Here’s when the new COVID-19 antiviral pill could become available
A new experimental antiviral drug has proven to cut COVID-19 infections in half and is effective against variants Gamma, Delta, and Mu.
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New York City’s 148,000 school teachers and staffers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 effective today. There was no testing option available, and substitute teachers lined up to take over classrooms.
New York, the nation’s largest public school system, is among the first major district to mandate inoculations.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said unvaccinated employees would be placed on unpaid leave and not be allowed to work this week.
The city was able to keep most school buildings open during most of the last school year when other districts went to all-remote instruction, although only a fraction of more than 1 million students chose the in-class option. New York City is not offering a remote option this year.
De Blasio said 90% of Department of Education employees had received at least one vaccine dose, including 93% of teachers and 98% of principals, as of Friday. The mandate does allow for medical and religious exemptions.
Also in the news:
►FIFA offered direct encouragement for footballers to get vaccinated on Sunday, making it the first clear statement of its kind from the world’s football governing body as players were flying to countries for men’s World Cup qualifiers.
►Russia on Sunday reported a record daily death toll from COVID-19, the fifth time in a week that deaths have hit a new high. The national coronavirus task force said 890 deaths were recorded over the past day, exceeding the 887 reported on Friday. The task force also said the number of new infections in the past day was the second-highest of the year at 25,769.
►United Airlines announced an integration with Apple’s Health app that allows customers to quickly confirm they’ve met vaccination requirements.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 43.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 701,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 234.9 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 185 million Americans – 55.9% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: Despite federal COVID-19 aid, some cities are facing massive hurdles in bringing workers back after budget cuts. In fact, state and local governments haven’t recovered about 400,000 of the non-education jobs shed since the start of the pandemic. Read more about the issue here.
Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.
Rural Americans are dying of COVID-19 at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts – a divide that health experts say is likely to widen as access to medical care shrinks for a population that tends to be older, sicker, heavier, poorer and less vaccinated. While the initial surge of COVID-19 deaths skipped over much of rural America, where roughly 15% of Americans live, non-metropolitan mortality rates quickly started to outpace those of metropolitan areas as the virus spread nationwide before vaccinations became available, according to data from the Rural Policy Research Institute.
Since the pandemic began, about one in 434 rural Americans have died of COVID, compared with roughly one in 513 urban Americans, the institute’s data shows. And though vaccines have reduced overall COVID death rates since the winter peak, rural mortality rates are now more than double urban rates — and accelerating quickly.
Andrew Wiggins, whose status for the upcoming NBA season was thrown into question last month, will now be available for all Golden State Warriors games. Wiggins received his COVID-19 vaccination, coach Steve Kerr told reporters Sunday at the team’s training camp, putting him in compliance with San Francisco’s mandates for large events in the city. Wiggins would not have been eligible to play in Warriors home games in the city had he not been vaccinated. The NBA previously denied Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from any city mandates.
Wiggins, 26, had become one of the faces of vaccine resistance in the NBA. Wiggins said just last week that his back was “definitely against the wall, but I’m just going to keep fighting for what I believe. I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe is right. What’s right to one person isn’t right to the other and vice versa.”
Wiggins stood to lose more than $350,000 for every home game missed, amounting to half of his $31.6 million salary for the 2021-22 season.
– Matt Eppers
The number of Floridians receiving coronavirus shots climbed more slowly in the past week than at any time since late December, an analysis of state data shows. The state added just 85,026 more residents to Florida’s COVID-19 inoculation count in the past seven days, a Health Department report published Friday says. That’s the smallest increase since Dec. 28, the second week of statewide coronavirus immunization reporting.
In total, 13,621,499 Florida residents have gotten at least one vaccine dose, covering 71% of the eligible population ages 12 and older, state health officials reported. Health officials reported Friday that 11,370,030 Florida residents are fully vaccinated. That covers 59.5% of the eligible population.
Florida’s summer surge of COVID-19 deaths, which happened mostly to the unvaccinated, continues to slow. The state’s death toll climbed 1,719 in the past week, the slowest pace since Aug. 27, before the wave of newly reported fatalities crested.
The state’s death toll stands at 55,299.
Florida health officials have documented more lives lost – 17,429 – than any other state since June 4, when they stopped publishing daily coronavirus statistics because “our state is returning to normal, with vaccines widely available throughout Florida,” Gov. Ron DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said at the time.
– Chris Persaud, Palm Beach Post
Contributing: Associated Press
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