CDC rethinks masks directions; Mixing by AstraZeneca, Pfizer Photographs Research
Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering revising their COVID-19 guidelines to recommend that even fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public.
Fauci, the country’s government’s senior infectious disease officer, told CNN’s State of the Union that he’s participated in talks about the policy change, which he described as “in active consideration”. In the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases across the country have increased 171%, powered by the Delta variant. The death rate has increased by 19% compared to the previous week.
Eleven weeks ago, when more than 1 million Americans were being vaccinated each day and the number of COVID-19 cases was low, the CDC announced that most fully vaccinated people would no longer have to wear masks, even in crowded rooms.
“There is more weakening to come. Whether it is about masking or closure, or whether your kids need to get back to virtual learning, this is coming, ”said Dr. Jerome Adams, former US surgeon general, told CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“And it’s coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control again. And it’s getting out of hand because we don’t get enough people vaccinated. “
With 49.1% of the nation fully vaccinated, the US is a long way from herd immunity, compounded by the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which now accounts for 83% of cases nationwide.
A USA TODAY Network analysis of federal and state vaccination data found that a quarter or fewer of residents are fully vaccinated in approximately 120 counties that house more than 3.6 million people in nine southern states.
Also on the news:
►More than 50 major American health and medical groups have called for immunization mandates for all healthcare workers and long-term care workers. The joint statement on Monday included the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics,
►Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., Contracted COVID-19 for the second time and said the fight was “far more challenging”. Higgins didn’t say whether he received a COVID-19 vaccine, but he has been vehemently against the masking and has been a constant critic of mitigation mandates.
►According to the Michigan Department and Human Services, at least 17 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the past month from attendees at the Faster Horses Festival. Some of these people were at the festival while contagious.
►Multiple states, including Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, reduced their coverage of COVID-19 statistics this month as cases skyrocketed across the country and provided the public with real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospital admissions, and deaths in their communities.
The Tokyo Olympics organizers on Sunday announced 10 new positive tests in people associated with the Games, bringing the total to at least 137, including 16 athletes, the New York Times reported.
📈 Today’s numbers: There have been more than 34.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 610,800 deaths in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global totals: More than 194 million cases and 4.15 million deaths. According to the CDC, more than 163 million Americans – 49.1% of the population – have been fully vaccinated.
📘What we read: Florida leads the nation in new cases, recording more this week than California, Texas, New York and Illinois combined. And as elsewhere, the unvaccinated make up almost all hospital stays and deaths. But local residents, including many health care workers, are still suspicious of the shot. Continue reading.
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Workers change jobs at record speed amid burnout, chance of higher wages
The easing pandemic and the reopening of the economy have sparked an unprecedented regrouping of the U.S. workforce. Americans are quitting jobs in record numbers, usually to take on another position. According to a survey by Joblist for USA TODAY, they’re mainly traveling to make the most of a historic burst of job openings, often at higher wages. Many are switching jobs because they are burned out after working so hard during the pandemic or finally starting the job search they postponed during the health crisis, according to the results of the survey by Joblist, which provides online tools to job seekers represents.
Mark Meadors worked more than 70 hours a week in four jobs, a full-time HR position, and part-time jobs in a grocery store, a boat dealer, and the Air Force Reserves. He recently resigned from human resources, grocery, and boat dealer positions to take a more secure university personnel job and continue his duties in the Air Force Reserves.
“It was a relief,” said Meadors. “I have to take care of my family’s needs and be there for them.”
– Paul Davidson
Study: AstraZeneca, then Pfizer shots raise antibody levels
A South Korean study found evidence of increased antibody levels when people received a mixed schedule of an AstraZeneca vaccine and then the Pfizer vaccine, Reuters reported. The study follows a study from the UK with similar results when mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer instead of two cans of AstraZeneca. The FDA has not yet approved the AstraZeneca vaccine in the United States
Public health officials have asked if a “mix and match” vaccine schedule would be safe and effective. It was also asked whether a booster dose is needed for those who received two syringes of Moderna or Pfizer or one syringe of Johnson & Johnson in the US as coronavirus variants spread.
However, Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization, described the blended approach as a “dangerous trend” earlier this month, adding that it could lead to people choosing for themselves which vaccines to combine and how many doses to receive.
Canada and Thailand have allowed some form of mixing and matching under certain circumstances, but as yet no such combination of vaccines has been authorized in the US
Unvaccinated snow leopard tested positive for COVID-19 at the San Diego Zoo
Humans aren’t the only ones contracting COVID-19 during the surge. An unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo contracted the coronavirus, according to a statement from the zoo. The 9-year-old snow leopard named Ramil tested positive for the virus Friday after a wildlife care specialist noticed he had a cough and nasal discharge, the statement said.
According to the statement, the snow leopard seems to be doing well with no further symptoms. Ramil shared the same habitat as a female snow leopard and two Amur leopards, which may also have been exposed. They are believed to have been exposed and are currently in quarantine as veterinarians monitor their symptoms.
In January, three gorillas tested positive for COVID at the San Diego Zoo, the first known case in monkeys. The San Diego Zoo announced on July 6th that animals at the zoo and safari park are receiving COVID-19 vaccines for some of their animals, including wild cats and martens. The doses from Zoetis, a New Jersey-based veterinary drug company, require two vaccines three weeks apart, similar to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
– Steven Vargas
“He regrets”: radio presenter who doubted vaccines was hospitalized
A conservative talk radio host from Tennessee changed his previously skeptical messages about vaccines after being hospitalized with COVID-19, his family said.
Phil Valentine, who posted on social media to discourage his audience from getting vaccinated unless they “threaten to die” from COVID, was hospitalized in intensive care and receiving extra oxygen, but is not on one Ventilator. according to his brother.
Valentine told audience members after he was diagnosed – but before he was hospitalized – that he chose not to get a COVID vaccine because he thought he probably wouldn’t die from the disease.
His brother, Mark Valentine, said on WWTN-FM in Nashville this week that his brother was never an “opponent of Vaxx” but was “pro-information” and “pro-choice” on the vaccine.
“First, he regrets that he was not a staunch advocate of vaccination,” said Mark Valentine. “For those of you listening, I know if he could tell you this he would tell you, ‘Go get vaccinated. Stop worrying about politics. Stop worrying about all the conspiracy theories. ‘”
– Jeanine Santucci
Contributors: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.