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. The vaccines have been authorized for children 12 and up by the Food and Drug Administration. 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 advised parents that their children should not be allowed to walk door-to-door last year.
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►Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who’s under a Senate investigation for his handling of the pandemic, claimed Sunday that COVID-19 protocols at soccer matches prevented him from attending a game. He isn’t vaccinated.
►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 was raised in a Catholic home and graduated from a Catholic high school. Pope Francis described vaccinations as “acts of love”, and encouraged people to be vaccinated.
►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 the country’s adults are now fully vaccinated and that outbound international travel restrictions will be eased for vaccinated residents starting Monday.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 713,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 237.8 million cases and 4.85 million deaths. More than 187.2 million Americans — 56.7% 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. Is this what happened?
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Weekly death total worldwide below 50,000 for first time in nearly a year
After a summer spike fueled by the delta variant, COVID-19 cases and their subsequent fatalities have been declining markedly not only in the U.S. but elsewhere as well.
For the first time in the past week, less than 50k COVID-related deaths were recorded worldwide. This was the lowest number since Nov. 3, 2020. The disease claimed the lives of 3,577.988 people worldwide between these dates according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University statistics. It’s 74% percent of total pandemic deaths.
Although the world count is missing large numbers of deaths, several estimates suggest that India was not reporting several million, a decreasing rate of cases in India is definitely good news. Now, the current rate of fatalities is slightly lower than that of January’s worst week when there were 103,060 reported. Globally, the weekly tally of new cases is less than 3 million.
Tea Party favourite Allen West is hospitalized by COVID
Allen West, Texas’ Tea Party candidate and favorite Tea Party member and Tea Party supporter, stated Sunday that he has been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Plano and had undergone monoclonal immunofusion therapy.
West who has not been vaccinated tweeted that the results had “almost immediate.” “I have to say that I’m more committed now than ever in fighting vaccine mandates (that feed) Big Pharma, corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.”
West, who is 60 years old, advocated instead for the therapies of his choice which were mostly created by large pharmaceutical companies, such as 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 and infecting others 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 of the responses was: “Does this protect women’s bodies too?” Tweet D Villella
Daycare centers have a hard time finding and keeping staff.
Historic, pandemic-fueled worker shortages are constraining many industries, but child care has been hit harder than most. According to Labor Department statistics, the sector lost or furloughed 36% of its workers as daycare centers shut down in the initial days of the pandemic. About 70% have returned to their jobs, which means that child care still lacks 109,000 employees. 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 for 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 falling after a wave nearly as bad as the one last winter. However, experts warn us not to 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 CDC 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. “Mental Health Services and Resources, including Telehealth Behavioral Services, are crucial during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Iowa schools are allowed to continue requiring masks even after a preliminary injunction
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 filed Friday’s complaint citing the trend of COVID-19 pediatric cases since the start of school year, and the “irreparable harm” that could come to the children in this case.
-Ian Richardson of The Des Moines Register
Contribution: The Associated Press