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One Tinley Park Hosts Blood Drive Due To Shortages From COVID-19

TINLEY PARK, IL — One Tinley Park is hosting a blood drive on Oct. 30, at Union Bar & Grill to help gather more blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. The blood drive is in partnership with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois.

According to the Red Cross, blood donations are facing a serious shortage of donations due to the pandemic. One Tinley Park said they are proud to team up with the blood center to provide a safe outlet for people to make a difference in the community.

“As blood banks face coronavirus-driven shortages, donating has never been more crucial. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a drastic reduction in blood donations,” the organization said.

One Tinley Park said its goal is to have around 23 donors sign-up for the event to meet their target of 18 pints of blood. The organization said they have about 30 appointment slots to try and get to their goal.

The organization said they have teamed up with Union Bar & Grill, 17821 80th Ave., for the blood drive, and that the restaurant has offered to give a 20% discount to all blood donors.

According to the website, Versiti is a fusion of donors, scientific curiosity, and precision medicine that recognize the gifts of blood and life are precious.

To sign up for an appointment for the blood drive, visit the appointment schedule on the Versiti Blood Center of Illinois website.

This article originally appeared on the Tinley Park Patch

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Fruit Sold at Walmart Recalled Due to Listeria Fears


Consumers who purchased products with the affected sell-by dates are urged to throw them away. Meanwhile, Walmart is removing the products from its store shelves.

“Country Fresh takes food safety matters very seriously, stringently follows all mandated regulations and implements preventive measures designed to minimize potential risks,” the supplier said in a news release. “Country Fresh is working in close coordination with FDA in its continuing investigation to resolve the matter promptly and deeply regrets the inconvenience to our consumers and customers.”

What is listeria?

Listeriosis, the infection caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes, primarily affects older adults, newborns, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. It can cause fever and diarrhea, and severe cases can cause infections of the bloodstream or brain. Infections may also affect other parts of the body including bones, joints, chest and abdomen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No illnesses connected to the current fruit recalls have been reported.

Consumers with any questions are being asked to contact Country Fresh’s customer service line at 877-251-8399, 8 a.m to 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.

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San Diego schools remove Trump letter from food boxes due to mask statements


Volunteers stand with boxes of produce at a drive-up produce giveaway | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Volunteers stand with boxes of produce at a drive-up produce giveaway | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The San Diego Unified School District is removing letters from President Donald Trump that his administration placed inside food boxes as part of a federal coronavirus relief program for families in need.

Superintendent Cindy Marten, who oversees one of the nation’s largest school districts, told POLITICO on Tuesday that she has directed her food and nutrition services department to remove all letters from food boxes that have not already been distributed “in order to protect local families from being misled on how to protect themselves from becoming infected.”

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The USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program redirects meat, dairy and produce to low-income families instead of the restaurants and other food-service businesses that normally receive them. The Trump administration has been criticized for mandating that a letter from Trump taking credit for the program be included in the food boxes weeks before Election Day.

Critics have accused Trump of politicizing poverty and using the food relief program as a campaign tool.

The letter, on White House stationary, is signed by Trump and says, “As part of our response to coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America.”

Marten specifically took issue with the virus prevention advice in Trump’s letter, which advises people to “consider” wearing masks in public rather than telling them to do so. The letter landed right as Trump and various associates were diagnosed in the past few days with the disease.

“Science is clear: wearing masks works to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” Marten said in a statement Tuesday. “Wearing masks is required in California and on every San Diego Unified school campus. It is not optional, as the president wrote in his letter.”

Marten also cites the letter’s focus on people over 80 years old, pointing out that more than 60,000 school-age children in California have been diagnosed with the virus.

About 58 percent of San Diego Unified’s more than 122,000 students in the state’s second-largest district qualify for free and reduced price meals. Statewide, nearly 60 percent of California’s 6 million-plus K-12 students qualify.

San Diego Unified Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said the letter is especially egregious because it goes to low-income people of color, who have comprised an outsized share of Covid-19 cases in California.

“The COVID-19 virus has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Not only are we facing higher rates of infection and mortality from the coronavirus, we have also been the hardest hit in terms of unemployment and hunger. To take advantage of that suffering by distributing misleading medical information is appalling,” Whitehurst-Payne said.

Some schools have received the boxes via local food banks. Several California school districts said they are not participating in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including Los Angeles Unified, Fresno Unified and San Francisco Unified. The food box program is separate from the National School Lunch Program that districts rely

Rural Hospitals Teeter on Financial Cliff as COVID Medicare Loans Come Due

David Usher is sitting on $1.7 million he’s scared to spend.

The money lent from the federal government is meant to help hospitals and other health care providers weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet some hospital administrators have called it a payday loan program that is now, brutally, due for repayment at a time when they still need help.

Coronavirus cases have “picked up recently and it’s quite worrying,” said Usher, chief financial officer at the 12-bed Edwards County Medical Center in rural western Kansas. Usher said he would like to use the money to build a negative-pressure room, a common strategy to keep contagious patients apart from those in the rest of the hospital.

But he’s not sure it’s safe to spend that cash. Officially, the total repayment of the loan is due this month. Otherwise, according to the loan’s terms, federal regulators will stop reimbursing the hospitals for Medicare patients’ treatments until the loan is repaid in full.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not yet begun trying to recoup its money, with the coronavirus still affecting communities nationwide, but hospital leaders fear it may come calling for repayment any day now.

Hospital leaders across the country said there has been no communication from CMS on whether or when they will adjust the repayment deadline. A CMS spokesperson had not responded to questions by press time.

“It’s great having the money,” Usher said. “But if I don’t know how much I get to keep, I don’t get to spend the money wisely and effectively on the facility.”

Usher took out the loan from Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments program. The program, which existed long before the pandemic, was generally used sparingly by hospitals faced with emergencies such as hurricanes or tornadoes. It was expanded for use during the coronavirus pandemic — part of billions approved in federal relief funds for health care providers this spring.

A full repayment of a hospital’s loan is technically due 120 days after it was received. If it is not paid, Medicare will stop reimbursing claims until it recoups the money it is owed — a point spelled out in the program’s rules. Medicare reimburses nearly $60 billion in payments to health care providers nationwide under Medicare’s Part A program, which makes payments to hospitals.

More than 65% of the nation’s small, rural hospitals — many of which were operating at a deficit before the pandemic — jumped at the Medicare loans when the pandemic hit because they were the first funds available, said Maggie Elehwany, former vice president of government affairs for the National Rural Health Association.

CMS halted new loan applications to the program at the end of April.

“The pandemic has simply gone on longer than anyone anticipated back in March,” said Joanna Hiatt Kim, vice president of payment policy and analysis for the American Hospital Association. The trade association sent a letter to CMS in late July asking for a delay in the recoupment.

On Monday, the

Bremerton dentist seeing more cracked teeth, jaw pain due to stress over pandemic

Dentists across the country have noticed increases in cracked teeth and jaw pain. (Unsplash)

With the added stress of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, there’s been a cascading effect on many people, specifically involving cracked teeth, jaw pain, and other dental health issues.

According to Bremerton dentist Dr. Peter Ruff, he’s been seeing more and more instances of patients with cracked teeth and complaining of jaw pain, a direct result of frequent teeth-grinding.

“This is a stressful time, and we are seeing more issues,” Dr. Ruff told KIRO Radio.

Patients found to have lingering COVID symptoms for months after illness

That’s a trend that’s been consistent not just in Washington too, with one Winnipeg dentist describing a “huge increase” in patients who grind their teeth, seeing as many as three or four people a week with jaw pain and headaches.

A dentist in San Diego has seen similar problems among his patients too — prior to the pandemic, Dr. Paul Koshgerian told CNN he was treating roughly one cracked tooth a day. Nowadays, he sees anywhere from two to five cases a day. Iowa dentist Dr. Derek Peek spotted the same trend, treating twice as many cracked teeth in August and September as he did in those months last year.

To mitigate grinding and jaw pain, Dr. Ruff recommends preventative dental care, something he says many people have put off since the pandemic began.

“If early detection of the problem is available, then early treatment relates to less pain, less discomfort, and less expense,” he advised.

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