The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases fell to 13,277, the first time it has fallen below 15,000 since the first weeks of the pandemic in March 2020, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday. health.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said just over 10,000 new cases were reported as of Monday. She noted that COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations also continued their precipitous decline.
Walensky attributed the encouraging figures to the more than 300 million vaccines already administered across the country.
“It gives me so much hope,” she said. “Every week there is more and more data to demonstrate the impact of vaccination on preventing this disease and getting us out of this pandemic.”
Still, experts say a summer wave could emerge in the states lifting restrictions despite delayed vaccination rates.
“Threats remain,” warned Andy Slavitt, who stepped down as senior White House adviser on COVID-19 response on Wednesday. “We need to push harder so more Americans can return to normal lives and the peace of mind that comes with immunization.”
Also in the news:
►The US government is working hard to avoid wasting doses of the vaccine, but the first priority remains to make the vaccine readily available to everyone, Slavitt said. Some waste cannot be avoided, he added. In Ohio, nearly 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will expire on June 23 if not used, Gov. Mike Dewine has warned.
► Spain started this week accepting fully vaccinated Americans as well as unvaccinated minor children. Austria has said it will admit Americans as long as they receive at least one set of vaccines.
►Two-thirds of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams were able to relax coronavirus protocols after four more clubs qualified and brought the total to 20 deductibles reaching 85% vaccination for players and other field staff .
►Nearly 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will expire on June 23 in Ohio, Governor Mike Dewine said. “For the people of Ohio who have been waiting to get vaccinated, I urge you to act now,” DeWine said in a press release.
►Carnival Cruise Line has said it will require passengers to complete their COVID-19 vaccinations two weeks before boarding for the company’s first trips to the United States after it reopens, departing from Texas in July.
► Hawaii Governor David Ige extended the moratorium on evictions he put in place during the coronavirus pandemic by two more months.
The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 33.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 597,900 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 173.5 million cases and over 3.7 million deaths. More than 139.78 million Americans have been fully immunized, or 42.1% of the population, according to the CDC.
What we read: The COVID-19 pandemic has barely been recorded as a blip as humanity has continued to spew carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere. Read the full story.
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“Joints for jabs” becomes Washington State policy
The Washington State Alcohol and Cannabis Board said this week it would allow state-licensed cannabis retailers to “provide a seal to adult consumers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the store”.
The program is the state’s latest push to have 70 percent of adults in the state vaccinated at least partially by the end of the month.
Gov. Jay Inslee said reaching that mark would allow the elimination of most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions across the state. Inslee unveiled the “Shot of a Lifetime” campaign to promote vaccination in the state, and the board has previously approved free beer, wine or cocktails for those vaccinated before June 30.
As the buildings reopen, Legionnaire’s disease lurks
Hotels and office buildings reopen after sitting dormant for a year or more, and building engineers are keeping a close watch on Legionnaires’ disease.
The bacteria most often becomes a problem when they are in stagnant, lukewarm, non-chlorinated water and multiply, said Michelle Swanson, a professor of microbiology at the University of Michigan and an expert in Legionella. This could be a problem in some closed buildings where water has not passed through the pipes since the start of the pandemic.
“It is almost certain that we are going to be exposed to more cases of Legionnaire’s disease after the shutdown,” said Swanson, a member of a committee of the National Academies of Science who wrote a report in 2020 on the management of Legionella in the water. systems.
– Elisabeth way
Wuhan lab leak hypothesis “plausible”, report says
The hypothesis that the coronavirus has leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan is “plausible” and deserves further investigation, according to a report on the origins of COVID-19 from a US government laboratory. The study, prepared in May 2020, was received in October 2020 by the State Department, when the department investigated the origins of the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the classified document.
The report comes as questions mount as to whether the virus was the result of an accident at a Chinese lab or whether it has spread through other means. President Joe Biden has ordered the intelligence community to report on the origins in a few months.
Novavax will soon apply for an emergency authorization in the United States
A large trial for the Novavax vaccine is about to end in the United States, and research president Dr. Gregory Glenn told an audience during a recent webinar that “we are planning to file an application. authorization in the UK, US and Europe in the third quarter, “reported NPR, that is to say from July to September. Novavax is one of five companies that have received large sums of money from the federal government to develop and / or manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
In the UK, the company reported that its vaccine protected against all serious illnesses and was more effective than 96% against any disease of the original form of COVID-19, and 86% effective against variant B.1.1 .7 first seen in UK The vaccine was found to be 55% effective in a smaller trial with HIV negative participants in South Africa, where another variant, called B.1.351, was prevalent.
Prisons emptied during the pandemic. Should they stay that way?
In the middle of last year, the number of people incarcerated across the country was at its lowest level in more than two decades, according to a new report released on Monday by the Vera Institute of Justice, whose researchers collected figures from the population of about half of the country’s population. 3,300 prisons to make national estimates.
According to the report, shared with The Marshall Project and The Associated Press, the number of people incarcerated in county jails across the country fell by about a quarter, or 185,000, as counties scrambled to release them. people held on low-level charges, dramatically reduced arrest rates and suspended court operations.
But in most places, the decline did not last long: From mid-2020 to March 2021, the number of people incarcerated awaiting trial or serving short sentences for minor offenses again increased by more than 70,000, reaching nearly 650,000.
“Reducing the incarcerated population across the country is possible,” said Jacob Kang-Brown, senior associate researcher at the Vera Institute of Justice and author of the new report. “We have seen decreases in big cities, small towns, rural counties and suburbs, but the increase we are seeing is troubling. “
Contribute: The Associated Press.