Senators on each side of the aisle on Thursday grilled Well being and Human Companies Secretary Xavier Becerra and Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona concerning the lack of accessible and inexpensive speedy COVID-19 testing choices, pointing to testing as key to conserving college students and workers protected in faculties throughout the pandemic.
“It’s not true that there’s an satisfactory provide of inexpensive assessments,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., mentioned at a Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee assembly. The most cost effective over-the-counter speedy COVID-19 assessments within the U.S. go for $12 for a two-pack, Kaine mentioned.
“In Germany, you may get a speedy COVID check on the grocery retailer for lower than $1,” he mentioned
The Biden administration has mentioned it plans to spend almost $2 billion on residence assessments. However specialists say the administration’s buy of 280 million non-laboratory assessments received’t be sufficient to satisfy testing wants as personal employers, Ok-12 faculties and a delta-variant-driven testing surge make it more durable to search out well timed assessments.
Becerra mentioned his division was planning to work extra intently with trade, state and native companions “to verify there may be at all times enough provide for each state.”
About 96% of faculty districts are absolutely re-opened for in-person studying, however a handful are utilizing hybrid or distant fashions for transient durations to comprise outbreaks, Cardona mentioned. Nonetheless, almost 2,200 faculties throughout 539 districts in 43 states have quickly closed in-person studying due to outbreaks to date this faculty yr, based on Burbio, a New York-based knowledge service that’s monitoring Ok-12 faculty reopening tendencies.
Becerra inspired dad and mom to verify their youngsters observe public well being steerage to stop the unfold of COVID-19.
“Fifty years in the past, some individuals protested utilizing seat belts. Right this moment, we don’t. We all know how protected and efficient they’re. Identical factor with vaccines. Identical factor with masks,” Becerra mentioned, including, “I’d simply inform every mother or father, please use frequent sense. Don’t let anybody cease you from defending your children.”
Additionally within the information:
►The variety of Individuals making use of for unemployment advantages rose for the third straight week, an indication that the extremely contagious delta variant could also be slowing a restoration within the job market.
►The World Well being Group says simply 15 of Africa’s 54 nations have reached the worldwide goal of absolutely vaccinating 10% of their inhabitants by the tip of this month.
►Primetta Giacopini, 105, who was 2 when her mom died of the Spanish flu, has died in California of COVID-19, her daughter Dorene Giacopini mentioned.
►Fewer than half (45%) of Individuals belief President Joe Biden to offer correct details about coronavirus, down from when he took workplace in January (58%), based on a brand new Axios-Ipsos ballot out this week.
►Zac Brown Band has canceled a deliberate Thursday present following a optimistic COVID-19 check for frontman Brown.
📈Right this moment’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 43.3 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and greater than 695,000 deaths, in accordance to Johns Hopkins College knowledge. World totals: Greater than 233.3 million circumstances and 4.7 million deaths. Greater than 184 million Individuals – 55% of the inhabitants – are absolutely vaccinated, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
📘What we’re studying: Pregnant individuals face a “extreme threat of extreme illness” from COVID-19. However, that is nonetheless not motivating them to get vaccinated. Solely about 20% of those that are pregnant have gotten a dose of the vaccine, the CDC says. Learn extra on this challenge.
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Individuals getting vaccinated on the lowest charges this yr
Individuals are getting vaccinated on the lowest charges but this yr, a USA TODAY evaluation of CDC knowledge reveals.
The U.S. is giving first-dose COVID-19 vaccinations to fewer than 1.5 million individuals every week, down from a peak of almost 14 million in mid-April. It is also lower than half the speed the nation was administering throughout a part of August, when individuals have been extra frightened about surging case counts pushed by the delta variant.
A Kaiser Household Basis survey launched earlier this week discovered racial disparities in vaccination have closed. However the survery warned “massive gaps in vaccine uptake stay by partisanship, training stage, age, and medical health insurance standing.”
— Mike Stucka
E-cig use amongst youth is ‘severe’ well being concern amid pandemic
Greater than 2 million U.S. center and highschool college students reported utilizing e-cigarettes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and greater than eight in 10 of these youths reported utilizing flavored e-cigarettes, based on a brand new research Thursday from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and the Meals and Drug Administration.
At a time “when many college students have been in distant studying environments which may have affected their entry to tobacco merchandise,” an estimated 11.3% of highschool college students and a couple of.8% of center faculty college students reported present e-cigarette use, the FDA mentioned in an announcement.
The discovering was based mostly on the 2021 Nationwide Youth Tobacco Survey, which was self-administered in numerous places due to the pandemic. The CDC mentioned the survey can’t be in comparison with findings from earlier years as a result of, previous to the pandemic, the survey was carried out in particular person, within the classroom.
“This research reveals that even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, e-cigarette use amongst youth stays a severe public well being concern,” Karen Hacker, director of the CDC’s Nationwide Heart for Persistent Illness Prevention and Well being Promotion, mentioned in a press launch. “It’s essential we proceed working collectively to guard younger individuals from the dangers related to tobacco product use, together with e-cigarettes.”
As soon as heroes, some well being care staff now dwell in worry
Greater than a yr after U.S. well being care staff battling within the entrance strains have been saluted as heroes throughout the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic, many at the moment are being issued panic buttons in case of assault and ditching their scrubs earlier than going out in public for worry of harassment.
Throughout the nation, medical doctors and nurses are coping with hostility, threats and violence from sufferers offended over security guidelines designed to maintain the scourge from spreading.
“A yr in the past, we’re well being care heroes and all people’s clapping for us,” mentioned Dr. Stu Coffman, a Dallas-based emergency room doctor. “And now we’re being, in some areas, harassed and disbelieved and ridiculed for what we’re making an attempt to do, which is simply miserable and irritating.”
Cox Medical Heart Branson in Missouri began giving panic buttons to as much as 400 nurses and different workers after assaults per yr tripled from 2019 to 2020 to 123, a spokeswoman mentioned. One nurse needed to get her shoulder X-rayed after an assault. Hospital spokeswoman Brandei Clifton mentioned the pandemic has pushed a minimum of among the improve.
“So many nurses say, ‘It’s simply a part of the job,'” Clifton mentioned. “It’s not a part of the job.”
$54,000 invoice for COVID check ‘corrected’
A Texas man who was charged $54,000 for his COVID-19 assessments at an emergency room says he negotiated it all the way down to about $16,000 and his insurance coverage firm paid the total invoice.
Travis Warner advised NPR his and his spouse’s June 2020 go to to the free-standing ER at Lewisville’s SignatureCare Emergency Heart was, at first, a aid as a result of he might return to work as soon as he examined destructive. Warner obtained PCR diagnostic assessments for COVID-19, plus the less-accurate speedy antigen assessments due to time sensitivity in desirous to return to work.
Warner is self-employed and has his personal well being care plan with Molina Healthcare. Molina Healthcare advised NPR: “This matter was a supplier billing error which Molina recognized and corrected.”
– Scott Gleeson
Intercourse and the pandemic: Issues have modified
Here is a stunner: The pandemic has modified our intercourse lives, research present. Whereas some individuals have reported extra sexual exercise, many noticed a decline. Different research present a spike in individuals making an attempt a brand new expertise.
Specialists say lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have been a time for a lot of to bond with their partner or companion. However for others, intercourse was the very last thing on their thoughts as they navigated new well being precautions, getting vaccinated and extra.
“This pandemic wasn’t skilled the identical method by everybody,” mentioned Justin Lehmiller, a analysis fellow on the Kinsey Institute at Indiana College and the host of the “Intercourse and Psychology” podcast. Lockdown restrictions various, he mentioned, as did the “diploma of private concern individuals had about COVID.” Learn extra right here.
– Marina Pitofsky
Nationwide faculty board group asks Biden to assist cease threats
A bunch representing faculty board members across the nation requested President Joe Biden on Thursday for federal help to analyze and cease threats remodeled insurance policies together with masks mandates, likening the vitriol to a type of home terrorism.
Mother and father and group members have been disrupting conferences and threatening board members in particular person, on-line and thru the mail in a development that deserves consideration from federal legislation enforcement companies, the Nationwide College Boards Affiliation mentioned in a letter to Biden.
“No matter you’re feeling about masks, it mustn’t attain this stage of rhetoric,” NSBA Interim Government Director Chip Slaven
‘Her title is Teresa Makenzie Sperry’: Mother pays homage to daughter, 10
The mom of a 10-year-old Virginia lady who died this week of COVID-19 criticized Suffolk Public Faculties for releasing a “sorry excuse of a letter” saying the demise with out speaking to her or naming her little one.
“Her title is Teresa Makenzie Sperry,” Nicole Sperry wrote on Fb. “My lovely lady was taken from me as a result of persons are too rattling egocentric to care about what might occur to others.”
Terry died Monday, simply days after her signs appeared. Sperry wrote that these wishing to honor Teresa ought to get vaccinated, put on masks and socially distance.
“And most significantly cease complaining and hold your sick children at residence,” Nicole Sperry wrote. “As a result of in the long run you’ll nonetheless get to hug yours.”
Beijing Olympics to permit Chinese language spectators
The Worldwide Olympic Committee has launched a primary glimpse of the COVID-19 protocols that will probably be in place on the upcoming 2022 Winter Video games in Beijing – together with prolonged quarantines for unvaccinated contributors, every day COVID-19 testing and the absence of worldwide spectators.
In contrast to in Tokyo, the place athletes largely competed behind closed doorways, Beijing 2022 organizers mentioned some Chinese language followers will probably be permitted to attend their Video games, so long as they observe to-be-determined protocols.
Overseas spectators, together with athletes’ relations and buddies, will as soon as once more be barred from attending. The IOC and Worldwide Paralympic Committee mentioned within the information launch that they help native organizers’ determination to promote tickets to Chinese language residents.
– Tom Schad
Reopening of ‘Aladdin’ on Broadway halted by COVID-19 circumstances
The hit Broadway present “Aladdin” was canceled Wednesday night time when breakthrough COVID-19 circumstances have been reported throughout the musical’s firm, a day after the present reopened, a worrying signal for Broadway.
“By means of our rigorous testing protocols, breakthrough COVID-19 circumstances have been detected throughout the firm of ‘Aladdin’ on the New Amsterdam Theatre,” the present introduced on social media. “As a result of the wellness and security of our friends, solid and crew are our high precedence, tonight’s efficiency, Wednesday, Sept. 2, is canceled.”
It was the primary Broadway COVID-19 cancellation since reveals resumed with Bruce Springsteen’s live performance in July and “Cross Over” as the primary play to debut in August.
The pandemic pressured Broadway theaters to abruptly shut on March 12, 2020, knocking out all reveals and scrambling the spring season. A number of have restarted, together with the so-called large three of “Depraved,” “Hamilton” and “The Lion King.”
Alabama Home approves $400M in COVID cash for jail building
The Alabama Home of Representatives Wednesday authorized a measure to take $400 million in cash geared toward COVID aid and put it towards jail building, a transfer drawing nationwide consideration. The laws now goes to the Senate.
Supporters of the jail building invoice, together with Home Methods and Means Common Fund committee chair Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, say the usage of the cash from the American Rescue Plan will decrease the sum of money the state must borrow for the $1.3 billion undertaking and permit building to start instantly.
“It’s going to assist defray curiosity prices,” Clouse mentioned after the vote on Wednesday. “It goes a great distance (to) getting us began, and lots earlier.”
Using the cash has drawn criticism from nationwide and state Democrats. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, the chairman of the U.S. Home Judiciary Committee, despatched a letter to the Division of the Treasury urging the division to disallow the usage of the cash for prisons, saying the ARP cash “shouldn’t be used to worsen our nationwide drawback of over-incarceration.”
– Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
Contributing: Related Press