As baseball fans travel to San Francisco for the Giants’ opener on Friday, they will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result to be admitted, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Wednesday.
This requirement, implemented by city health officials, may be “more ad hoc,” said Dr Monica Gandhi, professor of medicine at UC San Francisco.
“I think San Francisco is very cautious right now, but the requirement will probably go away,” she told the Mercury News. “You just have to mask and put people in small groups. The tests don’t add much to that.”
The idea of a so-called “vaccine passport” has sparked controversy in recent weeks, with several states already banning them. Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued an executive order on Wednesday barring the state government from passing one. Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned them in the state on Tuesday.
Other states have adopted the vaccine passport. New York rolled out the “Excelsior Pass” at the end of March, and Hawaii is now testing the technology needed for a vaccine passport when it reopens inter-island travel.
President Joe Biden has said he will not require proof of vaccination for people to attend the rallies.
Also in the news:
►Hawaii this week announced that the state will expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by April 19, becoming the latest state to commit to Biden’s call to lift eligibility requirements for ‘by the end of the month.
► Almost half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are found in just five states – a situation that is prompting the federal government to consider changing the way it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, according to public health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
►Idaho Governor Brad Little issued an executive order prohibiting the state government from requiring or issuing “vaccine passports” for COVID-19.
►Carmen Hernandez, 104, received a standing ovation from health workers as he was transported out of a Colombian hospital. The reason for the celebration? She defeated COVID-19 for the second time.
►The European Union’s medicines regulator said it had found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare bleeding disorder, but said the benefits of the vaccine still outweighed the risks. In a statement released on Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency did not place any new restrictions on the use of the vaccine in people 18 years of age and older, although several countries have imposed them on their own.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 30.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 559,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 132.94 million cases and 2.88 million deaths. At least 225.2 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 171.4 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: A brief fear of COVID-19 created an unexpected opportunity for a rural New Mexico town to reunite for the first time in a year. Read the full story.
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Michigan Should Now Restrict Indoor Youth Sports To Slow The Spread Of COVID-19, CDC Says
The director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday Michigan and other states with high rates of coronavirus transmission should restrict indoor sports for young people and consider other measures now, such as a potential break on indoor meals, to curb the spread of the virus.
“I would advocate some sort of stronger mitigation strategies … to somehow decrease community activity and increase mask wear,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. White House COVID-19 response team briefing.
Walensky’s comments came a day after Governor Gretchen Whitmer attributed the rise in cases in the state to pandemic fatigue and its variants.
“It’s not a policy problem. It looks like, you know, maybe we could do some tweaking around the edges, but taking a step back won’t solve the problem. What we need to do is really put our foot down pedaling on vaccines and imploring people to do what we know protects us: masking, removing, washing our hands. “
Michigan’s case rate currently leads the country, with 452.5 cases per 100,000 population.
– Kristen Jordan Shamus and Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
The variant found in the UK is now the dominant lineage in the US
The CDC has been warning since January that the highly contagious coronavirus variant first detected in Britain would become the dominant strain in the United States, and that the time is right.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday that the variant, officially known as B.1.1.7, was “now the most common lineage in circulation in the United States.”
Although this is not surprising, the recognition is significant because B.1.1.7 is considered to be at least 50% more transmissible, and it is also more virulent, than the original strain of the virus. The variant is believed to be a major contributor to the current spike in infections in Europe as well as the recent increase in cases in the United States after a prolonged decline. Of the 17,017 cases of variants reported in this country, 16,275 are of the British lineage.
All three vaccines licensed in the United States have been shown to be effective against the variant, adding additional urgency to the country’s inoculation schedule.
Contribute: The Associated Press