Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

COVID-19 hot spots offer sign of what could be ahead for US

AP - November 12, 2021

The contagious delta variant is driving up COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Mountain West and fueling disruptive outbreaks in the North, a worrisome sign of what could be ahead this winter in the U.S. While trends are improving in Florida, Texas and other Southern states that bore the worst of the summer surge ... COVID-19 is moving north and west for the winter as people head indoors, close their windows and breathe stagnant air.

Judge rules Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on school mask mandates violates federal law

NBC News - November 12, 2021

A federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates in schools violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, setting the stage for school districts in the state to decide whether they want to impose mask rules.

Not out of the woods: COVID cases rising in Western Europe

AP - November 12, 2021

[Countries] in the west such as Germany and Britain recorded some of the highest new case tolls in the world. While nations in Western Europe all have vaccination rates over 60% — and some like Portugal and Spain are much higher — that still leaves a significant portion of their populations without protection.

Many Latin American travelers shut out from visiting U.S. by new vaccine policy

NBC News - November 12, 2021

For many in Europe, where there had been a travel ban since early in the pandemic, the loosening of U.S. travel restrictions for those who have been vaccinated with shots approved by the WHO has come with elation … [But for others] traveling back and forth throughout the pandemic from Latin America, where there was no travel ban, the shift in policy the U.S. announced this week left them out. Many countries in the region have bought millions of doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and others that still haven’t been approved by the WHO.

The U.S. is about to lift a nearly 20-month international travel ban. Here’s what you need to know

CNBC - November 8, 2021

The U.S. on Monday will lift a pandemic travel ban on international visitors from more than 30 countries after 19 months. New rules will replace the ban, requiring international visitors to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative Covid test. Exceptions include travelers under age 18 and those traveling from countries with low vaccine availability.

Novavax to complete data submission to FDA by end of the year for authorization of its coronavirus vaccine

CNN - November 8, 2021

The biotechnology company Novavax plans to submit complete data to the FDA soon for possible emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine, CEO Stanley Erck told CNN in a phone interview Friday. … If the FDA gives the green light, the first 100 million doses of the protein-based vaccine will be ready to ship following authorization, Erck said.

Biden vaccine mandates face first test with federal workers

AP - November 8, 2021

President Joe Biden is pushing forward with a massive plan to require millions of private sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year. But first, he has to make sure workers in his own federal government get the shot. About 4 million federal workers are to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 under the president’s executive order.

Schools take lead role in promoting vaccines for youngsters

AP - November 8, 2021

With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children, many elementary schools around the U.S. are preparing to offer the shots, which educators see as key to keeping students learning in person and making the classroom experience closer to what it once was. … Still, many school systems are choosing not to offer elementary schools as hosts for vaccination sites after some middle and high schools that offered shots received pushback.

U.S. Adults’ COVID-19 Vaccinations Steady, Teen Jabs Tick Up

Gallup - November 8, 2021

The 74% of U.S. adults vaccinated against COVID-19 was virtually unchanged in October, roughly 10 months after shots were first widely administered to the general public. The total percentage either vaccinated or planning to be is also steady, at 80%.

FDA paves way for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations in young kids

AP - November 1, 2021

The FDA on Friday paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA cleared kid-size doses — just a third of the amount given to teens and adults — for emergency use, and up to 28 million more American children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week. One more regulatory hurdle remains: On Tuesday, advisers to the CDC will make more detailed recommendations on which youngsters should get vaccinated, with a final decision by the agency’s director expected shortly afterwards.

COVID-19′s global death toll tops 5 million in under 2 years

AP - November 1, 2021

The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million on Monday, less than two years into a crisis that has not only devastated poor countries but also humbled wealthy ones with first-rate health care systems. Together, the US, the European Union, Britain and Brazil — all upper-middle- or high-income countries — account for one-eighth of the world’s population but nearly half of all reported deaths. The U.S. alone has recorded over 740,000 lives lost, more than any other nation.

Parents’ Vaccination Intentions for Young Children Steady

Gallup - November 1, 2021

With the FDA expected to soon issue emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, 55% of parents of children younger than 12 say they would plan to have their child receive it, while 45% would not. These figures have not wavered in monthly readings since May.

Lab leak or animal transmission? US intelligence won’t likely determine COVID-19 origins, report says.

USA Today - November 1, 2021

Barring an unforeseen breakthrough, intelligence agencies won’t be able to conclude whether COVID-19 spread by animal-to-human transmission or leaked from a lab, officials said Friday in releasing a fuller version of their review into the origins of the pandemic. … That review said that U.S. intelligence agencies were divided on the origins of the virus but that analysts do not believe the virus was developed as a bioweapon and that most agencies believe the virus was not genetically engineered.

Australia, Thailand reopen borders after lengthy lockdowns

AP - November 1, 2021

Sydney’s international airport came alive with tears, embraces and laughter on Monday as Australia opened its border for the first time in 20 months, with some arriving travelers removing mandatory masks to see the faces of loved ones they’ve been separated from for so long. … Some, like China and Japan, remain essentially sealed off to foreign visitors, but Thailand also started to substantially reopen Monday and many others have already started, or plan to follow suit.

Covid: Double vaccinated can still spread virus at home

BBC - October 29, 2021

Double jabbed people are catching Covid and passing it on to those they live with, warn experts who have studied UK household cases. Individuals who have had two vaccine doses can be just as infectious as those who have not been jabbed. Even if they have no or few symptoms, the chance of them transmitting the virus to other unvaccinated housemates is about two in five, or 38%. This drops to one in four, or 25%, if housemates are also fully vaccinated.

One Attitude Keeps Many From COVID Vaccine, Study Shows

HealthDay - October 29, 2021

The investigators examined responses from more than 200,000 people in 51 countries who took part in an online survey that included questions about how serious it would be to contract COVID-19 and their willingness to get vaccinated and follow social distancing measures. The analysis showed the people who felt more invincible were less willing to get vaccinated and less likely to think it was important to take individual action to reduce transmission.