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Tags: Coronavirus | CDC | Facebook | COVID | WHO | FDA

CDC Limits Boosters, Facebook Delays Office Return

CDC Limits Boosters, Facebook Delays Office Return

Thursday, 12 August 2021 03:48 PM

Booster shots that are expected to be approved for people with compromised immune systems aren’t appropriate for other people at this time, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

U.S. hospitals are desperately hunting for medical staff as the Covid-19 wave that’s pushing some systems to their breaking point in the South spills into the rest of the country. San Francisco will require proof of full vaccination for indoor patrons of restaurants, bars and gyms, becoming the first major U.S. city to impose such a stringent mandate.

Facebook Inc. is delaying its return to office plans due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, telling U.S. employees Thursday that they don’t need to return to work in person until January 2022.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 205.1 million; deaths pass 4.3 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 4.56 billion doses administered
  • One of the world’s few delta-free havens eyes reopening
  • Tokyo virus situation is out of control, panel expert says
  • China’s mahjong dens were major driver of infections
  • Understanding the debate over booster shots: QuickTake

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 50,000 New Yorkers have received the $100 gift card the city began offering last month as an incentive to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

“This is clearly a smart, effective way to drive up vaccination rates,” said de Blasio in a statement on Thursday.

De Blasio has so far failed to reach his June goal of vaccinating 5 million New Yorkers.

Facebook Delays Office Return

Facebook Inc. is delaying its return to office plans due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, telling U.S. employees Thursday that they don’t need to return to work in person until January 2022.

“Given the recent health data showing rising Covid cases based on the delta variant, our teams in the US will not be required to go back to the office until January 2022,” Tracy Clayton, a Facebook spokesperson, in a statement.

Facebook had originally said it expected about 50% office capacity in the U.S. by September, with a full return by October.

WHO Sets Next Phase of Covid Origin Probe

The World Health Organization called on governments to “provide all data and access” to help advance investigations into the origin of the virus that causes Covid-19.

The United Nations agency said in a statement it’s creating a scientific adviser group to support recommended further studies outlined in March after a joint report by WHO and China. Afterward, WHO said it couldn’t rule out any hypothesis, including a lab leak.

Secure labs in the two countries that keep stocks of the eradicated smallpox virus, Russia and the U.S., submit every two years to inspections by the WHO, which publishes the inspection reports, according to the statement.

U.S. hospitals are desperately hunting for medical staff as the Covid-19 wave that’s pushing some systems to their breaking point in the South spills into the rest of the country.

More than a dozen states face severe shortages of personnel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show. In Texas and Hawaii, hospitals are building tents for extra space. In Florida, the federal government has deployed hundreds of ventilators to Florida in a rare tapping of the Strategic National Stockpile for that equipment.

The scramble comes as hospitals in hard-hit states say they’re reaching surge capacity, canceling elective procedures again and turning away transfer patients, a jolting warning for parts of the country where cases are just beginning to rise again.

All of Boston’s 18,000 employees will need to show proof of vaccination or take weekly Covid-19 tests as of mid-October, Acting Mayor Kim Janey said Thursday. “Our purpose is to protect our employees and the public,” Janey said.

The mandate will be phased in beginning later this month; as of Oct. 18, all city workers will be required to comply, she said. Janey said she worked with labor leaders on the decision, and that getting more residents vaccinated remains a priority.

Booster shots that are expected to be approved for people with compromised immune systems aren’t appropriate for other people at this time, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

As soon as Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to recommend a third Covid-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people. But no one else should seek to get another shot on their own, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing.

“At this time, only certain immune-compromised individuals may need an additional dose,” Walensky said.

San Francisco will require proof of full vaccination for indoor patrons of restaurants, bars and gyms, becoming the first major U.S. city to impose such a stringent mandate.

The rule also will apply to major indoor spaces such as theaters and entertainment venues, Mayor London Breed’s office said in a statement Thursday.

The move comes as the San Francisco area, which suffered one of the country’s first coronavirus outbreaks last year, is seeing case counts rise again due to the fast-spreading delta variant. New York City imposed a similar order last week, but only required that indoor diners and gym patrons have one vaccine dose.

Chicago health officials said the city’s Lollapalooza concert shows no sign of being a superspreader event for Covid-19 earlier this month even with 203 cases being reported by attendees.

Those infected may have been exposed elsewhere, according to Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s health department commissioner. Anyone diagnosed with Covid on or after attending the concert is included, and may or may not have been infected at the concert, she said. Of those, 58 people were Chicago residents, 138 were other parts of Illinois and seven were from out of state, she said. Lollapolooza, which took place July 29 to Aug. 1, drew an estimated 385,000 people, and approximately 90% or more were vaccinated based on measures taken at the site, Arwady said.

U.S. Positive-Test Rate Eases, CDC Says

The nationwide positive-test rate in the U.S. declined during the week that ended Monday, breaking an upward trend fueled by the delta variant, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Thursday.

The rolling seven-day average of viral lab test positivity fell 0.3% in the report, which didn’t explain the decline. The so-called positivity rate fell nationwide to 9.5%, compared with 10.2% in a similar CDC report issued Wednesday.

Hospital admissions for Covid-19 rose 31.3% on a rolling weekly basis, a slightly increased pace compared to 31.1% for the week that ended Sunday, according to CDC data.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Booster shots that are expected to be approved for people with compromised immune systems aren't appropriate for other people at this time, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.U.S. hospitals are desperately hunting for medical staff as the...
CDC, Facebook, COVID, WHO, FDA
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Thursday, 12 August 2021 03:48 PM
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