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Hawaii to allow travelers to skip quarantine with virus test

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Virus Outbreak Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that starting Oct. 15, travelers arriving from out of state may bypass a 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for COVID-19.

Travelers will have to take the test within 72 hours before their flight arrives in the islands. Ige said drug store operator CVS and healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente will conduct the tests as part of an agreement with the state.

Earlier this year Ige planned to start a pre-travel testing program on Aug. 1 only to have to postpone it as COVID-19 cases spiked on the U.S. mainland and in Hawaii. A shortage of testing supplies also forced delays. Another start date for Sept. 1 was also canceled. Airlines are expected to help inform travelers of the requirement.

Hawaii leaders are hopeful that pre-travel testing will encourage people to return to Hawaii in a way that keeps residents safe. Tourism traffic to the state has plunged more than 90% since the pandemic began, forcing hundreds of hotels to close and pushing many people out of work.

“I want to emphasize that this pre-travel testing will allow us to add a greater element of safety for travel into our state,” Ige said at a news conference.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who joined the news conference via Zoom because he tested positive for the disease and is isolating at home, said the program will provide economic opportunity at a time when so many people are suffering. Upheaval from the pandemic pushed nearly one-quarter of Hawaii’s workforce into joblessness. In April, Hawaii had the third-worst unemployment rate in the nation after Nevada and Michigan.

“I worry about the long term impacts of economic distress and that impact this has on our people, when they can’t afford their homes as easily or groceries or health care,” Green said.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Health reported Hawaii had an average of 118 cases per day for the past seven days. That’s down from a seven-day daily average of 255 on Aug. 28.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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CDC study on COVID-19 in kids bolsters case for elementary school reopening

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CDC study on COVID-19 in kids bolsters case for elementary school reopening

WASHINGTON — Children under the age of 12 are much less likely than teenagers to contract the coronavirus, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Monday. The study adds nuance to prior findings that the risk of contracting and dying of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, increases with age. The reasons for the correlation are not yet entirely understood. 

The new study also found that Hispanic children were hit hardest by the coronavirus, composing 42 percent of all cases for which ethnic data was available. That highlighted another uncomfortable truth about the pandemic: People of color have been disproportionately affected by both its medical and economic ravages.

Masked schoolchildren wait to have their portraits taken during picture day at Rogers International School on Sept. 23 in Stamford, Conn. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Masked schoolchildren wait to have their portraits taken during picture day at Rogers International School on Sept. 23 in Stamford, Conn. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The new study does, however, appear to bolster the arguments of those who say that children should return to school instead of continuing with what has been, according to many accounts, a disastrous national experiment in distance learning. New York City has returned some children to school buildings and is expected to ramp up in-person instruction by the end of the week.

Officials in Washington, D.C. — where the president has been loudly calling for schools to reopen — have also told principals to prepare for reopening school doors in November.

CDC researchers analyzed data from early March, when schools across the country began to shut down, to mid-September, by which time many states had opened schools either partially or fully for in-person instruction. The researchers found that of the roughly 280,000 children who tested positive for COVID-19 during that time, 63 percent were between the ages of 12 and 17. Thirty-seven percent were ages 5 to 11.

“Incidence among adolescents was approximately double that among young children,” the study concludes. That seems to bolster the case for in-person instruction for elementary schoolchildren, who appear to struggle the most with computer-based remote learning. High school students, who are better equipped to utilize online learning platforms and less likely to require adult supervision, could presumably delay returning to classrooms longer because they are at a higher risk of becoming ill.

Kids were most likely to be infected by the coronavirus in the Southeast and the West, regions where some governors were slow to impose lockdown measures and quick to lift them. 

Masked children line up at a safe social distance before heading into a lunchroom at Woodland Elementary School in Milford, Mass., on Sept. 11. (Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Masked children line up at a safe social distance before heading into a lunchroom at Woodland Elementary School in Milford, Mass., on Sept. 11. (Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Children for the most part had mild infections, with only 1.2 percent hospitalized and 0.1 percent requiring intensive care. During the six months accounted for by the study, 51 children died of COVID-19, making for a fatality rate of 0.018 percent. About a quarter of both ICU admissions and fatalities were for children who had underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and breathing problems.

The report did not speculate on why Hispanic children, who make up 25 percent of the nation’s population of children between the ages of 5 and 17, would suffer at a rate — 42 percent — much higher than their share of the population. Black children represented 17 percent of coronavirus cases and 14 percent of the relevant population. White children, about 50 percent of the population studied, accounted for 32 percent of the cases. 

Public health experts have suggested several reasons for these disparities, including the dearth of green space, adequate preventive health care and unhealthful food options in many communities of color. Hispanic adults, in particular, are likely to hold essential jobs that put them and their families at greater risk. 

The prevalence of multigenerational households, whether for cultural or economic reasons, could also be a factor in facilitating viral spread. 

The study calls for monitoring and mitigation strategies as communities across the country seek safe ways to reopen schools — and keep them open. A CDC guidance initially published in July says that “in-person schooling is in the best interest of students.” The bevy of studies published since then have not fundamentally challenged that assertion.

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Jack Quaid says ‘f*** Trump’ as dad Dennis clarifies COVID-19 PSA

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Jack and Dennis Quaid pictured in 2015. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Jack Quaid left no doubts about his feelings on President Donald Trump in a tweet he sent over the weekend.

“Hey it’s 11:24pm on a Saturday and I just thought this would be a good time to say: F*** Donald Trump,” wrote Quaid, the 28-year-old son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.

The Boys actor’s comment came the same weekend that Politico reported his movie star dad, Dennis Quaid, was among the celebrities recruited to help “defeat despair” amid the COVID-19 pandemic in an upcoming tax payer-funded, $300 million ad campaign reportedly ordered by Trump himself. The ads are expected to “lean heavily on video interviews between administration officials and celebrities, who will discuss aspects of the coronavirus outbreak and address the Trump administration’s response to the crisis,” according to the news outlet.

The elder Quaid denied that was the case. While he acknowledged that he had recently done a PSA for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute on Health and Infectious Disease, and had Fauci on his podcast — as have other celebs — it was strictly to raise awareness and prevent further deaths from COVID-19. “It was in no way political,” he said, stressing that he was not paid. “In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci and I both talked about it before, that it was not to be political. This virus is not political.” Quaid said his intention was to raise awareness of COVID-19 and the prevention of further deaths.

“NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPOLITICIZED,” the Frequency star said Sunday. He explained in a video message to followers that he was feeling “some rage” and “a lot of disappointment” about the reports he had done a campaign ad and endorsement of Trump.

Back in April, Quaid did back up Trump in an interview with The Daily Beast, when he said he thought the president was “handling [the pandemic] in a good way.”

Quaid is not the only recognizable name mentioned in reports about the planned ad campaign. Gospel singer CeCe Winans explained in a video post that while she had filmed a conversation with Surgeon General Jerome Adams that she had been invited to have, it focused on the importance of wearing a mask during the pandemic. “It was not political at all,” Winans said.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

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United Airlines pilots avert layoffs, other workers hope for bailout

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3 Stocks Flashing Signs of Strong Insider Buying

If you really want to know which stocks the experts – and those in the know – are buying, pay attention to what they’re doing. Stock reports, company reviews, and press statements are helpful, but you’ll get significant information from watching what the insiders are up to.The insiders – the corporate officers and board members – have to disclose when they snap up shares to prevent any unfair advantages. Tracking their stock purchases can be a useful strategy because if an insider spends their own money on a stock, it could signal that they believe big gains are in store.So, investors looking for stocks that may be flying ‘under the radar,’ but with potential to climb fast, watching for insider purchases identify some sweet market plays. To make that search easier, the TipRanks Insiders’ Hot Stocks tool gets the footwork started – identifying stocks that have seen informative moves by insiders, highlighting several common strategies used by the insiders, and collecting the data all in one place.Fresh from that database, here are the details on three stocks showing ‘informative buys’ in recent days.TravelCenters of America (TA)We’ll start with a company that you probably don’t think about often, but that does provide an essential service. TravelCenters of America is the largest publicly traded owner, operator, and franchisor of full-service highway rest stops in the US. TA started out operating truck stops for rest, repair, and maintenance, and has since expanded to full-service fueling stations offering both gasoline and diesel, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and other rest stop amenities. Their network of rest stops is part of the infrastructure that makes long-distance motor transport, both private and commercial, possible in the USA.As can be imagined, the social lockdowns and travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were not good for TA. The good news is, the worst of the pandemic hit during Q1, and the first quarter is normally TA’s slowest of the year. This year, the first quarter showed a net loss of $1.81 per share. In the second quarter, when warmer weather normally leads to increased driving, the pandemic restrictions were also – at least partially – lifted, and TA reported a sudden turnaround, with a 59 cent EPS profit. Even so, that missed the forecast by almost a dime. The outlook for Q3, normally TA’s strongest of the year, is for EPS of 73 cents.Turning to the insider trades, Adam Portnoy of the Board of Directors has the most recent informative buys. Earlier this month, he purchased over 323,000 shares, laying out more than $5.32 million for the stock. Analyst James Sullivan, of BTIG makes two observations about TravelCenters. First, he points out, “The long-haul trucking industry has an approximate 71% share of total primary tonnage in the U.S. freight industry, making it the primary mode of freight transportation.” Sullivan then adds that this opens up opportunity for TA going forward: “The increasing demands of the nation’s large trucking fleets for consolidated service providers that can provide fuel and truck service on a national basis appear likely to drive additional consolidation in the industry.”Sullivan rates TA shares a Buy, and his $34 price target suggests the stock has an impressive 82% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch Sullivan’s track record, click here)Overall, shares in TA are rated a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 5 recent reviews including 4 Buys and 1 Hold. The shares are selling for $19.24, and the $22.70 average price target implies room for 18% upside growth. (See TA stock analysis on TipRanks)Highwoods Properties (HIW)The next stock is a real estate investment trust. Highwood operates mostly in the Southeast US, but also in Pittsburgh, where it acquires, develops, leases, and manages a portfolio of suburban office and light industrial properties.Where most companies reported heavy losses during the corona crisis, HIW saw revenues in 1H20 remain stable. EPS has grown sequentially into Q1 and remained flat in Q2 at 93 cents. Both quarter beat EPS expectations.Despite the solid financial results, HIW shares have still not recovered from the market collapse of midwinter. The stock is down 27% year-to-date.Through all of this, Highwoods has maintained its dividend, as is common among REITs. The company has a 17-year history of dividend growth and reliability, and the current payment of 48 cents per common share has been stable for the past 7 quarters. At this level, it annualizes to $1.92 and gives a yield of 5.8%.Highwoods’ insider trading has come from Board member Carlos Evans, who purchased 10,000 shares for $337,000 dollars last week. His move was the first informative buy on HIW in the last 6 months.Truist analyst Michael Lewis is impressed by the quality of HIW’s portfolio. He writes, “We continue to believe that HIW’s portfolio is one of the best-positioned among traditional office REITs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rent collections have been excellent and there are no large near-term lease expirations. More broadly, the portfolio should benefit from being focused in drivable, close-in Sunbelt suburbs.”In line with these comments, Lewis rates the stock a Buy. His price target, $45, indicates a 31% potential upside from current levels. (To watch Lewis’ track record, click here)Overall, HIW has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus rating from the Street. This breaks down into 2 Buy ratings and 1 Hold. We can also see from TipRanks that the average analyst price target is $43, which implies a ~25% upside from the current share price. (See HIW stock analysis on TipRanks)VEREIT (VER)The last stock on our insider trading list is another REIT. VEREIT is major owner and manager of retail, restaurant, and commercial real estate, with a portfolio that includes over 3,800 properties worth a collective $14.7 billion. The company’s assets are 45% retail and 20% restaurants; the rest is mainly office and light industrial sites. The total leasable square footage is 88.9 million square feet.So VEREIT is a giant in the REIT sector – but size didn’t protect it from the general downturn this year. Share performance has been lackluster, and revenues have been falling off gradually since Q4 of last year. The second quarter results showed $279 million on the top line, the lowest in a year – but the quarter also saw earnings turn back upwards, reaching 17 cents per share.VER cut back on its dividend earlier this year, reducing the payment to 8 cents per share to keep it in line with earnings. That dividend has been maintained, and the next payment is set for mid-October. The current dividend yield is 4.5%, well over double the average found among S&P stocks.The big insider trade on VER comes from Board member and CEO Glenn Rufrano. He spent over $252K on a block of 40,000 shares, pushing the insider sentiment on this stock into positive territory.Covering the stock for JPMorgan, 5-star analyst Anthony Paolone sees an important strength in VER, noting that the company has been successful in collecting rents during the crisis period. “[Its] collections showed good improvement going into July, with 85% collections in 2Q and 91% in July; when considering all the abatements and deferrals, it appears that at this point about 94% of pre-COVID contractual rental revenue has been addressed, and it seems to us that a normalized run rate for this vast majority of the portfolio should take hold in early 2021; the company is making progress in working through the remaining 5-6% of non-collections,” Paolone noted.Paolone gives VER an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and his $8 price target implies a 22% upside for the next 12 months. (To watch Paolone’s track record, click here)All in all, VER has drawn optimism mixed with caution when it comes to consensus opinion among sell-side analysts. Out of 5 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 are bullish on the stock, while 2 remain sidelined. With an 11% upside potential, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $7.25. (See VEREIT’s stock analysis at TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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