A man looks at the Lombardi Trophy at the NFL Experience Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The city is hosting Sunday’s Super Bowl football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A man looks at the Lombardi Trophy at the NFL Experience Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The city is hosting Sunday’s Super Bowl football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Virus experts hope in-person Super Bowl won’t sack U.S.

The game will be played in front of about 22,000 masked fans in Tampa, many vaccinated health workers

Three things to know

— Health officials are on edge as the coronavirus clashes with a Sunday sports event that typically brings millions of people together: the NFL Super Bowl. They fear that the game could seed new COVID-19 cases if fans attend parties to watch Tampa Bay play Kansas City. The new coronavirus strain that spread quickly in the United Kingdom was confirmed in Kansas after turning up in several other states. States, meanwhile, are in a race to vaccinate. The game will be played in front of about 22,000 masked fans in Tampa, many of them vaccinated health workers.

— Virus deaths won’t be reflected in the 2020 census, a step that will have an impact on where congressional seats get apportioned, experts say. The important reference date for answering census questions was April 1, soon after U.S. deaths began. New York state, which has had about 44,000 deaths, is expected to lose a House seat due to population shifts but it could have lost two if the census date was later, said Kimball Brace, a redistricting expert at Election Data Services. The Census Bureau releases apportionment numbers by April 30.

— Make a deal or stick to his guns? President Joe Biden spent decades shaking hands-on bipartisan fixes, first as a senator and then as vice-president. But now the Democrat seems to be favouring quick action in Congress on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill, even if Republicans get left behind. The administration has encouraged Democratic senators to prepare a plan that combines money to address the virus and vaccines with money to fulfill a progressive agenda that includes a higher federal minimum wage.

The numbers

According to data through Feb. 5 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. fell over the past two weeks, from 180,489 on Jan. 22 to about 125,854 on Feb. 5. Over the same period, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths rose from 3,088 to roughly 3,250.

On the horizon

Some experts believe rapid tests could be better at identifying sick people when they are most contagious. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University said it crushed the spread of an outbreak by using rapid screening after a Halloween party last fall. Rapid tests might be technically less accurate but they’re fast. The U.S. reports about 2 million tests per day, the vast majority of which are known as PCR, the polymerase chain reaction test. The Food and Drug Administration said it supports “innovation in testing” but has only approved about a dozen rapid tests.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID019 cases number have dropped dramatically according to the BC CDC epidemiology mapping for the week of April 11 to 17 . Nurse Angie Z. gets a thumbs up from Delores Campbell, one of the first of 9,008 residents to be vaccinated in the Prince Rupert community vaccination clinics in March. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View.
COVID-19 Case number plummet in Prince Rupert

BCCDC mapping shows a dramatic decrease in pandemic case number in the Prince Rupert region

Dreamfish are hung on the fence at Annunication School in Prince Rupert on April 17 as part of the Stream of Dream eco-education program teaching about local watersheds and salmon habitats. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Stream of Dreams fish swim the fence at Prince Rupert School

Students at Annunciation school learned about watershed protection and salmon habitat

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Registered Nurse, Teresa Friesen immunizes Dunrovin resident, Richard Brophy. Resident’s at the home were the first in Quesnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines. (Submitted Photo)
COLUMN: Vaccine floodgates should be opened

This editor’s column first appeared in the April 14 edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read