Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad | WYPR

Coronavirus In Maryland And Abroad

Credit CDC via AP, File

WYPR Coronavirus Coverage

Resources for Maryland families during COVID-19 crisis.

The Daily Dose - A podcast from WYPR that is a summary of essential state and local updates.

The presence of COVID-19 was confirmed in Maryland in early March. Scroll down for resources that track the number of cases by country and state.

The difference between coronavirus and COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. The novel (new) coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. 

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Other symptoms and emergency warning signs as reported by the CDC

Precautions

Advice given by national health advocates includes:

  • washing your hands frequently
  • staying home if you’re sick
  • avoiding touching your face
  • social distancing (staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a 6 feet distance from others) 

Officials say to call your primary care provider if you feel COVID-19 symptoms, especially in people who have travelled abroad or in contact with someone who has travelled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or other areas where there’s been an outbreak.

Demographics most at risk for developing COVID-19

  • Older adults
  • People of all ages with underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease

Tracking the spread

Credit:  Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

To view cases in North America, pull the map to the right. To view an active list of Maryland cases, zoom in (+ sign) and click the red dot. This map is updated once an hour. 

The number of cases is also updated at the Maryland Department of Health's website

Learn more

Local officials advise residents seeking information to call 2-1-1 and visit coronavirus.gov or health.maryland.gov/coronavirus. Maryland FAQs here

Earlier in this pandemic, the shortage of tests for coronavirus was a major problem in fighting the spread of COVID-19. The shortage was such that many hospitals and clinics would only test someone who had traveled to a country with an outbreak, had a known exposure to a positive case or showed symptoms of the disease.

But access to tests has improved significantly, and in some places, people can now get tested without having to demonstrate any symptoms at all. So if you can get tested, should you?

Navajo Nation Loses Elders And Tradition To COVID-19

3 hours ago

In Navajo culture to speak of death is taboo. But since the tribe's coronavirus infection rate has become the highest in the country, they can't help but talk about it.

"It's killing every day," says medicine man Ty Davis, who knows at least five traditional practitioners who have died from COVID-19.

European Union Leaders Urge U.S. To Remain In WHO

14 hours ago

Officials with the European Union are urging President Trump to rethink his recently announced plans to pull the United States from the World Health Organization.

The Supreme Court has rejected a California church's attempt to overturn the state's coronavirus restrictions on in-person religious services.

In a 5-4 decision issued late Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberal bloc in upholding the state's right to impose limits on congregations in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hero pay. Thank You pay. Service pay. Hazard pay.

These were the many names for temporary pay bumps that some stores, warehouses and factories gave to workers who risked their health to continue to show up on the job during the pandemic.

It's hard to say that an extra $3 an hour made a dramatic difference in Sammy Сonde's budget. Maybe a few more groceries — soup is a dinner favorite — or an occasional treat of a takeout meal after a particularly tiring workday.

I need to take a trip that would be either a few hours flying or multiple days driving. Which is safer?

As lockdown orders are relaxed to some capacity in countries around the world, travel is starting to see an uptick for the first time since mid-March. But when it comes to taking a longer trip, is it better to travel by car or by plane?

When Dr. Jonas Salk first began testing his potential polio vaccine in 1953, he brought it home from his nearby lab at the University of Pittsburgh.

"I just hated injections," recalled his son Peter Salk, 76, and the oldest of three brothers. "So my father came home with polio vaccine and some syringes and needles that he sterilized on the kitchen stove, boiling them in water, and lined us kids up and then administered the vaccine."

At 85, Margaret Sullivan felt that she had a comfortable life and was being well taken care of in a retirement home in Northern Virginia.

"Living in a bubble," she said.

But then she shared a piece of sad news: "My brother died about two weeks ago of the virus."

He lived a few states away.

"I'm the oldest and he's the youngest," she explained. "And that's outside the order of things."

For many, the pandemic has been long days of juggling kids and work. Worrying about money. Trying to schedule grocery deliveries.

In April, New Orleans health officials realized their drive-through testing strategy for the coronavirus wasn't working. The reason? Census tract data revealed hot spots for the virus were located in predominantly low-income African-American neighborhoods where many residents lacked cars.

President Trump has announced that he is immediately halting the decades-long U.S. membership in the World Health Organization over its response to China's handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

In a press briefing Friday at the White House, Trump said, "We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

The Daily Dose 5-29-20

May 29, 2020
Katie Kirby/Revolution Event Design & Production via AP

Governor Hogan disapproves of crowds in Ocean City but lifts restrictions on outdoor dining. A contentious Baltimore County Council cuts almost 59 million dollars from the budget. Plus, why aren’t mental health providers hearing from more patients in need of care? The current silence might signal a surge in mental health complications down the road.

The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new analysis shows the agency's delayed rollout of coronavirus testing did not hinder the nation's response to the pandemic.

The coronavirus didn't start spreading in the U.S. until late January or early February, the CDC analysis found, and it circulated at low levels for quite some time.

As a result, the availability of earlier widespread testing for the virus would not have been able to spot it, according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council passed Friday its  budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1,  but not before an acrimonious debate over whether to cut property taxes.  

Council members said they had to make historic cuts totaling nearly $59 million to the budget to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The French are heading into a long holiday weekend with sunny, blue skies and the promise of some newfound freedoms. Starting June 2, for the first time since the country was put under lockdown in mid-March, people will be able to travel more than 60 miles from their homes, parks will open and restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to serve food and drinks again to customers onsite.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed guidance on its website that houses of worship should limit choir activities — advice that was based on evidence that group singing can spread the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The warning was part of new guidance for leaders of faith-based organizations that the CDC had posted last Friday. It stated that they should:

The city of Moscow has suddenly doubled its coronavirus death toll from last month.

Media reports and analysts have questioned the accuracy of Russia's mortality figures for the virus.

Under its initial methodology, Moscow's Health Department had attributed 636 deaths to COVID-19. But on Thursday, the department announced that 1,561 deaths in April could be linked to COVID-19.

It attributed the revision to an alternative counting method that takes into account "debatable cases."

An emergency medicine physician from Washington state has filed a lawsuit to get his job back at a hospital. He was fired in late March after criticizing his hospital's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is about people on the front line being given the opportunity to speak out without being terminated and being reprimanded," says Dr. Ming Lin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects Senate Republicans will begin considering proposals for a "fourth and final" coronavirus response bill to address the needs of the country "in about a month."

McConnell said the bill will be narrowly crafted and will focus in particular on jobs and schools. He said there could be funding for small businesses and health care, but he will not support extending the additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits that run out at the end of July.

Dr. Popular/Creative Commons

Tuesday is the deadline to mail-in your ballot in the statewide primary election for President and Congressional offices, and here in Baltimore, all three citywide offices, and members of the city council. 

In the handful of other states that had mail-in elections in place before the pandemic, switching from the ballot box to the mailbox involved years of planning.  But in late April, Maryland election officials quickly organized mail-in balloting in the special election for the Congressional seat in the 7th District, and now, just weeks later, they are conducting the primary by mail, statewide. Nikki Charlson joins us on the line from Annapolis with an update. She is Deputy Administrator of the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Katie Kirby/Revolution Event Design & Production via AP

Gov. Larry Hogan said he was concerned after seeing photos of crowds packing the Ocean City boardwalk over Memorial Day Weekend. But on Friday morning, he told NBC’s Today Show that lifting restrictions on outdoor dining, which is allowed beginning Friday at 5 p.m., will improve social distancing.

Even under a mask, Yesenia Ortiz likes to wear her lipstick every day.

"You know Latina girls," she says, laughing.

She keeps a folded-up paper towel under the mask she wears all day, "because I don't want to ruin my mask."

Ortiz works at a grocery store called Compare Foods in Greensboro, N.C., unloading trucks and restocking shelves.

Customers have been "asking me every day for alcohol, Windex, Clorox for wiping," Ortiz told NPR in late April. "Every day! 'Oh, we don't got none. We ran out. I'm so sorry.' They get so frustrated."

Public Theater

Now, an update on how the American theater world is creatively adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to keep its theaters and community stages dark.  Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck has been watching a steady stream of innovative online "virtual" productions by local and national companies, and she joins Tom via Skype to share a few recommendations...

Most believe that the colonial era– the time from the 1400s to the late-1900s when rich countries took over poor countries, stripping their people of independence and taking advantage of their natural resources — is over.

But the coronavirus pandemic makes it very clear that the legacy of colonialism is alive. Scholars have recognized that the modern-day control of social, economic, political and cultural aspects of former colonies by modern powers is still happening. They call it "neocolonialism."

New Zealand is now down to only one active COVID-19 case, reaching a new level of success in its fight against the coronavirus. The last time a new case was reported in the country was more than a week ago; no one is currently hospitalized with the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"For the seventh day in a row, there are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand," the Ministry of Health said on Friday.

Brazil reported a record spike of daily coronavirus infections Thursday, as widespread criticism continues to dog President Jair Bolsonaro for playing down the outbreak. The country has confirmed more than 438,000 cases, the world's second-highest number after the United States.

The rise in cases comes as São Paulo, the state with the highest number of registered deaths, prepares to ease restrictions in some areas.

AP photo/Ross D. Franklin

Treasured rewards for the hard work of high school--the prom, senior week, graduation--have all been canceled, postponed, or reworked to keep students and families at a social distance.

Five recent or soon-to-be graduates from across Maryland share how the coronavirus upended their senior year, and how it’s affecting their goals and plans.

We hear from Michelle Castro, Annie Squire Southworth, Laila Amin, Corey Harris and Aliyah Abid. Here's to the resilience of the Class of 2020!

Before Philadelphia shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Ed had a routine: most mornings he would head to a nearby McDonald's to brush his teeth, wash his face and — when he had the money — buy a cup of coffee. He would bounce between homeless shelters and try to get a shower. But since businesses closed and many shelters stopped taking new admissions, Ed has been mostly shut off from that routine.

It has become a political and cultural flashpoint, drawing a clear divide between the "masked" and the "masked-nots." The disdain runs between the consciously unmasked president of the United States and his deliberately mask-donning Democratic rival, all the way on down to those crossing paths — and often crossing each other — in the cereal aisle of the grocery store.

Columbia, Brown, Penn, Purdue — universities with hallowed traditions, proud alumni and another thing in common: Right now they're being sued by disgruntled students.

The students claim that when campuses shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, they should have been entitled to more of their money back. And the list of institutions facing such challenges is growing, including private institutions and entire public systems in California, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

At the end of June, several thousand National Guardsmen from 15 states will descend on Fort Irwin in California's Mojave Desert for two months. The Army is already gaming out how to keep them healthy and able to train during the coronavirus pandemic.

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