How companies innovated to solve a critical shortage

How companies innovated to solve a critical shortage

During the first few months of the American coronavirus outbreak, the country experienced an acute shortage of test kits and related equipment — the supplies needed to track the spread of the virus and trace infected individuals. 

Since late April, shortages have eased, and testing capability has expanded in many parts of the country. This has been possible, in part, because of collaborative efforts among scientists, health experts and businesses that retooled operations to produce COVID-19 testing kit components. 

At the outset of the pandemic, Ramy Arnaout, associate director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, knew that the first COVID-19 testing bottleneck hospitals would face was the shortage of nasopharyngeal (NP)  swabs needed for sample collection. “The reason why is that these swabs are manufactured by a company in northern Italy called Copan, and northern Italy, as everybody knows, was hit very hard,

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Gyms doing heavy lifting to be fit for purpose post-lockdown

Gyms doing heavy lifting to be fit for purpose post-lockdown

At 9am on Monday, March 23, hundreds of thousands of families worked out together as fitness instructor Joe Wicks live-streamed his first virtual PE lesson into lockdown living rooms.

The video has since amassed almost seven million views, and Wicks’ daily PE lessons have become part of the routine for children and adults trapped at home.

The pandemic has forced millions to improvise fitness regimes as the closure of the UK’s 7,000 gyms has seen around 10.4m memberships put on hold. Demand for bikes has surged, while running has become increasingly popular.

According to department store chain John Lewis, online sales of sports shoes have surged 72pc during lockdown, while gym equipment has rocketed 496pc, and yoga and pilates equipment by 315pc. Now, however, gyms are busily preparing their sites in the hope they can lure members back when they reopen.

With social distancing rules set to remain in place,

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Here’s what to know in North Carolina on June 6

Here’s what to know in North Carolina on June 6

We’re keeping track of the most up-to-date news about the coronavirus in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Daily cases hit record high

At least 33,294 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,015 have died, according to state and county health departments.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 1,289 new COVID-19 cases, marking the single-day high for the the second day in a row. The state reported 1,189 cases on Thursday.

Health officials reported completing 13,845 new tests for the virus on Friday, for a total of 482,147 tests. The percentage of positive cases was 9% for a second day in a row.

Hospitalizations reached a new peak on Friday with the state reporting at least 717 North Carolinians hospitalized from COVID-19, up 59 from the day before.

New nursing home outbreaks

At least three new outbreaks at nursing homes

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Meet the deaf fitness instructor calling for more accessibility in gyms and on social media

Meet the deaf fitness instructor calling for more accessibility in gyms and on social media

India Morse is a deaf fitness instructor.
India Morse is a deaf fitness instructor.

India Morse

  • India Morse is a fitness instructor and influencer who was born deaf.

  • She spoke to Insider about the ways the fitness industry isn’t accessible enough for the deaf community.

  • For example, boutique studios are often too dark and Instagram Live workouts are impossible to follow without captions.

  • These barriers led Morse to create her own coaching platform, complete with subtitles and voiceovers on all videos.

  • “Put in your earplugs and see how you get on — then you’ll know how to make it more accessible!” she said.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Take a glance at India Morse’s Instagram feed and you’d be forgiven for thinking she was just another fitness influencer posting workouts, healthy recipes, and the odd mirror selfie. 

But look a little more closely and you’ll learn that Morse, whose handle is @youleanmeup, has a mission greater

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Brazil threatens to quit WHO, Trump says US beating pandemic

Brazil threatens to quit WHO, Trump says US beating pandemic

President Jair Bolsonaro threatened Friday to pull Brazil from the WHO over “ideological bias,” as his counterpart Donald Trump said the US economy was recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and Europe sought to reopen its borders.

Adding fuel to the political fire raging around the pandemic, its origins and the best way to respond, Bolsonaro criticized the World Health Organization for suspending clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 — a decision it reversed this week — and threatened to follow in Trump’s footsteps by quitting.

“I’m telling you right now, the United States left the WHO, and we’re studying that, in the future. Either the WHO works without ideological bias, or we leave, too,” the far-right leader told journalists.

Sometimes called a “Tropical Trump,” Bolsonaro has followed a similar script to the US president in his handling of the pandemic, downplaying its severity, attacking state authorities’ stay-at-home measures

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The body of a prematurely born one week old baby of a covid positive mother being prepared for burial at the designated burial spot for COVID 19 patients in New Delhi, India, Friday, June 5, 2020. More states opened up and crowds of commuters trickled onto the roads in many of India's cities as a three-phase plan to lift the nationwide coronavirus lockdown started despite an upward trend in new infections. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Pakistan reports 97 more coronavirus deaths

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan reported 97 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.

According to Usman Dar, who heads the “Corona Relief Tiger Force,” about 1 million volunteers have signed up recently in response to the government’s call to help the country’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

He told reporters that 165,348 volunteers are currently assisting authorities to contain the spread of the virus.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the volunteers will also be used to deliver food and medicine to needy and poor people if needed.

Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983.

With the latest 97 virus-related deaths, Pakistan’s overall fatalities have jumped to 1,935.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT

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35 Black-Owned Wellness Brands to Shop and Support

35 Black-Owned Wellness Brands to Shop and Support

There is a lot of work to be done to support the Black community, stand up against racial injustices and police brutality, and educate and learn about the systemic racism and biases that infiltrate our communities (and ourselves). Some of that work involves protesting, donating, reading, listening, writing to government leaders, and talking to our own family and friends about racism. We at Who What Wear and THE/THIRTY are committed to putting in the work and learning so much more.

One other thing you can do to support the Black community now and always? Using your spending power to put your money, if you can, toward some amazing Black-owned businesses. This is especially important now, considering many of these businesses have been hit hardest financially by the COVID-19 pandemic (see a helpful graphic here).

To start, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy Black-owned wellness brands and businesses below. This list,

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Marijuana Medicine: Thrilling Time for Investors

Marijuana Medicine: Thrilling Time for Investors

What’s behind the booming profit potential of legal marijuana? Let me start by paraphrasing something I heard a physician say in a televised interview during the early days of some US states allowing medicinal use.

When asked if marijuana could have medicinal value, he responded,

“For patients who have terminal conditions like cancer or AIDS, if marijuana eases their suffering, it would basically be barbaric to deny it to them.”

“Do I believe that some of the compounds present in marijuana plants could someday be the basis of clinically tested, FDA-approved pharmaceutical products in the future? Absolutely. Most drug compounds are derivations of plant compounds and there’s no reason to believe that the marijuana plant might not also be valuable in that respect.”

“Would I advise a patient to light a plant on fire and inhale the combustants in unknown dosage in an attempt to cure an illness? Absolutely not,

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Keeping student-athletes safe amid the coronavirus outbreak will be a top priority for the Pac-12 this year. <span class="copyright">(Ralph Freso / Associated Press)</span>

Member of Pac-12’s COVID-19 advisory committee ‘very confident’ in athlete safety

Keeping student-athletes safe amid the coronavirus outbreak will be a top priority for the Pac-12 this year. <span class="copyright">(Ralph Freso / Associated Press)</span>
Keeping student-athletes safe amid the coronavirus outbreak will be a top priority for the Pac-12 this year. (Ralph Freso / Associated Press)

Like a coaching staff fine-tuning a game plan, the Pac-12 Conference’s COVID-19 medical advisory committee is finalizing its suggested protocols as athletes prepare to return to campuses for voluntary workouts.

The advisory committee, comprising sports medicine physicians and infectious disease experts from every school in the conference, plans to present its suggestions before June 15, the earliest that athletes will be allowed to come back on campus.

UCLA and USC have not announced when they will allow their athletes to return as they wait for Los Angeles County officials to move into a more lenient phase of their reopening plans. But one member of the Pac-12 advisory committee said Friday that adequate safeguards should be in place by the time that happens.

“I feel very confident that the

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COVID-19 research scandal: Unwanted diversion during pandemic

COVID-19 research scandal: Unwanted diversion during pandemic

Washington (AFP) – The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say, as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair.

On Thursday, most of the authors of major studies that appeared in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) retracted their work and issued apologies, saying they could no longer vouch for their data after the firm that supplied it — Chicago-based Surgisphere — refused to be audited.

At any other time the matter might have led to hang-wringing within academia, but it has taken on a new dimension as the world grapples with a virus that has claimed some 400,000 lives.

Of particular interest was the paper in The Lancet that claimed to have analyzed the records of 96,032 patients admitted to 671 hospitals across six continents, finding

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