The United States is now averaging less than 50,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, a level not seen since early October and a sign that the country’s mass vaccination program is having an impact on the pandemic.
In the week ending Sunday, the United States reported 344,463 cases. The daily average is down about 22,000 cases per day from a small peak seen three weeks ago. This is much lower than the records set in January; the United States is now reporting as many cases in a week as it was receiving every other day back then.
Helping the Cause: Nearly 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and more than 40% of American adults are fully immunized.
Globally, however, daily deaths and new cases remain at or near record highs, due in large part to India’s well-documented struggles. And the data reported by India is generally considered a fraction of the actual numbers across the country of 1.4 billion people.
– Mike Stucka
Also in the news:
►The Small Business Administration began accepting applications for grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on Monday. Thousands of restaurants and bars decimated by the pandemic are eligible for $ 28.6 billion in grants.
►New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are ending nearly all domestic capacity limits as of May 19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. Social distancing must however be maintained.
► As the pandemic appears to be ebbing, Hard Rock said it will spend $ 20 million in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to renovate hotel suites, open a Starbucks store, buy new slots and games. table games, add a new restaurant and modernize its waterfront.
►Los Angeles County public health officials reported no new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday. Infections remain at their lowest level since the start of the pandemic.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 32.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 577,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 152.9 million cases and nearly 3.2 million deaths. More than 312.5 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 245.5 million have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 104.7 million Americans have been fully immunized.
📘 What we read: California reopens again as coronavirus cases in state plummet. But critics say the “extreme measures” fighting the virus was too much.
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Florida Governor DeSantis Drops Local Mask, Social Distancing Requirements
Governor Ron DeSantis, surrounded by House and Senate leaders from Florida, suspended local COVID emergency orders on Monday and signed a proposal approved by lawmakers last week that limits the government’s ability to impose demands mask and other social distancing measures used to fight the coronavirus. The bill makes it more difficult for local governments to impose measures such as the wearing of masks and makes permanent the DeSantis decree that bans “vaccine passports”.
DeSantis said those who say vaccine passports are needed “are really saying you don’t believe in vaccines, you don’t believe in data, you don’t believe in science.”
– James Call, USA TODAY Network
Novavax vaccine clinical trials target children aged 12 to 17
Novavax announced on Monday a pediatric expansion of its Phase 3 clinical trial for NVX-CoV2373, the company’s vaccine candidate. The additional arm of the ongoing trial will assess the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 in up to 3,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 at 75 sites in the United States. Participants will be randomly given the candidate vaccine or placebo in two doses, administered 21 days apart. Two-thirds of the volunteers will receive intramuscular injections of the vaccine and one-third will receive a placebo. Participants will be monitored for safety for up to two years after the final dose.
“We hope … to play an important global role in providing vaccinations to as many people of all age groups as possible to end the suffering caused by the pandemic,” said Gregory M. Glenn, MD, president of research and development of Vovavax.
Teacher Appreciation Week takes on special significance in the event of a pandemic
It’s been a tough year in education: bizarre schedules, little classroom time for millions of people, and so many Zoom rooms. The educational journalists of the USA TODAY Network were at the forefront of the ups and downs of an extraordinary school year. These challenges have taken a toll on many people; 43% of teachers who recently quit citing stress – both before and during COVID-19 – as the main reason for leaving.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re highlighting educators who have stayed with us over the past year because of their tenacity, charm, or relentless determination to help students or communities. Check out some of the stars here.
Most employees still work from home
A growing number of states are lifting trade constraints, causing people to shop, dine, and travel. But the resumption of activity was extremely slow: working from the office. The number of employee office visits in 10 major cities reached 26.1% of the pre-pandemic level in the week ending April 21, according to Kastle Systems, the largest technology provider that tracks this data by sliding key cards and other devices. While Dallas and other metropolitan areas in Texas have far exceeded this average, cities like San Francisco and New York have fallen behind.
“Although the return to power is slowly gathering pace, we have yet to see any significant movement,” says Kastle chairman Mark Ein. “It’s a very low number.” Learn more here.
– Paul davidson
US vaccine aid to other countries may be overdue
The Biden administration is under siege by demands from foreign leaders for help accessing COVID-19 vaccines. But while President Joe Biden has vowed that the United States will be “an arsenal of vaccines” for the world, his advisers have yet to detail how and when the United States will begin sharing American supplies. Instead, Biden has repeatedly said his administration will help the rest of the world only after all Americans have access to vaccines. This position is increasingly untenable, especially in the face of India’s worsening COVID-19 crisis and a growing global chasm in vaccination rates, say experts and global health advocates.
“Our aid, we hope, will have a catalytic effect on society more widely here and around the world to help the Indian people,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price. Learn more here.
– Deirdre Shesgreen
Hiking in a Pandemic: Etiquette and Safety Tips
Hiking and mountain biking are more popular than ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, so many trails have been more crowded than usual. This can make it difficult to know the right ways to coexist with hikers, bikers, and the rest of your surroundings in the pandemic world of masks and social distancing.
Don’t get stressed out – there is a trail etiquette guide to give you peace of mind for your outdoor explorations on foot or by bike. Among the tips: It is courteous to wear a mask and put it on if you cannot allow another hiker with 6 feet of space. Learn more here.
– Shanti Lerner, Republic of Arizona
Walgreens takes its vaccination program to the streets of Chicago
Walgreens brings mobile vaccination clinics to Chicago. The mobile clinics will focus on delivering vaccines directly to underserved communities and those who have barriers to accessing the vaccine. Over the next two months, more mobile clinics will begin to circulate across the country, said company president John Standley.
“The mobile clinics and other models we use will allow us to bring vaccines to the heart of the most affected communities, as well as overcome common barriers such as transportation and convenience,” said Standley.
Walgreens began its vaccination program in December through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The channel administered 15 million vaccines.
Puerto Rico grapples with increase in cases and hospitalizations
Even though 55% of the people of Puerto Rico have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the US territory is struggling with a spike in cases and hospitalizations while trying to support an economy battered in recent years by the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, earthquakes and a protracted financial crisis. While health officials say many are anxious to get vaccinated – more than 2 million doses have been administered on the island of 3.3 million U.S. citizens – they note that some people who are not yet fully protected are not. ignore restrictions that include a curfew lasting more than one year. This and the spread of new variants may be partly to blame for the current outbreak of infections.
“The solution is vaccination,” Governor Pedro Pierluisi said. The island has reported around 2,000 COVID deaths.
United States to hold talks with WTO on wider vaccine distribution
The White House has said the U.S. Trade Representative will begin talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that prevent the wider distribution of critically needed COVID-19 vaccines.
The White House has come under intense pressure to join an effort to help waive patent rules for vaccines so poorer countries can start making their own generic versions.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on CBS ‘Face the Nation on Sunday that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai would start discussions “on how we can get this vaccine more widely distributed, more widely. authorized, more widely shared. “
Klain and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the administration would have more to say on the matter in the coming days.
Contribute: The Associated Press