Colorado mobile vaccine clinics halted after harassment; majority of NFL teams have immunized 95% of players – The Boston Globe

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imageC oronavirus case counts are once again rising across the US, near and far.Health officials are scrambling to vaccinate as the Delta variant takes hold.

Below, we’re gathering the latest news and updates on coronavirus in New England and beyond.

See the most recent COVID numbers for Massachusetts here.See all of our coronavirus coverage here.Sign up for our newsletter Coronavirus Next.Click here to refresh this page to see the latest updates.

United lays out employee rules as vaccine requirement looms — 6:27 p.m.

By The Associated Press

United Airlines said Wednesday that more than half its employees who weren’t vaccinated last month have gotten their shots since the company announced that vaccines would be required.

The airline’s 67,000 U.S.-based employees face a Sept.27 deadline for getting vaccinated or face termination or unpaid leave.

Kirk Limacher, United’s vice president of human resources, made the statement about vaccinations Wednesday in memos to employees that spell out how United will handle requests for exemptions from the shots based on medical reasons or religious beliefs.

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United declined to say exactly how many employees have recently been vaccinated, what percentage of the workforce is now vaccinated, or how many workers requested an exemption.

The airline said that in most cases, employees who refuse to get vaccinated won’t be allowed into the workplace starting Oct.

2.They will either be placed on unpaid leave or face termination proceedings, which could delay their departure beyond early October.

COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloom — 6:14 p.m.By The Associated Press

The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S.more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March.

The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children and driving coronavirus deaths in some places to the highest levels of the entire pandemic.School systems that reopened their classrooms are abruptly switching back to remote learning because of outbreaks.Legal disputes, threats and violence have erupted over mask and vaccine requirements.

The U.S.

death toll stands at more than 650,000, with one major forecast model projecting it will top 750,000 by Dec.1.

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Read more Vaccinated Florida congressman tests positive for COVID-19 — 5:28 p.m.

By The Associated Press

US Representative Darren Soto of Florida said Wednesday that he recently tested positive for COVID-19 and believed he had only mild symptoms because he was vaccinated.

Soto, an Orlando-area Democrat, tweeted that he had received monoclonal antibody treatment to reduce potential symptoms.

“This treatment is helpful but not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

Soto said he was self-isolating and working from home.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida have dropped more than 20% in the past two weeks, the Florida Hospital Association said Wednesday

Some rural West Virginia hospitals hit bed capacity — 5:02 p.m.By The Associated Press

West Virginia health officials say some rural hospitals have reached their critical bed capacities as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge statewide.

They are pleading with the public to avoid unnecessary ER visits to let hospitals focus their resources on treating COVID-19 patients.

There were 813 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide Wednesday, just below the record 818 on Jan.5 when vaccination efforts were starting.

There are 252 virus patients in ICUs and 132 patients on ventilators, according to state data — both all-time highs.

Dr.

Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus expert, says “our hospitals are being stressed in ways that they haven’t been stressed before.”

In southern West Virginia, Princeton Community Hospital has no ICU beds available due to an increase in COVID-related patients.

But hospital president and CEO Karen Bowling says people with emergency needs should still come to the hospital.Incoming patients will stay in the emergency department until a bed becomes available, either at the hospital or somewhere else.

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Here’s where the COVID-19 booster shot rollout stands — 4:51 p.m.By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

The Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting next week with its panel of advisers to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters, just days before the Biden administration’s target date for rolling out the first such shots to the general public.

But Biden administration officials have acknowledged that due to the regulatory process involved with approving the booster shots, doses from both Moderna and Pfizer may not meet the Sept.

20 goal.

Read more Mobile vaccine clinics in Colorado halted after harassment — 4:27 p.m.By The Associated Press

A Colorado county’s public health department director says officials took three mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics off the streets after workers were harassed while providing inoculations over Labor Day weekend.

Jefferson County Public Health executive director Dawn Comstock says staff at a mobile vaccine clinic in Gilpin County were yelled at and threatened by people passing by, The Denver Post reports.

Comstock says a driver ran over and destroyed signs put up around the vaccine clinic’s tent.

In a separate incident, someone also threw an unidentified liquid at a nurse working a different mobile clinic in front of a restaurant.

Vermont extending school mask recommendation another month — 4:00 p.m.By The Associated Press

The Vermont Agency of Education is extending until Oct.4 its recommendation that all students wear masks at all times in school to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, Gov.

Phil Scott said Wednesday.

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The agency had recommended schools require masks for the first 10 days of school and then allow schools to loosen masking restrictions for fully vaccinated students once those schools reached the 80% vaccination or greater level of vaccination among students eligible to be vaccinated, those over age 12.

The recent surge in cases caused by the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, prompted the agency to rethink its suggestion.

“We hope by then the delta wave that has impacted the entire country, though fortunately not anywhere near as severe in Vermont, will have begun to subside,” Scott said during his regular weekly virus briefing.

The Scott administration has been criticized by some for not imposing a mask requirement on school districts.Absent the state of emergency that was in place from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 until June of this year, Scott said he lacked the legal authority to require masks.

But he said every school district in the state, but one, is following the recommendation.

Majority of NFL teams have immunized 95% of players as season begins — 2:49 p.m.

By Bloomberg

Seventeen of the National Football League’s 32 teams have vaccinated 95% of their players against the coronavirus, according to league officials, with a new season set to begin this week.

Two teams — the Atlanta Falcons and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers — have reached immunization rates of 100%.Overall, 93.5% of the NFL’s 2,208 players have received shots, and more are rolling their sleeves up every day, Chief Medical Officer Allen Sillis said in an interview Wednesday.

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Such vaccination levels are substantially higher than the U.S.public at large.Roughly 73% of Americans age 12 or older have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The league’s success in getting the vast majority of its high-profile workforce vaccinated comes as many other large employers are considering whether to make immunizations mandatory, and how to manage interaction between those workers who have received shots and those who haven’t.

New York delays state worker office return and vaccine mandate — 1:41 p.m.By The Associated Press

New York has delayed its requirement that state employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly tests by more than a month to Oct.

12, the same day telecommuting workers are now scheduled to return to their offices.

In-person state workplace rules were scheduled to restart this past Tuesday, and the vaccinate-or-test mandate was to go into effect this week for about 130,000 state workers.

But Gov.Kathy Hochul’s office of employee relations quietly outlined the changes in an internal memo sent Friday.

The memo also broadens mask mandates for vaccinated workers.Masks must now be worn in state facilities located in places with local mask mandates or in areas with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19 as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hochul spokesperson Hazel Crampton-Hays said in an email the administration updated guidance “to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and ensure government workplaces have flexibility as our hardworking state employees continue to safely return to in-person work.”

More than 90% of state employees are working either full- or part-time in person.

Florida can’t enforce ban on school mask mandates for now, judge says — 1:38 p.m.By The Associated Press

A Florida judge ruled Wednesday that the state cannot enforce a ban on public schools mandating the use of masks to guard against the coronavirus, while an appeals court sorts out whether the ban is ultimately legal.

Read more In a reversal, Mass.will report weekly coronavirus cases in public schools — 1:00 p.m.

By Felicia Gans, Globe Staff

As thousands of unvaccinated public school students return to Massachusetts classrooms, state education leaders have reversed their decision to suspend the weekly coronavirus case reports that had been released during the 2020-21 academic year.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will once again ask school districts to report positive coronavirus cases to the state, starting the week of Sept.13, according to Colleen Quinn, a spokeswoman for Executive Office of Education.

Read more In NYC, 65% of eligible students have received COVID shot — 12:51 p.m.

By The Associated Press

In New York City, 65% of 12- to 17-year-old students have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, less than a week before the Sept.13 first day of school, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The largest school system in the U.S.

hasn’t mandated vaccination for eligible students.The city has required all public school staff to get at least one shot by Sept.27 or submit to weekly testing.The city is posting mobile vaccine sites at schools, where masks will be required.

De Blasio is close to reaching his June goal of 5 million fully vaccinated New Yorkers, with more than 4.98 million residents qualifying.

Elizabeth Warren presses Amazon for more action on stopping spread of COVID misinformation — 12:49 p.m.

By The Associated Press

U.S.Senator Elizabeth Warren pressed Amazon.com Inc.for more action to stop the “deeply troubling” spread of misinformation about vaccines and cures, according to CNBC.In a letter to Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, the Massachusetts Democrat acknowledged that the company has taken steps to direct users to accurate data but said top search results often still include products that promote false information.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returns to New York City streets with COVID protocols — 12:48 p.m.By The Associated Press

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will return to New York City’s streets this year with COVID-19 protocols including a vaccination requirement for parade volunteers, Macy’s and city officials announced Wednesday.

The Nov.25 parade will be broadcast on NBC and will feature the traditional giant balloons, celebrity performers, clowns and marching bands, Macy’s said.

“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Macy’s presented a curtailed version of the parade last year with balloons and performers confined to an area near the retailer’s flagship Manhattan store.

Marching bands that had been slated to join the 2020 parade will be participating this year instead, Macy’s said.

Parade staff members and volunteers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Macy’s said.

Face coverings will be required, with some exceptions for singers and other performers.

Massachusetts Public Health Council approves expanded vaccine requirement — 11:01 a.m.By The Associated Press

The Massachusetts Public Health Council on Wednesday approved a plan to require coronavirus vaccination for all employees at rest homes, assisted living residences, and hospice programs, along with workers who provide in-home direct care services.

Read more WHO chief urges halt to booster shots for rest of the year — 10:53 a.m.

By The Associated Press

The head of the World Health Organization is calling on rich countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to refrain from offering booster shots through the end of the year, expanding a call that has largely fallen on deaf ears.

Read more Waikiki resort first in Hawaii to mandates vaccination for workers, guests — 10:32 a.m.By The Associated Press

A resort in the famed tourist mecca of Waikiki will be the first in Hawaii to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all employees and guests.

Starting October 15, ‘Alohilani Resort will require its employees, patrons and guests to show proof they’re fully vaccinated.The requirement will also apply to the six other Waikiki properties owned or operated by Highgate, a real estate investment and hospitality management company.

It’s the right thing to do as Hawaii grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations because of the highly contagious delta variant, said Kelly Sanders, senior vice president of operations at Highgate Hawaii.

There were an average of 706 newly confirmed infection cases per day across Hawaii between Aug.30 and Sept.

5 across Hawaii, according to the state Department of Health.Hawaii’s vaccination rate was at 64%.

World Health Organization adds Mu as a ‘variant of interest’ — 10:30 a.m.By Maria Elena Little Endara, Globe Correspondent

Mu was added to the Variants of Interest lis t on August 30, 2021.The variant was first detected in Colombia in January.

During a virtual press event , WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that while Mu’s mutations suggest it could evade the immune protection provided by natural infection or vaccination, the Delta variant is more concerning due to its transmissibility.

Global program to immunize the world against COVID-19 cuts supply forecast — 10:08 a.m.By Bloomberg

The global program set up to immunize the world against Covid-19 cut its 2021 supply forecast by more than a quarter.Covax expects to have about 1.4 billion doses by the end of the year, the organizations coordinating the initiative said Wednesday.

In June, Covax had forecast that about 1.9 billion doses would be available by the end of 2021.Some manufacturers and countries have prioritized bilateral deals, while export bans and challenges in scaling up production are among other factors hindering the rollout, they said.

US records 300,000 new coronavirus cases after Labor Day reporting lag — 10:04 a.m.

By Maria Elena Little Endara, Globe Correspondent

The United States on Tuesday reported 301,138 new daily coronavirus cases, according to data collected by The New York Times.This is the highest number of daily COVID cases ever recorded in the US and the first time the US has surpassed 300,000 daily coronavirus cases since January 8, 2021.

The Times noted that the data was likely an anomaly after many public health agencies did not report COVID-19 data over Labor Day weekend.The seven-day average of new cases stands at about 152,000 per day, a decrease from the beginning of the month when the seven-day average topped 200,000 per day.

The United States has reported a total of 40 million infections and 650,998 deaths.

Travel restrictions are back in Europe for US visitors, at least in some places — 9:59 a.m.By The New York Times

Italy now requires travelers from the United States to take a test before arrival, and unvaccinated American visitors must isolate for five days.

Sweden is barring all nonessential U.S.visitors.The Netherlands says vaccinated travelers must isolate after arriving from the United States — and unvaccinated ones are not welcome.

Read more Cathay Pacific Airways fires unvaccinated crew — 9:36 a.m.By Bloomberg

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.said it decided to “part company with a small number of aircrew” who chose not to receive available vaccines and didn’t provide proof of any medical exemption.

The Hong Kong-based carrier in June asked flight crew to be fully inoculated by the end of August or face having their employment reviewed, the South China Morning Post reported at the time.All of Cathay’s flights since Sept.1 have been with fully vaccinated crew, the airline said in a statement Wednesday.

Connecticut College goes remote after COVID-19 outbreak — 9:35 a.m.By The Associated Press

Connecticut College is switching to remote classes and suspending sports practices and indoor gatherings after more than 50 students tested positive for COVID-19.

Dean of Students Victor Arcelus said in an email to students and staff on Tuesday that quarantine rules will be in effect for up to 10 days while officials monitor test results.

Arcelus said symptomatic students and some of their friends got rapid tests Monday and 20 students tested positive.

“Through contact tracing, we determined that the students who had contracted the virus had been socializing in cars, in friends’ rooms or apartments, at parties or in bars without wearing a mask,” he said.

The results of routine COVID-19 testing came in Tuesday and showed that an additional 34 students had tested positive, Arcelus said.

College spokesperson Tiffany Thiele told The Day of New London that while some students have reported mild COVID-19 symptoms, there have been no hospitalizations.

There are more than 1,800 students enrolled this fall at the New London-based private college.

Germany ICU coronavirus patients double in two weeks — 9:34 a.m.By The Associated Press

The head of Germany’s disease control agency says the vaccination rate needs to increase to avoid another wave of the coronavirus, warning “the pandemic is not over yet.”

Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute says Germany could experience another wave in cases in the fall, with the potential of overwhelming the country’s health system.On Wednesday, the institute reported 13,565 confirmed cases.

While infection rates have been stagnant in recent days, the number of hospitalizations has increased in Germany.The number of patients in intensive care has almost doubled to more than 1,300 in the last two weeks, Wieler says.

Most hospital patients are younger than early in the pandemic and the majority aren’t vaccinated.Wieler says everyone who doesn’t get vaccinated likely will contract the virus at some point in the pandemic.

More than 61% of the population are fully vaccinated in Germany.That’s less than in several other European countries.

There’s been more than 4 million confirmed cases and 92,448 confirmed deaths in Germany since the start of the pandemic.

Some elective surgeries postponed due to Delta variant — 9:32 a.m.By The Associated Press

The parent company of Maine Medical Center is postponing some elective surgical procedures because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Maine Medical Center reduced surgeries by 30% last week, and all hospitals in the MaineHealth network are reducing surgeries that require a hospital admission after surgery, said Dr.Joan Boomsma, chief medical officer.

Maine is hard-hit by the delta variant of the coronavirus.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 161 new cases per day on Aug.

23 to 316 new cases per day on Sept.6.

Boomsma told the Portland Press Herald that the tightening hospital capacity for non-COVID patients is similar to what Maine Med experienced at the previous peak of the pandemic in mid-January.

MaineHealth is the parent company of eight hospitals including Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick.

Silicon Valley finds remote work is easier to begin than end — 4:37 a.m.By The Associated Press

Technology companies that led the charge into remote work as the pandemic unfurled are confronting a new challenge as the crisis winds down: how, when, and even whether they should bring long-isolated employees back to offices that have been designed for teamwork.

“I thought this period of remote work would be the most challenging year-and-half of my career, but it’s not,” said Brent Hyder, the chief people officer for business software maker Salesforce and its roughly 65,000 employees worldwide.

“Getting everything started back up the way it needs to be is proving to be even more difficult.”

Read more Bulgaria, EU’s least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge — 4:35 a.m.By The Associated Press

Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria’s northern town of Veliko Tarnovo, the vaccination unit’s chief nurse voices a sad reality about her fellow citizens: “They don’t believe in vaccines.”

Bulgaria has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the 27-nation European Union and is facing a new, rapid surge of infections due to the more infectious Delta variant.Despite that, people in this Balkan nation are the most hesitant in the bloc to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Read more 3 more Vermont inmates, 2 staff tested positive for COVID-19 — 2:08 a.m.By The Associated Press

Three more inmates and two more staff members at Vermont prisons have tested postive for COVID-19, bring the total to 15 cases among inmates and three among staff at four of the state’s six correctional facilities, the Department of Corrections said.

One incarcerated person at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport and two at Northwest State Correctional Facility in St.Albans were found to be infected, the department said Tuesday.

The two positive cases in staff were at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

The Newport prison now has a total 13 inmates with COVID-19, officials said.Twenty other inmates and seven staff who were previously infected have been medically cleared, the department said.

The Newport and St.Albans correcctional facilities are in full lockdown.More testing was underway.

Sept.

7, 2021

The pandemic has set back the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria — 9:22 p.m.By The New York Times

The coronavirus pandemic has severely set back the fight against other global scourges like HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, according to a sobering new report released Tuesday.

Before the pandemic, the world had been making strides against these illnesses.Overall, deaths from those diseases have dropped by about half since 2004.

Read more After 2 teachers die, a small Texas town rethinks masks — 9:20 p.m.By The Washington Post

When classes began a couple of weeks ago, before the first and then the second teacher at Connally Junior High School died of COVID-19, only a scattering of students wore masks.

On Tuesday morning, every face emerging from the line of yellow school buses was covered.

Masks are now mandatory for students and staff in the Connally Independent School District, on the outskirts of Waco.The decision, made late last week, followed the two teacher deaths and a surge of cases in the community.

Read more 13 Miami-area school staffers have died of COVID-19 this school year — 9:17 p.m.By The Washington Post

Miami-Dade County Public Schools are reporting at least 13 employee deaths from COVID-19 since mid-August, a tally that forecasts what could be a grim autumn for Florida educators.

Spokeswoman Jaquelyn Calzadilla told The Washington Post in an email that the district is aware of 13 deaths of employees since Aug.16 but that the figure is based on what families report.

“When relatives of employees apply for death benefits, they are not asked to disclose cause of death, so we only know about employee covid deaths anecdotally,” Calzadilla said.

Read more Vermont state troopers accused in fake vaccine card scheme resign — 8:42 p.m.By The Associated Press

Three Vermont state troopers who are accused of being involved in a scheme to create fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards have resigned, state police said Tuesday.

Troopers Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski resigned Aug.10, a day after a fellow trooper told supervisors about the alleged scheme.Trooper David Pfindel resigned Sept.3 following further investigation, according to a state police news release.

Read more Poll shows most Boston residents support vaccine mandates in workplace, mirroring national trend — 7:59 p.m.

By Emma Platoff and Tonya Alanez, Globe Staff

Vaccine mandates among employers and mask mandates in schools are widely popular in Boston, a new poll shows, a promising sign of consensus at a time when COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine rules remain highly divisive issues in other parts of the country.

A new Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll found 72 percent of likely voters in Boston believed employers should require workers to be vaccinated, and 87 percent supported a state requirement that K-12 public school students and staff wear masks inside educational facilities until at least early October.

Read more ‘This is tearing families apart.’ Disagreements about the vaccine are becoming personal — 7:51 p.m.Beth Teitell, Globe Staff

With the Delta variant continuing its deadly march, the headlines are full of controversy over vaccines and masks.

But alongside the enmity aimed at unvaccinated strangers, a more intimate fury is boiling.

”This is tearing families apart,” said the Rev.Miniard Culpepper, senior pastor at Dorchester’s Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

Tensions are flaring wherever you look, because for many, the strife is getting personal.

Read more Dartmouth College adds new restrictions ahead of start to fall term — 6:23 p.m.By The Associated Press

All Dartmouth College students will be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week and masks must be worn in all indoor locations, according to new restrictions announced ahead of next week’s start to the fall term.

Vaccinated students will be tested weekly, while unvaccinated students will be tested twice each week, officials said in an email Friday.Officials also plan to use a campus tennis center for isolation housing if there is a significant outbreak.

“We must remain vigilant and allow for flexibility to quickly address any emerging public health needs, in order to protect the community, particularly children under 12, for whom the vaccine is not yet available,” said Interim Provost David Kotz and Executive Vice President Rick Mills.

Dartmouth has created a contingency plan to use the Boss Tennis Center for isolation housing in case of a significant outbreak of the virus on campus.

Since Saturday, campus buildings have been open only to enrolled students and employees.Masks are not required in private, non-shared space, such as a dorm room or an office, or alone in a laboratory.Students who share dorm rooms can remove their masks if none of the roommates have symptoms.

North Carolina has 170 clusters in schools, child-care centers — 6:14 p.m.

By The Associated Press

North Carolina health officials on Tuesday released a report showing 170 ongoing COVID-19 clusters in K-12 schools or child care settings.

While the state Department of Health and Human Services said it does not have data on the number of pupils quarantined statewide or the share of those forced to miss school without a remote learning option, districts without mask-wearing requirements are seeing substantially more spread of the virus and hours of lost learning among students.

Union County Public Schools, which voted down a proposal last month to require mask wearing in the state’s sixth-largest public school district, reported about one in 8 of the more than 41,000 students in the district were under quarantine, as of Friday.The more than 5,200 students were placed under quarantine after 337 pupils tested positive for the virus last week.

Meanwhile, the Wake County Public School System, where masks are mandatory and which is four times larger than Union County Public Schools, has less than a fourth the number of students quarantined.Data from the Wake County district shows less than 1,300 of its more than 161,000 pupils were quarantined last week.

In Durham County, where face coverings are also mandatory, the public school district with nearly 31,000 pupils learning in person reported 97 new cases among students last week.

The weekly report state health officials updated on Tuesday shows the Union Academy Charter School in Monroe has the worst cluster in North Carolina, with 111 positive cases, including 98 among children.This amounts to about one in 20 of the charter school’s students being infected.Charter Day School in Brunswick County has the next highest cluster of 81 infected children, followed distantly by Emereau Charter School in Bladen County with 31 infections among students.

US surpasses 40 million known COVID-19 cases — 6:12 p.m.By The New York Times

More than 40 million cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

The total number of known infections, more than the population of California, the nation’s most populous state, is a testament to the spread of the coronavirus, especially lately the highly contagious delta variant, and the United States’ patchwork efforts to rein it in.

Vaccines are effective in preventing severe disease and death, but 47% of Americans are not fully vaccinated, allowing the delta variant more than enough opportunity to inflict suffering and disrupt daily life.Health officials say that most of the patients who are being hospitalized and dying are not vaccinated, and that it is those unvaccinated people who are driving the current surge and burdening the health care system.

Read more Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta tests positive for COVID — 5:44 p.m.

By Andrew Mahoney, Globe Staff

Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora said ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

Pivetta was added to the COVID list prior to Sunday’s start after being deemed a close contact.Pivetta had been vaccinated.

Cora also told reporters that infielder Christian Arroyo may be out longer because his symptoms have been more severe.

Arroyo was placed on the COVID list on Aug.28 when he was deemed a close contact of Kiké Hernández, then tested positive the next day.

Read more Mass.reports 162 total breakthrough COVID-19 deaths, or 0.004 percent of all fully vaccinated people — 5:31 p.m.By Amanda Kaufman and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

In Massachusetts, 162 people who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have died from the disease, the Department of Public Health reported Tuesday, representing a tiny fraction of all vaccinated people and underscoring the protection the vaccines provide against severe illness and death.

The deaths accounted for 0.004 percent of the 4,531,700 people in Massachusetts who were fully vaccinated, the department said in its weekly update on breakthrough COVID-19 metrics, which included data reported through Tuesday.

The number marks an increase of 18 deaths from last week, when the state reported that 144 fully vaccinated people had died as a result of the virus as of Aug.28.

Read more Harvard Art Museums to require proof of vaccination — 5:26 p.m.By Malcolm Gay, Globe Staff

The Harvard Art Museums will require all visitors to provide either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain admission, the museums announced Tuesday.

The new policy, which goes into effect Sept.28, is similar to requirements already in place at Harvard University and a variety of area performing arts organizations , many of which have recently beefed up their public health protocols amid rising infection rates.

But while some museums nationally have instituted vaccination requirements, Tuesday’s announcement positions the Harvard museums as a rarity in Greater Boston, where most major museums simply require patrons wear masks (though some, such as the Museum of Science, have mandated staff and volunteers be vaccinated).

Read more Animals at Illinois zoo to get COVID-19 vaccines — 4:44 p.m.By The Associated Press

Animals at Brookfield Zoo in suburban Chicago are getting their own COVID-19 vaccinations.

Primates, small carnivores, big cats and bears will be among the first to get shots.

Dr.

Mike Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine at the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo, says it is known that a variety of species can transmit and be sickened by coronaviruses.

Adkesson says “vaccinating animals is not only important for their own health, but healthy animals help keep humans healthy, too.”

Similar vaccination programs have started at zoos in Detroit and elsewhere.Like humans, the animals get two doses about three weeks apart.

The Zoetis-made vaccine has been authorized by the federal government and Illinois officials.

Biden to give $600 relief payments to meatpacking, farm workers — 3:28 p.m.

By Bloomberg

The Biden Administration plans to distribute one-time $600 pandemic relief payments to U.S.meatpacking and farm workers, expanding an agriculture aid program that so far mostly has benefited farm owners to also include a low-income, largely immigrant food-chain workforce that’s been hit hard by Covid infections.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the aid Tuesday amid a new wave of Covid cases related to the Delta variant and as President Joe Biden seeks to unite the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic to pass his $4 trillion economic agenda.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package passed in March provides the U.S.

Department of Agriculture flexibility to use some of the aid to assist food-production workers.Progressives, labor unions and farm-worker advocates have been urging the administration to make use of the authority.

Meatpacking plants were an early epicenter of the pandemic and there were large outbreaks among migrant farm workers, who often live and work in crowded conditions.

“This is a reflection of the essential nature of the work they performed in the pandemic,” Vilsack said in a conference call with reporters.

COVID-19 breakthrough data in Mass.suggest vulnerable groups should be extra cautious, expert says — 3:04 p.m.By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

A substantial portion of the people who have suffered breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Massachusetts have been elderly or had underlying conditions, according to state data.

To one infectious disease expert, the message is clear: keep your guard up if you’re in one of those groups.

“Everyone should be careful, but, in particular, very vulnerable members of our population – they need to be super-cautious right now until this current wave dies down,” said Dr.

David Hamer, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center and professor at Boston University.

Read more French doctors demand protection from death threats at work — 3:00 p.m.By The Associated Press

French doctors and scientists on Tuesday called on authorities to take action against the insults and threats— including death threats — that they have frequently received during the coronavirus pandemic.

The doctors said they fear that someone from the world of conspiracy theories will take action, not just against them but against other medical professionals, and condemned the silence of authorities.

Read more Seahawks, Sounders, Kraken to require proof of vaccination — 2:55 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Fans attending most pro sporting events in Seattle will soon be required to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they’ve tested negative for the virus.

The NFL’s Seahawks, MLS’s Sounders, NHL’s Kraken, MLB’s Mariners, the University of Washington and Washington State University all announced updated policies Tuesday for fans attending games this season.

The Seahawks will be the first to implement the requirements, starting with their Sept.19 home opener against Tennessee.Fans will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of the event to be granted entry.

“The health and safety of our guests, players and staff is always our top priority and we remain committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe,” Seahawks President Chuck Arnold said in a statement.

“These measures will allow us to continue with plans to host a full stadium of fans, while still providing a safe and fun experience for our guests.”

Washington will begin an identical verification process for fans with its Sept.25 home game against California.The Sounders will begin with their Oct.3 match against Colorado.Washington State said its verification process will begin in October.

Arizona says employee vaccine order is illegal — 2:08 p.m.By The Associated Press

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says Tucson’s vaccine mandate for city employees is illegal.

Brnovich’s decision Tuesday gives Tucson 30 days to repeal the mandate or lose millions of dollars in state funding.

Brnovich cites a state law approved this summer banning local governments from mandating vaccines for their employees, which doesn’t take effect until later this month.

He also cites an August executive order signed by Gov.Doug Ducey.

A Pima County judge last month rejected a Tucson police union’s challenge of the vaccine mandate.

A spokesman for Tucson Mayor Regina Romero did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Women said the COVID vaccine affected their periods.Now more than $1.6 million will go into researching it — 1:45 p.m.By The Washington Post

Shana Clauson was in line to get her first dose of the Moderna shot in March when she saw menstruators on social media discussing how their periods had been altered – earlier, heavier and more painful than usual – after they got their coronavirus vaccinations.

Read more South America’s least-vaccinated country gets first Covax shots — 12:50 p.m.

By Bloomberg

Venezuela received the first shipment of vaccines against Covid-19 purchased through the World Health Organization-sponsored Covax program after months of delays and payment issues hindered the country’s inoculation plan.

The shipment of 693,600 Sinovac Biotech Ltd.shots arrived early Tuesday, the Pan American Health Organization said in statement on its website.The country is due to receive a total of 12 million doses through Covax, PAHO said.The first shipment was expected to arrive by the end of July but was delayed for reasons not publicly disclosed.In June, some government payments to Covax were temporarily blocked by banks, the government said at the time.

The secretary of the National Medicine Academy, Huniades Urbina, confirmed the shipment had arrived in an interview with Union Radio Tuesday.

Venezuela’s vice president’s office, which manages Covid-19 response, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.And President Nicolas Maduro’s administration hasn’t publicized the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines.

Venezuela has the lowest vaccination rate in South America, according to PAHO data.A recent survey carried by academic experts showed that less than 12% of the population had been fully immunized.

R.I.will give unvaccinated workers 75 days — unpaid — to get COVID-19 shots after Oct.1 deadline — 12:07 p.m.

By Brian Amaral, Globe Staff

Workers at the state-run hospital system and nursing home will be placed on leave without pay for 75 days if they’re not vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct.1.If they still refuse to get vaccinated during that time, they will be subject to progressive discipline, up to termination, according to policies unveiled Tuesday.

Read more US reaches 75% of adults with at least one vaccine dose — 12:04 p.m.By Bloomberg

Three-quarters of U.S.adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, according to a White House official, setting a new milestone in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

Data to be reported later in the day by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reflect the new threshold, the official said.The U.S.

hit 70% of adults with at least one dose in early August, four weeks after President Joe Biden’s July 4th target for the achievement.

Read more Florida doctor says she won’t treat unvaccinated patients in person — 11:26 a.m.By The Washington Post

As Florida’s summer coronavirus surge takes the state into the fall with one of the nation’s highest rates of infections and hospitalizations, a physician in South Miami has told patients that she can no longer see them in person for their regular care if they are unvaccinated.

Read more Brown University launches initiative to study ‘long COVID’ — 11:21 a.m.By Brian Amaral, Globe Staff

The Brown University School of Public Health is launching an initiative to study ‘long COVID.’

Millions of people in the world continue to live with complications from COVID-19, Brown researchers say.People can continue to have at least one symptom weeks or months after they’re infected, disrupting their everyday lives.

But it’s still not widely understood, Brown said Tuesday in announcing the new initiative.

Read more J&J shot study shows COVID infections halved in health workers — 11:10 a.m.By Bloomberg

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine cuts the risk of getting infected with the disease by about half, according to the latest results of a trial involving almost half a million health workers in South Africa.

The vast majority of the breakthrough infections were mild, Glenda Gray, co-leader of the study known as Sisonke, said in an interview, citing unpublished data from the trial, which had earlier shown the shot’s effectiveness against severe illness.

Read more Legislators call on McKee to back off Oct.1 vaccine mandate for health workers — 11:04 a.m.By Edward Fitzpatrick, Globe Staff

State representatives on Tuesday called for Governor Daniel J.

McKee to back off a mandate that says health care workers at state-licensed facilities must get COVID-19 vaccines by Oct.1 or they won’t be allowed to report to work.

The 33 legislators are asking McKee to direct the state Department of Health to “develop appropriate guidelines for those individuals to retain their employment while maintaining the public health.”

Read more Idaho enacts crisis hospital care standards amid COVID surge — 11:00 a.m.By The Associated Press

Idaho public health leaders activated “crisis standards of care” for the state’s northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare quietly enacted the move Monday and publicly announced it in a statement Tuesday morning — warning residents that they may get the care they would normally expect if they need to be hospitalized.

Read more Indonesia’s positivity rate drops to record low — 10:30 a.m.By Bloomberg

The portion of tests that turn out positive in Indonesia has fallen to a record low, paving the way for the gradual lifting of movement restrictions.

The positivity rate, an indicator of the prevalence of infection in a community, fell to 4.43% on Monday — the first time in the pandemic that the nation has met the World Health Organization’s recommendation of below 5%.

Indonesia has begun easing curbs for places including restaurants, shopping malls and tourist sites.

Sweden to lift crowd restrictions after ‘successful vaccination campaign’ — 10:26 a.m.By Bloomberg

Sweden plans to remove the cap on Sept.29 on the number of people that are allowed to gather for public and private events, said Social Minister Lena Hallengren, citing the country’s successful vaccination campaign.The recommendation to work from home will be lifted as well.The government meanwhile is exploring how vaccination passes could be used at large events in case a cap needs to be re-introduced.

Philippines backtracks on easing restrictions — 10:24 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Philippine authorities have deferred easing restrictions on public movement in the capital region, keeping the current curbs potentially through Sept.15, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Metro Manila, an area that accounts for about a third of the Philippine economy, will remain under the second-toughest restrictions on movement.Restaurants are limited to take-away and delivery business, and beauty salons and spas are shut.

Dartmouth adds new restrictions ahead of start to fall term — 10:04 a.m.By The Associated Press

All Dartmouth College students will be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week and masks must be worn in all indoor locations, according to new restrictions announced ahead of next week’s start to the fall term.

Vaccinated students will be tested weekly, while unvaccinated students will be tested twice each week, officials said in an email Friday.

Officials also plan to use a campus tennis center for isolation housing if there is a significant outbreak.

“We must remain vigilant and allow for flexibility to quickly address any emerging public health needs, in order to protect the community, particularly children under 12, for whom the vaccine is not yet available,” said Interim Provost David Kotz and Executive Vice President Rick Mills.

Dartmouth has created a contingency plan to use the Boss Tennis Center for isolation housing in case of a significant outbreak of the virus on campus.

Since Saturday, campus buildings have been open only to enrolled students and employees.Masks are not required in private, non-shared space, such as a dorm room or an office, or alone in a laboratory.Students who share dorm rooms can remove their masks if none of the roommates have symptoms.

Classes start Sept.13.

Some Vermont school officials ask for mask mandate to fight COVID — 8:41 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Some Vermont school officials are calling on Gov.Phil Scott to require masks in schools and indoors in parts of the state where there is substantial or high rates of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

At least two school superintendents and others are planning an event Tuesday to highlight their concerns that the state isn’t doing enough to combat the spread of the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

They are the latest in a growing group of officials to call on the state to do more to fight COVID-19.

Currently, the Vermont Agency of Education is recommending that schools require masks for the first 10 days of school.The requirement could be lifted once a school reaches 80% of its population being vaccinated.

Children under age 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated.

Zimbabwe says state employees must get COVID vaccine or resign — 8:23 a.m.By The Washington Post

Zimbabwe’s government ordered state employees who are unwilling to be vaccinated to resign to reduce the risk of them spreading the virus to others.

“If you are now working for us, we are now saying get vaccinated,” Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said in an interview Tuesday with privately owned radio station ZiFM Stereo.

“You can enjoy your rights in the streets or at your home, we are not forcing you to be vaccinated,” Ziyambi said.

“But if you are a government employee, for the protection of others and the people you are serving, get vaccinated.But if you want to enjoy your rights which are in the constitution, you can resign.”

While the government is encouraging the nation’s teachers to be vaccinated, “there will come a time when we don’t want any teacher who is not vaccinated,” the minister said.

Zimbabwe has 125,671 confirmed coronavirus cases and has recorded 4,493 deaths from the disease, according to Health Ministry data.

Ohio judge reverses colleague’s decision on COVID patient’s ivermectin treatment: ‘Judges are not doctors’ — 8:20 a.m.By The Washington Post

Last month, an Ohio judge ordered a hospital to treat covid patient Jeffrey Smith with ivermectin after his wife sued, alleging that the facility refused to give her husband the drug, despite him having a doctor’s prescription.

Since mid-July, Smith has been under care in West Chester Hospital’s intensive care unit, battling a severe case of the coronavirus, according to court records.Ivermectin – a deworming drug that some people are using to prevent or treat covid-19, despite several public health agencies advising against it – was Smith’s last shot at survival, his wife and guardian, Julie Smith, argued.

But on Monday, after Smith’s wife and the doctor who prescribed him the ivermectin failed to provide “convincing evidence” at a court hearing to show that the drug could significantly improve his condition, a different judge reversed course.Butler County Judge Michael A.Oster Jr.

ordered the hospital to cease administering Smith, 51, the unproven treatment, arguing that “judges are not doctors or nurses.”

Inside the Wuhan lab: French engineering, deadly viruses, and a big mystery — 6:16 a.m.By The Washington Post

One chilly morning in February 2017, a tall Chinese scientist in his 50s named Yuan Zhiming showed Bernard Cazeneuve, then the French prime minister, around Wuhan’s new high-security pathogen lab.

Built with French engineering, it was China’s first P4 lab, one of several dozen in the world with that highest security designation.Yuan, the director of the lab, had worked more than a decade to make it a reality.

Yuan and his colleagues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) hoped they could help prevent another catastrophe like the SARS outbreak in 2003, which embarrassed Beijing and resulted in the dismissal of the health minister.

But just a couple of years after the P4 lab’s ribbon-cutting, China was engulfed in a far deadlier outbreak.Yuan’s team hadn’t prevented it.And worse, some suspected they might have been involved in its genesis.

Read more Merkel says vaccinated aren’t ‘guinea pigs’ — 4:34 a.m.By The Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has publicly rebuked a top rival politician’s comments describing people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as “guinea pigs.”

The long-serving leader said Tuesday in a speech before Parliament that “none of us was and is any way a guinea pig when it comes to vaccination.”

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose center-left Social Democrats Party currently leads polls ahead of Germany’s Sept.

26 elections, recently said that fully vaccinated people have been “the guinea pigs for those who so far have held off.” He added that he was vaccinated and others should follow.

Merkel, however, did not appear to agree with her deputy’s messaging in her Tuesday speech.

The chancellor said that “neither Olaf Scholz nor me, and no one else” was a “guinea pig” in taking the fully tested and approved vaccines in Germany.

Merkel’s center-right bloc is struggling in polls ahead of nationwide elections.

Trudeau, facing ‘anti-vaxxer mobs’ on election trail, is met with flying gravel at campaign stop — 12:39 a.m.By The Washington Post

Hours after he vowed that he “won’t back down” in the face of the “anti-vaxxer mobs,” protesters — many of them opposed to coronavirus vaccinations and public health measures — threw gravel at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a campaign stop on Monday evening.

The incident occurred while Trudeau was boarding his campaign bus after an event at a brewery in London, Ontario, a city some 120 miles southwest of Toronto.Videos posted to social media of the episode show protesters throwing gravel in the direction of the prime minister and some of the reporters traveling with him.Trudeau turned toward the direction was coming from and boarded the bus.

Read more Delta and economic disruptions dent confidence among Mass.companies — 12:30 a.m.By Jon Chesto, Globe Staff

What a difference a month makes.

In July, business confidence levels tracked by Associated Industries of Massachusetts reached a three-year high as employers hoped an end to the COVID-19 pandemic was just around the corner.

Then came the Delta variant: COVID case counts shot up again, causing many companies to put off their return-to-office plans and implement new vaccination requirements for workers.

Read more

Sept.7, 2021

The masked professor vs.the unmasked student — 9:39 p.m.

By The New York Times

Matthew Boedy, an associate professor of rhetoric and composition, sent out a raw emotional appeal to his students at the University of North Georgia just before classes began: The COVID-19 Delta variant was rampaging through the state, filling up hospital beds.He would teach class in the equivalent of full body armor — vaccinated and masked.

So he was stunned in late August when more than two-thirds of the first-year students in his writing class did not take the hint and showed up unmasked.

It was impossible to tell who was vaccinated and who was not.“It isn’t a visual hellscape, like hospitals; it’s more of an emotional hellscape,” Boedy said.

Read more Two school districts, and two radically different approaches to managing the pandemic — 9:29 p.m.By The Washington Post

When the school board that oversees this town’s tiny district of about 730 students voted on a safety plan over the summer, there was no discussion of masks.

School administrators had drawn up a plan that did not require them, and one board member who believed they should be mandated did not even raise the question.He was certain it was a nonstarter.

“I’ve got to pick and choose my battles sometimes,” said Braxton White, one of two Democrats on the nine-member board.

In Alexandria, Va., the decision to mandate masks was just as uncontroversial.Superintendent Gregory Hutchings Jr.

said he encountered no resistance when the word went out that children and staff would have to wear them in school buildings.

Read more Titans’ outbreak nears end, but other NFL teams are dealing with COVID — 7:55 p.m.Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak is nearing an end even with two starting offensive linemen still on the reserve list.

Not everyone around the NFL may be as healthy to kick off this season with COVID-19 proving to be an issue hovering over another season.

Other NFL teams may be without starters for their openers.

Miami put its presumed starting left tackle Austin Jackson and backup tight end Adam Shaheen on the COVID-19 reserve list Monday ahead of Sunday’s opener at New England.Carolina starting right guard John Miller also went on the reserve list Monday and will miss the Panthers’ home opener against the Jets.

South African scientists say new COVID variant slows its spread — 5:55 p.m.Bloomberg

South African scientists said a new variant, with a concerning number of mutations, spread at a slower rate last month than in July.

The so-called C.1.2 variant accounted for just 1.5% of all virus samples sequenced in the country in August compared with 2.2% in July, according to the Network for Genomic Surveillance South Africa.

The variant, first identified in South Africa, has been found in a number of countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Portugal, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The slowing of the spread of the variant could indicate that it’s unlikely to become dominant in the manner that previous mutations such as the beta and delta variants have become.

Oregon and Idaho are running out of ICU beds as COVID cases hit records — 3:50 p.m.New York Times

Oregon and Idaho have joined the list of US states that are running out of intensive care unit beds as both confront a significant rise in new coronavirus infections.

Patrick Allen, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, said Saturday that only 50 of the state’s 638 ICU beds were still available.Gov.Brad Little of Idaho, a Republican, said in a statement last week that just four of the state’s nearly 400 beds were still open.

The national Delta-driven surge has filled hospitals in many states.

Only a handful have more than 30% of their overall ICU beds still available, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, and many have less.

ICUs are equipped with specialized equipment and trained staff who can treat critically ill patients.Experts say maintaining existing standards of care for the sickest patients may be difficult or impossible at hospitals with more than 95% ICU occupancy, and throughout the pandemic, hospitals have been forced to improvise solutions when ICU space and staffing have dwindled.

Chile approves Sinovac vaccine for children as young as six — 1:51 p.m.

By Bloomberg

The Chilean government approved Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children six-years-old and higher, as the country advances one of the most advanced vaccination programs in the world.

A panel of experts at Chile’s Institute of Public Health approved the measure with five experts in favor of the use for kids over six, according to its website.Two experts voted to only give approval for children 12 and older while a final expert voted against any approval, saying that there still wasn’t enough available data.

Previously, only Pfizer Inc.had obtained approval in Chile to use its vaccine on people 12 to 17 years old.

Read more Bill Belichick clarifies COVID remarks, saying, ‘We’re better off if everybody is vaccinated’ — 11:53 a.m.By Nicole Yang, Globe Staff

Patriots coach Bill Belichick clarified remarks he made last week about the efficacy of the COVID vaccines.

“My comment relative to the vaccinations or, really, the way I feel is that that’s an individual decision for each person to make,” Belichick said Monday morning.“As a team, we’re better off if everybody is vaccinated.

Read more COVID-19 shots aren’t the only vaccines you need — 9:59 a.m.By The Washington Post

As children grow up, pediatricians routinely remind their parents when vaccinations are due.But there are few regular notices that nudge adults into getting vaccinations — except for annual flu shots and, more recently, public discussions about coronavirus vaccinations and boosters.

Yet, vaccines aren’t just for kids.Adults and older adolescents need them, too.

There are numerous recommended vaccines, including for shingles, pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, and others targeted to specific age or risk groups, such as hepatitis B, meningitis and human papillomavirus.

Read more Brazil suspends use of millions of doses of China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine — 8:24 a.m.By The Washington Post

Brazil’s health regulator suspended the use of just over 12.1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinovac after learning that vials containing the shots were filled at an unauthorized production base.

The suspension is for 90 days as an investigation is carried out, said Anvisa, the regulator, which announced the decision in a statement Saturday.The Butantan Institute, a Sao Paulo biomedical center that has partnered with Sinovac to fill the vaccine for local usage, notified Anvisa about the irregularity the prior day, the agency said.

Read more Singapore vows quick action to slow exponential COVID outbreak — 7:51 a.m.By Bloomberg

Singapore, one of the world’s most vaccinated countries, will take quick action to dampen the likelihood of an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases through stricter testing after new infections nearly doubled in the last week.

“The rate of which the virus is spreading” is worrying, Finance Minister and co-chair of the government’s virus taskforce Lawrence Wong said Monday.

“We have to slow down the transmission rate.We will attempt to do so without going back to another heightened alert,” such as closing restaurants.

Read more South Korea prepares for surge with upcoming holiday — 3:30 a.m.By The Associated Press

South Korea’s daily increase in coronavirus infections has exceeded 1,000 for the 62nd consecutive day as officials are raising concerns about another viral spike during this month’s Chuseok holidays, the Korean version of Thanksgiving.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 940 of the 1,375 new cases reported Monday were from Seoul and the nearby metropolitan region, where a rise in infections have been linked to the reopening of schools and people returning from summer vacations.

While the virus has slowed outside the capital area in recent weeks, KDCA official Kim Ki-nam said transmissions could worsen nationwide during the Chuseok break, which starts on Sept.20, a time when millions usually travel across the country to meet relatives.

Officials are enforcing the country’s strongest social distancing rules short of a lockdown in the greater capital area, where private social gatherings of three or more people are banned after 6 p.m.

unless participants are fully vaccinated.

A slow vaccine rollout has left less than 35% of South Koreans fully vaccinated as of Monday.Kim said the country hopes to accelerate injections over the next few weeks so that 70% of a population of more than 51 million is vaccinated by the end of October.

New Zealand lifts lockdown outside of Auckland — 1:00 a.m.By Bloomberg

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted a nationwide lockdown outside the largest city Auckland but said it is too soon to declare victory over a Delta coronavirus outbreak.

Three weeks after it went into lockdown, the country will move to Alert Level 2 at midnight Tuesday, allowing people to return to work and school, Ardern told a news conference Monday in Wellington.But Auckland, the epicenter of the outbreak, will remain at Level 4 — the highest level of restrictions — for at least one more week, she said.

“We’ve done so well to get this outbreak under control,” Ardern said.

“The job is not done.We’re within sight of elimination but we cannot drop the ball.”

New Zealand appears on track to once again eliminate COVID-19 from the community after the lockdown reduced new case numbers to just 20 a day.If it succeeds, it will be a rare victory over the highly infectious Delta strain of the virus.In neighboring Australia, state governments in New South Wales and Victoria have conceded they no longer expect to eliminate Delta as case numbers continue to grow despite prolonged lockdowns.

Sept.6, 2021

For a second year, Jews mark the High Holy Days in the shadow of COVID-19 — 11:12 p.m.

By The New York Times

The leadership at Central Synagogue in Manhattan had big plans this year for the Jewish High Holy Days: After celebrating via livestream during the pandemic last fall, they rented out Radio City Music Hall for a grand celebration.

But the spread of the Delta variant has upended those plans.Now, they’ll still use the 5,500-seat music hall, but at only 30 percent capacity.And everyone must show proof of vaccination and wear masks.

Read more In Florida, a summer of death and resistance as the coronavirus rampaged — 9:20 p.m.By The Washington Post

As Florida appears to be turning the corner from a coronavirus rampage that fueled record new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, its residents and leaders are surveying the damage left from more than 7,000 deaths reported since July Fourth and the scars inflicted by feuds over masks and vaccines.

New infections were averaging more than 22,000 a day in the last days of August but have fallen to about 19,000.Yet recovery could prove fleeting: Holiday weekends such as Labor Day have acted as a tinderbox for earlier outbreaks, and late summer marks the return of students to college campuses.

Read more COVID deaths surge across a weary America as a once-hopeful summer ends — 8:33 p.m.

By The New York Times

A summer that began with plunging caseloads and real hope that the worst of COVID-19 had passed is ending with soaring death counts, full hospitals and a bitter realization that the coronavirus is going to remain a fact of American life for the foreseeable future.

Vaccination rates are ticking upward, and reports of new infections are starting to fall in some hard-hit Southern states.But Labor Day weekend bears little resemblance to Memorial Day, when the country was averaging fewer than 25,000 cases daily, or to the Fourth of July, when President Joe Biden spoke about nearing independence from the virus.

Instead, with more than 160,000 new cases a day and about 100,000 COVID patients hospitalized nationwide, this holiday feels more like a flashback to 2020.

Read more Thai protesters are back, and angrier, as government fumbles on COVID — 7:15 p.m.

By The New York Times

Thailand, which not long ago was seen as a virus-containing wonder, has become yet another example of how authoritarian hubris and a lack of government accountability have fueled the pandemic.This year, more than 12,000 people in Thailand have died of COVID-19, compared with fewer than 100 last year.The economy has been ravaged, with tourism all but nonexistent and manufacturing slowed.

Anger is spreading, and not only in the streets.Opposition lawmakers in Parliament tried to pass a vote of no confidence in Prayuth, accusing his government of squandering the monthslong head start Thailand had to fight the coronavirus.

That effort failed Saturday, even though some members of the prime minister’s coalition had briefly fanned speculation that they might support his ouster.

Read more Israel to brief US on Pfizer booster shots — 5:58 p.m.By Bloomberg

Israel, the first country to widely roll out booster shots, will brief the U.S.Food and Drug Administration as decides on additional Covid vaccine doses in the U.S., Reuters reported.

Officials with Israel’s Health Ministry will brief U.S.counterparts on Sept.

17, days before President Joe Biden has said he wants to begin a widespread booster campaign.

The briefing will be confined the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech shot used in Israel — and which officials say is likely to be rolled out first in the U.S.as a booster.

Doctors are seeing ‘long COVID’ cases among the few vaccinated people who get COVID-19.

But it’s not clear how common this will be — 5:05 p.m.By Felice J.

Freyer, Globe Staff

Doctors who treat people with long-lasting symptoms from COVID-19 are starting to see some cases of “long COVID” in vaccinated people who suffered from breakthrough infections.

But it’s too soon to tell whether long COVID will be less prevalent among people who took the vaccine but became infected anyway — those uncommon “breakthrough” cases.Some evidence suggests vaccination may lower the risk of developing this syndrome of persistent symptoms even in breakthrough cases.

Read more Boosters will not move ahead until regulators sign off, official says — 4:15 p.m.By New York Times

The Biden administration will only offer COVID-19 booster shots once federal health regulators offer their support, the White House chief of staff said Sunday, reiterating a pledge from administration officials.

“I want to be absolutely clear,” Ron Klain, the chief of staff, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” news program.“No one’s going to get boosters until the FDA says they’re approved, until the CDC advisory committee makes a recommendation.”

The pledge followed a report Friday by The New York Times that top federal health officials had told the White House to scale back the planned booster campaign, arguing that regulators needed more time to collect and review all the necessary data.

Read more Some Americans ignore warnings against using Ivermectin to treat COVID — 3:10 p.m.

By New York Times

Public health warnings against using the anti-parasitic ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, especially in the large doses meant for livestock, appear to have made little progress in stemming its popularity in parts of the United States.

Hospitals and poison control centers across the United States are treating a growing number of patients taking the drug.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that almost 90,000 prescriptions for ivermectin were being written per week in mid-August, up from a pre-pandemic weekly average of 3,600.Veterinary supply store shelves have been emptied of it.

Read more They suffered through COVID, and still don’t want the vaccine — 2:58 p.m.

By Bloomberg

More than 100 million people in the U.S.have likely been infected with Covid, according to one recent estimate.Many of them have become proponents of natural immunity who are among the roughly 126 million Americans who remain unvaccinated, about 38% of the population.

As public health officals urge universal immunization, polling shows more resistance to shots among people with prior infections.The majority report that having had Covid influenced their decision to remain unvaccinated.

Read more Hospitals in crisis in least vaccinated state in US — 1:50 p.m.

By The Associated Press

As patients stream into Mississippi hospitals one after another, doctors and nurses have become all too accustomed to the rampant denial and misinformation about COVID-19 in the nation’s least vaccinated state.

People in denial about the severity of their own illness or the virus itself, with visitors frequently trying to enter hospitals without masks.The painful look of recognition on patients’ faces when they realize they made a mistake not getting vaccinated.

The constant misinformation about the coronavirus that they discuss with medical staff.

Mississippi’s low vaccinated rate, with about 38% of the state’s 3 million people fully inoculated against COVID-19, is driving a surge in cases and hospitalizations that is overwhelming medical workers.The workers are angry and exhausted over both the workload and refusal by residents to embrace the vaccine.

Read more Fauci says COVID boosters likely to start with Pfizer shot only — 1:24 p.m.By Bloomberg

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said U.S.booster shots against Covid-19 are likely to start only with the vaccine by Pfizer Inc.

and BioNTech SE, while the Moderna Inc.shot may be delayed.

“The bottom line is very likely at least part of the plan will be implemented, but ultimately the entire plan will be,” Anthony Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Fauci’s comments may lead to more clarity on the administration’s stance after Biden ran into resistance by medical experts who advise U.S.regulators over what they view as political interference in the review process.

Read more COVID-19 unemployment relief and eviction moratorium to end, affecting millions — 8:44 a.m.By The Associated Press

Mary Taboniar went 15 months without a paycheck, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.A housekeeper at the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort in Honolulu, the single mother of two saw her income completely vanish as the virus devastated the hospitality industry.

For more than a year, Taboniar depended entirely on boosted unemployment benefits and a network of local foodbanks to feed her family.Even this summer as the vaccine rollout took hold and tourists began to travel again, her work was slow to return, peaking at 11 days in August — about half her pre-pandemic workload.

Taboniar is one of millions of Americans for whom Labor Day 2021 represents a perilous crossroads.

Two primary anchors of the government’s COVID protection package are ending or have recently ended.Starting Monday, an estimated 8.9 million people will lose all unemployment benefits.A federal eviction moratorium already has expired.

Read more Coronavirus fears spike, but workers split on vaccine mandates, poll finds — 8:11 a.m.By The Washington Post

The Delta variant’s two-month surge has generated a sharp rise in public fears about contracting the coronavirus, undermined confidence in President Joe Biden’s leadership and renewed divisions over vaccine and mask mandates, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Nearly half of Americans, 47%, rate their risk of getting sick from the coronavirus as moderate or high, up 18 percentage points from late June.This follows a more than tenfold increase in daily infections.Concerns over catching the virus among partially or fully vaccinated adults have risen from 32% to 52%, while concern among unvaccinated adults has grown from 22% to 35% over the same period.

Read more Italy to decide on compulsory vaccine this month, minister says — 7:50 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Italy will decide by the end of September whether COVID-19 vaccines will become mandatory for all people aged 12 and over, according to a minister in Mario Draghi’s coalition.

“If we will not have reached a vaccination level between 80% and 90% we will pass a law to impose the COVID-19 vaccine to all people against it,” Public Administration Minister Renato Brunetta said Sunday in an interview at the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy.“We will decide by the end of the month.”

That target may be ambitious, as about 71.5% of Italians over that age level have currently completed the vaccine cycle, data on the government’s website show.Prime Minister Mario Draghi earlier this week said vaccination will eventually become compulsory, adding that he’s confident that a target to inoculate 80% of the population by the end September would be reached.

Italy is among the leading countries for inoculation rates, but the government’s vaccination push has created political and social tensions, with some parties including Matteo Salvini’s League opposing the introduction of COVID passports.

A green pass proving vaccination or a negative test is now needed to dine indoors at restaurants, to visit museums and cinemas, as well as to board planes and long distance trains.

Boosters to help Israel avoid lockdown, prime minister says — 7:37 a.m.By The Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says the government’s COVID-19 booster vaccination drive will help allow the country to avoid a full lockdown during the coming Jewish holiday season.

Religious and secular Israelis alike mark Jewish new year Rosh Hashana on Monday night.Jews will also mark the fast day of Yom Kippur and the weeklong Sukkot festival over the next few weeks.

The holiday season is marked by traditional family gatherings as well as packed services in synagogues.The government has urged families to avoid large gatherings.And synagogue prayers will be limited to small groups of vaccinated people.

Bennett told his Cabinet on Sunday that unvaccinated children shouldn’t be brought to synagogues.

Last year the holiday season led to a spike in coronavirus infections that resulted in a full lockdown.

4 million cases in Germany since pandemic began — 5:46 a.m.By The Associated Press

The German disease control agency says that more than 4 million people have contracted the coronavirus in the country since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 4,005,641 cases on Sunday.

The actual number of cases is likely much higher as many infections go unnoticed.The institute said 92,346 people have died of COVID-19 in Germany.

Top health officials have urged more citizens to get vaccinated.

More than 61% of the German population, or 50.9 million people, are fully vaccinated, but that’s less than in other European countries.

The daily vaccination rate has been dropping for weeks.

Germany’s disease control agency on Saturday reported 10,835 new COVID-19 cases.That’s up from 10,303 a week ago.

UK could introduce vaccine passports for big venues this month — 5:00 a.m.By Bloomberg

The UK is considering introducing the need for vaccine passports for large venues in September, but has yet to decide whether to roll out jabs to healthy schoolchildren.

The government is “looking at by the end of September” requiring COVID-19 vaccine certification for entry to large venues where infection risk may be higher, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said in an interview with Sky News.

He also said the government hasn’t yet decided on whether to roll out vaccines to healthy 12- to 15-year-olds, but if the move does go ahead, then parental consent would be needed.

On Friday, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said that the benefits of vaccination for healthy children in this age group was “marginally greater” than the potential known harms, though advised the government to ask the UK’s chief medical officers to weigh in on the decision.

Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID — 3:27 a.m.By The Associated Press

Ask for a roast beef sandwich at an Arby’s drive-thru east of Los Angeles and you may be talking to Tori — an artificially intelligent voice assistant that will take your order and send it to the line cooks.

“It doesn’t call sick,” says Amir Siddiqi, whose family installed the AI voice at its Arby’s franchise this year in Ontario, California.“It doesn’t get corona.And the reliability of it is great.”

The pandemic didn’t just threaten Americans’ health when it slammed the US in 2020 — it may also have posed a long-term threat to many of their jobs.

Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines couldn’t easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand.

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