With more than a week of reports to do, September is already the third deadliest month of this year for COVID-19 and the sixth deadliest month for the entire pandemic, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
With 40,095 cases reported up to Wednesday, September killed thousands more than every July and August – combined.
Many of the deaths reported in September are due to high levels of cases in late August and early September. However, the number of cases has declined in recent times, and September could end up with about as many cases as August reported.
- West Virginia has already reported more cases in just part of September than in August, July, June and May combined.
- Alaska appears to be on track to break its one-month case record.
- one of Hawaii September’s death tally already makes it the worst month in the pandemic.
- one of Florida the death tally is not as clear as the state only reports some figures once a week, but so far in September its reported deaths are 53% higher than the worst death month in previous waves of coronaviruses.
- Washington the state appears to be on track to set a death record.
– Mike stucka
Also in the news:
► The United States has reported its 680,000th death from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Half of the deaths have taken place since early January.
► The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has announced that it will require every member of its delegation to the Beijing 2022 Olympics to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new policy posted on Team USA’s website.
► Portugal is getting closer to its goal of fully vaccinating 85% of the population against COVID-19 in nine months.
► New Mexico State University professor David Clements, a staunch opponent of the COVID-19 mask and vaccine warrants, faces dismissal as well as three complaints against him to the Disciplinary Board of the State Supreme Court.
?? Today’s numbers: The United States has recorded more than 42.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 681,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 230 million cases and 4.7 million deaths. More than 182 million Americans – 54.9% of the population – have been fully immunized, according to the CDC.
?? What we read: COVID-19 vaccines for children may be imminent. So when can toddlers get vaccinated? We answered your questions.
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Pfizer-BioNTech recall nears final approval with CDC vote
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 65 years of age and older and those whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Boosters cannot be made available to the public until a critical committee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention votes on how to implement this expanded access. This is expected on Thursday, after which CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky is expected to quickly sign, making the boosters available to more people within days.
Wednesday’s FDA clearance comes nearly six weeks after the FDA cleared additional doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for people with severe immunosuppression.
It also includes people 18 and older who are at high risk for severe COVID-19. And high-risk jobs include “healthcare workers, teachers and staff in daycare centers, grocers, and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others,” the acting FDA commissioner said, Dr Janet Woodcock.
– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY
New York Health Commissioner resigns
New York State Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker, a central figure in the COVID-19 scandals that plagued former Governor Andrew Cuomo, has resigned, according to Governor Kathy Hochul.
Zucker will remain the state’s top health official until a replacement for the commissioner post is chosen, Hochul said at a press briefing in Manhattan on Thursday, adding that several candidates were being considered for the post.
Hochul said she agreed with Zucker’s decision to step down, calling him a dedicated public servant.
Zucker was linked to several controversial COVID-19 policy decisions, including a move that prompted nursing homes to accept COVID-positive residents at the height of the pandemic last year. Zucker was also linked with the Cuomo administration which for months withheld the true death toll from COVID-19 for nursing homes. Read more here.
– David Robinson, USA TODAY Network
Evictions skyrocket as states sit on COVID-19 rental aid
Tchontiniqua Williams of Indiana has been living in her car with her 7-year-old daughter since she was kicked out of their mobile home park in June. She begged her owner to let them stay, but the company refused.
Families in need are evicted while mountains of federal dollars, specifically meant to help people like Williams, remain intact in state coffers. Like Williams, 83% of Indiana households behind on rent have not received rent assistance, according to an analysis by the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition.
In an unprecedented act of direct federal assistance to the state to help tenants weather the pandemic-induced rent crisis, the federal government gave Indiana $ 447.9 million in December 2020 to distribute to households in need of emergency rent assistance. He gave Indiana an additional $ 397 million in a second round of payments in March 2021.
The kicker? The state distributed only about 29% of the first tranche of funds to households in need of assistance. And it’s not just Indiana. As of the end of last month, about 89% of federal rent assistance approved by Congress had not been spent.
– Ko Lyn Cheang, Indianapolis star
College boy dies of COVID-19 in Kansas
A Kansas education official said a college student died of COVID-19, making it the first reported COVID-19 death of a person aged 10 to 17 in Kansas and only the third reported for someone under the age of 18 in the state.
Nationally, more than 550 children under the age of 18 have died from COVID-19, according to CDC data.
Education Commissioner Randy Watson said on Wednesday that state health officials told him the child died this week. State health officials said they were investigating the report.
Meanwhile, state health officials have reported 11 new clusters of COVID-19 in schools. Department data showed there are now 72 active outbreaks in schools across Kansas, resulting in 537 coronavirus cases and one hospitalization.
COVID-19 measures may have unexpected benefits in schools: limit lice
Long the bane of parents and school care providers, head lice have generally been viewed as an unwanted and irritating insect that spreads like wildfire in schools. But new security measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are upsetting those assumptions, according to the National Association of School Nurses.
These safety measures are also helping to limit the spread of lice, and school nurses are optimistic there will be fewer cases this year.
“We have social distancing, do a lot of hygiene, the kids are no longer sitting on top of each other on the floor,” Linda Mendonca, president of the National Association of School Nurses, told USA TODAY. “They are trying to keep the kids apart.”
These practices show that, contrary to popular belief, lice need close contact in order to spread. They cannot fly or jump, they can only crawl. And, according to Mendonca, are most likely spread through actions such as sharing a hairbrush. Read more here.
– Keira Wingate, USA TODAY
Contribution: The Associated Press