FRANKFORT, Ky. – A prominent Kentucky infectious disease specialist who was hailed by the governor as a “front line hero” has died after a nearly four-month battle against COVID-19.

Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, who tested positive for the virus on May 13, died on Friday night, Med Center Health in Bowling Green said. Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Saturday that he was “heartbroken” to hear of her death and urged people to follow her advice and “wear a mask in her honor.”

Connie Smith, president and CEO of Med Center Health, said Shadowen “will forever be remembered as a nationally recognized expert who provided the very best care for our patients and community. She was a dear friend to many.”

Before contracting the virus, Shadowen led Med Center Health’s work in National Institute of Health trials of patients’ treatment for the virus, according to media reports.

Shadowen had said she believed she contracted the virus after an elderly family member received care at home from an infected caregiver.

“COVID-19 does not discriminate in its ability to penetrate our homes and communities,” Shadowen said when announcing in the spring that she had tested positive for the virus.

While battling the virus, she surprised members of the Bowling Green–Warren County Coronavirus Workgroup by joining in a conference call, telling the group: “It’s a great day to be alive.” She stressed the importance of wearing a mask in public.

In his social media tribute Saturday, Beshear referred to Shadowen as a “front line hero who worked tirelessly to protect the lives of others.”

Dakotas lead U.S. in virus growth as both reject mask rules

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are the fastest growing in the nation.

North Dakota and South Dakota have led the country in new cases per capita over the last two weeks, with 470.2 new cases per 100,000 people and 408.1 new cases, respectively. That’s according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

South Dakota is among the nation’s highest in positivity rates for coronavirus tests in the last week at 17%, according to the COVID Tracking Project. North Dakota’s stands at 5.8%.

Infections were likely spurred by schools and universities reopening and mass gatherings like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which drew hundreds of thousands of people from across the country.

Health experts warn the infections must be contained before health care systems are overwhelmed. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem have resisted mask requirements.

The city council in Brookings, South Dakota, moved its meeting to a local arena to accommodate intense interest, with many citizens speaking against it. The mask requirement ultimately passed, one of the few in the state.

South Dakota has reported 16,117 confirmed cases and 183 deaths; North Dakota has reported 14,684 confirmed cases and 167 deaths. Combined, the states have 1.6 million people.

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Domestic air travel recovers in Wuhan, China

BEIJING – Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals to handle the overflow.

Since re-opening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had both fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport. It said 64,700 passengers were transported aboard 500 domestic flights on Friday.

The airport is preparing to eventually resume international passenger flights to destinations such as Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, Qu Xiaoni, an airport representative was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

International cargo routes have already re-opened connecting the major industrial city and center of the Chinese auto industry with destinations such as Amsterdam and New Delhi.

China has gone almost a month without registering a new case of local transmission and on Sunday, the National Health Commission reported just 10 new cases, all of them imported. Hospitals are treating 151 people for COVID-19 and another 357 people are in isolation after testing positive for the disease without showing any symptoms, the commission said. China has reported a total of 85,184 cases of COVID-19 with 4,634 deaths.

Missouri tops 100,000 coronavirus cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri has topped 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ coronavirus dashboard cited 1,974 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 101,134. The true number is likely much higher since many people with the virus go undiagnosed.

The state also added three new deaths. All told, 1,704 Missourians have died from COVID-19.

The number of cases in the state is growing at a rate faster than most places. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over the seven-day period of Sept. 4-10, Missouri saw the nation’s sixth-highest number of new cases.

Arizona reports more than 600 new cases in a day

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Health Services officials on Saturday reported more than 600 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 27 additional deaths as the state’s coronavirus outbreak continues to slow.

The additional 605 cases increased the statewide total to 208,128 as the death toll increased to 5,315.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations reported by the department continued to drop, a trend that began in July after the state became a national hot spot in June.

Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press showed drops in seven-day rolling averages of daily new cases and daily deaths over the past two weeks.

The average of daily new cases went from 537 on Aug. 28 to 406 on Friday while the average of daily deaths went from 41 to 20.

Nevada reports more than 400 new cases in a day

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada health officials on Saturday reported 414 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 73,220 cases and 1,439 deaths.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press showed seven-day rolling averages for Nevada’s daily new cases and daily deaths dropping over the past two weeks.

The average of daily deaths went from 488 on Aug. 28 to 299 on Friday while the average of daily deaths dropped from 15 to 9.

Michigan State students advised to self-quarantine because of outbreak

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Health officials are strongly recommending Michigan State University students living on or near the school’s East Lansing campus self-quarantine because of an outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Ingham County Health Department says at least a third of the 342 people affiliated with the university testing positive for the virus since Aug. 24 attended parties or social gatherings. At least one third of the gatherings were associated with fraternities or sororities.

The health department says in the three weeks before the surge, only 23 people affiliated with the university had tested positive.

The state has more than 110,800 confirmed cases and more than 6,500 deaths.

Britain records over 3,000 new cases

LONDON – Britain has recorded more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases for the second straight day.

The Department for Health and Social Care show a daily increase of 3,497 new cases, slightly down from Friday’s figure of 3,539, which was the highest since May 17.

The daily cases reported are more than double those a week or two back, a change that has stoked concerns of a second wave of the virus in the country. The U.K. has recorded more than 41,600 virus-related deaths, Europe’s highest.

The British government says social gatherings in England will be limited to six people indoors and outdoors and rule-breakers will face fines starting Monday.

Oxford Univ will resume trials of virus vaccine

LONDON – Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine its developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after pausing due to a reported side effect in a patient in Britain.

The university says in large trials “it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”

It says globally some 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines as part of the trial. It wouldn’t disclose the medical information about the illness for reasons of participant confidentiality but says it is “committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our studies and will continue to monitor safety closely.”

Health experts say pauses in drug trials are commonplace to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Texas reports 144 more deaths

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 3,488 new coronavirus cases Friday and 144 deaths.

That brought the total confirmed cases to 653,356 and nearly 14,000 confirmed deaths, state health official say. However, the true number of cases in Texas is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Health officials estimated 71,292 cases are now active, with 3,475 requiring hospitalization. The number of hospitalizations has been decreasing since peaking in July at 10,893.

Kentucky records nearly 950 new cases

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky reported nearly 950 new coronavirus cases on Friday, one of the largest daily totals statewide.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported nine more virus-related deaths, raising the state’s confirmed death toll 1,044. The 948 newly reported cases raised Kentucky’s total to more than 55,700.

The Democratic governor has urged people to wear masks in public, practice social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 or fewer, wash hands frequently and limit travel.

Kentucky Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a similar message Friday about people doing their part.

“Until this goes away, the single best thing all of us can do – and it’s not complicated – is to wear a mask, practice social distancing,” McConnell said. “Until we get a vaccine, that’s the only way we can continue to work.”

The state’s closely watched positivity rate – a seven-day rolling figure reflecting the average number of tests coming back positive for conronavirus – rose slightly to 4.7%.

The governor says the state has started the payment process to add $400 to the weekly unemployment checks for tens of thousands of people who lost work.

Illinois reports more than 2,100 new cases

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 2,145 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 32 confirmed deaths.

The new cases came as 30 of 102 counties reached two or more benchmarks that indicate the coronavirus is spreading there.

The cases Friday were from 56,661 tests, resulting in a seven-day statewide positivity rate of 3.9 percent. There have been 4.6 million tests conducted in Illinois.

The total number of known infections in Illinois is 257,788, and the statewide confirmed death toll is 8,273 since the start of the pandemic.

Outbreak in German Alps likely caused by U.S. traveler

BERLIN – A town in the German Alps has stepped up coronavirus restrictions after a spike in infections that local authorities say was likely caused by a visitor from the United States.

The restrictions imposed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Friday include all restaurants to close at 10 p.m. for the next week and the number of people meeting in public limited to five.

Local council spokesman Stephan Scharf told news agency dpa Saturday the American woman is believed to have been at several locations in the town.

The council says the 26-year-old, who wasn’t identified, arrived in Germany in late August or early September. It wasn’t clear whether she brought the virus from the U.S. or violated quarantine regulations. Authorities say 23 people tested positive at the accommodation where she stayed.

The U.S. is on a long list of countries classified by German authorities as “risk areas.” People arriving from those areas must have a coronavirus test after arriving in Germany and quarantine until the results are determined.

Germany, with a population of 83 million, has more than 260,000 confirmed cases and 9,351 deaths. The U.S., with a population of 328 million, leads the world with 6.4 million cases more than 193,000 deaths.

Hungary reports another record of new infections

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary has registered another record number 916 newly infected people with the coronavirus.

The total Saturday is more than 25% higher than the previous record of 716 cases, reached Friday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is taking a less generalized approach to the pandemic during this second wave, with restrictions decided more on a case-by-case basis.

Orban said Saturday in a video posted on his Facebook page that the aim was not just to save lives but also to keep the country running. During the second quarter of the year, the Hungarian economy contracted by 13.6%, the largest fall in the region.

“The virus can’t paralyze us again,” Orban said.

Hungary has confirmed 11,825 cases of the virus and 633 deaths.

Istanbul bans weddings, large gatherings

ISTANBUL – Istanbul’s governor has introduced new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, banning all boating companies from hosting weddings and similar gatherings.

In a statement late Friday, the governor’s office also reintroduced a ban on concerts and festivals in open spaces. The statement said the restrictions were needed because precautions like physical distancing were not being adequately heeded and the virus’ spread had increased.

Istanbul, with about 16 million residents, is Turkey’s most populous city. Turkey has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths, which began increasing after Turkey loosened restrictions in June but has intensified since late August, returning to levels last seen in mid-May.

On Friday, the health ministry announced 56 deaths and 1,671 new cases, bringing the total death toll to 6,951 and number of cases to nearly 290,000.

Virus continues to spread rapidly in Czech Republic

PRAGUE – The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the Czech Republic, infecting a record number of people in one day for the third time this week.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase in the new confirmed coronavirus cases reached 1,447 on Friday, surpassing 1,000 for the fourth day this week.

Of a total of 33,860 confirmed cases of the virus in the Czech Republic, more than 5,700 have been registered in the last five working days, prompting the government to tighten restrictive measure to slow the spread.

Currently, 264 virus patients are hospitalized, including 65 in intensive care. A confirmed total of 450 people have died in the country.

NYC teachers union warns it needs protections before schools can open

NEW YORK – The New York City teachers union warns it won’t let the nation’s largest school district reopen for in-person classes this month if the city doesn’t issue protective equipment, conduct testing and properly clean schools.

Union leader Michael Mulgrew says in a video Friday the city of not acting with enough urgency on the pandemic.

The return of public school students to classrooms was delayed from Sept. 10 to Sept. 21 so coronavirus safety precautions could be worked out.

Mulgrew says the city knows what it needs to do to make schools safe and “if you can’t make that happen before the children come into schools, then we’re not going to let you open these schools.”

The city says it will work with the union.

Mexico declares 24 states ready to reopen

MEXICO CITY – Mexico is declaring 24 of its 32 states ready for partial reopening, marking the first time no state is listed at a “red” level maximum alert.

The 24 states listed at “orange” or high risk may allow many non-essential businesses to re-open at 30% capacity. The eight other states are listed at “yellow” or moderate risk, allowing even more business activities. However, bars, nightclubs and dance halls remain closed and sporting events and concerts cannot have spectators.

Mexico reported 5,930 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, about the same as two weeks ago. The country has recorded a total of 658,299 infections. Officials reported 534 more deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 70,183 – the fourth-highest in the world.

UN approves resolution on responding to virus over U.S. Israeli objections

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution on tackling the coronavirus over objections from the United States and Israel, which protested a successful last-minute Cuban amendment that strongly urges countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions.

The world body adopted the resolution Friday by a vote of 169-2. It was a strong show of unity by the U.N.’s most representative body in addressing the coronavirus, though many countries had hoped for adoption by consensus.

The resolution is not legally binding. It “calls for intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic” and it urges member states “to enable all countries to have unhindered timely access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable diagnosis, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines.”

Bars in some Louisiana parishes set to reopen

NEW ORLEANS – Bars in a handful of Louisiana parishes will be allowed to reopen under new coronavirus restrictions announced Friday by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Bars in the state have been closed since July unless they have licenses to operate as restaurants. Under the guidelines announced Friday, bars in parishes where the percentage of positive COVID-19 deaths is 5% or below for four weeks can open if parish leaders give the OK, Edwards said.

Bars that are allowed to open will be limited to 25% capacity. They will have to shut down alcohol sales at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.

Bar openings won’t happen in New Orleans, where Mayor LoToya Cantrell is maintaining stricter rules.

The latest plans were released on the day the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Louisiana surpassed 5,000. Hospitalizations, continue to drop, totaling 723 in Friday’s figures. Nearly 2,000 were hospitalized in early April, when the state was a U.S. hot spot for infections.

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