California rules now allow for 3 households to socialize

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is easing its coronavirus restrictions to allow up to three households to socialize outdoors, an expansion of rules aimed at people tempted to have even larger gatherings around Halloween, Thanksgiving and end-of-year holidays, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Three households can gather so long as they wear masks and follow other safety precautions designed to stem the spread of the virus, under the new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. State health officials previously discouraged gatherings outside of a single household.

The goal is not to encourage larger gatherings, Newsom said, but to recognize the increasing pressure for get-togethers and provide ways for people to act appropriately. There’s no limit on the number of people within any three households, though state officials say smaller is better.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, said the guidelines are meant to recognize

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State and city leaders blame social gatherings, not businesses or schools, for coronavirus uptick in New London

Connecticut and local officials said Monday that the recent uptick in coronavirus cases in New London can be traced back to a series of social gatherings and other small social interactions — not to local school or business reopenings, or to the nearby casinos.

“We’re being told by the contact tracers that it’s not coming from any institutional or business setting, it’s coming predominantly from social spread … where people are letting their guard down,” said New London Mayor Michael Passero.

He pointed to situations — such as small family gatherings that are well within the state limits on gathering size — where people may feel relaxed enough that they remove their masks or sit nearby one another. But COVID-19 can still spread, even among a small group of people and even from people who aren’t displaying any symptoms.

“The institutional environments — nursing homes, schools, even the casino —

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Montgomery County’s COVID-related deaths now 143

Montgomery County logged its 143rd COVID-19-related death Monday.

The death is a Spring woman in her 60s who died at the hospital. The woman had other health conditions in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.

The county’s total number of cases is now 12,365. Of those total cases, 1,914 are active, an increase of 177, according to the Montgomery County Public Health District.

Total hospitalizations, both county and noncounty residents, increased by 15 to 71 with 14 of those patients in ICU.

The reason for the difference in the new cases and active cases is the Montgomery County Public 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.

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

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CDC says teen gave COVID-19 to 11 relatives across 4 states during a family vacation. Experts see a cautionary tale for holidays

A COVID-19 outbreak that infected 11 people across four states began with a 13-year-old girl who transmitted the virus during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

In Illinois — one of the states involved — a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said that the community where some of the family members live is not currently at risk from this particular outbreak, which occurred months ago.

But the case shows that kids and teens can contract and spread the virus, public health experts say. It also serves as a cautionary tale before the holiday season, a traditional time for many large family get-togethers.

“(The) outbreak highlights several important issues that are good to review before the holidays., a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said in an email.

The CDC noted that the case underscores the risk of exposure

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Takeda Group Begins Manufacturing COVID-19 Plasma Treatment Ahead of Approval | Top News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co-led group that is developing a blood plasma treatment for COVID-19 has started manufacturing while the late-stage trial to determine whether it works is ongoing, Takeda Chief Executive Christophe Weber said on Monday.

The group, known as the CoVIg Plasma Alliance, enrolled its first patient in the Phase III trial on Friday after months of delays. It aims to enroll 500 adult patients from the United States, Mexico and 16 other countries and hope to have results by the end of the year.

“The likelihood it works is very high,” Weber said in an interview. “And that’s why we have launched a campaign in order to accelerate the donation of convalescent plasma to manufacture and produce this product.”

The alliance, which includes CSL Behring, Germany’s Biotest AG and other companies, is testing a hyperimmune globulin therapy, which is derived from blood plasma of

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Lenox Hill Hospital Expansion Battle Resumes After Pandemic Pause

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The battle over an ambitious expansion plan by Lenox Hill Hospital is showing signs of coming back to life after going dormant for several months while the hospital responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a community meeting last month, Lenox Hill officials revealed changes to the multibillion dollar expansion project, which notably scrapped a controversial, 490-foot-tall residential tower on Park Avenue that would have helped fund the expansion.

The hospital will present a revised plan Tuesday, during a meeting convened by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer between local leaders and hospital representatives.

Starting last year, neighbors rose up in fierce opposition to the project by owner Northwell Health, which was also slated to include a 516-foot hospital tower on Lexington Avenue.

Community Board 8 voted overwhelmingly last October to oppose the plan, and a preservation-oriented group called Committee to Protect Our Lenox Hill Neighborhood sprung

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Twitter is Showing That People Are Anxious and Depressed

On May 31, the most commonly used words on English language Twitter included “terrorist,” “violence” and “racist.” This was about a week after George Floyd was killed, near the start of the protests that would last all summer.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Hedonometer’s sadness readings have set multiple records. This year, “there was a full month — and we never see this — there was a full month of days that the Hedonometer was reading sadder than the Boston Marathon day,” Dr. Danforth said. “Our collective attention is very ephemeral. So it was really remarkable then that the instrument, for the first time, showed this sustained, depressed mood, and then it got even worse, when the protests started.”

James Pennebaker, an intellectual founder of online language analysis and a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, became interested in what our choice of words reveals

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The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed far more lives than reported, study says

Far more Americans have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic than have been counted and reported, according to new research published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“For every two Americans that we know of who are dying of Covid-19, another American is dying,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, author of the new research and director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Woolf’s study looked at death statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Census Bureau.

The study found that from March through July, there were 225,530 “excess” deaths — a 20 percent increase over the average number of deaths expected for those months. (Excess deaths refer to the number of fatalities above what would be expected in

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Iowa mayor concerned over planned Trump rally

DES MOINES, Iowa — As Iowa surpassed 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases Monday and remained the fourth-highest state for rate of infection, the mayor of Des Moines expressed concern that President Donald Trump’s rally this week at the city’s airport could become a super-spreader event.

The state averaged 1,300 new cases per day over the past four days, and during that time there were an additional 46 deaths. As of Monday morning, Iowa had reported 100,052 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,464 deaths from the disease since the pandemic started.

Trump plans a Wednesday rally at the Iowa Air National Guard hangar at the Des Moines International Airport. He acknowledged Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and he now plans to resume campaigning despite skepticism about whether he could spread the virus.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie told The Des Moines Register on Sunday that he’s worried that

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Study: One in eight get surprise bills after colonoscopy

Oct. 12 (UPI) — Nearly one in eight people with private health insurance receive a “surprise” bill for out-of-network expenses after undergoing an elective colonoscopy, an analysis published Monday by Annals of Internal Medicine found.

The average amount of these charges was more than $400, the researchers said.

A colonoscopy is used to screen for colon cancer — a disease that affects 150,000 people per year in the United States — through the insertion of a colonoscope, a 4-foot-long flexible tube outfitted with a camera, into the bowel, according to the American Cancer Society.

Currently, the society recommends that adults undergo their first colonoscopy at around age 45 as part of routine cancer screening.

For this study, researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan reviewed 1.1 million claims from a large national insurer to estimate the prevalence, amount and source of out-of-network claims for people with

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