SCOTT HARRIS FRIEDMAN
Workers worry about safety, stress as states ease mask rules
Tate Reeves decided to eliminate mask requirements, limits on seating in restaurants and most other binding restrictions. AdAlabama’s state health officer on Friday advised residents to keep following standard infection-prevention recommendations even though the governor is letting the state’s mask mandate expire next month. AdThe National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association in the U.S., issued a statement Wednesday encouraging shoppers to wear masks. McDonald’s cook Cornejo, 43, said the end of Texas’ mask mandate next week alarms her because several of her co-workers already were lax about keeping their faces covered. Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, said individuals who wear masks still risk infection from unmasked shoppers and diners.
The Latest: New virus clusters hit China's north provinces
British doctors are urging the government to review its policy of delaying 2nd virus vaccine shot for 12 weeks. ___SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico on Saturday reported 859 additional COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths. The state health secretary says 584 people are on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of them requiring intensive therapy. The U.S. leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths. ___MILAN — Italian premier Giuseppe Conte is pledging legal action not only against Pfizer but any pharmaceutical company that doesn’t meet its coronavirus vaccine commitments.
'Like a bathtub filling up': Alabama is slammed by the virus
Ten beds normally used for less severe cases were transformed into intensive care rooms, with extra IV machines brought in. “We’re kind of like a bathtub that’s filling up with water and the drain is blocked,” the hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. William Smith, said last week. The variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver and has no travel history, state health officials said Tuesday. As of last week, 15 Alabama hospitals had intensive care units that were at or above capacity, and the ICUs at six more hospitals were at least 96% full. On Tuesday, 2,804 people were in Alabama hospitals with COVID-19, the highest total since the pandemic began.
The Latest: Washington gov. may announces new restrictions
Washington state and county health officials have warned of a spike in coronavirus cases across the state, and pleaded with the public to take the pandemic more seriously heading into the winter holidays. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care beds reached 362 on Friday, the most since late August. ___KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine has introduced tight weekend restrictions as the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases hit a national record. Health Minister Maxim Stepanov said Saturday that Ukraine registered 12,524 new confirmed cases, about 800 more than the previous day. Overall, Russia has reported 1,903.000 confirmed virus cases and 32,834 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Rise in coronavirus cases brings new concerns in Alabama
Alabama and much of the Deep South are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases as some have stopped heeding warnings of the virus, alarming public health officials and people who have lost loved ones because of COVID-19. Over the past two weeks, Alabama had the second highest number of new cases per capita in the nation. We know if they continue, we will see more hospitalizations and more deaths, Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said. As of Saturday, Alabama had more than 29,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than a quarter of the cases reported in the last two weeks. Kyra Porter, who lost three members of her east Alabama family to COVID-19, has the same fears.
Many forces behind alarming rise in virus cases in 21 states
Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states, as states are rolling back lockdowns. In some cases, more testing has revealed more cases. The analysis found that in 21 states as of Monday, the rolling seven-day average of new cases per capita was higher than the average seven days earlier. ARKANSASArkansas has also seen increases in cases, hospitalizations and the percentage of tests that come back positive. The protests were outdoors, which reduces the likelihood of virus spread, and many participants have worn masks and taken other precautions.
Virus taking hold in rural, old plantation region of Alabama
In this May 27, 2020, photo, health care worker Tonya Wilkes adjusts her mask while working at a Lowndes County coronavirus testing site in Hayneville, Ala. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)HAYNEVILLE, Ala. Sparsely populated Lowndes County, deep in Alabama's old plantation country, has the sad distinction of having both the states highest rate of COVID-19 cases and its worst unemployment rate. Lowndes and nearby poor, mostly black counties in rural Alabama are facing an increase in confirmed infections. I worry about Lowndes County, said Thomas. Dr. Scott Harris, the state health officer, said the state saw its highest number of new cases since the pandemic began in recent days.
White House goal on testing nursing homes unmet
I think its very important to do and I think, frankly, some of the governors were very lax with respect to nursing homes, Trump said. Birx acknowledged Friday that the two-week recommendation was a challenge but said it was needed because of the particular vulnerability of nursing homes. More than 36,000 residents and staff have died from outbreaks at the nations nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to an AP tally. Even with the tests, nursing homes struggle to find people to administer them and carve out enough time to perform them. John Carney announced a plan May 5 for universal testing of all residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, but the testing program is voluntary.