Coronavirus Newsbites

Model projects nearly 300,000 Americans could die from Covid-19 by December
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now projecting more than 181,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 29. That means the CDC expects almost 1,000 Americans to die on average every day in the next three weeks.

Looking further ahead, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine foresees nearly 300,000 US deaths by December 1. It doesn’t have to be that way. The institute said 70,000 lives can be saved between now and December, if only more people started wearing masks.

“Starting today, if 95% of the people in the US were to wear masks when leaving their homes, that total number would decrease to 228,271 deaths, a drop of 49%,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray.

Some teachers wrote their own obituaries as part of their back to school prep
In addition to all her usual back-to-school preparations this summer, veteran teacher Sarah Backstrom wrote her own obituary and sent it to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' office. Backstrom said she was scared about returning to the classroom after Reynolds released guidance that said at least half of schools' instruction must be conducted in person -- and that schools couldn't request online-only education unless their county's positivity rate was 15% or higher.

She is one of scores of educators across America dreading the start of the school year. Teachers in Gwinnett County, Georgia are protesting the district's plan for students to return to school even as hundreds of district employees have tested positive for Covid-19 or are in quarantine because of potential exposure. The teachers and their families gathered -- in their cars -- in Suwanee yesterday, honking horns and displaying signs to express their displeasure with the district's recent decision to phase in face-to-face instruction.

And when a high school student in Dallas, Georgia shared a photo of a hallway packed with maskless students at her school, she got suspended. "I was concerned for the safety of everyone in that building and everyone in the county because precautions that the CDC and guidelines that the CDC has been telling us for months now, weren't being followed," Hannah Watters said.

Facebook will let employees work from home until July 2021
The company joins Google, Twitter and others in offering workers that option.

Seven year old dies of coronavirus in Georgia, a day after Trump said children are 'almost immune'
A seven-year-old boy from Georgia with no underlying health conditions became the youngest person in the state to die from coronavirus, a day after president Donald Trump said children are “almost immune from the disease”.

The Georgia Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that the seven-year-old from Savannah, Georgia, had died after suffering a seizure in response to the virus, but did not release the date of the unnamed child’s death.

In a statement to Fox5 in Atlanta, Dr Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health Department, said that “every Covid-19 death we report is tragic, but to lose someone so young is especially heart-breaking.”