Flyover Country fights the pandemic
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Kansas City Chiefs inch toward cashless experience
Image by Roy Harryman for Pixabay
Digital payments have been gaining ground in recent years, thanks to solutions like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and tap-to-pay credit cards. But the pandemic is giving consumers a new reason to go with contactless payments: COVID cooties. And now the Kansas City Chiefs have inked a deal to make Arrowhead Stadium a scan-and-go experience.
The Chiefs have signed on with Tappit, a cashless payment system, to manage digital purchases at the stadium. According to the Chiefs, the deal is a long-term strategy, not specifically about the COVID pandemic. They also won’t say whether cash is going to be banned at the stadium, but clearly the future is digital for fans who want to buy food, beverages, t-shirts, and giant foam fingers.
Nashville airport enters the era of touchless travel
Nashville International Airport is joining dozens of other US airports in implementing a no-touch security system. Working with CLEAR, the airport now offers biometric identity scanners in kiosks that use eye or finger scans to retrieve passenger information. That way, passengers don’t have to stand in security lines or exchange documents.
Nashville's airport traffic is down 40% from this time last year, thanks to COVID-19, but the touchless option may help bring some travelers back. And post-pandemic, the system will be a big timesaver.
To use the system, passengers pay $179 a year, although Delta and United frequent fliers may be able to take advantage of some discounts.
Cleaning the air on public transportation
You know that feeling you get when you’re breathing the air in a bus or train? While it was always a bit troubling, it’s downright scary in COVID times. Fortunately, patrons of Green Bay Metro, the mass-transit system in Green Bay, WI, can breathe easily, thanks to a new air-purification technology that removes 99% of airborne pathogens.
The device, made by Exton, PA, company United Safety & Survivability Corporation, uses UV light and a spritz of oxygen peroxide to continuously remove bacteria, mold, and viruses from the city’s buses. The company sells its product to bus, rail, first responders, and school bus systems.
Portal provides access to demographics and COVID data
St. Louis area leaders and researchers are going to have ready access to demographic data, thanks to an initiative launched by the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance. The group created an online portal called the St. Louis Regional Data Exchange, which pulls together more than 420 sets of public data from eight local governments and planning organizations.
The University of Missouri – St. Louis (USML) runs the Data Alliance, and its Community Innovation and Action Center is storing the data. The consolidation of the data—everything from real estate records to COVID-19 patient data—makes it easier to find and act upon information that was previously scattered among various entities and often hard to track down.
UofM is testing natural killer cell therapy
A new clinical trial at the University of Minnesota is testing whether a cell therapy being studied as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and lymphoma could be effective in the battle against COVID-19. Researchers have engineered a novel natural killer (NK) cell product candidate, FT516, in hopes that it can suppress viral replication.
The trial is being run by Joshua Rhein, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine and is being supported by Fate Therapeutics.
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