The Latest: UConn evicts students after crowded dorm party
STORRS, Conn. — University of Connecticut officials have evicted several students from on-campus housing after a crowded dorm room party with no mask wearing or social distancing.
School officials notified the campus community of the investigations and disciplinary actions for violating campus coronavirus rules in a letter Tuesday night.
Students began returning to campus last Friday. All were tested for the virus and were supposed to limit their contact with others during their first 14 days back on campus.
Video of the party was posted on social media.
As of Tuesday, UConn has received coronavirus test results for 3,850 on-campus students. Five tested positive and are isolated. School officials say 25 students on campus were in medical quarantine due to potential contact with others who tested positive.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— 4-month-old girl first child under 10 to die in Portugal of virus
— Iran passes 20,000 coronavirus deaths
— Colleges grapple with coronavirus as students return
— Governments around the world are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to justify crackdowns on press freedom. Some regimes have moved to curb alleged misinformation about the coronavirus that doesn’t align with official proclamations about it.
__ Poll: Pandemic shifts how consumers use gig companies. It shows how consumer attitudes have changed about using ride-hailing and delivery services for groceries.
— A widely used coronavirus test is under scrutiny after federal health officials flagged two separate issues that could deliver inaccurate results for patients.
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
LISBON, Portugal — A 4-month-old baby girl has become the first child under 10 to die in Portugal of COVID-19.
The General Director for Health, Graça Freitas, says the infant was born with a congenital heart defect that worsened after she became infected with the coronavirus from a family member.
Freitas told a news conference the cause of death was septic shock. But the death was officially attributed to COVID-19 by Portuguese experts trained by the World Health Organization.
It was one of two officially recorded coronavirus deaths in Portugal in the previous 24 hours, the other an 80-year-old man. The total confirmed deaths stands at more than 1,700.
MADRID — Some hospitals in the Spanish capital have suspended or postponed urgent surgeries and other procedures to prioritize treatment of an increasing number of coronavirus patients.
Madrid and its surroundings are experiencing a surge of cases, following major outbreaks across the country since a three-month lockdown ended on June 21.
The region, home to 6.6 million, has more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals. That’s nearly one fourth of the total in the country, according to official data.
New restrictions on nightlife and smoking outdoors begin Thursday in Madrid, following similar measures in other Spanish regions.
With 131 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the past two weeks, Spain tops the European chart of the highest cumulative incidence. It’s one of the main indicators closely monitored by epidemiologists. The official death toll for Spain stands at 28,600, eighth highest in the world.
ROME — Many of the 470 vacationers and staff at a resort on Santo Stefano island were still awaiting results of coronavirus tests after a musician who plays in a hotel band tested positive and was hospitalized.
Sardinian media says 21 positives came from 300 available tests. During quarantine, guests were free to move around the resort, which includes tennis courts, restaurants and beaches along the Mediterranean.
If people test negative, they can leave the resort. Luca Carlo Montella, mayor of La Maddalena archipelago that includes Santo Stefano island, ordered masks worn on the streets.
On San Pietro Island, 11 people recently tested positive among some 400 people at dance parties.
THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek authorities say another four migrants have tested positive for coronavirus at a camp on the northeastern land border with Turkey.
That brings the total number of infections among the 204 residents to 12, including two hospitalized.
The temporary registration facility for asylum-seekers entering illegally from Turkey has been quarantined, along with an adjacent detention center for migrants who have had their asylum applications rejected and are awaiting deportation. Two policemen there were confirmed positive for the virus.
Also, health officials in Thessaloniki say 15 residents and seven staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus at a retirement home in the Evosmos district.
It’s the second retirement home in northern Greece affected by the virus. Six residents died at a facility near Thessaloniki where 50 of the 150 residents were infected.
ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities are imposing extra restrictions in the top holiday destinations of Mykonos island and the northern resort region of Halkidiki after an increase in the number of coronavirus cases traced back to those areas.
The Civil Protection authority says starting Friday through Aug. 31, all events such as live parties, religious processions, open-air markets are banned, while gatherings are limited to a maximum of nine people, both in public and in private settings.
A maximum of four people are allowed per table at restaurants, or six people per table in cases of immediate family members.
Masks are mandatory in all indoor and outdoor areas on Mykonos and throughout Halkidiki province.
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has surpassed 20,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.
Wednesday’s announcement comes as Iran struggles with the largest outbreak in the Middle East with 350,200 confirmed cases. But despite the somber statistic, the Islamic Republic is still holding university entrance exams for over 1 million students and is preparing for mass Shiite commemorations at the end of the month.
Earlier this year Iran suffered the Mideast’s first major outbreak, with senior politicians, health officials and religious leaders in its Shiite theocracy stricken with the virus.
It since has struggled to contain its spread across this nation of 80 million people, initially beating it back only to see it spike again, beginning in June.
LONDON — London’s Heathrow Airport, the U.K.’s busiest, has unveiled a new coronavirus testing facility that could sharply reduce the length of time people have to stay at home after arriving from countries on the government’s quarantine list.
Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said testing will help avoid what he termed the “quarantine roulette” that many British travelers have faced over the past few weeks when countries like France and Spain were taken off the U.K.’s safe list.
The new facility has been set up by aviation services company Collinson and logistics firm Swissport at Heathrow’s Terminal 2. They say more than 13,000 tests will be available to passengers each day, with results within hours.
It is proposed that arrivals will then take a second test at home and will be able to leave their 14-day quarantine early if they pass both.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government was not in a position to back Heathrow’s plan but insisted that it was working with airports to find a way for coronavirus testing to reduce the quarantine period.
HELSINKI — Finland says it will tighten travel restrictions and reintroduce and step up border checks for arrivals from 10 countries starting Monday due to the worsening pandemic situation in Europe and elsewhere.
The Finnish government says border checks will apply for passengers to and from Nordic neighbors Denmark, Iceland and Norway as well as Germany, Greece and Malta – all countries belonging to the European Union’s borderless Schengen area.
Outside the Schengen area, border checks will be stepped up for arrivals from Cyprus, Ireland, San Marino and Japan.
Passengers arriving to Finland from those countries are recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days. Travel in Finland’s border areas with Sweden and Norway is more relaxed.
Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo says Finland’s current coronavirus travel policies are among the tightest in the EU.
Border checks can be relaxed if a country records fewer than eight infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is warning against any prospect that rich people would get priority for a coronavirus vaccine.
Francis says, “The pandemic is a crisis. You don’t come out of it the same — either better or worse.″ He added that “we must come out better.”
In remarks on Wednesday during his weekly public audience, he said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the world can’t return to normality if normal means social injustice and degradation of the natural environment.
Said Francis: “How sad it would be if for the COVID-19 vaccine priority is given to the richest.”
He also said it would be scandalous if all the economic assistance in the works, most of it using public funds, ends up reviving industries that don’t help the poor or the environment.
WARSAW, Poland — The director of a major Polish hospital has warned that his facility is at risk of running out of beds for coronavirus patients.
The country of 38 million has so far registered some 58,000 cases and 1,900 deaths, numbers which are far lower than many countries in western Europe. However, infections have been rising for weeks, with around 700 new cases per day — up from 200-300 earlier in the summer.
Marcin Jędrychowski, director of the University Hospital in Krakow, the largest and most modern facility in Poland, told the news portal Onet that his hospital has already been forced to select patients and admit only the most severe cases.
He says, “With such an upward trend that has continued for many days, we will soon run out of places.”
He said he was also concerned about a further rise of infections once schools reopen on Sept. 1.
TOKYO — Japan’s exports in July plunged 19.2% from a year ago, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to slam the world’s third largest economy.
The Finance Ministry’s provisional numbers showed Japan’s imports in July fell 22.3%.
Exports to the U.S. especially suffered, declining 19.5% last month. They include plastic goods, iron and steel and computer parts. But Japan recorded its first trade surplus in four months on the back of a recovery in China.
Japan’s export-reliant economy has been ailing since the outbreak caused some plant production to be temporarily halted, squelched tourism and generally hurt economic activity.
Japan has never imposed a lockdown but has encouraged people to work from home, wear masks and social distance. Some stores have closed or shortened their hours.
Japan has had about 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 deaths among 57,636 cases. Worries are growing over a recent surge in infection, especially in Tokyo and other urban areas.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand appears to be gaining control over a coronavirus outbreak in Auckland after just five new community infections were reported Wednesday amid record levels of testing and contact tracing.
A sixth infection was found in a quarantined traveler who had returned from Qatar.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says 500 more military personnel would be deployed to quarantine hotels as the nation looks to reduce the number of private security guards it employs and tighten its border controls.
Health authorities have still not figured out how the outbreak began after the country went 102 days without the virus spreading in the community. The discovery of the outbreak last week prompted authorities to put the nation’s largest city into a two-week lockdown.
NEW DELHI — India reported 1,092 new fatalities from COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest single-day total.
India has the fourth-most deaths in the world and the third-most cases, with over 2.7 million — including more than 64,000 new infections reported in the last 24 hours.
The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to limited testing.
Four of India’s 28 states now account for 63% of total fatalities and 54.6% of the caseload. The western state of Maharashtra and the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the country’s worst-hit regions.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has announced a deal to manufacture a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZenec.
“Under the deal, every single Australian will be able to receive the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for free, should trials prove successful, safe and effective,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement Wednesday.
Morrison said the Oxford University trial was in a phase-three stage and more work was needed to prove its viability.
“If this vaccine proves successful, we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians,” Morisson said.
Morrison said there was no guarantee that the vaccine would be successful, “which is why we are continuing our discussions with many parties around the world while backing our own researchers at the same time to find a vaccine.”
SPARKS, Nev. — Thousands of students began returning to northern Nevada classrooms or the first time since March with masks, social distancing and other precautions to help guard against the spread of COVID-19.
Others cranked up their laptops from home Tuesday in Reno and Sparks where the Washoe County school district is using a combination of in-person and distance learning.
The scheduled start of the new school year in Reno-Sparks was delayed a day over concerns about unhealthy air quality driven by smoke from a nearby wildfire.
The state’s largest school district doesn’t open until next week in Las Vegas, where it will be having only remote instruction.