Health Highlights: April 20, 2020

By on April 20, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

People Flock to Reopened Beaches in North Florida

Many of the people who swarmed to beaches in Jacksonville, Fla., after they were reopened on Friday ignored social distancing warnings and didn’t wear face masks, triggering “Florida morons” to trend on Twitter across the United States.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry reopened beaches and parks in the city after receiving permission from Governor Ron DeSantis, despite the state reporting more than 26,000 coronavirus cases, CBS New reported.

Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach are now open from 6-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. for “essential activities” that follow coronavirus safety measures.

According to Curry, those essential activities include walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing. Activities such as sunbathing, grilling, and gathering in large groups are prohibited, CBS News reported.

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Lab Protocol Failures Led to Ineffective Coronavirus Tests From CDC

The United States’ first coronavirus tests were ineffective due to poor laboratory practices at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

The CDC’s own manufacturing standards were violated by two of the agency’s three labs in Atlanta that created the coronavirus test kits. As a result, the CDC sent ineffective tests to nearly all of the 100 state and local public health labs, according to the FDA, The New York Times reported.

A major problem was that researchers entered and left coronavirus laboratories without changing their coats, officials said.

That resulted in contamination of tests sent to public health labs, making them unusable, The Times reported.

“CDC did not manufacture its test consistent with its own protocol,” FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo said in a statement.

As a result of the manufacturing problems with the tests, the CDC had to delay the launch of a nationwide coronavirus detection program for a month, and the United States lost ground in its fight against the coronavirus, The Times reported.

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Defense Production Act Invoked to Increase Swab Output

The Defense Production Act will be invoked to boost the output of swabs used for coronavirus testing, U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday.

Vice President Mike Pence said he’ll speak with state governors to discuss how implementation of the Defense Production Act would impact future coronavirus testing, CBS News reported.

The testing now available will enable states to “move into phase one” of reopening, according to Pence.

The White House has outlined three phases for states to reopen, and some governors have said they’ll begin gradually reopening as soon as this week, CBS News reported.

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