Your motivational clip for the day...
Arizona State University said it is ready to start implementing high-speed coronavirus testing this week using robots. The university has also begun to manufacture additional test kits to help with current test kit shortages.
ASU said it has made about 2,000 kits already and expects to make about 1,000 a day in the coming weeks. Joshua LaBaer, director of ASU's Biodesign Institute, said the university plans to distribute the kits to local health care providers. ASU hopes to be able to provide testing for local health care providers as well as first responders or other people with essential jobs, he said.
We've identified a number of key partnership organizations that that have personnel who are critical to the community, people who are first responders or, you know, work on infrastructure projects that we all rely upon, LaBaer said.
The goal is to use testing to keep doctors, nurses and other first responders free of the disease so they can continue to care for others safely.
The university said it has already tested the kits and determined that the process works. The efforts have been boosted by a $2 million grant to the university for testing and test kit manufacturing.
"We're at the point where we're ready to start running samples for people and help get results out there," LaBaer said.
The ASU lab would use specialized robots to process samples, allowing it to provide results at a faster rate than state and hospital labs, where tests are typically processed by hand. The robots can read results for many samples at the same time, potentially allowing ASU to complete hundreds of samples a day.
At this point, LaBaer declined to say which hospitals or organizations the university was working with to start testing workers, but said that those plans should be finalized this week.
ASU originally hoped to have testing ready last week, but LaBaer said the university had to clear regulatory hurdles and navigate supply shortages to manufacture kits and start testing. One of those hurdles included getting the laboratory certified to meet federal regulations for clinical diagnostic testing.
Normally, the university uses research-grade chemical ingredients, or reagents, for their laboratory tests. Those research-grade supplies are not meant to be used in clinical tests.
"We can't use them here. Here we need to be using clinical grade reagents that have been tested and come with a certificate of assurance attached to them," LaBaer said. "The supplies to run the reactions are not cheap."
Abbott has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a point-of-care molecular test for detection of COVID-19 with results in 13 minutes or less.
Due to this test being authorized by the FDA for Emergency Use Only, accuracy data cannot be communicated. Our ID NOW COVID-19 test delivers molecular results, which are valued for their accuracy in detecting viruses in similar settings.
No more at link.
Dr. Bruce Aylward has almost 30 years experience in fighting polio, Ebola and other diseases, and now, hes turned his attention to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Aylward, the senior adviser to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of the worlds top officials in charge of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The doctor, who lead a joint WHO mission to China in February to study the effectiveness of the coronavirus response in the country, has seen firsthand the measures Beijing took to fight the virus. Now hes sharing what he learned with governments and communicating with the WHO response teams working to fight COVID-19 in virus epicenters around the globe.
In an extensive teleconference interview with TIME from his office in Geneva, Aylward shared what he thinks needs to be done to stop the pandemic, and what the future might hold.
The following excerpts from the conversation have been condensed and edited for clarity.
Good info at link
Border Patrol Agents prevent terrorists and terrorists' weapons from entering the United States by securing our land borders and coastal waters from between ports of entry.
Working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) means keeping your country safe from dangerous people and materials attempting to cross our border.
CBP relies on men and women with integrity to carry out our mission - to protect. The career opportunities are vast, from K-9 Inspection to Special Response Team to Horse Patrol, and more. And the benefits are rewarding, including competitive pay, paid time off, health and life insurance, and a generous retirement.
A fully trained Border Patrol Agent (BPA) may be eligible for overtime pay (up to an additional 25% of salary). Border Patrol Agents (BPA) may also have a higher starting salary based on their duty location.
This position requires regular and recurring shift work. You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and duty locations. You could be required to work overtime on a daily basis and will be compensated up to an additional 25% of your base pay in accordance with the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014.
This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GL-5, GL-7, GL-9, GS-11, and GS-12. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete 52 weeks in each grade level (with supervisor approval).
Being a Border Patrol Agent makes you a valuable member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) profession. Typical assignments include:
Detecting, preventing, and apprehending undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land borders by maintaining surveillance from covert positions
Responding to electronic sensor alarms
Interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence
Using infrared scopes during night operations
Responding to aircraft sighting and other anti-smuggling activities
Performing farm and ranch checks, traffic checks, city patrols, and transportation checks
Patrolling the international boundary and coastal waterways and using a variety of Government assets for the accomplishment of the USBP Mission. These assets may include, but are not limited to: vehicles, horses, vessels, water crafts, off-road vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and motorcycles.
This position requires wearing an officially approved uniform and complying with established grooming standards found here; as established by the Border Patrol's Uniform and Grooming Standards Policy #07-09126. Please note that in accordance with these standards, tattoos and/or brandings on the head, face, neck or hands are not permitted. Obscene, racially/ethnically derogatory and/or gang tattoos or brandings shall not be visible. All visible tattoos and/or brandings will be covered while performing the following volunteer duties: Recruiting, Public Affairs Officer, Oral Hiring Boards, International Liaison duties, Community Affairs or judicial proceedings.
Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs
Search Terms: airport customs, armed security, army, bike patrol, border patrol, border security, coast guard, customs and immigration, customs officer, dhs, emt, homeland security, honor guard, horse patrol, k-9 unit, k9, law enforcement, medical technician, military, mobile response team, national guards, navy, off road vehicle unit, paramedic, patrol boat, police office, security officer
Job Type: Full-time
I found this morbidly fascinating....
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)Determined to address the No. 1 concern of the American people during the coronavirus crisis, Fox News Channel announced on Thursday that it would air a three-part prime-time series on Hunter Biden.
The series, to be he co-hosted by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Rudy Giuliani, will attempt to soothe the anxieties of Fox viewers who have suddenly been plunged into uncertainty about the activities of Joe Bidens son.
People are trapped inside their homes, theyre worried, theyre scared, and they dont know where to turn for accurate information about Hunter Biden, Hannity said. Were here to fill that need.
Giuliani said that the three-part series was necessary because the deep state had limited Americans access to essential Hunter Biden facts during the pandemic crisis.
If you go on the C.D.C. Web site, you wont find a single mention of Hunter Biden, Burisma, or CrowdStrike, Giuliani said. Its a disgrace.
In the first episode of the series, the Fox hosts will attempt to answer what Carlson called the most important question on our viewers minds: Did Hunter Biden cause the coronavirus?
As of now, there is no evidence that Hunter Biden caused the coronavirus, Carlson said. However, there is also no evidence that he didnt cause it. Thats the angle were going to be focusing on.
(Andy Borowitz is a Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes The Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news.)
"The health and well-being of our customers, our employees, and members of the community remain our highest priority. We have been closely monitoring the evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Beginning Thursday, March 19th, our banking centers will begin providing all services via drive-thru lanes only."
They do have free coffee and popcorn, but the only time I've seen a crowd in there is the Amish on Fridays.
27 cases in Kentucky, one death.
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