US universities fight Covid surges

When Caroline Rose moved into her dorm at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in August, there was none of the usual frantic flurry of meeting new resident assistants and greeting old friends in hallways.

Roommates were told to move in on separate days, and everyone was told to wear masks, including in shared bathrooms. Students were given designated move-in times so there wouldn’t be a rush of people.

Related: ‘I’m extremely nervous’: US grapples with in-person or virtual classes

Even before students got on to campus, they were instructed to sign a “stop the spread” agreement, acknowledging that they would follow guidelines to mitigate an outbreak of Covid-19, including staying in groups of no more than 10 students, or suffer consequences.

The consequences came soon enough. Less than a week after classes started the university, which has a student population of about 20,000, reported 500 coronavirus cases. In-person classes

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PayPal Volume Surges With Consumers Flocking to Online Shopping

(Bloomberg) — PayPal Holdings Inc. climbed after executives said a surge in digital payments on its platform in the second quarter marks an accelerating and permanent shift away from cash in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The technology giant, which has been signing up consumers spooked by the virus, said Wednesday it now expects revenue to climb 25% this quarter while payments volume surges 30%. It sees full-year revenue climbing 22%.

“This is our time,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman told analysts on a conference call. “We intend to seize the moment.”

Lockdowns to prevent viral infections, and the ensuing shift to online commerce, spurred people to learn how to make digital payments. That helped boost the number of net new active accounts to 21.3 million. The company said it now expects to add 70 million active accounts in the latter half of the year.

“The big competition for

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Self-harm among teenagers surges over last decade as campaigners blame social media

Instagram has pledged to remove all ‘graphic’ self-harm content - Getty Images Europe
Instagram has pledged to remove all ‘graphic’ self-harm content – Getty Images Europe

The number of children being admitted to hospital for self-harm has risen three-fold over the last decade, the latest NHS figures have revealed, prompting the father of Molly Russell to call for duty of care laws that force social media companies to purge online images glorifying the act.

The latest provisional statistics show children aged 17 and under were admitted 4,455 times in 2019-20 compared to 1,420 in 2009-10.

This means health workers are now seeing an average of 12 children a day arriving at hospital for self-inflicted injuries.

Following the release of the figures, Ian Russell, the father of 14-year-old schoolgirl Molly, who took her own life after viewing self-harm and suicide content on Instagram and other apps, warned that social media sites were sucking still children down dangerous “alorgithmic whirlpools” that normalised depression and suicide.

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Coronavirus surges on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, doctors warn deaths underreported

By Oliver Griffin

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Coronavirus cases and deaths are surging along Colombia’s Caribbean coast as the region becomes the epicenter of the pandemic in the Andean country, with doctors warning many deaths are going undetected.

Colombia – Latin America’s third-most populous nation – has officially reported over 113,000 cases of coronavirus and just under 4,000 deaths among its 50 million inhabitants.

The climbing figures pale in comparison with some neighboring countries, with regional giant Brazil exceeding 64,200 deaths on Saturday.

Colombia’s Caribbean region accounts for close to 40% of the country’s reported cases and just over half its deaths, according to an analysis of government data by the World Health Organization (WHO).

President Ivan Duque told Reuters last month his government was escalating its response to the pandemic in the Caribbean region, given the concentration of cases there, after taking strict measures to slow infection in cities like

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Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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U.S. Cases Rise Most Since May 9; Florida Surges: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — U.S. virus cases had the biggest increase since May 9 as Florida’s infections and hospitalizations jumped by the most ever. The cornoavirus may be mutating in a way that may make it easier to spread, said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease researcher.

Houston reported a 4.3% jump in intensive-care patients, and may need to tap extra beds in less than two weeks. The South Africa province that includes Johannesburg and Pretoria may impose local lockdowns and alcohol curbs as cases surge.

New York City plans to reopen its public schools in September. The U.S. labor market rebound accelerated in June as broader reopenings spurred hiring, though recent virus pickups put the gains in jeopardy.

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