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

Police say the driver of this SUV gestured to two teenaged girls to enter the back of his vehicle. (Quesnel RCMP Photo)
Quesnel RCMP searching for man who approached girls near school

Police say a man gestured to two teenagers to get in his SUV

Quesnel RCMP nabbed cash and guns alongside the drugs in the bust. (Observer file photo)
Quesnel RCMP seize half-kilo of drugs

Police also arrested five people while searching the home

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FORESTRY INK: Green economics deserves attention

Jim Hilton examines the idea of slow growth

The 2021 numbers for Quesnel are low through two months. (BC Centre for Disease Control)
Quesnel keeping COVID spread low in 2021 so far

The local health region has the lowest per capita numbers in Northern Health

Cariboo Ski Touring Club director Ron Watteyne stands alongside new chairs and a motorized projector screen, two of the upgrades recently installed in their lodge. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel ski centre improves hosting capabilities

Cariboo Ski Touring Club lodge upgrades due to community foundation grant

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read