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Health Highlights, Nov. 2, 2020

By HealthDay Reporter

Here's a collection of newsworthy items compiled by Healthday News staff:

CDC Issues Pandemic Safety Guidelines for Cruise Ships

By meeting a long list of requirements meant to keep crews and passengers safe, cruise ships can prepare to sail again, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Testing and quarantine are among the measures outlined in a conditional order issued Friday by the agency, The New York Times reported.

Before any cruise ships can carry any passengers, they have to be certified to sail by successfully conducting simulated journeys with unpaid guest volunteers or crew members acting as passengers.

The CDC requires ships to have the ability to do testing for the new coronavirus at regular intervals and when anyone leaves or boards the ship, and crew members and passengers must wear masks in public spaces, the Times reported.

On its website the agency states that, according to scientific evidence, cruise ships"pose a greater risk of Covid 19 transmission than other settings," and that outbreaks onboard cruise ships "pose a risk for rapid spread of disease beyond the voyage and into communities across the globe."

For example, early in the pandemic an outbreak occurred on the Diamond Princess cruise ship after it took on a single infected passenger on Jan. 20. A month later, more than 700 of the 3,711 onboard tested positive. Thirty-seven people required intensive care, and nine died.

Americans Get Easier Access to Their Medical Records

Free, electronic access to notes written about them by their doctors will become available to millions of Americans on Monday.

That's when many health systems will open up their records under a new federal transparency measure. The final deadline for doing so is next April, the Associated Press reported.

While patients already had the right to see their medical records, including doctor notes, getting access to them could require completing requests, paying fees and waiting for a response. Those delays and barriers must be removed under a 2016 law.

Even before the measure took effect, patients in about 15% of health care systems could read doctor notes online without charge, the AP reported.

Sean Connery Dies at Age 90

Actor Sean Connery, who played the first James Bond, died over the weekend at age 90

Connery, who grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, died in his sleep in Nassau, the Bahamas. His death, either late Friday or early Saturday, was confirmed by his family, The New York Times reported.

Connery dismayed many fans when he left the Bond film franchise, but he went on to have a long, successful acting career.

He won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role in the 1987 movie "The Untouchables." In 2000, Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.--Healthday staff

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