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During COVID-19 crisis, prioritize release of pregnant inmates

OPINIONDr. Carolyn Sufrin and Lauren Kuhlik, Opinion contributors Published 4:03 p.m. ET May 9, 2020 Death of federal prisoner from coronavirus days after giving birth shows how vulnerable, isolated population isAndrea Circle Bear was 30 years old and had only recently given birth when she died of COVID-19. Circle Bear was incarcerated for a drug-related charge at the…

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OPINIONDr. Carolyn Sufrin and Lauren Kuhlik, Opinion contributors
Published 4:03 p.m. ET May 9, 2020
Death of federal prisoner from coronavirus days after giving birth shows how vulnerable, isolated population isAndrea Circle Bear was 30 years old and had only recently given birth when she died of COVID-19. Circle Bear was incarcerated for a drug-related charge at the time of her death. She spent the final weeks of her pregnancy in a local jail and then a federal prison, spaces that are known hotbeds for virus transmission — and it’s likely in one of these places that she contracted the virus. She shared the planet with her baby for only 28 days before she passed. While much attention has rightly been given to the risks of COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and detention centers, the risks to pregnant and postpartum women like Circle Bear have largely been overlooked.Pregnancy alone does not appear to be a risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19, but the data is clear that incarceration compounds the dangers associated with pregnancy. They are much more likely to get infected in prison or jail than in the community.COLUMN: Ben Crump: Ahmaud Arbery killing reminiscent of lynchingPeople who are incarcerated also have higher rates of underlying medical conditions —as Circle Bear did — that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Some suggest that people in prisons or jails who have symptoms of COVID-19, including those who are pregnant, be placed in solitary confinement as a form of quarantine. But solitary confinement can be especially damaging to prison or jail populations that are pregnant  or have recently given birth because it can limit access to timely, adequate medical care.Iowa prisoner Khrista Erdman wears ankle restraints the day after her daughter was born in 2010. (Photo: Liz Martin/Gannett)During this time of rampant coronavirus spread and attempts at social distancing to avoid infection, it’s imperative that pregnant populations are prioritized for release and diversion from prisons, jails and detention centers. The situation is dire.A new study estimates that at least 72% of people held in immigration detention centers are likely to get infected within the next 90 days. And the danger in jails and prisons is equally serious: Prisons that have conducted universal testing have found that an overwhelming number of the people they incarcerated are positive for COVID-19. One model estimates that 100,000 more people could die from COVID-19 than current estimates indicate if jail populations are not immediately and dramatically reduced.COLUMN: Former felons should not be pushed out of loans under CARES ActA recent study that I conducted as a doctor and Johns Hopkins OBGYN researcher estimated that from 2016 to 2017, there were nearly 3,000 admissions of pregnant women to U.S. prisons and 55,000 to jails. Thousands are at risk for contracting COVID in custody and exposing their babies to danger.  As a physician and an attorney who work with populations that are pregnant and incarcerated, we have seen dangerous variability in their care. There is a dearth of protections for them, leaving many vulnerable to inadequate medical care and abuse: loss of reproductive choices, shackling during childbirth and solitary confinement, as well as the inevitable separation from their newborns.The COVID-19 pandemic is terrifying for anyone who is pregnant. Those who are incarcerated are wrestling with the added COVID risks of their environment, such as close quarters, lack of adequate cleaning and limited protective equipment. These fears only exacerbate the existing dangers and stressors of being pregnant while incarcerated. Pregnancy, incarceration and COVID are a recipe for both increased medical risks and psychological trauma.COLUMN: I’m a nurse battling against COVID-19, but DACA fight could end in my deportationHaving coronavirus also may mean being separated from newborns at the hospital. This would be a difficult experience for any new parent, but it is particularly devastating and harmful for those who are incarcerated because they are quickly sent back to the prison or jail, unable to see or hold their infants. And since prisons and jails have suspended visitations as a COVID prevention measure, the few opportunities new parents might have had for contact visits are gone. These traumatic separations interfere with their ability to bond with their children and cause severe emotional harm — for both the parent and the child. Advocates and officials have made tremendous and rapid strides in depopulating prisons and jails, often focusing on releasing those who are medically vulnerable to COVID-19. We have seen success in some places. In North Carolina, more than a dozen pregnant women were moved out of prison last month. But more efforts are needed.  The situation for pregnant populations in our nation’s jails, prisons and detention centers has long been serious. But with COVID-19, it is now an emergency.Circle Bear’s child should never have been left motherless, and she should not have had to face the dangers of incarceration, where she contracted COVID-19.We must and we can prevent such senseless suffering. Lauren Kuhlik is an Equal Justice Works fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project.Dr. Carolyn Sufrin is an OBGYN and anthropologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the author of “Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars.”Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2020/05/09/during-covid-19-crisis-prioritize-release-pregnant-inmates/3098043001/Find New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
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USFK: 7 service members from US test positive for COVID-19

Seven more service members affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those service members, four had taken government-chartered flights to Osan Air Base between Oct. 5 and Oct. 19, while another three headed into Incheon International Airport on a commercial flight on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19, according to the command.…

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Seven more service members affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those service members, four had taken government-chartered flights to Osan Air Base between Oct. 5 and Oct. 19, while another three headed into Incheon International Airport on a commercial flight on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19, according to the command. USFK policy dictates that all service members arriving in South Korea must undergo a COVID-19 test and then remain quarantined for at least 14 days. Service members will receive a subsequent COVID-19 test after the two-week period, to ensure they test negative before their release or can be isolated if they test positive. Four of the seven service members tested positive during the initial test and three tested positive during the second test, USFK said. All who have tested positive are currently at Camp Humphreys in isolation. More than a dozen service members affiliated with USFK have tested positive for COVID-19 this month either after initially arriving in South Korea from the U.S., or after a mandatory two week quarantine. Last week, USFK announced that is was lowering its Health Protection Condition to Bravo across the entire peninsula and cited “low numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the greater Seoul metropolitan area.” The new order took effect on Monday. Per Department of Defense guidance, HPCON Bravo means that the risk is moderate and there has been an increase in community transmissions. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. “USFK’s #1 priority remains the protection of the force,” USFK Commander Army Gen. Robert Abrams said in a statement. “We must balance the overall health, safety and protection of the force with mission accomplishment.” Abrams announced Friday that he is currently in quarantine in South Korea, after returning from the U.S. Day #7 quarantine update:SOT and thanks @mac_tremblay and Team Humphreys for a delicious lima bean lunch. Yum-yum! .cc @broadcastmike @PatDonahoeArmy pic.twitter.com/sm8oSeGl5X— Robert Abrams (@DogFaceSoldier) October 22, 2020 A USFK soldier stationed at Camp Carroll was the first U.S. service member to test positive for COVID-19 back in February. The 23-year-old soldier was declared virus-free after 49 days in isolation in April. The Pentagon has reported more than 52,300 COVID-19 cases among military personnel, 12,000 cases among DoD civilians, 7,200 cases among dependents, and 4,880 cases among contractors. There have been a total of eight deaths among military personnel, per the Pentagon.

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4 best uses for Amazon Echo in your living room – CNET

Place your Echo somewhere in the living room. Chris Monroe/CNET If you’ve got a living room, you probably spend a lot of time there, which makes it the perfect home for your Amazon Echo (at least better than putting it one of these places). And while you may use Alexa to drop in on other…

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Place your Echo somewhere in the living room.
Chris Monroe/CNET
If you’ve got a living room, you probably spend a lot of time there, which makes it the perfect home for your Amazon Echo (at least better than putting it one of these places). And while you may use Alexa to drop in on other speakers in the house or play music, there are other benefits to keeping an Echo device in the living room.  For example, Alexa can turn your living room into a home theater, and can even let you control all your smart home devices from your couch. We suggest keeping Echo devices away from windows to prevent outsiders from having access to your household Alexa — while a rare occurrence, it is a possibility. Here are the best uses for an Amazon Echo in your living room.

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Your Echo can provide surround sound If you’ve got an Amazon Echo, you can turn your living room into a home theater for when you’re watching movies. Note that you do need to have compatible hardware. This works best if you have multiple Echo speakers in your living room or an Alexa-compatible soundbar. To get started, open the Alexa app and select Devices, tap the Plus icon and select Set Up Audio System. For the best results, you’ll need an Alexa-compatible smart TV or Fire TV to help prevent any lag issues. This also determines whether you’ll select Stereo Pair (connect multiple speakers) or Home Theater (connect speakers to Fire TV) to continue setting up your devices. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish pairing your speakers with your TV.

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Alexa can control your lights Whether it’s plugging your lamp into a smart plug, installing a smart switch or simply using a smart bulb, Alexa can help you turn your lights on and off. This is especially useful when it’s dark and you can’t seem to find the light switch in the middle of the night. For whichever smart device you have, you’ll need to connect it to your Amazon Echo using the Alexa app. To get started, open the app and tap Devices, then select the Plus icon and tap Add Device. Select the device you’re setting up and follow the onscreen instructions. Alexa can control your lights with a smart switch, plug or bulb.
Chris Monroe/CNET
Lock and unlock your front door from your couch If you like to keep your doors locked, even when you’re at home, smart locks can be useful for locking and unlocking your door with just your voice. Even better, you can connect it to your Echo speaker so you can ask Alexa to control your lock without moving from the couch. For example, you’d say, “Alexa. Lock the front door.” For security reasons, typically a smart lock twill lock the door in response to voice commands, but will only unlock it with a PIN code. Family game nights Playing the same board games over and over can get boring. Fortunately, your Echo device is chock-full of fun games you can play, from trivia to investigation games. Some of the games are already integrated into the Echo speaker, but many are Alexa skills that you can enable in the Alexa app. The games are great for family nights when you’re staying home — especially with the temperature cooling down. For some starting ideas, here’s a list of Alexa games we like best. For more tips, here are the best uses for Amazon Echo in your bedroom, the best things you can do with two or more Echo devices and the five best ways to use Amazon Echo in the kitchen.

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Translation tools, air purifiers: Face masks go high-tech

This photograph shows Professor Chen Xiaodon from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University talking to an AFP reporter regarding the development of a face mask that can monitor vital health information.—AFPFrom monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the coronavirus-fuelled boom in…

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This photograph shows Professor Chen Xiaodon from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University talking to an AFP reporter regarding the development of a face mask that can monitor vital health information.—AFPFrom monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the coronavirus-fuelled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to both guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows people to have a conversation while keeping up to 10 metres (32 feet) apart.

“Despite the coronavirus, we sometimes need to meet directly with each other,” Donut Robotics chief executive Taisuke Ono told AFP. The lightweight silicone device could have immediate benefits for people such as doctors who want to communicate with patients from a distance, the company says. It can translate speech from Japanese into English, Korean and other languages-a function that will become more useful once travel restrictions are eventually eased. But it does not offer protection from Covid-19 on its own, and is designed to be worn over a regular face covering when it goes on sale in February for about 4,000 yen ($40).

research fellow from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technology University wearing a face mask installed with sensors which transmit via Bluetooth readings.Donut Robotics raised nearly 100 million yen ($950,000) via crowdfunding to develop it, a success Ono believes was driven by a desire for innovations to make life easier during the pandemic. “We may be able to fight the virus with technology, with human wisdom,” he said. Another face mask developed in Singapore is aimed at protecting medics treating Covid-19 patients. It has sensors that monitor body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels, and relay data to a smartphone via a Bluetooth transmitter. “Many of these frontline workers will be exposed to patients when they are taking their vital signs,” Loh Xian Jun, one of the scientists behind the invention, told AFP.

“This poses a health risk to the nurses, and we wanted to think about a way to reduce such risk.” Its inventors say the device could also monitor vital signs of migrant workers in crowded dormitories, which incubated massive virus outbreaks in the city-state this year. They hope to trial it in the near future and market it commercially. For those seeking to combat the effects of pollution in smog-choked cities, South Korea’s LG Electronics has developed an air purifier mask.

The futuristic white device, which fits snugly around the wearer’s mouth, nose and chin, is equipped with two filters on either side and fans to aid airflow. The filters are similar to those in the company’s home air purifiers, and can block 99.95 percent of harmful particles. Thousands have already been made available to medical staff and it will also be rolled out in shops in the future, the company says.-AFP

A research fellow from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technology University wearing a face mask installed with sensors.

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