Fully vaccinated family members can “absolutely” enjoy the vacation together indoors without wearing masks despite rising infection rates across much of the country, Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday.
“Absolutely… that’s what I’m going to do with my family,” Fauci said of CNN’s State of the Union. “And that’s what I think people should do. … Get vaccinated and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays very easily.”
Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, also said booster shots weren’t necessary to be fully immunized – but public health officials continued to monitor the data.
“The vaccines themselves are clearly still very effective, but you want to make sure that the durability of that protection is longer,” Fauci said. “We know that no vaccine lasts forever.”
Fauci urged unvaccinated Americans to get bitten and help prevent a new wave of “dangerous” infections during the holiday season. After weeks of steadily declining, new infections are now on the rise in 38 states. About 60 million eligible Americans have still not been vaccinated, he said.
“This is not only dangerous and makes unvaccinated people vulnerable, but it also spills over to people who are vaccinated,” Fauci said.
Also in the news:
► Mississippi’s state of emergency linked to the coronavirus has expired as Republican Governor Tate Reeves cited an increase in the number of vaccines and a drop in hospitalizations.
► Nearly 6,100 people a day now test positive for COVID-19 in New York State, up 22% from the start of the month.
►A federal judge in Rhode Island could rule this week on a demand by some health workers to block the state’s requirement that people working in the medical profession be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
►Vaccine protections start to wear off around six months, according to the data. The good news is that COVID-19 booster shots are now available to all adults in the United States. Here is what you should know about boosters.
The numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 47.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 771,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 257 million cases and 5.1 million deaths. More than 195.9 million Americans – 59% of the population – are fully immunized, According to the CDC.
What we read: Governments that adopt a testing option instead of mandatory vaccination believe it creates a safe working environment and allows reluctant employees to opt out of the vaccine. But it’s expensive.
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Walt Disney World suspended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a series of restrictive laws last week punishing companies that don’t let workers opt out of vaccine requirements . Disney said more than 90% of Disney World’s “cast members” have been vaccinated. Ignoring the law can be costly: fines of up to $ 50,000 per offense for large businesses and $ 10,000 for small businesses. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney World employed more than 70,000 workers.
“We believe our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we have continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our actors and guests,” Disney said in an email. “We will address legal developments as appropriate.”
Carl Tobias, the Williams Chair in Law at the University of Richmond Law School, told USA TODAY that court challenges to Florida law could take months or more. A federal court has suspended the OSHA emergency standard that could have prevailed over Florida law, and this dispute in the appeals court may not be resolved until 2022 – after which the case could be taken to court. appeal to the United States Supreme Court, Tobias said.
About 4 million federal workers are due to be vaccinated by Monday under the presidential decree to stop the spread of the coronavirus. That includes employees of the Transportation Security Administration who are staffing airports across the country for the Thanksgiving travel rush. But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC “Meet the press” it won’t be a problem; nearly 99% of workers are either fully vaccinated, in the process of doing so, or have requested an exemption. People who have not fulfilled the requirement are not immediately removed from their posts, Buttigieg added.
“From a federal perspective, you know, tomorrow’s deadline is not a cliff,” Buttiegied said. “This is part of a process to keep all federal employees safe.”
As Americans prepare for their second Thanksgiving coronavirus pandemic, the virus is coming to more tables. Cases appear to be increasing in 38 states on a week-to-week basis, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. This number may be somewhat unclear due to the disruption of Veterans Day testing. But hospitals in 36 states are reporting more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, 30 states have admitted more COVID-19 patients in the past week, and 29 states have more patients in intensive care beds. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 2,364 counties, or about three-quarters of them, have high levels of community transmission. Only 92 counties have low levels.
A brighter sign: Last year, the United States reported about 1.2 million cases in the week ending November 20. This year, it’s around 650,000.
– Mike stucka
Tennessee continues to insinuate that masks don’t work and that the task of protecting children from COVID-19 in schools is an individual task, not a community one, according to legal arguments in federal court. Judge Waverly Crenshaw is deciding whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the application of a new provision in state law prohibiting schools from implementing mask warrants except in extremely rare circumstances. This follows three other cases across the state – one in Crenshaw court – regarding the state’s approach to masking in schools.
The state argues that with the advent of vaccines, the increased availability of home testing, and some promising treatment options, parents have the opportunity to find a way to send their children to school – or not – without impact others. Parents of eight disabled children, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, argue that school is not the same as deciding to stay home after a birthday party. Read more.
– Mariah Timms, The Nashville Tennessean
Colorado’s COVID worker shortage is so severe at UCHealth that a medical response team of about 20 nurses, providers, respiratory therapists and Department of Defense administrators will be deployed to Poudre Valley Hospital starting this week. The team will stay for about a month and support hospital staff and patients and alleviate capacity and staffing issues, according to a press release. As of Thursday, UCHealth had 373 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state; 99 were in UCHealth hospitals in northern Colorado, according to the Health System.
“We are very grateful that this team is helping us provide exceptional care in northern Colorado,” said Kevin Unger, general manager of UCHealth in northern Colorado, in the statement. “We anticipate that this additional support and other plans we already have in the works will help make a significant difference.”
– Pat Ferrier, The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Contribution: The Associated Press