New infections dropping quick; indoor masks mandates ease throughout US: Newest COVID updates

The tempo of latest coronavirus instances in the USA has fallen by greater than two-thirds from its peak simply weeks in the past, Johns Hopkins College knowledge reveals.

Nonetheless, the nation is reporting 1.86 million instances every week, and about 2,500 COVID-19 deaths proceed to be reported day-after-day. However not less than 4 states count on continued enchancment, saying this week they might be ending statewide masks mandates in colleges inside the subsequent two months as indoor masking necessities proceed to carry throughout the nation.

Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon’s governors all mentioned Monday they might finish obligatory masking in colleges by the tip of February or March, whereas Pennsylvania made the choice to take away its statewide mandate final month.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned the transfer “is a large step again to normalcy for our youngsters.” Solely a dozen states require masks in colleges, based on the nonpartisan Nationwide Academy for State Well being Coverage. Eight Republican-led states, together with Florida and Texas, have bans on faculty masks mandates, though some have been suspended amid authorized fights.

California will not be eradicating its masks mandate in colleges simply but, however Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced plans to finish the state’s indoor masking requirement for vaccinated folks subsequent week.

Additionally within the information:

►The weeks-long protest in Canada over COVID-19 vaccine mandates spilled over into Detroit late Monday when authorities closed the Ambassador Bridge. The protesters blocked site visitors on the huge worldwide suspension bridge and prevented motorists from passing.

►Vaccination helps shield not solely expectant moms but additionally their infants, each in utero and after delivery, based on two separate research whose conclusions run counter to frequent misinformation concerning the vaccine and being pregnant.

📈 In the present day’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 76 million confirmed COVID-19 instances and greater than 905,000 deaths, based on Johns Hopkins College knowledge. International totals: Greater than 397.8 million instances and over 5.7 million deaths. Greater than 212 million Individuals – 64.1% – are absolutely vaccinated, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

📘 What we’re studying: ‘He deserves to be up there with us.’ After a optimistic COVID check, a U.S. skater misses out on celebrating silver.

Hold refreshing this web page for the most recent information. Need extra? Join USA TODAY’s free Coronavirus Watch e-newsletter to obtain updates on to your inbox and be part of our Fb group.

Caribbean open for enterprise amid various restrictions

Most Caribbean locations have reopened to worldwide vacationers, however guests will want to concentrate on their vacation spot’s COVID-19 journey restrictions earlier than boarding their flight. Entry necessities differ throughout every island; some require testing, some ask for masks to be worn in public, and others implement a curfew on sure companies. Vacationers can count on the foundations to be in flux as international locations modify to match the evolving pandemic. Entry necessities for a few of the hottest Caribbean island locations are defined right here.

Bailey Schulz

Small hospitals are left behind by COVID staffing wars

A latest lawsuit filed by one Wisconsin well being system that briefly prevented seven staff from beginning new jobs at a distinct well being community raised eyebrows, together with these of Brock Slabach, chief operations officer of the Nationwide Rural Well being Affiliation.

“To me, that signifies the desperation that hospital leaders are dealing with in attempting to workers their hospitals,” mentioned Slabach. His concern is for the smaller amenities that lack the assets to compete.

Already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the nation are determined to workers their amenities because the extremely transmissible omicron variant spreads. Governors in states comparable to Massachusetts and Wisconsin deployed the Nationwide Guard to assist hospitals fight the surge. Six hospitals in Cleveland took out a full-page advert within the Sunday Plain Seller with a singular plea to the neighborhood, “Assist.” CoxHealth is among the many medical techniques in Missouri to ask its workplace workers to assist out on the entrance strains.

Smaller amenities – significantly rural ones which have struggled for years to remain afloat –are discovering it tough, if not unattainable, to compete for well being care staff on this labor market. If a hospital is unable to keep up secure staffing ranges, it may very well be compelled to curtail providers or presumably shut, a devastating blow for each the sufferers and economies of these communities. Nineteen rural hospitals closed in 2020 alone.

– Bram Sable-Smith, Kaiser Well being Information

Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Related Press

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: New infections falling; states ease indoor masks guidelines: COVID updates

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