Mississippi health officials announced Wednesday that COVID-19 has claimed the death of a child under 5 years old.
The state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said that it was the sixth child to die from the virus since the pandemic started. According to him, the Health Department wouldn’t provide any identifying information about the child, including the location of the child.
Liz Sharlot, spokeswoman for the State Health Department, stated Wednesday that police officers are investigating threats to Dr. Thomas Dobbss, state health officer. He has been urging people to get vaccinated for many months, but Mississippi still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in America.
Dobbs posted Tuesday on Twitter that he had received threats phone calls from people who promoted false conspiracy theories about his family. Dobbs claimed that Dobbs’ son, who is also an obstetrician, is receiving a kickback from the World Bank when he urges people to get immunized.
Dobbs wrote, “I get zero dollars from promoting vaccination.”
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon will send “crisis teams”, a team of hundreds of paramedics, nurses and nursing assistants to areas of the state most affected by a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Hospitals have been stretched to their limits.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that as many as 500 health care professionals from a medial staffing firm will travel to Oregon to provide services, along with 60 additional nurses who are part of a different contract.
According to state health officials, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Oregon have increased by 990% since July 9, according to the Oregon State Health Department.
The personnel will travel to Bend, Redmond and Medford and then on to Ashland, Grants Pass, Roseburg, and they can also move around as the conditions dictate.
CHICAGO — Chicago officials have stated that all city employees must be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations by mid October.
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Toronto, announced Wednesday that employees will need to submit proof they have been vaccinated via an online portal before Oct. 15.
Already, the city requires all employees of public schools, teachers and principals to get vaccinated by that same date. According to city officials, employees may apply for a religious exemption or medical exemption. These will be reviewed individually.
Lightfoot believes that vaccinations are the best way to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
NEW ORLEANS — The latest COVID-19 death in Louisiana is a child below the age of 1.
The child’s age and the place of death were not provided by the state health department. The Wednesday report listed 110 deaths, with 85 being confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and 25 as probable.
The health department stated on Twitter that they had last reported a COVID-related death in a child six months ago. “In Louisiana, COVID has claimed the lives of 11 children under 18 years old.”
On Wednesday, the department reported more that 6,619 confirmed or probable cases. The number of statewide hospitalizations fell by 12 to 2,844.
Louisiana has more than 12,000 confirmed cases of the disease.
MADISON (Wis.) — Wisconsin’s top education official has urged everyone who enters school buildings to have COVID-19 vaccinations and wear masks.
Jill Underly believes that these steps will ensure schools are not shut down due to a rise in new cases. Wednesday’s editorial by the state superintendent of schools called for a united front against this virus. The availability of vaccines made the situation different than last year, she said.
Many schools in Wisconsin did not open in-person learning for the fall 2020. Instead, they used a hybrid approach that lasted at least half of the year.
Wisconsin’s largest two districts, Madison and Milwaukee, are both considering a mandate for vaccines for teachers. This is something Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he supports. Evers was a teacher, school administrator and state superintendent of education.
Recent polling by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has shown that most Americans support the inclusion of vaccines and masks in schools.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans can take home a $100 Visa gift certificate after receiving their first COVID-19 vaccination dose at the State Fair.
Democratic Governor. Tim Walz announced Wednesday the State Fair edition to the state’s $100 reward programme. Gift cards can be claimed immediately by the first 3,600 Minnesotans who receive their first dose at fair. The fair will be open from Thursday through Labor Day.
The State Fair deal is a follow-up to a $100 incentive program in which nearly 80,000 Minnesotans claimed gift certificates.
Anyone aged 12 and older who requires their first or second dose of vaccines can be vaccinated at the fair clinic. The fair clinic offers the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or two-shot Pfizer vaccines. Only Minnesotans who have received their first dose of vaccines are eligible for the reward.
NEW YORK — Pfizer seeks approval from the U.S. for a booster dose its COVID-19 vaccine.
Wednesday’s announcement by the drugmaker indicated that it had begun the approval process for a third dosage of its vaccine for Americans 16 years and older. According to the company, it anticipates that its application with Food and Drug Administration will be completed by the end this week.
Last week, U.S. health officials announced plans to give COVID-19 booster shots in order to strengthen Americans’ protection against the rising delta variant of coronavirus. This week, Pfizer received regulatory approval for its vaccine.
Although health officials claim that vaccine protection against coronavirus infection is decreasing over time, the three vaccines used by Johnson & Johnson in the U.S., Moderna, and Pfizer, provide strong protection against hospitalizations or deaths due to COVID-19.
U.S. regulators announced earlier this month that transplant recipients and others with weak immune systems could receive an additional dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
ATLANTA — According to The Associated Press, more than half of Georgia’s public school students must wear masks to class.
Georgia’s 180 traditional schools require masks in at most some schools. This is an increase from the handful of districts that required them before August. These rules apply to at least 945,000 students in Georgia’s public schools, which is about 55% of the 1.7 million.
In late July, Atlanta and Gwinnett County schools announced that they would need masks. Many other districts attempted to make mask-optional openings in August, but were unsuccessful. Some people changed their positions in a matter of days while others waited for weeks.
Infections rose during that time. In the last two weeks, more than 1% of Georgia’s school-age children have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The coronavirus is more common in children aged 5-17 than it is for adults. The highest number of cases reported by the state Department of Public Health since the outbreak of the epidemic is 30.
BATON ROUGE (La. Louisiana’s higher education leaders claim that coronavirus vaccinations are on the rise among college students. The state also offers $100 cash cards to those who receive the shots as part of campus immunization requirements.
Wednesday’s Board of Regents meeting saw the participation of four Louisiana presidents of public colleges. They praised Governor John Bel Edwards’ “Shot for $100”, campaign which has prompted more than 2,000 students against COVID-19 to immunize themselves.
Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner for Higher Education, says that these numbers will only increase since 12 campuses have started classes this week.
Louisiana has four-year universities that require students to get vaccinated. However, there are broad exceptions.
LONDON — International scientists sent to China by World Health Organization to investigate the coronavirus have reported that the search is now deadlocked and warned that the window for finding the answer is closing fast.
The WHO-recruited experts state that the origins investigation is at a “critical juncture” and requires urgent collaboration, but instead has come to a halt.
They also noted that Chinese officials still hesitate to share raw data due to concerns about patient confidentiality.
The WHO team published their March analysis and concluded that the virus probably jumped from animals to humans. They also described the possibility for a laboratory leakage as “extremely unlikely.”
The WHO experts claim that their report was only a preliminary step and further delays “will make some of the studies biologically unviable.”
ALBANY (N.Y.) — A new governor Kathy Hochul pledged more transparency in government her first day of office.
Her administration quietly achieved it by acquiescing to nearly 12,000 more state deaths from COVID-19 by the end of the day. This was in addition to what Andrew Cuomo had done.
Based on death certificates submitted to the CDC by New York, New York now shows that 55,395 people died from COVID-19. This is an increase of the 43,400 reported by Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo was still in office as of Monday.
Federal prosecutors launched an investigation into Cuomo’s administration’s handling data regarding deaths among nursing home residents. Cuomo’s state had reduced the death toll from nursing home residents by exclusion of all patients who died after being transferred into hospitals.
Cuomo used these lower numbers to falsely claim that New York had a lower rate of COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes than other states.
BOSTON — According to the Treasury Department, only 11% of the tens and billions of dollars of federal rent assistance meant for tenants across the country to avoid eviction have been distributed.
According to the latest data, the department overseeing the program has shown that the rate of distribution increased in July compared with June and that nearly one million households were helped.
However, landlords are challenging the federal eviction moratorium in court. This raises concerns that a wave of evictions could occur before most of the assistance is distributed. The $46.5 billion approved by lawmakers for rental assistance was distributed to the states in their first $25 billion.
NEW BRUNSWICK (N.J.) Johnson & Johnson claims that a booster shot from its COVID-19 vaccine seems to cause a “rapid and robust” rise in antibodies necessary to combat the coronavirus.
According to the drugmaker, researchers found an increase in antibodies nine times greater than the levels observed about a month after the initial vaccination. J&J’s single shot vaccine was administered to the first person who received the booster. The company provided early data from these studies.
J&J reports that researchers observed an increase in antibodies in those aged 18 to 55, and in those 65 years and older who received a lower dose of booster.
Last week, U.S. health officials announced plans to distribute COVID-19 booster shot to all Americans in order to provide protection against the rising delta variant of the virus. Officials claim that while the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infections diminishes over time, they are still effective in preventing hospitalizations or deaths.
J&J states it is in contact with regulators in the U.S. as well as Europe regarding booster shots.
BERLIN — Germany claims it has given more than 100,000,000 doses of coronavirus vaccination, and the delta variant has increased the number of infections to their highest level since May.
Germany’s national disease control centre reported 11,561 cases Wednesday. This is the first time that more than 10,000 cases were reported in one day in three months.
Jens Spahn, Health Minister, praised the vaccination milestone on Twitter Wednesday. He called it “one the greatest logistical achievements of our country’s past history.”
Official statistics show that 53.5 million people, or 64% of the total population, have had at least one dose of vaccines. 49.4 millions, or 59% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.
Although the vaccination drive is slowing, authorities are still trying to convince people who aren’t ready to get shot.
ST. PETERSBURG (Florida) — More than half of Florida’s 2 million public school students are required to wear masks in class.
More districts are challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis in courtroom dispute over Republican’s attempts to give such decisions to parents. The Orange County County School Board voted in October to increase its mask mandate. This means that at least 10 districts in Florida are now claiming they follow federal recommendations to lower coronavirus infections.
In Tallahassee, a hearing on a lawsuit filed by parents seeking strict rules for their children’s safety is now over.