Americans stay cautious of the coronavirus however view it as less of a risk now than at any time since October, in accordance to a brand new survey.
Two-thirds of respondents nonetheless consider that returning to a pre-COVID life represents a reasonable or giant danger, in accordance to the Axios-Ipsos ballot. One-third have been extra skeptical, and younger folks and Republicans the most definitely to be little-concerned by the pandemic.
One in three Americans, 34%, now know somebody who has died from COVID-19, in accordance to the survey.
In Chicago, the lecturers union grudgingly accepted a deal Wednesday that may let the nation’s third-largest college district return to lecture rooms amid the pandemic. The main points included widespread vaccinations for lecturers, metrics to gauge college infections and lodging for lecturers who’ve an individual of their family who’s extra prone to the coronavirus.
“This plan is not what any of us deserve,” union President Jesse Sharkey mentioned. “The agreement does put us in a vastly better position than we were in November, when even after months of struggle, CPS’ “planning” and “preparation” would have been laughable were it not also so dangerous.”
In the headlines:
►A French nun who is Europe’s oldest person has survived COVID-19, simply days earlier than her 117th birthday. Lucile Randon, or Sister Andre, examined optimistic for the coronavirus Jan. 16 in Toulon however did not develop signs, telling native media she “didn’t even realize I had it.” She remoted individually from different residents in her retirement house in Toulon, southern France however is now thought-about absolutely recovered.
►The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 remedy from Eli Lilly that mixes two monoclonal antibody medication, giving medical doctors an alternative choice to assist high-risk sufferers.
►Oregon Gov. Kate Brown mentioned 14 counties, together with the Portland tri-county space, might be transferring to a decrease danger class as COVID-19 circumstances lower within the state – permitting eating places to open for indoor eating and gymnasiums to enhance capability.
►After weeks of vaccine distribution being largely restricted to hospitals, well being techniques and native well being departments, COVID-19 vaccines will roll out Friday at major pharmacies, together with the nation’s two largest chains, CVS and Walgreens.
►Greece’s prime minister says a brand new lockdown within the better Athens area will shut all faculties and most outlets starting Thursday by means of the top of February.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has greater than 27.1 million confirmed coronavirus circumstances and 468,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The world totals: More than 106.8 million circumstances and a couple of.33 million deaths. More than 62 million vaccine doses have been distributed within the U.S. and about 43.2 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: How a lot rent relief will you get? You’re extra probably to get assist when you’re white and reside in rural America.
South Africa’s well being minister says the nation will start administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to its front-line well being employees subsequent week. The employees might be monitored to see what safety the J&J shot offers from COVID-19, notably towards the variant dominant within the nation. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize mentioned Wednesday that South Africa scrapped its plans to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a result of it “does not prevent mild to moderate disease” of the variant dominant in South Africa. In the U.S., Johnson & Johnson has utilized to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its vaccine.
More than two-thirds of the 20,000 Chicago’s unionized educators who forged ballots voted to return to lecture rooms, the union mentioned Wednesday. The union, which had fought for extra security protocols and trainer vaccinations, represents over 25,000 lecturers, paraprofessional and school-related personnel and faculty clinicians.
“We did not get what we wanted or what we deserved,” union President Jesse Sharkey mentioned. “The fact that CPS could not delay reopening a few short weeks to ramp up vaccinations and preparations in schools is a disgrace.”
Pre-Okay and particular education schemes might return as quickly as Thursday beneath the plan. Students in kindergarten by means of fifth grade would return to college March 1 and center schoolers per week later. No return date has been set for prime schoolers. The union and district have been arguing for months over a plan to regularly reopen the roughly 340,000-student district.
Britons will not be allowed to trip overseas till “everybody” within the nation has been vaccinated, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned Wednesday. Shapps mentioned about 13 million of the U.K’s 67 million folks have been vaccinated to this point. Shapps additionally instructed BBC Radio 4’s Today present that “people shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally.” That drew sharp responses from the travel industry.
“Airlines are drowning, but rather than throwing us a life raft, @grantshapps has just thrown a bucket of cold water at us,” the British Airline Pilots’ Association tweeted. “The UK aviation sector cannot survive another summer with hardly any flying.”
California will soon overtake New York as the state with the most coronavirus-related deaths. The most populous state in the nation’s COVID-19 death toll was at 44,494 late Tuesday, closing in on New York’s 44,969 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The news comes as California health officials lift regional stay-at-home orders across the state, even as most counties have a widespread risk of infection and transmission. It also comes as the Golden State struggles with its vaccine plan and contends with a new variant that appears to have originated in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But hope is on the horizon: The numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients have steadily declined since early January. More mass vaccination sites are opening, including Levi’s Stadium near San Francisco on Tuesday, and California has put insurance giant Blue Shield in charge of a more streamlined vaccine rollout.
World Health Organization investigators said Tuesday that they would no longer pursue research into whether the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. Peter Ben Embarek, a food safety and animal diseases expert, said the WHO stood by its previous determination that COVID-19 most likely entered the human population through an intermediate animal. Embarek announced the decision during a press conference to wrap up a visit by an international team of WHO experts to the city where COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019. Embarek said there was not enough evidence to support a hypothesis that the virus escaped from a Chinese biosafety laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The WHO team has spent several weeks on a fact-finding mission in Wuhan. Experts from 10 nations have visited hospitals, research institutes and a wildlife market tied to the outbreak. However, WHO’s field work and other activities in Wuhan have been closely monitored by Chinese officials and security officers, and Beijing has repeatedly resisted called for a completely independent investigation into the origins of the virus.
– Kim Hjelmgaard
The number of known coronavirus variant cases in the U.S. has surged 73% in the last week alone, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The country now reports 944 cases of variants that spread more easily, bypass treatments and immunities, or both. Nowhere has the increase been more noticeable than in Florida, which now has 343 cases of a fast-spreading variant – up from 201 cases reported during Sunday’s Super Bowl, which was hosted in Tampa. Florida now has more than twice as many known variant cases as any other state; California is a distant second.
The vast majority of the country’s known variant cases, and all of Florida’s, are of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the U.K. and has run rampant there. The CDC has said it may become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March. Last month, U.K. researchers said there’s evidence the variant may be more deadly than others, and it’s also considered at least 50% more transmissible than the original strain.
– Mike Stucka
The Biden administration will begin sending coronavirus vaccines directly to community health centers as it boosts distribution and reaches out to underserved communities, the White House announced. At least one center in every state and territory will get vaccines as the program ramps up to include 250 of the more than 1,300 such facilities in the country. The participating centers will receive a combined 1 million doses, starting as soon as next week. In later phases, vaccines will become available to all community health centers. The majority of the patients served by the centers are living at or below the federal poverty line. Most are also minorities, according to the administration.
“This effort … really is about connecting with those hard-to-reach populations across the country,” mentioned Marcella Nunez-Smith, who heads the COVID-19 well being fairness process pressure.
– Maureen Groppe
Contributing: The Associated Press