June 7 morning update: The latest on the coronavir
June 7 morning update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine - Bangor Daily News
Here’s a roundup of the latest news about the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
By Christopher Burns, BDN Staff•June 7, 2020 7:42 amUpdated: June 7, 2020 7:44 am Today is Sunday. There have now been 2,524 confirmed and probable cases of the new coronavirus in all of Maines counties since the outbreak began here in March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported Saturday, leaving the statewide death toll at 98. So far, 296 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 1,845 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 581 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. Thats down from 587 on Friday. Heres a roundup of the latest news about the coronavirus and its impact in Maine. The Maine CDC will provide an update on the coronavirus later today. Watch the BDN for the latest update. Forty years ago, when the Belfast Farmers Market first started to connect farmers and producers with customers, the community around it was at an economic low ebb. stalwart members of the market have seen a lot over the years. Thats why theyre confident that the Belfast Farmers Market will be able to weather the pandemic, too a reality that makes it challenging to mark the markets big anniversary. Abigail Curtis, BDN A $16,000 food bill finally forced restaurateur Wendyll Caisse to throw in the towel on her Bucks Naked BBQ restaurant in Windham. The rustic restaurant in Cumberland County had stocked up on brisket and other foods for what it expected to be a June 1 opening for indoor dining. But five days before, Gov. Janet Mills postponed reopenings of restaurant dining rooms in three counties, including Cumberland. Caisse was one of a dozen business people who detailed their struggles to the committee and made recommendations to help businesses survive and even thrive after the pandemic. Lori Valigra, BDN Officials still arent sure how the novel coronavirus made its way into Maines second largest prison last month, infecting four inmates who have all since recovered, the states corrections chief said. Many suspected the universal testing would reveal a positive case among at least one staff member or vendor, who, unlike the inmates, come and go from the penitentiary and may have carried the virus inside. Since the pandemic began, officials have severely limited admissions to the prisons from county jails to prevent the spread of the virus, and the sick prisoner had been admitted months before he fell ill. It can take up to two weeks for people to show symptoms of COVID-19 after being exposed. But the testing only found positive cases among three more inmates, none of whom had entered the prison recently either. Callie Ferguson, BDN Yard sales are a Maine summer tradition. However, this Memorial Day which is usually the kick-off to yard and garage sale season in the Pine Tree State saw fewer garage sales than usual due to fears and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 However, there are things that yard sale planners and attendees can do to make sure their event is pandemic friendly. Sam Schipani, BDN Bangor Pride will go virtual this year, complete with a live streamed Pride Parade. But with contributions to the virtual parade from community members statewide, this years event has become Pride Across Maine. Nina Mahaleris, BDN Mike Cushing, president of the Maine Harness Horsemens Association, predicted there will be racing at Bangor Raceway in Bass Park this year but he is not sure when. Larry Mahoney, BDN As of early Sunday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,920,061 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 109,802 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Elsewhere in New England, there have been 7,289 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 4,055 in Connecticut, 772 in Rhode Island, 283 in New Hampshire and 55 in Vermont. ...
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'We know what we have to lose now': Pandemic, protests could tilt Michigan Biden's way - NBC News
In Michigan, quickly changing circumstances brought on by the coronavirus and protests have kept the presidential election race in flux.
Joe Biden still has a long way to go to earn Nicole Small's respect. Small, a human resources worker in Detroit and vice chair of the commission that considers revisions to the city's charter, said she was furious after the presumptive Democratic nominee's then you aint black gaffe last month and that he hasnt done nearly enough yet in responding to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. And yet, Small, who is black, says Biden has earned her vote. I will chew on nails dipped in acid before I vote for Donald Trump or dont vote at all, or let my friends and colleagues vote for Trump or not vote at all, she said. In Michigan, a key 2020 battleground, quickly changing circumstances brought on by the coronavirus have kept the still-nascent general election race in flux effects likely to be felt through November. Frustration over President Donald Trump's response to a pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans and caused the unemployment rate to spike to record highs threatens to alter the political tides in other swings states, including Florida and Pennsylvania. But interviews with voters like Small as well as with former lawmakers, political strategists, activists, journalists and political experts in Michigan indicate that what may impact the election here more than anything is how the lives of black Americans in particular have been upended by what Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley called a "pandemic within a pandemic": black people sickening and dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates while suffering from the epidemic of police brutality currently being protested in the streets. Biden, who has enjoyed strong levels of support from African American voters throughout the campaign, stands to benefit politically, they said. But given what happened in 2016 when polls showed that Michigan was also Hillary Clintons to lose, and then she lost it black voters and Democratic political strategistswarned that Biden must do more to appeal to and turn out African American voters in order to compete with the white working class contingent Trump so adeptly mobilized in 2016, and who could turn out en masse for him again. The African American community is motivated to come out to have Trump removed. Unlike when Hillary was running, no one truly knew how bad Trump could be, said LaMar Lemmons, a former Democratic member of the Michigan state House. The pandemic was really the last straw for many people. Of course now were talking about the protests, but Trumps nonresponse to the pandemic has really alienated the African American community." But if he [Biden] really wants to be sure hes reaching voters, and reaching black voters, he needs to come here and campaign, added Lemmons, who remains a political activist in Detroit. 'Its Joe Bidens election to lose in Michigan' Michigan has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, from both health and economic standpoints. As of Saturday night, the state had the ninth-most confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the sixth-most deaths from the virus in the U.S. More than 1.5 million Michiganders have lost their jobs since March 14, representing a whopping 31.2 percent of the workforce. About 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Michigan have been African Americans, even though only about 14 percent of Michiganders identified as African American or black in the latest Census. Trump, whose response to the pandemic has been criticized as slow and ineffective, attacked the state's Democratic leadership and encouraged demonstrations against the strict stay-at-home orders (including armed protests inside the state Capitol) put in place to help slow the spread of the virus. We have been disproportionately affected. Most everyone I know knows people who have died from COVID, Lemmons said. We know what we have to lose now, he added, nodding to an infamous Trump campaign line. Our lives. Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings. Small, who said 11 people across her social circle have died from COVID-19, said Trump's response to the coronavirus and protests should be proof to anyone that he should lose his job in November. But while Small said she is absolutely committed to voting for Biden, she explained she will do so dispassionately, unless he manages to up his game" when it comes reaching out directly to black voters with a convincing message and a more forceful response to the protests. To win Michigan, politics watchers said, Biden can't rely solely on black voters like Small who plan to turn out no matter what he must inspire African American Michiganders who might not otherwise go to the polls. Trump won the state in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes the first time the state went red in a general election since 1988. While his campaign was credited in Michigan (and elsewhere) with a strong effort of targeting white working class voters and a Republican turnout operation that motivated voters who had previously been disengaged in politics, experts have heavily attributed his win to a deeply flawed campaign strategy by Clinton that failed to turn out black voters in the metropolitan Detroit area. In 2016, in the three counties with the largest proportion of black voters Wayne, which contains Detroit; Genesee, which contains Flint; and Saginaw, which Trump flipped red for the first time since 1984 Clinton beat Trump by about 143,000 fewer voters than former President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012. If shed performed just marginally better among black voters there, strategists said, she would have won the state. You cant make the same mistakes that Hillary Clinton made in 2016. You have to go to Michigan and talk to voters: auto workers, black voters, everyone, said Terri Towner, a political science professor at Oakland University, just north of Detroit. She noted the pandemic makes that difficult. At the moment, the polls look good for Biden. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average shows Biden leading Trump 46.5 percent to 42.3 percent in Michigan, fueled by underwater approval ratings for Trump in the state. Its Joe Bidens election to lose in Michigan, said Bill Ballenger, a political radio talk show host and a former Republican state lawmaker. But he could easily lose it. He is just not that strong of a candidate. Warning signs for Biden's campaign The robust protests against the stay-at-home orders implemented by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (who has been mentioned as a possible Biden running mate) exposed both the anger and frustration held by many voters outside the metropolitan Detroit area for the economic restrictions imposed on them, as well as a persistent support level among Trumps base. While Trump tweeted in support of the protesters, strategists and people on the ground in Michigan said a lot of the turnout for those demonstrations was organic which could possibly foreshadow heavy turnout for Trump in the fall. Another bad sign for Biden is how hes faring in Macomb County, a working-class county north of Detroit that political scientists point to as the ultimate bellwether for the whole state. (George W. Bush carried it in 2004, Obama carried it twice and Trump won it in 2016.) Macomb County voters, as well as Michigan strategists and political scientists NBC News interviewed, say it seems destined to go for Trump again. Joe Biden is an empty suit, said Michael Cojanu, a 53-year-old furniture store employee who lives in Sterling Heights, in Macomb County. Liberals have grown too nasty, added Cojanu, who voted for Obama in 2008, Romney in 2012 and Trump in 2016. Another warning sign: The Trump campaign has put its foot on the gas in Michigan. Trump Victory, the joint operation between the Trump re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, said that despite the outbreak, it has made nearly 2.2 million voter contacts online in the state and has held nearly 350 virtual training sessions with more than 2,000 volunteers since March 13, when the campaign went all-digital. The campaign also has more than 50 paid staffers on the ground throughout the state. Campaign officials repeatedly pointed to a visit Trump made to a Ford production plant in the state last month criticized as nonessential amid the ongoing pandemic as evidence the president would be working hard to keep the state red. Additional future visits are likely, said Trump Victory spokesperson Rick Gorka. Democratic strategists and the Biden campaign, however, pointed out that Biden won every county in Michigan in the states March 10, pre-lockdown Democratic primary a tour de force they said demonstrates strong voter enthusiasm for him. They also pointed to how strongly Biden performed among African American voters in the earlier primary states, despite running a bare-bones campaign in many of those states, and Michigan's 2-year-old law that allows any voter to cast an absentee ballot. Those developments have led many to believe Biden will prevail in the general election, despite a campaign that will be hampered by the pandemic. He has a history of having been in charge of the auto rescue in the state. He has longstanding relationships in the state. And look what Joe Biden was able to do with African American voters in a very competitive Democratic primary, said Dan Lijana, a Michigan-based political and communications consultant. In the meantime, the Biden campaign has put a heavy emphasis on virtual events targeting Michiganders. According to the campaign, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, held a combined six virtual events with Michigan politicians or voters in May. Biden has also leaned into frequent appearances on local media in recent weeks, emphasizing a message of unity and empathy. The campaign, however, declined to say how many paid staffers it had on the ground in the state and how many voters it had reached virtually since the campaign went all-digital. That has raised some red flags among Democratic voters and activists, with many pressing Biden to set foot in Michigan, the way Trump did recently. While Lemmons and Small lauded Biden's speech on Floyd's death earlier this week and expressed confidence he would win the state, Lemmons emphasized that the stakes, especially for black voters, are way too high for his campaign to not do everything it can. "Theyve got to get creative and have some semblance of in-person meetings with folks here," he said. They just cant leave it to chance.
How Covid-19 Contact Tracing Works on Your Phone - WIRED
Developers are working on track-and-trace systems to keep infection levels low. The apps aren't here yet, but here's what they do—and how you can enable them.
Our smartphones are set to play a significant role in helping navigate our way out of the coronavirus pandemic, with countries and companies around the world preparing their own apps as part of a track-and-trace system to keep infection levels low. Google and Apple don't work together on much, but they're working together on this: a set of underlying protocols inside Android and iOS that are able to speak to each other, even while your phone is in your pocket. The first fruits of these efforts are now live on Android phones and iPhoneshere's how to find these settings on your phone, and what they actually do. Photograph: Apple What Apple and Google have developed isn't an app in itselfrather it's an application programming interface (an API), plus some other fundamental technologies, that other apps can plug into. When you load up a website with a Google Maps widget on it, that is using a Google Maps API, and the Covid-19 tracking tools work in the same way. In other words, Apple and Google have done the groundwork, making sure that health apps can talk to each other across Android and iOS and get access to the features they need. It's now up to countries (and states) to develop the apps that plug into these foundations and provide the actual front-end interface for users. (If indeed they decide tosome agencies are working on completely bespoke systems of their own.) A crucial part of this underlying framework is access to Bluetooth signals. Bluetooth is perfect for low-energy wireless transmission that can run in the background of your phone, without draining the battery excessively. (It's used for wireless headphones, car stereos, and the like.) In this case, your phone will be logging other phones it comes into contact with, assuming both your device and the others are running a Covid-19 tracking app that's been fully enabled (which is why public support is going to be so important). These logs don't include any identifying information about you; they use random numerical ID codes that change frequently and get trashed completely once they're older than 14 days (the incubation period for Covid-19). Based on what we know so far, the apps will be able to log the length of time you've been in contact with each person (or rather each individual phone), and how far away you were, judging from the strength of the Bluetooth signals. Any contact that's less risky (such as briefly passing someone on the street) will be ignored. Very few Covid-19 tracking apps are out in the wild yet, but the features that Apple and Google have worked on are now live. Besides the settings that you'll find in future tracking apps, you can enable or disable "exposure notification" logging at the operating system level as wellit's a completely opt-in system.