Women had “alarmingly high rates” of mental health problems during start of the pandemic

With research increasingly showing the COVID-19 virus is transmissible via smaller droplets suspended in air, there is growing concern current guidelines of mask wearing and social distancing are insufficient in indoor environments where people tend to be in close quarters. In AIP Advances, researchers in India show social distancing is equally as important as mask wearing when people indoors are just breathing or participating in normal conversation, even when there is no risk of coughing or sneezing.

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COVID-19 transmission rare in schools with masking, distancing, contact tracing

Wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing have kept in-school COVID-19 transmission low, according to results of a pilot study in Missouri aimed at identifying ways to keep elementary and secondary schools open and safe during the pandemic. The study is part of a larger, ongoing collaboration involving Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other groups.

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Surveys Find Strong Support for COVID-19 Mitigation Measures Over Time, With Differences By Age, Beliefs, and Party Affiliation

A set of surveys fielded last year found that a large majority of U.S. adults support COVID-19 mitigation measures, including indoor mask wearing, social distancing, and contact tracing, with significant differences across certain groups.

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Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risks a Year After Lockdowns Began

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 11, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of becoming infected by

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Irradiating COVID-19 Cough Droplets with UV-C Lamps

The extreme confusion at the beginning of the pandemic inspired Marche Polytechnic University researchers, who happen to be intrigued by saliva droplet diffusion, to search for answers and ways to help. In Physics of Fluids, they describe using a supercomputer to do numerical modeling of cough droplets irradiated by UV-C light. They also report exploring the social distances required to prevent virus transmission.

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Mount Sinai Joins Challenge Encouraging Public to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

The Mount Sinai Health System is joining medical centers across the United States in a grassroots effort to encourage public participation in vaccinations against COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Expert Available: Why You Should Sign up for Your Shot

The images are popping up on our social media feeds: pictures of friends, coworkers, and family members proudly displaying their

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The Richer You are, The More Likely You’ll Social Distance, Study Finds

The higher a person’s income, the more likely they were to protect themselves at the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, Johns Hopkins University economists find.

When it comes to adopting behaviors including social distancing and mask wearing, the team detected a striking link to their financial well-being. People who made around $230,000 a year were as much as 54% more likely to increase these types of self-protective behaviors compared to people making about $13,000.

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Masks Not Enough to Stop COVID-19’s Spread Without Distancing

Simply wearing a mask may not be enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without social distancing. In Physics of Fluids, researchers tested how different types of mask materials impacted the spread of droplets that carry the coronavirus when we cough or sneeze. Every material tested dramatically reduced the number of droplets that were spread. But at distances of less than 6 feet, enough droplets to potentially cause illness still made it through several of the materials.

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Fast Walking in Narrow Corridors Can Increase COVID-19 Transmission Risk

Simulations have been used to predict droplet dispersal patterns in situations where COVID-19 might be spread and results in Physics of Fluids show the importance of the space shape in modeling how droplets move. The simulations are used to determine flow patterns behind a walking individual in spaces of different shape. The results reveal a higher transmission risk for children in some instances, such as behind quickly moving people in a long narrow hallway.

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COVID-19 Crisis Communication Expert Available

In a world where conspiracy theories and political polarization abound, how does one effectively pull off double duty at battling against both the spread of COVID-19 and misinformation about it? For answers, we turned to Rebecca Rice, a UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs professor who specializes in crisis communication.

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Chicago neighborhoods with barriers to social distancing had higher COVID-19 death rates

New research has found that Chicago neighborhoods with barriers to social distancing, including limited access to broadband internet and low rates of health insurance, had more COVID-19 deaths in spring 2020. The study, led by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago, is published in the Annals of Epidemiology.

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Surgeon General expects COVID-19 vaccine to be available by year’s end

In a wide-ranging talk with UCLA Health physicians, Wednesday, Oct. 28, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, addressed the politicization of the pandemic and the means of containing the spread of COVID-19. He also offered hope that a vaccine for the virus will be available by year’s end.

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Random Effects Key to Containing Epidemics

To control an epidemic, authorities will often impose varying degrees of lockdown. In the journal Chaos, scientists have discovered, using mathematics and computer simulations, why dividing a large population into multiple subpopulations that do not intermix can help contain outbreaks without imposing contact restrictions within those local communities. When infection numbers are high, random effects can be ignored. But subdividing a population can create communities so small that the random effects matter.

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Estimating Risk of Airborne COVID-19 with Mask Usage, Social Distancing

In Physics of Fluids, researchers used a model to understand airborne transmission that is designed to be accessible to a wide range of people, including nonscientists. Employing concepts of fluid dynamics and factors in airborne transmission, they propose the Contagion Airborne Transmission inequality model. While not all factors may be known, it can still be used to assess relative risks. The researchers determined protection from transmission increases with physical distancing in an approximately linear proportion.

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WashU Expert: Forget plexiglass, debaters just need 4.5 feet, smart airflow

Two people, facing each other, talking — let’s call it “excitedly” — are probably the most important ingredients for a debate. They are also a recipe for disaster if one of those two people has a highly contagious virus that has been shown time and again to be transmitted through the air.Taking a cue perhaps from South Carolina Sen.

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Trick-or-treat for Halloween? Here’s What You Need to Know

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and offers helpful tips regarding COVID-19 and “trick-or-treating” during the pandemic.

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COVID-19: Second Wave for Some; Others Remain in First Wave

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some locations have experienced decreasing numbers of cases followed by an increase. In the journal Chaos, mathematicians report a method to analyze these numbers for evidence of a first or second wave. The authors studied data from all 50 U.S. states plus D.C. for the seven-month period from Jan. 21 to July 31. They found 31 states and D.C. were experiencing a second wave as of the end of July.

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Face masks, reduced capacity critical when reopening K-12 schools in Indiana, according to new study

A new study by researchers at Notre Dame cautions that K-12 schools reopening to full capacity with little to no compliance of safety measures such as face masks could drive infections up to an estimated 2.49 million in Indiana alone, with more than 9,000 deaths by the end of 2020.

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Face Shields, Masks with Valves Ineffective Against COVID-19 Spread

As countries experience a steep surge in COVID-19 infections, face masks have become increasingly accepted as an effective means for combating the spread of the disease when combined with social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Increasingly people are using clear plastic face shields and masks with exhalation valves instead of regular cloth or surgical masks, since they can be more comfortable. In a paper published in Physics of Fluids, researchers investigate whether they are as effective.

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Researchers Discover a Specific Brain Circuit Damaged by Social Isolation During Childhood

Study shows long-lasting effects and points the way to potential treatments

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Clubs Closed? Study Finds Partygoers Turn to Virtual Raves and Happy Hours During Pandemic

People have traded in nightclubs and dance festivals for virtual raves and Zoom happy hours as a result of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic—yet, many are using drugs in these socially distanced settings, according to a new study by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU School of Global Public Health.

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Effectiveness of Cloth Masks Depends on Type of Covering

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask while out in public has become the recommended practice. However, many still question the effectiveness of this. To allay doubts, Padmanabha Prasanna Simha, from the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Prasanna Simha Mohan Rao, from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, experimentally visualized the flow fields of coughs under various common mouth covering scenarios. They present their findings in the journal Physics of Fluids.

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Parents Trust Colleges More than Students for COVID-19 Safety, New Survey by TimelyMD Finds

Parents of college students indicate many concerns about their students’ return to the classroom (on campus or online), including their health, the quality of their education, and the likelihood of their following public health guidance when administrators aren’t looking. Fielded last week, this survey by TimelyMD has the latest data available as campus reopening plans change daily.

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Droplet Spread from Humans Doesn’t Always Follow Airflow

If aerosol transmission of COVID-19 is confirmed to be significant, as suspected, we will need to reconsider guidelines on social distancing, ventilation systems and shared spaces. Researchers in the U.K. believe a better understanding of different droplet behaviors and their different dispersion mechanisms is also needed. In Physics of Fluids, the group presents a model that demarcates differently sized droplets. This has implications for understanding the spread of airborne diseases, because the dispersion tests revealed the absence of intermediate-sized droplets.

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Back to School?

Dr. Terry Adirim provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and return to school for school-age children. Adirim is a physician executive with senior leadership and executive experience in academic medicine and the federal government. Her expertise includes pandemic planning and response, health care quality improvement and patient safety, and health policy and management.

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States Slow to Implement Stay-at-Home Orders Saw Higher Rates of COVID-19 Deaths

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the United States, governments at the state and local levels issued emergency declarations and shut down schools. With no treatment and no vaccine, this was seen as the best way to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have conducted one of the first studies to measure the efficacy of social distancing in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that states that were slow to implement such orders saw higher COVID-19 death rates.

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COVID-19 demonstrates why wealth matters

While COVID-19 has impacted all individuals, the impact has not been equal. In a new national Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 survey, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis found that liquid assets increased the likelihood that an individual could practice social distancing. However, Black individuals were least likely to afford social distancing.

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Traffic Data Show Drastic Changes in Floridians’ Behavior at Onset of the Pandemic

A study using same-day traffic volumes for March 2019 and March 2020 across Florida examined the chronological relationship of key governmental requests for public isolation and travel limitations. Results show the drastic changes in human behavior during the onset of the pandemic. Traffic volumes by March 22, 2020, dropped by 47.5 percent compared to that same point in 2019. Moreover, traffic declined in March 2020 corresponding with the governor’s state of emergency declaration and school, restaurant, and bar closures.

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