• February 8, 2023

CDC updates travel guidance; Michigan case spike

Michigan’s governor blamed it the recent surge in the state in cases Speaking of higher travel rates, lower mask wear rates, and past successes keeping cases in the state low, experts warn that the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases could be a sign of the country’s future.

In early April, Michigan is the worst state in the country in terms of COVID-19 cases per capita. Though rollout of the state vaccine continues, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said officials could consider restrictions if community health is compromised as more patients end up in intensive care units in hospitals.

“Given the steady relaxation of social distancing mandates and the steady increase in mobility … a repetition of the Michigan pattern in many other states is a clear possibility.” warned of a policy briefing from the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Wednesday’s briefing forecast that COVID-19 deaths will remain constant through early May, but warned that it is “very likely” that daily deaths could increase by mid-May as Americans travel more frequently.

This comes as that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published updated Friday Travel Policies for Vaccinated AmericansAdvice to travelers in the United States does not need to be quarantined or tested before or after their travels unless the destination requires it. Still, the agency recommended that travelers continue to observe precautions such as social distancing and masks.

Also in the news:

►Dolly Parton announced on social media that she received her second dose of vaccine on Friday. The country music legend got her first dose on March 2nd after saying she’d been waiting since December. She had previously told USA TODAY that, despite her support in funding the Moderna vaccine, she would not jump over the vaccine line with a $ 1 million donation.

►Italy imposed a three-day strict lockdown over Easter to avoid new cases that could arise from vacation travel. Non-essential stores are closed and police are conducting roadside checks to ensure people stay close to their homes.

►Moderna can put 50% more vaccine in each vial, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The company made 10 dose vials, but the FDA’s decision allows the company to put up to 15 doses in each vial. This allows Moderna to expedite shipping and get more shots in the arms.

►California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances, and other private gatherings beginning April 15, state officials said Friday.

►Colorado no longer requires the wearing of masks in the 31 countries that are on the lowest tier of the state’s COVID-19 dialing system, Governor Jared Polis’s office announced on Friday.

►Nevada health officials said Friday they expect a large first wave of people signing up to get appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations when eligibility expands to everyone aged 16 and over next week. Some have to try more than once, they said.

📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 30.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 554,000 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 130 million cases and 2.8 million deaths. At least 204 million vaccine doses have been distributed and 158 million administered in the United States. according to CDC.

📘 What we read: COVID-19 vaccines can reduce transmission, experts say. This is why vaccinated Americans should still wear masks in public.

USA TODAY is tracking COVID-19 news. Please keep updating this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates in your inbox and Join our Facebook group.

Florida prohibits companies from requesting vaccination records

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on FridayAs of now, companies are prohibited from asking customers to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to receive service.

The Executive Order also prohibits government agencies from issuing these vaccination certificates, arguing that requiring such evidence “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations”.

DeSantis has directed government agencies regulating bars, restaurants, hospitals, and nursing homes to ensure businesses are complying with the regulation. Companies that break the law are not eligible for grants or contracts that are funded with state taxpayers’ money.

Thousands die of COVID-19 in vaccine launch

More than 247,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States since vaccines first became available in mid-December.

Officials had warned that it would take months to get enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity. And with the initial vaccine supply extremely limited and with the virus spreading across the country over the winter, it was a sad reality that some contracted COVID-19 and died before they could be vaccinated.

Charlotte Crawford of Dallas, who was fully vaccinated in January for her job, watched her husband and two adult children contract the virus and die before they could be shot. Her husband, Henry Royce Crawford, 65, had an appointment for a vaccine when he fell sick, but their children could not find appointments.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require two doses, also had deaths in the weeks between the first and second shots if a recipient remained vulnerable and exposed to infection.

Richard Rasmussen, 73, of Las Vegas, received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in early January. Still, he tested positive for the virus 10 days later and died on February 19 before receiving a second dose, his daughter Julie Rasmussen said.

– Associated Press

The governor of Arizona argues with Phoenix over access to the Easter Park

Governor Doug Ducey has called for Phoenix to open public parking facilities for the Easter weekend after Phoenix City Council decided last month to ban barbecues and close parking lots to prevent overcrowding.

In a letter to Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego on Friday, Ducey criticized the city for attempting to restrict park visitors and wrote that the council’s decision was against a statewide enforcement ordinance and the council of US Centers for Control and Prevention of diseases.

Gallego replied to the governor in her own sharply worded letter that the city would continue with its plans and that Ducey had no legal authority to make such demands.

“This crisis made it clear to the whole of Arizona that you put partisan politics before saving lives. It’s no surprise that you expressed your partisan and divisive views instead of really trying to keep our residents safe.” Gallego wrote.

– Nicole Sadek, Republic of Arizona

CDC announces next steps to bring cruise ships back into US waters

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the next phase of their framework for the Conditional Sailing Ordinance on Friday. the guide that will result in cruise ships sailing US waters again.

The first conditional sail order was posted in late October, and the cruise lines have been waiting for further instructions since then. In an announcement late Friday, the CDC announced that the second phase of the contract will include sea trials to practice new COVID-19 operating procedures with volunteers before sailing with paying passengers.

The CDC update, referred to as a “technical guide” in a press release, also includes a requirement to increase the frequency of COVID-19 cruises to daily. However, there was no clarity in the guidance as to when cruise ships could sail again in US waters.

– Morgan Hines, Jayme Deerwester and Julia Thompson, USA TODAY

The FDA approves two rapid coronavirus tests for home screening

Consumers will be able to buy rapid coronavirus rapid tests at chain pharmacies and grocery stores without a prescription shortly after the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized two home tests.

The BinaxNOW coronavirus self-test includes two tests per kit for serial screening. The non-prescription test provides results in 15 minutes and does not require a laboratory. The FDA has also approved the Quidel QuickVue coronavirus test, which gives results in 10 minutes and can also be used without a prescription.

The FDA has approved more than 300 coronavirus tests and technologies in an increasingly crowded field of medical laboratories and technology firms promoting various technologies.

The federal agency has only approved two more home nonprescription tests, but the companies doing these tests are increasing production and the tests are not yet available for purchase. Several more tests allow people to collect nasal or saliva samples at home, but they have to send samples to a laboratory, delaying results by a day or two.

– Ken Alltucker

Contributor: The Associated Press

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