As the coronavirus pandemic forces more people to work and attend school at home, electronics repairers and resellers that have stayed open as essential businesses say they've seen demand jump dramatically. Some businesses are prioritizing repairs for health care personnel and first responders and donating refurbished laptops to schools for students who don't have them at home.
Arizona, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders for residents to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some 3 out of 4 people in the US are now under orders to stay at home or soon will be as the death count from the pandemic increases.
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed racial and class divides in our education system, asserts Katya Fels Smyth, founder and CEO of the Full Frame Initiative. In this commentary, she suggests ways to promote equity during this time of crisis and beyond, including distributing necessary hardware to every teacher and student in the US and ensuring they have access to broadband.
Banks and credit unions are poised to earn billions in fees on the $350 billion in loans offered by the Small Business Association as part of the US coronavirus relief efforts. The loans are part of the $2 trillion relief package approved by Congress and the fees banks collect will be on a sliding scale based on the size of the loan.
To help with social distancing, Costco has announced it will allow members to bring only one guest into its stores while shopping. The move, which takes effect Friday, is the latest effort by the wholesaler to stop the spread of the coronavirus, with other changes including shorter hours, dedicated shopping times for seniors and sales restrictions on some in-demand items.
Two Department of Homeland Security sources and Conn. Governor Ned Lamont said the country's emergency medical stockpile is nearly out of respirators, face shields, masks, gowns, gloves and other personal protective equipment as demand surges. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said almost 12 million N95 masks, 26 million surgical masks, over 8,000 ventilators, and many surgical gowns, gloves and face shields had been taken from the stockpile and distributed across the country as of Saturday.
Perfect Corp. is offering beauty brands free augmented reality services during the coronavirus pandemic to help them engage with consumers practicing social distancing. Brands can benefit from free product listings in the YouCam Makeup app, free licensing for YouCam's AR training service and access to virtual try-on experiences via YouCam for Web.
Lululemon Athletica has reopened all but one of its stores in China and investors are continuing to show interest in the workout wear brand amid the pandemic. The company temporarily closed its stores in North America, Europe, New Zealand and Malaysia last month, and is promoting the brand with at-home workout videos.
New York University researchers have developed an artificial intelligence tool that predicts, with 80% accuracy, which early-stage COVID-19 patients will advance to severe respiratory disease. The tool found three factors -- including levels of hemoglobin and a specific liver enzyme -- were strong indicators in predicting severe lung disease, but indicators such as age, gender, strong immune response and specific patterns in lung images were not.
The FDA launched a special emergency program to expedite research and development of potential COVID-19 drugs, and noted it has "worked closely with applicants and other regulatory agencies to expedite quality assessments for products to treat COVID-19 and to transfer manufacturing to alternative or new sites to avoid supply disruption." Under the program, the agency will respond as quickly as possible to requests from researchers and provide "ultra-rapid, interactive input on most development plans."
Dozens of internet service providers will refrain from disconnecting service to small businesses and individuals over unpaid bills and let late payment fees slide for the next 60 days, as well as creating public hotspots for Wi-Fi access, as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge that the Federal Communications Commission created. The ISPs also pledged to open public hot spots to those who need them.
Washington state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic applies to most commercial and residential construction, but work will continue at the former KeyArena and the Washington State Convention Center. The order exempts transportation infrastructure, but the state Transportation Department and the Port of Seattle have halted projects, and Sound Transit could pause work on more than half of construction sites.
Extremely thin two-dimensional materials such as molybdenum disulfide and graphene hold promise for the manufacturing of phones, headphones, solar cells and more. They can also be combined into three-dimensional blocks and deposited on silicon wafers for experiments.
Delta Air Lines will step up its sanitation efforts even further in coming months, expanding interior fogging from US international flights to the whole fleet and cleaning between flights to the standard previously set for overnight cleanings. "The highest levels of clean should not be reserved for times of crisis - customers deserve to feel confident and safe whenever they decide to travel," Delta's Bill Lentsch said.
In light of some affiliate companies using the coronavirus outbreak to increase search results, Gaming Innovation Group is offering online gaming operators free searches to suss out such exploitative behavior. "Our technology can scan and analyze thousands of web pages within a short space of time," GiG's James King says.