The latest on the coronavirus pandemic from around the U.S. and the world.

NEW YORK — Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others.

Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “definitively indicates — in a way that previous studies have struggled to do — the potential for transmission to family members,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

The findings don’t mean that schools and child-care programs need to close, but it does confirm that the virus can spread within those places and then be brought home by kids. So, masks, disinfection and social distancing are needed. And people who work in such facilities have to be careful and get tested if they think they may be infected, experts said.

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Children play “pin the mask on Gov. Gary Herbert” during a “Trash Your Mask Protest” rally hosted Sept. 5 by the Utah Business Revival at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. The event was held to protest Herbert’s order requiring all K-12 schools in Utah to require face coverings. According to a study by health officials in Utah and at the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionn released on Friday, children in the state who caught coronavirus at day care programs or day camps spread it to about 25% of the people they encountered later. Associated Press/Rick Bowmer

Earlier research from the U.S., China and Europe has found that children are less likely than adults to be infected by the virus and are less likely to become seriously ill when they do get sick.

There also was data suggesting that young children don’t spread the virus very often, though older kids are believed to spread it as easily as adults.

In the new study, researchers from Utah and the CDC focused on three outbreaks in Salt Lake City child care facilities between April and July. Two were child-care programs for toddlers, and the other was a camp for older kids. The average age of kids at all three programs was about 7.

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Poll: Pandemic takes toll on mental health of young adults

PHOENIX — The coronavirus pandemic has taken a harsh toll on the mental health of young Americans, according to a new poll that finds adults under 35 especially likely to report negative feelings or experience physical or emotional symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

A majority of Americans ages 18 through 34 — 56% — say they have at least sometimes felt isolated in the past month, compared with about 4 in 10 older Americans, according to the latest COVID Response Tracking Study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Twenty-five percent of young adults rate their mental health as fair or poor, compared with 13% of older adults, while 56% of older adults say their mental health is excellent or very good, compared with just 39% of young adults.

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A woman looks through a window at a near-empty terminal at an airport in Atlanta. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a harsh toll on the mental health of young Americans, according to a new poll that finds adults under 35 especially likely to report negative feelings or experience physical or emotional symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File

In the midst of the pandemic, young adults are navigating life transitions such as starting college and finding jobs, all without being able to experience normal social activities that might be especially essential for people who are less likely to have already married and started their own families. Some young people are just beginning their adult lives amid a recession, and older members of the group are already experiencing their second.

Christina Torres, 32, a middle school teacher in Honolulu, had to postpone her June wedding and was not able to travel to her grandmother’s funeral in California because of the pandemic. She misses being able to deal with stress by going to the gym and getting together with friends.

“And so it’s hard to not feel really hopeless sometimes, especially because the numbers keep going up,” she said.

The study found that younger Americans also consistently show higher rates of psychosomatic symptoms, like having trouble sleeping, getting headaches or crying, compared to other age groups. The likelihood of experiencing such symptoms decreases with age.

One possible explanation for the age gap could be that young adults have less experience dealing with a public health crisis, said Tom Smith, who has directed NORC’s General Social Survey since 1980. Smith, 71, says he grew up being told not to play in the dirt because of the risk of contracting polio.

“This experience facing a pandemic is completely new for most younger adults,” he said.

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ICE transferred detainees so it could also deploy agents to D.C. protests. A huge coronavirus outbreak followed.

The Trump administration flew immigrant detainees to Virginia this summer to facilitate the rapid deployment of Homeland Security tactical teams to quell protests in Washington, circumventing restrictions on the use of charter flights for employee travel, according to a current and a former U.S. official.

After the transfer, dozens of the new arrivals tested positive for the novel coronavirus, fueling an outbreak at the Farmville, Va., immigration jail that infected more than 300 inmates, one of whom died.

The Immigration Center of America detention center in Farmville, Va. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via the Washington Post

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency moved the detainees on “ICE Air” charter flights to avoid overcrowding at detention facilities in Arizona and Florida, a precaution they said was taken because of the pandemic.

But a Department of Homeland Security official with direct knowledge of the operation, and a former ICE official who learned about it from other personnel, said the primary reason for the June 2 transfers was to skirt rules that bar ICE employees from traveling on the charter flights unless detainees are also aboard.

The transfers took place over the objections of ICE officials in the Washington field office, according to testimony at a Farmville town council meeting in August, and at a time when immigration jails elsewhere in the country had plenty of beds available because of a dramatic decrease in border crossings and in-country arrests.

“They needed to justify the movement of SRT,” said the DHS official, referring to the special response teams. The official and the former ICE official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal decisions. They and another DHS official briefed on the operation characterized the tactical teams’ travel on ICE Air as a misuse of the charter flights.

At a hearing in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of four detainees who were already at Farmville, an ICE attorney told a judge that one reason for the transfer was that “ICE has an air regulation whereby in order to move agents of ICE, they have to be moved from one location to another with detainees on the same airplane.”

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Daily U.S. virus deaths decline, but trend may reverse in fall

The number of daily U.S. deaths from the coronavirus is declining again after peaking in early August, but scientists warn that a new bout with the disease this fall could claim more lives.

The arrival of cooler weather and the likelihood of more indoor gatherings will add to the importance of everyday safety precautions, experts say.

“We have to change the way we live until we have a vaccine,” said Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. In other words: Wear a mask. Stay home. Wash your hands.

The U.S. has seen two distinct peaks in daily deaths. The nation’s summertime surge crested at about half the size of the first deadly wave in April.

Deaths first peaked on April 24 at an average of 2,240 each day as the disease romped through the dense cities of the Northeast. Then, over the summer, outbreaks in Texas, California and Florida drove daily deaths to a second peak of 1,138 on Aug. 1.

Some states — Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada and California — suffered more deaths during the summer wave than during their first milder run-in with the virus in the spring. Others — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Colorado — definitely saw two spikes in infections but suffered fewer deaths the second time around.

Now about 700 Americans are dying of the virus each day. That’s down about 25% from two weeks ago but still not low enough to match the early July low of about 500 daily deaths, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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As cases rise in France, officials ponder new measures to curb virus’s spread

France reported nearly 10,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, prompting officials to ponder new approaches to curb the spread of the virus.

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A medical crew works at a patient affected with COVID-19 in a Marseille hospital on Thursday. Associated Press/Daniel Cole

“We need to be demanding and realistic but without ceding to panic,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

French officials were set to meet Friday to discuss options, with an announcement expected in the afternoon local time.

The government’s top scientific adviser on the pandemic, Jean-François Delfraissy, cautioned earlier that officials were facing “tough” decisions.

The almost 10,000 newly reported cases on Thursday set a record, but French officials have maintained that the figures are not comparable to the number of cases recorded in spring, when testing capacity lagged and many infections went undocumented.

ICU occupancy rates and the number of fatalities have risen more slowly than in the spring — but some of those differences may be because young people are now among the primary drivers of the outbreak in France. France — with a population of 67 million — has recorded more than 30,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Concerns were also mounting over the impact of the pandemic on school reopenings. On Thursday, staff at a Parisian junior high school went on strike after support staff there were quarantined.

“We want the authorities to hire more people for what lies head,” said Eva Mouilleaud, a teacher at the school, according to Reuters.

Chinese researchers begin human trials for nasal spray vaccine

China on Wednesday approved Phase 1 of human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine that would be administered through a nasal spray rather than a shot.

The vaccine is being developed by researchers at Xiamen University, Hong Kong University and vaccine maker Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, Bloomberg News reported.

Some promising animal trials have suggested that a nasal coronavirus vaccine could work as an alternative to an injection. A study published last month by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that a nasal vaccine prevented covid-19 infection in mice. In that study, scientists found that the nasal vaccine was more effective than an injection in protecting the mice from the coronavirus.

Nasal vaccines are already used to prevent the flu and have been as effective as injections in many cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nasal spray vaccine for influenza has been approved for children older than 2 and adults younger than 50, except for those with certain immune conditions or other risk factors, such as allergies.

At least 35 other coronavirus vaccine trials are underway worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. One major study, conducted by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford in Britain, paused this week after researchers said a participant reported a “potentially unexplained illness.”

Virus spiking in eastern Europe; Hungary drafts ‘war plan’

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases spiked Friday in parts of eastern Europe, with Hungary and the Czech Republic registering all-time daily highs.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his government was drafting a “war plan” to defend against the second wave of the pandemic. The plan’s aim was “not for everyone to stay at home and bring the country to a halt … but to defend Hungary’s functionality,” Orban said.

The prime minister said measures meant to protect the economy and spur growth would be introduced in the coming weeks. In the second quarter of the year, Hungary’s gross domestic product fell 13.6%, the worst drop in the region.

Orban reiterated the need to protect the elderly, one of the group’s most at-risk during the pandemic, and authorities have banned most visits to retirement homes and hospitals to stem the spread of the virus.

Wearing masks or other face coverings is mandatory on public transportation, in stores and in many public institutions. In Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, people not wearing a mask on public transit or wearing one can be fined 8,000 forints ($26.50).

While Hungary closed its borders to foreigners on Sept. 1, it has since announced several exemptions, including for people arriving from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the three other members of Europe’s Visegrad Group, or V4.

“I believe that in the cross-European troubles, we can create a safe Central European island, within which and applying particular rules, movement and the possibility of a common life with the Slovaks, Czechs and Poles can survive,” Orban said.

Hungary reported 718 virus cases on Friday, 142 more than the country’s previous 24-hour record. The Czech Republic reported 1,382 cases, which was over 200 more than its previous daily high and led to the return of face masks being mandatory in enclosed public spaces.

Myamar reimposes tough virus control measures

BANGKOK — Myanmar on Friday reimposed tough measures to control the spread of the coronavirus, banning travel out of the country’s biggest city, Yangon, and grounding all domestic flights. Both measures, announced just hours before taking effect, will be in place until Oct. 1.

An upsurge in coronavirus cases that began in August in the western state of Rakhine has since spread to other parts of the country. Health authorities had already ordered partial lockdowns in 29 of Yangon’s 44 townships, and roadblocks were set up Friday closing some smaller streets in the city.

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, said in a televised speech Thursday night that while the new regulations might appear too restrictive, if they are strictly obeyed for two or three weeks, the outbreak would be under control.

The Health Ministry on Friday announced 115 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,265, including 14 dead. Until the latest outbreak, Myanmar appeared to have largely been spared from the pandemic, having recorded just 353 virus cases as of the beginning of August.

Portugal objects to the UK’s quarantine policy, calling it unfair

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s president says the United Kingdom’s decision to require quarantines for people traveling from the southern European country is unfair and punishes tourism-dependent regions.

Portugal, which is seeing a steady increase in coronavirus infections, was put back on Britain’s quarantine list on Thursday, three weeks after it had been taken off it.

British transport secretary Grant Shapps said the 14-day self-isolation rule only applies to those arriving from mainland Portugal, excluding the Azores or Madeira.

“We have a certain feeling of unfairness because we don’t close our doors to entries,” Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said late Thursday, according to public broadcaster RTP. “There are other countries that have much more difficult and complicated situations.”

He said the decision punished regions like Algarve, in the south, which is a magnet for tourists from Britain and where the spread of the virus is lower than in big cities.

Tourism, which accounts for 15% of Portugal’s gross domestic product and roughly 9% of its jobs, has taken a big hit from border restrictions.

Portugal has reported more than 62,000 cases, including 1,852 deaths, from the virus.

India recorded over 96,500 coronavirus cases in 24 hours

NEW DELHI — India edged closer to recording nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours as it ordered retesting of many people whose first results were from a less reliable testing method that’s being widely used.

According to the Health Ministry, India recorded another spike of 96,551 cases in the past 24 hours, taking its caseload to 4.56 million. It also reported on Friday another 1,209 deaths, taking total fatalities to 76,271.

It also said some negative rapid antigen tests should be redone through the more reliable RT-PCR method, the gold standard of coronavirus tests that looks for the genetic code of the virus. The retesting order applied to people who had negative results but had fever, coughing or breathlessness, or people who developed those COVID-19 symptoms within three days of their negative test results.

Using the rapid antigen, or viral protein, tests has allowed India to dramatically increase its testing capacity to more than 1.1 million a day, but the quicker, cheaper test is less reliable and retesting is often recommended.

The directive was meant to ensure infected people did not go undetected and to check the spread the disease among their contacts.

South Korea sees decline in cases

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s daily count of new coronavirus cases is under 200 for a ninth straight day, continuing a downward trend in fresh infections for the country.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the 176 cases added in the previous 24 hours took the national tally to 21,919, with 350 deaths.

South Korea’s daily caseload was above 400 in late August, with clusters of new infections in churches, schools, restaurants and other spots, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area. The outbreak has gradually slowed after authorities imposed stronger social distancing rules.

Health official Yoon Taeho says the government believes the country’s caseload is in general on a downward trajectory though he urges people to keep trying to reduce face-to-face contacts with others and follow social distancing guidelines.


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