Coronavirus Live Updates: FDA approves $5 rapid COVID-19 test by Abbott Laboratories

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Food and Drug Administration authorized the first rapid coronavirus test that doesn't need any special computer equipment to get results.

The 15-minute test from Abbott Laboratories, BinaxNOW, will sell for $5, giving it a competitive edge over similar tests that need to be popped into a small machine. The size of a credit card, the self-contained test is based on the same technology used to test for the flu, strep throat and other infections.

It's the latest cheaper, simpler test to hit the U.S. market, providing new options to expand testing as schools and businesses struggle to reopen and flu season approaches. The FDA also recently greenlighted a saliva test from Yale University that bypasses some of the supplies that have led to testing bottlenecks.

Both tests have limitations and neither can be done at home. Several companies are developing rapid, at-home tests, but none have yet won approval. Abbott's new test still requires a nasal swab by a health worker, like most older coronavirus tests. The Yale saliva test eliminates the need for a swab, but can only be run at high-grade laboratories.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the troubling spike of cases in Western New York continues and was back up to 2%. "We have a caution flag and we're going to fly it a little higher in Western New York." The state is sending a health SWAT team and will open eight additional testing sites for residents.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Parents turn to microschools, learning pods as ways to teach children this fall
A few months ago, few people in the Tri-State area knew about microschools or learning pods, but the coronavirus pandemic is prompting parents in our area to consider the small group instruction method.

Suffolk County wants to keep New York City summer tourists who fled coronavirus
Suffolk County officials are making plans in hopes that summer tourists from New York City who fled the coronavirus stay on Long Island after Labor Day.

They expect thousands will make seasonal tourist hotspots their new permanent home, and they are encouraging seasonal businesses to keep their doors open.

Florida hits grim milestone
The Florida Department of Health reports the state has topped 11,000 total COVID deaths.

It reported 135 new deaths since its summary yesterday, making for a total of 11,011 COVID deaths since the start of the pandemic.

New Threshold for Colleges in New York State
For colleges in New York State, if there are 100 cases or a number of cases equal to 5% of their population or more, whichever number is less, they must go to remote learning for two weeks. Then, the state will reassess with the local health department.

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The threshold is 100 cases or 5% of the population, which ever is lower.



"We should anticipate clusters when you have large congregations of clusters. When you have large groups of people, anticipate a cluster. We know that. You see that around the country be prepared for it, get ahead of it," Cuomo said.

NYC Schools Blended Learning Update
Blended learning students will have two different teachers, one for the days they are in person and one for days they are remote. Those teachers will work as a team, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, announcing a UFT curriculum agreement Thursday morning.
Meantime, 92% of classrooms inspected are ready to go for September according to School Construction Authority.

Cuomo calls CDC 'schizophrenic' over rule reversals
Governor Andrew Cuomo unleashed a scathing commentary on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling them "schizophrenic" on their latest reversals on travel quarantines and coronavirus testing. "Either they are schizophrenic, or the CDC is admitting error in their first position, or it's just political dictation, I would urge people to follow the state guidance," Cuomo said.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commented on the CDC's reversal on travel quarantines and testing.



Violence causing concern over NYC's Outdoor Learning Plan, principals say

There are rising concerns over whether or not schools are safe to open in just a couple of weeks in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new team to test the air, but that's not the only safety concern principals are worried about before classes begin. While the mayor and schools chancellor consider plans that assume children are safer outside than inside the schools, principals in Bronx District 7 point to some of the safety hazards outside.

MTA outlines 'draconian' cuts without $12 billion in federal aid
The MTA will be forced to take several "draconian actions" without $12 billion in federal aid, the agency said Wednesday. Wage freezes, fare and toll hikes beyond those already scheduled, and service cuts are on the table, with "reductions in workforce as a last resort," MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said. He said the fiscal crisis is worse than the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.

No fall sports
Nassau County officials announced fall schools sports will be postponed until 2021. "Student Athletes safety are our number one concern," said Patrick Pizarelli, Executive Director of Section VIII. Fall sports will be moved to March and April (soccer, football, volleyball, cross country and girls swimming). Winter sports will be moved to January and February (basketball, wrestling, winter track, boys swimming, fencing, gymnastics, bowling, and cheerleading). Spring Sports will be moved to May and June (baseball, softball, lacrosee, spring track, and tennis).

Bridge to Learning Mental Health Initiative
Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, unveiled the "Bridge to School" mental health initiative for students. It contains a specific mental health curriculum to help students, training for teachers and principals, and resources for both in-person and remote learning students.

NJ Gyms Reopening in September
Gyms in New Jersey have been given the go-ahead to reopen at 25% capacity starting on September 1st, Governor Murphy tweeted on Wednesday morning. Masks will be required. The decision comes after gyms in New York State began reopening with restrictions this week.
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NJ Burkett reports on the reopening of gyms in New York.



U.S. Territory added to Tri-State quarantine list, 5 states removed
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana have been removed from New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory, while Guam has been added. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Pandemic Exodus: Who moved where during COVD-19?

It's a sad reality during the pandemic: People are leaving New York City in record numbers and moving companies are so busy they are even turning people away.



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