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Daily News Pulse for February 28, 2023

Summary: Caltech researchers have developed a new at-home test for COVID-19 that is more sensitive than current tests. The U.S. Department of Energy has shifted its stance on the origins of COVID-19 from being undecided to leaning towards a lab origin, though with low confidence. U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns urged China to be more honest about the origins of the pandemic.
  • How an infectious disease expert interprets conflicting reports on COVID-19’s origins – NPR: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Department of Energy has shifted its stance on the origins of COVID-19 from being undecided to leaning towards a lab origin, though with low confidence. The White House is trying to make it clear that the investigation into the origins of COVID-19 is ongoing.
  • Biden Administration: No Consensus on ‘Lab Leak’ as COVID-19 Origin | National News: The Biden administration downplayed a new report that suggests the COVID-19 virus may have originated from an accidental lab leak in China. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. government and intelligence committee have not reached a definitive conclusion on the origin of the virus.
  • China must be ‘more honest’ on COVID origins, envoy says – Reuters: U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns urged China to be more honest about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, following reports that the U.S. Energy Department concluded it likely arose from a Chinese laboratory leak. He also said China must take a more active role in the World Health Organization if it is to be strengthened.
  • Researchers Develop a More Sensitive At-Home COVID-19 Test – Caltech: Caltech researchers have developed a new at-home test for COVID-19 that is more sensitive than current tests. The technology can also be used to detect other pathogens, and was described in a paper in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases. The research was conducted by Niles Pierce, professor of applied and computational mathematics and bioengineering.
  • Coronavirus origins still a mystery 3 years into pandemic – The Journal: The U.S. Department of Energy has assessed with “low confidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from a lab leak, although there is not a consensus in the U.S. government about how it started. The report has not been made public yet.
  • FDA authorizes first over-the-counter test for both flu and COVID-19 | AHA News: The FDA has authorized the first over-the-counter test to detect both flu and COVID-19. The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test provides results in 30 minutes from self-collected nasal swab samples. This is a major milestone in providing greater access to diagnostic tests that can be done at home.
  • Study: Covid Has Brought About a Less Connected World | Data Center Knowledge: The Covid pandemic led to a 30% drop in cross-border links between companies and their suppliers, but higher shipping volumes from more resilient producers cushioned the fallout, according to a Bank for International Settlements study. Shipping volumes of remaining suppliers increased, helping to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
  • Study: Half of Cancer Patients May Develop Long COVID – Pharmacy Times: A new study published in eLife found that more than half of cancer patients at a US cancer center experienced symptoms of long COVID-19 for over 6 months after initial infection. Women undergoing cancer treatment seem to be at higher risk than men. The findings suggest that cancer patients may be more vulnerable to long-term effects of COVID-19.
  • 5 things to know about long COVID symptoms, research in Texas: In Texas, 14% of people have experienced long COVID, with 26% of those who had the virus reporting long-term symptoms lasting three months or longer. 81% of those with long COVID report that their symptoms reduce their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, and 28% say there are significant impacts on their quality of life.
  • Case: Disability Discrimination/Discharge (N.D. Ala.) – Bloomberg Law News: A federal district court ruled that Alabama A&M University was entitled to summary judgment on a fired residential life and housing secretary’s disability discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, after she tested positive for Covid-19 and informed the university almost three weeks later. The court ruled that the secretary couldn’t establish disability discrimination because the university didn’t regard her as being impaired at the time she was discharged, three days after finally testing negative.
  • COVID-19 states of emergency are ending. Here’s what’s changing. – capradio.org: Sacramento County still offers weekly pop-up vaccine clinics, and Sacramento City Unified provides free vaccinations for those under 19 with Medi-Cal, no insurance or Native American/Alaskan heritage. Vaccines and boosters can also be accessed at local pharmacies or through primary care providers. The Biden administration is considering offering free vaccines and boosters for uninsured people, but there is no confirmation yet.
  • No definitive conclusion on Covid-19 origin theory: White House – The Hindu BusinessLine: The White House has said that there is no definitive conclusion on the origin of Covid-19, and that the intelligence community and the rest of the government are still looking into it. They are seeking facts in order to determine the cause of the pandemic.
  • ‘No conclusion on Covid origin theory’: White House on lab leak report | Mint: John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, spoke to media about the Covid-19 origin theory. He said that the intelligence community and government are still looking into it and that President Joe Biden has made finding the origin a priority.
  • U.S. Supreme Court rejects Orlando bars’ lawsuit over COVID shutdown: The US Supreme Court refused to hear a case from Orange County bars arguing that they should receive compensation for government-ordered shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Florida Supreme Court had previously declined to take up the dispute.
  • 8th Circuit: COVID Stay-at-Home Orders Did Not ‘Quarantine’ Skiers – Claims Journal: A panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that public health orders issued by authorities during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were not “quarantines” that require a travel insurer to reimburse policyholders who did not get full use of their ski passes. The court affirmed a decision to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed by people seeking partial refunds.
  • Lawmaker aims to update La. workplace discrimination laws – WBRC: Recent news is that there have been a number of developments in the world.
  • Dealing With Workplace Conflict – The Increasingly Important Role Of ADR – United States – Mondaq: The workplace can be a source of collaboration and productivity, but it can also be home to conflict and mistreatment. In 2021, there were 61,331 workplace discrimination charges in the U.S., resulting in more than $34 million in damages awarded in federal court. The pandemic has only made employment disputes worse, as remote and hybrid workplace models have added to the complexity of the situation.

Daily News Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: Princeton students have seen an overall improvement in course satisfaction since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Japan, many people are still wearing masks despite the government’s easing of guidelines.

Daily Research Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: A systematic review examines the prevalence of nurses and physicians leaving their positions in European hospitals and the factors influencing job retention among them. Researchers found that 31.4% of hospitalized patients with cardiac problems and suspected COVID-19 had PTSD during waves 2-5 of the pandemic.

Daily News Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: A pilot study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that nasal administration of the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody Foralumab can modulate T cell inflammatory responses in COVID-19. The Washington State Department of Health is ending its free at-home testing program Say Yes! COVID Test on May 11. California Governor Gavin Newsom has tested positive for COVID-19 after a personal trip to Baja California.

Daily Research Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: Researchers examined the clinical, laboratory, and cardiac indicators of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), and the experiences and behaviors of adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results or who were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Daily News Pulse for March 09, 2023

Summary: California Governor Gavin Newsom tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in isolation for the next five days. After recovering from a mild case of COVID, many people have developed long-term gastrointestinal symptoms. The US House of Representatives held a public hearing to explore the origins of the virus.