need your device with you and leave the room if you need to use it. (BBC)
Woman finds special way to share news of her engagement with grandfather stuck inside nursing home
One woman in love had to show off her engagement ring through her grandfather’s window. Like most nursing homes, the Premier Living and Rehab Center in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. “I really wanted to be able to tell my grandfather because he has dementia and there’s no phone in there that he has access to,” she said. “I just really wanted to make an effort to tell him.” The staff members say they have been working hard to keep its residents connected as best as they can under the circumstances. She understands the public health challenge, as she is studying to become a nurse. “It was very special. I just put my hand on the window, and he put his there, too. I just told him I love him, and he said, ‘I love you, too, and I hope to see you soon,’ like really see you.” she said. She and her fiancé are hoping the outbreak is over soon so everyone can attend the wedding. She hopes her grandfather will be there to see her walk down the aisle. (KOLD)
FDA is working on treatment for coronavirus with blood from recovered patients
The FDA has announced it is working on a treatment derived from the donated blood plasma of patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The treatment is already being tested in China, a similar version of which was previously used during the 2002 SARS outbreak, resulting in milder symptoms and shorter hospital stays for some patients. A doctor of Johns Hopkins University says he’s working with doctors from nearly two dozen hospitals on this treatment including researchers at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Stanford University Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. (NBC News)
Hawaii to quarantine all arrivals to the state for 14 days
Hawaii Governor David Ige has announced all arrivals to the state will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine, effective immediately. The order applies to all arrivals at Hawaii’s airports – whether residents or visitors. It applies to all arrivals at Hawaii airports from the continental U.S. and international destinations and extends to other private and commercial aircraft. Returning residents must quarantine themselves at home, the governor’s office said. Visitors must quarantine themselves in their hotel room or rented lodging. People under quarantine may only leave their homes for medical emergencies or to seek medical care, the governor’s office said. They cannot visit public spaces such as pools, fitness centers or restaurants. Failure to follow the order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both, the governor’s office said. (ABC News)
Tuesday Is Not A Fools Day With These:
- American Diabetes Association Alert Day (4th Tuesday)
- National Agriculture Day
- National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day
- International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for Dignity of Victims
- World Tuberculosis Day