Labor Day is typically summer’s final hurrah. It could be the difference between life and death this year, warned governors from across the U.S. as the nation’s coronavirus death toll approached 190,000, about 62,000 more than any other country.
“We’re facing the challenge of our lifetimes and we must do better,” Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday while announcing that The Bluegrass State had set a record for the second straight week for most positive cases with 4,742, up from 4,503 the previous week.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, expressed similar worry as The Peach State surpassed 6,000 deaths: “This #LaborDayWeekend, I am urging all Georgians to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash their hands … By staying vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, we can continue to protect people & paychecks in GA!,” he said on Twitter.
Mapping coronavirus:Tracking the U.S. outbreak, state by state
Some significant developments:
- A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Saturday shows three states had a record number of deaths in the last week: Kentucky, Missouri and North Dakota.
- Ahead of the Jewish New Year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered overnight curfews in many cities beginning Monday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
- At least 7,000 health care workers worldwide have died from the coronavirus, according to Amnesty International. That total includes more than 1,000 deaths in the U.S.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has almost 6.3 million confirmed cases and nearly 189,000 deaths. Globally, there are more than 27 million cases and almost 900,000 fatalities.
📰 What we’re reading: Do you need a COVID-19 test if you plan to travel? It’s confusing. That’s in part because states have different views on COVID-19 risks, the role of testing and the need for quarantine.
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Florida reported 1,838 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the lowest single-day number of new infections since June 15.
That’s according to the latest state data released by the Florida Health Department. The report also reflected 22 new deaths, pushing down the average number of deaths over the past week to 99 a day — the lowest since July 16.
But health officials across the state are waiting to see if the Labor Day weekend might produce an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases, as most of the state’s beaches remain open through the Labor Day holiday.
To date, the state has recorded more than 648,200 cases of COVID-19. In all, the state has tallied 12,023 deaths linked to the virus since the outbreak began.
A double lung transplant COVID-19 patient is feeling fine and will be going home Tuesday from a Polish hospital, physicians said. Grzegorz Lipinski, 45, needed the transplant after the virus almost totally destroyed his lungs, Marian Zembala said. Lipinski is head of the medical instruments sterilization room at a hospital in Tychy, southern Poland, that only treats COVID-19 patients. He was initially treated there but had the double transplant in July at the Silesia Center of Heart Diseases in Zabrze, where Zembala serves as director.
Research suggests Black patients have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors and nurses. Yet, only 5% of doctors nationwide are Black, and only 2% are Black women, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Kay McField, a 51-year-old single mother in Jackson, Mississippi, is a patient at the Central Mississippi Health Services clinic on the campus of historically Black Tougaloo College.
“It’s meaningful to be taken care of by someone who looks like you, who understands you,” said Kay McField, a patient in Jackson, Mississippi. “Other doctors go into the exam room, and they don’t ask your name. And me, when I go there and be treated that way, I’m not going back no more.”
As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, there have been many questions about what – or even where – the workplace will be in the future.
Video-based conference calls on platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are with us to stay. It’s an approach that literally overnight went from something unusual to completely mainstream, and the remote workplace has created habits that we’re not going to be able to walk away from. Further down the road, we may well fall back into some of our old work habits and environments.
For the next year or so, however, and especially as we enter into a more uncertain cold weather, indoor-focused fall and winter season, it seems likely that work is going to be pretty similar to what we’ve been experiencing. Home is where the work is.