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Coronavirus cases linked to live music event at Virginia restaurant, attendees asked to self-quarantine

A live music event at a restaurant in Henrico, Va., is linked to a “cluster” of cases of the novel coronavirus, local health officials said this week when encouraging residents who may have been exposed to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 over the next 14 days. 

Anyone who attended the live music event on Oct. 9 at JJ’s Grille on Staples Mill Road may have been exposed to the coronavirus, said officials with the Henrico County Health Department (HCHD) in a news release posted to the Virginia Department of Health website. 

Dr. Danny Avula, the director of Richmond’s and Henrico’s health districts, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the restaurant voluntarily closed for a temporary period of time after the cases were identified. (iStock)

Dr. Danny Avula, the director of Richmond’s and Henrico’s health districts, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the restaurant voluntarily closed for a temporary period of time after the cases were identified. (iStock)

“While there have been no reported cases of exposure associated with live music or group events held on dates before October 9, HCHD is still evaluating the potential for further exposures and would recommend that individuals who have visited the establishment after October 9 monitor for symptoms and consider being tested for COVID-19 infection,” health officials said. 

Dr. Danny Avula, the director of Richmond’s and Henrico’s health districts, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the restaurant voluntarily closed for a temporary period of time after the cases were identified. 

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“In an office setting, you know everybody who works in the office and spent 15 minutes within 6 feet of an affected individual, but at these types of settings, it’s harder to do that,” Avula said of why the health district publically announced the outbreak, as a “lack of cooperation with contact tracing efforts and delays in testing” impacted health official’s efforts to notify everyone who could have been exposed, the newspaper reported. 

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Officials did not provide a number of people who have tested positive, but Avula said some 75 people, including staff and restaurant patrons, have been contacted. 

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health

Nearly 50 people sick after fellowship event at a small church in Maine

A total of 49 cases have been linked to an outbreak at the Brooks Pentecostal Church in Waldo County, the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah said at a news conference Thursday.

“We expect that number to increase over the next days,” Shah said.

Seven of the cases are associated with the Lighthouse Christian Academy, a church-affiliated school on its property in the town of Brooks.

The pastor of the church on Facebook expressed his sadness over the outbreak.

M.W. Shaw added that church officials were following quarantine measures before the first positive test was announced.

“Though the origin of the virus is unclear, we will be addressing all recommendations and guidelines provided to us by the CDC,” Shaw wrote. “Our church will be addressing our continuity of worship in a safe and orderly manner.”

CNN has reached out the church for comment but has not heard back.

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

Bayview Manor, a residential care facility in nearby Searsport, also has one case connected to the outbreak, Shah said. The individual is a staff member and investigators are trying to determine whether there has been virus transmission at the facility.

Chad Cloutier, CEO of facility operator DLTC Healthcare, denied that the case was related to the outbreak and said that the facility had tested all residents and staff Sunday, immediately after learning an employee had tested positive. All results came back negative, Cloutier said.

Three elementary schools are under investigation as part of the outbreak. The state is not aware of any cases of transmission related to these schools as of yet, Shah said.

Shah emphasized that the schools and the facility are not experiencing outbreaks within themselves, but rather there are individuals who have tested positive as part of the outbreak who “have involvement” with them.

Officials are monitoring members of other churches and a Bible college where there may have been transmission of the virus from people who attended the fellowship event, which took place at the beginning of the month.

About 100 to 150 people attended the event, Shah said.

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He implored residents to get tested if they attended service at Brooks Pentecostal Church or came into contact with someone who did.

The state health department is working with the church and school officials to identify more cases and will expand testing within the county, Shah said. Waldo County has about 40,000 residents, 1,100 of whom live in Brooks.

CNN has reached out to the Maine CDC for additional comments.

CNN’s Anna Sturla and Julian Cummings contributed to this report.

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health

Free Drive-Thru Mask Event In Harford County Planned Wednesday

BEL AIR, MD — The Harford County Health Department is hosting a drive-thru mask event for Harford County businesses Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Businesses will be able to visit 120 South Hays Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to pick up their masks.

Register to specify the number of masks and to reduce the wait time.

The free event is held in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health as part of its campaign to promote mask usage.

“Wearing a mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and we welcome any business who is in need of masks for their staff or guests to drive-thru on Wednesday,” Acting Harford County Health Officer Marcy Austin said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to distribute masks for our local community, without charge, to continue with safety precautions against COVID-19.”

There are 3,430 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Harford County as of Tuesday, Oct.20, according to state health officials.

The timing of Wednesday’s drive-thru mask giveaway was intentional, local health experts said, as the flu season typically begins in October.

“Especially with the upcoming flu season, your actions can define the health of our community,” Harford County Health Department Emergency Coordinator Lisa Swank, R.N., said in statement.

“The Harford County Health Department is encouraging all residents to continue to wear masks and social distance, especially during flu season,” Swank said. “This is why we are providing Harford County businesses with free masks to distribute to their patrons and employees during this time of year.”

The most recent flu surveillance report from the Maryland Department of Health shows no positive test results for influenza so far, although there was one influenza-related hospitalization for the week ending Oct. 3, officials said.

In early October, Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland was shifting its coronavirus strategy as flu season arrives, bracing for a potential hospital surge and ramping up its flu testing capacity.

Both coronavirus and influenza are contagious illnesses that can be spread through respiratory droplets.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in public, maintaining 6 feet of distance and frequently washing hands to prevent the spread of illness.

People in Maryland are required to wear face coverings inside most businesses if they are older than 2. Among the exceptions are those who have medical conditions that preclude mask wearing and patrons who are eating and drinking.

The Harford County Health Department at 120 South Hays Street is hosting its drive-thru mask event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.

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This article originally appeared on the Bel Air Patch

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fitness

Zoom announces new online event platform OnZoom, third-party apps

  • Zoom is introducing OnZoom, a new way to host events — free and paid — using the popular videoconferencing tool.
  • Zoom has come to be used to host all kinds of events amid the pandemic, from board meetings and conferences to fitness classes and concerts. The new OnZoom platform includes the ability to charge for tickets, as well as a directory of public event listings.
  • Zoom is also launching a new kind of app integration, called a Zapp, that can bring information from productivity tools like Dropbox, Slack, or Asana directly into a video chat.
  • Facebook launched its own features for paid videoconferencing events over the summer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the pandemic drags on, Zoom is releasing a new way to host online events — importantly, now including paid events — as well as new types of apps that integrate outside business and productivity tools like Slack, Dropbox, and Asana directly into Zoom meetings, the company announced Wednesday. 

Zoom has become a household name amid shelter in place and social distancing mandates, with users turning to the videoconferencing app to host events from board meetings and conferences to yoga classes and concerts. It’s led Zoom’s business to skyrocket, but also forced the company to rethink its ambitions beyond its original enterprise approach. 

The online event platform, called OnZoom, adds features to Zoom that make it easier to host online events — notably, by allowing event organizers to sell tickets for paid events on Zoom, thanks to an integration with PayPal. There will also be an event marketplace, where people can find and sign up for public events, free and paid.

At launch, the events platform is only available to US users, but will be available more globally next year. There’s no additional fee for paid users to try out OnZoom through the end of 2020, but Zoom says that it plans to revisit the possibility of taking a cut of ticket sales next year. 

Notably, Facebook announced something similar earlier this year, allowing businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to host paid events on Facebook Live or its Messenger Rooms app. Facebook has said it won’t collect fees from tickets sales until at least August 2021.

The catch is that you will have to be a paid Zoom user to set up events with OnZoom, with a capacity ranging from 100 attendees, up to 1,000 for enterprise users. For anything larger, users can livestream the event with a Zoom Webinar license. 

The company bills it as being well-suited for other companies to host their own conferences, for fitness instructors to hold paid lessons, for nonprofits to set up fundraising events and many other use cases.

The company also promises that OnZoom will have security features built in, allowing hosts to monitor and moderate attendee behavior, as well as a system for users to report their fellow attendees.

Earlier this year, Zoom became known for so-called “Zoom-bombing,” when uninvited guests would crash a meeting and display

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