coronavirus

WRVO News (file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — New York officials are challenging a federal judge’s ruling in favor of two couples who wanted to have more than 50 people at their weddings despite the state’s pandemic-related restrictions.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby issued a preliminary injunction Friday that allowed a western New York golf club to accommodate more than 50 people for the weddings, though the venue has to operate under the same 50% capacity rule as restaurants serving dinner indoors.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since the pandemic hit the economy in March. Claims under a special pandemic program for gig workers and others who are typically not eligible for unemployment also fell.

The drop may signal an improvement in the job market. Jobless benefits have also become less valuable, since a $600 per week federal supplement expired at the end of July.

Jasmine Obra believed that if it wasn't for her brother Joshua, she wouldn't exist. When 7-year-old Josh realized that his parents weren't going to live forever, he asked for a sibling so he would never be alone.

By spring 2020, at ages 29 and 21, Josh and Jasmine shared a condo in Anaheim, Calif., not far from Disneyland, which they both loved.

Both worked at a 147-bed locked nursing facility that specialized in caring for elderly people with cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's and where Jasmine, a nursing student, was mentored by Josh, a registered nurse.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Family members of nursing home residents, testifying at a legislative hearing this week, told harrowing tales of neglect and unresponsive staff and administrators while the COVID-19 pandemic raged in New York this spring. 

Virginia Wilson-Butler said her aunt Eva Johnson’s care in a Brooklyn nursing home was substandard even before the pandemic, with staff not available to feed her or change a soiled bed.  

One of golf's most iconic tourneys, the Masters Tournament, will be played without spectators when the sport's best players tee up in Augusta, Ga., in the fall. The competition was already postponed from its usual slot in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament, now scheduled for Nov. 12-15, will be "conducted without patrons or guests," officials said.

The sheriff in a central Florida COVID-19 hot spot has issued a directive prohibiting deputies, staff and visitors to department offices from wearing protective face masks, an order that came as a local mayor and city council squared off over a mask ordinance for businesses.

After more than 100 days without any community spread of COVID-19, New Zealand moved to an elevated alert level Wednesday with news of four new cases and another four probable ones.

Upstate Medical University is seeking individuals to participate in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and performance of a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

As stressful as it always is for students applying to college, this year it's all that — and then some — for the admissions officials trying to decide whether to admit them. Because of the pandemic, many students will be applying without standardized test scores and several other metrics admissions officers at selective schools have long relied on, leaving colleges scrambling to figure out what else they might consider instead.

Barely a week after Georgia reopened its public schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a school district north of Atlanta has ordered 925 students, teachers and staff to self-quarantine after dozens tested positive for the coronavirus. The district also announced the temporary closing of one of its hardest-hit high schools.

Updated 6:32 p.m. ET

Two major college conferences — the Big Ten and Pac-12 — each announced Tuesday they were sidelining college football and other fall sports because of the coronavirus, just weeks before schools were scheduled to play their first games.

The Big Ten, which includes universities with powerhouse sports programs, such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State, said it will look at holding some competitions in the spring.

After a 90% drop in visitors during its lockdown, the Las Vegas area has spent the summer trying to regain its economic footing while battling a resurgence of the coronavirus that is straining the health care system.

It's a familiar moment. The kids want their cereal and the coffee's brewing, but you're out of milk. No problem, you think — the corner store is just a couple of minutes away. But if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the coronavirus, you're supposed to stay put. Even that quick errand could make you the reason someone else gets infected.

More than three months after its last case of community spread, New Zealand has four new cases of the coronavirus from an unknown source. The island nation, seen as a global exemplar in the battle to contain the coronavirus, moved quickly to identify the source of transmission and halt further spread.

All four cases are members of the same family, who live in South Auckland, the government said Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Russia has become the first country to approve a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection, saying one of his daughters has already received a dose of the new prophylaxis even though it is still under development.

The announcement of the new vaccine, dubbed Sputnik-V, has been met with initial skepticism, as it has yet to complete Phase III trials in which large numbers of people are given doses to determine whether it is safe and effective in a general population.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility.

The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed.

Brian Turner / Flickr

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of two couples who sued for the right to have more than 50 people at their weddings in western New York, despite the state’s pandemic-related restrictions.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby issued the preliminary injunction Friday in a case involving couples who had booked weddings at Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron. The ruling allows the venue to operate under the same 50% capacity rule as restaurants serving dinner indoors.

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 during the last two weeks of July, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. The increase represents a 40% surge in the nation's cumulative total of child cases.

Stuck at home for months on end, plans canceled and upside down, the Reyes family felt like so many others during this pandemic-blighted summer: "We were just going crazy," says Ricardo Reyes. "We had to get out."

They rented an RV, packed daughter and dog, and drove from North Carolina to a getaway they assumed would be quiet. Three days into a trip at Yellowstone National Park, they could see their need to escape was in no way unique.

More than 20 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday evening, nearly five months to the day after the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic.

This is according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which puts the total number of deaths globally at nearly 734,000.

Delegates at the scaled-back Republican National Convention later this month in Charlotte, N.C., must wear masks, and the GOP plans to track everyone's movements with badges equipped with Bluetooth technology.

The special badges will allow officials to find out whom they came in contact with if someone later gets sick from the coronavirus, said Jeffrey Runge, the convention's health consultant.

That will make contact tracing easier, he said.

In Indiana, school has started up for many students — or will in the next week. It's one of a majority of states where local districts will make most of the decisions about what school will look like this year.

In June, Marcel Lopez and his cousins set up a Zoom video call to say goodbye to their grandfather. Retired physician, José Gabriel López-Plascencia — Dr. López for short — was near death at his home in Phoenix. He was unable to speak, but he let his grandchildren know he was listening.

Upstate New York Poison Center

Since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, calls about hand sanitizer have been increasing at the Upstate New York Poison Center. Those calls have ratcheted up even more in recent weeks because of some dangerous hand sanitizer on the market. 

stgermh / Flickr

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined in a telephone news conference Monday by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to try to put pressure on Congress to finally resolve a stalemate over a federal aid package for cash-strapped states affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats who lead the House and Republicans who control the Senate have so far not been able to agree on details of a fourth bailout plan. Democrats want $1 trillion for states and local governments whose budgets have been decimated by the pandemic, but the GOP has been resisting that.

Contact tracing has been one of the key tools in the fight against the coronavirus. Now, as the virus has infected more than 5 million Americans, the U.S. has at least 41,122 contact tracers — but that's not even half what public health experts said would be needed to help contain the spread.

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET Tuesday

New Zealand went 101 days without any community transmission of the coronavirus, and life in the country largely returned to normal – an experience far different from the havoc that the virus is causing elsewhere in the world.

As drug firms race to position themselves as key players in the coronavirus fight, the industry faces a renewed wave of civil lawsuits stemming from its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

Thousands of cases that ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic are moving forward again as local, state and federal courts reopen around the United States.

A coronavirus outbreak has been discovered at the Georgia high school that drew national attention last week after photos and videos of crowded hallways and unmasked students went viral on social media.

Nine people at North Paulding High School tested positive for the coronavirus after the first week of in-person instruction, according to officials in Paulding County, an outer suburb of Atlanta.

New York State Legislature

Monday’s public hearing on the COVID-19 crisis in upstate New York nursing homes will likely feature talk about reforming visitation policies and a lack of personal protective equipment, but don’t expect to hear from who some consider the state’s most important nursing home witness, state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

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