Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

  • Previous coverage - all of our posts in this ongoing series.
  • Coronavirus status page - learn how to prepare for possible spread to your area. Scenarios, shopping lists, background info and everything else you need, all in one place.

COVID-19: key developments for Thursday, April 30, 2020

The world has 3.3 million cases.  Cases have grown by about 600,000 in the last week, just as they did the week before. The US has nearly 1.1 million cases. The US has had over 2,200 deaths since yesterday.

Even though 50% of adults in the US have experienced job loss or work hour reductions, we still endorse social distancing measures. Polling shows people aren’t ready to return to business-as-usual because they expect the pandemic to continue burning through the population. Most believe there will be a second wave coming.

Trump says he won’t extend social distancing on the federal level. The current federal guidelines expire today. He has asserted on-air that the worst is behind us. We are peaking/plateauing, but opening up at the peak may drive case numbers higher. The Administration entrusts governors to manage their own social distancing guidelines from here.

Here’s one way to deter social gatherings in public:

Georgia drops driving test and trusts parents to endorse their child’s readiness to drive.

California Governor Gavin Newsom thinks too many people went to the beaches in the past few weeks, so he put an end to it:

Speaking of California, Mayor Garcetti says any LA resident can get a test, symptomatic or not.   Previously only the symptomatic or those classified as essential workers had access to testing through the city or county. Los Angeles County has half of all of California’s cases.

Europe’s got a very accurate antibody test. It’s made by Abbott and it’s 99% specific. I’m dying to know why we don’t have broad antibody testing in the US, and I’m unhappy with how poor the sensitivity and specificity of both swabs for active illness and antibody tests for previous illness have been here. Incidentally, the sensitivity of a test is the ability of that test to generate a true positive (not a false positive), and specificity is the ability of a test to generate a true negative (and not a false negative).

Florida Man (Governor DeSantis?) stops medical examiners from releasing official COVID-19 death tolls for the state. Florida Man cites privacy concerns. Post-mortem records aren’t covered by federal HIPAA privacy laws, though—they’re public record.

The US Government consistently funded bat virus research at the Wuhan lab they now want to investigate for possibly releasing a pandemic bat virus

The economy? It’s worse than the Great Depression. According to the Federal Reserve Chairman, it’s the worst we’ve ever seen. One of the biggest drivers of decline is a decrease in health care spending—particularly elective surgeries.


    • P B

      Stephanie one of these blog posts or perhaps in the general coronavirus post mentioned that the BSL-4 lab in Wuhan was shut down for “reconditioning” or some similar terminology. I believe it was sometime in February but i cannot find the post or even any articles about it on the net. I feel like the post on here had a link to the source article. Any idea where that info is on here? I tried searching but did not find it. Thanks!

      5 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor P B

        It’s not ringing a bell. I looked but am also not finding anything. If I am able to find an article that speaks to it, I’ll link it here.

        6 |
      • P B Stephanie Arnold

        Thanks. I know i read it a very long time ago and maybe it wasn’t on here. It was a curious event to say the least.

        4 |