COVID-19: Resources | KGOU
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COVID-19: Resources

There's a LOT of education news these days. Here's an overview of the stories from this week that you might have missed, plus some valuable links we've gleaned from around the web.

First let's turn to the world of higher education.

Hopefully, summer won't end the way it began. Memorial Day celebrations helped set off a wave of coronavirus infections across much of the South and West. Gatherings around the Fourth of July seemed to keep those hot spots aflame.

Now Labor Day arrives as those regions are cooling off from COVID-19, and public health experts are calling on Americans to stay vigilant while celebrating the holiday weekend.

Whether the coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna succeeds or not, executives at the small biotech company have already made tens of millions of dollars by cashing in their stock. An NPR examination of official company disclosures has revealed additional irregularities and potential warning signs.

"On a scale of one to 10, one being less concerned and 10 being the most concerned," said Daniel Taylor, an associate professor of accounting at the Wharton School, "this is an 11."

Oklahoma's Two Largest Universities Try To Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

Sep 3, 2020

As colleges start their semesters, they’re dealing with increasing numbers of  COVID-19 cases. StateImpact’s Robby Korth reports on the efforts of Oklahoma’s two largest universities to mitigate the spread.

With the annual flu season about to start, it's still unclear exactly how influenza virus will interact with the coronavirus if a person has both viruses.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Stocks experienced their worst day since June, with a sudden plunge Thursday in big tech shares such as Apple and Amazon driving the S&P 500 index down 3.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2.8%.

The dizzying drop in prices follows a string of record-high trading days, largely fueled by a few superstar tech stocks, such as Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

A university that many researchers have touted as a potential model for reopening campuses to in-person classes is hitting some bumps in the road. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had implemented a mass coronavirus testing program for staff and students in an effort to keep virus spread on campus under control.

Another 881,000 people applied for state unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department says. That's 130,000 fewer than the previous week. But the report comes with an asterisk.

The department just changed the way it adjusts claims data to account for seasonal variation. That should make the reports more accurate in the weeks to come. But it also means the reported change from the previous week is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Without the seasonal adjustment, state unemployment claims rose by more than 7,500.

The pandemic is taking a big toll on the government's bottom line.

The federal government's accumulated debt burden is projected to be larger than the overall economy next year for the first time since 1946. Debt is expected to reach an all-time high of 107% of gross domestic product in 2023.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit to reach $3.3 trillion in the fiscal year ending this month. That's about 16% of GDP — a level not seen since the end of World War II in 1945.

Three new studies strongly support using inexpensive and widely available drugs to treat people who are seriously ill with COVID-19. The drugs are steroids, and the research published Wednesday confirms they are proving to be the most effective treatment found to date.

University of Oklahoma Seed Sower Statue With Coronavirus Mask
Richard Bassett / KGOU

The White House Coronavirus Task Force released its most recent report on Oklahoma this week. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that the document offers new advice to officials in university towns.

United Airlines will be putting 16,370 workers on involuntary, indefinite furlough at the start of October unless more aid materializes from the federal government, the company announced Wednesday.

Together with some 7,400 voluntary departures, the airline is cutting its workforce by more than 25%. It's hardly alone. American Airlines recently announced 19,000 furloughs and layoffs, while Delta cut its workforce by 20% through buyouts.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokeswoman.

Berlusconi, 83, will continue working in isolation at his home in Arcore, near Milan, his staff said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Lebanon is seeing a dramatic increase in the spread of the coronavirus since last month's massive explosion at Beirut's port, which damaged much of the capital city. Since the Aug. 4 blast, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased by some 220%, according to an assessment by the International Rescue Committee.

Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That's nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.

The Trump administration says the U.S. will not participate in a global push to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, in part because the effort is led by the World Health Organization, which the White House describes as "corrupt" and has accused of initially aiding China in covering up the scope of the pandemic.

After shutting down in the spring, America's empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout. To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is also trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.

Updated 2:50 p.m. ET Wednesday

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will no longer pay for some safety measures related to COVID-19 that it had previously covered.

Keith Turi, FEMA assistant administrator for recovery, announced the changes during a call Tuesday with state and tribal emergency managers, many of whom expressed concerns about the new policy.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Gov. Kevin Stitt provide COVID-19 update on 9/1/2020
Screen capture / Facebook

Mask mandates continue to be top of mind for Oklahoma officials. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that as one city council voted to extend theirs, other officials maintained that containing the spread should rest on personal responsibility.

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