Over 40 churchgoers get coronavirus after attending service in Germany

More than 40 churchgoers have come down with coronavirus after attending a service in Frankfurt, Germany, earlier this month, health officials said.

Evangelical Christian Baptist Church, where the service took place on May 10, didn’t violate any of the rules aimed at stopping the spread of the virus, the city’s health department told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau.

“The situation is very dynamic,” the department’s deputy chief Antoni Walczok told the newspaper.

Despite the high number of cases linked to the service, most of the congregants who have been diagnosed do not have severe cases, German outlet dpa agency reported.

“Most of them are not seriously ill. As far as we know only one person has been admitted to hospital,” Rene Gottschalk, who is head of the city’s health department, told the outlet.

The German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, has allowed churches to hold services since May 1 as long as they follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

With Post wires

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Brits warned not to buy coronavirus home-testing kits from firms like Superdrug – The Sun

BRITS should not buy coronavirus home-testing kits sold by firms such as Superdrug, says the Government’s testing chief.

Professor John Newton told MPs that people should wait for officially approved checks.

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Ministers announced on Thursday that more than 10million antibody kits are being bought for use in hospitals and care homes.

They have been hailed as “game-changing” by Boris Johnson.

High street chains are also offering a £69 test to tell if a person was previously infected. But Prof Newton said better checks will be available soon.

“The public needs to be aware that those tests are not the same as those we have approved for use,” he said.

Better versions were still “under evaluation”, he added.

Superdrug hit back, saying: “We stand by the quality, safety and accuracy of our Covid-19 laboratory-based test.”

Thousands of the firm’s tests have been snapped up.

Users take a finger-prick blood sample at home and post it to a lab.

Results are published online 24 hours after it is received and the firm claims it is 98 per cent accurate.

Public Health England has approved two antibody tests for public testing — from medical giants Roche and Abbott.

They rely on blood from a vein.


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Blame governors for the coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: Goodwin

An article in Nowhere Magazine several years ago explored the ways ancient cultures dispatched the elderly, a practice known as senicide. Author Justin Nobel recounted several gruesome rites that made the Inuit habit of putting Granny on an Arctic ice floe seem humane.

At one point, Nobel mentioned that his own grandparents had moved “to a fancy nursing home in the suburbs of New York City.”

That made me shudder.

If they are honest, historians judging the American experience during the coronavirus pandemic will excoriate our barbaric failure to protect the elderly. We think of ourselves as civilized, but mindless policies and bureaucratic indifference turned many nursing homes and rehabilitation centers into killing fields.

At least 28,000 residents and workers in long-term care facilities already have died from the ­virus, according to a New York Times analysis done more than a week ago. That represented one out of every three COVID-19 deaths recorded in the United States at the time and was likely an undercount because of reporting lags and varying state methods.

This massacre of a helpless population shames America and Washington must find out why it happened and who is responsible. Elderly people in these institutions could not protect themselves, and because most states banned visitors early in the outbreak, the institutions, their regulators and elected officials were fully obligated to shield them against infection.

They failed miserably.

The Times found 14 states where more than half of total deaths occurred in facilities for the elderly. It was 55 percent in Connecticut, 57 percent in Colorado, North Carolina and Kentucky, 58 percent in Virginia, 59 percent in Massachusetts, 61 percent in Delaware, 66 percent in Pennsylvania, 73 percent in Rhode Island and 80 percent in West Virginia and Minnesota.

The states with the most nursing-home deaths, New York and New Jersey, didn’t make the list because of so many other deaths, yet more than 10,000 people died in their facilities. The 5,500 nursing-home deaths in New York are more than the total deaths in all other states except New Jersey.

Many if not most could have been avoided. The earlier outbreaks in Asia and Europe demonstrated that the elderly were easy prey for the virus, doubly so when they have underlying health conditions. Everybody knew that.

Florida got the message and implemented a model response. Despite its vast enclaves of long-term care homes, it reported ­under 750 deaths in them, or slightly more than one for each of its 615 facilities.

The striking contrast between Florida on one hand and New York and New Jersey on the other can be traced largely to policy decisions by their governors. Gov. ­Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey issued almost identical orders in late March requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients being discharged from hospitals. The orders barred the homes from even asking if the patients had the virus, lest they be discriminated against.

Those politically correct orders quickly became death sentences as infections spread like wildfire.

Florida, thankfully, followed a different path. Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state moved early to protect the elderly because statistics from South Korea showed “that not all age groups were equally at risk” and that most deaths happened to “folks 65 and up.”

As a result, he allowed his nursing homes to reject hospital referrals who were still infected. More recently, Florida started sending infected residents in the opposite direction, from nursing homes to hospitals.

“Our goal is to keep the virus out of our facilities,” one Florida nursing-home CEO told the Sun-Sentinel. “Hospitals are more concerned about their beds.”

Because Cuomo and Murphy had the same information as ­DeSantis, their ruinous actions ­remain inexplicable. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

On March 8, Dr. Thomas Frieden, former head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote on CNN that “nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are ground zero.” On March 18, the CDC, in a study of the nation’s first large outbreak, in a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., told health officials, “Substantial morbidity and mortality might be averted if all long-term care facilities take steps now to prevent exposure of their residents to COVID-19.”

Yet seven days later, Cuomo issued his infamous March 25 order that said, “No resident shall be ­denied readmission or admission to NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

Six days after that, on March 31, Murphy used similar language in his order. Although it allowed carve-outs that enabled some facilities to dodge the bullet, the mandate had disastrous impacts overall, with more than 5,000 deaths recorded in New Jersey’s long-term homes.

One of the worst is the state-run Veterans Home in Paramus, which has recorded at least 72 deaths. A man who lost his 91-year-old Army-veteran father there was quoted as saying the home should be demolished and replaced with a memorial park. “It’s like a mass shooting,” he said.

Despite the surging death count, Cuomo defended his directive for more than six weeks. He reversed himself only last Sunday, ruling that patients must test negative before hospitals can send them to nursing homes. Yet he insisted that the initial policy “worked.”

If more than 5,000 dead was success, what would failure look like?

Cuomo’s reversal included forcing nursing homes to test staff and administrators twice a week, at the homes’ own expense. There was no explanation why testing was not required all along, or how it would work when labs say they cannot process the needed 410,000 weekly tests.

Despite the enormous consequences of Cuomo’s arbitrary decision-making, only a few New York lawmakers have dared to call for investigations about what went wrong.

Nursing-home executives, meanwhile, complain privately that Cuomo should have known his mandate would be a killer, but they were never consulted and got no notice before being swamped with infected patients. As one owner put it, long-time residents began “dropping like flies” soon afterward.

These same executives will not go public with their complaints because they fear Cuomo will punish them with fines and take their licenses. Some see the sudden testing regime and a probe he started with the state attorney general as a way to blame them for his mistakes.

All the more reason why federal officials with nothing to fear must step in and find the facts. A designated US attorney, for example, could use a grand jury to demand answers about why so many elderly people were put in harm’s way despite the warnings and simple common sense.

As for witnesses willing and eager to come forward, the feds should start with grieving families. For each of the 28,000 dead, there are relatives whose stories of heartbreak and rage will move the nation.

The families want answers and they want action. They deserve both.

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France to start lifting coronavirus lockdown from Monday after 25,000 deaths and widespread disorder – The Sun

FRANCE is due to begin easing its coronavirus lockdown measures on Monday after suffering 25,000 deaths and widespread disorder.

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe detailed the plan to begin a “gradual and targeted” easing of measures on May 11.

The prime minister said Monday would mark the beginning of a “progressive” exit from lockdown.

It ends two months of strict confinement for France’s 67-million-strong population.

He said: “Next Monday will mark the start of a very gradual process stretching over several weeks at least, which will allow the country to emerge slowly but steadily from the lockdown.”

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Uber axes 3,700 jobs as coronavirus pandemic sees drop in demand

Uber is cutting nearly 4,000 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic results in a drop in demand.

The US company will reduce its global customer support and recruiting teams by approximately 3,700 full-time roles – roughly 14% of its 26,900-person workforce.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is also set to waive his base salary – set at $1 million (£809,690) in 2019 – until the end of the year, according to the Financial Times.

The redundancies will cost $20 million in ‘severance and other termination benefits’, a stock market filing revealed.

The document did not disclose how the redundancies will affect the 200 employees in the UK – this figure not including the thousands of Britons who work as drivers.

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A company spokesperson said: ‘With people taking fewer trips, the unfortunate reality is that there isn’t enough work for many of our front-line customer support employees.

‘Since we don’t know how long a recovery will take, we are taking steps to bring our costs in line with the size of our business today.

‘This was a tough decision, but it is the right one to help protect the company’s long-term health and ensure we come out of this crisis stronger.’

Uber was already struggling to make profit before the Covid-19 outbreak, reporting a loss of $8.5 (£6.9 billion) for 2019.

Mr Khosrowshahi said in February the company’s era of growth ‘at all costs’ is over, but he expected it to be profitable in 2020.

In March, it was revealed that demand for Uber taxis had fallen by more than 60% in hard-hit coronavirus areas, but takeaway orders on Uber Eats had increased.

The company will report first quarter financial results on Thursday.

It comes as analysis shows that 50% of British adults are now receiving some sort of funding from the state, as millions across the country struggle amid the pandemic.

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Parks and Recreation Cast Reunites in (Paw)Knee-Slapping Benefit Special to Aid Coronavirus Relief

Leslie Knope and crew to the rescue!

On Thursday, the Parks and Recreation cast —  including Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Retta, Jim O'Heir, and more — came together (in their respective characters!) to host a special benefit to aid relief for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Airing five years after the series finale of the beloved NBC sitcom, the special picked up on the characters' lives as they deal with social distancing.

"The story comes from the events of the day – Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope, is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing," a press release obtained by PEOPLE said.

To kick things off, Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) read a special message from Knope (Poehler, 48) to the viewers.

Schur said that everyone in the cast was excited to join in on the project.

“I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes," he said. "Our old Parks and Rec team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!”

"In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion,” said NBC Entertainment Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta in a statement.

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Ex-military cop dies of coronavirus after asking Ross Kemp to film him in ICU to show ‘just how cruel Covid-19 is’ – The Sun

A BRAVE ex-serviceman filmed as part of a new Ross Kemp documentary showing the horrors of coronavirus has died.

Paul Breeze, a retired military police officer, asked to be filmed as part of the ITV documentary in a bid to show viewers "just how cruel Covid-19 is".

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Viewers watched his courageous battle with the virus in the first episode of series On the Front Lines, which aired a fortnight ago.

During the programme, Paul, 63, was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties.

But after filming ended, he lost his fight with Covid-19.

Kemp, who spoke exclusively to The Sun about Paul's courage, said on last night's show: "In the last episode of the programme, a very brave man called Paul Breeze, who had been a serviceman all his life, asked us to film him so we could show the public just show cruel Covid-19 is.

"A fighter – sadly, to the end – he lost that fight and he died as many have.

"But I just want to say a huge, huge thanks to him for being so brave and allowing us to show the impact of this awful virus."

In an article he wrote for Sun Online, the TV hard man said Paul had left intensive care and appeared to be getting better.

But when camera crews returned to the hospital to see him again, Paul had died.

Kemp said: "I was devastated to discover that his recovery was a false dawn."

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After tonight's show, Paul's widow Angela spoke to Kemp on Twitter, writing: "Thank you very much for showing my husband Paul as you have done.

"His main aim was always to show how this virus is so dangerous."

The actor and presenter replied: "I can’t begin to understand how you must be feeling right now.

"Paul was a fighter and soldier until the end and I think he succeeded in his aim to show how dangerous this awful virus is. I’m so sorry for your loss."

During last night's show, Kemp returned to Milton Keynes Hospital Trust, where he had already filmed episodes of the programme, as frontline medical staff brace themselves for the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also spoke to Dr Hamid Manji about the effects – bad and good – ventilators can have for Covid-19 patients.

The consultant anaesthetist said "some people do survive" on ventilators – but added: "The reality is, the longer you are on a ventilator, particularly with the Covid lung, which is a very damaged lung, the more the survival ratio drops.

"The ventilator can also damage, does also damage lungs. It’s buying us time for the patient to get over the Covid."

It comes as the UK’s coronavirus death toll rises to 26,771.

It is a rise of 674 on yesterday’s tally – with data now combined to include deaths in hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said we're "past the peak".


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Kourtney Kardashian Poses Poolside in Sexy Black Bikini: 'Evolve as You Please'

Kourtney Kardashian is taking advantage of the warm Southern California weather.

On Monday, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 41, showed off her curves in a sexy black bikini, sharing an Instagram photo as she lounged poolside. The post shows the mother-of-three on a recliner, gazing into the camera.

She captioned the photo, “Evolve as you please.”

Lately, the Poosh founder has been very vocal about embracing her curves. In an Instagram live with Poosh COO Sarah Howard, the eldest Kardashian sister opened up about seeing comments asking if she was pregnant on an Instagram post. “So many of the comments were like, ‘Are you pregnant? Baby No. 4?’ … I could’ve taken that offensively … but I know that I didn’t look pregnant.”

“It’s very feminine to have curves and I embrace my body, so I didn’t take it offensively,” she added. “Instead, I wrote back, ‘Oh, let’s put the good blessings out there.’ Like, put out a good vibe.”

Kourtney also shared that her favorite birthday gift was from none other than her brother, Rob. She shared a photo of several vintage vinyl records by Etta James, Neil Young, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, James Taylor, and more on her Instagram Stories, explaining that the records came from their father Rob Kardashian Sr.’s personal collection.

Kourtney said on the post, “favorite birthday present: @robkardashian gave me all my dad’s old records.”

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Denver lights up during coronavirus as part of #KeepCalmDenverOn

Along with other decidedly un-seasonal things like howling every night at 8 and wearing face masks on 70-degree days, Denverites are being encouraged to adopt another unusual custom during the age of coronavirus.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled an array of red-and-white lights decorating the outside of the City and County Building — the neoclassical structure in downtown Denver at 1437 Bannock St. that typically only glows-up to celebrate professional sports teams or the holidays.

“Additionally, councilwoman Kendra Black is asking all Denver residents to join the city in showing their gratitude and support for the people on the frontlines and essential workers by decorating a tree, shrub or window with colorful lights,” city officials said in a press statement. “Residents are encouraged to share photos of their decorations using the hashtag #KeepCalmDenverOn.”

RELATEDWhy you keep hearing howling at 8 p.m. across Denver

The measures are part of a public campaign that invokes the well-known Keep Calm and Carry On posters the British government produced during World War II. But they extend beyond official city edicts.

The Optiv building, at 1144 15th St., also displays a pink, heart-shaped design, as seen in Instagram photos under the #KeepCalmAndDenverOn hashtag.

The Denver City and County building was lit up last night to show our gratitude for our first responders and essential staff and their commitment to serving during these difficult times.⁠ ⁠ Give a shoutout in the comments to your friends, family, neighbors who are risking their health to serve our community so we can show them some love!⁠ ⁠ 📸: @denverevan / Evan Semón Photography

A post shared by Do303 (@do303official) on

Although the campaign is brand new, a hashtag search on Instagram already yielded nearly 50 results as of mid-morning Friday, with a handful of images of people’s homes decorated in the style encouraged by the city.

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Hancock’s Thursday lighting downtown — where he was joined by councilwoman Black and police Chief Paul Pazen (“from safe distances”) — was certainly the largest, but others are sprouting up “from Green Valley Ranch to Bear Valley, from Berkeley to Hampden Heights and everywhere in between,” Hancock said.

“Their dedication cannot be taken for granted, so we are inviting everyone to show their thanks by showing their lights,” he said. “I’m humbled by the sacrifice and service I have witnessed in recent weeks, and these lights on our City and County Building honor our Denver heroes and the heroes everywhere leading the response to this pandemic.”

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US military 3D-printing coronavirus shields and masks for health care workers

The US military is using 3D printers — and even sewing machines — to manufacture face shields, reusable plastic N95 masks and surgical masks much-needed by medical professionals during the coronavirus crisis.

Navy and Marine Corps commands launched an initial production of 220 medical face shields after FEMA made the request, the Navy said in a news release.

Both military branches partnered with America Makes — a national manufacturing institute — to rapidly produce the shields.

Meanwhile, instructors at the 312th Training Squadron’s Special Instruments Training course at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas have started printing prototypes for shields as well as reusable plastic N95 face masks.

U.S. Navy 3-D printing to assist COVID-19 response200329-N-HL599-157NUWC Keyport Designs Face Shields for First Responders

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