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Reuters, New York Times win Pulitzers for coverage of racial injustice, COVID-19

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Reuters and the Minneapolis Star Tribune each won a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism on Racial Inequality in U.S. Police Work on Friday, while the New York Times and the Atlantic were honored for Chronicle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the two topics that the Last year’s headlines dominated.

The Star Tribune won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage for its “urgent, authoritative and nuanced” coverage of the police murder of George Floyd last May, while Reuters and Atlantic shared the award in explanatory coverage.

The Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious awards in American journalism and have been presented since 1917, when newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer bequeathed them to Columbia University in New York.

In 2020, “the country’s news organizations are faced with the complexities of covering a global pandemic, a racial reckoning, and a bitterly competitive presidential election, one at a time,” said Mindy Marques, co-chair of the Pulitzer Board of Directors, at the announcement ceremony, which broadcast online has been .

The board cited Reuters reporters Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts for the “groundbreaking data analysis” of their “Shielded” series, which showed how an obscure legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” shielded police officers make excessive use of the force of law enforcement.

Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement that the series shaped the debate over American police reform.

“In a year of stormy protests against the police killings of black Americans, ‘Shielded’ was a work of tremendous moral force on the persistent problem facing the world’s most powerful democracy, the legacy of racial injustice,” the statement said.

The Pulitzer Prize for Reuters, an entity of Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO), was the ninth since 2008 and the sixth in the past four years.

The Reuters team shared the explanatory coverage award with Ed Yong of The Atlantic, who was recognized by the board for “a series of clear, definitive contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A SINGLE CASE

Mary Stewart holds an obituary for her son Luke Stewart on November 12, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. REUTERS / Megan Jelinger

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Reuters’ series of police stories were triggered by a single case – and required lengthy, complex data analysis.

In April 2017, the US Supreme Court declined to reopen an unarmed suspect alleging unconstitutional excessive violence against a Houston police officer for shooting him in the back. Reuters Supreme Court reporters Chung and Hurley have teamed up with data reporters Januta, Dowdell and Botts. They analyzed hundreds of cases and found that since 2005 the courts have shown an increasing tendency to grant immunity in cases of excessive violence. They then detailed the cases of a number of victims of police violence who were denied justice, even after courts found the officers were too violent.

The first Reuters story came out just weeks before the murder of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in handcuffs when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. The coverage had a broad influence on the national discussion of US police problems.

“The data we produced was quoted in almost every major news organization immediately after the George Floyd murder,” Hurley said, adding that it was also quoted in court records and informally by judges.

SPECIAL QUOTATION

Many of the 2021 Pulitzer Awards went to coverage of policing and the global protest movement that broke out after Floyd’s assassination: the Associated Press won the Breaking News Photography Award for pictures of the protests, while Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times for editorial contributions won for his work on bail reform and prisons.

The board also said it gave Darnella Frazier, the teenage viewer who recorded a video of Floyd’s murder on her cell phone, a “special quote” highlighting “the vital role of citizens in helping journalists find truth and justice” .

The New York Times won the Public Service Journalism Award, often considered the most coveted of the 22 awards, for its “predictive and comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.” The Boston Globe won for investigative coverage for exposing a systematic failure by state governments to share information about dangerous truck drivers that could have kept them off the road.

The announcement of the prices on Friday, each worth $ 15,000, had been postponed to April amid the pandemic. The awards dinner, which usually takes place shortly after at Columbia University, has been postponed until the fall.

The Pulitzer Board of Directors also recognizes achievements in seven categories in the arts and awarded Louise Erdrich its Fiction Prize for her novel “The Night Watchman” about attempting to evict Indian tribes in the 1950s.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Pandemic

How Johns Hopkins Medicine is empowering kids with COVID-19 information

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Would you like children in your school to know about COVID-19? You can invite experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland to make regular virtual visits.

Would you like children in your school to know about COVID-19? You can invite experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland to make regular virtual visits.

The Johns Hopkins Health Education and Training Corps is bringing experts into the communities to help tackle the pandemic. Working with children in schools was inspired by realizing how the pandemic can end.

“It won’t end in the hospital; it won’t end by a doctor treating COVID. It will end with the community prevention of COVID, “said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, pulmonary and intensive care physician and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Galiatsatos is co-director of the Medicine for the Greater Good program and co-chair of JHHS Health Equity, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Health Equity.

“COVID, currently in December 2021, is a preventable disease. And the only way to prevent this is to know how to keep from being comfortable with the information, but also to take that information and apply it in your daily life, ”he said.

Galiatsatos said that you involve children, answer their questions, give them information and “suddenly you have this massive peer-to-peer conversation. The children are progressing and suddenly the children are growing up and helping us end the pandemic. “

Members of the HEAT Corps team include everyone from medical students to seasoned doctors and nurses.

“We train all of our fellow fellow workers, not just to sit back and relax. And this is not a science talk per se, it should come across from person to person. So let’s relate science, but in a way that humans can adopt and act, ”said Galiatsatos.

The corps goes into the community, makes the scientific concepts understandable and applicable to people in everyday life.

“Of course that is the case with COVID at the moment, but that is also the intention to continue,” said Galiatsatos. “Let’s talk about it. Let’s inform and create actionable young people, but at the same time start to improve science literacy.”

The program began in schools in Baltimore City in 2020 and has since expanded to schools from San Francisco to Rhode Island, Texas and Alabama in the United States and from India to Sudan. It is taught in English, Spanish and Greek.

“I think we are setting the stage for an initiative that is not just a moment. It is destined to become a real movement. So yes we are everywhere. If you’d like us in your classroom, just let us know, ”said Galiatsatos.

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Pandemic

Cleveland hospitals limiting non-urgent surgeries

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The Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals announced Friday that they are making voluntary adjustments to non-urgent surgery schedules in certain locations due to a “further increase” in the number of COVID-19 patients.

In Summit County, Summa Health had planned to limit elective surgeries and available inpatient beds by the end of October to address staff shortages, but was unable to fully implement that plan as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increases.

Western Reserve Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital said they currently have no plans to restrict elective surgery.

But Summit County’s four hospital systems – Summa, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Western Reserve, and Children’s – continue to see rising numbers of COVID-19 patients.

On Friday, the four systems reported 22 additional COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, a total of 276, the highest number since December 18, 2020 when they treated 296 patients.

Ohio also reported 9,584 new cases on Friday.

The three Cuyahoga County-based hospital systems that announced the restrictions on non-urgent surgery said they see “unprecedented demand for inpatient care” in our facilities. As a result, their hospitals in many locations are almost full.

University hospitals are seeing record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients, with the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth hospitals both reporting increases in hospitalized patients due to COVID-19.

Vaccine mandates put on hold:Cleveland Clinic, university hospitals suspend mandates of COVID vaccine workers after injunction

The systems also said they are seeing a significant increase in unvaccinated patients hospitalized for COVID-19, with more than 90% of those with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit unvaccinated. The majority of vaccinated patients who are hospitalized have pre-existing health conditions, they said.

Because vaccinations protect people from serious illnesses, the hospital systems encouraged everyone who was eligible to be vaccinated.

The hospital systems said the appointment adjustment “frees up resources for patients with immediate and life-threatening needs and addresses the demands on the frontline nursing staff who have served with distinction throughout the pandemic.”

Hospital systems stressed that they will continue to be available to care for patients who have an emergency, life-threatening illness, or mandatory screenings or tests, as well as outpatient surgeries that do not require a hospital bed.

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The Cleveland Clinic will temporarily cease scheduling additional non-urgent inpatient surgeries that require a hospital bed at its Ohio locations, starting Monday, December 6 through January 3, with the exception of the Euclid and Lutheran da Heart, Cancer hospitals -, child and transplant operations as well as outpatient operations that do not require a hospital bed can still be planned during this period.

In the Akron area, Cleveland Clinic operates Akron General, Canton Mercy Hospital, and Medina Hospital.

MetroHealth said that in response to the high demand for inpatient care for both COVID and non-COVID cases, it has started postponing some elective surgeries to make room in its hospitals. It also encourages greater use of its Hospital-in-the-Home program to keep up with the latest patient flows.

MetroHealth’s offices are in the Cleveland area.

A Cleveland Clinic Akron General employee is featured in a video posted by the hospital system on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

The University Hospital is postponing certain non-urgent surgeries at UH Cleveland Medical Center that require short-term inpatient treatment. The medical center continues to perform urgent surgeries, outpatient surgeries and interventions without an overnight stay.

The university hospitals continue to perform all kinds of operations and procedures in their public hospitals, although the hospital system said the situation is fluid and can change. The doctors at the university clinics treat patients as usual, and the UH labs and test centers are open.

The university hospital operates the Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.

Tracking COVID Patients in Summit County

The Beacon Journal began tracking the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Summit County on November 30, 2020, around the start of last year’s holiday season. The highest number of COVID-19 patients reported in Summit County since then was 318 on December 15, 2020.

Friday’s number includes 132 patients at Summa, 105 at Akron General, 27 at Western Reserve and 12 at Children’s.

Prior to March 2021, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had generally declined since mid-December 2020, when the county’s hospitals reported a peak of 318 patients on December 15.

The number fluctuated from the top 50s to the top 70s in March, but hovered between the top 70s and the top 90s in April. It was May in the ’60s and’ 70s, and from there the numbers continued to decline, reaching a record low of 12 patients on three different days in early July.

From there the number began to rise again, reaching 195 by the end of September. It fell back over the course of October, reaching 88 at the end of the month. But the number has been rising again since then.

Contact Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills at emills@thebeaconjournal.com and on Twitter @ EmilyMills818.

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Pandemic

Rapid COVID-19 Tests Will Soon Be Covered by Insurance

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Updated at 4:40 pm, Wednesday, December 2, 2021.

December 2, 2021 – Private insurers will shortly be required to reimburse people enrolled in their plans for home costs, COVID-19 rapid tests and masking requirements for air, rail and bus travelers via at. extended by mid-March at the latest.

The measures are part of a series of measures announced by President Joe Biden on Thursday following the arrival of the Omicron variant in the United States.

“My plan, which I am announcing today, is not working in the fight against COVID-19,” said Biden.

“Now that we are moving into winter and facing the challenge of this new twist, this is a moment when we can leave the division behind, I hope,” he said.

Biden added that he hoped the nation would finally come together and unite on a common goal: fighting the virus.

One of the biggest changes Biden announced was that it will make rapid COVID-19 tests available to Americans at no net cost.

At around $ 24 a box, rapid COVID-19 tests remain unaffordable for many, even after promises to bring the tests to Americans at wholesale costs.

Other countries offer free rapid tests, or around $ 1 per test, and many experts say that using rapid tests more frequently could help stop the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Approximately 150 million Americans would be eligible for rapid test coverage under their insurance plans.

While many public health experts praised the goal of increasing the availability and use of rapid tests in the U.S., some said they weren’t sure if asking people to claim reimbursement was the best way to do it reach.

“Rapid access to rapid testing will be critical for this next phase of the pandemic,” said Nirav Shah, MD, JD, who directs the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Shah said faster testing could help the US deal with potential spikes from new variants like Omicron, and it will also be critical in helping people get timely access to new antiviral pills that work best when they are inside be taken the first few days after infection.

Then there are the new federal vaccination rules for workers – some of which are being delayed in court – which allow people who cannot or will not be vaccinated to get to work as long as they pass a COVID-19 test, one Accommodation that will almost certainly increase demand for the tests in the coming months.

There will also be new test-to-stay guidelines in schools that will allow exposed students to stay in class as long as they wear a mask and continue to test negative.

“We have to make sure that the supply is there to meet the demand ahead,” said Shah.

He said some states are still struggling to get enough rapid tests and said the delivery issues would need to be resolved for the tests to work.

Others had questions about how over-the-counter test coverage would work. Government officials said Americans would be reimbursed for their expenses on rapid tests, which many considered less than ideal.

“The reimbursement plan isn’t helping a McDonald’s employee, Uber driver, or meat-packing factory employee with quick test access, and what these people need most are easy ways to monitor their COVID status,” said Ellie Murray, ScD, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Public Health.

“Refunding requires people to pay the cost for a while, and that can be a major obstacle, too,” Murray said.

To help people who are not privately insured, Biden pledged to distribute 50 million free tests to community health centers and rural clinics to reach some of the poorest and most severely affected areas in the country.

In addition to these steps, international travelers flying to the US will soon need to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their departure, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

Carlos del Rio, MD, president-elect of the board of directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said he was pleased with the testing requirements for travelers but hopes the travel bans will be lifted soon.

“I think travel restrictions don’t work with respiratory viruses. They have never worked, ”he said. “They’re not science-based, but tests are science-based,” added del Rio.

“Personally, I test myself as an individual when I travel on an airplane, 24 to 48 hours before my trip, and I test myself up to 3 days after I land. It’s a very effective way of knowing if you’ve been exposed and then, you know, preventing transmission to others, “he said.

In line with the six-part plan to fight COVID-19 the government outlined in August, the president’s new winter plan will focus on vaccinations for all eligible Americans, including booster doses for the estimated 100 million adults now at least 6 months old are your second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 2 months after a Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

These plans, which for most workers were based on vaccination requirements, have been hampered by recent court rulings blocking the implementation of these requirements.

While the issue goes to court, Biden is expected to continue urging companies to voluntarily introduce vaccination regulations for their workers, which he believes will help close vaccination gaps.

On Thursday, Biden promised a new push to provide booster shots to all adults, with an emphasis on reaching seniors at greatest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

He also promised to set up vaccination clinics for families so parents and children can get their vaccinations at the same time.

And crucial for states suffering from a lack of work, Biden promised to send federal teams to the states to alleviate some of this pain.

“Staffing at the state level is still a challenge. We are pleased that the President is releasing additional government assets that can help, ”said Shah.

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