What you need to know about COVID-19: Scientists say Hong Kong man got coronavirus a second time

University of Hong Kong scientists claim to have the first evidence of someone being reinfected with the virus that causes COVID-19.Genetic tests revealed that a 33-year-old man returning to Hong Kong from a trip to Spain in mid-August had a different strain of the coronavirus than the one he’d previously been infected with in March, said Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To, the microbiologist who led the work.The man had mild symptoms the first time and none the second time; his more recent infection was detected through screening and testing at the Hong Kong airport.“It shows that some people do not have lifelong immunity” to the virus if they’ve already had it, To said. “We don’t know how many people can get reinfected. There are probably more out there.”The latest numbersMore than 5.7 million Americans have been infected and at least 177,200 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.The paper has been accepted by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases but not yet published, and some independent experts urged caution until full results are available.Whether people who have had COVID-19 are immune to new infections and for how long are key questions that have implications for vaccine development and decisions about returning to work, school and social activities.Even if someone can be infected a second time, it’s not known if they have some protection against serious illness, because the immune system generally remembers how to make antibodies against a virus it’s seen before.DeJoy says Trump attacks on mail-in ballots ‘not helpful’Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers Monday that he has warned allies of President Donald Trump that the president’s repeated attacks on mail-in ballots are “not helpful,” but denied that recent changes at the Postal Service are linked to the November elections.DeJoy was testifying for a second day on Capitol Hill, facing tense questions from lawmakers over an uproar in mail delivery delays since he took the helm in mid-June.“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said, adding that, like Trump, he personally plans to vote by mail.The hearing quickly became a debate over delivery disruptions being reported nationwide. Democrats said the changes under DeJoy’s watch are causing widespread delays, but Republicans dismissed the worries as unfounded and part of a Democratic “conspiracy” against Trump.In questioning, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said the upheaval at one of the nation’s oldest and most popular institutions was either the result of “gross incompetence” or that DeJoy was “doing this on purpose.”“What the heck are you doing?” Lynch asked DeJoy at a sometimes contentious House Oversight Committee hearing. DeJoy denied any wrongdoing and accused Lynch and other Democrats of spreading misinformation.DeJoy also disputed published reports that he has eliminated overtime for postal workers and said a Postal Service document outlining overtime restrictions was written by a mid-level manager. DeJoy, who has called election mail his “No. 1 priority,” said he will authorize expanded use of overtime, extra truck trips and other measures in the weeks before the election to ensure on-time delivery of ballots.Colleges halt in-person classes, begin campus monitoring after rise in casesAs colleges and universities try to settle into the fall semester, coronavirus cases continue to rise leading some institutions to cancel in-person instruction and implement strict rules to control the virus.Universities in at least 19 states have reported outbreaks, despite health protocols on campus. Many outbreaks are tied to large group gatherings like parties, leading some schools to suspend students and organizations for breaking social distancing rules on and off campus.The University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama both have seen increases in COVID-19 cases on their campuses. Notre Dame has moved to online instruction, according to its website. Meanwhile, local and university police at the University of Alabama will partner to monitor bars, restaurants and off-campus housing to ensure the city’s COVID-19 ordinances and university guidelines are followed, university President Stuart R. Bell said.”Violations to our health and safety protocols, both on and off campus, are subject to harsh disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from UA,” Bell wrote in a letter to the campus community on Sunday.The University of Kentucky began a second phase of testing Sunday after a roughly 3% positivity rate for COVID-19 among fraternities and sororities in initial testing, which is triple the roughly 1% positivity rate for the general student population. And Central Michigan University has threatened to fine or suspend students who host large gatherings.Penn State suspended its second fraternity this week for social distancing violations, according to a Sunday statement from the university.Pi Kappa Alpha has been suspended for “hosting a large social gathering” on Saturday, that included about 70 students, the university said. The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was previously suspended from the campus following an Aug. 18 gathering that violated school policy, the university said.Despite the rise in cases, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto cautioned against blaming students for the higher positivity rate on the school’s campus.”Let me be clear: This is not an act to blame the students who reside in these facilities or who belong to these organizations,” he wrote. “We believe a number of factors associated with communal living spaces likely contributed to the high positivity rates in these residences.” Concerns and questions about the new school yearOn the K-12 front, school districts are still trying to figure out how to navigate the academic year during the pandemic.Many schools across the country have implemented increased measures to protect students and staff against the virus, even though researchers are still learning how the virus spreads among young children.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its school guidance Friday emphasizing the importance of keeping schools open if possible. One big change in the guidelines was how schools can handle a positive case.The CDC encouraged schools to work closely with local and public health leaders if there is an infected person on campus. But rather than shut everything down immediately for a long period of time, the guidelines said one option is an initial short-term class suspension and cancellation of events and after-school activities, so that public health leaders can get the time they need to determine how widespread the infections are.If schools are using a pod system, keeping certain students together, administrators may only need to close certain parts of the building where an infected person had been. In Florida, a 6-year-old girl became the youngest person in the state to die from coronavirus complications. Health officials say they still don’t know if the child contracted the virus from a known case or if it was travel related.Convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatmentThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization Sunday for convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.Convalescent plasma is created from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19, and it has shown some success in two other deadly coronaviruses: MERS and SARS. It has also been used to treat flu and Ebola.The agency said it concluded that it may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that “the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”Some experts, however, say there is not enough solid data to support the use of the plasma.”The problem is, we don’t really have enough data to really understand how effective convalescent plasma is,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University and a CNN medical analyst said Sunday.Art Caplan, founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine, told CNN he’s worried about whether there’s a large enough supply of convalescent plasma, which relies on donations from COVID-19 survivors.”We’re going to get a gold rush towards plasma, with patients demanding it and doctors demanding it for their patients,” Caplan said.Trump administration officials cited a Mayo Clinic-led study that showed a 35% improvement in survival among people given the highest doses of the treatment early on in their illness compared to those who were treated later.FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says studies have shown convalescent plasma is safe and the treatment has been given to patients with infectious diseases for more than a hundred years.”There was a really good rationale for why this might work,” Hahn said at a White House briefing called in part Sunday to announce the emergency use authorization. “In the independent judgment of experts and expert scientists at FDA who have reviewed the totality of data … more than a dozen published studies … those scientists have concluded that COVID-19 convalescent plasma is safe and shows promising efficacy, thereby meeting the criteria for an emergency use authorization.”Stop the spread of COVID-19To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

University of Hong Kong scientists claim to have the first evidence of someone being reinfected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Genetic tests revealed that a 33-year-old man returning to Hong Kong from a trip to Spain in mid-August had a different strain of the coronavirus than the one he’d previously been infected with in March, said Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To, the microbiologist who led the work.

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The man had mild symptoms the first time and none the second time; his more recent infection was detected through screening and testing at the Hong Kong airport.

“It shows that some people do not have lifelong immunity” to the virus if they’ve already had it, To said. “We don’t know how many people can get reinfected. There are probably more out there.”

The latest numbers

More than 5.7 million Americans have been infected and at least 177,200 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The paper has been accepted by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases but not yet published, and some independent experts urged caution until full results are available.

Whether people who have had COVID-19 are immune to new infections and for how long are key questions that have implications for vaccine development and decisions about returning to work, school and social activities.

Even if someone can be infected a second time, it’s not known if they have some protection against serious illness, because the immune system generally remembers how to make antibodies against a virus it’s seen before.

DeJoy says Trump attacks on mail-in ballots ‘not helpful’

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers Monday that he has warned allies of President Donald Trump that the president’s repeated attacks on mail-in ballots are “not helpful,” but denied that recent changes at the Postal Service are linked to the November elections.

DeJoy was testifying for a second day on Capitol Hill, facing tense questions from lawmakers over an uproar in mail delivery delays since he took the helm in mid-June.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said, adding that, like Trump, he personally plans to vote by mail.

The hearing quickly became a debate over delivery disruptions being reported nationwide. Democrats said the changes under DeJoy’s watch are causing widespread delays, but Republicans dismissed the worries as unfounded and part of a Democratic “conspiracy” against Trump.

In questioning, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said the upheaval at one of the nation’s oldest and most popular institutions was either the result of “gross incompetence” or that DeJoy was “doing this on purpose.”

“What the heck are you doing?” Lynch asked DeJoy at a sometimes contentious House Oversight Committee hearing. DeJoy denied any wrongdoing and accused Lynch and other Democrats of spreading misinformation.

DeJoy also disputed published reports that he has eliminated overtime for postal workers and said a Postal Service document outlining overtime restrictions was written by a mid-level manager. DeJoy, who has called election mail his “No. 1 priority,” said he will authorize expanded use of overtime, extra truck trips and other measures in the weeks before the election to ensure on-time delivery of ballots.

Colleges halt in-person classes, begin campus monitoring after rise in cases

As colleges and universities try to settle into the fall semester, coronavirus cases continue to rise leading some institutions to cancel in-person instruction and implement strict rules to control the virus.

Universities in at least 19 states have reported outbreaks, despite health protocols on campus. Many outbreaks are tied to large group gatherings like parties, leading some schools to suspend students and organizations for breaking social distancing rules on and off campus.

The University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama both have seen increases in COVID-19 cases on their campuses. Notre Dame has moved to online instruction, according to its website. Meanwhile, local and university police at the University of Alabama will partner to monitor bars, restaurants and off-campus housing to ensure the city’s COVID-19 ordinances and university guidelines are followed, university President Stuart R. Bell said.

“Violations to our health and safety protocols, both on and off campus, are subject to harsh disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from UA,” Bell wrote in a letter to the campus community on Sunday.

The University of Kentucky began a second phase of testing Sunday after a roughly 3% positivity rate for COVID-19 among fraternities and sororities in initial testing, which is triple the roughly 1% positivity rate for the general student population. And Central Michigan University has threatened to fine or suspend students who host large gatherings.

Penn State suspended its second fraternity this week for social distancing violations, according to a Sunday statement from the university.

Pi Kappa Alpha has been suspended for “hosting a large social gathering” on Saturday, that included about 70 students, the university said. The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was previously suspended from the campus following an Aug. 18 gathering that violated school policy, the university said.

Despite the rise in cases, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto cautioned against blaming students for the higher positivity rate on the school’s campus.

“Let me be clear: This is not an act to blame the students who reside in these facilities or who belong to these organizations,” he wrote. “We believe a number of factors associated with communal living spaces likely contributed to the high positivity rates in these residences.”

Concerns and questions about the new school year

On the K-12 front, school districts are still trying to figure out how to navigate the academic year during the pandemic.

Many schools across the country have implemented increased measures to protect students and staff against the virus, even though researchers are still learning how the virus spreads among young children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its school guidance Friday emphasizing the importance of keeping schools open if possible. One big change in the guidelines was how schools can handle a positive case.

The CDC encouraged schools to work closely with local and public health leaders if there is an infected person on campus. But rather than shut everything down immediately for a long period of time, the guidelines said one option is an initial short-term class suspension and cancellation of events and after-school activities, so that public health leaders can get the time they need to determine how widespread the infections are.

If schools are using a pod system, keeping certain students together, administrators may only need to close certain parts of the building where an infected person had been.

In Florida, a 6-year-old girl became the youngest person in the state to die from coronavirus complications. Health officials say they still don’t know if the child contracted the virus from a known case or if it was travel related.

Convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization Sunday for convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

Convalescent plasma is created from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19, and it has shown some success in two other deadly coronaviruses: MERS and SARS. It has also been used to treat flu and Ebola.

The agency said it concluded that it may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that “the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”

Some experts, however, say there is not enough solid data to support the use of the plasma.

“The problem is, we don’t really have enough data to really understand how effective convalescent plasma is,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University and a CNN medical analyst said Sunday.

Art Caplan, founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine, told CNN he’s worried about whether there’s a large enough supply of convalescent plasma, which relies on donations from COVID-19 survivors.

“We’re going to get a gold rush towards plasma, with patients demanding it and doctors demanding it for their patients,” Caplan said.

Trump administration officials cited a Mayo Clinic-led study that showed a 35% improvement in survival among people given the highest doses of the treatment early on in their illness compared to those who were treated later.

FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says studies have shown convalescent plasma is safe and the treatment has been given to patients with infectious diseases for more than a hundred years.

“There was a really good rationale for why this might work,” Hahn said at a White House briefing called in part Sunday to announce the emergency use authorization. “In the independent judgment of experts and expert scientists at FDA who have reviewed the totality of data … more than a dozen published studies … those scientists have concluded that COVID-19 convalescent plasma is safe and shows promising efficacy, thereby meeting the criteria for an emergency use authorization.”

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.

Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Multiple major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation continues to see a large number of cases reported in certain areas.

The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.