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Panic buttons issued to hospitals; e-cigarette use high

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Senators on either side of the aisle on Thursday grilled Well being and Human Providers Secretary Xavier Becerra and Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona concerning the lack of obtainable and inexpensive speedy COVID-19 testing choices, pointing to testing as key to retaining college students and workers protected in colleges throughout the pandemic.

“It’s not true that there’s an enough provide of inexpensive checks,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., stated at a Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee assembly. The most affordable over-the-counter speedy COVID-19 checks within the U.S. go for $12 for a two-pack, Kaine stated.

“In Germany, you will get a speedy COVID check on the grocery retailer for lower than $1,” he stated

The Biden administration has stated it plans to spend practically $2 billion on residence checks. However consultants say the administration’s buy of 280 million non-laboratory checks won’t be enough to meet testing needs as personal employers, Okay-12 colleges and a delta-variant-driven testing surge make it more durable to seek out well timed checks.

Becerra stated his division was planning to work extra carefully with business, 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 temporary durations to include outbreaks, Cardona stated. Nonetheless, practically 2,200 colleges throughout 539 districts in 43 states have briefly closed in-person studying due to outbreaks up to now this faculty yr, in line with Burbio, a New York-based knowledge service that’s monitoring Okay-12 faculty reopening traits.

Becerra inspired mother and father to verify their youngsters comply with public well being steering to forestall the unfold of COVID-19.

“Fifty years in the past, some folks protested utilizing seat belts. In the present day, we don’t. We all know how protected and efficient they’re. Similar factor with vaccines. Similar factor with masks,” Becerra stated, including, “I might simply inform each guardian, please use frequent sense. Don’t let anybody cease you from defending your children.”

Additionally within the information:

►The variety of People 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.

►United Airways officers say practically half the workers going through dismissal for refusing to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 have gotten their pictures. That cuts the variety of airline employees going through termination from 593 to 320.

►A Texas man who was charged $54,000 for his COVID-19 checks at an emergency room says he negotiated it right down to about $16,000 and his insurance coverage firm paid the complete invoice.

►The World Well being Group says simply 15 of Africa’s 54 international locations 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 stated.

►Fewer than half (45%) of People belief President Joe Biden to offer correct details about coronavirus, down from when he took workplace in January (58%), in line with a brand new Axios-Ipsos poll out this week.

Zac Brown Band has canceled a deliberate Thursday present following a constructive COVID-19 check for frontman Brown.

📈In the present day’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 43.3 million confirmed COVID-19 instances and greater than 696,000 deaths, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University data. International totals: Greater than 233.5 million instances and 4.7 million deaths. Greater than 184 million People – 55% of the inhabitants – are absolutely vaccinated, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

📘What we’re studying: Pregnant folks face a “extreme danger 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. Read more on this issue

Preserve refreshing this web page for the newest information. Need extra? Join USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to obtain updates on to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Greater than 100 collect to hope for 10-year-old Ohio boy

Greater than 100 folks got here collectively Wednesday night in Zanesville, Ohio, to pray a 10-year-old boy will win his battle against COVID-19.

Marcus Gaiters has been hospitalized at Kids’s Hospital in Columbus for greater than a month, combating what his medical doctors describe because the worst case of COVID-19 they’ve seen. Gaiters examined constructive for the illness the day after his tenth birthday, his mom informed the Zanesville Instances Recorder, a part of the USA TODAY Community.

“To see this little boy within the situation he’s in, all we will ask now’s for God to provide us a miracle,” stated Deb Savage, a long-time household good friend. Read more here.

– Chris Criminal, Zanesville Instances Recorder

Family and friends of Marcus Gaiters gathered at the corner of Myrtle and Lenox avenues Wednesday evening to pray for the 10-year-old. Gaiters has been battling COVID-19 for more than a month at Children's Hospital.

Adults with a incapacity extra more likely to report problem getting vaccine

U.S. adults with a incapacity usually tend to desire a COVID-19 vaccine in comparison with adults with no incapacity however are additionally extra more likely to report problem getting the shot, in line with a Facilities for Illness Management and Preventionstudy launched Thursday.

In comparison with adults with no incapacity, adults with a incapacity have been extra more likely to report challenges with getting an appointment on-line, not realizing the place to get vaccinated, and attending to a vaccination website, the examine discovered. The Nationwide Immunization Survey Grownup COVID Module carried out the interviews by phone Could 30–June 26.

“Decreasing obstacles to scheduling and making vaccination websites extra accessible would possibly enhance vaccination protection amongst individuals with disabilities,” the authors wrote.

People getting vaccinated on the lowest charges this yr

People 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 folks every week, down from a peak of practically 14 million in mid-April. It is also lower than half the speed the nation was administering throughout a part of August, when folks have been extra apprehensive 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 degree, age, and medical 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, in line with a brand new study Thursday from the CDC 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 pair of.8% of center faculty college students reported present e-cigarette use, the FDA stated in a press release.

The discovering was primarily based on the 2021 Nationwide Youth Tobacco Survey, which was self-administered in numerous areas due to the pandemic. The CDC stated 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 individual, within the classroom.

“This examine 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 Power Illness Prevention and Well being Promotion, stated in a press launch. “It’s crucial we proceed working collectively to guard younger folks from the dangers related to tobacco product use, together with e-cigarettes.”

As soon as heroes, some well being care employees now stay in concern

Greater than a yr after U.S. well being care employees battling within the entrance traces 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 concern of harassment.

Throughout the nation, medical doctors and nurses are coping with hostility, threats and violence from sufferers indignant over security guidelines designed to maintain the scourge from spreading.

“A yr in the past, we’re well being care heroes and everyone’s clapping for us,” stated 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 staff after assaults per yr tripled from 2019 to 2020 to 123, a spokeswoman stated. One nurse needed to get her shoulder X-rayed after an assault. Hospital spokeswoman Brandei Clifton stated the pandemic has pushed not less than among the improve.

“So many nurses say, ‘It’s simply a part of the job,'” Clifton stated. “It’s not a part of the job.”

Intercourse and the pandemic: Issues have modified

This is a stunner: The pandemic has changed our sex lives, studies show. Whereas some folks have reported extra sexual exercise, many noticed a decline. Different research present a spike in folks making an attempt a brand new expertise.

Consultants say lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have been a time for a lot of to bond with their partner or accomplice. 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,” stated Justin Lehmiller, a analysis fellow on the Kinsey Institute at Indiana College and the host of the “Intercourse and Psychology” podcast. Lockdown restrictions diverse, he stated, as did the “diploma of private concern folks had about COVID.” Read more here.

Marina Pitofsky

Nationwide faculty board group asks Biden to assist cease threats

A gaggle representing faculty board members across the nation requested President Joe Biden on Thursday for federal help to analyze and cease threats revamped insurance policies together with masks mandates, likening the vitriol to a type of home terrorism.

Dad and mom and neighborhood members have been disrupting conferences and threatening board members in individual, on-line and thru the mail in a pattern that deserves consideration from federal regulation enforcement companies, the Nationwide College Boards Affiliation stated in a letter to Biden.

“No matter you are feeling about masks, it shouldn’t attain this degree of rhetoric,” NSBA Interim Government Director Chip Slaven

‘Her identify 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 Colleges for releasing a “sorry excuse of a letter” saying the dying with out speaking to her or naming her youngster.

“Her identify is Teresa Makenzie Sperry,” Nicole Sperry wrote on Facebook. “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 maintain your sick children at residence,” Nicole Sperry wrote. “As a result of ultimately 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 members, day by 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 stated some Chinese fans will be permitted to attend their Games, so long as they comply with to-be-determined protocols.

Overseas spectators, together with athletes’ members of the family and mates, will as soon as once more be barred from attending. The IOC and Worldwide Paralympic Committee stated within the information launch that they assist native organizers’ resolution to promote tickets to Chinese language residents.

– Tom Schad

Contributing: Related Press

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