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Trump’s COVID case could be entering a crucial stage

Early in the morning on October 2, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Only 33 days away from a highly contentious election, the diagnosis plunged the nation into uncertainty. Doctors, scientists and pundits quickly began speculating on what will happen to the president, and the White House has been both tight-lipped and prone to giving conflicting information about the VIP patient.

But in general, the course of this disease is no longer a complete black box to medicine. Trump will be at a fork in the road during the latter half of this week, say infections disease and critical care physicians who spoke with Scientific American. He could be heading for a bad stretch in a prolonged illness or he could be on an upward swing to recovery. Doctors sadly have the experience of treating more than 36 million COVID-19 patients worldwide and more than 7.5 million in the U.S. Using this clinical history, many now divide the disease into several stages, each with distinct symptoms and treatments. Based on when he first reported symptoms, Trump appears to be at the end of one phase and the verge of the next. Here is the sequence that physicians usually see and how it applies to the president.

Exposure and incubation

A COVID-19 infection begins when the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters cells in the body and begins to replicate. This period of time, after infection but before symptoms start, is called the incubation period—and it occurs between two and 14 days after contracting the virus. While people may not know they are sick, they often become contagious two or three days before symptoms begin.

Viral replication

Symptoms start by the fifth day after infection for most people, and they include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, aches, pains, gastrointestinal issues, and loss of smell or taste. Taison Bell, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the University of Virginia, says that when symptoms arise, this change signals a person is at “peak infectivity,” which means they are shedding lots of virus particles into the air, putting nearby people at risk.

This timing has big implications for the president and those around him, Bell says: “The most famous person in the world right now has COVID-19, and one could assume, based on the time line, that he could have been infectious during the presidential debate.” The televised argument with challenger Joe Biden took place last Tuesday, and Trump began showing symptoms on the following Thursday. “He is still infectious now and was when he took his joyride,” says Bell, referring to short trip Trump took in a car with Secret Service agents on Sunday. The vehicle traveled around and just outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated.

At this early stage of the disease, most people do not receive aggressive treatment, but Trump was given two experimental drugs: the antiviral medication remdesivir and an infusion of monoclonal antibodies. He also received an established

The Latest: Connection Entering 3rd Reopening Phase Thursday | World News

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s third reopening phase is set to begin Thursday, a milestone during the coronavirus pandemic that is getting a lukewarm reception from some business owners and arts aficionados.

A number of restaurant owners say they won’t be able to reach the new 75% capacity limit for indoor dining because they don’t have the space, primarily due to the requirement that tables be at least 6 feet apart. The indoor capacity maximum is being increased from 50%.

Indoor performing arts venues will be allowed to open beginning Thursday at 50% capacity, while outdoor event venues will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25% to 50%, with required masks and social distancing at all locations. But many theaters and concert venues have decided not to open this week, as shows already have been canceled and many say they can’t make money with half-full facilities.

The Phase 3 reopening comes as Connecticut has seen a slight uptick in coronavirus cases. Nearly 140 people were hospitalized as of Wednesday, up from 50 from a month ago and the highest number since late June.

The positive test rate for the virus was less than 1% over most of the summer, but has edged up to around 1.5% recently.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump’s doctor says he’s been symptom-free for 24 hours

— What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

— Gov. Cuomo issues restrictions in parts of New York

— Eli Lilly and Company has asked the U.S. government to allow emergency use of an experimental antibody therapy.

— Ethics experts say the special treatment Trump received to access an experimental COVID-19 drug raises fairness issues and public’s right to know about his condition.

— Tennessee will not be returning to the team’s facility after two more players tested positive and New England Patriots have canceled practice through Thursday amid reports that a third player has tested positive for the coronavirus.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 8,800 part-time union workers at Walt Disney World in Florida will be part of the 28,000 layoffs in Disney’s parks division in California and Florida, union officials said Wednesday.

The addition of the union workers to the almost 6,500 nonunion layoff already announced brings the Disney-related job losses in Florida to more than 15,000 workers.

Disney officials announced last week that it was laying off 28,000 workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involved part-time workers and they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers.

Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic began spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.

In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to