Track Your State’s Testing; What A Possible Mutation Means

Testing for the coronavirus is still falling short in many places in the U.S. How is your state doing? Track it using a tool from NPR.

A mutated strain of the coronavirus may have helped it spread more widely, according to a new preliminary study that’s getting a lot of attention even before it’s peer-reviewed.

Despite Trump administration claims that the coronavirus may have accidentally escaped from a lab in China, scientists it’s more likely the coronavirus spread naturally. Listen to Short Wave’s episode about why, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and NPR One, and explore a second episode about the likelihood the virus originated in bats.

One of the deadliest outbreaks of the coronavirus has been at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts. Officials are investigating what happened there.

Plus, experiments are undeway to see if dogs can be trained to sniff out the coronavirus. Meanwhile, U.S. animal shelters have reported having all their dogs fostered during the lock down.

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Child custody schedules will likely change as children grow up

When determining your child custody schedule, one thing to keep in mind is that it may not last forever. Your child’s needs will change in the future, and it may become necessary to alter or update the plan to account for that. Many parents fail to do so, and it can lead to some complications.

For instance, maybe your child is five years old and just starting school. It makes sense for them to live with you all week, since you live near the school, and to go stay with your ex on the weekends.

Fast forward ten years, though, and your child is now 15. They love spending time with their friends. It’s very important to teens, and their friends are like a second family.

However, with your schedule, your teen isn’t able to spend weekends with their friends. Your ex lives two hours away. Your child has to go live in a town where they have no friends. They feel lonely and it seems to them like they get back to school every Monday just to find out what they missed.

When your child was young, the plan worked. As a teen, it makes them feel miserable. It still makes sense for you as a parent, but does that mean it is still in your child’s best interests?

If you do want to change the custody schedule, you need to get your co-parent’s agreement or ask a judge to order the change. Either way, the custody agreement needs to be updated to reflect any changes. Talk to your attorney about your what steps to take.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

More Americans Are Getting Tested, But Experts Warn Of Second Wave

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is not disbanding, but instead shifting its focus to “opening up our country,” according to President Trump.

Testing in the U.S. has been rising steadily, but experts say more is still needed and the US should be prepared for a second wave.

Several states are allowing restaurants to reopen and dining to resume, with limited capacity. Owners are struggling to figure out how they can reopen and turn a profit during the pandemic.

The United Kingdom now has the second most lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, behind the United States. NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports on what’s happening in Britain.

Plus, an 11-year-old wrote a letter to thank her mail carrier. Postal workers from all over the country responded.

Share a remembrance if you’ve lost a loved one to the coronavirus at

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When To See a Doctor; Policing During The Pandemic

California, one of the first states to shutdown, joins a growing list of states that are trying to restart their economies. Customers around the country are deciding if they are comfortable starting to shop again.

Law enforcement is adapting to what it means to police during a pandemic.

A fever and dry cough are no longer the only official symptoms of COVID-19. NPR’s Maria Godoy has tips for when even milder symptoms, like headaches and loss of smell and taste, should prompt you to seek testing.

Plus, scientists on a research vessel in Arctic have been isolated from the coronavirus. Some are anticipating what it will be like to return to a society in lock down.

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Have co-parenting disagreements become the norm?

Even if you are confident in your ability to get along with your ex-spouse, don’t assume that you’ll never disagree with them when co-parenting your children. This is likely to happen at some point. When it does, it’s critical that you take the right steps.

When co-parenting disagreements become the norm, it’s easy for stress to bog you down. When that happens, you may find that you’re not giving your children 100 percent.

Here’s what you should do if you can’t seem to escape the cycle of arguing with your ex:

  • Fall back on your parenting agreement: As a legally binding court order, it should provide you with guidance as to what you both should and shouldn’t be doing.
  • Talk it out: If you’re not on the same page as your ex, it’s difficult to even consider sitting down and having an honest conversation. However, if it’s for the sake of your children’s well-being, it’s a must.
  • Don’t put your children in the middle: As your disagreements and arguments continue, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using your children against your ex. Doing so only causes more problems, while also putting unnecessary stress on your children.

You shouldn’t expect everything to go smoothly when co-parenting after divorce. Despite your best efforts, there will be times when you disagree and argue.

However, if this has become an ongoing problem, you need to take immediate action. You may determine that requesting a modification of your custody agreement from the court is the best way to proceed. Your attorney can help you.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

New Cases Plateau For Now As States Chart Their Own Course

One model forecast 60,000 Americans would die from COVID-19 by August. But fatalities keep rising, and the United States has surpassed that number.

Around the country, different states are taking different approaches to reopening. Donald Kettl, professor of public policy at the University of Texas at Austin, says this pandemic has brought up questions about federalism.

Few online grocery delivery services accept payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. That causes problems for recipients at high risk for COVID-19.

Plus, NPR’s reporter in Nairobi finds his parents connecting with his kids through TikTok.

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Q & A: Dentists, Reopening Businesses, And Contact Tracing

A dentist, epidemiologist and NPR journalists answer listener questions on ‘The National Conversation with All Things Considered,’ NPR’s nightly radio show about the coronavirus crisis. Excerpted here:

NPR’s senior business editor Uri Berliner and epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo discuss reopening nonessential businesses
NPR’s health policy reporter Selena Simmons-Duffin on the logistics of contact tracing
Dentist Dr. Suhail Mohiuddin on when a dental problem is urgent enough for an in-person visit

If you have a question, you can share it at, or tweet with the hashtag, #NPRConversation.

We’ll return with a regular episode of Coronavirus Daily on Monday.

Operation Warp Speed; Essential Workers Fight For Benefits

The Trump administration is calling the effort to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 “Operation Warp Speed.” Dr. Anthony Fauci says if all goes well, we could have hundreds of millions of vaccines as early as next January.

Today is International Workers Day, and this year workers at Amazon, Walmart and Target are using the occasion to organize mass protests. They say their companies are not doing enough to protect and compensate them, even as the nation hails them as “essential.”

Today is also historically known as National College Decision Day for college-bound high school seniors. But that’s changed this year too. Many colleges have postponed their decision deadlines to June 1. And as the pandemic continues to cause students’ personal circumstances to change, some are reconsidering attending a four-year college full time at all.

In New York City, a funeral director says knowing that his team is performing a service for their community helps him get through long and stressful days.

Plus, some happy news: NPR producer Emma Talkoff’s twin sister and her now-husband got married in their apartment last weekend. Talkoff shares what it was like for her family to witness the joyful moment via Zoom.

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Federal Stay-At-Home Guidance Ends; A Potential New Test For COVID-19

The federal stay-at-home guidance ends on Thursday. Some governors are planning to open up their states, but others say it’s too soon.

A potential new kind of test for COVID-19 could be simpler and cheaper to use than existing tests. But because it has a relatively high false negative rate, some scientists are wary. The pandemic has left more than 30 million people in the U.S. unemployed.

Activists and community organizers are putting together strikes, refusing to pay rent on May 1. But landlords are also facing financial pressure.

Using the Defense Production Act, President Trump has ordered meatpacking plants to stay open despite a high rate of coronavirus outbreaks among workers. KCUR’s Frank Morris reports on what’s happening in the industry.

Life Kit’s guide to managing screen time on Apple, Spotify and NPR One.

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