Coronavirus News – April 28

Coronavirus likely to come back each year, scientists say

Scientists in China have dampened hopes that the coronavirus would eventually burn out for good and said the virus will likely return each year. The scientists said the virus will likely return in waves due in part to the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top epidemiologist in the U.S., said people must be prepared for a resurgence next year, which is why officials are pushing for a vaccine and clinical trials for therapeutic interventions.

Antigen testing seen as potential breakthrough by White House official

Antigen testing, often used to check for the flu and strep by looking for pieces of a virus and often the proteins that cover its surface, is a possible breakthrough for testing for coronavirus, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. Antigen testing differs from most coronavirus tests, which look for the virus’ genetic material and require several chemicals to operate, many of which are in short supply. Antigen tests are simpler, and potentially less reliable, but they can provide results in as little as 15 minutes. “There will never be the ability on a nucleic acid test to do 300 million tests a day or to test everybody before they go to work or to school,” said Dr. Birx. “But there might be with the antigen test.” Read more.

NASA brings its technology to White House, showcasing its pandemic response

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine brought an oxygen hood, a sterilizing device and a ventilator to the White House this week to show President Donald Trump how the agency is working to support the pandemic response. NASA engineers have been working on an oxygen hood in partnership with commercial suborbital flight company Virgin Galactic. The new device provides oxygen pressure to COVID-19 patients while protecting healthcare workers from infection. Read more.

Thousands of people pack California beaches despite coronavirus concerns

Southern California beaches were packed over the weekend in Newport Beach, CA. California Gov. Gavin Newsom chastised those who crowded the beaches. The governor urged beachgoers to practice social distancing. “This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful, sunny day along our coast,” said Gov. Newsom. “We can’t see the images like we saw, particularly on Saturday in Newport Beach and elsewhere.” California’s statewide shelter-in-place order remains, and police at the open beaches have attempted to enforce social distancing. Read more.

Restaurants open in Tennessee one day after state sees largest daily jump in cases

Tennessee restaurants can welcome dine-in customers this week for the first time in nearly one month as the state eases restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The state reported its highest single-day jump in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, 478, which officials say represents a 5.2% increase from the previous day. State officials say the spike in confirmed cases is due primarily to an increase in testing. Read more.