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The Telegraph

Biden’s transition team may find moving into the White House tougher than the election

Joe Biden was tonight planning for one of the most turbulent and uncertain transitions into the White House in modern US presidential history as he mapped his path to inauguration day on January 20. With the Democratic presidential nominee expressing certainty he had won the election even as the result was not called, staff members on a transition team set up months ago were preparing next steps. The road ahead, if he does indeed win, is daunting. For one, Mr Biden is facing a sitting US president who has vowed to fight through the courts to remain in the Oval Office and given no indication he could concede. Second, clarity on which party holds the Senate will have to wait until January as the two races in Georgia whose outcomes will decide are being rerun. If the Republicans retain a majority they can block Mr Biden’s cabinet nominees and legislation. And third, there is a deadly virus spreading uncontrollably across America, with new daily Covid-19 cases up 35 per cent in the last fortnight, and a US economy recovering from the biggest unemployment jump since the 1930s. Mr Biden, who during the campaign pledged swift action to tackle the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed more than 240,000 lives, will announce details of his 12-strong Covid task force on Sunday. It will be headed by former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith. Unlike in Britain, the victor of a US presidential election does not sweep into office once the outcome is known. Instead, any incoming candidate must wait more than two months until an official hand-over in mid-January. In the recent past that has almost always happened without rancour. Presidents have met their successors in the White House even if they are from the other party – as Barack Obama did with Donald Trump in 2016 – and offered support. Teams from the incoming president are sent to US government departments in what are dubbed “landing parties”, sent in to survey the scene. They are briefed about the status quo, ready to get going on day one. The president-elect’s transition team also swiftly takes up rooms in an official government building and is provided support as they plan for inauguration day. The process has been formalised and has some legal protections. This time, uncertainty abounds. Mr Trump could order his government employees – by tweet, perhaps – to refuse to engage with Mr Biden’s advisers given his public stance that he won the election and it is being “stolen” from him. Even if Mr Biden’s win margins in key battleground states are sizeable and the likelihood of a court decision affecting that is slim, the Trump campaign’s legal challenges could take weeks to progress through the system, giving the president cover. Perhaps foreseeing the difficult weeks which would follow any victory, Mr Biden

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COVID Exposure Risk Outside of Work Increasing for Clinicians

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

One third of COVID-19 exposures among health care providers (HCPs) in Minnesota are due to family or community exposure, not patient care, according to a study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and published online October 30 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And nonwork exposures were more likely to lead to COVID-19 infections.

Between March 6 and July 11, 2020, researchers with the MDH evaluated 21,406 incidences of HCP exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 5374 (25%) were classified as higher-risk exposures, meaning the provider had close contact for 15 minutes or more, or during an aerosol-generating procedure.

Two thirds (66%) of the higher-risk exposures occurred during direct patient care and 34% were related to nonpatient care interactions (eg, coworkers, social and household contacts). Overall, 6.9% (373) of the HCPs with a higher-risk exposure received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result within 14 days of the exposure. Notably, HCPs with household or social exposure had the highest positivity rate across all exposure types at 13%.

“Since the time period covered in this report, we’ve seen a significant increase in the proportion of HCPs who have had higher-risk exposures outside of work due to household or social contacts,” said lead author Ashley Fell, MPH, from the Minnesota Department of Health.

“HCPs with household or social exposures are also more likely to test positive than HCPs with higher risk exposures within the healthcare setting, which is an important message for both HCPs and the community at large that more COVID-19 spreading in our communities poses a greater risk to our HCPs and health care system,” Fell told Medscape Medical News.

When evaluating personal protective equipment (PPE) use among exposed HCPs, researchers found that 90% of providers in acute or ambulatory care were wearing a respirator or medical-grade face mask at time of exposure, compared with just 68% of HCPs working in congregate living or long-term care facilities.

Further, investigators found that an HCP with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test working in a congregate living or long-term care facility resulted in exposure of a median of three additional HCPs (interquartile range [IQR], 1-6) compared with a median of one additional HCP exposure in acute or ambulatory care (IQR, 1-3).

The researchers also found that, compared with HCPs in acute or ambulatory settings, HCPs working in long-term care or congregate living settings were more likely to return to work following a high-risk exposure (57% vs 37%) and work while symptomatic (4.8% vs 1.3%).

When asked whether these findings apply to HCPs in other states, Andrew T. Chan, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, noted: “These data are not surprising and confirm what many of us have been seeing in our own areas.

“Clearly, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is particularly high for front-line health care workers in long-term care facilities and nursing homes,” Chan said.

“Furthermore, the infection control practices in these care settings are often

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Global Fitness App Market | Increasing Demand for Wearable Devices to Boost the Market Growth


The global fitness app market size is poised to grow by USD 1.68 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 12% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest report by Technavio. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download a Free Sample of REPORT with COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery Analysis.

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Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Fitness App Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

The market is witnessing an increase in the demand for wearable devices such as smartwatches, smart bands, and smart rings that have various features such as calling, messaging, and fitness tracking. These devices can be integrated with fitness apps to provide information on heart rate, exercise cognition, and issue movement reminders. To capitalize on the growing popularity of wearable devices, vendors are expanding their product portfolios by launching products equipped with advanced features such as LTE, music storage, built-in GPS, etc. Some vendors are also offering low-cost wearable products that are specifically designed for children. These factors are increasing the adoption of wearable devices, which in turn will positively influence the fitness app market.

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Report Highlights:

  • The major fitness app market growth came from the lifestyle monitoring segment in 2019.
  • APAC was the largest fitness apps market in 2019, and the region will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. This is attributed to the proliferation of a variety of fitness apps.
  • The global fitness app market is fragmented. adidas AG, ASICS Digital Inc., Azumio Inc., BetterME., FitNow Inc., Google LLC, Nike Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Under Armour Inc., and YAZIO GmbH. are some of the major market participants. To help clients improve their market position, this fitness app market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the market leaders.
  • As the business impact of COVID-19 spreads, the global fitness app market 2020-2024 is expected to have positive growth. As the pandemic spreads in some regions and plateaus in other regions, we revaluate the impact on businesses and update our report forecasts.

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Proliferation of a Variety of Fitness Apps will be a Key Market Trend

Vendors in the market are introducing various fitness apps for different purposes, workout routines, and exercises. For instance, some vendors are introducing fitness apps specifically for pregnant women, different age groups and gender. These apps enable customers to monitor their health and fitness by analyzing their calorie intake and provide guidance about proper nutrition to help them stay healthy and fit. The

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Coronavirus-related hospitalizations increasing in 37 states

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are on the rise in a majority of states, a CNBC analysis published Tuesday found.

Hospitalizations were rising by at least 5 percent in 37 states as of Sunday, the network found. It also found several states reached a record high for hospitalization averages, including Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

By comparison, hospitalizations are only falling in the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

“We are clearly in the second wave in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere and we really need to have more control of this infection at the community level,” Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Toronto, told CNBC. “We know exactly what it’s like when health-care systems are spread beyond capacity. We saw that in New York City. We saw that in Houston. We saw that in many other parts of the United States.”

Bogoch added that the numbers have worrisome implications for later in the fall as well as in winter, periods during which people are more likely to be inside and at higher risk of transmission for the virus.

“What’s concerning here is that it’s only mid-October and there is a long fall and winter,” he told the network.

Statistics indicate a new wave of the virus is underway in both the U.S. and Europe after growth slowed over the summer. The seven-day average for new cases in the U.S. is up 13 percent from the previous week, at about 56,000 a day. The number is up from early September’s 30,000-per-day average but below the nationwide average of about 70,000 new daily cases seen earlier in the year.

“We’re going to get through it. We’re probably in the 7th inning of the acute phase of this pandemic right now, but the hardest part is probably ahead,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC earlier this week.

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