What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention.

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What You Should Know

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC urges citizens to monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

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Coronavirus Articles

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Recent 2020

Coronavirus Relief Deal Looks Elusive in Congress as U.S. Economy Craters
CNBC  |  July 30, 2020

A coronavirus relief agreement in Congress looked illusory Thursday as new economic data showed a U.S. economy buckling under the pandemic’s weight. Democratic leaders and Trump administration officials left a meeting Wednesday saying they had not come close to bridging a gulf in their priorities for an aid package. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was in Atlanta on Thursday for the funeral of congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, it is unclear when the sides will resume in-person discussions.

Federal Update: $600 a Week Jobless Benefit Expires, Fauci Testifies on Coronavirus Response, U.S. Agrees to Pay $2.1 Billion for 100 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine
July 30, 2020

As extended unemployment benefits expire to those displaced during the coronavirus pandemic, Congress remains unable to reach a deal even as the data show an economy still under intense pressure. Democrats and Republicans appear significantly apart, with the GOP’s latest move for a temporary deal rejected. Democrats countered the plan to cut the $600 a week extra payout to $200 with a $3 trillion rescue package, but that failed as well.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers that while one can "never guarantee the safety or effectiveness" of a vaccine, he is "cautiously optimistic" that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna and his agency will be successful. "We hope that by the time we get into late fall and early winter, we will have in fact a vaccine that we can say that would be safe and effective. One can never guarantee the safety or effectiveness unless you do the trial, but we are cautiously optimistic this will be successful," Fauci said.

The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine, the companies announced Friday. More than half of the $1.5 billion will be used to support further development of the vaccine, including clinical trials. The rest will be for manufacturing and delivery of the 100 million doses, the companies said. The U.S. will have the option to order an additional 500 million doses, they said. 

State Update: California and Florida Hit New Record High Coronavirus Deaths, Ohio Sees Peak in Hospitalizations and Bans Hydroxychloroquine, Fewer Americans Ready to Resume Daily Activities
July 30, 2020

Both California and Florida — the two states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country — set new records for single-day coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said 197 people in the state died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the state's highest in a single day. The state also reported 8,755 new positive cases. Florida's Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that 216 people died from the virus on Tuesday, a new single-day record for the state just one day after setting its previous record of 186 new deaths.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,122 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, which is the highest daily number seen in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, reports say. The news comes after the Ohio Board of Pharmacy banned medical facilties from selling or dispensing malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19. The rule went into effect Thursday.

Americans are weary of returning to daily activities as coronavirus cases spike across the country, according to a new poll. Forty-four percent of Americans said they would send their child back to school if health restrictions were lifted. Forty-eight percent said the same in June, a 4-point drop in a month. Forty-four percent of survey respondents also said they would attend a religious service, down 5 points from June. The most significant drop was among those who said they felt comfortable having dinner at a friend’s house amid the ongoing pandemic. In July, 59 percent said they would, a drop of 8 percentage points from June.

GOP HEALS Act Gives Some Businesses a Second Shot at Paycheck Protection Program Loans
CNBC  |  July 30, 2020

Cash-strapped entrepreneurs who took a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan and are running out of funding may get a second infusion of liquidity. The Senate’s HEALS Act, the Republican proposal for another round of coronavirus relief funding, includes a measure that would permit certain small-business owners to borrow from the program a second time.

Fauci Suggests Goggles, Eye Shield for Better Protection Against Coronavirus
FOX News  |  July 30, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, this week said wearing goggles or an eye shield in addition to a face mask would provide better protection against the coronavirus, according to a report. “Theoretically you should protect all of the mucosal surfaces [eyes, nose, mouth], so if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” he said in an interview Wednesday.