Parents can safely allow their children to trick-or-treat outdoors this Halloween, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
The nation’s foremost expert on infectious diseases said, “You can get there.” CNN’s “State of the Union.”“You are outdoors most of the day…(so) enjoy it.”
Kids who can get vaccinated for the coronavirus should do so for an “extra degree of protection,” he added. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccines for children aged 12 and above. Similar emergency authorizations could be issued by the FDA for children aged 5-11 in days prior to Halloween.
Fauci explained, “It’s an excellent time to reflect why it is important to get immunized.” Enjoy Halloween and all the holidays coming up.
Fauci warned parents last year not to let their children go door to door.
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► Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich has confirmed a USA TODAY Sports report that said he was seeking a religious exemption from the university’s vaccination mandate. Rolovich is from a Catholic background and went to a Catholic highschool. Pope Francis described vaccinations as “acts of love”
►The Louisiana Book Festival will be held virtually, with programs planned each weekend from Oct. 30 through Nov. 14. Recordings for the Mississippi Book Festival, which had been scheduled for Aug. 21, are also being presented remotely.
► More than 20,000 runners will gather Monday for the 125th Boston Marathon, delayed from April due to the pandemic.
► Malaysian officials say 90% of adults are now fully vaccinated and that outbound international travel restrictions will be eased for vaccinated residents starting Monday. 68% are now fully vaccinated in the United States.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 712,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 237.5 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 187.2 million Americans – 56.4% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: From Cambodia to Canada, dozens of other nations are beating the United States in COVID-19 vaccinations. The differences are stark: Fifty million more Americans would need to be vaccinated now to match Canada’s enthusiasm. Was it really?
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.
Tea Party favourite Allen West is hospitalized by COVID
Allen West, a Texas Tea Party favourite and gubernatorial candidate for Texas, said that he had been admitted to Plano after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He has also undergone monoclonal anti-infusion therapy.
West tweeted, “The results were almost instantaneous,” despite not being vaccinated. “I have to say that I’m more committed now than ever in fighting vaccine mandates (that feed) Big Pharma, corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.”
Instead, West (60) advocated for his preferred therapies, most of which are developed by big companies like Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. His position drew an outcry of Twitter responses questioning why people should pay hundreds of dollars for an experimental therapy – plus hospital costs – after they become ill when they can get a free vaccine and decrease their chances of getting sick in the first place.
West wrote, “Our bodies represent our last refuge of liberty and freedom. I will defend it for everybody, even progressive socialist jackasses, who must be saved.”
One response was “Does the protection also apply to women’s bodies?” Twitter D Villella
Day care facilities struggle to retain and find staff
Historic, pandemic-fueled worker shortages are constraining virtually all industries, but child care has been hit harder than most. Labor Department data show that the sector had to furlough or lay off 373,000 workers, 36% of which were day care center employees. About 70% of these jobs are now back. This means child care remains short by 109,000 people. By contrast, the economy overall has recovered 78% of the jobs wiped out in spring of last year, while restaurants and bars – which lost nearly half their workforce – have recouped 84% of those positions.
The situation has forced providers already running on tight margins to turn away children or increase costs on parents.
“You feel like you’re juggling five, 50-pound lead balls at the same time, trying to keep them all in the air,” said Marc McMurphy, executive director of the White Birch Child Care Center in Henniker, New Hampshire. You can read more about it here.
– Courtney Subramanian and Paul Davidson
COVID rates are falling – but winter and human error could erase gains
COVID-19 rates are finally falling again after a wave nearly as bad as the one last winter. However, experts warn that we should not act like COVID-19 has ended. If people stop taking precautions, start gathering indoors in large numbers and shrug off vaccines or boosters, another wave could strike this winter.
“A lot of it depends on human behavior, and human behavior in this pandemic hasn’t served us very well,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a recent call with reporters. “We are battling with ourselves, not with the common foe.”
– Karen Weintraub
Pandemic depression, anxiety rose and fell with surges
A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that anxiety and depression levels rose late last year at a pandemic peak time, and fell after vaccines became widespread and restrictions eased. Anxiety scores increased 13% from August to December in 2020, and then decreased 26.8% between then and late May to early June. Similarly, depression levels increased 14.8% and then decreased 24.8%. The analysis was conducted based on Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data.
“Across the entire study period, the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms was positively correlated with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases,” the study said. “The COVID-19 epidemic is a time when mental health resources and services are essential, which includes telehealth behavioral services.
After a preliminary injunction, Iowa schools may continue to require masks
Iowa school districts with facial covering requirements can keep them in place for now after a federal judge extended the pause on the state’s ban on school mask mandates. Judge Robert Pratt — who had issued a temporary restraining order against the law on Sept. 13 in response to a lawsuit filed by parents of students with disabilities — granted a preliminary injunction against the state law Friday.
Pratt’s temporary restraining order was set to expire Monday, but now the injunction means the law could be blocked for the duration of the lawsuit. Pratt referenced the history of child COVID-19 cases within the state from the beginning of the school-year and said that this could lead to “irreparable harm for the children.”
-Ian Richardson from The Des Moines Register
Contributing: The Associated Press