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  1. Abstract Understanding the scope, prevalence, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response will be a rich ground for research for many years. Key to the response to COVID-19 was the non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures, such as mask mandates or stay-in-place orders. For future pandemic preparedness, it is critical to understand the impact and scope of these interventions. Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic, existing NPI studies covering only the initial portion provide only a narrow view of the impact of NPI measures. This paper describes a dataset of NPI measures taken by counties in the U.S. state of Virginia that include measures taken over the first two years of the pandemic beginning in March 2020. This data enables analyses of NPI measures over a long time period that can produce impact analyses on both the individual NPI effectiveness in slowing the pandemic spread, and the impact of various NPI measures on the behavior and conditions of the different counties and state. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
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  4. We present the development of a novel heavy-ion particle-identification (PID) device based on an energy-loss measurement to be implemented in the focal plane of the S800 spectrograph of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). The new instrument consists of a multi-segmented optical detector [energy-loss optical scintillation system (ELOSS)] that is filled with xenon at pressures ranging from 400 to 800 Torr. The gas volume is surrounded by arrays of photomultiplier tubes and placed along the direction of the beam for recording the prompt scintillation light. The number of detected photons, which is proportional to the energy deposited by the beam particle along its track in the detector volume, allows one to identify the corresponding atomic number (Z). The ELOSS technology is expected to provide high-resolution ΔE measurements (≤0.6% σ) at a high counting rate (>50 kHz). In addition, it has the capability of providing timing information with around 150 ps resolution (σ) compared to the lack of useable timing information of the conventional ionization chamber relying on drifting charges. The development of fast, accurate ΔE measurement techniques for present and future nuclear science facilities will have a high impact on the design and implementation of rare-isotope beam experiments at FRIB and their scientific outcome. As such, ELOSS also represents a prototype for the development of PID detector systems of other planned and future spectrometers, such as the high rigidity spectrometer at FRIB. 
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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
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