U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, a Democrat from Connecticut, announced on Sunday that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
“This morning I received a positive COVID-19 test result and will be quarantined for the 14 days,” Hayes wrote on Twitter. “After going to 2 urgent care centers yesterday, I finally got an appointment at a 3rd site and was tested this morning.”
The first-term Democratic congresswoman represents much of western Connecticut, which includes Danbury, Meriden, New Britain and part of Waterbury.
Hayes added that she was asymptomatic, except for breathing issues “which are being monitored.” Her announcement came after she was notified on Saturday that one of her staffers had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have been in close contact with the staffer and I have worked in both my CT and D.C. offices over the last week,” Hayes said in a statement. “All of my staff has been notified and directed to quarantine and get tested.”
At least 17 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have either tested positive or are presumed to have had COVID-19, according to Reuters. They included nine Republicans and seven Democrats.
Hayes added that members of Congress do not get tested regularly.
Jahana Hayes addresses delegates during the Democratic convention for the 5th District in Waterbury, Conn on May 14, 2018. (Jim Shannon/Republican-American via AP, File)
“In fact we are not mass tested at all in DC. Masks, social distancing & frequent floor cleanings are the precautions that are taken in the House,” she wrote on Twitter Saturday. “I have taken every possible precaution and still contracted coronavirus.”
She said that her experience “underscore” the need for a national testing strategy with a “coherent way to receive speedy, accurate results.”
Australia is on track to economic reopening despite a brutal second wave of coronavirus concentrated in Victoria, its second-most populous state, prime minister Scott Morrison said at the weekend.
Victoria on Sunday recorded just 14 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, the lowest daily level in more than three months. The state chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said Victoria was on the “home stretch” towards ending a strict lockdown.
However, the state, with 25 per cent of the country’s population, accounts for 761 deaths, more than 85 per cent of the national total.
On Sunday, Mr Morrison hailed the latest national unemployment data, which showed the rate unexpectedly fell from a high of 7.5 per cent in July to 6.8 per cent in August.
He said it was difficult to foresee if unemployment would continue to fall.
“The figures that came out this week were a pleasant encouragement in terms of their improvement but for those who still don’t have a job, that is no comfort to them,” he told state broadcaster ABC’s Insiders programme.
Mr Morrison said the jobless data show Australia is on the right track in rebuilding its coronavirus-shattered economy, which went into recession for the first time in nearly three decades.
The apparent ease in the pandemic will mean Australia would toughen its eligibility rules for JobSeeker, the unemployment benefit plan that the government hopes to scale down. More than 1m Australians who rely on the payment will have to prove they are applying for eight jobs a month.
On Friday, Mr Morrison compared the 12.2 per cent June quarter gross domestic product contraction in New Zealand, which imposed a harsh lockdown, with the 7 per cent drop in Australia, which has seen more relaxed measures and several anti-lockdown protests, pictured.
New Zealand officials point out that there have been 1,800 coronavirus cases and 25 deaths among its 5m people, while Australia has recorded 26,882 cases and 884 deaths among 25m.
Six months ago, cross-border health-care worker Torry Robertson of LaSalle, Ont., contracted COVID-19 — leading to renal failure, a super bug, bacterial pneumonia and almost 40 days connected to a ventilator.
Following his COVID-19 diagnosis in late March, Torry spent a total of seven weeks in the intensive care unit, eight weeks in hospital and an additional eight weeks rehabbing at Windsor Regional Hospital.
But Friday, he was finally given the green light to go home. Neighbours, friends and family members cheered for him and his wife as they approached their front door around 5 p.m. ET.
“It’s been a long, long time since he’s been home — 173 days today. I’m just overjoyed and so thankful that he’s coming home,” Torry’s wife Heidi said.
Torry first began developing symptoms on March 25, according to Heidi. At the time, he simply had a fever and a scratchy throat. But shortly after getting tested for COVID-19, his body was aching, he had a fever and heaviness in his chest, she said.
After being transported to hospital, Torry spent four days on the respiratory floor of Windsor Regional Hospital before being moved to the intensive care unit because he needed to receive oxygen through a ventilator. A few days later, Torry received dialysis for kidney failure.
In mid-July, he started a rehab program.
In an interview Friday with CBC News, the 45-year-old — who works as an ICU, ER and interventional radiology nurse at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, Mich. — wasn’t able to speak too much following months of the disease taking a toll on him.
Heidi said her husband still has more progress to make, but being able to have at home again is “thrilling.”
“He still has a lot of work to do and recovery and outpatient therapy and things of that nature, but he’s come so far from where he was at one point,” she said. “He’s my better half … He needs me. I need him.”
WATCH | The Robertsons explain what it means for Torry return home:
Six months after testing positive for COVID-19, Torry Robertson’s voice was too weak to explain what made him most excited about finally going home. With assistance from his wife Heidi, Torry says he can’t wait to see his friends and family at home once again. 0:45
Reflecting on their harrowing journey, Heidi said their main message for people is that they don’t wish this on anyone else and hope others take COVID-19 seriously.
“It’s not a hoax. It’s not an ulterior motive by anybody else. It’s coronavirus. It’s a real virus,” she said.
“You don’t know how it’s going to affect you. Even though, for most people, it’s a mild case or people think it won’t happen to them, but you don’t know until you get the virus. So, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.”
The welcoming committee for Torry’s return home Friday was organized by next-door neighbour Kim Lindstone. Speaking with CBC News about six hours before Torry and Heidi arrived home, she called Torry’s journey “a miracle.”
“I am overjoyed. I’m overwhelmed. I’m so grateful to God because many, many people across Canada and across the world even have been praying for the healing of his body,” said Lindstone.
“We want to thank the health-care workers in Windsor-Essex, everyone who has done such an amazing job to bring this miracle to fruition. Tory was on the brink of death and we’re so grateful that through the health-care system and the prayers of many, many people that Torry is able to be coming home today.”
WATCH: Neighbours welcome Torry Robertson back home in LaSalle, Ont.:
Torry and Heidi Robertson were welcomed by neighbours, friends and family members as the 45-year-old health-care worker returned to their LaSalle, Ont. home for the first time in six months. 0:25
Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Air India Express from flying to Dubai for 15 days, alleging that two coronavirus positive passengers flew on board the flights on two separate occasions despite having Covid-19 positive test reports.
Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has stopped Air India Express from flying to Dubai for 15 days (PTI)
Air India Express flights to Dubai airports have been temporarily suspended for 15 days, starting from September 18 until October 3, for allegedly ferrying coronavirus positive patients to Dubai twice. Air India Express has also been penalised to bear all medical and quarantine expenditures of the coronavirus patients who had been ferried to Dubai.
Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has stopped Air India Express from flying to Dubai for 15 days, starting today, alleging that two coronavirus positive passengers flew on board the flights to Dubai on two separate occasions despite having Covid-19 positive test reports.
“You are aware of our previous intimation made to you by our letter dated September 2 for boarding a passenger with a coronavirus positive test result, who endangered the other passengers on board and also caused a serious health risk,” the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said.
It further added that boarding a coronavirus patient was in violation of the laid down procedures relating to the air travel to and from Dubai airports during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Therefore, all operation of Air India Express to Dubai Airports is temporarily suspended, for a duration of 15 days, effective from 00:01 hrs on Friday 18th September 2020 until 23:59 hrs of 2nd October 2020,” it said.
“In addition to the suspension of operation, you will be further notified to pay all the expenditure incurred by the respective authorities for medical services and/or quarantine of any passenger(s) and the other passengers in the flight and also any other expenditure connected thereto.”
For the resumption of the Air India Express flights to Dubai, Air India has been requested to submit a detailed corrective action or procedure implemented to prevent such incidents from occurring again.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made some remarks on the ongoing viability of state border closures, as he announces a “gas-led recovery” from the coronavirus recession.
“Our health plan is critical to our economic plan,” the Prime Minister told reporters on Tuesday. “During this pandemic, by Australia pursuing both, we continue to do better than almost every other developed country in the world when it comes to protecting lives and livelihoods.”
However, referring to state border closures, the Prime Minister asserted “as long as we are closed, we cannot claim success as a country”.
“If we are shut, we are not living alongside the virus, the virus is actually keeping us from living,” he said.
“So as we emerge from this second wave in Victoria, and I had a good message from the Victorian premier this morning, let’s now seize the opportunity ahead of us to safely and successfully reopen this country, reconnect this country, and stay open.”
Two of France’s biggest cities with COVID-19 infection rates exceeding the national surge in new cases are tightening limits on public activities as the French government seeks to ward off a new nationwide lockdown.
The stricter restrictions announced in Marseille and Bordeaux responded to a demand from France’s prime minister that both cities take additional steps to stem their growing numbers of infections.
In Bordeaux, the top government official for the region announced a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in public parks, along the city’s picturesque river and on beaches. The new rules also limit the size of large public gatherings to no more than 1000 people.
To counter partying, Bordeaux cafes and restaurants will also no longer be able to serve clients who are standing up and will not be able to play music outdoors. Dancing is forbidden in public venues, including at weddings. Drinking alcohol in public is also banned in Bordeaux, a centre of the French wine industry.
In Marseille, France’s second-biggest city after Paris, the regional government also announced a series of similar restrictions and the cancellation of an 11-day international festival.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks at Trocadero plaza near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Source: AP
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and members of his caucus have put themselves in isolation after a staffer in the leader’s office tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement from the party, staff and caucus members will be screened to determine how wide the virus has spread.
The statement says that caucus members and staff will remain segregated from one another but will continue to perform their duties virtually.
Bloc Québécois spokesperson Carolane Landry said that the party will adhere to strict public health guidelines, is taking the incident very seriously and is encouraging others in Quebec to do the same.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec continued to climb Monday, with 276 being reported. It’s the fifth day in a row the province has seen more than 200 cases.
Quebec now has a seven-day moving average of 25.9 cases per million inhabitants, surpassing the 20 cases per million public health had set as a threshold last month.
Last Friday, provincial Health Minister Christian Dubé shifted the target to between 20 and 25 cases per million, saying he wouldn’t be concerned if the daily numbers remained in that area. Quebec has now passed that threshold as well.
In announcing the latest numbers on Monday, Dubé said the province is seeing an increase in outbreaks and community transmission. Hospitalizations, however, remained steady and there were no new deaths reported.
At the peak of the pandemic in the spring, Quebec often reported upwards of 800 cases per day.
Senate Republicans on Monday proposed a coronavirus relief plan that would significantly reduce the $600 weekly jobless benefit for Americans, a move that Democrats oppose. Meanwhile, President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, became the highest-ranking administration official to test positive for COVID-19. Paula Reid reports.
The pall hanging over Oregon is literally breathtaking.
The wildfire smoke is a choking shroud hundreds of miles long and it is impossible to escape.
It pervades in a remarkable way – even, alarmingly, into the cabin of planes descending into Portland airport.
It is a reminder of just how unprecedented these fires are in the Pacific North West. One of the states most blessed by nature, now suffering nature’s wrath.
Tens of thousands of Oregonians have been driven from their homes. Hundreds will find those homes gone when they return. Dozens are still posted as unaccounted for. Thirty-one people across three states – Oregon, Washington and California – are confirmed to have died.
The landscape is eerie. A yellow fog blanketing everything. Ghostly figures emerge and fade. It is a spooky backdrop for communities now on edge.
The stories are beginning to emerge of heartbreaking loss in Oregon, of those who couldn’t outrun the flames. Tragically there will be many more of those stories in the days to come.
In Molalla, a town under evacuation orders with a huge fire on its doorstep, some hardy locals have stayed behind. Ashley Bentley marshals volunteers to distribute supplies to those in need.
“We’re a little bit rebellious,” she said. “We just can’t sit around doing nothing so we got to get our hands dirty.
“I think everybody is scared, fire scares people, but I think we’re hopeful.”
Just down the road, a row of broken pianos sits on the pavement, adding a surreal touch to the feel of Molalla as a ghost town.
Police have urged people to stop spreading rumours of looting and arson. But while we were in Molalla a man was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a building that had been evacuated. A man is also in custody charged with starting one of the biggest fires in the south of the state.
The president will be over the border in hard-hit California on Monday. He has always dismissed the role of climate change in these intensifying wildfire seasons. It puts him at odds with many who are dealing with the reality.
Better weather and a forecast of rain is bringing some comfort to Oregon but it will take a massive recovery operation to put lives back together.
And until the smoke lifts no one will feel at ease.