The latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic
By the associated press
LOS ANGELES – Public health officials have identified more than 200 outbreaks of the coronavirus in Los Angeles County police or fire departments since the start of the pandemic, according to data obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
The 211 outbreaks, representing more than 2,500 cases between March 2020 and last month, represent 9% of the total workplace outbreaks in the county, the newspaper reported on Sunday. However, they have continued to occur regularly even as vaccination rates have increased among police and firefighters and the number of individual coronavirus cases per outbreak has declined since last winter.
Data showed that 38 outbreaks in public safety agencies were identified in April of this year – the highest number of any month since the start of the pandemic. A month later, 35 outbreaks – the second largest – were recorded by the county public health department.
Overall, more than half of the outbreaks have been at the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department, where some employees have filed lawsuits challenging a new rule requiring them to be vaccinated d ‘here next month. Thousands of people filed notices indicating that they intended to seek medical or religious exemption from the warrant.
Vaccination rates for LAPD and LAFD employees generally lag behind the 68% of eligible county residents who have been vaccinated.
Critics accused the city’s police and firefighters of ignoring public safety – and their sworn duty to enforce it – by refusing to be vaccinated.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
– United States has enough COVID-19 vaccines for child booster and injections
– UK relies on vaccines, “common sense” to keep virus at bay
– EXPLANATION: Who is eligible for Pfizer recalls in the United States?
See all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut – Connecticut school districts are holding their breath as more than 200 school bus drivers may quit their jobs in response to a vaccination mandate that goes into effect Monday.
This could exacerbate an already problematic driver shortage that is plaguing school districts across the state and nationwide. Principals are warning parents that buses can experience significant delays and suggest parents drive their children to school, the New Haven Register reported.
Governor Ned Lamont’s decree that goes into effect Monday also covers state employees, kindergarten to grade 12 teachers and day care centers. A spokesperson for Lamont said state agencies are looking to qualify new drivers and the Transportation Department is considering using some CT Transit and regional service vehicles to fill in the gaps.
In a letter last week to Acting Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, the Connecticut School Transportation Association, which represents school bus drivers, warned of a “disaster” on September 27 and called claimed that 227 of the 1,558 unvaccinated drivers would refuse to follow the warrant.
The state’s education department is speeding up requests for background checks and training for potential new drivers, the registry reported.
Not all school districts are convinced their transit systems will be disrupted. Transit officials in Danbury and New Haven, as well as Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington, told the newspaper they did not believe rumored labor action would affect them negatively.
WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official says she recognizes that there is currently some confusion in the United States as to who should receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster.
To begin with, the booster which has just been approved is intended for people originally vaccinated with injections carried out by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.
Last week, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky sided with most of the CDC advisor’s recommendations on giving boosters six months after the last dose of Pfizer for certain groups of people.
This includes people 65 years of age and older, residents of nursing homes, and people aged 50 to 64 with chronic health conditions such as diabetes. People 18 and older with health problems can decide for themselves whether they want a booster.
But Walensky also overruled councilors’ objections and said people at increased risk of infection because of their work or living conditions could now benefit from a recall. This includes healthcare workers, teachers, and people in prison or homeless shelters.
âI recognize this confusion right now,â Walensky told CBS’s âFace the Nationâ.
âWe are evaluating this science in real time,â she said. âWe are now meeting every few weeks to evaluate the science. Science may very well show that the rest of the population needs to be strengthened and we will provide that guidance as soon as we have the science to inform them. “
People who have received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are waiting to know when they might be eligible for a booster.
WASHINGTON – Pfizer CEO Said “It’s A Matter Of Days, Not Weeks” Before The Company And Its German Partner BioNTech Submit Data To U.S. Regulators For Federal Authorization Of A COVID-19 Vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.
This would be an important step towards the start of vaccinations for these young people, especially with the children now back in school and the delta variant leading to a sharp increase in pediatric infections.
Pfizer said last week that its vaccine works for this age group and that it has tested a much lower dose of the vaccine that is already available to anyone 12 years of age and older. The company said that after children aged 5 to 11 received their second dose during testing, they developed levels of anti-coronavirus antibodies just as strong as teens and young adults given the injections of regular force.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Sunday that if the Food and Drug Administration approves the company’s request, “we will be ready with our manufacturing to deliver this new formulation of the vaccine.”
And regarding the coronavirus pandemic, he told ABC’s âThis Weekâ that within a year, âI think we can get back to normal life. I don’t think that means the variants won’t keep coming. And I don’t think that means we should be able to live our livesâ¦ without having vaccines, basically. “
Bourla also said “we will have vaccines that … will last at least a year” and that “the most likely scenario is annual revaccinations”.
HELSINKI – Norwegian police have reported dozens of unrest and violent clashes, including mass brawls in major cities across the Nordic country, after streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Norwegian government abruptly announced on Friday that most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions would be removed from Saturday and life in the nation of 5.3 million people would return to normal.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s unexpected announcement on Friday afternoon to drop coronavirus restrictions the next day surprised many Norwegians and led to chaotic scenes in the capital, Oslo, and elsewhere in the country on Saturday.
Rowdy celebrations across Norway by hundreds of citizens began on Saturday afternoon and lasted until the early hours of Sunday. Police said unrest had been reported in several places, including the southern city of Bergen and the central city of Trondheim, while the situation was worst in Oslo.
PHOENIX – Health officials in Arizona reported 2,579 more COVID-19 cases and six more deaths on Sunday.
The latest figures have pushed state totals to 1,804,369 known cases and 19,812 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Arizona had reported an additional 2,916 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 69 additional deaths on Saturday, as the rate of virus deaths nearly doubled in the past two weeks.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard, there were 1,834 COVID-19 patients occupying hospital beds as of Friday – a level lower than the current high of 2,103 on the 12th. September.
More than 4.1 million people (57.7% of the state’s population) have received at least one dose of vaccine and more than 3.6 million people are fully immunized (51.1% of the population ).
NEW YORK – Schools in New York City were temporarily barred from enforcing a vaccination warrant for its teachers and other workers by a federal appeals judge days before it went into effect.
The mandate for the country’s largest school system was due to go into effect on Monday.
But on Friday evening, a judge in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary injunction and referred the case to a panel of three judges on an expedited basis.
Education Department spokeswoman Danielle Filson said officials were seeking an early resolution by the circuit court next week.