Month: November 2020

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 Tipped to Sport Stereo Speakers, Launch May Be Delayed to Summer 2021

first_imgSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 is tipped to come with better speakers than on its predecessors. The phone is expected to have stereo speakers, a welcome improvement over the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, both of which have downward-firing mono speakers on board. The next iteration of the foldable phone is reported to launch in the summer of 2021. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 was earlier expected to launch alongside the Galaxy S21 series in January or February, but the launch is said to have been pushed further.Tipster @Ricciolo1 has tweeted that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 may have stereo speakers. The tipster reveals little else about the foldable phone. These upgraded speakers, if included, will be a welcome change from the downward-firing mono speakers found on the other Galaxy Z Flip models. Another tipster Ross Young took to Twitter to claim that the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 has been delayed to the summer of 2021. If this holds any weight, then the foldable handset won’t launch alongside the Samsung Galaxy S21 series that is anticipated to be unveiled in January next year.- Advertisement – The reason for the delay has not been mentioned, but it could presumably be due to production or supply issues. More details about the design of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 are not known yet, but it should see improvements over its predecessor which has a clamshell-like foldable display.For the Samsung Galaxy S21, the company has not announced when the Galaxy Unpacked event will be held, but reports suggest that it may be held earlier than usual in January 2021. The launch event is now expected to be held on January 14, with sales to begin soon after. The company will reportedly launch three models in the Galaxy S21 series — the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21+, and the premium Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.Is this the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note series as we know it? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Match Report – Queensland 18 – 14 NSW

first_img Queensland’s AJ Brimson and Kurt Capewell felt it was a ‘dream come true’ to win on debut against New South Wales in the State of Origin game Xavier Coates scores his first State of Origin try as he puts Queensland ahead against New South Wales The Blues were not done yet though and ensured it would be a tense finish when Gutherson sent NRL Grand Final winner Addo-Carr over for his second unconverted score with four minutes to go.However, Queensland were able to hold off some late pressure after Kaufusi was sin-binned for a professional foul to take their seventh win in an Origin opener since 2010, with the series now heading to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, November 11.Post-match reaction Queensland’s players celebrate their win over New South Wales in Adelaide – Advertisement – Queensland's players celebrate their win over New South Wales in Adelaide
Queensland's players celebrate their win over New South Wales in Adelaide

As the Trumptanic sinks, rats will try to escape, but Mark Esper is going out early

first_imgEsper did have a military career, including a brief period of active service in the Gulf War. However, his career also includes a stint running the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation, and as assistant defense secretary for George W. Bush, where he was a proponent of the Iraq invasion. He’s been a policy adviser to three different Republican senators, and a defense industry lobbyist. In fact, The Hill recognized Esper as “the top corporate lobbyist” for both 2015 and 2016. It was his keen work as an industry lobbyist that brought him to the lobbyist-filled Trump White House — where he got to play defense secretary while still sitting on a package of benefits from defense contractors.So it’s not as if Esper has ever demonstrated anything that resembled concern for the troops, concern for national security, or concern for the dignity of his supposed position. He seems to be only concerned with getting away before the screen door hits him in the rear. As NBC News reports, the reason Esper is planning to get out now is simple enough: Trump was about to fire him anyway. So Esper is neither making a moral stand, nor even just clearing out in advance of what he sees as a new administration coming to town. He’s doing a classic “you can’t fire me, I quit” maneuver.Esper’s role in multiple instances has been to put an apparent seal of military approval on Trump’s actions. However, he did eventually break with Trump on two points: When Trump suggested using the Insurrection Act to place active duty military forces in American cities, Esper instead suggest that Trump limit the forces to the National Guard and sent a group of active duty military who had already been brought into the Washington, D.C., area back to their bases. Esper also added tentative support to the idea of renaming military bases still bearing the names of Confederate officers who fought for slavery … though Esper never directly issued an order to change the names.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Sol de Janeiro Glow Oil Left Kate Upton Shimmering Like an Angel

first_imgUs Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.It’s that time of year when our skin has officially lost all that remained of its summer glow. That sun-kissed shimmer has faded and dulled. Bummer. But what if you could get it back — no sun required? No tanning beds or chemical-filled self-tanners either. Just a couple of minutes of your time. We’re obviously in!- Advertisement – Get a GlowMotions Glow Oil for just $35 at Sol de Janeiro with free shipping!These ethereal glow oils are “all about highlighting your best assets and putting your body in the best light,” but they do even more than that. They contain ingredients like cupuaçu butter, açaí oil and coconut oil, nourish, heal, condition and protect. Plus, as expected of Sol de Janeiro, they smell amazing, with notes including pistachio, almond, vanilla and salted caramel. One reviewer said the scent was “to die for”!These vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably-sourced oils can be used on your body or your face. Feel free to mix the formula with your foundation too. If you’re putting it on your body, it’s recommended that you skip moisturizing for best results. Then prepare to wear it everywhere! As another of the nearly 1,400 reviewers said, it “looks amazing in the sun or even in dim lighting like at a restaurant.” No Met Gala invite required — though we’d still appreciate one! See it!Get a GlowMotions Glow Oil for just $35 at Sol de Janeiro with free shipping!Looking for something else? Shop all other products at Sol de Janeiro here!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at Happy shopping! – Advertisement – We all know about Sol de Janeiro’s famous Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, but have you tried the brand’s GlowMotions Glow Oils yet? You may recognize their power from the 2018 Met Gala, where they were seen on Kate Upton, Scarlett Johansson, Tiffany Haddish, Yara Shahidi and Lily Aldridge. The theme that year was “Heavenly Bodies,” so the angelic shimmer was absolutely perfect!kate-upton-met-gala-2018Kate Upton attends the 2018 Met Gala. David Fisher/ShutterstockSee it!Get a GlowMotions Glow Oil for just $35 at Sol de Janeiro with free shipping!- Advertisement – Upton’s look especially stood out to Us, to the point where we still think about it to this day. Makeup artist Tracy Murphy glammed up the model with a nude lip and golden eyes, and her skin was positively glowing thanks to this oil. Murphy told E!, “I used the Ipanema Sunset Glow Oil on Kate’s arms and legs, really blending it in for an even all over glow. I used a foundation brush and buffed it in around the collarbones, neck and décolletage. The result is stunning!”Note that the Ipanema Sunset Oil was renamed soon after that and is now known as the Rio Sunset Oil — and yes, it’s in stock! It’s a translucent champagne shimmer that “dances on your body to catch the perfect light,” and it’s one of three shades. There’s also Copacabana Bronze, a warm bronze tint that’s “Brazilian-beachy down to your toes,” and Carnaval Queen, a dewy pink luster that “reigns supreme with a rosy glow that makes your skin come alive.” There’s also a full-size duo you can grab of Rio Sunset and Copacabana Bronze for just $55! See it!- Advertisement –last_img read more

HHS offers states $1.2 billion for bioterrorism readiness

first_img To qualify for CDC grants, jurisdictions must file applications by Jul 15, according to the agency’s guidance document for the program. They will be notified of awards by the end of August, the document says. Four urban areas—Los Angeles County, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC—are allotted separate base grants of $5 million, plus population-based amounts. Their allocations range from $8.5 million for Washington to $38.9 million for Los Angeles. The number of biosafety level 3 laboratories increased from 69 in 2001 to 139 in 2005. May 23, 2005, CIDRAP News story “New federal bioterrorism funds tied to specific goals” The CDC grants are to be used to develop “emergency-ready public health departments by upgrading, improving, and sustaining their preparedness and response capabilities for ‘all-hazards’ public health emergencies,” HHS said in a news release. The goals of the two funding programs also include improving infectious disease surveillance and strengthening connections between hospitals and state and local health departments to enhance disease reporting, according to HHS. The money includes $766 million administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $450 million handled by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), both part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The deadline for applying for HRSA grants is Jul 1, according to HRSA spokesman David Bowman. Grants are to be awarded by Sep 1. All states now have detailed public health response plans, and 94% of states report they have exercised their response plan in the past year. See also: The CDC awards include funds to help cities equip themselves to quickly provide preventive drugs to masses of people in an emergency. The number of cities included in this 2-year-old program, called the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), is being doubled this year, from 36 to 72, according to HHS. The CRI money this year totals about $55 million, according to Roebuck. Last year the amount was about $40 million. The HRSA money is intended to help states increase their medical surge capacity and ability to handle “mass casualty” events, according to HHS. This includes increasing hospital beds, providing more isolation rooms, finding more healthcare workers, setting up hospital-based medication caches, and providing for mental health services, trauma and burn care, communications, and personal protective equipment.center_img The CRI program involves “enhancing each city’s dispensing plans with trained staff and developing and testing plans that include alternative means of delivery,” the HHS announcement says. “Known as mass prophylaxis, this effort is considered the top public health priority identified in the National Preparedness Goal.” The money can’t be used to buy drugs, which would come from the national emergency stockpile, said Roebuck. The CDC boasted of significant progress in bioterrorism preparedness in a bulletin posted last month on the agency Web site. The report cites the following improvements, to name a few: All states report they have plans in place for receiving and distributing drugs and supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, and 98% say they have designated facilities for those tasks. Jun 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials announced this week that about $1.22 billion will be made available to states and territories this year to prepare for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, down from about $1.33 billion last year. The combined CDC-HRSA state allocations range from $6.14 million for Wyoming to $91.86 million for California. For the CDC funds, each state receives a base grant of $3.91 million plus an additional amount in proportion to population, CDC spokesman Von Roebuck in Atlanta told CIDRAP News. All states report having “24/7/365” capacity to investigate urgent disease reports. CDC guidance document for jurisdictions applying for preparedness grants For comparison, the corresponding amounts announced last year were about $863 million in CDC grants and $471 million in HRSA grants. This year’s allocation is the fifth in a series of large federal outlays for public health preparedness that began in 2002. With this year’s funding, the CDC is also continuing a 2-year-old program to bolster infectious disease surveillance in states bordering Canada and Mexico, according to HHS. The amount allocated for the Early Warning Infectious Disease Surveillance program, as it is called, is $5.44 million, the same as last year. CDC fact sheet “CDC Makes Preparedness a Priority” read more

The birds and the beds: A week in the journey of pandemic preparedness

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – The world of pandemic influenza preparedness this past week experienced another roller-coaster ride of public attention—and a lack thereof.I’ve talked about the dilemma of pandemic planning fatigue before, and the events of this week have added to my profound sense that much of the world is slipping even further into such a state. As the menace of pandemic preparedness fatigue rises, fueled by news coverage that downplays concerns, the reports that actually should incite us to action go largely ignored.Let me highlight two examples from the past week that trouble me.The birds…On Monday, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) issued a press release, proclaiming: “Today most countries overcome avian influenza outbreaks when they occur.” It generated quite the buzz, but frankly I’m not sure why the OIE issued such a statement because its bottom-line message is unclear.Here’s what we do know:Migratory birds infected with H5N1 avian flu can transmit the virus to domestic poultry, ducks, and geese when they share common areas.Attempts to control the ongoing transmission among domestic birds require early H5N1 detection, containment of domestic bird movement, and slaughtering.As long as migratory birds are infected with the virus, the disease will move back to domestic birds with subsequent contact. This is exactly what’s happening today in Vietnam, where poultry infections have reemerged in multiple provinces after almost 2 years of absence (and another outbreak in domestic birds is being reported as I write).We can’t do much about wild bird infections.The OIE release stated that in the first half of 2007, “Countries reported fewer deaths of wild and migratory birds, which could indicate the disease is coming closer to the end of a cycle.” It concluded that fewer bird infection and death reports mean less real infection in the bird population.But what the OIE did not mention is that the fatigue experienced by local officials in reporting such cases for the past several years—a phenomenon commonly seen during outbreaks of other newly emerging infections in humans and animals—could have played a role in these lower numbers.What’s more, we would expect to see lower wild bird infections several years after the first introduction of a new virus into the bird population, because one of two things happens: (1) the new virus infection kills the birds or (2) any birds that recover are now immune. In epidemiologic terms we call this “burning out all the susceptibles.”But from a scientific perspective, it’s important to note that for several years birds born after such an event reestablish a relatively naive (unexposed) population, and the rapid and significant spread of the virus can start all over again. This also may be what’s happening today in Vietnam.Within hours of the OIE release, a Bloomberg News story, “Avian flu virus may be nearing end as fewer birds die,” received major international attention. I was deluged with phone calls and e-mails over the next 24 hours from business preparedness and public health skeptics who had read the Bloomberg story, convinced they had evidence that the pandemic potential was indeed overblown. That conclusion is just plain wrong.…and the bedsIn contrast to the Bloomberg story, Novation, based in Irving, Tex., which is the healthcare contracting services company of both VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium, announced the results of a survey of hospital materials managers on their pandemic preparedness status. Novation found that of the 68 managers who responded:79% reported they could continue operations without external resources for less than a week.54% said they could continue for only 1 to 3 days.Christine Miller, a senior clinical manager at Novation, was quoted in the press release as saying, “Our survey provides some real insight into the supply crisis that hospitals would face during a global flu pandemic.”Was this story picked up by any wire service or trade publication? Not that I could see.Did anyone send it to me or call to discuss its implications? Not one.Yet, I found myself rereading the release several times to take in the full implications of these important results.Bottom line for businessWe are mired in a world of pandemic preparedness fatigue. The voices of skeptics who doubt the eventuality of a pandemic and dismiss the need for preparedness are growing louder. Meanwhile, important studies like the one from Novation are going unnoticed or getting buried. No organization will help itself in the long run by buying into this mindset. There will be a next pandemic, whether it is tomorrow, next year, or even years from now. Like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, pandemics happen. Nothing we do today to better prepare for the next pandemic will ever be wasted.Our biggest risk lies in hoping that the Bloomberg headline is right, then one day being proven wrong—deadly wrong.last_img read more

Egypt has latest H5N1 case

first_imgJul 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official in Cairo said yesterday that test results in a 25-year-old Egyptian woman were positive for H5N1 avian influenza.The country’s state news agency, MENA, said the woman is from the Nile Delta’s Damietta province in northern Egypt, according to a Reuters report yesterday. She came down with a high fever 3 days ago and is in good condition after receiving oseltamivir, MENA reported.John Jabbour, a WHO representative in Egypt, told Reuters the woman reportedly got sick after she had contact with dead household birds. If her case is confirmed by the WHO she will become Egypt’s 38th case-patient. For now, Egypt’s official count stands at 37 cases and 15 deaths.Egyptian officials had projected that H5N1 activity would wane during the hot summer months, as it did during 2006 when there were no human cases between May and October, Reuters reported. However, the country continues to report sporadic cases; Egypt’s last case was reported in late June.last_img read more

HHS offers tools to promote local pandemic preparedness

first_img Jun 14 CIDRAP News story “HHS hears community leaders’ ideas on pandemic readiness” He said the gap between what public health experts know and what the public knows about pandemic planning is still very large, and more work is needed, particularly on community mitigation efforts that may be needed in a severe pandemic, such as school closures and student dismissals. See also: One component that seems to be missing from the HHS toolkit is a plan for distributing it to community leaders who are well positioned to use the materials, Dworkin said. “As of right now, they are available online, but who knows about them? How will community leaders, school boards, and others learn about their existence?” he asked. Greg Dworkin, MD, founding editor of the Flu Wiki Web site and chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn., told CIDRAP News the materials have been well received. “Interestingly, long-time flu preppers have already used them to discuss the idea with relatives and others who respond to the HHS stamp of legitimacy,” he said. Stephanie Marshall, HHS director of pandemic communications, told CIDRAP News via e-mail that the agency launched a “trade advertising campaign” for the toolkit on Dec 1, the same day the materials were posted on the government’s pandemic planning Web site. She said the ads appear on the toolkit Web site. “Government alone can’t prepare the nation for pandemic flu; this challenge requires your help,” HHS says in its online introduction to the toolkit. “As a leader in your community, you can playa powerful role in encouraging your employees, patients, and members and others whom you represent to prepare by providing information and guidance and by preparing yourself.” The toolkit is an outgrowth of earlier HHS efforts to engage community leaders’ help in preparing the nation for an influenza pandemic. In May the agency hosted a 5-week blog series that was designed to engage community leaders in online discussions about personal preparedness. In June, HHS held a leadership forum in Washington, DC, that drew about 100 leaders from various sectors.center_img Dworkin was one of 13 experts who led the HHS blog discussions and also took part in the agency’s leadership summit. HHS has identified nine communities that it will target with more intensive communication efforts regarding pandemic planning, Marshall said, adding that the agency hopes to introduce that campaign early next year. Titled “Take the Lead: Working Together to Prepare Now,” the 21-item toolkit is aimed at groups such as churches and business, healthcare, and civic organizations. The package of materials, posted on the HHS’ pandemic planning Web site Dec 1, includes several components that groups can adapt to meet their needs, including talking points, checklists, fact sheets, sample e-mails, and sample newsletter articles. The toolkit includes a template that groups can use to publicize campaigns to stockpile food as a community pandemic preparation activity. The package also includes ideas about incentives leaders can use to motivate community members to attend pandemic planning information meetings and related activities. Toolkit materials reflect the input from community leaders, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS said on the Web site. Dec 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a toolkit to help community leaders educate their constituents about steps they can take to prepare for an influenza pandemic.last_img read more

Officials probe multistate Salmonella outbreak

first_img See also: Salmonellosis typically causes fever and nonbloody diarrhea that resolves in a week. Serotypes Typhimurium and Enteritidis are most the common strains of Salmonella bacteria in the United States, according to the CDC. In April 2008, an outbreak involving S Typhimurium was linked to contamination in the water system of Alamosa, Colo., and the same serotype was responsible for a 2006 outbreak linked to tomatoes, according to previous reports. Jan 6 ODH statement Yesterday the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) said in a press release that it was assisting in the investigation of the outbreak, which has sickened 50 state residents since October. The ODH said Ohio had the nation’s second highest number of cases. Frederick Angulo, the CDC’s deputy chief of enteric diseases, said the source of the outbreak has not been determined and that the CDC has activated its emergency network to investigate the outbreak, USA Today reported today. He said all the cases have matching DNA fingerprints. Alvin D. Jackson, MD, director of the ODH, said in the Ohio statement that simple steps to prevent Salmonella infections include taking care when handling raw meat, washing hands between food preparation and caring for infants and small children, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding eating raw or undercooked meat.center_img Doug Schultz, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), told CIDRAP News that Minnesota has confirmed 30 cases that are linked to the national outbreak and that the department expects to detect additional cases. Experts from the MDH, including Team Diarrhea, a group that conducts case-control studies in foodborne disease outbreaks, are continuing their investigation into the source of the Salmonella, he said. “The lead hypothesis [about the Salmonella source] is chicken, but it’s a hard thing to prove,” the CDC’s Angulo told USA Today. “Everybody eats chicken.” Jan 7, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – An official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the agency is investigating a Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened 336 people in 34 states. Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Jan 8 that, contrary to this story, it had not activated its emergency network to investigate the Salmonella outbreak and that chicken was not the leading suspected food source. Those items were based on a Jan 7 USA Today online report that the CDC said was later withdrawn.last_img read more

Feds outline state pandemic planning gains and gaps

first_imgJan 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released an assessment of progress states have made toward planning for an influenza pandemic. The report found that many scored well in areas such as protecting citizens and administering mass vaccinations, but showed major gaps in such areas as sustaining state operations, developing community mitigation plans, and maintaining key infrastructure.States were required to submit their pandemic plans to the federal government 3 months after HHS issued a pandemic planning guide for states last March. Both the state pandemic planning guidance and the assessment requirement were spelled out in the in the Bush administration’s national pandemic influenza strategy plan, released by the White House’s Homeland Security Council in May 2006.The 31-page document, “Assessment of States’ Operating Plans to Combat Pandemic Influenza,” is available on the HHS Web site (see link below).William Raub, PhD, science advisor to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, said in an HHS press release yesterday that states and territories have accomplished a great amount over a short time, but much more work is needed. “The results of this assessment provide a broad-brush picture of strengths and weaknesses across various aspects of pandemic preparedness,” he said.HHS’s overall assessment seems to mirror the findings of an Oct 16 report from the National Governors Association, which also found progress but expressed concerns about several planning gaps.Yesterday’s report, the second part of a two-stage assessment, was the first time that federal officials have made their state-specific findings public. The first stage, which spanned Aug 2006 to Jan 2007, was shared only with states.The review of 56 states and territories was conducted by 12 federal departments and two White House offices and covers 28 operating objectives that fall under three strategic goals: ensuring continuity of state government and agency operation, protecting citizens, and maintaining critical infrastructure and key assets.Continuity of state agencies and governmentEvaluators found that 54 states and territories were inadequately prepared to sustain state agencies and support and protect workers and that the other 2 had many major gaps. They wrote that states that had a statewide plan or one agency that directed the planning had a better understanding of what was needed to keep state government and its workforce operating during a pandemic.They emphasized that traditional continuation-of-operations plans do not contain all of the elements needed to support government operations during a pandemic.The states fared better on sustaining public health operations during a pandemic: 33 of 56 states or territories had no or few major gaps. Those that scored low in this area focused mainly on external health services and prophylaxis and didn’t adequately address internal public health operational continuity and protection of its workforce. Low-scoring states also lacked personnel training and exercises.In reviewing states’ plans to sustain transportation systems, federal officials found that states have made substantial advances in communicating with neighboring jurisdictions and other state and federal agencies, as well as being ready to issue public service announcements and public safety campaigns.They found, however, that many states haven’t formulated cleaning and sanitizing methods for transportation systems, cargo, and facilities. Some had no actionable plans for keeping goods and people moving. In all, 12 states and territories had no transportation-preparedness gaps, 11 had few major gaps, 8 had many major gaps, and 25 had inadequately prepared.Protecting citizensForty-nine states and territories had no or few gaps in ensuring surveillance and laboratory capacity during each stage of a pandemic, but evaluators reported that many seem to struggle with some specific tasks such as planning for electronic death reporting and surge laboratory capacity.Port-of-entry concerns apply to only 16 states and territories: those with a US Quarantine Station. Only one of those 16—Washington state—was found to have no major gaps in this area.Federal officials said many of the port-of-entry states and territories are still in the draft stage of pandemic planning and getting guidance from and working out reimbursement issues with federal personnel, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the evaluators pointed out that many states seem to be having a difficult time arranging separate quarantine facilities for detaining potentially exposed passengers.Regarding community mitigation measures, states vary widely in their ability to implement plans, the authors found. Though most have identified legal authorities needed to implement interventions such as closing schools or canceling large gatherings. Most states have not engaged with businesses, school districts, tribal agencies and other partners to discuss community mitigation planning.States seem to be lagging behind in community mitigation planning when compared with other aspects of pandemic planning, the group said. “The federal government should support their efforts in this area, as it may be the single most important aspect of readiness in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality during a pandemic,” they wrote.In general, states received high marks for planning for antiviral drug distribution and ensuring mass vaccination capacity. However, some states are struggling with other tasks surrounding vaccination, including collaborating with state and local health departments, transitioning from planning to implementation, and having a stand-alone pandemic influenza vaccination plan.States seem to have misunderstood the objective that directs them to mitigate the influenza pandemic impact on workers in the state to mean just state workers, the report said. Only three had no or few major gaps. Better communication between state pandemic planners and their agencies might have avoided this problem, they said.Sustaining critical infrastructure and resourcesStates still face steep challenges in supporting and sustaining key infrastructure during a pandemic, though the authors said they are encouraged by progress many have made. The review process unveiled some notable efforts and best practices, including a dedicated critical infrastructure pandemic plan, a public-private partnership plan for preserving critical infrastructure, and inclusion of critical infrastructure concerns in health department pandemic plans.HHS said in its press release that the critical infrastructure panning merits significant attention. “Even the best plans can fail if managers cannot accommodate the significant absenteeism and disruptions in supporting services and supplies that an influenza pandemic is almost certain to produce,” the agency said.See also:Jan 15 HHS press releaseHHS state assessment reportMar 14, 2008, CIDRAP News story “HHS issues pandemic planning guide for states”Oct 16, 2008, CIDRAP News story “Governors group identified states’ pandemic-preparedness gaps”last_img read more