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Dozens infected, nine dead in COVID-19 outbreak at a Santa Cruz County nursing home

Coronavirus has infected dozens of residents, with nine dead, at a nursing home in Watsonville, Calif., in Santa Cruz County.
Coronavirus has infected dozens of residents, with nine dead, at a nursing home in Watsonville, Calif., in Santa Cruz County.

A skilled nursing home in Santa Cruz County is suffering a severe outbreak of COVID-19, with 61 people having tested positive and nine dead, a county health spokeswoman said Thursday.

Of the 61 infected at the Watsonville Post-Acute Center, nine were staff. All those who died were residents and ranged in age from their early 70s to 90s, said Corinne Hyland, a public information officer for the county Department of Public Health. The facility is licensed for 95 beds.

Hyland said the facility had been following state guidelines for employee testing, which exposed the outbreak. The center reported the outbreak to the county on Sept. 17 after a resident tested positive. An outbreak at a nursing home is defined as an infection in one resident. Visitors have been barred during the pandemic, she said.

“It spread pretty quickly,” Hyland said. “Unfortunately, this is a very vulnerable population.”

Dr. David Ghilarducci, deputy health officer for Santa Cruz County, said the county’s public health staff was working closely with the facility to control the outbreak.

Santa Cruz County health officials have been visiting the facility daily to review protocols on isolation, quarantine, testing and screening, and to respond to requests for more resources.

Officials from the California Department of Public Health have made multiple visits to the facility to assess the situation and make recommendations, and the California National Guard also is providing help, the county said.

Because many nursing home employees work in more than one facility, the county immediately alerted other homes of the outbreak, Hyland said. She added that the county was tracing the contacts of the infected.

“This is really a large outbreak,” Hyland said. “We haven’t seen this sort of thing in our county until now.”

The Watsonville center’s website has reported previous infections in the past but in small numbers. The website indicates that past infections have been among employees.

Gerald E. Hunter, the facility’s administrator, said on the website there were 23 residents and four staff members who were positive for the virus on Oct. 5. He said the county’s numbers reflected the total infected since the outbreak started.

“Each day we evaluate all of our residents following CDPH and County of Santa Cruz guidelines to determine whom meets the criteria to be transferred out of the unit,” said Hunter on the website. He did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Bradley Walsh in tears on ‘This Morning’ over care home visit rules

Watch: Bradley Walsh tears up over mother not being able to visit her son at care home

Bradley Walsh was overcome with emotion on Thursday’s This Morning as he discussed “upsetting” care home visitation rules.

The case in particular that reduced The Chase presenter to tears was that of Ruth who revealed in a video on the daytime show that she had not been able to visit her son Sam, who is in the later stages of Huntington’s disease, for six months.

Along with MP Liz Kendall, Walsh is backing calls for the government to change their stance on care home visit rules as many still remain closed to visitors. Ruth had reached out to Walsh on Instagram to share her story, prompting him to get on board with campaigning.

Read more: Tamara Ecclestone shares first look a new baby

He shared: “In Ruth’s case specifically, six or seven months of having daily contact [with Sam] and all of a sudden none, zero… and he’s in the later stages of Huntington’s disease and it’s so sad.”

Walsh apologised for becoming choked up as he said: “It’s hard enough to see your…sorry, parents go, but if your child is going to go before you, you know, something needs to be done.

“I apologise, it’s so upsetting and I had no idea this was going on. It needs to be government lead, there needs to be a blanket decision made.

“The expense would be enormous but if you’re going to live out your last days on your own, locked in isolation, without your loved ones… soon enough you’re going to go, but the people you leave behind are, as Liz said, going to be scarred for life. That is just tragic, tragic… it really is.”

Bradley Walsh became emotional on 'This Morning'. (ITV)
Bradley Walsh became emotional on ‘This Morning’. (ITV)

Care homes in England were permitted to reopen for family visits in July, however, they can only take place if deemed safe by local authorities and public health teams.

Read more: Ant and Dec share video of them getting tested for COVID

Kendall called for more testing in spaces such as local hospitals and universities, stating it’s “what the government should be focusing on”.

Presenter Phillip Schofield explained a government representative had declined to appear on the show but a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care read: “We know limiting visits to care homes has been very difficult for many families and residence, our first priority remains the prevention of infection in care homes to protect staff and residence, which is why more than 120,000 tests are being sent out every day solely for the care sector.”

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The Scene at Walter Reed as Trump Supporters Waited for Him to Go Home

Samuel Corum/Getty Images Supporters of President Donald Trump gather Sunday outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the president was admitted for treatment of COVID-19.

His doctors might still have cause for concern and his critics might still be outraged and his poll numbers might still be dropping — but to the dozens of Donald Trump faithful who flocked to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, everything seemed like it was going to be fine.

Better than fine, actually. Great again.

Tracey Armah, a Black cashier from Bethesda, Maryland, sported American flags under both arms and did not wear a mask. “I’m here to support Donald Trump as president because I think he’s the best president ever,” she told PEOPLE.

“I can support who I want to support. It has nothing to do with race,” she said. “Just because you’re Black doesn’t mean you can’t like him.”

It was a familiar refrain among the Trump fans who made the trek the medical facility, which sits just a minutes-long helicopter ride north of the White House. The president, 74, was hospitalized at Walter Reed on Friday night after announcing he and First Lady Melania Trump were infected that morning.

His doctors, while admitting they were projecting optimism about his condition, said over the weekend that the president had had a fever and experienced two drops in his oxygen levels but was improving. On Monday the medical team said he could continue his treatment at home, though he was not “entirely out of the woods.”

Doctors declined to answer other questions, such as if Trump tested negative before attending various public events last week and whether he has shown signs of lung damage.

Outside Walter Reed a few hours before Trump’s discharge, supporters spoke glowingly of his performance in office and they spoke dismissively of the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S.

Like the president — who has faced months of criticism for waffling on public health guidelines and mocking others for wearing masks — they said they would not be troubled by the thought of the virus.

They may be in the minority: Polling has consistently shown that the pandemic remains a key issue for voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election and Trump has for months gotten poor marks on his response.

He continues to enjoy robust support among the Republican base but, reflecting his long history of exaggerations, lies and misstatements, Trump’s message may not reach many other ears.

Since leaving Walter Reed, the president has tried to reframe the discussion around the virus, arguing he in fact showed decisive leadership and fearlessness — while nonetheless flouting basic guidelines — and that the treatments that have been developed make the deadly virus something people can learn to live with.

He has preferred to talk about the possible lockdowns he says Democrats would impose without end — rather than his administration’s problems rolling out testing nationwide and his decision

Wondercise Launches World-First Motion Matching Home Fitness System with Apple Watch Support

Set to revolutionize the fitness industry, Wondercise is the closest on-demand home workouts have come to scalable, virtual training with a personal touch.

Pioneering fitness technology startup Wondercise, creator of the world’s first home training system to analyze and compare user movements with those of an on-screen trainer in real-time, launches globally with Apple Watch and Garmin Wearable support.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005849/en/

Motion Matching technology brings the personal touch of taught classes to living rooms around the world (Photo: Business Wire)

Wondercise Motion Matching

Motion Matching – a feature missing from Apple’s Fitness+ service, enables users to maintain a focus on form, mirror trainers’ movements, and maximize workout results.

Wondercise offers unlimited access to over 50 classes at an affordable price, with sessions from trainers, including MMA champion Luis ‘Baboon’ Palomino, fitness influencer Adam Frater, and experts across a huge range of disciplines. These include Resistance Band Training, Hip Hop Dance, Kettlebell Crush, Tai Chi, Yoga and more. Thanks to its pioneering Motion Matching technology, Wondercise brings the personal touch of taught classes to living rooms around the world.

A Wonder Core company

Wondercise is built upon years of international insights into health and fitness; with its award-winning parent company, Wonder Core having achieved global acclaim with over ten million products sold.

“With the backdrop of COVID 19, a dramatic reduction in gym attendance, and an increase in time spent at home, it has become critical for everyone to have easy access to an affordable and effective fitness solution during this new normal. Wondercise’s Motion Matching technology and support for a wide range of wearables creates an ideal alternative for consumers and the broader fitness, wellbeing and health industries.”
Eric Chuang, Wondercise CEO

With the global rollout of the Wondercise service released in tandem with Apple Watch support, Wondercise is set to target the 51.4 percent of global smartwatch users who currently own an Apple Watch.*

* Counterpoint Research

About Wondercise

Established in 2015 by Wonder Core, Wondercise is a smart technology and fitness equipment brand that aims to improve personal sports performance by providing a complete fitness experience for all.

In just four years, Wonder Core has become a top-300 patent applicant in Taiwan, receiving invitations from the government to participate in national innovation events. Alongside its continued work to develop its Motion Matching technology, research is being carried out in partnership with gyms and hospitals.

For more information, visit: https://www.wondercise.com/EN

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005849/en/

Contacts

Eric Chuang
[email protected]

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Home Fitness Equipment Market – Actionable Research on COVID-19 | Increasing Awareness about Fitness to Boost the Market Growth

The Daily Beast

Photos Show Why Miami Public Schools Could Be the Next Ron DeSantis Coronavirus Debacle

MIAMI—Last week, a few days before Donald Trump revealed he came down with COVID-19, Karla Hernandez-Mats went on a coronavirus safety fact-finding mission in South Florida schools ahead of their reopening on Monday.The president of United Teachers of Dade, the local teachers union, Hernandez-Mats said she and her colleagues conducted surprise inspection visits at 17 Miami-area schools that suggested administrators were still scrambling to put safety measures in place.At Miami Springs Senior High, one of the 17 schools inspected, administrators initially refused to allow her colleague, United Teachers of Dade First Vice-President Antonio White, to enter the building and called a police resource officer on him, the union officials told The Daily Beast.“When administrators act like that, their schools are usually not prepared,” White said in an interview. “That was the case at Miami Springs.”COVID-Skeptical Florida Guv Outdoes Himself, Lifts All Restrictions on Restaurants and BarsFor instance, the school appears to be supplying teachers with alcohol-free hand sanitizer, which may be ineffective in killing coronavirus, the union officials said, providing The Daily Beast with a photo of just that. (The Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidance recommends people use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent ethanol-based or 70 percent isopropanol-based.) Union officials also provided photos showing decals marking 6-foot distance requirements that were already peeling off the sidewalks near the school’s entrance, and desks arranged in such a way that does not allow for 6-foot social distancing.Reached by phone, Miami Springs principal Torossian said he was unaware of police being called on the union official and referred further questions to the school district’s media relations department. Spokeswoman Jacquelyn Calzadilla did not specifically address what had occurred at Miami Springs, but she said “our school site administrators are working around the clock to ensure a safe return to the schoolhouse for our students and employees.”The flap illustrates the daunting task facing the public school system in Miami-Dade County, which has been the epicenter of Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak for most of the pandemic. More than 10,000 teachers and 133,000 students begin filing into 340 schools this week on a staggered schedule. This after the Miami-Dade School Board voted to resume in-person learning under pressure from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Cocoran, a Gov. Ron DeSantis appointee who threatened to cut the school district’s funding if classes did not resume by early October.Miami-Dade’s daily positivity rate rolling average for the 14 days ending on Oct. 4 stood at 4.78 percent, just below the 5 percent positivity rate that the World Health Organization recommends maintaining for two weeks before lifting shelter-at-home and social distancing protocols. During the same 14-day period, Miami-Dade reported 5,456 new cases, bringing its total to 172,205.School reopenings have been a mess of infection, quarantine, and closure across America in recent weeks. But conversations with teachers, labor leaders, and experts in South Florida painted a picture of Miami schools as a new guinea

Home remedies for insomnia: 9 options

Insomnia is a common condition. Those experiencing insomnia who wish to avoid medication, such as sleeping pills, can try several remedies to encourage the onset of sleep and improve its quality and duration.

About a third of adults in the United States report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep, which is 7 or more hours of sleep per night.

This article looks at some natural remedies, relaxation techniques, exercises, sleep hygiene, and behaviors that can improve the symptoms of insomnia.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that the brain produces to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Liquid or capsule dietary supplements of melatonin can help people with insomnia fall asleep more quickly. Melatonin can also help improve the quality of sleep. It may be most useful for shift workers, people experiencing jet lag, or people with sleep disorders.

Anyone thinking about taking melatonin should speak to their doctor about the best dosage to take, how long to take it for, and whether it is safe for them to take.

There are no guidelines for melatonin dosage, but experts consider a safe dose in adults to be 1–5 milligrams (mg).

Lavender oil is a type of essential oil derived from the lavender plant. People have used it for thousands of years as a natural remedy to improve sleep and induce feelings of calmness.

A 2015 study found that lavender patches, when combined with good sleep hygiene, improved the sleep quality of college students, while a 2020 review of plant extracts for sleep disorders found that lavender improved the onset of sleep, sleep duration, and quality of sleep.

People with insomnia can use lavender oil as a pillow spray or in a patch, massage oil, or aromatherapy diffuser.

Lavender is usually safe for people to take as a dietary supplement, but it may sometimes interact with other medications. Anyone already taking sleep medication or medication for high blood pressure should check with their doctor before taking lavender oil supplements. Look for supplements with around 80 mg of lavender oil for a safe and effective dosage.

The 2020 review also highlighted other plant extracts — valerian and chamomile — that research showed to be effective in improving the symptoms of insomnia.

The positive effects of mindfulness on well-being are well-documented and include reducing stress, boosting resilience, improving mood, and even enhancing immunity. However, mindfulness may also have an improving effect on sleep.

A 2014 study on mindfulness techniques in people with chronic insomnia found that mindful meditation interventions reduced total wake time in subjects. The study authors recommended mindfulness as a viable treatment alternative to traditional treatments.

Countless free and paid-for mindfulness apps, videos, and podcasts are available online. People wishing to try mindfulness may also prefer to do a course, join a local weekly class, or go on a retreat. They can also build this practice into physical exercise, such as yoga or tai chi.

Learn more about five places to learn meditation online here.

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR),

A family of 7 lost their home in Washington’s wildfires. Then they all got Covid-19

They have now quarantined themselves in two hotel rooms in Spokane Valley, where they’re recovering and trying to plan their futures.

The Grahams lost their home, a barn and outbuildings where they stored things they weren’t using, special baby clothes and other family mementos. Their dog was OK and their chicken coop was also spared, though some of the birds’ feathers may have been singed.

“We were planning to come back that night, so we didn’t pack a single thing,” Jessica said.

They stayed with family after the fire and think that’s how they were exposed to the coronavirus — Jessica’s dad had flu-like symptoms and Matthew’s mom tested positive on September 20 after she’d babysat the children.

“We were starting to experience symptoms at that time that we were hoping was just due to hazardous air quality,” Jessica said. “But then that had gone away and we were getting worse instead of better.”

Neither of their parents had to be hospitalized, but Matthew’s mom did have pneumonia in both lungs.

Jessica and Matthew have felt exhausted but think they’re on the way to recovery.

The kids, Constantine “Costa,” 12, Claudia, 10, 7-year-old twins Adele and Zoe, and 5-year-old Darius, have fared much better. Jessica said they’ve occasionally felt feverish but would be better the next day.

“They’re bouncing off the walls, but we’re so thankful that they’re healthy enough to bounce off the walls,” Matthew said.

The Glass and Zogg Fires are less than 10% contained and threaten even more destruction
He said the community has been incredibly generous and given the family toys, board games and clothes for the whole family. A GoFundMe campaign for the family has raised more than $21,000.

Jessica said rental homes are hard to find in the area, but they hope to find a more permanent place to stay once they get out of quarantine in a few days.

She said they’d like to stay in the community and are considering buying a new house or rebuilding “this amazing new house” on their property.

“That’s what keeps us optimistic,” she said. “We know one of those two outcomes is going to happen and we’re gonna just have something that’s even better than what we had before.”

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Mask ordinance extended through Nov. 8th; Hospital and nursing home restrictions eased

Governor Kay Ivey extended her health order including a statewide mask ordinance through November 8th as part of Alabama’s continued efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’ve heard from a lot of you and I hear you but I look forward to lifting the mask order as much as you do, if not more and hopefully that can be sooner, not later,” said Ivey acknowledging the frustration among many Alabamians eager to return to a sense of normalcy. 

Ivey’s announcement kept virtually all of Alabama’s Safer At Homer order in place. The new order did ease restrictions on hospitals and nursing homes by allowing patients and residents to  be visited by one caregiver or visitor at a time.

Nursing homes are still subject to a series of federal restrictions issued in September by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The regulations state a facility must go 14 days without any positive COIVD-19 tests of staff or patients. If a positive test occurs, the clock starts all over again. Indoor visitation is also prohibited for any facility located in a county with a 10% positivity rate. 

The decision comes a day after the Alabama ABC Board voted to remove an 11 p.m. last call on alcohol sales. The restriction was put in place in late July on the recommendation of Governor Kay Ivey and public health officials.

“It was a business killer” said ABC administrator H. Mac Gipson after the vote.

READ: Alabama ABC Board rescinds 11 p.m. last call for bars, restaurants

Dr. Debroah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, advised Ivey extend Alabama’s face mask ordinance during a meeting last week. 

“If you look at what happened within two weeks of the mask mandate, you can see the dramatic decline in cases here in Alabama,” Birx said. “We talked about the importance of keeping those mitigations strong through the fall to get through this fall together, to ensure that people are immunized for flu to really protect one another, keep the rates down, get the rates down even further. Alabama’s test positivity is really dropping, really improving, but we’ve got to do even more.

READ: Dr. Deborah Birx calls for Alabama’s face mask order to be extended

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Nursing Home Inspectors In The D.C. Region Aren’t Required To Take COVID-19 Tests : NPR

Staff and vendors in nursing homes have to get regular COVID-19 tests. State nursing home inspectors don’t.

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Maryland, D.C. and Virginia are not mandating COVID-19 tests for the inspectors examining conditions in local nursing homes, public health spokespeople from all three jurisdictions confirmed. The lack of testing for the inspectors, nursing home leaders say, stands in contrast to state and federal testing requirements for nearly anyone entering a nursing home these days.

For the past several months, inspectors were focused on completing federally mandated infection control surveys to evaluate long term care facilities’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the inspectors’ findings have resulted in citations and fines for nursing homes found to have inadequate screening, social distancing or sanitizing practices.

Nursing home leaders are worried that inspectors are entering facilities without knowing their COVID-19 status, said Allison Ciborowski, the president of LeadingAge Maryland, a long-term care industry group.

The inspectors work on behalf of the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but are employed by state jurisdictions. Ciborowski said CMS hasn’t required or recommended that inspectors be tested. Maryland, Virginia and the District have chosen to follow that lead.

“It’s a concern for our members just because they are really trying to carefully track the spread of the virus,” she told WAMU/DCist. “It seems strange that the agency that is citing nursing homes if they’re not appropriately testing staff is not testing the surveyors that are going in to fight those kinds of things.”

Inspectors may not be required to undergo coronavirus testing, but almost everyone else going in and out of nursing homes is. CMS and state governments regulate how frequently long-term care facilities should be testing staff, residents and regular outside visitors. For much of the summer, CMS required nursing home staff to be tested for COVID-19 every week (in Maryland, weekly testing is still the case).

When inspectors enter facilities, they are expected to comply with temperature checks, answer screening questions, and wear masks, gloves and gowns. Once inside, they walk around the facility, but do not enter sick resident rooms.

Last month, CMS revised its testing guidance, tying the frequency of staff testing to the positivity rate of the county where the nursing home is located. The definition of who counts as staff is still broad: it includes “employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility, and students in the facility’s nurse aide training programs or from affiliated academic institutions,” according to the guidance.

Missing from that long cast of characters: inspectors. And while fewer than half of all states are requiring inspectors to get tested despite the omission in CMS guidelines, Maryland, Virginia and D.C. are not.

Spokespeople for the Maryland Department of Health, Virginia Department of Health and D.C. Health pointed to a number of reasons for not requiring tests. Virginia Department of Health spokeswoman Tammie Smith emailed the following

Buying Guide: This fitness smartwatch is an affordable alternative to Fitbit | Home & Garden



Smartwatch

(AMAZON)

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If you’re looking for an easy way to track your heart rate, sleep, and daily activity, smartwatches can track everything for you. But with Fitbit watches priced at around $150, they’re not the most affordable fitness tracking solution. That’s where this fitness tracking smartwatch by Amazfit comes in.

Track Your Health

Amazfit’s Bip smartwatch can help you track your health in many of the same ways a Fitbit can. The heart rate monitor and built-in GPS allow you to accurately track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality. You can also record multiple sports including running, cycling, and walking.

Stay in Touch

Like a Fitbit, this Bip smartwatch will notify you of calls or messages. You can also view notifications for multiple apps including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn on the color touch display. With so many of the same features, the Amazfit smartwatch still retails for just $70—about half the price of a Fitbit.

Why Customers Love It

Amazon customers love this affordable Fitbit alternative. The biggest perks were the lower price tag, the built-in GPS, and the 45-day battery life. Customers also found the watch was lightweight and comfortable even during intense activities.

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