New NY coronavirus travel rules: How to ‘test out’ of quarantine if you travel out of state – syracuse.com

After replacing New York’s quarantine travel list with a set of testing rules Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo put out more specific requirements for travelers to exit a quarantine.

The changes come as the state’s caseload has increased and as the holiday season nears. New York has reported more than 2,000 coronavirus cases for four consecutive days. The state’s testing positivity rate Friday was 1.49%.

All travelers — whether they come from a contiguous state (New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Connecticut) or not — who come to New York must fill out a traveler health form. Anyone who flies to New York and leaves an airport without filling out the form will be required to pay a $2,000 fine.

The following rules exempt essential workers and those who travel to New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Connecticut, and they go into effect Wednesday.

The rules for those who leave New York for longer than 24 hours are:

  • For those traveling to New York, they have to bring proof of a negative test taken within three days of arriving in the state.
  • Then travelers must quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, they must get a coronavirus test.
  • Those who refuse to take a test must quarantine for 14 days.

For those who leave New York for fewer than 24 hours:

  • You do not have to quarantine or take a test prior to coming back to New York, however, you must get tested on your fourth day back in the state.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

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Onondaga County warns of potential coronavirus exposures at 2 restaurants

New York meets threshold for own coronavirus quarantine list

Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact Chris Libonati via the Signal app for encrypted messaging at 585-290-0718, by phone at the same number, by email or on Twitter.

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West Virginia Dept. of Edu. issues Saturday education map – WVVA TV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has posted the October 31, 2020, Saturday Education Map that determines which counties will hold in-person and blended instruction and directs the level of extracurricular activities permitted. The map is developed with information from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and vetted by the COVID-19 Data Review Panel.  

The weekly updates are posted at https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics. County plans should be reviewed for additional requirements.   

Red (Substantial Community Transmission): Counties must move to remote learning. No extracurricular competitions or practices are permitted. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue.  

Red counties include:

Orange (Heightened Community Transmission): Remote learning required.  Extracurricular activities are limited to conditioning only and sport-specific practicing is not permitted. Marching band is limited to outdoors only. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue.  

Orange counties include: 

Berkeley  Morgan  Upshur  Wayne 
Wyoming       

Gold (Elevated Community Transmission): In-person instruction permitted with increased mitigations including face coverings for children grades 3 and above at all times. Extracurricular activities are permitted in-county (with schools from the same county) and with other gold counties.  

Gold counties include: 

Braxton  Clay  Jackson  Jefferson 
Logan  Marshall  Monroe  Putnam 
Tyler  Wood     

Yellow (Increased Community Transmission): Counties will continue with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings at all times for grades 6 and above.  

Yellow counties include: 

Barbour  Boone  Cabell  Hampshire 
Lincoln  Mercer  Mineral  Ohio 
Pleasants  Raleigh  Ritchie  Roane 
Summers  Webster  Wetzel  Wirt 

Green (Minimal Community Transmission): Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings in grades 3 and above when students are outside of core groups and in congregant settings and on school buses.  

Green counties include: 

Brooke  Calhoun  Doddridge  Fayette 
Gilmer  Grant  Greenbrier  Hancock 
Hardy  Harrison  Kanawha  Lewis 
Marion  Mason  McDowell  Monongalia 
Nicholas  Pendleton  Pocahontas  Preston 
Randolph  Taylor  Tucker   

The COVID-19 Data Review Panel reviewed and verified the data used to inform the WVDE Saturday Education Map to ensure both accuracy and reliability. The panel considered data captured at 11:59 p.m., Thursday, October 29, 2020. As a result, there may be differences between the WVDE map and the DHHR County Alert Map.  

The county color announced each Saturday at 5 p.m. will be in effect until the following Saturday at the same time with the exception of a county turning red during the course of the week. Once reviewed, that change may be made immediately to the WVDE map because all in-person instruction and extracurricular and athletic activities would be suspended. 

All schools, both public and private, are expected to adhere to the WVDE Saturday Education Map to guide in-person instruction and extracurricular activities.  

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Performing Arts Center almost complete – News8000.com – WKBT

The new performing arts center will include seating for 700 people, a ticket box office, multiple dressing rooms, and dedicated storage

GALESVILLE, Wis (WKBT) – A new performing arts center for the G-E-T School district is almost complete.

Crews broke ground on the highly anticipated project last November following 18 months of researching and planning.

The new performing arts center will include seating for 700 people, a ticket box office, multiple dressing rooms, and dedicated storage.

The first event to take place will be the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, which will be held for students only.

“It’s hard to appreciate the size of everything on paper. but the lobby is beautiful, the aesthetics of the walls are phenomenal, the sound quality is amazing. It’s really a state of the art project we built,” said Matt Wenthe, the business manager for the project.

Students participating in band and choir will also be able to use the new space to help with social distancing.

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3-Day Isolation, Coronavirus Test Must For Travelling To New York – NDTV

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3-Day Isolation, Coronavirus Test Must For Travelling To New York

Most people arriving in New York state must quarantine for at least three full days.

Most people arriving in New York state must quarantine for at least three full days before taking a coronavirus test, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday as he overhauled one of the strictest quarantine regimes for travelers in the United States. If that test comes back negative, the traveler can leave quarantine.

The requirements, which take effect on Wednesday, will not apply to residents of “contiguous” states, Cuomo told reporters, and there will be different requirements for New Yorkers who leave the state for less than 24 hours.

He named Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as examples of contiguous states, home to many commuters to New York City. But it was unclear whether neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts would also be exempt from the new regime. His office did not reply to questions seeking clarification on Saturday.

People will also be required to take a test that comes back negative within the three days prior to heading to New York, the governor said.

If the second test taken at least four days after arrival is also negative, “you can go about your business,” Cuomo said in a telephone conference with reporters. If it is positive, the person must remain in isolation, he said.

Those deemed essential workers by the state, from nurses to grocery store workers, are exempt from the rules.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the virus can incubate for up to 14 days before someone becomes symptomatic and so recommends a 14-day quarantine period after a possible exposure.

Under New York’s rule, a traveler could end his or her quarantine just four days after a possible exposure – at the airport, for example, or during a plane flight – despite the CDC’s noting that coronavirus tests can return a false negative result if taken too early in an incubating infection.

Cuomo’s office did not respond to questions about how the rule squares with CDC guidance.

A New Yorker returning to the state within 24 hours of leaving need not quarantine but must take a test within four days of their return, Cuomo said, though his office later corrected that to say the test must not be taken sooner than four days after returning. If they are gone longer than 24 hours to non-contiguous states or in a trip abroad, then the general rules apply.

The new rules replace a previous arrangement under which people arriving in New York from a list of states with worsening coronavirus outbreaks had to quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days, regardless of any test result. That list grew to encompass almost every state in the country.

Earlier this year, New York grappled with one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks of COVID-19, but now has one of the lowest rates of positive tests of any state in the country even as cases surge in other regions. The most recent statewide positive test rate was 1.49%, Cuomo said on Saturday.

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Trump Camp Uses Online Gimmick to Fuel Donations Into December – The New York Times

President Trump’s campaign is raising money for a prolonged political and legal fight long after Nov. 3 and recently began automatically checking a box to withdraw additional weekly contributions from online donors through mid-December — nearly six weeks after Election Day.

Predicting “FRAUD like you’ve never seen,” the language on Mr. Trump’s website opts contributors into making the weekly post-election donations “to ensure we have the resources to protect the results and keep fighting even after Election Day.” Users must proactively click to avoid making multiple contributions.

The unusual post-election revenue stream would help Mr. Trump pay off any bills that his campaign accumulates before Tuesday — a campaign spokesman said no such debts had been incurred — and could help fund a lengthy legal fight if the results are contested.

“This race will be very close, and it is possible that multiple states will require recounts and potential additional spending from our campaign,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign. “The election process this year is under extraordinary circumstances, and we are also anticipating that Silicon Valley will attempt to interfere with our online fund-raising efforts post-election.”

Democrats said automatically opting contributors into post-election giving was a misleading tactic.

“They’re inventing new deceptive tactics to essentially steal money from people,” said Mike Nellis, a Democratic digital strategist with an expertise in fund-raising. “They’re going completely and totally scorched earth on their own supporters. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

Mr. Murtaugh said that no one would receive a “recurring charge without their knowledge” and that donors could opt out of recurring contributions both before donating and afterward. “Three days before each recurring charge, donors are emailed a reminder that the charge is about to occur,” he said. “There is a one-click link inside this email for donors to cancel if they wish. Our process is extremely transparent.”

“When the recount or litigation process ends,” Mr. Murtaugh added, “the recurring payments will end.”

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Keep up with Election 2020

The extra donations are just the latest hyperaggressive tactic employed by the Trump operation as it struggles to keep up financially with Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign. On Friday, the campaign promised supporters that their contributions would be matched “1000%,” after months of ratcheting up the levels of matches that campaign experts said almost surely do not actually exist. (The Trump campaign declined to say if the matches were real; Mr. Murtaugh said only that it was a “common fund-raising approach” used by both parties)

“Today in record-breaking achievements of grift,” Caitlin Mitchell, a top digital strategist for Mr. Biden, wrote mockingly on Twitter of the purported 1,000 percent match. The Biden campaign said it had never offered donation matches.

The Trump email, which had two flashing light emojis in the subject line, was one of 21 that blitzed supporters’ accounts on Friday — nearly one per hour — almost all of which asked for money. For comparison, the Biden campaign sent eight emails on Friday.

In the final stretch of the 2020 race, Mr. Trump is being dramatically outspent on the airwaves, and as of Oct. 14, his campaign treasury had dwindled to $43.6 million, with $1.2 million in debts. Mr. Biden’s campaign reported $162 million cash on hand that day.

Combined with party funds, Mr. Trump had about $224 million, compared with $335 million for Mr. Biden, but party funds cannot be used to pay for many key costs, including campaign personnel and most advertising costs beyond a strict limit. Since then, Mr. Trump’s campaign canceled a net total of about $19 million in reserved television ads, according to data from Advertising Analytics, and the Republican National Committee stepped in to pay for the ads instead, using the limited funds it can spend in coordination with the campaign.

Mr. Trump has taken to addressing the financial disadvantage directly at his rallies. “I could have been the greatest political fund-raiser,” he said Saturday in Pennsylvania, saying he had avoided shaking down wealthy interests for more money.

“We have plenty,” he said. “You can only buy so many commercials.”

It has been a different message to his supporters online, where his campaign has cranked out more frequent and more intense cash solicitations.

The Twitter account @TrumpEmail, which has cataloged all of Mr. Trump’s email solicitations for nearly three years, provided The New York Times with access to its database, which shows Mr. Trump’s climbing number of monthly emails this year — from January (63) to May (159) to July (239) to September (330) and roughly 400 in October.

Many messages employ shaming tactics to prod backers into giving. “The President selected YOU to be a part of this exclusive group, so he was really surprised when we told him you STILL hadn’t stepped up,” read one recent email urging people to donate and activate a “2020 Trump Diamond Card.” Gold and platinum cards have also been dangled for donations.

Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster who previously worked in digital fund-raising, said the Trump campaign’s digital marketing tactics mirrored Mr. Trump’s personality.

“The president doesn’t have a filter, and there aren’t a lot of restraints on what they’ll say or do from a fund-raising standpoint either,” Mr. Ruffini said. He called the campaign an “optimization machine” designed to maximize revenue above all else.

“The matching inflation is a running joke,” Mr. Ruffini said of the promised phantom matches that have climbed from 500 percent in May to 600 percent in June, 700 percent in July and, occasionally, 900 percent — and now 1,000 percent in October.

Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital fund-raising specialist, compared that tactic to “giving kids candy instead of their Wheaties”: a temporary sugar high followed by a crash. “If you start off offering donors matches, they like that, and it becomes a situation where then they’ll only give if you give them a match,” she said.

“They have optimized themselves into absurdity and parody,” she added of the Trump campaign.

Privately, some Republicans wonder if Mr. Trump’s campaign deployed such tactics far too early, exhausting a supporter list that had been considered one of its strongest assets. At this point, however, most see little downside to the most aggressive marketing tactics, arguing that the risk of turning off supporters was no worse than losing the election.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has used a tool created by WinRed, the donation-processing site, that automatically opts supporters into making additional donations for months, and it has generated millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the matter. As far back as June, the campaign had asked supporters to give a second donation timed to Mr. Trump’s birthday. The campaign announced a record-breaking $14 million online haul that day but did not mention that it had piled up promised contributions in advance.

ActBlue, the Democratic donation-processing site, began removing a feature that automatically opted donors into recurring donations from its platform earlier this year. A representative said that no candidates were now using that tool but declined further comment. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, still does use the opt-in tool for automatic monthly donations.

The Biden campaign has directed some Facebook ads to existing donors specifically seeking to convert them to weekly and monthly contributors, and the landing pages after people click on those ads have the recurring donation option prechecked.

Mr. Trump’s advisers had once promised that he was building a digital “juggernaut,” but a groundswell of support for Mr. Biden has helped the Democratic challenger lap the incumbent financially since the summer.

The total hauls online via WinRed for Mr. Trump’s campaign itself and the Trump Make America Great Again committee, which he operates jointly with the R.N.C. to raise small donations, rose only marginally from $91.1 million in July to $106.1 million in August to $118.5 million in September. At the same time, Mr. Biden’s online hauls in his equivalent committees exploded from $46 million in July to $191 million in August and $193 million in September.

And in the final stretch, Mr. Trump’s campaign is still spending heavily to raise money.

The Trump Make America Great Again Committee spent $32 million as it raised $36.9 million in the first two weeks of October — a burn rate of nearly 87 percent, according to federal filings. Some of that advertising for donors did double duty mobilizing Mr. Trump’s base.

Mr. Murtaugh said a more “accurate view of fund-raising” would include costs across the campaign, R.N.C. and all their joint committees, which he said was 34 percent from Oct. 1 to Oct. 14, and that had shrunk to 25 percent since Oct. 15.

“It’s clear they are just trying to squeeze every penny out of this thing while they still can,” said Mr. Nellis, the Democratic strategist.

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These money and investing tips can help you keep politics separate from your portfolio – MarketWatch

Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

Election Day in the U.S. is almost here. These money and investing stories, popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week, offer advice and suggestions that can help you stay focused on your investments regardless of what happens in politics.

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Dow 15,000?

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In ‘COVID paradox,’ some employers with jobs to fill can’t find workers – Minneapolis Star Tribune

The topsy-turvy labor market is hitting some Minnesota employers with an unexpected twist: They’re having trouble finding workers.

With unemployment still high and enhanced government benefits expired, the textbook rule of supply and demand says it should be easy for employers to find workers. While that’s happening in many cases, some executives and hiring managers say they can’t find enough.

Guild, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that focuses on mental health care, has continued to hire since COVID-19 threw the economy into recession this spring. Hiring was slow before the pandemic, but its leaders hoped they’d see an uptick in applicants, particularly from many other nonprofits that were laying off people, as the year wore on.

“We were thinking that maybe a silver lining will be that there will be a lot more job seekers and applications,” said Julie Bluhm, its executive director. “Honestly, they’ve just continued to trickle in. It’s been really surprising.”

One clue as to what may be going on appeared in the most recent state jobs data, which revealed that more than 56,000 Minnesotans exited the labor force in September.

Some of them may have been baby boomers heading into retirement, a trend that has been putting strains on the workforce for years. But many appear to be younger workers who decided it was too stressful to work during the pandemic. For some, certain jobs don’t appear lucrative enough to take on the added health risks and mental toll. For others, work-life balance has been thrown further off-kilter by the increased demands the pandemic has placed on them at home.

Of the two dozen jobs that Guild is trying to fill, Bluhm said some might be considered higher risk amid COVID-19 since they involve in-person work at a residential treatment facility. It’s added $500 signing bonuses to those positions to drum up more interest.

But she said Guild is also having difficulty filling jobs, such as case managers and counselors, that can be done remotely. She wonders if juggling work with children remote-schooling at home, a challenge that Guild’s current staff also faces, is keeping some people away.

“I don’t know if it’s because there are so many unknowns in our society right now that people are laying low,” she added.

Brian Daugherty, who operates several restaurants around Duluth as president of Grandma’s Restaurant Co., has experienced this, too. After initially laying off most of his staff in the early days of the pandemic, he’s had a hard time calling back workers and recruiting new ones this summer and into the fall. It’s a struggle that has persisted even after the additional $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits ended in July.

“You just kind of shake your head and go, ‘Gosh, what is going on?’ ” he said.

A lumpy market

Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, has been hearing similar stories across the state. He refers to it as a “COVID paradox.”

Some of it may be because of a mismatch in the locations and occupations of open jobs with those who are out of work, he said. “For our economy to grow, we’re going to need workers. We’re going to need workers where the jobs are.”

In a recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, one in six businesses in the region said one of their biggest challenges right now is labor availability. Ron Wirtz, regional outreach director for the Minneapolis Fed, said he’s started to hear from staffing firms that they’re having trouble finding workers.

It’s a “very lumpy kind of labor market” right now, he said. Some sectors of the economy are rebounding quicker than others, with some firms still doing layoffs while others are hiring again after making job cuts earlier in the pandemic.

“The matching process (between available jobs and unemployed workers) isn’t as smooth as a lot of people automatically think,” he said. “In a pandemic, all of those circumstances are amplified. You have a virus threat. You have a day care issue. You may have mismatched skills.”

Analysts at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development dug into the issue and settled on three possible explanations. People are not taking new jobs because they are: uncertain if they’ll be called back to previous jobs, holding out for more government relief or concerned about being exposed to COVID-19.

Jacquelyn Carpenter, an executive at Twin Cities RISE, has heard a lot of health concerns from participants in her organization’s workforce training programs. About 60% of participants have said they are hesitant to return to work during the pandemic, she said.

“They fear for their health and safety, not just for themselves but for their family,” she said. “There’s job opportunities available. But are they jobs the public feel safe enough to go accept?”

In addition, many workers are looking for flexible schedules and prefer remote jobs so they can watch over children who are now at home doing distance learning, she said.

Dalana Thomas, a single mother in St. Paul, has family members who can help with child care now and then. But she knew it would be challenging to find someone to consistently watch over her 9-year-old daughter, whose school has gone online this fall.

“I can’t always rely on family,” said Thomas. “Everybody has their own lives and their own job schedules.”

So when she was looking for jobs this summer, she gravitated toward remote work opportunities that would allow her to check on her daughter while her 1-year-old is at day care. She’s finishing up a temporary remote job and will transition next month to a customer service role with Ecolab that she can also do from home.

Halfway back

Minnesota has now recovered about half of the nearly 400,000 jobs it lost early on in the pandemic.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 6% last month, down from a record high of 9.9% in May. But the latest improvement was mostly because many people stopped looking for work.

Others appear to be on the verge of joining them. A recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center found that a quarter of U.S. workers have considered quitting their jobs because of concerns related to the pandemic. And a survey by the state’s teachers union showed that teachers are so stressed out by hybrid instruction that a third are thinking about quitting or retiring.

“We don’t want people to give up on the labor market,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.

Instead, he hopes to shift the focus of unemployed workers to the jobs that are available right now — even if that means making a leap to another industry or moving to another part of the state. DEED recently launched a campaign called #GoodJobsNow to highlight some of the open jobs.

Manufacturing, for example, has bounced back much more quickly than other hard-hit sectors, such as restaurants and hotels where job losses have been deeper and longer lasting.

Up near the Canadian border in Warroad, Marvin Windows is so desperate for factory workers that it’s dangling a $2,500 signing bonus and a $1,300 relocation incentive in addition to bumping up the starting wage by a buck to $16 to $20 an hour. Even before the pandemic, it took some “out-of-the-box” thinking to attract people to its manufacturing plant, said Rick Trontvet, senior vice president of human resources.

Now it’s looking for another hundred workers to help it keep up with an increase in new orders that started coming in over the summer.

“We’re really grateful the market has roared back for us,” said Trontvet. “But we’re behind so we have to be more aggressive to find candidates.”

In Duluth, Daugherty bumped up wages about 5% to attract workers back to his restaurants. He said that has helped a bit.

With its night and weekend hours, Daugherty noted that the restaurant industry automatically rules some people out. Distance learning and day care challenges have made scheduling difficult for some workers. And while he tries to emphasize the extra safety precautions he’s taking, he said some workers are wary.

“There are still people who are nervous, or scared, of coming back to an occupation that deals with the public,” he said.

Some of his former employees, he added, have opted to take other kinds of jobs.

Ling Becker, director of workforce solutions for Ramsey County, said she can envision people who lost hospitality jobs making the switch to other industries with job openings such as manufacturing.

“But they’re going to need a little bit of training,” she said. “They’re not going to be ready to just jump in and switch careers like that if you’ve been a bartender for 10 years.”

 

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Who Can Travel To Scandinavia In November 2020? – Forbes

As a second wave of Covid-19 infections sweeps across Europe, all three Scandinavian countries are taking steps to stop the spread.

European residents are able to visit Sweden, but Denmark and Norway have much stricter border restrictions in place. At present, non-European residents cannot visit the region for the purposes of tourism, with some exceptions for Denmark.

Each country has varying exemptions for essential travel, such as business trips, visiting family and starting a job or program of study.

Denmark

Denmark distinguishes between “open” and “banned” countries depending on the current coronavirus situation in that country. The policy allows people in from open countries without quarantine. Countries outside the EU and the Schengen area are all on the banned list, with the exception of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

Within Europe, only residents of Estonia, Finland, Greenland and Norway can freely enter Denmark, together with residents of two regions in northern Sweden.

People from banned countries may enter Denmark if they have a “worthy purpose” such as starting a job or a program of study. However, they must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

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Norway

Any non-residents arriving in Norway must quarantine for 10 days, effectively ruling out tourism. There are exemptions in place for EU/EEA/Schengen countries with low rates of transmission, but at present just Greenland and a handful of regions in Finland fall into that category. The list is updated weekly and you can find the latest exemptions on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Norway remains closed to tourists from countries outside of the EU/EEA/Schengen area.

In late October, Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg introduced stricter measures for the month of November in an attempt to give her fellow citizens a shot at a “normal Christmas.”

The new measures include a clampdown on business travelers, who were previously exempted from the quarantine period. Now, the majority of business travelers will have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

Sweden

The ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from outside the EU/EEA/Schengen area has been extended until December 22. However, all residents of EU/EEA/Schengen countries including the U.K. are permitted to enter Sweden for any reason.

For those who do visit Sweden in November, it’s important to understand the local restrictions for the region(s) you visit. A few weeks ago, the Swedish government allowed county administrators to set their own rules and many have taken up the option.

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Millennial Money: Picking a pandemic side gig takes hustle – KPRC Click2Houston

Side gig. Side job. Side hustle. It goes by many names and serves many purposes. For some, it’s a way to keep the lights on. For others, it’s an opportunity to save for a goal or follow a passion.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have become unemployed. Many are turning to the gig economy to make money. And it’s booming.

“Obviously online shopping has become huge, and so delivery services are packed. You’ve got Amazon Flex trucks practically ramming into each other,” says Kathy Kristof, editor at SideHusl.com, a website that reviews hundreds of online money-making platforms.

Before you rush into a side gig, scrutinize the risks, the pay and other important details. Here’s how to choose the right pandemic side job for you.

Assess yourself first

As you begin searching for a side hustle, think about your experience, skills and interests. But more importantly, consider what you’re comfortable doing.

Are you willing to be in close contact with other people, or would you prefer a socially distant position? Are you part of a high-risk group for COVID-19? What would happen if you got sick and couldn’t work? The answers to these questions will help you decide what jobs to pursue.

If either your health or financial life could be ravaged by illness, you’re going to have to be more careful than the people without those risks, Kristof says.

“Somebody who doesn’t have that same sort of risk might feel completely comfortable doing contact-free deliveries for Grubhub or Dumpling or any of these other delivery services,” Kristof says. “But somebody who is high risk, you want an online job like online tutoring.”

Expand your definition of ‘side gig’

“Side gig” has become synonymous with a handful of jobs: dog walking, delivering groceries and driving for Uber or Lyft. But these aren’t the only opportunities occupying the space.

You can teach a virtual yoga class, for example, sell clothing online or work as a freelance designer. Through services like TaskRabbit, you can get paid to do odd jobs like yard work and assembling furniture.

Side and part-time jobs tend to rise during economically uncertain times, according to Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, a job-search site for remote and flexible jobs. Chances are there’s something up your alley.

Roles outside the gig economy can be worth exploring, too. Features typically associated with side gigs, including flexible schedules and the ability to work from home, are increasingly spilling over into professional roles. Remote jobs posted on FlexJobs in career categories such as marketing, sales and project management have increased over 50% since March, according to a recent analysis from the site.

“Because we’ve never had to do this from home before, there was never as much acceptance. Now you’re getting widespread acceptance from the whole of corporate America,” Kristof says.

Protect yourself and your finances

Once you narrow down your choices, dig into the details. Get a sense for what it’s like to work in a role, what the requirements are and how much you’re likely to earn before you commit.

You can avoid surprises by looking up a company’s Better Business Bureau rating, reading through the fine print on its website and checking out reviews on sites like SideHusl and Indeed.

“Let’s say you’re interested in delivery jobs, and you’ve got DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates. You want to look at each site and see what the fees are,” Weiler Reynolds says.

Many platforms charge registration, listing or commission fees, which can cut into your earnings. Some gigs also require you to pay expenses like gas and insurance for your vehicle. If you’re a rideshare driver, delivery driver or mover, your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover you for commercial risk, Kristof says.

“Some online platforms automatically cover you with a commercial policy. Others do not. So you should always look for that if you’re working for an online platform,” Kristof says.

Still, that won’t necessarily cover you in all circumstances, such as when you’re en route to pick up an order. Talk to your insurance company to ensure you get the proper protection.

You’ll also want to find out whether you’ll be classified as an employee or independent contractor. This determines how you’ll pay taxes and whether or not you’ll be entitled to certain benefits. Independent contractors need to set aside a portion of their pay for taxes themselves. Employers automatically withhold income taxes for employees and usually offer health insurance, 401(k) matches or paid time off.

Weiler Reynolds says freelancers or contractors may also have to pay taxes quarterly, which can be a bigger time investment.

Don’t forget to make safety a priority. Find out what protective measures the company or local government requires while you’re on the job. If you’re unable to avoid contact with others, prepare to take appropriate precautions, such as wearing a mask or gloves.

_________________________________

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: 25 ways to make money http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-make-money

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Quotes 10/31: Coach Joe Judge, WR Sterling Shepard – Giants.com

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q: Can you give us an update on Saquon (Barkley)?

A: Beyond anything official, Ronnie (Barnes) gave me a call last night and let me know that he talked to the surgeon. It sounds like it was a positive deal right there. Obviously, we’ll know more as time goes on and his rehab starts. But it seems like he’s in good spirits. We’re looking forward to getting him back over here on this side of the country.

Q: Have you decided without Will (Hernandez) who’s starting, if it’s Shane Lemieux? If not, is Chad Slade a viable option?

A: We’re going to consider all the guys right now. We’re going to go through that today after practice and kind of go through how the week went and what’s going on. We have a lot of install to go today with some red area and two-minute. Without having a lot of those guys on Wednesday, it’s kind of backlogged some of the things we’ve had to do. There are still some decisions to be made there.

Q: We asked you a lot on Monday before Markus (Golden) got traded about the trade deadline. I don’t think you’ve been asked since. Do you expect it to be quiet between here and Tuesday? I know you have a game to focus on. Do you expect trade deadline stuff to be quiet or are you guys still looking into stuff?

A: I’m sure there are some conversations going on throughout the league right now. That’s kind of really no different than on any other week. It leads up to the trade deadline. Right now, my focus is on the Buccaneers, and that’s really the only thing I’ve been concentrating on this week.

Q: I was wondering if you could recall any times when you were with the Patriots when a team came in to face you guys and sort of lost before they even got on the field because they were so much in awe of probably Bill (Belichick) and Tom (Brady)? For a young team like yours, how do you prevent that? Obviously, you have a lot of guys in the building that know Tom very well, but how do you sort of prevent gawking?

A: To be honest with you, I can’t think of any times that we knew before the game that they lost because they were in awe. I think there were times we played that we knew they had lost based on either how they were going to handle the situations with the weather, maybe the wind, something like that. There were other times we saw teams that kind of came in too overconfident and too over-focused on just a couple of people. I can recall games with Buffalo kind of circa 2014, ’15, ’16, that area right there. There were a lot of times it was kind of almost too much stuff pregame. You just kind of understood they’re not really tuned into the game. They were just kind of worrying too much about some kind of matchup or something they may have heard or read about in the headlines that week. They’re not really focused on the game. Normally when I see that from teams and you know they’re not locked in for 60 minutes, of the situations that come up and the adjustments within the game, that to me is always the trigger. To me, the emotion within the game is something you have to balance. We talk to our players all the time, we have to be physically ready, and that comes down to how we take care of them at practice and how they take care of their bodies in recovery. We have to be mentally prepared, which comes into how we study and prepare and learn the opponent. We have to be emotionally prepared as well and understand what kind of game it’s going to be going in. That ties into knowing what kind of team you are yourselves and how you have to play and win games. But there are a lot of teams that kind of came into games where you may see them early in warmups, and maybe they’re a little bit too overexcited, a little bit too hyped up. Sometimes it’s funny, you see a team even in Super Bowls where they’re ridiculously long games, and there’s just a different flow and feel to that game overall. You see teams come out two hours before the game, they’re running around, they’re sweating a lot, they’re very adrenaline and amped up. You kind of look at them and just think ‘they can’t sustain that.’ That’s just kind of something I’ve learned over time, that to me, sometimes it’s not the coming in awe of a team, but coming in overconfident or coming in focused on the wrong things. We’re always trying to bring it back with our players to you have your job, your responsibility, to focus on. Keep it to that. Let’s make sure we focus on the keys and the techniques we have to execute within the game. If we can tie that together for 60 minutes, some of the results are pretty good. Look, obviously, we have things as a team right now that we have to keep improving on, keep working. But we always try to bring it back to those principles.

Q: With the decision at guard with Will not being there, I’m just curious, I know what you’ve said and what you guys have shown at tackle when you’ve put Matt (Peart) in there and subbed out different series at tackle. Can you treat an interior spot the same way? Does it affect continuity on the interior because now you’re not just worried about the guy on the left, but you’re also worried about the guy on the right, or does that not matter to you in this situation?

A: Are you referring more to like moving Kevin (Zeitler) to the left guard and plug in the right guard with someone different? 

Q: Actually no, I was really more talking about having guys swap series. You have someone in for one series, and then the next series you put in that guy and you kind of rotate the way you’ve done at tackle with Matt and Cam (Fleming) and obviously with Andrew (Thomas) and Matt.

A: I think right now, we’re okay to rotate guys on through, to be honest with you. I think it’s kind of very similar to the tackle position that we have to move some guys on through. That’s really been part of the plan anyway to get some of these other guys involved throughout the program and make sure throughout the course of this season that we see enough of them and let them develop. I’ve talked about that before with the young players with Matt and Andrew, how they rotate a lot. A lot of that is because of just it’s early in the season. We didn’t have a preseason. We want to make sure everyone gets exposure to develop, and an opportunity to really work on it. I see the guard position the same way. We’ve been slower to get to that point to this point. But obviously now we’ll have a number of guys that will really be involved a lot more. I don’t ever really have a hesitation of going ahead and rolling guys through the positions within a game. I really don’t. They all practice, they all prepare. To me, if they’re not going to be ready to play, I shouldn’t have them at the game. If you’re at the game, we have confidence in you to go in there and do your job. In terms of the inside versus the outside, I think it’s just kind of six in one, half a dozen of another. Whether you’re talking about the guards with the center working together, or whether it’s a guard and a tackle, you still have to account for the same number of multiples, even though it’s not the same exact kind of looks and twists and games inside between the two positions. But you still want to have some kind of continuity. That doesn’t always mean it’s the same players playing next to each other. To me, it’s just enough consistency with how you prepare them and how you practice them to get them in a position that when they play in a game, that they’re ready to go.

Q: I have a couple different ones here. First, what have you seen this week from Devonta Freeman and Sterling Shepard in regard to how they’re looking? Does Devonta have any chance to make it this week?

A: Yeah, I’d say both guys have a chance at this point. They both have been moving around throughout the week. We’ve had different levels of practice. Tuesday was more of almost like a Giants Day, as we called it. A little more focused on us, it was kind of on and off the field quickly. We had a heavy emphasis on the passing game and the pass defense that day. Then you go into Thursday with the weather situation out there working around, that changed a little bit of how we prepared and what we focused on that day, along with the offensive line situation. Then yesterday, we kind of built on what we didn’t get on Wednesday and kind of tried to incorporate, sorry I’m a day off there. But our Thursday into Friday, combined the two days right there. To me, I see both guys working hard. We’ll check with the trainers and see where they are really through this practice and see where they go into this weekend. No decision has been made either way on either one of those guys.

Q: Is that turf toe just something that Sterling is going to have to deal with? Or is that not really the problem right now?

A: Look, this guy is working hard through whatever he’s got. I think there’s not a player in the league who is 100 percent at this point. Everyone is nicked up, everyone is banged up. That’s true in our locker room as well as the other locker rooms. One thing I’ll say for Sterling, he’s a tough dude. He’s very strong-willed and he wants to play. He’ll give himself every opportunity to get out there and play.

Q: I’m just curious, you’ve obviously had a chance this week to watch a lot of the tape against Tampa Bay. I’m sure last year, Daniel’s (Jones) first start. When you look back at that now, what do you see when you see Daniel and how much of a difference do you see from that Daniel and the one that is now, what, 19 starts later?

A: You look at it from the aspect of the matchups really than so much the scheme part right there. Todd’s (Bowles) really evolved a lot in what he’s doing. Bruce’s (Arians) offense with Byron (Leftwich) and some of the players they have down there is completely different. Asking specifically about the offense players and Daniel, I think there’s some differences within the system. I see growth in both avenues in what he’s doing. There are some things we have to keep on improving. But look, I’m very happy with the way Daniel’s working right now and getting in the system. He’s shown progress throughout the season, especially these last few weeks, so we have to keep on building with him and give him opportunities to help this team win.

Q: I don’t think we’ve asked you since the news came out about Will Hernandez. How is he doing?

A: To be honest with you, I can’t really speak for Will in terms of how he’s personally feeling right there. I would just say I know he’s been in contact with our training staff. I have not seen him personally. Obviously, we’ve all been isolated from him. We’ll check back in and see how he’s doing. Any health ailments, they go directly through Ronnie Barnes. To me, no news is good news when it comes to our players and situations like this. I’ll check back in with Ronnie after this like I do every day before I hit the field with some of the injuries and see what we’re dealing with right there. Hopefully he’s doing well. We hope for a speedy recovery for him.

Q: Then in a situation like this, beyond obviously the medical support, since this is such a devastating type of situation, the virus and whatnot, what kind of additional support is given to a player or staff member in terms of counseling or anything like that, to kind of keep them from thinking the worst?

A: Well, we do have in-house counseling for any player that may need it. That’s all on a volunteer basis. It’s also the job of the coordinators and the position coaches to identify their players and where they’re at, to keep in touch with them. I think our locker room has done a tremendous job throughout the year being very connected. That kind of started back in the spring with the virtual process, going through training camp. In terms of our guys staying in touch with each other and being connected, I know a lot of them have reached out to Saquon over the last couple days, wishing him good luck and, obviously, thoughts and prayers going into the surgery. I followed up with the captains yesterday afterwards. A number of them had spoken to him through text and other ways. These guys try to stay connected with all of their teammates, whether they’re in the building or outside the building. But I’d say this, obviously, what you’re referring to, it is different being isolated, being on your own for a series of multiple days up to over a week at some points. To me, being connected through the building, he’s involved with our meetings on a daily basis through the Zoom process. That kind of gives him a window into the football part of it right there. It keeps him connected in what we’re doing so that when he gets back, he’s not really having a slower process and learning what we’ve put in since he’s been gone. He’s mentally involved. The physical separation is something that we all just have to deal with him not being around and him being by himself.

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