The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tacitly put guidelines on their website – and tacitly withdrawn on Monday – recognizing that the coronavirus is primarily airborne.
The rapid reversal is yet another cause of a number of confusing missteps by the agency regarding official guidance that it publishes on its website. The most recent debacle concerns the spread of the virus through aerosols, tiny particles that contain the virus that can stay in the air for long periods of time and travel more than a meter.
Aerosol experts noted Sunday that the agency had updated its description of the virus's spread to say the pathogen is mainly airborne.
The virus spreads through "respiratory droplets or small particles, such as aerosols, which are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, speaks or breathes," according to the C.D.C. said in his manual published on Friday. These particles can be inhaled and cause infection, the agency added, "This is believed to be the main spread of the virus."
But that language disappeared on Monday morning.
"A draft of the proposed changes to these recommendations was incorrectly posted on the agency's official website," the agency said. Once the final version is complete, the update language will be released.
The document was "prematurely" posted on the C.D.C. published and is still being revised, according to a federal official familiar with the matter.
More than 200 aerosol transmission experts appealed to the World Health Organization in July to review the evidence of aerosol transmission of the coronavirus. The WHO. admitted that this avenue appears to be contributing significantly to the spread of the pandemic, but health experts disagree on its importance compared to the heavier breath droplets sneezed or coughed by infected patients.
"It's becoming very clear in the scientific community that aerosols are very important," said Linsey Marr, an airborne virus expert at Virginia Tech. "I hope it comes back in some form that recognizes the importance of aerosols."
In another change to the guidelines on its website, the C.D.C. said in August that people who are in close contact with an infected person but have no symptoms do not need to be tested. But last week after the New York Times reported that the guidelines were dictated by government officials rather than academics, the agency reversed its position, saying that all close contacts made by infected people should be tested regardless of symptoms.
Much of Europe is scrambling to avoid another round of economically devastating, widespread lockdowns as new spikes emerge in France, hospitals begin to fill Spain and UK officials warn that a six-month battle against the virus is imminent.
New targeted lockdown measures were put in place in Madrid on Monday, preventing nearly a million residents from traveling outside their neighborhood except for essential activities such as work, school or emergency medical care.
The rules – which some residents protested over the weekend – are being felt across the country in some cases, but are centered in Madrid, where virus-related hospital stays have tripled. The number of new cases in Spain has risen to an average of more than 10,000 a day in the past week and exceeded the official number in the spring when Spain was one of the worst affected nations in Europe. Tests are more common now.
Although nationwide deaths have not risen to the level of this year, Madrid authorities said on Sunday that 37 people had died of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours and about 4,000 patients were hospitalized, including around 300 on the intensive care unit . The authorities there prepared to reopen field hospitals if necessary.
In the UK, senior scientific and medical advisors warned on Monday that infections could hit 50,000 a day by next month and lead to a significant spike in deaths as Wales announced an extension of lockdown regulations, due to go into effect Tuesday.
"We literally went around the corner in the bad sense," said Chris Whitty, England's chief physician, in a rare television statement alongside Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific advisor.
They warned the UK of a six month battle to fight the virus. The UK has fined at least £ 1,000 [approximately $ 1,300] in fines for those who fail to self-isolate after testing positive or exposure to the virus. Fines, which start on September 28th, can increase to a maximum of £ 10,000 for repeat offenders or for the most serious violations.
The UK government debates the introduction of additional restrictions as it faces what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already described as a "second wave". Mr Johnson is expected to speak about the virus situation on Tuesday.
Although the UK has fewer cases or deaths than some European countries like France and Spain, there are fears that it will go down the same path, with cases increasing sharply as children return to school, students to colleges and workers to offices.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced Monday that the country would mandate virus tests for people traveling from Paris and other parts of France where the virus "circulates significantly". Other areas are Nouvelle Aquitaine, Occitanie and Provence-Cote d & # 39; Azur. Last week, the French health minister announced lockdowns in cities like Lyon and Nice.
As of August 12, tests have been mandatory for all people arriving in Italy who have visited Greece, Croatia, Spain or Malta in the last two weeks. The policy will take effect on Tuesday.
It's an astonishing number, nearly 200,000 people who have died from the coronavirus in the United States and nearly a million people around the world.
And the pandemic, which has seen cases skyrocketing and trending down after lockdowns in many countries, has reached a precarious point. Will countries like the United States see the virus slow down further? Or is a new climb on the way?
"Nobody knows what's going to happen," said Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. "This virus has surprised us on many fronts and we may be surprised again."
Fewer new cases have been discovered week after week in the United States since the end of July after outbreaks first hit the northeast, then the south and west.
But in the past few days, the number of new cases in the nation has been rising again on a daily basis, fueling concerns about a resurgence of the virus with universities and schools reopening and colder indoor weather.
Worldwide, at least 73 countries are seeing an increase in newly discovered cases.
More than 90,000 new cases are currently being discovered in India every day, bringing the total number of cases in the country to over five million.
In Europe, the virus is searing across the continent again after lockdowns helped stifle the spring crisis.
Israel, with nearly 1,200 deaths attributed to the virus, imposed a second lockdown last week, one of the few nations to have done so.
When the first wave of infections spread around the world, governments imposed extensive restrictions: more than four billion people were in some form of home at one point in time. Now many countries are desperately trying to avoid such intensive measures.
"We have a very serious situation ahead of us," said Hans Kluge, Regional Director of the World Health Organization for Europe, last week. "The weekly cases have now exceeded the reported cases when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March."
Nearly 200,000 people died from the virus in the United States on Monday morning. Just four months ago, in late May, the nation's death list hit 100,000. According to analyzes, even the current balance sheet could represent a considerable undercounting of the toll.
Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said it was conceivable that the death toll in the United States could reach 300,000 if the public lost their vigilance.
"There are many countries that we could consider our economic counterparts or that are far less developed in terms of economies or health systems and that have far less mortality rates," he said.
The 1,400 or so school buildings in New York City have been largely empty for six months since the school system, the country's largest, abruptly closed classroom, in mid-March.
On Monday, schools reopened for the first time since then for up to 90,000 pre-K students and children with advanced disabilities. The rest of the city's 1.1 million students will start the school year online and have the option to return to classrooms over the next few weeks.
Although the reopening on Monday falls far short of what Mayor Bill de Blasio originally promised – all students have the option to return to classrooms – it is still a milestone in New York's long road to fully reopening. New York is one of the few cities in the country where some kids are back in the classroom.
The start of the school year in the city is still full of fears and strangers, starting with the fact that no one knew exactly how many students will come to the buildings today. Elementary school students begin personal tuition on September 29th, and middle and high school students can return on October 1st
Some kindergarten students who reported to their schools on Monday morning were sent away, saying they would not return to classrooms until later in the month.
At Public School 149 in Brooklyn, five students were turned away at the door because they were out of preschool.
Balayet Hossain, the father of a kindergarten and a first grade student at P.S. 149 said he received an email on Sunday from a teacher at the school that said, "I can't wait to see you all tomorrow!"
Confused, he and his children left school and went back home on Monday.
Over the summer, New York City appeared to be the only major school district in America to offer face-to-face tuition early in its school year. Despite the recent stumbling blocks, New York will again have more students in its classrooms this month than any of the top 10 school systems in the country – if everything goes according to plan.
Black doctors distrust the F.D.A. and form a panel of experts on veterinary vaccines.
A black doctors organization is forming a task force to review federal decisions about coronavirus vaccines and treatments. This is the latest sign of the medical community's dwindling trust in the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Trump.
The panel is set up by the National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 when black doctors were banned from other medical societies, STAT News reported Monday.
Non-white communities have suffered disproportionately from the virus, as hospitalization and death rates have been higher, especially in black communities.
"It is necessary to provide the African American community with a trusted ambassador for verified information," said Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the association, told STAT News.
Dr. McDougle cited the Trump administration's urge to approve the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19. The F.D.A. gave the drug emergency approval in March but revoked it in June when studies found significant risks and no benefits for Covid-19 patients.
Many experts fear that the urge to give a vaccine in a short time will result in a vaccination that hasn't been rigorously reviewed and tested, said Dr. McDougle told STAT News, and which could lead to black people who have long been underrepresented in drug trials – believing that a government-approved vaccine may still be unsafe.
The trusts of black Americans and the medical establishment have been shaken over the years by unequal and sometimes unethical treatment, particularly by an infamous 40-year research study known as the Tuskegee Experiment that saw federal black men become infected with syphilis by health officials and were then purposely left untreated while researchers watched the disease progress. The experiment ended in 1972.
Cuba is facing one of the worst food shortages in years after the pandemic destroyed its tourist-dependent economy.
Cuba, a police state with a strong public health system, was able to control the coronavirus quickly even as the pandemic plunged wealthier nations into crisis. But its economy, already hurt by crippling US sanctions and mismanagement, was particularly vulnerable to the economic devastation that followed.
When nations closed airports and locked borders to fight the spread of the virus, tourist travel to Cuba collapsed and the island lost a major source of hard currency, plunging it into one of the worst food shortages in nearly 25 years.
Often times, what groceries are available can only be found in government-run stores that are stocked with imports and are priced in dollars. The strategy, which was also used in the 1990s during the economic crisis known as the "Special Period", is used by the government to collect hard currency from Cubans who have savings or who receive money from friends or relatives abroad.
Even these stores are in short supply and prices can be exorbitant: a buyer recently couldn't find chicken or cooking oil, but there was a £ 17 ham for $ 230 and a £ 7 block of Manchego cheese with a price from $ 149 label.
And reliance on dollar stores, a move designed to prop up the socialist revolution in a country that prides itself on egalitarianism, has exacerbated economic inequality, say some Cubans.
"This is a business that is billed in currency Cubans don't deserve," said Lazaro Manuel Domínguez Hernández, 31, a doctor who receives cash from a friend in the US to buy in one of the 72 new dollar stores to spend. "It marks the difference in the classes because not everyone can buy here."
Cuba's economy struggled before the coronavirus. The Trump administration has worked hard to strengthen the decades-old trade embargo and track Cuba's currency sources. It also imposed sanctions on tanker companies shipping oil from Venezuela to Cuba and restricting commercial flights from the United States to the island.
Cuba faces "the triple threat of Trump, Venezuela and then Covid," said Ted A. Henken, professor at Baruch College and author of the book "Entrepreneurial Cuba". "Covid was the thing that pushed them over the edge."
Students attending schools in California's Cajon Valley Union School District, which serves a largely low-income community in San Diego County, have taken in-person classes as part of a hybrid learning model – a rarity in the state where more than nine out of ten of the 6 , 3 million California public students are only distance learning.
And so far it works.
The district's 27 schools have seen no outbreaks, although nearly 2,000 new cases have emerged in the past seven days. In one case, a group of students had to be quarantined for 14 days after a parent tested positive for the virus. However, no cases of students or teachers have occurred.
Another factor that contributes to the district's early success is its policy of providing a laptop for every student and the extensive high-tech teacher training it has offered over the past seven years.
President Trump and a significant number of his supporters have allied behind an alternate reality that minimizes a tragedy that has killed an overwhelming number of Americans and gutted the economy.
This mix of denial and defiance goes against the overwhelming evidence of the spread and spread of the virus and is at the center of Mr Trump's re-election efforts as early voting begins in Minnesota, Virginia and other states.
To some extent, this point of view reflects the resentment of Americans living in regions of the country like New York State and the upper reaches of Michigan that have been relatively untouched by the virus but have endured drastic business shutdowns.
"The local people in need of refuge should do so, but I don't think it should ruin the economy," said Karla Mueller, a Republican and church administrator who lives in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, many small Company of people. I just don't think that's necessary. "
But it is also a direct result of the message the Trump administration has sent with increasing urgency, pollsters and strategists say, as the president faces a major challenge in re-electing Joseph R. Biden Jr. , his democratic opponent. Mr Trump on Twitter has urged people to "liberate" states, imposing stay-at-home instructions, withholding aid from Democratic governors and undercutting health professionals who warned of unproven medical treatments and early school openings.
The president's critics say his confrontational approach has prevented the country from reaching consensus on how to tackle the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years.
"The emotion, the passion – it's gotten out of hand," said Michigan Democrat Representative Debbie Dingell, who pointed to two violent episodes in her state that resulted from disagreements over mask wear. “People were shot. A security guard in a dollar store. There was another fight at Walmart. That's crazy."
Polls show that Republicans approve of how Mr Trump handled the response to the virus and, unlike much of the country, believe that the United States was too slow to reopen. A majority of them also support the wearing of masks, though not to the same extent as Democrats or the nation as a whole.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said virus restrictions on travel and gatherings in most parts of New Zealand will be lifted from midnight Monday.
However, restrictions remain in place in Auckland, the country's largest city, which will be relaxed but not fully lifted on Wednesday at midnight. The town was the center of a mysterious outbreak in August that caused Ms. Ardern to lock down the town again.
Starting Thursday, Auckland residents will be able to gather in groups of up to 100, but will have to stay home if they are sick and keep a record of their contacts and movements. Face covering is still mandatory in public transport and is recommended elsewhere in public.
"Some may question the cautious approach we are taking," Ms. Ardern told reporters at a news conference Monday, adding that an analysis by the Department of Health found the country had a 50 percent chance of finding new ones by the end of September Eliminate infections. "That is a reason for us not to outdo ourselves and to remain vigilant," said Ms. Ardern.
New Zealand, an island nation of five million people, has been lauded for its pandemic response. Just over 1,800 cases of the coronavirus and 25 deaths have been reported, according to a New York Times database.
The guidelines announced on Monday will be re-examined in two weeks, Ms. Ardern said, and the restrictions could potentially be lifted further.
The state of Victoria in AustraliaThe company, which has been strictly banned for several weeks, recorded 11 cases overnight, the lowest daily increase in infections in three months, authorities said on Monday. Two deaths were also recorded. Despite the small number, Melbourne, the country's second largest city, remains under curfew, while the rest of the state has fewer restrictions.
The Taj Mahal, one of India's most famous landmarks and a major tourist attraction, reopened Monday after being closed for more than six months to help contain the spread of the virus. The memorial, which receives an average of 20,000 visitors daily, will limit entry to 5,000 people per day. The website reopened despite India having more than 5.4 million cases. and daily caseloads in excess of 90,000, the second highest case number behind the United States.
The German city Munich will require masks in some of its open spaces starting Thursday, including busy streets and popular squares, the mayor said on Monday. Although masks are required for shopping, public transport or other indoor spaces in most parts of Germany, outdoor public spaces have avoided the masking rules in place in other European cities. The authorities in Munich, where more and more infections are occurring, also limited the gatherings to a maximum of five people or members of two households. The city had already canceled the traditional Oktoberfest.
Virus restrictions have put some communities near economic disaster, a new report said.
People in some of the world's most vulnerable communities are facing economic disaster as a result of measures taken to contain the spread of the virus, according to a new report.
Economies around the world have been decimated by the pandemic, but the financial crises have exacerbated challenges for the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Venezuela and 10 other countries included in the Norwegian Refugee Council report which they already stood.
In countries where conflict and displacement are the order of the day, many suffer from hunger, homelessness and an educational crisis that is compounded by lost work, incomes and increased debt.
With businesses and markets closed and travel restricted, nearly 80 percent of people in already precarious situations have seen their incomes fall due to job losses. Without the means to pay rent, many were evicted or evicted from their homes, the report said. With so few resources, people said they were less likely to send their children to school and unable to afford medical treatment or even the most basic groceries.
"The world's most vulnerable communities are in a dangerous downward spiral," warned Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
Hunger is growing around the world, and the United Nations World Food Program estimates that the number of people in developing countries facing potentially life-threatening food insecurity will almost double this year to 265 million. Seventy percent of respondents said they have reduced the number of meals for their households since the pandemic began.
Women and girls in vulnerable communities are hardest hit by the economic crisis, the report said. Not only have they lost jobs and taken on the burden of unpaid care, but like many around the world, financial pressures have led to an increase in domestic violence.
"Without urgent action, this crisis will spiral out of control," said Egeland.
The reporting was written by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Stephen Castle, Manny Fernandez and Apoorva Mandavilli. Raphael Minder, Adam Nagourney, Jeremy W. Peters, Simon Romero, Marc Santora, Anna Schaverien, Christopher F. Schütze, Eliza Shapiro, Eileen Sullivan, Sameer Yasir and Karen Zraick.