Temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks like the ones used at schools and doctor's offices have again proved inadequate for spotting coronavirus infections and preventing outbreaks.
A study of Marine recruits found that despite these measures and strict quarantines before they started training, the recruits spread the virus to others even though hardly any of them had symptoms. None of the infections were caught through symptom screening.
The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, has implications for colleges, prisons, meatpacking plants and other places that rely on this sort of screening to detect infections and prevent outbreaks.
“We spent a lot of time putting measures like that in place and they’re probably not worth the time as we had hoped,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Atlanta's Emory University who had no role in the research.
In other developments:
- The United States reported more than 140,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, the latest all-time high.
- Thousands are working from home and dialing into video conferences instead of boarding planes during the pandemic. That trend could spell big trouble for hotels, airlines, convention centers and other industries that rely so heavily on business travelers.
- Texas has become the first state with more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and California is nearing that mark as a surge of infections engulfs the country from coast to coast.
- The United Kingdom has become the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths, and one of the nation’s leading doctors says the number “should never have been reached.”
- The International Olympic Committee is getting “more and more confident” that next year’s Tokyo Olympics can have fans in the venues, after being encouraged by progress this week in finding a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Developers of Sputnik V, Russia's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, announced Wednesday that early, interim data from a large trial suggests the shot appears to be 92% effective.
- Travelers bound for Spain from countries considered high-risk areas for the coronavirus will be asked to provide proof of a negative test to visit the European country, authorities said Wednesday.
- The pandemic wrecked more plans across college football on Wednesday, with No. 12 Georgia at Missouri becoming the fourth game postponed in the Southeastern Conference alone and No. 3 Ohio State's visit to Maryland canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak among the Terrapins.