More Connecticut State Employees Comply With Vaccine Or Test Mandate; US One Day Vaccination Number Exceeds 1 Million

As fall arrives, academic models are predicting for coronavirus case counts to rise across the US as the virus attacks the unvaccinated, people gather inside in cooler weather, and immunity wanes among those who were vaccinated months ago.

Parents and students rally against student COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in conjunction with a statewide Schools Walkout campaign. © Dean Musgrove Parents and students rally against student COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in conjunction with a statewide Schools Walkout campaign.

Below, we’re gathering the latest news and updates on coronavirus in New England and beyond.

Fox News’ Cavuto tests positive for COVID-19, urges vaccines — 8:15 p.m.

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Associated Press

Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto tested positive for COVID-19, which he said was surprising but made him grateful that he was vaccinated.

Cavuto, who learned of the test results after Monday’s episode of “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” wasn’t on the air Tuesday.

“While I’m somewhat stunned by this news, doctors tell me I’m lucky as well. Had I not been vaccinated, and with all my medical issues, this would be a far more dire situation,” Cavuto said in a statement released by Fox News.

“It’s not, because I did and I’m surviving this because I did. I hope anyone and everyone gets that message loud and clear. Get vaccinated, for yourself and everyone around you,” the journalist said.

Cavuto, who had open-heart surgery in 2016 and was treated for cancer in the 1980s, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997.

21 Chicago police officers on ‘no pay status’ over vaccine — 7:15 p.m.

Associated Press

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday that 21 officers have been placed on “no pay status” for refusing to comply with the city’s order to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Brown said that the refusals have not affected staffing.

Brown, who disclosed that three members of his own family who he described as “anti-vaxxers” have died of complications from the virus in recent weeks, said he is simply trying to protect officers and the public from harm.

“This virus is no different than the gunfire we take as cops...” he said. “It would go against our oath to take this virus into (residents’) homes.”

Though the police department lags behind all other city departments in complying with the city’s requirement to report vaccination status, Brown said that more police department employees had entered their status in recent days. Currently, 67% of the police department’s employees have entered their vaccination status of which 82% are fully vaccinated, Brown said.

Vermont governor urges personal responsibility in preventing COVID spread — 4:47 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Gov. Phil Scott emphasized the personal responsibility of Vermonters to help keep those at greatest risk from COVID-19 out of the hospital at his weekly virus briefing Tuesday.

Getting vaccinated is key and those eligible for a booster shot should get theirs as soon as possible, he said during the news conference. He also urged Vermonters to think about how they can reduce exposure to the elderly by getting tested and avoiding high-risk situations before visiting them. Unvaccinated Vermonters should wear a mask around others or in a populated setting, he said.

“And I want to be very clear: if you’re one of the Vermonters who is never going to get vaccinated, it’s even more important that you do your part, to avoid spreading COVID to someone who is at risk or putting your children in a position where they’re out sick from school,” Scott said. “Because not getting vaccinated, taking no precautions at all, and carelessly exposing an elderly family member, neighbor, customer or patient is selfish and it’s dangerous.”

Vermont COVID-19 cases rose 10% over the last seven days and 39% over the last 14 days, according to Michael Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, who is handling the data.

Supreme Court won’t stop vaccines for Maine health workers — 4:31 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine requirement imposed on Maine health care workers, the latest defeat for opponents of vaccine mandates.

It was the first time the Supreme Court weighed in on a statewide vaccine mandate. It previously rejected challenges of vaccine requirements for New York City teachers and Indiana University staff and students.

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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is fully vaccinated, tests positive for coronavirus — 4:02 p.m.

By The Washington Post

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday morning, the department announced.

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Bulgaria makes virus pass mandatory for indoor venues — 3:02 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Bulgaria is introducing a COVID-19 “Green Certificate” as a mandatory requirement for access to restaurants, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, gyms, clubs and shopping malls as the country faces a surge in coronavirus infections.

Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov explained Tuesday that the new digital or paper health pass certifies that its holder has been vaccinated, has recently recovered from COVID-19 or has tested negative.

“The number of infected is growing, the number of deaths is also increasing, which forces us to take additional measures,” he said, warning that venues which do not follow the rules will be closed.

The Balkan country of 7 million reported 4,979 new COVID-19 cases and 214 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, furthering the rise in new infections since the start of September.

According to official data, Bulgaria has had the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the 27-nation European Union in the past two weeks and 94% of those deaths were unvaccinated people.

Health officials blame public mistrust in vaccines and the government — just one in four adults is fully vaccinated — for the current infection spread. The government is also making the green certificate mandatory for staff at hospitals and nursing homes and university students will need it to be allowed into in-person classes.

CNN anchor John King shares that he has multiple sclerosis, emphasizes importance of vaccines — 1:52 p.m.

By Maria Elena Little Endara, Globe Correspondent

CNN correspondent John King shared with viewers Tuesday that he suffers from multiple sclerosis as he emphasized the importance of COVID vaccinations to protect the immunocompromised.

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CDC: Pfizer COVID-19 shots offers ‘high level of protection’ in preventing hospitalizations among children, teens — 1:50 p.m.

By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

A new study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in preventing hospitalizations among 12- to 18-year-olds, underlining the importance of getting children and teenagers vaccinated.

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Washington State fires football coach Nick Rolovich for refusing to get COVID-19 vaccine — 1:30 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Washington State fired football coach Nick Rolovich and four of his assistants on Monday for refusing a state mandate that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, making him the first major college coach to lose his job over vaccination status.

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Vaccine mixing could provide more flexibility, Pfizer CEO says — 1:30 p.m.

By Bloomberg

Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said that mixing and matching Covid-19 vaccines and boosters could work and provide more flexibility in administering shots.

Preliminary results of a U.S. National Institutes of Health study found that mixing and matching vaccines produces as much or more antibodies as using the same shot as a booster. Bourla said in an interview on Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power with David Westin” that the study was very reliable even though it involved only a modest number of patients.

The Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize vaccine recipients to get a booster shot from a different manufacturer. The agency is still considering how broad such an authorization would be, and it’s not clear when a decision could be announced.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE received FDA clearance for their booster shot last month. The agency is expected to clear boosters from Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson this week after they were backed by a panel of scientific advisers to the FDA. The advisers didn’t make a recommendation on mixing, though some signaled openness to it.

Bourla said an authorization of the Pfizer vaccine in kids age 5 to 11 was likely by the end of the month, based on the FDA’s scheduled advisory panel meeting to review the data on Oct. 26.

If that shot, which is one-third the dose now approved for adults, gets emergency authorization, Bourla said Pfizer would be “able to provide it almost immediately.”

New US travel rules bar foreign COVID survivors with one shot — 12:13 p.m.

By Bloomberg

The new U.S. travel policy will block entry to foreign nationals who have recovered from Covid-19 and then gotten one dose of two-dose vaccines -- a standard that France and the European Commission consider full vaccination.

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COVID-19 and pregnancy: Women regret not getting the vaccine — 11:10 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Sometimes when she’s feeding her infant daughter, Amanda Harrison is overcome with emotion and has to wipe away tears of gratitude. She is lucky to be here, holding her baby.

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China outbreak tied to rule-breaking couple reaches Beijing — 10:33 a.m.

By The Washington Post

China’s latest covid-19 outbreak, centered around a rule-breaking elderly couple enjoying China’s tourist sites, has now spread to the closely guarded capital of Beijing and possibly beyond.

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Australian territory leader slams Ted Cruz for vaccine mandate criticism: ‘You know nothing about us’ — 10:08 a.m.

By The Washington Post

The leader of a remote Australian territory has hit back at remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, criticizing his administration’s vaccine mandates, telling Cruz, “You know nothing about us.”

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Ireland slows reopening plan as COVID cases increase — 9:58 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Ireland’s government moved to further loosen pandemic restrictions, though it will retain more rules than planned amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations.

Bars and restaurants will be allowed to resume normal opening hours, but they will still be limited to table service only and customers will need to show proof of vaccination. Full attendance will be permitted at outdoor events and religious ceremonies, though indoor concerts must be all seated.

Other restrictions -- including social distancing and masks -- are set to remain in place until at least February, while a full return to the office won’t happen until next year.

The government had intended to drop almost all restrictions on Oct. 22, with about 92% of the adult population fully vaccinated. Now, though, Ireland is grappling with a renewed spread of the virus.

“Over the course of the last two weeks, we have seen a worsening of the situation,” Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin told reporters in Dublin. The increase in cases is “a cause of concern” and “a timely reminder of how dangerous this virus remains,” he added.

Ireland reported the most new cases since January on Sunday. Hospitalizations are at the highest level since March, though that’s about a third of the January peak. About two thirds of people in intensive care are unvaccinated, according to the nation’s health service.

The government will also widen its vaccine booster program to people aged 60 or older. Previously, the program only offered extra doses to over 80s and groups especially vulnerable to the virus.

California accounts for 12 percent of US students but only 1 percent of COVID school closures — 9:41 a.m.

By The New York Times

Of the 2,321 nationwide school closures since August because of COVID-19, about 1% have been in California — even though the state accounts for 12% of the nation’s K-12 students, according to data from Burbio, a technology company that monitors outbreaks.

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UK expands vaccine access for children after surge in schools — 9:36 a.m.

By Bloomberg

The U.K. plans to expand access to Covid-19 vaccines for children, the head of the National Health Service said, following a surge in infections in schools.

Amanda Pritchard, head of the NHS in England, told Parliament on Tuesday that children ages 12 to 15 would be able to access vaccination centers through the national booking service. Until now, U.K. children were only eligible to receive vaccinations at school-based facilities.

“We want to do everything possible to expand and ensure we get the jabs in as efficiently and as safely as possible,” Max Blain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, told reporters Tuesday. “There are a number of challenges to vaccinating 12-15 year olds at scale and at pace.”

An estimated 8% of U.K. children in school years covering ages 11 to 16 tested positive for coronavirus in the week ending Oct. 9, according to the most recent government figures. That number is eight times higher than every adult age group and has risen from about 2% in early September before schools restarted.

NHL suspends Evander Kane for violating COVID protocol — 9:34 a.m.

By The New York Times

The National Hockey League announced on Monday that it had suspended the San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games, without pay, for “an established violation” of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, officials said.

The announcement did not explain how Kane had violated the protocols, but several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported that he had presented the league with false evidence of vaccination. The New York Times has not independently verified the claim.

Teams have the right to suspend and dock the salaries of unvaccinated players who are unable to play because of the protocols or local regulations.

Kane’s forfeited pay will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, the league said in a statement, adding that he would not be eligible to play before Nov. 30.

A statement from the San Jose Sharks said the team was “disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place.”

Russia plans new stay-at-home measures as COVID cases surge — 9:32 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Russia moved to impose new restrictions against the spread of Covid-19 as it battles record levels of infections and deaths.

President Vladimir Putin will be asked to declare Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 as non-working days nationwide, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told officials Tuesday in a televised videoconference. Regions with the most serious levels of cases should introduce the restriction from Oct. 23, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said.

“The burden on the healthcare system continues to increase and, in this situation, we need to get ahead of the curve,” Mishustin said, telling Golikova to present the proposals at a government meeting with Putin on Wednesday. “The experience of previous restrictions has shown the effectiveness of these measures.”

The government is turning to Putin after a week in which daily new infections have passed 30,000 for the first time since the crisis erupted last year, with deaths reaching a record high of 1,015 on Tuesday.

Conservative radio host said he constantly hugged strangers to catch COVID — 9:26 a.m.

By The Washington Post

Early in the pandemic, right-wing radio show host Dennis Prager said he did not mind eating with utensils that had fallen on the ground. Now, after the virus has killed more than 700,000 Americans, Prager has revealed that he’s been actively trying to get a coronavirus infection all along.

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Romania reports highest daily COVID-19 cases, deaths on record — 9:20 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Romania reported the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, forcing the country to seek assistance from the World Health Organization in an attempt to limit the burden on already overwhelmed hospitals.

The country is paying the price for having the European Union’s second-lowest vaccination rate, reporting 561 fatalities in the past 24 hours. That brings the toll to more than 42,000. New infections, at almost 19,000 since Monday, also reached a new high.

A crisis expert from the WHO will meet in the coming days with the Romanian authorities to try to find solutions to the escalating situation.

ESPN’s Allison Williams will leave the network after refusing vaccine — 7:49 a.m.

By Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg

ESPN reporter Allison Williams said she was being fired from the sports network after refusing to get a coronavirus shot. Her last day will be next week.

The on-air personality, best known for her college football and basketball coverage, said in a video on her Instagram page that her request for an accommodation to not get the inoculation was denied.

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Latvia to impose nearly monthlong lockdown as COVID spreads — 6:10 a.m.

By The Associated Press

HELSINKI (AP) — Latvia will enter into a nearly monthlong lockdown, including a curfew, on Thursday due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the Baltic country where the vaccination rate is among the lowest in the European Union.

Following an emergency government meeting late Monday, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said that the lockdown from Oct. 21 until Nov. 15 and accompanying drastic measures are needed as the pandemic continues to spread quickly, causing hospital wards to fill up with COVID-19 patients amid scarce health care resources.

Only slightly over half of Latvians are now fully vaccinated, and Karins admitted that his government had failed in sufficiently luring citizens to get jabs.

“There are many people, too many people, who are not vaccinated,” Karins said, as quoted by the Latvian public broadcaster LSM.

So far Latvia, a nation of 1.9 million, has recorded some 190,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 2,900 deaths.

The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia said on Monday that the country’s COVID-19 incidence rate per 100,000 population stands now at 864, currently among the highest in the world.

A nationwide curfew will be imposed between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. as of Thursday. Most stores will be closed and indoor and outdoor gatherings, including entertainment, sports and cultural events won’t be allowed.

UK faces calls for ‘Plan B’ with virus cases high and rising — 5:09 a.m.

By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Many scientists are pressing the British government to re-impose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations as coronavirus infection rates, already Europe’s highest, rise still further.

The U.K. recorded 49,156 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the largest number since mid-July. New infections averaged 43,000 a day over the past week, a 15% increase on the week before.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics estimated that 1 in 60 people in England had the virus, one of the highest levels seen in Britain during the pandemic.

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New Zealand hits virus high, pushes vaccination as way out — 1:31 a.m.

By The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand counted its most new coronavirus cases of the pandemic Tuesday as an outbreak in its largest city grew and officials urged vaccinations as a way out of Auckland’s two-month lockdown.

Health officials found 94 new local infections, eclipsing the 89 that were reported twice during the early days of the pandemic 18 months ago. Most of the new cases were in Auckland, but seven were found in the nearby Waikato district.

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Oct. 18, 2021  

Mass General Brigham employees sue hospital system for denying COVID-19 vaccination exemptions — 11:29 p.m.

By Nick Stoico, Boston Globe

A group of Mass General Brigham employees are suing the health care system for denying theirmedical or religious exemptions for getting a COVID-19 vaccine, arguing that the denials are discriminatory and violate protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed Sunday in US District Court as Mass General Brigham, the state’s largest hospital system, nears its Wednesday deadline for employees to show they have received at least one shot or be placed on unpaid leave.

Employees who have not received at least their first shot by Nov. 5 will be terminated.

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State health officials urge Massachusetts residents to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations — 11:03 p.m.

By Katie Redefer, Boston Globe

State health officials are urging Massachusetts residents to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations to ease the burden on the state’s health care system this fall.

The flu shot is recommended each year for everyone six months and older, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a statement Monday.

“While we cannot predict the severity of this flu season, as in every season, flu vaccination remains the best way for people to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities against flu, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness and people with certain chronic health conditions,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke said in the statement.

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Washington State football coach is fired for refusing vaccine — 9:15 p.m.

Associated Press

Washington State fired football coach Nick Rolovich on Monday for refusing a state mandate that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the university had not made an announcement and no one was yet authorized to speak publicly about the decision.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, had set a deadline of Monday for thousands of state employees, including the Cougars’ coach, to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or risk losing their jobs. Rolovich applied for a religious exemption.

The 42-year-old Rolovich was the highest-paid state employee with an annual salary of more than $3 million in a contract that runs through 2025. He had said he wouldn’t get vaccinated but wouldn’t specify his reasons. He was the only unvaccinated head coach in the Pac-12 and had worn a mask during games.

FDA will allow Americans to receive a different booster vaccine than the one they initially received — 7:15 p.m.

New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to receive a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster than the one they initially received, a move that could reduce the appeal of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and provide flexibility to doctors and other vaccinators.

The government would not recommend one shot over another, and it might note that using the same vaccine as a booster when possible is preferable, people familiar with the agency’s planning said. But vaccine providers could use their discretion to offer a different brand, a freedom that state health officials have been requesting for weeks.

The approach was foreshadowed Friday, when researchers presented the findings of a federally funded “mix and match” study to an expert committee that advises the Food and Drug Administration. The study found that recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot who received a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels rise 76-fold in 15 days, compared with only a fourfold increase after an extra dose of Johnson & Johnson.

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ESPN’s Allison Williams to leave network after refusing vaccine — 6:31 p.m.

By Bloomberg

ESPN reporter Allison Williams said she was being fired from the sports network after refusing to get a coronavirus shot. Her last day will be next week.

The on-air personality, best known for her college football and basketball coverage, said in a video on her Instagram page that her request for an accommodation to not get the inoculation was denied.

“We all want to be good neighbors,” she said. “We all want to end this pandemic, but ultimately an injection that does not stop transmission and spread for me did not weigh in for me morally.”

Nearly a third of Chicago Police have failed to report their vaccine status — 6:27 p.m.

By Bloomberg

About one-third of Chicago Police Department employees have not reported their COVID-19 vaccination status to the city, defying Friday’s deadline to provide the information or risk unpaid leave.

About 64% of the department’s 12,770 employees have reported their vaccine status with about 36% of police staffers not providing the required information, according to data released by city officials on Monday. That’s the lowest reporting rate among the city’s departments. The figures show that 6,894 say they’re fully vaccinated and 1,333 report they are not, according to the data. About 4,500 from the department have not responded as mandated by the city amid a standoff between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7 President John Catanzara Jr.

NHL suspends Evander Kane 21 games for submitting fake COVID-19 vaccination card — 6:00 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

The league on Monday announced the suspension without pay and said Kane will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at New Jersey. Kane will forfeit about $1.68 million of his $7 million salary for this season with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The league also announced that a concurrent investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife, Anna, could not be substantiated.

“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols,” Kane said in a statement. “I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for. During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”

Here is what scientists know about the risk of breakthrough COVID deaths — 5:45 p.m.

By The New York Times

The death of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday from complications of COVID-19 has provided fuel for vaccine skeptics and opponents, who immediately seized on the news that Powell had been vaccinated to stoke doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

But Powell’s immune system had most likely been weakened by multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. Both the disease and the treatment can make people more susceptible to infections.

His age, 84, may also have increased his risk, scientists said.

Powell received his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in February, said Peggy Cifrino, his longtime aide. He had been scheduled for a booster last week but fell ill before he received it, she said.

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‘A very small minority’ of U.S. Olympians has objected to vaccine mandate for Beijing — 2:59 p.m.

By The Washington Post

The USOPC’s top doctor said Monday that some American athletes have complained about the organization’s new requirement that everyone using its facilities or participating in an event, including the Beijing Winter Olympics, must be vaccinated.

“The response is as you would expect: Within our general population, there are some people who are extremely happy that they introduced this policy,” Jonathan Finnoff, the USOPC’s chief medical officer said during the organization’s Olympic Summit. “Then there are others who are upset and would not like to have any mandate regarding vaccinations.”

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Powell’s age and cancer bout left him vulnerable to COVID — 2:23 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Despite getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Colin Powell remained vulnerable to the virus because of his advanced age and history of cancer, highlighting the continued risk to many Americans until more of the population is immunized.

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COVID-19 cases increase seven-fold in Wyoming prison system — 1:50 p.m.

By Bloomberg

COVID-19 has surged seven-fold in Wyoming’s state prison system.

Testing found 148 total cases in the state’s five correctional facilities last week, up from just 19 the prior week, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

That’s the highest since last winter’s surge, the newspaper reports.

Mexico City lowers pandemic alert to lowest level — 1:30 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Mexico’s capital returned to the lowest level on its COVID-19 pandemic warning system Monday for the first time since June.

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US schools begin to lift mask mandates as COVID transmission falls — 1:25 p.m.

By Bloomberg

Some U.S. schools are starting to lift mask mandates as the latest Covid-19 wave fades, and case trends suggest others may soon follow.

At least a half dozen school districts across the country have recently lifted their mandates, the first such swing away from the face coverings, according to Burbio, which tracks the developments and runs a dashboard on schools.

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Vermont uses COVID relief money to help child care providers — 12:20 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The Vermont Department for Children and Families is using federal COVID-19 relief money to help regulated child care providers survive the pandemic.

The Child Care Stabilization Grants will cover unexpected COVID-19 pandemic costs and help child care businesses stabilize operations.

DCF Commissioner Sean Brown said an online application and tutorial will be emailed to all regulated child care providers by Oct. 22. Awards will be distributed monthly beginning next month. If funding allows, they will continue for a year.

“They have cared for and nurtured our youngest residents while supporting our workforce,” Brown said in a statement. “These grants represent an unprecedented opportunity to invest in, support and stabilize this critical sector of our economy.”

Some of the approved expenses include payroll and salaries, employee benefits, rent, personal protective equipment and other supplies.

Chicago chief says unvaccinated cops risk retirement benefits — 12:19 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Chicago’s police chief has put into writing a threat that officers could be fired if they don’t comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, adding that those who choose to retire rather than adhere to the policy might be putting their retirement benefits at risk.

In a memo sent Sunday night, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said that those officers who do choose to retire rather than comply “may be denied retirement credentials,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

As it has done throughout this dispute, the Fraternal Order of Police posted instructions on its website about what officers should do if given a direct order to report on the city portal their vaccination status. This time, it posted a letter that officers can sign and present to their superiors.

“Complying with this INVALID order and the violation of MY Bargaining, Constitutional and Civil Rights has furthermore caused me severe anxiety while challenging both my religious and moral beliefs. I am in fact complying with this because I am being forced to do so under complete duress and threats of termination,” the document on the website reads.

Cam Newton says he’s vaccinated and ready for NFL return — 12:01 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Cam Newton says he has been vaccinated against contracting COVID-19 and is ready to return to the NFL.

The quarterback who was cut by New England just before the season began published a video on his YouTube channel saying it’s time to get back into pro football. He is a free agent.

“Hell yeah, I still want to play football,” Newton said in the video. “I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”

The 2015 NFL MVP was the Patriots’ starter for most of 2020, when they went 7-9 during a pandemic-impacted season. But New England went with first-round draft choice Mac Jones this year and released the 32-year-old Newton.

There were COVID-19 related issues for Newton last season, and he was absent for three preseason practices this summer in what the team termed a misunderstanding about protocols.

Newton was not vaccinated when he was released, but says he now is. He added that “side effects weren’t beneficial to me” for not getting the vaccine, but was not specific about those side effects.

Slovenia PM blames rising infections on virus protesters — 11:39 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Slovenia’s populist prime minister on Monday blamed a rise in COVID-19 infections on protests in early October that erupted into clashes between police and thousands of opponents of vaccination and coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa was responding in parliament to opposition criticism over the use of force by police against the protesters, including tear gas and water cannons. Jansa defended police actions, accusing the demonstrators of attacking the police.

“Forty police officers were injured, and some rioters were slightly injured,” Jansa said of the unrest that erupted on the eve of a major European Union summit in Slovenia in early October. “It is quite clear who was inflicting violence.”

The protesters came out to criticize virus containment measures and the use of COVID-19 passes, which must be used to go to work in all state-run firms. People must show that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus or must provide a recent negative PCR test.

About 25 protesters were detained and several were injured or hospitalized — mostly for inhaling tear gas. An AP video journalist was sprayed by a water cannon and hit in the head with an unknown object during the police intervention.

Jansa rejected a possibility of spiraling violence in Slovenia as the result of police action against the protesters, saying instead that the nation faces spiraling infections.

Slovenia on Monday reported 364 new confirmed cases, almost double compared to a week ago, STA said. The country of 2 million people has vaccinated about half of the population. Nearly 5,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

NH Senator Hassan asks Biden administration to send COVID-19 test supplies to areas with most need — 11:21 a.m.

By The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said she’s hearing from New Hampshire residents who have been unable to access timely COVID-19 testing, so she’s encouraging the Biden administration to ensure that testing supplies are going to areas with the highest need.

“I heard from a New Hampshire family whose daughter had symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 — and they did not get test results back for nearly two weeks, so she had to stay home that entire time,” Hassan wrote in a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“Another parent shared with me that they visited six different pharmacies in search of an at-home COVID-19 antigen test. Sadly, these individuals’ stories are far too common,” she wrote.

Hassan has asked for a response by Nov. 12 with information on how the administration plans to collect data on shortage areas, and how it will use the data to inform manufacturing and distribution to ensure that testing supply meets demand.

She supported the Biden administration’s Oct. 6 announcement of a $1 billion investment to increase the availability of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests and encouraged it to “build upon this investment to make sure that the tests are available where they are needed most.”

Belarus suspends routine medical care to focus on COVID-19 — 11:17 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Belarus on Monday ordered a halt to routine medical care at state clinics in order to devote more resources to coronavirus patients.

The Health Ministry said the suspended services include medical examinations and screenings, physiotherapy and dentistry.

Belarus has been hit by a rising wave of coronavirus infections, with around 2,000 new cases reported daily in the country of 9.3 million.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has often brushed off concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, once saying that infections could be treated with “a tractor, a bath and vodka.”

Only about 20% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Overall for the pandemic, Belarus has registered about 574,000 infections — about 6% of the population — and 4,417 deaths.

Burundi starts COVID jabs; just North Korea, Eritrea remain — 10:48 a.m.

By The Associated Press

One of the world’s last three countries to administer COVID-19 vaccines started giving out doses on Monday as the East African nation of Burundi launched its national campaign.

The vaccinations started in the commercial capital, Bujumbura, though health workers told The Associated Press that barely more than a dozen people had received doses by mid-afternoon. Recipients included the ministers of health and security.

Only North Korea and the Horn of Africa nation of Eritrea have not administered any COVID-19 vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.

The vaccination campaign began after Burundi received a half-million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. Targeted groups for the doses are health workers, the elderly and people with incurable diseases, Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana said last week.

But hesitation remains among some officials. On Sunday, Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni asserted, without evidence, that the government has the responsibility to tell citizens that “the vaccine has a lot of consequences not even known by the specialists who created the vaccine.”

One of Maine’s largest venues requires COVID-19 shot or test — 9:59 a.m.

By The Associated Press

One of the largest indoor venues in northern New England is going to start requiring visitors to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.

Cumberland County officials said the new rules will go into effect Friday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The county said the rules will apply to attendees of events age 12 and over, and it added that mask use is also strongly recommended.

The arena is the home venue of the Maine Mariners minor league hockey team. It also sometimes hosts University of Maine Black Bears hockey, as well as concerts and other large events.

The county said in a statement that the new rules “will remain in place until further notice, but are likely to change based on the severity of the pandemic in Cumberland County and as vaccination becomes available for more age groups.”

Italy’s president criticizes violent COVID-19 pass protests — 9:54 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Italy’s president on Monday strongly criticized the violence that has erupted amid protests over the country’s new coronavirus workplace health pass requirement, saying it appeared aimed at jeopardizing Italy’s economic recovery.

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As vaccination goals are met, Australian cities ease restrictions — 9:39 a.m.

By The New York Times

Just a week after lifting a lockdown that lasted more than 100 days, Sydney has further eased restrictions after the state of New South Wales passed its target of fully vaccinating 80% of the eligible population.

On Monday, thousands of children returned to school after months of home learning. Up to 20 fully vaccinated people can gather in a private home, and there is no limit on the number of fully vaccinated people who can attend a funeral or wedding.

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Valneva says COVID shot beat AstraZeneca’s in trial — 9:30 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Valneva SE’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine elicited better immunity than AstraZeneca Plc’s shot in a clinical trial that will pave the way for regulatory submissions and sent the shares up as much as 46%.

Patients had more antibodies -- a proxy for protection against the coronavirus -- and fewer side effects after two doses of the Valneva vaccine in a U.K. study of about 4,000 adults, the drugmaker said Monday. Both groups had the same number of Covid cases and no patient got severely ill, the company said.

State workers face discipline Monday for missing Baker’s vaccine mandate deadline — 8:51 a.m.

By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

State managers are scheduled Monday to start asking state workers why they failed to meet the Baker administration’s Sunday deadline for proving they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The administration on Monday did not immediately provide the number of state workers who have balked at the complying with the vaccine mandate, a stance that could lead to suspension or termination by the administration.

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UK falls behind Europe on COVID-19 as mutation draws focus — 8:00 a.m.

By Bloomberg

Surging Covid cases in the U.K. have left the country behind the rest of Europe with former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb calling for urgent research into a mutation known as delta plus.

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Russia’s coronavirus infections exceed 8 million — 6:17 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Russia’s total number of coronavirus infections has topped 8 million, more than 5% of the population, and the daily infection toll hit a new record.

The national coronavirus task force said Monday that 34,325 new infections over the past day raised the pandemic-long total to 8,027,012. It also said 998 people died of COVID-19 in the previous day, bringing the total number of deaths to 224,310.

The death toll is minutely lower than the record 1,002 tallied on Saturday, but shows the country continuing to struggle with the virus as vaccination rates remain low.

Russian authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccinations with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and conflicting signals from officials stymied the efforts. The task force said Monday that about 45 million Russians, or 32% of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.

Czech Republic cuts vaccine time limit — 5:46 a.m.

By Bloomberg

The Czech Republic shortened the limit for receiving the third dose of Pfizer/Biotech vaccine to six months from eight months.

The move follows an acceleration in the spread of the coronavirus during the last week in the nation of 10.7 million, with 787 new cases reported on Sunday, the highest number on any Sunday since April.

EU says exports of COVID-19 vaccines now top 1 billion mark — 5:27 a.m.

By Bloomberg

The European Union exported over 1 billion vaccine doses to more than 150 countries over the past 10 months, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

The EU and the U.S. are joining forces to deliver more doses to low- and middle-income countries and will rally Group of 20 leaders around the effort later this month. The EU committed to donate at least 500 million doses to vulnerable countries in coming months. It has delivered 87 million so far.

Egypt to require virus vaccinations for civil servants — 5:09 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Egypt’s government will soon require public servants to have a vaccination certificate or show a weekly negative COVID-19 test before entering their workplaces.

The government announced the new measures late Sunday. It said the requirements will be applied starting November 15. The measures also require public to show proof of vaccination to enter government buildings starting December 1, according to a government statement.

The idea is to encourage people to get vaccinations, as the country of over 100 million people suffers through a fourth wave of the pandemic.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said the government has secured more than 62 million shots of COVID-19 vaccine, with 7.8 million more shots expected to arrive this month.

She said around 31.7 million shots have been given to residents since the vaccination campaign was launched in January.

China finds eight new cases in fresh flareup — 5:02 a.m.

By Bloomberg

China is seeing a new cluster of cases in its northwestern provinces, with eight infections detected since Sunday.

The resurgence has been traced to two retired university lecturers from Shanghai who were infected in Shaanxi Province. Since then, over 1,500 close contacts have been identified and six more people found to have the virus in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

Xi’an, the Shaanxi capital that’s home to some 13 million people and the location of the Terracotta Army, is preparing to roll out a citywide testing program, according to the Global Times.

New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown for at least two weeks — 2:10 a.m.

By Bloomberg

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended a lockdown in Auckland for at least another two weeks, but said a vaccination target would be introduced on Friday to give people an indication of when restrictions could be eased.

Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3, meaning people cannot leave the city and should stay at home where possible, Ardern told a press conference Monday in Wellington. She said a vaccination target will provide the city, which has already been locked down for two months, a pathway out of restrictions.

“We need to keep going with both tools, restrictions and vaccinations, because with delta we cannot rely on just one,” Ardern said. “If we get this right, if we keep case numbers low while we vaccinate people, then it makes it easier for us to keep control of Covid while we ease restrictions in the future.”

Australia’s Queensland state to open to vaccinated travelers — 1:48 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Australia’s Queensland state announced plans Monday to open up to vaccinated travelers, ending the status it has enjoyed throughout the pandemic of remaining virtually free of COVID-19.

Queensland and Western Australia have been among the states most successful in keeping COVID-19 out, and they also were among the most reluctant to relax their strict border controls after the highly contagious delta variant took hold in New South Wales state in June and spread through Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Queensland authorities warned infection rates would rise and remain high for months.

“For almost 600 days for nearly two years we have kept the virus out of Queensland,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said. “Those days will soon come to an end. This will be the end of the zero COVID for Queensland.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said fully vaccinated travelers would be allowed into the state without quarantining when 80% of the state’s population aged 16 and older was vaccinated. That benchmark is expected to be achieved by Dec. 17.

Travelers would also need to test negative to COVID-19 within three days before entering the state.

Vaccinated travelers will be allowed into Queensland when 70% of the target population is vaccinated, a target expected to be reached by Nov. 19, but will face restrictions including 14 days of quarantine on arrival.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-hits-700000-covid-deaths-just-as-cases-begin-to-fall-vaccine-mandates-hit-amid-historic-health-care-staff-shortage/ar-AAODtSq

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Filed Under: MSN
More Connecticut state employees comply with vaccine or test mandate; US one-day vaccination number exceeds 1 million

Source:MSN

More Connecticut state employees comply with vaccine or test mandate; US one-day vaccination number exceeds 1 million

16 more Connecticut state employees fired over Gov. Lamont’s vaccine mandate, bringing total to 28

Source:YAHOO!News

16 more Connecticut state employees fired over Gov. Lamont’s vaccine mandate, bringing total to 28

Nearly 50 Connecticut state workers face discipline for disregarding COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate

Source:Hartford Courant

Nearly 50 Connecticut state workers face discipline for disregarding COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate

28 state employees fired, hundreds of CT health care workers suspended over COVID vaccine mandates

Source:Connecticut Post

28 state employees fired, hundreds of CT health care workers suspended over COVID vaccine mandates

Lamont delays suspension of state employees yet to comply with vaccine mandate

Source:WSHU news

Lamont delays suspension of state employees yet to comply with vaccine mandate

Covid News: Fear of Delta Is Motivating Americans to Get Shots More Than Mandates, Survey Finds

Source:New York Times

Covid News: Fear of Delta Is Motivating Americans to Get Shots More Than Mandates, Survey Finds