COVID-19 Updates September 4th, 2020
- U.S. employers added 1.4 million jobs last month, down from 1.7 million in July. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, from 10.2% a month earlier.
- August job gains were boosted by the temporary hiring of 238,000 workers to complete the 2020 census.
- The economy has so far recovered less than half of the 22 million jobs that were lost this spring. As of mid-August, more than 29 million people were collecting some form of unemployment benefits. That includes millions of gig workers and self-employed people who are not recorded in the monthly payroll count.
- The head of the World Health Organization said the U.N. health agency will not recommend any COVID-19 vaccine before it is proven safe and effective, even as Russia and China have started using their experimental vaccines.
- Last week, Britain said it was preparing to revise its laws so that any effective coronavirus vaccine could be used before it was fully licensed.
- Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania has restricted students to their dormitories and moved all classes online in a sweeping quarantine that began Tuesday and will last at least through the end of the week.
- Under the current restrictions, students at the private, liberal arts school can leave their residences only to pick up food from designated college dining facilities, use the bathroom, go to a scheduled appointment for COVID-19 testing or talk to a counselor.
- The public was not given sufficient notice of the Republican-controlled panel’s 10-minute session held on Thursday afternoon. The move enraged Democrats who said they weren’t given enough time to prepare amendments or study the bill passed by the GOP-controlled House less than 24 hours earlier.
- The Senate panel voted 7-4 at the end of the brief meeting to approve the only piece of legislation on its agenda: a bill sponsored by Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams, that advances the deadline for voters to request a mail-in ballot and bans ballot drop boxes ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
- Wolf said Thursday that he would veto the House bill if it arrives on his desk in its current form. Mail-in ballots start going out to tens of thousands of Pennsylvania voters on Sept. 14.
- Philadelphia announced 134 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday.
- Officials noted that 50% of those cases were in people under age 30, as the city continues to address an outbreak of the virus at Temple University.
- The city now has a total of 34,444 confirmed cases of the coronavirus to date, and 1,759 deaths. No additional deaths were reported Friday.
- Center City District is pressing on with Fall Restaurant Week, which is set for September 13 to 25.
- The event begins a few days after the city allows indoor dining to restart for the first time since March, the Health Department did not consult with the Center City District on dates — or even give advance notice, per CCD president Levy.
Good News of the Day
Via The Good News Network – The Indian Institute of Technology of Bombay held their summer graduation ceremony on August 23. As at many universities across the globe, the entire event was held digitally—however, this event went far beyond students logging onto a simple Zoom video call or Google Meet.
Not wanting to deprive students of their sense of achievement and pride on their special day, all 2,186 graduates were given a personalized avatar for the online event.
Just as in a real-life ceremony, these avatars walked along a digital version of the graduation hall to pick up their degree certificate from Director Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri.