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100-Plus Active COVID Cases After ‘Superspreader’ Event

WEST LONG BRANCH – More than 100 active cases were reported at Monmouth University after a “superspreader” event, the university announced this weekend.

Since first reporting a notable increase in COVID-19 cases on campus, the university has learned – through extensive contact tracing efforts – about the likely origin, said President Patrick F. Leahy.

The increase in cases among students was tied to an off-campus event hosted two weeks ago, Leahy said.

“An overwhelming majority of the recent cases we have seen can be traced back to this isolated superspreader event,” he said. He did not provide further details.

Moving forward, Leahy said, the college needs 100 percent cooperation from the campus community “in order to resume our fall semester as planned.”

“I cannot emphasize enough the critical importance of compliance with Monmouth University COVID-19 protocols and state of New Jersey health and safety measures to effectively protect the Monmouth community,” Leahy wrote in a letter to the community. “The future of our fall semester will rest, in large part, on the ability of everyone to follow these necessary protocols.”

Leahy provided the news as he updated the college community on the number of people in isolation or quarantine on and off campus.

The university’s dashboard, he says, reflects the total number of active cases as well as the total number of recovered cases.

The distinction between active and recovered cases is an important one, he says. Active cases reflect individuals who have tested positive for the virus, and are required to isolate for a 10-day period.

Recovered cases represent individuals who have completed and been released from the mandatory 10-day isolation period, freeing up capacity on campus to manage future cases.

“While we are still seeing new cases, almost exclusively among our undergraduate students, the dashboard suggests that the positivity rate is slowing,” he said.

Since Aug. 24, Monmouth has reported 291 cumulative cases. Of these, 166 are active cases, and another 125 are recently recovered cases, he said.

In addition, there are 206 students who – through contact tracing – have been deemed at high-risk for the virus, and are required to quarantine as a precaution for a 14-day period.

“Fortunately, symptoms have been mild, but we continue to closely monitor our students in isolation and quarantine,” Leahy said

Beyond the recent changes to operations and health and safety protocols, Monmouth will be increasing testing efforts on campus, he said. The college will be increasing its testing capacity and is now able to provide free testing to students and employees.

Members of the Monmouth University community can be tested Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., with no appointment needed. All specimens are being sent to the state lab, which reports a 24-48 hour test turnaround time.

This article originally appeared on the Long Branch-Eatontown Patch

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Trump hosts first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis, says virus will ‘disappear’ with ‘science, medicine’

President Trump hosted a gathering with reportedly somewhere between 300 and 400 people in attendance on Saturday on the South Lawn of the White House, marking his first public event since he was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 last week. It’s been just two weeks since a crowd gathered in the Rose Garden for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, which experts believe may have been the catalyst for a coronavirus outbreak that affected both the Trump administration and Republican senators.

Trump was scheduled to speak Saturday for about 30 minutes, but wound up only utilizing 18, an unusual instance of efficiency for the president, who is known for going on tangents that go far beyond the scope of his planned marks. His voice reportedly sounded “a touch hoarse,” but he showed no outward signs of illness and said he was “feeling great,” The Associated Press reports.

During his speech, Trump said the coronavirus “is going to disappear” largely thanks “science, medicine,” and “the American spirit.” That’s a familiar line for the president, although this time the optimism appeared based in his belief that newly-developed therapies, rather than wishful thinking, would lead the charge.

The event was not billed as a campaign rally, but the president’s rhetoric suggested otherwise. Read more at Axios.

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Fauci calls Amy Coney Barrett ceremony in Rose Garden ‘superspreader event’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on Friday called President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony last month announcing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court a “superspreader event.”

Fauci, who was interviewed by CBS News Radio’s White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, defended the efficacy of wearing masks to slow the spread of Covid-19 and used the ceremony as an example.

“Well, I think the data speaks for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” he said. “So the data speak for themselves.”

This is not the first time Fauci has been at odds with Trump, who has had a cavalier attitude toward Covid-19 since being released from the hospital Monday after being infected with the virus, and has boasted about his apparent recovery and given mixed messaging around wearing masks.

Fauci survived a previous White House attempt to discredit him after he contradicted the president’s more optimistic assessment of the progress of the pandemic and corrected the president’s claim that the virus is the same as the flu.

Trump announced Barrett, a federal appeals judge, as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony Sept. 26, attended by more than 150 people, many of whom did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

In addition to the president and the first lady, several other people who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Following that event, the number of people in Trump’s orbit who have tested positive for the coronavirus is growing, including more than a dozen aides at the White House and on the Trump campaign.

Fauci also contradicted the president, but did not mention his name, when asked about references to cures for Covid-19, saying it “leads to a lot of confusion,” noting there are promising treatments but no known cure. Trump has called the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals drug he received a miracle “cure” for the virus.

Fauci also said he is worried Americans might not take the virus seriously as the president touts his apparent recovery.

“I think a misperception on the part of some is that this isn’t a particularly serious situation and because so many people do well, that you don’t really have to take it seriously,” he said. “And that’s a misperception we have to overcome because you don’t want to trivialize the disease because it has the capability of seriously making an individual seriously ill and also killing individuals, usually the elderly, and usually those who have underlying medical conditions.”

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Trump to Hold White House Rally as Fauci Says Superspreader Event Occurred There | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

SATURDAY, Oct. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Even as the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Friday that the White House experienced a “superspreader” event in the Rose Garden last month, President Donald Trump announced he will hold his first public event at the White House since testing positive for the coronavirus a week ago.

The Saturday event, which will have Trump speaking from a balcony to a crowd of supporters on the South Lawn, has already caused concern among some officials in the White House, which has been rocked by an outbreak following Trump’s diagnosis, the Washington Post reported.

Trump’s medical team has not yet released the results of Trump’s latest COVID-19 test, so it was unclear whether Trump is still contagious, the Post reported. But Trump has ignored his advisers’ calls for caution, the newspaper reported, instead playing down the virus and using his own battle with it to argue that the nation has already overcome the pandemic.

“I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet, but I’ve been retested,” he said. “And I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free.” He added that he has been tested for the virus “every couple of days or so.”

The lack of a negative test did not stop Trump from claiming to be cured and working from the Oval Office on Friday afternoon. Trump has been eager to escape the confines of the White House and return to his crowded rallies with the election just over three weeks away, the Post reported.

Despite Trump’s defiant stance, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS News Friday night that, “I think the data speaks for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves.”

Upper Midwest hit hard by coronavirus

Meanwhile, the new coronavirus is striking the Upper Midwest with a vengeance, as Wisconsin and the Dakotas became COVID-19 hotspots and health officials scrambled for hospital beds on Thursday.

After months where residents of those states downplayed the virus and rejected mask requirements, all three now lead all other states in new cases per capita, the Associated Press reported.

“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” said Melissa Resch, a nurse at Wisconsin’s Aspirus Wausau Hospital, which is working to add beds and reassign staff to keep up with a rising caseload of seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

“Just yesterday I had a patient say, ‘It’s OK, you guys took good care of me, but it’s OK to let me go,'” Resch told the AP. “I’ve cried with the respiratory unit, I’ve cried with managers. I cry at home. I’ve seen nurses crying openly in the hallway.”

What is unfolding in the Upper Midwest mirrors what has happened in other parts of the country since the pandemic began. In the spring, New York City hastily built field hospitals as

Fauci calls White House outbreak a coronavirus superspreader event

More than 150 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Most of them were maskless. Many hugged or shook hands as they mingled in close proximity.

Some attendees even celebrated inside the White House, without masks.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nomination ceremony was a coronavirus superspreader event. The term refers to a circumstance in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others, often during a large gathering.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci told CBS News in a radio interview on Friday.

Within five days of the event, both the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were diagnosed with COVID-19. The outbreak has hit at least 34 people in the president’s orbit, including White House staffers, bodyguards, and family members, as well as pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

The identity of the person or people who were first infected, however, is unknown.

Defining a superspreader

rose garden barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 after President Donald Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


The term superspreader refers to an infected person who transmits the virus to more people than the average patient does. For the coronavirus, that average number, known as R0 (pronounced “R-naught”), has seemed to hover between 2 and 2.5. So anyone who passes the virus to three people or more could be considered a superspreader.

A superspreader event, then, is a set of circumstances that facilitates excessive transmission. In one well-known example, a person transmitted the virus to 52 others during a choir practice in March in Mount Vernon, Washington.

A superspreader event in Arkansas that month involved a pastor and his wife who attended church events a few days before they developed symptoms. Of the 92 people there, 35 got sick. Seven had to be hospitalized, and three died.

In that sense, it’s not so much that individual people are innate superspreaders — it’s the type of activity that enables a person to pass the virus to lots of people.

Those activities generally involve large gatherings — often indoors — in which lots of people from different households come into close, extended contact, such as religious services or parties.

“You can’t have a superspreading event unless there are a lot of people around, so you have to be very careful still about gatherings of people of any size,” William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University, previously told Business Insider.

rose garden barrett

Attorney General William Barr, right, says goodbye to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Rose Garden event on September 26.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


Rachel Graham, an assistant epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said most Rose Garden ceremony attendees weren’t doing anything to mitigate virus transmission.

“They’re doing pretty

Dr. Fauci Is Convinced the White House Hosted a ‘Superspreader Event’

Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed what many Americans have already concluded: Donald Trump’s recent Rose Garden ceremony was a “superspreader” event.

Fauci, a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made the assertion during an interview with CBS News’ Steven Portnoy on Friday, about a week after the president confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19. The event in question was held for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump nominated to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Photos and videos taken during the ceremony showed high-profile figures and administration members without proper face coverings and in clear defiance of social distancing guidelines.

Since the event, at least 34 people within the president’s orbit have tested positive for the disease.

“I think the — the data speaks for themselves,” Fauci said. “It was in a situation where people were crowded together, not wearing masks. We had a superspreader event at the White House. So the data speak for themselves.”

CBS News Radio · CBS News Radio Interview: Dr. Anthony Fauci

Fauci, who is also the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, then addressed Trump’s use of the word “cure” while touting the benefits of an antibody cocktail by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

“We don’t have any indication — I think you really have to depend on what you mean by a ‘cure,’ because that’s a word that leads to a lot of confusion,” Fauci said. “We have good treatments for people with advanced disease who are in the hospital.”

Just two days after Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center, he released a video insisting he was feeling “like perfect.” The president recently said he might hold a couple of in-person events this weekend; However, Fauci told CBS News that those are unlikely to happen if Trump doesn’t undergo further testing.

“I can tell you, they are going to be testing him to determine the trajectory and whether he gets to the point where he’s not infected,” Fauci said. “I don’t know all the other stuff you were just saying. But I can guarantee you that they will be testing him before they let him go out.”

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Fauci: ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House’

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Pence, Harris spar over COVID-19 during policy-focused debate Eric Trump claims his father ‘literally saved Christianity’ Overnight Health Care: Trump works from Oval Office after COVID-19 diagnosis | GOP frustrated by Trump’s messages on aid | Eli Lilly asks for emergency authorization of antibody treatment MORE, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that there was a “superspreader event” at the White House late last month, a stark assessment of the string of positive coronavirus cases among the president and top aides.

“Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci told CBS News Radio.

His remarks came in response to a question about the lack of mask-wearing at the White House, and whether testing alone could stop the virus from spreading.

At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.

The string of cases has included President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDeadline accidentally publishes story about Pence being diagnosed with COVID-19 Karen Pence’s office defends her appearing without a mask at debate Surgeon general cited for taking pictures in Hawaii park closed to prevent virus spread MORE, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and top advisers like Stephen MillerStephen MillerTrump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis Deadline accidentally publishes story about Pence being diagnosed with COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Pentagon retracing steps of top officials after positive coronavirus case | Trump suggests Gold Star families could have infected him | VP debate brings up military topics MORE and Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis Deadline accidentally publishes story about Pence being diagnosed with COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Pentagon retracing steps of top officials after positive coronavirus case | Trump suggests Gold Star families could have infected him | VP debate brings up military topics MORE.

Many of the individuals who have tested positive attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House where Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event featured a crowd of people sitting close together in the White House Rose Garden, with many not wearing masks, as well as indoor activities.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that after an initial delay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now playing a limited role in helping with contact tracing for the White House outbreak.

The D.C. health department, as well jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, on Thursday issued

DC faults White House over Rose Garden event, urges testing

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary step, the Washington, D.C., Department of Health has released an open letter appealing to all White House staff and anyone who attended a Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden to seek medical advice and take a COVID-19 test.

The letter indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected President Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members and two U.S. senators, among others.

Co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a belief that contact tracing on the outbreak has been insufficient.


It says the public appeal is based on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals.”

It asks all White House employees, anyone who attended the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter represents a rising level of concern and a clear shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously remained publicly hands-off and said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up.

Bowser said earlier this week that repeated attempts to contact the White House over the outbreak had received a “very cursory” response but that she believed the necessary steps were being taken.

“There are established public health protocols at the White House that are federal in nature,” Bowser said on Monday. “We assume that those protocols have been engaged.”

A Health Department spokeswoman did not respond to questions on whether the letter had been directly sent to any White House employees or people who attended the Sept. 26 event, or if the D.C. government had been provided with a list of attendees.

The move highlights the public health dilemma faced by Bowser’s government regarding the current outbreak. The Trump White House has operated for months in open violation of several D.C. virus regulations, hosting multiple gatherings that exceeded the local 50-person limit and in which many participants didn’t wear masks.

It shines a further spotlight on the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to introduce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Multiple attendees, including Trump and Notre Dame University President Rev. John Jenkins, who flew in from Indiana for the ceremony, have now tested positive.

Washington’s local virus regulations don’t apply on federal property, but the current outbreak has blurred those distinctions. Trump inner-circle members like former counselor Kellyanne Conway, who has also tested positive, are D.C. residents, as are many of the staffers, employees, Secret Service members and journalists who have had close contact with infected officials.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Monday that the White House “has established a robust contact tracing program led by the White

White House not contact tracing Rose Garden event considered possible ‘superspreader’: report

The White House is not contact tracing guests and staff who attended a Rose Garden event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite many viewing it as a possible spreader of the coronavirus, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The celebration, which took place 10 days ago, is viewed by some as the potential epicenter or “superspreader” of the White House’s coronavirus outbreak because it has been followed by at least 11 attendees testing positive for COVID-19, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGOP lawmaker calls on Pelosi to apologize for response to Trump contracting coronavirus White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events Photo of Mark Meadows rubbing his head during update on Trump’s health goes viral MORE, adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayBarr reverses, will quarantine for several days after potential coronavirus exposure White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events Pence tests negative for COVID-19 for third time since Trump’s diagnosis MORE, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, at least three Republican senators and other White House staff.

An unnamed White House official told the Times on Monday that officials were not contact tracing those connected to the event.

Contact tracing includes public health workers trying to stop COVID-19 transmission by reaching out to people who have tested positive for the disease and asking them to both self-isolate and provide a list of people they had contact with 48 hours before becoming sick, who will, in turn, also get a call. In this way, health officials are able to stop the potential spread of the virus before it can be passed on to someone else.

The White House is still technically following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that require contact tracing for the 48 hours leading up to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the official told the Times. 

Public health experts have criticized the decision not to contact trace the Rose Garden event, however.

“This is a total abdication of responsibility by the Trump administration,” Boston University public health expert Joshua Barocas told the Times. 

Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday, shortly after it was revealed his close aide Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksWhite House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms Trump sought to keep COVID-19 diagnosis secret Thursday as he awaited second test result: WSJ What we know and don’t know about the president’s health MORE had tested positive. In the following days, several others announced positive diagnoses. 

On Monday, Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after three days of treatment.

Pairing service dogs with disabled veterans is goal of fitness challenge event this month | Local News

Hi! My name is Zero Suit Samus (or Samus for short), and I’m an energetic pitbull mix who needs some love. And I really mean that. I need a family who will cuddle with me because your penalty for not giving me cuddles is to hear the cry of my people. My foster dad says that based on my crying, I must have descended from pterodactyls, but that’s silly because pterodactyls don’t even like peanut butter. And I looove peanut butter. And treats. And strawberries. And watermelon. And anything, really. Honestly kid, if you give me your salad, I’ll eat it. Don’t want your broccoli? I’ll take care of your problem. See that toy? It’s in my stomach now. See that puke? Well, you can have your toy back.

Like all superdogs, I have an origin story: I ran across the highway and caused a 4-car pileup that I ended up underneath. It wasn’t my best choice, but it’s still a better love story than “Twilight.” I have to take daily medication now, or else I have pretty severe seizures. But I like to think of my epilepsy as my unbridled superpower that the world just isn’t ready for yet.

I’m a Tulsa native, but I’m still not a fan of the Bermuda grass around here – I get allergies in the summer, so that’s something you should know. Despite this, I still love running and rolling in the grass, and if you toss me a ball, I can jump and catch it in mid-air even when it’s 6-feet high. I’m not exaggerating. (Pterodactyl dogs never exaggerate.) And would you mind spraying me with a hose once in a while? I love playing in water, especially when it’s coming out of a tiny hose at jet-like speeds.

But if you have another dog in the home, then forget about it because I’m a single-dog dog. A lone wolf. A rebel. I will not share my toys, I will not share my food, and I will not share my family. I do just fine around other dogs in general, but once you introduce toys or food, then I get very territorial. Can we agree that I’ll be your only one?

By the way, I love kids. I don’t have these problems with other humans, so don’t worry about bringing me home to your young ones. I am loyal to the bone. Don’t believe me? Try going for a jog with me. I will keep pace with you the entire time, just running by your hip. Need me to lick the sweat off your face after an especially hot run? Baby, that’s what I’m about. I’m a good dog. My foster family says so, too. I will take care of you if you let me. I’m eager to learn, I don’t catch coronaviruses, and I’m housebroken. I won’t poop in your Cheerios. Unless that’s one of your commands, but why would it be? Don’t want your Cheerios? Just let me have them