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Trump health official blasts Nevada after state ends use of rapid coronavirus tests in nursing homes

A top official from the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday urged Nevada to reverse its decision to suspend the use of two rapid coronavirus tests in nursing homes, saying there is no “scientific reason” to justify its action.



Brett Giroir wearing a suit and tie: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ADM Brett P. Giroir testifies before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump Administration's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 23, 2020.


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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ADM Brett P. Giroir testifies before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump Administration’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 23, 2020.

Nevada health officials have ordered nursing facilities in the state to immediately suspend the use of two tests, manufactured by companies Quidel and Becton, Dickinson and Co., after the officials said the tests repeatedly delivered false positives.

Nevada officials said 23 out of 39 positive antigen test results from both Quidel and BD were later found by PCR to be negative, according to a directive issued last week. That is an error rate of about 60%, according to the document.

Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary at HHS, said Friday that false positives are a “reality” of the testing ecosystem and are to be expected. Calling the Nevada action “unjustified,” Giroir said the federal agency has sent a letter to the state threatening to take “swift action and appropriate steps” if the decision is not reversed.

This is an “unwise, uninformed and unlawful” decision, Giroir said on a call with reporters. “Nevada’s letter unilaterally prohibiting these tests is in violation of HHS’s PREP Act guidance. Under federal law, Nevada may not prohibit or effectively prohibit such testing.”

He said Nevada’s action “reflects a basic lack of knowledge” about testing and interpreting results.

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White House is ‘irresponsible’ to block new FDA vaccine guidelines, doctor

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State cites former Flint water service line contractor for soil erosion at old dump site

FLINT, MI – A former contractor that excavated water service lines in Flint has been cited by the state for not having a soil erosion and sediment control permit for property it owns in the city, a site that was used to dump construction waste.



a train traveling down train tracks near a forest: The state of Michigan has cited former Flint water service line contractor WT Stevens for a dumping ground in the city that was created without a permit. The dumping ground is seen here on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 on Flint's north side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | Mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
The state of Michigan has cited former Flint water service line contractor WT Stevens for a dumping ground in the city that was created without a permit. The dumping ground is seen here on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 on Flint’s north side.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy notified W.T. Stevens Construction Inc. of its violation of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act for its property in the area of Premier Street and East Mott Avenue, just east of Horton Avenue, in a Sept. 30 letter. That’s near I-475 and East Pierson Road on the city’s north side.



a tree in a forest: The state of Michigan has cited former Flint water service line contractor WT Stevens for a dumping ground in the city that was created without a permit. The dumping ground is seen here on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 on Flint's north side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | Mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
The state of Michigan has cited former Flint water service line contractor WT Stevens for a dumping ground in the city that was created without a permit. The dumping ground is seen here on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 on Flint’s north side.

The company was awarded contracts worth more than $27 million to replace lead and galvanized water service lines in Flint starting in 2017.

For most of this year, the company and the city have been locked in disagreements over the condition of the former dump site, and in August and September, the Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s Office also issued notices of violation for the company’s property, alleging it failed to obtain a soil erosion and sediment control permit and to adequately install and maintain erosion and sediment control on site.



a person sitting on a rock: The state of Michigan has cited former Flint water service line contractor WT Stevens for a dumping ground in the city that was created without a permit. The dumping ground is seen here on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 on Flint's north side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake

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How cuts to Sweden’s social welfare state led to a wave of death in nursing homes.

Among the nearly 6,000 people whose deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in Sweden, 2,694, or 46 percent, had been among those living in nursing homes.

That tragedy is in part the story of how Sweden has, over decades, gradually yet relentlessly downgraded its famously generous social safety net, report Peter S. Goodman and Erik Augustin Palm.

When the pandemic hit, the nursing staff at the Sabbatsbergsbyn nursing home in the center of Stockholm found itself grappling with an impossible situation.

It was the middle of March, and several of the 106 residents, most of them suffering dementia, were already displaying symptoms of Covid-19. The staff had to be dedicated to individual wards while rigorously avoiding entering others to prevent transmission. But when the team presented this plan to the supervisors, they dismissed it, citing meager staffing, said one nurse, who spoke on the condition on anonymity, citing concerns about potential legal action.

The facility was owned and operated by Sweden’s largest for-profit operator of nursing homes, Attendo, whose stock trades on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. Last year, the company tallied revenue in excess of $1.3 billion.

On weekends and during night shifts, the nurse was frequently the only one on duty. The rest of the staff lacked proper protective gear, said the nurse and a care aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. Management had given them basic cardboard masks — “the kind house painters wear,” the nurse said — while instructing them to use the same ones for days in a row. Some used plastic file folders and string to make their own visors.

By the time the nurse quit in May, at least 20 residents were dead, she said.

“The way we had to work went against everything we learned in

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State of Texas: TWC contractor reveals call center problems; Senate candidates prepare for debate

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Imagine showing up to a job where you know that almost 75% of what you do will fail someone. What if a fireman failed to help someone in three out of four fire calls? What if a police officer failed to help clear three out of four 911 calls?

Day, after day.

That’s what a contractor helping field calls for the Texas Workforce Commission told us was going on inside some of the agency’s call centers. The contractor, who asked to not be identified in this report, told KXAN the problem facing nearly every caller is that their call may be answered by people who have no way to help Texans calling for help with their unemployment problems.

This worker said they’re unable to help about three-quarters of the people who call with unemployment problems.

Since the pandemic hit in mid-March, hundreds of unemployed Texans wrote to us, all telling the same story: thousands of calls to the TWC’s lone toll-free number are never answered. The few who have connected are likely to find themselves on the line with one of 1,600 contracted customer service representatives.

At first, they think their prayers are answered and the weeks – sometimes months – of waiting for their unemployment benefits is over.

RELATED: Planning to appeal a TWC decision, prepare for 18-week wait

Then, the contractor reads from the script they use when they answer a call: “I am limited to the types of questions I can answer.”

That’s led to many unemployed Texans hitting a dead-end, following a series of calls to the TWC, and never finding help.

In April, the bosses inside the TWC were scrambling. As state and local stay-at-home orders began locking Texans down in mid-March, millions lost their jobs and headed straight for the unemployment

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Ohio State football coach Ryan Day details COVID-19 precautions

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USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Those in the Ohio State football program are taking COVID-19 so seriously that some coaches are not staying in their own homes as a safeguard against contracting the virus, coach Ryan Day said Friday.

On the day President Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus, Day detailed the lengths to which the Buckeyes are trying to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

“This has been a difficult time because we understand the ramifications and the consequences for our health, but also just in terms of playing a season, of testing positive,” Day said in a conference call. “That’s for the players. They’ve made great sacrifices.

“But it’s also for the coaches. For those of us who have school-age children at home, it’s very, very difficult. To make sacrifices, some of us are not sleeping in our homes.”

Day has three children at home. He said he wears a mask inside their house and that his family spends time together outside as much as possible.

Day said he is letting coaches and staffers decide for themselves what’s the best plan for their situations. But for those who have kids in school, there are no easy solutions. Youth sports are also now being played, adding to the potential exposure, he said.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day says the team feels safe inside the football facilities. “But once you leave, everything changes. Honestly, it’s scary,” he said. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Day said those in the program feel secure inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The 120 players and about 50 others, including coaches, are tested daily. They get results within 15 minutes. Anyone who doesn’t test negative is sent home for follow-up testing.

“When

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