Fire alarms force South Dining Hall evacuation

first_imgAt approximately 11 a.m. Thursday, South Dining Hall was evacuated after smoke in the basement triggered smoke alarms throughout the building, South Dining Hall general manager Marc Poklinkowski said.University spokesman Dennis Brown said a small outdoor fire at McKenna Hall caused smoke to spread through the underground tunnel system and set off the dining hall’s alarms.“There was no fire in the South Dining Hall,” Brown said. “Some leaves caught on fire in an outdoor ventilation space near McKenna Hall at 10:11 a.m.“It was extinguished quickly and there were no injuries or damage. However, it caused some smoke, which made its way through our underground tunnels to the South Dining Hall, which then caused the alarms to go off.”Poklinkowski said the smoke set off several alarms in the basement of the dining hall and caused the evacuation, which lasted about 20 minutes.“There was a decent amount of smoke, so it set off a number of our alarms,” he said. “We were probably outside for about 20 or 25 minutes.”Poklinkowski said between 100 and 150 students were in the dining rooms at the time the alarms sounded, so it took less than five minutes to evacuate. He said dining hall management was aware of why the smoke was coming up through the basement but didn’t take any risks in evacuating the building.“We saw the smoke coming in and we knew why the fire alarm was going off, but you never take a risk with an alarm going off,” he said. “We were on the phone with the fire department to make sure we knew what was going on.”The dining hall reopened for lunch following the evacuation, but Poklinkowski said that the basement, including the Grab and Go line, remained closed to students for an additional hour while the fire department made sure it was safe.“[The fire department] kept the basement closed a little bit longer, because that’s where the problem was,” he said.The basement reopened at approximately 12:15 p.m. and the dining hall returned to full operations.Tags: evacuation, fire, fire alarm, McKenna Hall, South Dining Halllast_img read more

Moderna would seek limited emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine based on early data

first_imgIf Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine proves to be at least 70 percent effective, the company plans to seek emergency authorization for its use in high-risk groups, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.Moderna’s vaccine candidate – mRNA-1273 – is nearing the finish line in its push to enroll 30,000 individuals in a late-stage trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine. But the company may be able to declare victory early if it is able to show that people who got the vaccine fared much better in its trial that people who didn’t.Vaccines must demonstrate they are at least 50% more effective than a placebo to be considered for approval. To prove that, government officials have said, at least 150 COVID-19 infections must be recorded among trial participants with at least twice as many occurring among the placebo group. “At such a level of efficacy, if we get there, we can protect a lot of lives in the people at the highest risk, and so, we will consider filing for an EUA for a very limited population,” Bancel said.He said the FDA will determine whether the benefit of the vaccine to a small group of high-risk individuals outweighs the risk of not having a full readout of safety data from all 30,000 study participants.The two groups of high-risk individuals who might be covered in such an EUA would be healthcare workers and the elderly, Bancel said.Bancel said the company wants to gather more data on the safety of the vaccine in the study population over a period of several months before seeking full FDA approval.Moderna released its study protocol on Thursday, making public details on how its vaccine will be evaluated. If the vaccine does not reach the efficacy mark after 53 cases, the data safety and monitoring board will take another interim look at the data after 106 cases, and a final look after 151 people in the trial become infected with the virus.Public health officials have said that approving a vaccine for widespread use based on a small number of cases would not offer enough safety information to show how the vaccine would perform.Moderna, which has never brought a vaccine to market, has received nearly $1 billion from the U.S. government under its Operation Warp Speed program. It has also struck a $1.5 billion supply agreement with the United States.In a presentation to investors on Tuesday, Pfizer Inc said the company has enrolled more than 29,000 people in its 44,000-volunteer trial to test an experimental COVID-19 vaccine the company is developing with German partner BioNTech .Pfizer expects to have enough data to show whether the vaccine works by the end of October.  If a vaccine is especially effective, companies could have their answer sooner.An independent safety board will take a first look at Moderna’s data as soon as a total of 53 people in the trial become infected with COVID-19. Moderna is projecting the interim analysis will occur in November, but it could come as early as October.If most of the people who got sick got the placebo shot, that would indicate the vaccine was protecting those inoculated and could be enough evidence to seek U.S. regulatory approval for Emergency Use Authorization(EUA).”If the interim readout is deemed by the independent safety committee as positive with 70 or 80 or 90% efficacy, we will indeed consider approval,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.center_img Topics :last_img read more