Melbourne curfew takes effect as disaster declared in state of Victoria

Australia’s state of Victoria has declared a disaster and imposed some of its harshest restrictions to date on movement as it seeks to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.

A further 671 infections and seven coronavirus deaths were announced in Victoria as the new measures, which officials said will remain in place for six weeks, took effect.

High numbers of community transmissions and cases of unknown origins have forced the new restrictions, which include limits on movement and citywide night time curfews. Officials have said that the measures will be in place for six weeks.

Melbourne, the second-largest city in Australia, is already under a reimposed six-week ‘stay at home’ order but has struggled to control the virus, with record numbers of infections recorded last week.

“The current rules have avoided thousands and thousands of cases each day, and then thousands of people in hospital and many more tragedies than

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Christian Siriano Granted New York State Funding to Make PPE for Nonmedical Public Service Workers

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Designer Christian Siriano.

Christian Siriano’s getting the government support he needs to continue producing PPE.

Early on at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March, Siriano, 34, became the first fashion designer to step up and announce he would be using his manufacturing resources to create protective masks for frontline workers. Now, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to award a total of $6.9 million in incentives to companies to continue making equipment, Siriano’s fashion firm was one of the 12 selected.

Per Cuomo’s announcement, one of Siriano’s companies, CJ Designs, is receiving $352,590, according to a report from Women’s Wear Daily. The money will be put towards manufacturing more face masks for nonmedical public service employees as the state prepares for a potential second wave of coronavirus in the fall.

“Siriano quickly changed the scope of his high fashion Manhattan

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Who decides when schools close if students, staff contract coronavirus or cases spike locally? Superintendents seek guidance from state

While the state’s plan to leave some school reopening details in the hands of individual districts allows for greater flexibility, it also could leave school administrators having to make tough decisions about how and when to close school buildings if students or staff contract the coronavirus or an individual community becomes immersed in an outbreak.

A number of districts say they want more guidance from the state on how to respond to confirmed infections or spikes in COVID-19 in the wider community. Districts plan to work with local health officials on contract tracing and say they’ll likely send home cohorts of students or close individual schools, but they have not developed benchmarks for those actions, or for opening things back up.

Gov. Ned Lamont Wednesday said the state would “have a strong recommendation that you close those schools” if the rate of positive coronavirus tests reached 10%, but stopped short

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Sao Paulo state tops 20,000 COVID-19 deaths

SAO PAULO — Brazilian authorities say the country’s Sao Paulo state has topped 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, while the nation as a whole has recored more than 80,000 fatalities due to the coronavirus.

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s most populous state, with 46 million people, and is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the South American country.

It has been enforcing social distancing measures since mid-March, but has never applied a full lockdown.

Sao Paulo Gov. João Doria replaced his health secretary this week, though he says the official left the post for medical reasons unrelated to the coronavirus.

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— With the pandemic worsening … Read More

PA Teachers Union Urges State To Plan For Online Start To School

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union is asking state officials to direct public schools to plan for an online start to school if the spread of the coronavirus doesn’t slow by the fall.

Pennsylvania State Education Association President Rich Askey, in a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, said it is “extremely important for Pennsylvania’s public schools to plan for the distinct possibility that further increases in COVID-19 cases will make it impossible to safely reopen Pennsylvania’s schools for in-person instruction.”

Askey, in his letter, emphasized that educators want to return to the classroom. However, health risks associated with COVID-19 “may be impossible to prevent in school buildings if the current increase in Pennsylvania cases continues.”

He pointed to an “increasing number of Pennsylvania educators and parents” who are concerned that reopening schools for in-person instruction poses significant health risks.

The full letter can

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Some Floridians worry contact tracing calls are scams. State urges you to respond

Elysee Bernstein received a call July 10 from someone claiming to work for the Florida Department of Health, telling her she had tested positive for COVID-19.

She was confused since she had already received a negative result online from the Lincoln Park testing center she visited in Fort Lauderdale. The caller asked Bernstein to provide her Social Security number, address, name and phone number. She feared it was a scam and immediately hung up.

“Once they started asking for all my information I instantly knew,” Bernstein said. “But if I hadn’t gotten my results [already], I probably would’ve given my information.”

Bernstein and many other Floridians are worried about responding to contact tracing calls. State and local a governments have repeatedly urged people to answer contact tracer questions, which they say are a major key to help control the surging spread of COVID-19. But they also acknowledge there could be

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California Department of State Hospitals