Several states and cities rolled back from COVID-19 restrictions this week.
In Montana, Governor Greg Gianforti The state lifted the state mask Friday. In Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak announced Thursday A pause of months will gradually come to an end On economic activity, with the aim of slowing the return of the deadly virus during the holiday. And in Ohio, Governor Mike Dwyane He promised to cancel the curfew That has been in existence since November.
Meanwhile, eating limited indoor food It started in New York City on Friday, Chicago has expanded the limits of indoor dining capacity.
The decline comes as US health officials issued new directives to reopen schools on Friday, according to the schools It can be safely reopened by adhering to five major mitigation strategies.
USA TODAY tracks COVID-19 news. Keep this page updated for latest updates. Subscribe to the Coronavirus Watch newsletter To get updates in your inbox and Join our Facebook group.
In the titles:
► New COVID-19 variants are spreading rapidly in multiple regions of France, resulting in stricter mask rules and curfews around the English Channel coast.
►Dominic Dwyer, one of the team’s investigators, said China has refused to give preliminary data on early COVID-19 cases to a WHO team investigating the origins of the pandemic. Reuters And the The Wall Street Journal. President of the World Health Organization She said Friday, that all hypotheses related to the origin of the Corona virus are still under investigation and analysis after the team made Investigators said earlier this week The theory that the virus leaked from a virus lab in Wuhan can no longer be pursued.
Florida It passed a bleak milestone on Friday When state health officials reported that more than 10,000 residents and employees in long-term care facilities had died from COVID-19.
On Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “There will be a need to wear a mask” for several months “even as vaccinations begin. He added that once 75-80% of the population is vaccinated, the country can” start in ” Backtrack slightly on strict public health measures. “
The FDA has agreed to allow Moderna to increase the number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it puts in each vial from 10 to 14, New York times I mentioned Friday. The Times reported that the change, which could boost the country’s vaccine supply by 20%, could go into effect before the end of April.
People who have been fully vaccinated and who meet certain criteria It is no longer required for quarantine After exposure to someone with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 27.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 481,600 deaths, According to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 108.2 million cases and 2.38 million deaths. More than 69 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the United States and about 48.4 million doses. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we read: People of color suffer the most from COVID-19. But now that the vaccine is here, they’re less likely to receive their first dose – for many of the same reasons. Read more.
Officials say the Food and Drug Administration’s policy to allow unauthorized antibody tests was “flawed.”
The FDA policy of letting companies market their COVID-19 antibody tests without permission was “flawed” and allowed ineffective products to flood the market, two FDA officials said. Wrote In the New England Journal of Medicine Saturday.
In March, the agency began allowing companies to market their antibody tests without emergency use permission from the FDA as long as the companies notified the agency and it could show that the test worked.
“As a result, the market was flooded with serology tests, some of which performed poorly and many of them were marketed in a way that conflicts with FDA policy,” wrote Dr. Geoffrey Shorin, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiation Health. Dr. Timothy Stenzel, Director of the FDA’s Office of Laboratory Diagnostic and Radiological Health.
Inexperienced or dubious companies have taken advantage of the FDA’s oversight void, including one that sells vape pens and one headed by a self-proclaimed tech missionary. USA TODAY investigation last year Found.
“We realized that the policy described in our March 16 directive was flawed,” the authors said. “Knowing what we know now, we would not have permitted the marketing of vaccine tests without FDA review and authorization, even within the limits we imposed at the start.”
The authors said that as of February 1, 2021, the FDA removed 225 test lists from its website, issued 15 warning messages, and placed 88 companies on alert to import due to violations.
Massachusetts Vaccination Program for People Who Accompany Seniors Quickly “Expose Abuse”
Some people in Massachusetts are offering horseback riding and even money for a chance to take advantage of the state’s rule that allows those who accompany people 75 and older to a coronavirus vaccination appointment get an injection at the same time.
But the wave of online ads from people looking to cut the vaccination streak sparked a harsh rebuke from Governor Charlie Baker, who has warned against offers of help from strangers altogether. “If someone calls you to urge you to transfer you to a location, please report it to the authorities,” Baker said Thursday.
He said seniors should only accept help from someone they trust. Several top centers in the state offer assistance. Some officials called on the Republican governor to suspend the associated vaccine program.
“Although it may be goodwill, it took less than 24 hours for this new state policy to be abused,” Boston city councilor Andrea Campbell said in a statement.
State Democrat Steve Owens said a group of lawmakers had urged Baker to pause the program, noting that he had seen an ad from someone offering $ 250 to transport an eligible resident to a vaccination site.
– News agency
The University of Oxford is testing a vaccine in children
The University of Oxford plans to test its COVID-19 vaccine – which AstraZeneca produces and distributes – to children for the first time, becoming the latest vaccine developer to assess whether the coronavirus vaccine is effective in young adults.
The experiment announced Saturday seeks to recruit 300 volunteers between the ages of 6 and 17, of whom 240 receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the rest is an anti-meningitis vaccine.
Andrew Pollard, lead researcher on the Oxford vaccine trial, says that while most children do not develop severe disease from COVID-19, “it is important to demonstrate the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young adults as some children may benefit from vaccination.”
– News agency
The accumulating reports of death due to COVID-19 prompted the United States to achieve a one-day record
Ohio’s efforts to clean up the backlog of deaths Push the United States to an astonishing record in one day Of the 5,443 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. The previous record was 4,436 cases reported exactly a month ago.
Ohio reported 63 deaths on Tuesday, 721 deaths on Wednesday, and 2,559 deaths on Thursday.
Mortality in the United States has been declining slowly since its peak several weeks ago. The nation is reporting an average of fewer than 100,000 new cases per day now. That’s still more than one new case every second, but it’s less than half the rate the country reported in January.
– Mike Stuka
Data from California shows that blacks get a low percentage of shots
California released long-awaited statewide race and ethnicity data for COVID-19 Friday, and the results show that blacks so far represent only 2.8% of all people who have received at least one shot.
Whites received nearly 33 percent, according to data compiled by the California Department of Public Health.
The data did not immediately clarify the variance. It also showed that Asian Americans who received at least one vaccine dose account for 13.1%, Hispanics 15.8%, and multiracial 13.9%.
California – and many other states – have come under fire in recent weeks for underreporting data on how vaccines are delivered across ethnic groups. Health equity researchers say the lack of data hides more transparency in the introduction of vaccines, and the lack of data hurts the most vulnerable. To date, fewer than 20 states publish vaccination numbers by race and ethnicity, and the data is incomplete.
CDC Guidelines for Reopening Schools: Vaccinations are not necessary
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention He says public schools can safely reopen amid the pandemic If a set of safety measures are taken including keeping a 6-foot distance inside school buildings where possible. Although vaccinating teachers is important, according to the CDC, it is not necessary for personal mentoring.
The CDC on Friday released highly anticipated new guidelines to reopen schools still closed and roughly conduct classes as the COVID-19 virus spreads. President Joe Biden Repeatedly referred to the guidelines As key to his goal of reopening the majority of schools within his first 100 days.
The guidelines – which have been described as a “roadmap” and “one-stop shop” for safely reopening schools – are not federal instructions, but “recommendations based on the best evidence available.”
After losing homes amid COVID-19, more people are living in cars, recreational vehicles
Americans are being pushed into their cars because of the pandemic. Their ranks are likely to increase with the increase in corruption of the government safety net and the increase in evictions and foreclosures.
“In times of crisis, the fragility of our systems is exposed,” said Graham Bruce, a postdoctoral researcher with the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UC San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations.
Even before COVID, millions struggled to create a decent place to live. Bruce says the pandemic has made the housing crisis worse. He expects a rise in the number of people without permanent homes and resorting to cars, vans, recreational vehicles and campgrounds – and not just in the most expensive areas of the country like the San Francisco Bay Area where cars are increasingly becoming a form of affordable housing, but across the country. Read more.
– Jessica Jane
Contribution: The Associated Press