CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020

CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020. “The news comes after the retailer announced in July that it would close roughly 200 stores, mainly Bed Bath & Beyond stores, over the next two years. The store chain also said last month that it would eliminate 2,800 jobs as it tries to streamline its operations and shore up its finances. The store chain, which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values, had a total of 1,478 stores as of May 30. Some 955 of those are Bed Bath & Beyond stores.”

Poynter: The first look at the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccine ‘playbook’

Poynter: The first look at the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccine ‘playbook’. “Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said [September 16] that even when we get a vaccine, it will not likely be available to the general public until next summer. Redfield also rolled out a playbook for how a national vaccine program might look. The playbook is loaded with details you have not seen or heard before and it is really important for journalists to start to learn how a vaccination program might unfold. You will be vitally important to its success.”

Lockdown air pollution: Nitrogen dioxide halved, but sulphur dioxide doubled (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Lockdown air pollution: Nitrogen dioxide halved, but sulphur dioxide doubled. “A University of Liverpool study of air pollution in the UK during the first 100 days of lockdown has revealed that whilst nitrogen oxide levels were cut by half, levels of sulfur dioxide increased by over 100%.”

Flood risks: More accurate data due to COVID-19 (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Flood risks: More accurate data due to COVID-19. “A number of countries went into politically decreed late hibernation at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of those affected by the lockdown suffered negative economic and social consequences. Geodesy, a branch of Earth science to study Earth’s gravity field and its shape, on the other hand, has benefited from the drastic reduction in human activity. At least that is what the study now published in Geophysical Research Letters shows. The study, which was carried out by geodesists from the University of Bonn, investigated the location of a precise GNSS antenna in Boston (Massachusetts) as an example.”

Ischgl: Austria sued over Tyrol ski resort’s Covid-19 outbreak (BBC)

BBC: Ischgl: Austria sued over Tyrol ski resort’s Covid-19 outbreak. “A consumer rights group is taking legal action against the Austrian government over Covid-19 outbreaks at ski resorts in the western Tyrol region this year. The group has filed four civil suits for now, but said it hoped to bring at least one class action lawsuit next year on behalf of thousands of people.”

BBC: Dutch celebs get caught up in Covid rebellion

BBC: Dutch celebs get caught up in Covid rebellion. “Influencers, rappers and a world-renowned DJ have been heavily criticised in the Netherlands after publicly announcing they were abandoning efforts to combat Covid-19. Their campaign came as the numbers in Dutch intensive care units hit 100 for the first time since June and infection rates rose 60% on last week.”

Poynter: 6 closer looks into the pandemic’s impact on minorities and the poor

Poynter: 6 closer looks into the pandemic’s impact on minorities and the poor. “It’s well-established that Black residents and Hispanic residents are roughly 2.5 times more likely to get the virus than white residents, more likely to die from it — and that the disparities vary significantly from state to state and county to county. Some of the more detailed coronavirus reporting now focuses on subsets of Black and Hispanic residents, other minority groups and particular populations of the poor. Here are six stories that caught our eye over the last several weeks, and nearly all of them can be reported in virtually any community.”

The Texas Record: COVID-19 Health Screening Records

The Texas Record: COVID-19 Health Screening Records. “Since the start of the 2020 pandemic, many organizations have started collecting information on the people visiting their facilities: temperature checks, symptom reporting, test results, etc. If your local government or state agency has been screening people for COVID-19 symptoms, you’re probably wondering what to do with all those records. There is no one perfect record series for COVID-19 screening records, as the administrative and legal value will vary depending on who is conducting the screening, whether information is being collected on citizens or employees, and what specific questions are being asked.”

CNN: 5 NFL teams and coaches who didn’t wear masks during games face more than $1 million in fines

CNN: 5 NFL teams and coaches who didn’t wear masks during games face more than $1 million in fines. “Two more NFL teams, the New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders, are being fined $250,000 each because their head coaches were not wearing face coverings during a game Monday, a league source told CNN on Tuesday. The head coaches, Sean Payton of the Saints and Jon Gruden of the Raiders, are being fined $100,000 each, the source said.”

Poynter: The pandemic has been disastrous for advertising but political spending will bail it out

Poynter: The pandemic has been disastrous for advertising but political spending will bail it out. “Ad Age reports that political spending is about to bail out the industry’s overall 2020 performance. Total ad sales were down 7.2% in the first and second quarters, with digital sales up 5.7%. Traditional ‘linear media’ fell 23.1%.” I live in North Carolina, also known as Swing State Hell. When I watch the news with Granny, 90% of the commercials are political ads. It’s awful.

Government Technology: Google Maps is getting a new layer that shows what?

Government Technology: Google Maps is getting a new layer that shows what?. “Want to know how many confirmed COVID-19 cases there are in your area? How about whether infection rates are trending up or down? If you use Google Maps, you’re in luck. The platform’s newest feature will be able to tell you that.”

In South Korea, Covid-19 Comes With Another Risk: Online Bullies (New York Times)

New York Times: In South Korea, Covid-19 Comes With Another Risk: Online Bullies. “The scandal that riveted South Korea’s online busybodies began when Kim Ji-seon checked into a beachside condominium in February. A 29-year-old office worker planning a June wedding, she had nothing more salacious in mind than meeting with members of her church to organize a youth program. Then Ms. Kim tested positive for the coronavirus — and the details of her life became grist for South Korea’s growing culture of cyberbullying and misinformation, a phenomenon that has complicated the country’s widely praised digital effort to find those infected with the coronavirus.”

Phys .org: How employers can soften the blow of furloughs and layoffs

Phys .org: How employers can soften the blow of furloughs and layoffs. “‘Softening the blow: Incorporating employee perceptions of justice into best practices for layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic’ suggests behavior-based policies leaders can apply when implementing furloughs or layoffs. Co-authors Isabel Bilotta, Shannon Cheng, Linnea Ng, Abby Corrington, Ivy Watson, Eden King and Mikki Hebl drew on previous research about perceptions of fairness to develop the recommendations.”

Phys .org: The impact of human mobility on disease spread

Phys .org: The impact of human mobility on disease spread. “In a paper publishing on Tuesday in the SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics, Daozhou Gao of Shanghai Normal University investigated the way in which human dispersal affects disease control and total extent of an infection’s spread. Few previous studies have explored the impact of human movement on infection size or disease prevalence—defined as the proportion of individuals in a population that are infected with a specific pathogen—in different regions. This area of research is especially pertinent during severe disease outbreaks, when governing leaders may dramatically reduce human mobility by closing borders and restricting travel. During these times, it is essential to understand how limiting people’s movements affects the spread of disease.”

New York Times: In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.

New York Times: In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.. “In a stunning declaration of authority, Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, this week barred the nation’s health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing any new rules regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines.”