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Coronavirus updates: WHO points to Vietnam as example of how to combat pandemic

first_imgMyriam Borzee/iStockBy JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 690,000 people worldwide.Over 18.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 154,992 deaths.Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. 1:25 p.m.: Hospitalizations reach new low in New YorkIn New York, which was once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, hospitalizations, ICU patients and intubations have all reached new lows, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.The number of hospitalizations in the state has fallen to 536. The number of coronavirus patients in ICUs is at a new low of 136, while the number of intubations is at the record low of 62, the governor said.Cuomo called New York’s progress “even better than we expected.”“We started reopening May 15,” Cuomo said. “Since the reopening, the numbers continued to go down. No expert predicted that. So New Yorkers are doing better than anyone else even expected.”12:30 p.m.: White House considers unilateral action as coronavirus relief package appears deadlocked in CongressWhile millions of Americans who lost their jobs in shutdowns are waiting for an extension to federal unemployment benefits, a deal appears deadlocked in Congress.Talks are expected to continue between Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Monday afternoon on Capitol Hill.The Trump administration is also considering taking unilateral action on a coronavirus relief package if no deal is reached with Congress, a senior White House official confirmed to ABC News Monday.“Unilateral action is certainly an option if the democrats continue to find a plethora of ways to say no to reasonable options,” the official said.It’s unclear what unilateral steps the White House could take without Congress.12 p.m.: WHO points to Vietnam as example of how to combat the pandemicThe coronavirus “has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast and at the same time, it’s a killer,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said Monday. Tedros said the effects of the pandemic will be felt “for decades to come.”Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, on Monday pointed to Vietnam as an example of a country that is “applying the public health tools that can bring these outbreaks under control.”“Vietnam has a lot of experience in dealing with infectious disease outbreaks and what they’re doing is applying the tools,” Van Kerkhove said. “They’re acting fast, they’re acting comprehensively, and, again, they have the system in place that can bring these outbreaks under control.”“They’re not doing just one thing — they’re doing it all,” she continued. “They’re bringing everything together on active case finding, contact tracing, the use of public health measures, testing, communicating. And this is what we need to see from all countries.”11:18 a.m.: Florida has 4 counties with no available ICU bedsIn hard-hit Florida, 46 hospitals have no open ICU beds and 26 hospitals have just one available ICU bed, according to the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration.In four counties — Jackson, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee — no ICU beds were available as of Monday morning, the agency said.These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates. 10:30 a.m.: NYC outdoor dining to return in 2021With the success of New York City’s outdoor dining during the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that open restaurants will return next summer, starting June 1, 2021.Open restaurants may be extended to spring 2021, he said.9:30 a.m.: Cases reported on football team as school gets ready to open As North Paulding High School near Atlanta gears up to open for the school year, “new positive tests and potential symptoms” have been reported among football players, school principal Gabe Carmona said Sunday in a letter to families.Football practices have been canceled, Carmona said. School begins Monday with both in-class and virtual learning options, reported ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.5:01 a.m.: Thousands take part in Moscow half-marathon amid ban for mass events in the cityMoscow hosted a half-marathon with over 16,000 participants on Sunday.“Many marathons have been canceled abroad, and we are showing to the whole world how to continue living as normal in very tough conditions,” Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matitsyn said at the event’s opening.He said the event was to celebrate the victory over the coronavirus.On Sunday morning city authorities said 664 novel coronavirus infections were diagnosed in the city. The number of daily cases have been declining but still consistently remains over 600 per day.On Wednesday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that all mass events were banned in the city until Aug. 16, even though that announcement did not affect the half-marathon event on Sunday.4:49 a.m.: Kosovo PM tests positive for COVID-19Kosovo’s prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, said late Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19, though he does not have serious symptoms.Hoti, who has only been in office since June, wrote in a post on his official Facebook page that he does not have symptoms “except a very mild cough,” and will self-isolate for two weeks while working from home.3:15 a.m.: Arrests after illicit party boat with 170 guests cruises around New York CityThe owners and captain of The Liberty Belle, a large riverboat that can fit up to 600 guests with four bars and three outdoor decks, have been arrested after flouting the rules and hosting a party on Saturday with more than 170 guests on board.Ronny Vargas and Alex Suazo, the boat’s owners, were arrested on Saturday night and accused of violating a number of state law provisions.“Deputy Sheriffs intercept the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrest owners and captain for illegal party: violation of social distancing provisions of the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders, Alcohol Beverage Control Law: unlicensed bar & bottle club & Navigation Law,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.The sheriff’s office also said that the captain of the boat, who was not identified, was issued a summons for not displaying its identification number.This comes just a week after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed an event where The Chainsmokers were performing at a packed concert in the Hamptons, which saw audience members clustering together and outright defying social distancing guidelines.Cuomo blasted The Chainsmokers last Tuesday saying the performance was “grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers” considering how hard the state fought to control the spread of COVID-19.“The concert that happened in the town of Southampton was just a gross violation of not only the public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense,” the governor fumed during his daily press conference regarding the novel coronavirus.The Chainsmokers and those involved in the show now face potential civil or criminal repercussions, with the governor saying that violations of “public health law has civil fines and a potential for criminal liability, so we’re taking that very seriously.”1:38 a.m.: Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy as retail collapses pile upLord & Taylor has become the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on retail chains and sales around the country.The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday.“Today, we announced or search for a new owner who believes in our legacy and values,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Part of our announcement also includes filing for Chapter 11 protection to overcome the unprecedented strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our business.”Just last year Lord & Taylor sold its flagship building on New York City’s Fifth Avenue after more than a century in the 11-story building.“Thank you for your support, now more than ever,” the statement continued. “Our mission is to continue to serve you, your family and your community for generations to come.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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Notre Dame celebrates Earth Day virtually, reflecting on sustainability progress

first_imgSerena Zacharias | The Observer The Office of Sustainability hosted a Zoom seminar Wednesday presenting on the progress the University has made in the past few years to adopt sustainable practices.Mullaney and others in the Office of Sustainability highlighted sustainability initiatives and progress Notre Dame has made in the past year in multiple categories, including energy and emissions, water, building and construction and waste.In terms of energy and emissions, the University broke ground of the hydroelectric generation facility in Seitz Park on the St. Joseph River and announced a solar facility partnership with the Indiana Michigan Power.“Once commissioned these two renewable energy projects together will supply the equivalent of approximately 15% of the University’s electrical needs purely from renewable sources,” Allison Mihalich, senior program director in the office of sustainability, said.Notre Dame has also phased out coal burning entirely and commissioned a plant which uses geothermal well fields in order to power Dunne, Flaherty and McCourtney Halls. Fourteen campus buildings now have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification with Duncan Student Center, Corbett Family Hall and O’Neill Hall receiving the honor just last week.Mihalich also noted the care Notre Dame facilities have taken with major renovations and reconstruction projects on campus, specifically mentioning McKenna Hall. Since McKenna Hall closed reconstruction, 693 pieces of furniture and fixtures have been distributed to other University departments across campus.In addition, the Grotto’s asphalt was replaced over the summer with permeable pavers and sidewalks.“Permeable surfaces are really great for the environment as they reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering our natural waterways and allow it to naturally drain into the surface,” Mihalich said.The University also introduced a new food waste system, Grind2Energy, in the past year to reduce the amount of nonconsumable food waste on campus while providing clean energy to a local farm. Since the three systems were installed in the beginning of 2019, Mihalich said over 280 tons of food waste have been diverted from the landfill.The Office of Sustainability also mentioned progress in the food sourcing, education, research and community outreach. Prior to the cancellation of in-person classes at the University, many of the events slated to occur on Earth Day involved lectures and discussions allowing faculty members and researchers across campus to discuss sustainability work.As the first Earth Day was organized as a teach-in, Caitlin Jacobs, the associate program manager in the Office of Sustainability, said in an interview that the planning committee wanted to nod to the day’s history by structuring the events in a similar style.“We agree that calling it a teach-in wouldn’t be quite right because a teach-in kind of implies opposition to the administration and rather we conceived of it as a teach-for the planet,” Annie Gilbert Coleman, an associate professor of American Studies who was involved in planning for the day, said.While in-person events were cancelled, the Office of Sustainability worked to gather a number of digital resources for students, faculty and staff to honor the planet while staying safe.Coleman urged faculty members in a letter sent out last week to use the newly-created Take 10 for the Planet page, which Alex Hajek, program coordinator for the minor in sustainability, worked on building. The page offers resources at varying time commitments over a number of disciplinary standpoints to learn more about climate change and the environment. While Hajek said the page is still a work in progress, the website offers resources which can serve as a starting point to learn more about environmental issues.In place of an exhibit in the Rare Books and Special Collections department of the Hesburgh Library, an online exhibit was created to feature primary sources to learn more about the natural world and policies and campaigns throughout history relating to the environment. Jacobs also provided a list of suggestions of films about sustainability and the climate which can be accessed for free on Kanopy with a Notre Dame net ID and password.Coleman hopes these resources and the discussions regarding the state of the planet can help shed light on the importance of improving environmental issues, as COVID-19 has made it clear how people, the economy, consumerism and political ideologies are connected to the natural world.“The virus really is exposing environmental problems we’ve been brushing under the rug for a long time,” she said.Tags: Earth Day, Grind2Energy, Minor in Sustainability, Office of Sustainability, sustainability While many Earth Day events were canceled across the globe, the Office of Sustainability provided resources to allow Notre Dame community members to celebrate the environment indoors on the historic 50th anniversary of the holiday.In the past few years, the University has prioritized creating a comprehensive strategy to address sustainability concerns across campus after Pope Francis issued his encyclical Laudato Si in 2015, which called on people to take action against environmental degradation.“I think that gave us a new, and a kind of an enhanced call to action,” Carol Mullaney, the senior director in the office of sustainability, said during a Zoom discussion Wednesday.last_img read more

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