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Is It Safe To Take An Uber, Lyft Or Taxi During Coronavirus?

There are important factors to keep in mind and ways to mitigate the risks when it comes to taking a taxi or rideshare service during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: martin-dm via Getty Images)
There are important factors to keep in mind and ways to mitigate the risks when it comes to taking a taxi or rideshare service during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: martin-dm via Getty Images)

As more businesses reopen and people emerge from their homes with greater frequency, there’s a sense that things are getting back to “normal.” Many folks are easing into activities from their pre-pandemic lives, like dining at a restaurant, booking air travel and even taking an Uber.

But are rideshare services like Uber and Lyft ― or even traditional taxis ― safe for passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Although it doesn’t feel as scary as it used to be, we are nowhere near the end of this pandemic,” said Kit Delgado, an assistant professor or emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. “As of today we are still identifying more than 20,000 new cases of COVID-19

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Wildfire Smoke And Coronavirus Combine Arizona Health Risks

TUCSON, AZ — As several infernos burn across Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service is warning that the combined health risks of wildfire smoke and coronavirus shouldn’t go ignored. In a document released earlier this month, the agency said that the viral outbreak”complicates public health response to wildfire smoke.”

“People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to wildfire smoke exposure,” the document notes, though it also warns that this same dynamic is at play in the spread of coronavirus.

“Exposure to air pollutants in wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, likely including COVID-19,” the Forest Service advised, citing a recent study of coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Italy. (That study’s authors concluded that “the high level of pollution in Northern Italy should be considered an additional co-factor of the

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How much coronavirus risk is there in common travel activities? We asked an expert

Travel in the middle of a global pandemic presents challenges, with each activity carrying its own level of risk for coronavirus.

Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic, said some of the biggest questions he’s getting relate to travel activities. 

Khabbaza, who treats coronavirus patients, said the primary path of transmission is contacts with respiratory droplets produced by infected people. Face masks, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces have become standard across the travel sector.  

“Every industry has interventions in place to make things safer,” he said.

The Cleveland Clinic has been helping United Airlines develop its coronavirus mitigation policies, including mandatory face masks, touchless kiosks and physical distancing.

“Companies are bringing in outside health experts,” Khabbaza said. “That can be a little bit reassuring.”

Khabbaza, who’s taking a 500-mile road trip with his family to Long Island, New York, offered

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The Price Of Protesting During Coronavirus: More Spikes Feared

ACROSS AMERICA — At the crossroads of the coronavirus pandemic and civil dissent, some epidemiologists warn that virus infection rates could further spike in the coming days. Their concern has risen about two weeks after Americans began packing city avenues and town streets to protest the Memorial Day death of George Floyd beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

The protests over threats to black Americans seemed to make many people forget the country is still in the throes of a pandemic. Now, one of the results of the protests may be a stark and deadly reminder that the coronavirus isn’t yet finished with America.

Nearly half of U.S. states saw increases in new coronavirus cases. In a dozen of them, the spikes were alarming. In four states — Arizona, Arkansas, Oregon and Utah — cases more than doubled in a two-week period.

Demonstrations are, by definition, a show

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What to Do if Your Medical School Is Online This Fall Due to Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is a public health crisis that highlights the importance of the medical profession. During a time such as this one, when a contagious disease has spread across the world and humanity is collectively searching for a vaccine or cure, future physicians may feel a sense of urgency and want to begin training immediately.

However, the fight against the coronavirus relies upon social distancing measures, posing a challenge to newly admitted medical students. The upcoming fall semester for first-year medical students might differ from what it would have been if the virus outbreak had not emerged, since some or all coursework may need to be completed virtually, according to medical education experts. For instance, this May, Harvard Medical School announced that its fall 2020 classes for first-year medical students would “commence remotely.”

[Read: What the Coronavirus Pandemic Means for Premed Students.]

Nevertheless, many experts say that so

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