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Alabama schools soon required to disclose COVID-19 numbers online

All school districts in Alabama will soon share information online about the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among students, staff and faculty members, according to Alabama Superintendent Eric Mackey.

The new dashboard is important for two reasons, Mackey said: “So people take it seriously, and so they don’t overreact.”

“We want to be fully transparent so that people know that there are cases in the community,” Mackey said. Knowing the level of spread, he added, helps people to continue to do the things needed to mitigate that spread.

The dashboard, in the works since late August, will be published on the Alabama Department of Public Health website and will include the number of positive COVID-19 cases in each school system, but will not be broken down by school.

Sharing the information publicly can also squelch rumors, too. “Sometimes these rumors get out that there are 100 people positive with it in the school,” Mackey said, “and there are actually three.”

Some school districts are already providing that information to parents in a dashboard format, through social media or directly to parents and community members through other channels.

Mackey said ADPH has had some technical difficulty getting the dashboard online and that the state department of education is now helping in that effort. He could not say when it will be online.

On Monday, Alabama’s chief medical officer Dr. Scott Harris told AL.com he is “pleasantly surprised” that schools have not been seen to be the source of major coronavirus outbreaks. “I give the schools that credit that they’re doing everything they can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.”

“We’re very happy with the way things have turned out in school,” Mackey said. In a sampling of school districts statewide, he said, fewer than 1% of students and faculty have tested positive for COVID-19.

“In most cases, when we do go back and do the contact tracing,” Mackey said, “we find that patient zero, they got it from outside the school.”

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Trump didn’t disclose first positive COVID-19 test in Fox News interview with Sean Hannity: report

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 20: Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity (L) interviews U.S. President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

President Donald Trump did not disclose that he had already tested positive for COVID-19 and was awaiting a second test when he was interviewed by Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, according to a new report.

Trump received a positive result from a rapid test on Thursday evening before his Fox News interview, The Wall Street Journal reported. The president mentioned that his top aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for COVID-19 — but not that he was awaiting the results of a second test to confirm the preliminary result.

“I’ll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning,” Trump told Hannity hours before confirming on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for the disease.

Trump appears to have attempted to keep Hicks and other aides’ positive results under wraps, as well. 

“Don’t tell anyone,” Trump told an adviser after their own positive test, according to the report.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien, who worked closely with Trump and Hicks on debate preparations, was not informed of Hicks’ positive test until Bloomberg News reported it on Thursday. The Trump campaign announced Stepien tested positive on Friday.

Trump traveled to a fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club despite the White House learning he had been exposed earlier in the day. More than 200 people may have been exposed at the event, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

“Holding the event in spite of knowing that one of the team was infected and had exposed others was a recipe for spreading disease,” Lisa Lee, an infectious disease expert at Virginia Tech University, told The Journal.

The lack of disclosure has alarmed White House aides as the virus continues to impact advisers, senators, reporters and attendees of Trump’s Supreme Court announcement last month.

“I’m glued to Twitter and TV, because I have no official communication from anyone in the West Wing,” one administration official told The Journal.

Trump has continued to try to keep his condition concealed from the public. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters on Saturday that the president was recovering well at Walter Reed Medical Center moments before White House chief of staff Mark Meadows privately contradicted his statement to reporters.

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Meadows said Saturday. “We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

The disclosure “outraged” the president, CNN reported.

“Who the f— said that?” Trump complained, according to The Journal.

Conley admitted on Sunday that he had falsely told reporters that the president had not received supplemental oxygen on Saturday. He went

Trump Reportedly Didn’t Disclose COVID-19 Diagnosis Until Second Test Was Taken

The Guardian

We should wish Trump well. But he’s been astoundingly irresponsible at every turn

Concern for a person’s health should not suppress debate about their conduct. And Trump’s policy choices have been disastrousA veil of solemnity descends upon the land at times like this, when elected officials or public figures get sick or die.We wish them speedy recovery, or extend sympathies, as we should. We ignore their faults and failings, as we would want our own ignored.These are the norms of politics and public life. Established norms, like behaving with dignity and self-restraint in a presidential debate, or condemning racist terrorists and murderers.For the record, we should all wish Donald and Melania Trump a full and speedy recovery. But that does not answer the fundamental question this president will leave behind when he leaves office. What norms survive a man who takes pleasure in destroying norms?First, let’s place the current norms in context. Concern for a person’s health – or respect for their death – should not suppress an honest discussion about their own conduct.You can’t ignore a smoker’s choices as you lament their lung cancer. And we can’t ignore the president’s choices in a pandemic, even as we wish for his recovery from Covid-19.From the beginning, Trump has been wrong about almost everything to do with the coronavirus. Even as he knew about the pandemic’s dangers, his policy choices were recklessly, dumbfoundingly, disastrously wrong. At every turn.The pandemic didn’t disappear like a miracle, or with the summer. It couldn’t be treated with an injection of disinfectant or bright light. It wasn’t halted by banning some air passengers (but not all) from China. Testing, tracing and mask-wearing has never been established on a national basis to stop the national spread of the disease.For months, Trump claimed that cases were only rising because testing was rising. So now he knows, as he has all along, that his own case exists regardless of testing.Which brings us to the most damaging impact of all, beyond the physical damage to the body of a 74-year-old man who makes mysterious trips to hospital.Trump’s infection with Covid-19 destroys what’s left of his credibility as someone who can lead a nation through the pandemic. If he can’t protect himself, how on earth can he protect American citizens?This is essentially the same question that destroyed what was left of George W Bush’s credibility when Hurricane Katrina submerged New Orleans. If you can’t protect an American city, how can you protect American forces in Iraq or the American people against terrorists?Looking back at what may well be the first and last presidential debate in this election, it’s hard to see Trump’s argument about mask-wearing as anything but suicidal – both personally and politically.“I put a mask on when I think I need it,” said our now-infected president. “Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to. But I wear masks when needed. When needed, I

As Trump Seeks to Project Strength, Doctors Disclose Alarming Episodes

In addition to the steroids, Mr. Trump has received an experimental antibody cocktail and is in the midst of a five-day course of remdesivir, an antiviral drug. The White House has a medical unit capable of responding to a president’s health troubles but not with the sophisticated equipment available at Walter Reed.

Mr. Trump, who historically hates hospitals and anything related to illness, has been hankering to get released, according to two people close to him, and some aides expressed fear that he would pressure Dr. Conley into releasing him by claiming to feel better than he actually does. But advisers were also troubled by the doctors’ prediction that they might release him on Monday because if they do not, it would signal that the president is not doing as well as indicated. They also worried that a premature return could lead to a second trip to the hospital if his condition worsens.

Mr. Trump was said to be working from his hospital suite, including receiving a briefing via secure video conference from Robert C. O’Brien, his national security adviser, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The president has also been watching lots of television, even more than usual, and has been exasperated by coverage of Saturday’s calamitous handling of his medical information by Dr. Conley and Mr. Meadows, as well as speculation about him transferring powers to Vice President Mike Pence.

He was also angry that no one was on television defending him, as he often is when he cannot inject his own views into news media coverage, aides said. As a result, Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, was expected to appear on several television shows, as was Corey Lewandowski, who was Mr. Trump’s first campaign manager in the 2016 race.

The president was not the only one angry over the weekend. So were many people who work for him at the White House, frustrated at how little information they had received about the health concerns in their workplace. In addition to Mr. Trump, a number of others who work or visit the building regularly have tested positive, including Melania Trump; Hope Hicks, a senior adviser to the president; Nicholas Luna, the director of Oval Office operations; Bill Stepien, the campaign manager; Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee; and Kellyanne Conway, the president’s former counselor.

Two members of the White House residence staff tested positive for the virus a few weeks ago, two people briefed on their cases said, although they were said not to come in close contact with the president or the first lady. Nonetheless, the presence of the virus in the first couple’s personal quarters once again raised questions not just about what they have been exposed to, but whom they have made vulnerable with lax mask policies around the White House.

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Governor’s Office Won’t Disclose Number of Infected Staffers | Missouri News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri Gov. Mike Parson continues to recover from the coronavirus, his office is declining to say how many members of his staff also have tested positive.

Parson’s spokeswoman, Kelli Jones, has not responded to several requests for information on staff illnesses, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday. Jones did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Associated Press.

The decision not to provide information on illnesses within the office differs from the practice of other state agencies that have routinely reported virus cases since the pandemic began. For example, the Missouri Department of Corrections has reported 613 positive tests among employees since the onset of the pandemic, and the Department of Mental Health says 384 workers have tested positive, with four deaths.

An estimated three dozen people work closely with the Republican governor. Parson and his wife, Teresa, tested positive on Sept. 23. Neither has developed serious symptoms.

Parson’s office earlier confirmed a number of staffers on his team were in quarantine and working from home after the Parsons’ positive tests.

Meanwhile, Missouri leaders were still declining to impose new restrictions or mandate masks, even as the state remained in the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s “red zone.”

Missouri’s rate of new COVID-19 cases and percentage of positive test results were among the highest in the U.S. for September, the Post-Dispatch reported. The federal task force warned that those numbers put Missouri in a vulnerable position heading into the fall and winter.

Hospitalizations in Missouri for COVID-19 rose by 29% in September to their highest levels during the pandemic, with the surge occurring largely in rural areas and mid-sized cities.

“Institute mask requirements in counties with ongoing transmission; reduce capacity for indoor dining and bars while expanding outdoor dining options,” the latest task force report, dated Sept. 27, advised.

Missouri has had no statewide restrictions since June 15.

Parson said in a livestreamed news conference this week that his staff is continuing to focus on what he calls “four pillars.” They are: increasing testing, having enough protective equipment for health workers, making sure hospitals do not reach capacity and providing transparent data.

“I want to reassure everyone that all four of these pillars are stable. We monitor this every day, and we are constantly working to improve. The fight is not over, but we are on the right track, and we will get through this,” Parson said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, told the Post-Dispatch that because of the state’s diversity, government officials are letting local leaders decide when to implement restrictions rather than enacting statewide benchmarks.

Missouri on Friday reported 1,485 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 129,397 since the pandemic began. The state also reported 16 new deaths, bringing the total to 2,144.

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