Equipping personnel with wearable devices that track their movements and proximity to others is among near-future actions the Navy is considering to ensure employees keep appropriate space amid the pandemic—and to determine the efficacy of the government’s social distancing policies.
The Naval COVID Rapid Response Team is exploring the potential of existing commercial or advanced prototype technologies that can be used to underpin a “proximity tracking program” as the pandemic presses on, according to a recently released request for information. Records produced by wearables through the effort would track any time those wearing them interacted within 10 feet of one another.
The market research request comes as the Navy—and military at-large—severely scrambled to contain infection and spread of the novel coronavirus on its fleets and bases. In April, for instance, officials confirmed more than 10% of a 4,865-person crew on a Navy aircraft carrier tested positive for COVID-19. Other ships have since broken records for their time spent at sea, after their returns to shore were postponed to help slow and stop the virus.
Authorities reported 50 local virus cases on Friday, bringing total infections to over 350. The former British colony is now one of the first places in the region to see a new wave dwarf previous outbreaks.
The resurgence in the Asian financial hub has moved at an aggressive pace and erupted less than two weeks ago, after a long stretch during which residents returned to work and normal life. About a third of infections in the new outbreak are of unknown origins, signaling that hidden chains of transmission are widespread.
* Victoria state posts 428 new COVID-19 cases, daily record
* Victoria premier urges residents statewide to wear masks
* NSW limits wedding numbers; no dancing, singing, mingling (Adds details, quote from Australian prime minister, chief medical officer, bullet points)
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state on Friday reported a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases while neighbouring New South Wales said it was banning dancing, singing and mingling at weddings as authorities struggle to contain a new wave of infections.
U.S. DEATHS: 138,360…