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Northern Ireland to go into four-week partial lockdown

a person holding a sign: Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Northern Ireland is to close schools, pubs and restaurants in a raft of new restrictions to try to contain exploding rates of Covid-19 infection.

Arlene Foster, the first minister, announced the partial lockdown on Wednesday at a special sitting of the Stormont assembly in response to what has become a pandemic hotspot.

The new rules start on Friday and are to last four weeks with the exception of schools, which will shut for two weeks.

The hospitality sector will close apart from deliveries and takeaways. Off-licences and supermarkets cannot sell alcohol after 8pm. There will be no indoor sport or organised contact sport involving mixing of households, other than at elite level.

Close-contact services, apart from essential health services, are to cease. Mobile hairdressers and make-up artists are banned from from working in homes. Gyms can remain open for individual training but no classes are permitted. Places of worship can stay open but people must wear face coverings when entering and exiting.

a person holding a sign: Richmond shopping centre in Derry. The city and the Strabane council area have a rate of 970 per 100,000 people.

© Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA
Richmond shopping centre in Derry. The city and the Strabane council area have a rate of 970 per 100,000 people.

Bubbling will be limited to 10 people, with no overnight stays unless people are in a bubble. Universities will be encouraged to use distance learning only.

“The executive has taken this decision because it is necessary,” Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist party, told the assembly. “We do not take this step lightly.” She said the measures did not amount to a lockdown and promised financial supports to cushion businesses. Some business leaders had lobbied against fresh restrictions, warning of bankruptcies and job losses.

Foster implored people and businesses to get “back to the basics” of social distancing, hand hygiene and other measures and hinted at further measures should infection rates continue to climb. “We will need to exit these arrangement most carefully.”

Northern Ireland’s cumulative seven-day rate of infections per 100,000 people is 334, one of the highest in Europe. Derry city and the Strabane council area have a rate of 970 per 100,000 people – far outstripping Liverpool, England’s worst hit city, with 634 cases per 100,000 people.

On Tuesday Northern Ireland’s department of health reported seven deaths and another 863 infections. Some 6,286 new cases of the virus have been recorded in the last seven days, raising the total since the pandemic began to 21,898.

The Belfast health trust cancelled 105 elective surgeries because of Covid-related pressure, saying it had reached a “trigger point” for admitting patients to intensive care.

Of 150 people being treated in hospital for coronavirus 23 are in intensive care and 15 are on a ventilator. At two hospitals run by the Northern health and social care trust more than 30 nurses are self-isolating because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

The new restrictions came amid intense behind-the-scenes wrangling in the power-sharing executive, with the DUP balking at demands from Sinn Féin and other parties for a sharper “circuit-breaker” lockdown,

Jen Johns named executive director of The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio

Jen Johns has been named the new executive director of the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio (AMCNO), the local physician advocacy group.

Johns will begin on Monday, Oct. 19, replacing Elayne R. Biddlestone, who plans to retire at the end of this year after serving as a staff member and executive vice president/CEO of the AMCNO for a total of more than 40 years, according to a news release.

Before joining the AMCNO, Johns led Cleveland Clinic’s state government relations work in Columbus as the health system’s director of government relations. In her time at the Clinic, she tackled issues including prior authorization reform, telehealth expansions, Medicaid reimbursement, addressing the opioid epidemic and examining scope-of-practice issues, according to the release. She also served as founder and chairwoman of the organization’s internal opioid task force that worked on solutions to the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio.

Before the Clinic, Johns lobbied for health care issues on Capitol Hill for the Children’s Hospital Association and a national patient advocacy organization; served as a graduate research assistant at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, researching mental health benefits for children enrolled in state CHIP programs; and worked in government relations for University Hospitals and for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, according to the release.

She earned her master’s of public health degree in health policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh and her bachelor of arts degree in political science from Ohio State University.

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Community Transmission Extent Remains Low In Northern Virginia

VIRGINIA — On Sunday, 811 additional coronavirus cases and four deaths were reported in Virginia. The cumulative case total is 158,716, while 11,519 people have been hospitalized and 3,358 have died.

Most of the regions moderate community transmission, according to the VDH Pandemic Metrics Dashboard on transmission extent. Here is the outlook for the regions in the week ending on Oct. 3:

  • Northern: Low community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Northwest: Moderate community transmission, fluctuating trend

  • Eastern: Moderate community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Central: Moderate community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Near southwest: Substantial community transmission, fluctuating trend

  • Far southwest: Moderate community transmission, fluctuating trend

Across Virginia, 2,256,820 PCR tests have been completed, an increase of 18,616 from Saturday. The statewide positive average of PCR tests stands at 4.6 percent as of Oct. 7.

According to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, there are 924 current COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state. That includes 201 patients in the intensive care units and 98 on ventilators. Ventilator use among all hospital patients is at 22 percent, while ICU occupancy is at 79 percent. No hospitals are experiencing difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment or other medical supplies in the next 72 hours. There have been 18,492 COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals as of Sunday.

Here is the latest breakdown of cases and deaths by age group:

  • 0-9: 5,873 cases, 0 deaths

  • 10-19: 15,880 cases, 1 death

  • 20-29: 32,971 cases, 7 deaths

  • 30-39: 27,033 cases, 32 deaths

  • 40-49: 24,259 cases, 90 deaths

  • 50-59: 22,181 cases, 233 deaths

  • 60-69: 14,596 cases, 531 deaths

  • 70-79: 7,768 cases, 855 deaths

  • 80 and up: 6,845 cases, 1,605 deaths

  • Not reported: 1,310 cases, 4 deaths

Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area between Saturday and Sunday:

  • Alexandria: 4,027 cases, 323 hospitalizations, 73 deaths; increase of 18 cases

  • Arlington County: 4,187 cases, 510 hospitalizations, 152 deaths; increase of 17 cases

  • Fairfax County: 21,952 cases, 2,191 hospitalizations, 599 deaths; increase of 91 cases and one hospitalization

  • Fairfax City: 144 cases, 13 hospitalizations, eight deaths; increase of one case

  • Falls Church: 74 cases, 13 hospitalizations, seven deaths; no changes

  • Loudoun County: 7,217 cases, 447 hospitalizations, 128 deaths; increase of 36 cases

  • Manassas: 1,982 cases, 130 hospitalizations, 24 deaths; increase of two cases

  • Manassas Park: 625 cases, 56 hospitalizations, eight deaths; increase of one case

  • Prince William County: 13,110 cases, 944 hospitalizations, 213 deaths; increase of 31 cases and one hospitalization

  • Fredericksburg: 566 cases, 50 hospitalizations, five deaths; increase of three cases

  • Spotsylvania County: 2,260 cases, 138 hospitalizations, 46 deaths; increase of 10 cases

  • Stafford County: 2,155 cases, 165 hospitalizations, 19 deaths; increase of 17 cases


This article originally appeared on the Kingstowne-Rose Hill Patch

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Northern California evangelical school tied to ‘very large’ spike in virus cases

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California county will face greater restrictions as it grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, many of them tied to an evangelical college where more than 120 students and staff have tested positive in the last two weeks, health officials said Tuesday.

Shasta County health officials say that an outbreak of cases among students and staff at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry contributed to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases that bumped the county on Tuesday into a new level of regulations on restaurants, bars, theaters and businesses.

“We have been fortunate enough to have a relatively low number of cases throughout the course of the pandemic,” said Kerri Schuette, spokeswoman for Shasta County Health and Human Services. “But we’ve had a very large increase in cases over the past two to three weeks, with 123 being associated with the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.”

A school spokesman declined to comment Tuesday but forwarded a statement from earlier this month saying that the school was aware its students and staff accounted for “a portion” of Shasta County’s new cases and the school was taking “swift action” to minimize further spread.

In its statement the school said it shifted to online instruction last week and canceled in-person church services for Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 that have been held outdoors on a sports field. It also asked anyone who came in contact with someone who contracted COVID-19 to quarantine at home.

“This has led to a large number of people staying home as a precaution,” the statement said, adding that staff and students have been required to wear face coverings, socially distance on campus and do daily temperature checks at the door since classes started in early September.

On its website, the school describes itself as “a ministry training center” that is not an accredited university “where our students embrace their royal identity, learn the values of the kingdom, and walk in the authority and power of the King.”

The school does not provide housing for students, saying on its website that it welcomes hundreds of international and U.S. students each year and “it is our hope that our students ‘infiltrate’ the neighborhoods of Redding.”

Shasta County recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, pushing its total number of cases since March to 1,158.

Another cluster was traced to an assisted living facility, called the Windsor Care Facility, where 60 residents and 20 staff have tested positive for the virus since the start of the outbreak, with most of those cases occurring in the past three weeks, Schuette said.

State health officials announced Tuesday that Shasta County was getting bumped to the “red tier” of a color-coded framework for business and school reopenings. It means that restaurants, churches and other businesses can open with limits on the numbers of people allowed inside. Other nonessential businesses like bars must close.

Schuette said the county has been working closely with Bethel

Northern Lights Strengthens Geological Team at Secret Pass and Medicine Springs

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / September 30, 2020 / Northern Lights Resources Corp. (CSE:NLR) (the “Company” or “Northern Lights”) is pleased to announce a number of updates as the Company advances the Secret Pass gold project in Arizona and the Medicine Springs silver, lead zinc project in Nevada.

Northern Lights is pleased to announce the following appointments to its corporate and project teams:

  • Mr. Paul Warren has been appointed to our geological team and is leading our exploration program at the Secret Pass Gold project in Arizona. Paul is a highly experienced Professional Geologist with over 25 years of experience in exploration, geotechnical, structural geology and mine operations. From 1995 to 2017, Paul worked for PT Freeport McMoran (“Freeport”) at the company’s copper and gold mine in Irian Jaya, Indonesia (one of the largest copper/gold mines in the world). Paul held a range of operating and management positions at Freeport including Exploration Geologist where he conducted helicopter assisted exploration in remote locations; General Superintendent roles leading and training Freeport geological teams in resource, geology and hydrology modelling. Paul is an expert at computer based modeling and early stage exploration of Cu-Au porphyry skarn deposits. Paul holds a Master of Arts in Geology and a Bachelor of Science Geology from University of Texas. Paul is a Professional Geologist and is a Certified Professional Geologist. Paul is based in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Mr. William (Bill) Tafuri has been appointed to our geological team and will oversee exploration at the Medicine Springs silver lead and zinc project in Nevada and assist the Company exploration program at Secret pass and other project evaluations. Bill has over 40 years of experience working on a wide range of gold and base metals exploration and development projects throughout USA, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Bill’s experience includes senior roles with: Getty Mining Company where he managed exploration and project evaluation for porphyry copper as well as gold projects; Senior Geologist at Santa Fe Gold and subsequently Newmont Gold; Phelps Dodge where he directed and lead local geological teams in Kazakhstan and evaluated gold and polymetallic deposits; Chief Geologist for Kinross Gold where he was responsible for all exploration projects in the Western Hemisphere. Bill holds a Ph.D in Geology from the University of Utah and a Masters in Geology and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Nevada. Bill is based in Park City, Utah.

Both Paul and Bill will report to NLR’s Chief Geologist, Gary Artmont who is overseeing and directing the Company’s exploration strategy.

  • Mr. Michael (Mike) England has been appointed as a Strategic Advisor to Northern Lights. Mike is a Vancouver based mining industry executive and is currently leading several successful exploration companies with projects in Canada and USA including Sky Gold Corporation, BTU Metals and Golden Lake Exploration. Mike will assist Northern Lights with the company’s business growth and financing strategy.

Northern Lights has begun the application processes for an OTCQB listing with DTC eligibility as well as a Frankfurt Stock