Hawaii contact tracing, Lake Fire, NBA regular season: 5 things to know Friday

Editors, USA TODAY
·4 min read

Hawaii alters contact tracing while considering delay of tourist return

The state of Hawaii is expected to see a rapid increase in coronavirus contact tracers as the state's top health officials recently turned their much maligned program over to new hire, Dr. Emily Roberson. By the end of the week, there should be more than 100 contact tracers across the state, a Health Department spokeswoman told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this week. But the number of contact tracers appears to be well below what Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Hawaii needs to be to reach national recommendations, the paper noted. Another more unfortunate development to combat the virus is officials are "looking at" delaying the start of a much-anticipated program that would allow out-of-state visitors to vacation there without quarantining for 14 days by presenting a negative COVID-19 test, Gov. David Ige said Thursday. The state has seen a rapid rise in reported cases in recent days, including a record 355 on Thursday.

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'Hard to predict' Southern California wildfire grows

Hot and dry weather conditions in Southern California could complicate matters for emergency crews on Friday as a raging wildfire has threatened more than 5,000 structures in rural Los Angeles County. The Lake Fire, described by officials as “hard to predict,” is burning between Lake Hughes and Lake Castaic, about 65 miles north of Los Angeles. It has grown to about 11,000 acres and was 5% contained as of late Thursday. About 500 firefighters from several departments and 15 helicopters and air tankers were battling the blaze and more firefighters were arriving, according to county Fire Chief Eric Garcia.

NBA regular season ends. So what’s next?

With the NBA's restarted regular season ending on Friday, reality sets in for those eliminated teams leaving the Disney campus bubble safety net. The NBA restart has been an impressive feat thus far, as it has become clear that a "bubble" environment with rigorous testing, mandated social distancing and mask-wearing policies is the safest way to play games during the coronavirus pandemic. As for what's next: the league unveiled its upcoming playoff schedule. But the matchups aren't 100% set quite yet. A special-to-the-bubble play-in game will be staged Saturday afternoon between the Portland Trail Blazers (No. 8 seed) and Memphis Grizzlies (No. 9) to determine the final playoff team in the Western Conference.

Pinterest employees plan walkout

Continuing a reckoning sparked by two Black employees who accused the company of racial bias, employees of the social media service Pinterest are planning a virtual walkout Friday. The work action is to support Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma, who accused the social media service of racial discrimination in June, as well as Francoise Brougher, Pinterest's former COO who filed suit against the service Wednesday accusing it of gender bias and wrongful termination. Pinterest has denied the racial bias charges while saying it's hired a law firm to investigate. It's also told the New York Times that Brougher's claim was being reviewed.

Welcome to Women of the Century

They didn't just blaze a trail. They hammered one with their voices, their ideas and their grit. They did it at massive protests and in church basements, on big stages and in dusty fields. Some of the wins are known to history; some of the wins, only to them. They stood on the shoulders of ancestors and pulled along those behind them. Welcome to USA TODAY’s Women of the Century project, a commemoration of the 19th Amendment, a major step toward the universal right to vote in the United States. Here you will find stories of trailblazing American women. Many names you will know, some you will not. All have something to teach us.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hawaii contact tracing, Lake Fire, NBA restart: 5 things to know Friday