BOISE, Idaho _ Two state inspectors who visited Idaho nursing homes in July were unknowingly infected with the coronavirus at the time, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The inspectors were at the nursing homes to review how well the facilities followed federal rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The state notified four nursing homes about potential exposure, “out of an abundance of caution,” Health and Welfare said in an email this week responding to a query from The Idaho Statesman. The department didn’t specify which nursing homes were visited by the COVID-19 positive inspectors.

The department hasn’t been notified of any COVID-19 cases in those nursing homes that trace back to the inspectors’ visits, said spokesperson Niki Forbing-Orr.

“As soon as each of the two nursing home surveyors received the positive test results, we immediately required them to self-isolate, so we don’t know precisely if and when those surveyors were infectious as they conducted their survey work in those four facilities,” Forbing-Orr said. “We want to emphasize that all surveyors are screened by facility staff before they even enter the facility to conduct a survey.”

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state Aug. 19 in Lansing. Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, file

City will honor residents who died from coronavirus

DETROIT – The city of Detroit is seeking about 400 volunteers to assist with a memorial to honor residents who have died from the coronavirus.

A memorial drive at Belle Isle State Park is scheduled for Monday. Mayor Mike Duggan declared the day as Detroit Memorial Day to remember residents who didn’t have the funerals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Families will drive in 15 processions past nearly 900 enlarged photos of their loved ones. Hearses will lead the processions. More than 1,500 Detroit residents have died from complications of the virus.

The public can visit Belle Isle to see the photos Tuesday and Wednesday. Duggan says, “we felt it was important and necessary to provide an opportunity for members of this community to collectively celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost to this terrible virus. This is how we begin the healing process.

Cyclists will be expelled from Tour de France for positive tests

NICE, France — French authorities have made it harder for Tour de France teams to reach the finish line in Paris if a member tests positive.

They’ve decided teams will be expelled from the race if two or more of their staff members test positive for the coronavirus within a week. The move was announced just a few hours before the start of the three-week race’s opening stage in Nice.

It overruled a decision from cycling’s governing body that had eased the Tour’s exclusion rules on Friday. There are 30 members per team, which includes staff.

This week, four staff members of the Belgian team Lotto-Soudal were sent home after “non-negative” coronavirus tests. The team says a mechanic and a member of the rider support staff returned “one positive and one suspicious result.” Both left the race bubble, along with their roommates.

TV special will showcase Boston Marathon runners

BOSTON — This year’s Boston Marathon is a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, but a weeklong TV special will showcase runners’ stories as they go the distance on their own.

Amazon and WBZ-TV are teaming up on a “Boston Marathon Live” broadcast that will air nightly Sept. 7-13. The show is co-produced by the Boston Athletic Association, which puts on the marathon every year.

Registered runners will complete the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) distance and share accounts of their preparation, motivation and execution. Athletes can use a mobile app the BAA is rolling out to upload their routes and finish times.

The marathon normally is held in April. It was postponed to mid-September because of the pandemic and canceled in May for the first time in its 124-year history.

India to resume rail service

NEW DELHI — India will resume its metro rail services in a phased manner on Sept. 7 and ease most of its nationwide restrictions on travel.

That’s despite more than 75,000 cases of coronavirus reported for the third consecutive day.

India’s Home Ministry says sports, entertainment, religious and political events will be allowed with a limit of 100 people. Schools, colleges, swimming pools and indoor theatres will remain closed.

India has a total of 3.46 million confirmed cases and nearly 63,000 deaths, third highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

California legislators reach deal on preventing evictions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a bill to temporarily protect people from evictions.

The bill would ban evictions for tenants who haven’t paid their rent between the months of March and August because of the coronavirus. Tenants need to sign a document saying they have a financial hardship because of the virus.

The protections would continue beyond August if tenants can pay at least 25% of their cumulatively owed rent between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31. Evictions could resume on Feb. 1.

The bill would not forgive the missed payments. Tenants would still owe the money. Landlords could sue them to get the money back, and a judge could order them to pay it. But tenants could not be evicted.

The California court system has halted most eviction and foreclosure proceedings since April 6 because of the pandemic. But those protections end Tuesday, prompting concerns of a wave of evictions in a state that already has the largest homeless population in the country.

Immigration department reports 233 more confirmed cases from detention center

ELOY, Ariz. — Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reported 233 more confirmed cases of coronavirus at one of its facilities in Arizona.

The infections at the La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy now total 356 cases. It’s unclear how many people are detained at La Palma, but ICE spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe says the agency recently expanded virus testing at La Palma and tested 1,000 detainees.

More than 21,000 people are held in ICE custody on civil immigration violations nationwide.

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, an advocacy group that provides legal services, say the high number of infections underscores the need to release immigrants from detention.

Advocacy groups across the country have filed several lawsuits seeking to release vulnerable populations during the pandemic. ICE has, on some occasions, released detainees who have health conditions.

The agency reported 850 new positive cases nationwide Friday for a total of 5,300 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Government is detaining children in hotels

HOUSTON — The U.S. government has detained children at several major hotel chains during the coronavirus pandemic instead of transferring them to government-funded shelters.

The data released Friday show that since March, the Trump administration has used hotels to hold at least 660 children, most unaccompanied by a parent, before expelling them to their countries of origin.

The administration says it cannot allow children to stay in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic. But opponents of U.S. immigration policy contend the pandemic is being used to deny access to asylum or other protections in federal law.

Various hotel chains have been used to house children, and at least 25 hotels and motels have been used since March to detain children.

Marriott spokeswoman Connie Kim says the company last month issued a policy “making it clear that properties should decline any requests to use our hotels as detention facilities.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging hotel detention. ICE declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

Florida men steal $3 million in virus relief money

MIAMI — Authorities say two South Florida men used fake and stolen identities to steal over $3 million in coronavirus relief funds.

Records show Jean Fleuridor and Hasan Brown made separate appearances this past week in Miami federal court on bank fraud conspiracy charges.

According to a criminal complaint, Fleuridor, Brown and their co-conspirators began a scheme in 2017 to defraud a Texas bank using about 700 fake identities to create bank accounts and shell companies.

Prosecutors say members of the group began using those fake identities and companies this spring to fraudulently apply for federal loans meant to help small businesses financially survive the coronavirus pandemic.

1-year-old becomes Georgia’s youngest virus victim

ATLANTA — A 1-year-old boy is now Georgia’s youngest victim to die from COVID-19.

The state Department of Public Health included the suburban Atlanta boy in a table of deaths released Friday.

The department says the boy had a chronic underlying condition that may have contributed to his death, but released no further information. The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Officer says it can’t release further information until the boy’s death certificate is completed.

He’s one of 5,471 people to die in Georgia so far from the respiratory illness. Deaths from Georgia’s summer spike remain elevated, having averaged 68 over the seven days ending Friday.

The boy displaces a 7-year-old Chatham County boy as the state’s youngest victim of the respiratory illness. A preliminary count by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found only 29 deaths involving coronavirus among children younger than five nationwide.


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