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Are you traveling to (or returning to) the United States? Prepare to take a coronavirus test

According to a CDC order, airlines must comply with these rules to receive clearance to disembark passengers in the United States.

The CDC says negative results must come out of a test that can detect an ongoing infection, picking up pieces of the pathogen itself. Two types of tests fall into this category: molecular tests (which include PCR tests) and antigen tests. (Antibody tests, which can only determine if someone has been infected in the past, don’t count.)

Molecular tests look for segments of the virus’s genetic material, or RNA. The most common molecular tests rely on a proven technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR – a gold standard in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. PCR tests can be expensive, and because they require samples to go to labs, it can take a few days to return results. Experts say it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you go for this type of test.

There are a few rapid molecular tests that can be performed from start to finish in a doctor’s office in minutes. These include Abbott’s ID Now test. They are considered to be less accurate than PCR-based tests, but will allow you to get answers faster.

Antigen tests look for pieces of coronavirus protein or antigens. They tend to be less accurate than molecular tests and are worse at detecting the virus when it is rare. But most antigen testing can be done very quickly and inexpensively, taking just a few minutes to produce results.

Some antigen tests are only allowed for people with symptoms and may more frequently give inaccurate results when used to screen people who feel healthy.

Depending on the country travelers are departing from, some tests may not be available – and, therefore, these new rules will likely make it significantly more difficult for people to enter the United States. Testing is typically offered by health care providers or community testing sites, which can be located through tourist bureaus and local health care providers. Some airports, like Heathrow in London, offer coronavirus testing on site. And a few airlines, like American, Jet Blue, and United, offer to help their customers in certain countries organize tests. Delta, for example, has partnered with the Mayo Clinic and national health authorities in several countries to facilitate the testing and travel process.

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Travel News

Slack disruption affects workers returning after vacation

Slack, the widely used messaging platform, experienced a service disruption on Monday as many employees in the United States returned to work after the holidays.

The company called the service issue an “incident” in a statement on its website. “Customers may have difficulty loading channels or signing in to Slack at this time,” the statement said. “Our team is investigating and we will get more information to you as soon as we have it. We apologize for any disruption caused. “

The Downdetector website, which tracks internet disruption, saw a spike in reported issues with Slack around 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and the company released its statement on the issue at 10:14 a.m. The issues included the loading channels and sending messages on the service.

Half an hour later, the company said it was still investigating. “There is no additional information to share yet,” he said.

Slack has grown in recent years as an essential work tool, with more than 10 million users, many in media organizations and businesses who have made the switch to working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 750,000 businesses use the service, according to the company, which became an independent, publicly traded company in mid-2019.

Salesforce, a company that sells marketing and sales software, announced in December it would do it through Slack for $ 27.7 billion in cash and stocks, the latest in a series of major deals showing demand. tools that allow people to work remotely. Adobe announced in November that it planned to acquire management software company Workfront for $ 1.5 billion, and Atlassian, which sells tools to developers, announced that it would buy the services company from Mindville company for an undisclosed amount.