A bit of a late post on this dreary Tuesday evening, CivMixers. It already has been a long week, don’t you think? And the gloomy, chilly weather today didn’t help.
Here’s the latest news you should be aware of to stay up to date on happening in the country, state, and region….and, of course, we start with COVID-19.
1) In our nation’s Capitol, five top Republicans are quarantining themselves after meeting and shaking hands with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland last month who has now been confirmed to have the virus.
Sens. Ted Cruz (TX-R) and Paul Gosar (AZ-R), and Reps. Doug Collins (GA-R), Matt Gaetz (FL-R) and Mark Meadows (NC-R) were all in attendance and spent time with this individual. As soon as the positive diagnosis was confirmed, all five followed the established CDC protocol and quarantined themselves for 14 days.
Meadows was recently named as the heir to the chief of staff position for President Donald Trump. The president and Vice-President Mike Pence were both at the CPAC as well, but neither is following the 14-day protocol as they say they were not in contact with the COVID-19 positive person. Trump continues to insist he’s in perfect health. His doctors agree and say they will be monitoring him constantly. Pence has also confirmed that he has not been tested yet.
Pence has renewed the call for Americans to remain calm and exercise common sense in the face of this epidemic, while also acknowledging that the number of infected people is certain to grow.
2) Sacramento County in California is actively shifting its Coronavirus response from prevention to mitigation, ending their required 14-day quarantine period for anyone known to have come into contact with a positive case.
As the number of locally confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed into the double digits, officials acknowledged that their health system needs to focus on treating the sick instead of preventing additional infections.
This stems in part from the federal government’s inability to provide enough testing kits and also from the failure to quickly establish containment efforts. The switch to mitigation, as opposed to containment in Sacramento, is in line with a statement by the CDCs National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director Dr. Nancy Messonnier last week leaving these decisions and protocols up to state and local health officials as opposed to establishing federal guidelines.
Sacramento is now recommending that anyone who shows signs of illness should stay home when possible, telecommuting and not mingling with the general public.
3) Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that he will be sending the New York National Guard to secure a one-mile containment area being set up to help contain the COVID-19 virus outbreak in New Rochelle.
The state has 173 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, with 108 of them being clustered in and around the Westchester County suburb. Crossing the 100 case mark has caused New Rochelle to be what is known as a cluster, and it is currently believed to be the biggest area of concentrated cases in the United States.
This all started, as you’ll no doubt recall, with a New Rochelle attorney, and the epicenter of this outbreak is thought to be his synagogue. Cuomo and state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker are hoping that through this drastic action they can mitigate additional growth of this cluster.
4) Kevin Cox, the boyfriend of Davonte Paul’s mother Nicole Bauer, has been released from a Pittsfield, MA hospital after a failed Valentine’s Day joint suicide attempt.
The Cohoes couple was found in a motel in Pittsfield shortly after Davonte’s death was discovered to not be an accidental drowning as first suspected. It has since been ruled a homicide, with Bauer and Cox falling under suspicion. They were found to have fled to the motel and when police entered the room, Cox was unconscious having already taken his share of the overdose of heroin.
No details on Bauer and her location have been released, nor has any information about where Cox is going now.
5) (It might be on the late side for this, but anyway)…If you were looking for last-minute plans tonight, pop on over to Nine Pin Cider on Broadway in Albany as they host an event in association with the Albany Shaker Heritage Society, Shaker Heritage Cider Night.
Until 9 p.m. (half an hour left!) you can get a taste of Shaker Shaker hard cider. The apples for this cider came from an orchard near the airport that was initially planted by the Shakers in the 1700s. This cider is going to be a part of the Nine Pin 26er challenge for this year as well.