1 in 500 US citizens have died from Covid-19-Press Enterprise

1 in 500 US citizens have died from Covid-19-Press Enterprise

By Madeline Holcombe | CNN

The United States has reached another grim milestone in its fight against the devastating Covid-19 pandemic: 1 in 500 Americans has died of coronavirus since the country’s first reported infection.

As of Tuesday night, 663,913 people in the United States have died from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. According to the US Census Bureau, the US population in April 2020 was 331.4 million.

It is a sobering toll as hospitals in the United States struggle to keep up with the number of patients and more children struggle with the virus. Hoping to control the spread and prevent more unnecessary deaths, officials are implementing mandates for workplace vaccinations and masking in schools.

They are fighting a sharp upward trend in cases and deaths: The US reports an increase of more than 30% in average daily cases and a nearly tripling of average daily deaths over the last month, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

But with only 54% of the population fully vaccinated, the number of people starting vaccinations every day has dropped over the last month.

Health experts have hailed vaccinations as the best source of protection against the virus, noting that the majority of people hospitalized with and killed by Covid-19 are unvaccinated. In Pennsylvania, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 7, 97% of the state’s covid-19 deaths were among unvaccinated people, Pennsylvania’s acting health secretary said Tuesday.

Another layer of strong protection, experts say, is masking.

The CDC recommends people – including those who are fully vaccinated – wearing masks indoors in areas with significant or high community transmission. More than 99% of the population lives in a county with one of these designations.

In Ohio, where children’s hospitals are overwhelmed by Covid-19 and respiratory cases, Gov. Mike DeWine is urging schools to issue mask mandates since state lawmakers told him it would overturn any mandate he issued.

“Reasonable people may disagree on a lot, but we can all agree that we should keep our children in the classroom so that they do not fall behind and so that their parents can go to work and not take time off to see their children at home. , ”Said DeWine.

The combination of masks and vaccinations is the way to keep children in school, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to CNN Tuesday.

“If you surround the kids with vaccinated people and everyone is wearing a mask, you could get a situation where the kids will be relatively safe in school,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Fight brewing for vaccine mandates

In an effort to deal with the spread of the virus, many officials and experts have promoted vaccination mandates – but others oppose such measures.

New York issued an order in August requiring all health care professionals to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by September 27th. But on Monday, 17 Catholic and Baptist doctors filed a federal complaint to prevent the state from enforcing the mandate, saying they are opposed to getting the vaccine for religious reasons.

On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a restraining order temporarily suspending the state of New York from enforcing its vaccine mandate, whose health professionals claim a religious exemption.

Because the mandate does not require healthcare professionals to receive their first dose of the vaccine before Sept. 27, the judge’s executive order states that the temporary injunction “practically does not take effect before that date.”

A hearing is scheduled for September 28.

Following the ruling, New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s Press Secretary Hazel Crampton-Hays said in a statement that the governor is considering all legal options.

“Governor Hochul is doing everything she can to protect New Yorkers and fight the Delta variant by increasing vaccination rates across the state,” Crampton-Hays said.

In Los Angeles, despite a mandate that all city employees must be vaccinated against the virus, nearly a quarter of the police force is seeking an exception, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. Those who have not been vaccinated must show proof of weekly testing and a negative COVID result if they report for work regularly.

On November 1, Nevada workers serving “vulnerable populations” must show proof of vaccination under a new emergency ordinance passed Tuesday.

New employees must receive at least one dose before the start date and must follow the necessary vaccination plan to remain employed. Workers are allowed to request a medical or religious exemption.

Booster meeting will not be a slam dunk

On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet to discuss whether most Americans need a boost of their Covid-19 vaccine.

Unlike other meetings to discuss the vaccine, this one, with requests from Pfizer to approve a third dose for most people, will not be a slam dunk.

“This will be a lot more messy than in December,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a specialist in infectious disease at Vanderbilt University. The FDA committee was quick to recommend approval of vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and rival Moderna last December.

When the FDA’s advisory committee on vaccines and related biological products meets on Friday, it will be presented with dueling data, some of which suggest that boosters are needed, but other data that suggest there is no such need.

Three separate articles published last week in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report suggest we do not need boosters.

On the other hand, an Israeli study found that over time, the power of vaccines to prevent people from becoming very ill with Covid-19 decreased. The study looked at diseases in the second half of July that those who had received their second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine in March were 70% more protected against serious illness than those who received the second shot in January.

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