California plans to drop its tier system and open the state on June 15 if the vaccine supply remains stable and coronavirus measures continue to decline, officials said on Tuesday. Day-to-day operations will be permitted and businesses will open with “common sense risk reduction measures,” Secretary of State for Health and Human Services Dr Mark Ghaly said.
“Our hospitalizations have been decreasing steadily for months,” he said. “We have consistently weak and improving metrics.”
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of mobile vaccination teams equipped with Johnson & Johnson single-injection vaccines that will target some of New Yorkers’ hardest to reach. Vans and buses will be outfitted with four to six vaccinators each, bringing doses to the poorest communities, including neighborhoods identified by the City’s Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force as being the hardest. affected by the virus and a history of socio-economic disparity. .
“We are doing everything we can to get as much gun fire as possible,” de Blasio said. “We’re going above and beyond to reach all New Yorkers … to help our city recover one dose at a time.”
Also in the news:
►President Joe Biden extended his deadline to April 19 for states to make all U.S. adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, he announced at a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday. Biden had previously said 90% of adults would be eligible by April 19 – and have a vaccination site within a five-mile radius – and all by May 1.
►Not a single ocean-going cruise ship has taken off with passengers from a U.S. port in the past year: For more, check out this USA TODAY story on how COVID-19 devastated the world. cruise industry.
►New York and Maryland on Tuesday joined the growing list of states allowing anyone over the age of 16 to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations. Twelve states joined the list on Monday.
► New research suggests that protection against Moderna vaccine lasts for at least six months. The New England Journal of Medicine report on Tuesday echoes what Pfizer said last week about its vaccine.
📈 The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 30.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 556,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 132.2 million cases and 2.87 million deaths. At least 219 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 168.5 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: People across the country have spoken with USA TODAY about their emotions after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are their stories.
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Are you going to be vaccinated on April 19? Probably not, but probably soon after
With President Joe Biden’s new promise to make every American adult eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19 comes a big question: Will there be enough doses available?
Experts expect a wild ride at first as millions of people previously denied access to vaccines due to priority requirements seek appointments to get the vaccines. But that squeezes the numbers to make way for a vaccine surplus as supply increases dramatically in the coming weeks. The United States hit a single-day high with 4.1 million vaccinations on Saturday.
“Very quickly, really in a few weeks after each state goes into open eligibility, we’re going to go to a very different phase of vaccine deployment where we’ll have a lot of doses available,” said Jason L. Schwartz, assistant professor of. health policy at Yale University.
– Jorge L. Ortiz
Drop Lysol, Sanitizer Likely Not Needed, CDC Says
The race for Lysol and other disinfectants may finally be over. Disinfection to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the home is probably not necessary unless someone at home is sick or someone with COVID-19 has been at home in the 24 hours, according to the CDC in new directions. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and, in most situations, removes most virus particles from surfaces, the guide says.
“Clean heavily affected surfaces regularly (for example, daily) and after receiving visitors to your home,” the guide says.
Researchers identify variant of ‘double mutant’ virus in California
At least one case of a COVID-19 variant containing two disturbing mutations has been documented in California. This is called a “double mutant” because the spike protein of the virus contains two mutations – one that is found in a California-linked variant and another that is commonly found in a California-linked variant. South Africa and Brazil, said Dr Benjamin Pinsky, the medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care.
“So far we have sequenced a case and confirmed that it is indeed one of these variants – these ‘double mutant’ variants – that has recently been identified outside of India,” Pinsky said in a commentary. interview with ABC7 News Bay Area.
The effect of combining the two mutations in a single virus variant has not been well documented, but both mutations are believed to be more transmissible, Pinsky said. However, vaccines are expected to continue to be effective in preventing serious illness.
– Joel shannon
Americans are now dying from COVID-19 at less than half the rate they were a month ago, according to USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The 5,453 deaths in the United States from the disease in the week ending Monday are down from 12,263 deaths in a week a month earlier – and down from 21,383 in a week ago to barely two months.
Experts say the US vaccination effort largely targeting the most vulnerable people is helping to reduce the number of deaths. But the news isn’t all good – the United States continues to report high levels of cases. The 452,636 cases reported in the week ending Monday were up 20% from two weeks earlier.
– Mike stucka
Michigan public health officials say 246 people have tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks or more after being fully vaccinated – and three have died. Lynn Sutfin, spokesperson for the state’s health department, told USA TODAY in an email that positive tests represented a small fraction of 1% of the 1.7 million people vaccinated in the state. Two of the three deaths occurred within three weeks of ending the vaccine, she said. All three were 65 years of age or older.
“While the majority of the population develops full immunity within 14 days of completing their vaccine series, a small proportion appears to take longer to mount a full antibody response,” Sutfin wrote.
California now has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the country – months after the state experienced a winter flare that made it the epicenter of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom bragged on Twitter on the low rate of infection. The Golden State is the only one in the country to have a rate below 2%, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services for the last week of March. The state recorded a positivity rate of 1.7%.
Likewise, Los Angeles County has seen a drastic drop in the number of COVID cases after the region – the most populous county in the country – was inundated with COVID-19 cases over the winter.
At the start of the pandemic, California was applauded for its swift actions to curb the spread of the virus, but the strict measures quickly became unpopular. Frustration increased over the winter when the state saw a sudden spike in cases. At one point, California had a positivity rate of almost 20%. Grievances led to greater support for a recall effort against the governor. A total of 1.2 million people have contracted COVID-19 in the state and more than 23,000 people have died.
Contribute: The Associated Press