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Trump Tells Sean Hannity He’s Ready for In-Person Events After Hospitalization (but Keeps Coughing)

Ben Gabbe/Getty; Win McNamee/Getty Sean Hannity (left) and President Donald Trump

Sounding more hoarse than usual and occasionally interrupting himself to cough and clear his throat, President Donald Trump called into Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Thursday night to give an update on his diagnosis with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and sound off — in Trump fashion — on other topics.

“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night, if we have enough time to put it together,” said Trump, less than a day before aides said that he would actually speak with supporters at the White House instead.

Trump, 74, then quickly changed the subject when the Fox News host asked if he had been tested for COVID-19 since his diagnosis a week ago.

“Well what we’re doing is, probably, the test will be tomorrow,” the president said. “The actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time. But they found very little infection, or virus — if any … I didn’t go into it greatly with the doctors.”

As viewers noted, Trump audibly cleared his throat and coughed at least twice during the interview, sometimes appearing quite hoarse.

The moments were notable in the context of his recovery: White House doctors have said Trump is doing well enough to return from the hospital to finish his treatment, though the medical team previously gave a conflicting account of his health and admitted to projecting optimism.

Since returning home from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump has said his treatment course made him improve drastically, and fast. His doctors said he received steroids, an antiviral and experimental antibodies but noted Monday he may be “entirely out of the woods.”

RELATED: Trump Calls Coronavirus Diagnosis ‘a Blessing from God’ as Doctors Say His Health Is ‘Stable’

Calling into Hannity’s show on Thursday, when he wasn’t speaking about COVID-19 — a highly contagious virus that Trump has publicly downplayed since it began sweeping across the country early this year — the conversation veered widely.

At one point, Trump falsely claimed Democrats in California want to “ration water … to take care of certain little tiny fish.”

During another segment, the president attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom authorities said was the intended victim of a foiled kidnapping plot. And he called Sen. Kamala Harris a “monster.”

The president also spoke about the fate of the remaining debates between him and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which have been mired in controversy since the debate commission announced that the next event, on Oct. 15, would be held virtually out of health concerns.

“I’m not gonna do a virtual debate — sit behind a computer screen,” Trump told Hannity. “And that gives him the answers, because they’ll be handing him the answers.”

The president’s medical team has said his health is in stable condition, though it’s unclear if Trump might still be contagious — making any in-person debates or events particularly precarious (for both Trump, who

Alabama nursing homes to allow limited in-person visits

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday the resumption on Oct. 2 of limited in-person visits to nursing homes more than six months after they locked down in response to coronavirus.

Each nursing home resident will be allowed one caregiver or visitor at a time. Nursing homes can only permit indoor visits if they have not had a positive coronavirus case in two weeks, according to the Alabama Nursing Home Association. Facilities can limit the total number of visitors at one time and masks and social distancing will be required.

The Alabama Nursing Home Association provided the following guidance to family members:

· Do schedule an appointment to visit with your loved one

· Do use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before, during and after your visit

· Do wear a mask covering your mouth and nose during your entire visit in the facility

· Do maintain social distance of at least six feet from staff and residents

· Do keep out of areas that are not designated for visitation

· Don’t remove your mask while in the facility

· Don’t leave the designated visitation area

· Don’t come to the facility without an appointment

· Don’t come to the facility if you have any symptoms – coughing, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell – even if you attribute these symptoms to some other cause (allergies or cold).

More than 6,000 nursing home residents and 3,000 staff members in Alabama have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since March. The facilities often house sick and elderly people at high risk of complications and death from the virus. But families have become increasingly concerned that policies designed to protect vulnerable residents have caused cognitive and physical decline as they struggle with isolation and loneliness.

“It’s important for nursing home residents and their family members to be able to visit in person and this is another step toward returning life to normal in nursing homes,” said Brandon Farmer, President & CEO of the Alabama Nursing Home Association. “We are pleased [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is moving in this direction and thankful Governor Kay Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris amended the state health order to accommodate this change.”

Some Alabama nursing homes have scheduled outdoor visits with family members. However, state regulators did not require outdoor visits or video calls with loved ones. The new guidelines require facilities to accommodate visits unless there are reasonable safety concerns.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said outdoor visits are preferable to indoor ones and should be encouraged whenever conditions allow.

Anna Braden of Huntsville joined the Alabama group Caregivers for Compromise to advocate for visits with nursing home residents, including her father, who lives in Madison. She said the announcement is a step in the right direction.

“This is the first time that Governor Ivey has ever said anything about the residents on lockdown in any of her press conferences,” Braden said. “I was excited about that. Now the next

Lakewood Schools Plan Return To In-Person Learning

LAKEWOOD, OH — The Lakewood City Schools could return to partial or full-time in-person learning starting Oct. 19.

The district’s education model will be determined by Cuyahoga County’s COVID-19 transmission classification. If the Ohio Department of Health classifies the county as “yellow,” then Lakewood Schools will have full-time in-person education. If the COVID-19 threat is “orange,” then there will be a partial return of in-person education.

“We know that there may be concern regarding the safety of this return so we wanted to share the extensive safety protocols we have developed in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that can be viewed on our COVID-19 Building Safety Protocols page,” school officials said on the district website.

According to the district, the new health and safety protocols in schools include:

  • Health assessment, including temperature, at home before entering school

  • Face coverings required for staff and students

  • Physical distancing guidelines followed with 6′ separation for partial return when possible and 3’ for a full return

  • Hand sanitizer available in every classroom

  • Cleaning supplies to sanitize work areas will be available throughout the day

  • Lunchroom space expanded to other areas if necessary

  • Water fountains closed – students will be able to bring water bottles and filling stations will be available

  • No visitors or volunteers

  • No shared student supplies

  • One-way hallways/stairwells when possible

  • No field trips

  • No large group student events

  • No access to student lockers (students will be able to carry backpacks)

  • In addition to their daily/weekly checklist, custodial staff to use daily log for facility/restroom cleaning/disinfecting of high touch surfaces using CDC/EPA-approved disinfectants throughout all shifts

  • HVAC modifications: reduction of recirculated air, increase of outside air supply & installation of higher MERV-rated air filters.

Families can also opt to continue remote education for their student. To learn more about registering for continued remote education, visit the district’s website.

This article originally appeared on the Lakewood Patch

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