Category Archives: Coronavirus

Coronavirus digest: US lowers travel advisory for India

The number of fresh cases in India has fallen to a four-month low. Elsewhere, a new study shows over 1 million children have lost a caregiver due to COVID. DW has the latest.

The US State Department has lowered its COVID-related travel advisory for India and Pakistan to “Level 3 — Reconsider Travel” from “Level 4 — Do Not Travel.”

The advisories had previously asked US residents not to travel to either country.

Restrictions imposed in May, which bar the entry of nearly all non-US citizens who have been in India within the last 14, remain in place.

Though India’s COVID cases have been slowing, some local hotspots remain quite active, driving up the total number of cases. The health ministry confirmed 42,015 new infections on Wednesday, and 3,998 deaths, the highest since June 12.

Some provinces in Pakistan have seen a sharp rise in cases lately, but the country has brought the situation under control more generally.

Nearly all travelers to the US must show a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery from the disease.

Here’s an overview of other major coronavirus developments around the world.

Americas

Guatemala received three million doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccines donated by the US. The country’s health minister said it was the biggest shipment yet, and would allow the country to vaccinate everyone over 40.

Mexico‘s Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 13,853 new confirmed infections and 341 deaths, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 2,678,297 and the death toll to 236,810.

Brazil registered 27,592 new cases of coronavirus and 1,424 new deaths on Tuesday. The infection rate has been accelerating ever since officials relaxed social distancing rules in early May.

Asia-Pacific

The Tokyo Olympics should go ahead to demonstrate to the world what can be achieved with the right COVID measures in place, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday. The world needed the Olympics “as a celebration of hope,” and the number of cases should not be used to judge the event, Tedros said. Instead, he urged people to think of the way the cases are handled.

South Korea reported a new daily high for COVID-19 infections, with 1,784 confirmed cases. The figures marked the biggest single-day jump since the pandemic began.

Australia’s Victoria state logged the biggest daily rise in locally acquired coronavirus cases in more than a week. Health authorities reported 22 new cases on Wednesday, up from nine a day earlier.

The state has extended its stay-at-home orders until July 27.

Mainland China reported 22 new COVID cases, compared to 65 a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Wednesday. Of the new cases, 20 originated overseas. The rest were local cases, all in the southwestern border province of Yunnan. China’s total number of coronavirus cases stands at 92,364. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,636.

Europe

Authorities in Mallorca are rethinking COVID rules as cases continue to rise on the Spanish holiday island. The number of new infections per 100,000 people rose to 335 from 310 on Tuesday. Last Friday, the figure was 270.

The number of cases in Germany rose by 2,203 and the death toll increased by 19. The total number of cases now stands at 3,748,613 and deaths at 91,416.

Greek Orthodox Church authorities published a circular busting conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. It includes advice that vaccines “do not contain microchips.” Spiritual leaders have urged churches to read the guidelines out to the faithful.

Greece reported more than 3,000 new infections on Tuesday for its approximately 11 million inhabitants.

Global

Around 1.5 million children worldwide lost at least one parent, grandparent or other caregiver as a result of the pandemic between March 2020 and April this year, a new study led by a researcher at the Imperial College London reveals.

rm/rt  (Reuters, AP)

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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

Hawaii marks 6th consecutive day of triple-digit cases with 100 new coronavirus infections

Hawaii marks 6th consecutive day of triple-digit cases with 100 new coronavirus infections

Today marked the sixth day in a row that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii remained in the triple-digit range.

Hawaii Department of Health officials reported 100 new confirmed and probable coronavirus infections today, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 39,486 cases.

No new virus-related fatalities were reported today so the statewide COVID-19 death toll remains 523.

>> RELATED: Return of restrictions not planned as coronavirus infections surge in Hawaii

The state’s official coronavirus-related death toll includes 405 fatalities on Oahu, 57 on Maui, 56 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.

The U.S. coronavirus-related death toll today is over 609,000 and the nationwide infection tally is more than 34.1 million.

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 75 new cases on Oahu, six on Maui, 15 on Hawaii island, one on Kauai and three Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state.

State health officials have been including probable infections in its total case counts. Probable infections include people who never received a confirmatory test but are believed to have had the virus because of their known exposure and symptoms or because of a positive antigen test.

The total number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases by island since the start of the outbreak are 28,937 on Oahu, 4,828 on Maui, 3,499 in Hawaii County, 476 on Kauai, 115 on Lanai and 81 on Molokai. There are also 1,550 Hawaii residents who were diagnosed outside of the state.

Today’s probable infections since the start of the pandemic added to the counts today include 840 on Maui, 829 on Oahu, 81 on Hawaii island, 24 on Molokai, three on Kauai, three on Lanai and 62 residents diagnosed outside the state.

The statistics released today reflect the new infection cases reported to the department on Sunday.

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 1,235 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The state’s total number of active cases increased today by 66.

By island, Oahu has 839 active cases, the Big Island has 204, Maui has 108, Kauai has 83 and one on Molokai.

Health officials counted 2,037 new COVID-19 test results in today’s tally, for a 4.91% statewide positivity rate. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 3.5%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard.

The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,731,897 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Monday, up 2,014 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 59.4% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 66% have received at least one dose.

Of all the confirmed Hawaii infection cases, 2,585 have required hospitalizations, with 15 new hospitalizations reported today.

Fourteen hospitalizations in the overall statewide count are Hawaii residents who were diagnosed and treated outside the state. Of the 2,571 hospitalizations within the state, 2,107 have been on Oahu, 299 on Maui, 148 on the Big Island, 11 on Kauai, five on Lanai and one on Molokai.

According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 66 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Monday, with 15 in intensive care units and 12 on ventilators.


This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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Kentucky COVID-19 update: More than 1,000 coronavirus cases, 3 deaths announced Tuesday

Kentucky COVID-19 update: More than 1,000 coronavirus cases, 3 deaths announced Tuesday

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Kentucky reported 1,054 new COVID-19 cases and three additional coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday. 

The state’s test positivity rate was again above 5%, at 5.71%.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,250,973 Kentuckians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

There have been 471,669 total coronavirus cases and 7,304 related deaths in Kentucky since the start of the pandemic.

There were 347 Kentuckians hospitalized with the virus Tuesday, including 112 in intensive care units and 44 on ventilators.

Indiana coronavirus tracker: Get the latest numbers here

Where are the coronavirus cases in Kentucky? 

All of Kentucky’s 120 counties have seen diagnosed cases of the coronavirus.

Because multiple labs are testing for coronavirus, demographic information for patients is not always immediately available. This tracker and map is based on daily updates provided by Beshear’s office each evening. Numbers reported by county and local health departments may differ from what the state is reporting.

SEARCH: Coronavirus cases, deaths and rates for every county in the U.S.

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Time runs short for eligible students to get coronavirus vaccine before school year starts

Time runs short for eligible students to get coronavirus vaccine before school year starts

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Tuesday is the last day for Columbia Public Schools and Moberly Public Schools students to receive the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine if they want to be fully vaccinated by the first day of school on Aug. 24.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is the only COVID-19 vaccination approved for people younger than 18, requires two doses 21 days apart. Two weeks after the final dose, a person is considered fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective at preventing coronavirus after two doses of the vaccine and if the individual didn’t previously have the virus.

The Pfizer vaccine is only approved for students 12 or older, so elementary-age students are not eligible. That means in CPS, more than 8,000 students could start the year unvaccinated because of their age, based on last school year’s enrollment.

Last year’s first day enrollment numbers at CPS showed 8,411 elementary students, which is 45.7% of the 18,413 total number of students enrolled. First-day enrollment numbers last year were lower than usual because of parental concerns about COVID-19.

John Potter, who has three children enrolled in CPS ages 6, 9 and 12, said his children won’t be getting vaccinated because they already have natural antibodies and he wants to wait for more research to be done on the vaccine.

“I just think there’s a lot of unknowns, especially with children because they just haven’t had as long of time as they have with adults,” Porter said.

On July 12, CPS updated guidelines for its summer school students. CPS now requires students 11 years old and younger to wear masks in the classroom. Potter said this change in rules led him to take his two youngest children out of in-person summer school.

“One of the main reasons my kids are in public school is so they can interact and socialize with people in the community. And I think the masks really hamper that,” Potter said.

Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

Columbia / Columbia Public Schools / Education / K-12 education / Local News / News / Top Stories

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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

EU regulator begins rolling review of Sanofi’s new coronavirus vaccine

EU regulator begins rolling review of Sanofi’s new coronavirus vaccine

France is back in the vaccine race after the European Medicines Agency announced today it would begin assessing early data supporting Sanofi’s coronavirus vaccine.

France’s hopes of developing a working vaccine were derailed at the end of 2020 when Sanofi announced its original vaccine candidate failed to produce a strong immune response in older people in early human trials. The news was a national humiliation and raised questions about the country’s standing in medical research.

Sanofi went back to the drawing board, however, and created a reworked vaccine, Vidprevtyn. The candidate is a recombinant protein based vaccine — similar to the technology used by Novavax — that uses an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline to boost people’s immune response.

The EMA has now begun a rolling review, which allows regulators to assess data as it comes in. Its assessment is based on promising lab studies and early human trials that “suggest that the vaccine triggers the production of antibodies” that target the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 “may help protect against the disease.”

Sanofi, in partnership with GSK, began Phase 3 human trials of its vaccine at the end of May. At the time, the companies predicted the vaccine could be approved by regulators in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The EMA, however, wouldn’t provide a timeline today for when it could make a decision. The company will still have to submit a formal conditional marketing authorization application.

The agency currently has four vaccines undergoing rolling reviews, including Novavax, Sputnik, Sinovac and CureVac.

The EU has a contract with the company that allows countries to buy up to 300 million doses of the vaccine.

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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

Twitter suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene for posting coronavirus misinformation.

The Canadian border as seen from Buffalo in April. The U.S.-Canadian border has been closed to non-essential travel since March last year.
Lindsay Dedario/Reuters

Canada is poised to welcome back fully vaccinated travelers, including Americans, after over a year of strict controls at the border.

Beginning on Aug. 9, citizens and permanent residents of the United States will be allowed to enter Canada as long as they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before travel, federal government officials said on Monday.

Canada then hopes to allow visitors from other countries beginning on Sept. 7, a date that could change depending on conditions.

Pressure has been building on both sides of the border to reopen, to bolster tourism and allow separated families to reunite (though Canada has already made some exceptions for relatives). The two countries have renewed the closure every month since the border closed to nonessential travel on March 21, 2020. Commercial traffic was never halted.

Before the pandemic, Canada was the second most popular foreign destination for Americans, behind Mexico.

Canada is ready to lift border restrictions because it has made rapid progress vaccinating its population after months of delays. It now has higher vaccination rates than the United States, with 50 percent of its population fully vaccinated, and 75 percent of residents having received at least one dose, according to its federal public health agency.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had indicated that Canada would begin to open its border after it crossed the 75 percent threshold for residents who are at least partly vaccinated.

Travelers must present Canadian border officials with proof of vaccination. Canada will accept only the Covid vaccines it has approved for its population: those made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or the Serum Institute of India, and Janssen, the brand used by Johnson & Johnson in Canada.

In a news conference on Monday, Bill Blair, the public safety minister, said he shared Canada’s border plan with his U.S. counterparts last week, but “they’ve not yet made a decision.”

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said in a briefing Monday that the United States would continue travel restrictions.

“Any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously, but we look and are guided by our own medical experts,” Ms. Psaki said. “I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention.”

Several members of Congress from both parties applauded Canada’s move and called on the United States to follow suit. Representative Brian Higgins, Democrat of western New York, criticized the Biden administration for what he called a “lack of urgency” in lifting restrictions at the border.

Representative Pete Stauber, Republican of Minnesota, said on Twitter that the news was “long overdue. Our border communities have suffered for over a year.”

The United States must decide by July 21 to either extend its border closures with Canada and Mexico by a month or lift them altogether.

Also as of Aug. 9, Canada is dropping its mandatory government-approved-hotel quarantine requirement for air travelers, and removing the quarantine period for eligible, fully vaccinated visitors.

Children under 12, who are not yet eligible for the vaccines, or dependents of fully vaccinated travelers, will also be exempt from a 14-day quarantine. They may “move around with their parents, but must avoid group settings, such as camps or daycares,” public health officials said in briefing documents.

The highly contagious Delta virus variant remains a concern, so some fully vaccinated travelers will be randomly selected to complete a post-arrival test for the virus.

Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers will be required to present a negative test taken within 72 hours before arrival.

Airline passengers have so far been limited to traveling through four international airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Now, the government is expanding international flights to Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

On Friday the Toronto Blue Jays, a Major League Baseball team, were granted a travel exemption allowing them to return to Canada, after being forced to play across the border throughout the pandemic.

Canada also let National Hockey League teams cross the border for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Miriam Jordan contributed from Los Angeles.

The campus at Indiana University in 2017.
Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

In what appeared to be the first ruling upholding a coronavirus vaccine mandate by a university, a federal judge affirmed on Monday that Indiana University could require that its students be vaccinated against the virus.

A lawyer for eight student plaintiffs had argued that requiring the vaccine violated their right to bodily integrity and autonomy, and that the coronavirus vaccines have only emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and should not be considered as part of the normal range of vaccinations schools require. He vowed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

“What we have here is the government forcing you to do something that you strenuously object to and have your body invaded in the process,” said the lawyer, James Bopp Jr.

He said that the appeal would be paid for by America’s Frontline Doctors, a conservative organization that has been pursuing an anti-vaccine agenda. Mr. Bopp, of Terre Haute, Ind., is known for his legal advocacy promoting conservative causes.

Mr. Bopp filed the lawsuit in June, after Indiana University announced the previous month that faculty, staff and students would be required to get coronavirus vaccinations before coming to school this fall.

The university, whose main campus is in Bloomington, Ind., said that students who did not comply would have their class registrations canceled and would be barred from campus activities.

The requirement permitted exemptions only for religious objections, documented allergies to the vaccine, medical deferrals and virtual class attendance.

On Monday, Judge Damon R. Leichty of the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana said that while he recognized the students’ interest in refusing unwarranted medical treatment, such a right must be weighed against the state’s greater interest.

“The Fourteenth Amendment permits Indiana University to pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty and staff,” his ruling said, also noting that the university had made exceptions for students who object.

Judge Leichty was appointed by former President Donald J. Trump.

Universities around the country have taken different positions on the question of requiring coronavirus vaccines, with about 400 campuses mandating them. Students on several campuses have filed or threatened lawsuits.

The A.A.P. recommendation is a departure from the the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month.
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new Covid-19 guidelines for schools on Monday, recommending that everyone over age 2 wear masks this fall, even if they have been vaccinated. Exceptions may be made for those with medical or developmental conditions that complicate mask wearing, the group said.

The universal masking recommendation is a departure from the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month, which recommends masking in schools only for unvaccinated people over age 2. Those guidelines heavily implied that fully vaccinated children and adults would not need to wear masks in the classroom — although they also said that individual schools were free to implement universal mask mandates.

In many other ways, however, the two sets of guidelines are similar. The A.A.P., like the C.D.C., emphasized the importance of returning to in-person learning.

“We need to prioritize getting children back into schools alongside their friends and their teachers — and we all play a role in making sure it happens safely,” Dr. Sonja O’Leary, the chair of the A.A.P. Council on School Health, said in a statement.

Like the C.D.C., the A.A.P. recommended a “layered” approach that combines a variety of measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. In addition to universal masking, those measures include vaccination, improved ventilation, virus testing, quarantines, and cleaning and disinfection, the group said.

The A.A.P. laid out several reasons for its universal masking recommendation.

Many students are too young to be eligible for the vaccines, which are authorized only for those ages 12 and older, the group noted. And universal masking could reduce overall transmission of the virus, helping to protect those who are unvaccinated.

The group also cited concerns about more transmissible virus variants and the possibility that vaccination rates could be low in the surrounding community, which could raise the risk of an outbreak at a particular school. The A.A.P. recommended universal masking also because it may be difficult to verify whether individual students or staff members have been vaccinated.

Some state and local officials have already announced that they will not require universal masking in the fall, and at least eight states have banned such mandates.

The A.A.P. guidance stopped short of outright recommending vaccine mandates, but said that they may ultimately be needed. “It may become necessary for schools to collect Covid-19 vaccine information of staff and students and for schools to require Covid-19 vaccination for in-person learning,” the guidelines said.

Like the C.D.C., the A.A.P. also encouraged families to ensure that students catch up on any other childhood vaccines they may have missed during the pandemic.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday in Tokyo.
Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

TOKYO — The U.S. men’s national basketball team traveled to Tokyo on Monday without guard Zach LaVine, who entered coronavirus health and safety protocols.

In a statement, Team USA said it was hopeful LaVine could take up his place in Japan later this week. The U.S. men’s basketball team had reshuffled its roster last week after it lost guard Bradley Beal to health and safety protocols and forward Kevin Love withdrew from participation.

U.S. women’s basketball also suffered a blow with the news that Katie Lou Samuelson, a member of the 3×3 Olympics team, would miss the Games following a positive test result. Samuelson said she was fully vaccinated.

“Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon, I can come back to realize that dream,” Samuelson, 24, wrote in an Instagram post.

Earlier Monday, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed that an alternate on the women’s gymnastics team had tested positive for the coronavirus while in training in Chiba Prefecture outside Tokyo.

Despite being vaccinated, Kara Eaker, 18, of Grain Valley, Mo., began a 10- to 14-day quarantine, her coach, Al Fong, said in a text message. He added that she “feels fine.”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fong said that Leanne Wong, another alternate and Eaker’s teammate at his GAGE Center gym in Blue Springs, Mo., was also under quarantine, expected to last until about July 31, because she is considered a close contact. Wong, who is 17 and from Overland Park, Kansas, said at the Olympic trials last month that she had not been vaccinated.

The opening ceremony is Friday and the first competitions are Wednesday. But organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are struggling to manage public anxiety about the Games after a cluster of coronavirus cases that threaten to overshadow the festivities.

As about 20,000 athletes, coaches, referees and other officials have poured into Japan in recent days, more than two dozen of them have tested positive for the virus, including three cases within the Olympic Village. An additional 33 staff members or contractors who are Japanese residents working on the Games have tested positive.

Olympics organizers have said their measures — including repeated testing, social distancing and restrictions on movement — would limit, but not eliminate, coronavirus cases. The Games, originally scheduled for 2020, were postponed a year in the hopes the pandemic would have eased and they could herald a triumphant return to normal.

Instead, they have become a reminder of the staying power of the virus and have fed a debate over whether Japan and the International Olympic Committee have their priorities straight.

Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Laura Morton for The New York Times

After a weekend of rancor between the White House and Facebook, President Bidenhas softened his forceful criticism of social networks over the spread of misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

At a White House news conference on Monday largely focused on the economy, Mr. Biden stepped back from his comment on Friday that platforms like Facebook were “killing people.”

“Facebook isn’t killing people,” Mr. Biden said. “These 12 people are out there giving misinformation. Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information.”

He appeared to be referring to a study from earlier this year showing that 12 online personalities, with a combined following of 59 million people, were responsible for the vast majority of Covid-19 anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories, and that Facebook provided the most consequential platform.

“My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally that I’m somehow saying ‘Facebook is killing people,’ that they would do something about the misinformation,” Mr. Biden said.

In a blog post on Saturday, Facebook called on the administration to stop “finger pointing,” laid out what it had done to encourage users to get vaccinated, and detailed how it had clamped down on lies about the vaccines.

“The Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in the post. “The fact is that vaccine acceptance among Facebook users in the U.S. has increased.”

Mr. Rosen said that the company’s data showed that 85 percent of its U.S. users had been or wanted to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The country fell short of meeting Mr. Biden’s target of having 70 percent of American adults vaccinated by July 4, but, Mr. Rosen said, “Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.”

On Sunday, the surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, reiterated warnings that false stories about the vaccines had become a dangerous health hazard. “These platforms have to recognize they’ve played a major role in the increase in speed and scale with which misinformation is spreading,” Mr. Murthy said on the CNN program “State of the Union.”

On Monday, Mr. Biden called on Facebook’s officials to consider the impact the spread of misinformation about the vaccine could have on people they cared about.

“Look in the mirror,” Mr. Biden said. “Think about that misinformation going to your son, your daughter, your relative, someone you love. That’s all I’m asking.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain defended his decision to lift almost all of England’s pandemic restrictions in an address from his country house where he was in quarantine after a Covid-19 exposure.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

“Freedom Day” arrived in England on Monday with its chief architect, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, confined in quarantine, millions of Britons facing the same prospect and untold people more anxious about the risks of liberation.

Those were the incongruities on the long-awaited day when the government lifted all but a few remaining coronavirus restrictions.

Even as nightclubs and pubs threw open their doors and patrons embraced each other, 39,950 new cases were reported on Monday and tens of thousands were forced into quarantine after they were notified by the National Health Service’s cellphone app that they had been in contact with an infected person.

The U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their highest-level travel warnings Monday for the United Kingdom, citing high levels of the virus.

Mr. Johnson defended the decision to reopen from his country residence, Chequers, where he has been in self-isolation since Sunday after the N.H.S. notified, or “pinged,” him because he had met with his health secretary, Sajid Javid, before he tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

“If we don’t open up now, then we face a risk of even tougher conditions in the coming months when the virus has a natural advantage,” Mr. Johnson said in a news conference. “We have to ask ourselves the question, ‘If not now, when?’”

“It is right to proceed cautiously in the way we are,” he added. “It is also right to recognize that this pandemic is far from over.”

British newspapers had dubbed Monday “Freedom Day,” celebrating it as a symbolic end to the country’s 16-month ordeal with the pandemic.

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Crowds packed onto dance floors after England lifted most coronavirus restrictions on social contact and ended its mask mandate, despite surging cases.Rob Pinney/Getty Images

But as new cases have soared and hospital admissions have begun to follow, the plan to throw open the economy instead looks like a likely recipe for a massive third wave. Mr. Johnson appeared to view a surge of infections as inevitable and worth getting through during the summer, when warmer weather and school vacations could mitigate transmission.

The government’s decision amounts to a breathtaking gamble that a country with fairly widely deployed vaccines in its adult population can learn to live with the coronavirus. Nearly 70 percent of adults in the United Kingdom have gotten both doses of a vaccine.

Much will depend on the resilience of the vaccines and the capacity of the nation’s health care system to handle those who do become sick.

“The government is basically saying, ‘We’ve done all we can. Now it’s up to you,’” said Devi Sridhar, head of the global public health program at the University of Edinburgh. “They’ve become the first country to surrender.”

Under the new rules, pubs and restaurants can operate at full capacity and nightclubs are allowed to reopen. Curbs on the number of people who can meet indoors, generally limited to six, were also lifted. The legal requirement to wear face masks was dropped, though the government is urging people to keep wearing them on public transportation. (They remain compulsory on subways and buses in London.)

The government has resisted linking vaccination status with restrictions like those recently announced in France.

There were indications of a more buoyant mood, with many restaurants scrawling “Happy Freedom Day” on their signs. Still, many people said they felt conflicted about the government’s decision to ease restrictions.

“The deaths are a bit less with the vaccination, but the people still have corona — we still have high numbers,” said Simone Papi, 24, a chef.

Isabella Kwai contributed reporting from London, and Aina J. Khan from Bradford, England.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, has been an outspoken opponent of vaccines and masks as tools to curb the pandemic.
Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Twitter said on Monday that it was suspending Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from its service for 12 hours after she posted messages that violated its policy against sharing misleading information about the coronavirus.

Ms. Greene, Republican of Georgia, has been an outspoken opponent of vaccines and masks as tools to curb the pandemic. In tweets on Sunday and Monday, she argued that Covid-19 was not dangerous for people unless they are obese or over age 65, and said vaccines should not be required.

But cases of the coronavirus are on the rise, and the highly contagious Delta variant accounts for more than half of new infections in the United States, federal health officials said this month. In Ms. Greene’s home state, Georgia, new cases have increased 193 percent in the past two weeks.

Twitter said Ms. Greene’s tweets were misinformation, and it barred her from the service until Tuesday. “We took enforcement action on the account @mtgreenee for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the Covid-19 misleading information policy,” a Twitter spokesman said. The company also added labels to Ms. Greene’s posts about the vaccines, calling them “misleading” and pointing to information about the safety of the inoculations.

Twitter has long barred users from sharing misinformation about the coronavirus that could lead to harm. In March, the company introduced a policy that explained the penalties for sharing lies about the virus and vaccines.

People who violate that policy are subject to escalating punishments known as strikes and could face a permanent ban if they repeatedly share misinformation about the virus. A 12-hour ban, like the one Ms. Greene is experiencing, is Twitter’s response to users who have either two or three strikes. After four strikes, Twitter suspends users for seven days, and after five strikes, Twitter bars the user altogether.

Travelers lining up to pass through a security checkpoint last month in Denver International Airport.
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

More travelers passed through U.S. airports on Sunday than at any time since the start of the pandemic, federal data show, suggesting that the desire to get away this summer remains strong in the face of discouraging coronavirus news.

About 2.2 million people passed through security checkpoints at airports in the United States, nearly three times as many as the same day a year ago, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. That was still half a million short of the same day in 2019, before the pandemic, and about 300,000 short of July 21, 2019, which was also a late-July Sunday.

The number of travelers continues to grow even though reported coronavirus infections are rising, particularly in areas with low rates of vaccination.

R. Carter Langston, a spokesman for the T.S.A., said that the number of travelers screened was hovering just below 2019 levels, even though business and international travel have not recovered ground lost during the pandemic.

“We’ve seen a steady drumbeat of interest among travelers,” Mr. Langston said.

The number of domestic travelers is growing even though there are fewer flights for them to take. U.S. airlines are expected to operate about 615,000 domestic flights this month, down more than 14 percent from July 2019, according to an analysis of flight schedules from Cirium, an aviation data provider.

The number of passengers on domestic flights has climbed for months as vaccinations have risen and the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths have declined.

The number of air travelers on July 1 and 2 — just before Independence Day — was actually greater in 2021 than in 2019, T.S.A. data showed. (The T.S.A. noted that more people traveled over the entire holiday weekend in 2019.)

“We’re back traveling again,” Mr. Biden said in a July 4 address from the South Lawn of the White House. “We’re back seeing one another again.”

The Biden administration’s efforts to persuade more of the country to get inoculated have faced major headwinds. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that as of Monday, just over 68 percent of the country’s adult population had received at least one shot.

Reported cases of the coronavirus, hospitalizations and deaths are all trending upward, and states with low rates of vaccination, like Arkansas, Missouri and Nevada, are battling outbreaks as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.

Officials warned of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” last week, and the Biden administration announced this month that it would send “surge response teams” to states that need help.

The C.D.C. has retained many coronavirus precautions for travelers on public transportation, like mask wearing, even as it relaxes them in other areas. There have been thousands of reports of unruly passengers acting out against mask mandates, particularly on airplanes.

Mr. Langston said that the T.S.A. had seen about 3,000 mask-related incidents across different modes of public transportation since the federal mask rule went into effect last winter, which he called “a relatively insignificant number compared to the millions of travelers each day affected by the mask mandate.”

Niraj Chokshi contributed reporting.

Representative Vern Buchanan in Sarasota, Fla., in October 2020.
Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

Representative Vern Buchanan, Republican of Florida, has tested positive for the coronavirus after having been fully vaccinated earlier this year, his office announced on Monday.

Mr. Buchanan was tested after “experiencing very mild flu-like symptoms” and is now quarantining at home, the statement said.

Mr. Buchanan said in the statement that he looked forward to returning to work “as soon as possible.” He added, “In the meantime, this should serve as a reminder that although the vaccines provide a very high degree of protection, we must remain vigilant in the fight against Covid-19.”

A telephone message left at Mr. Buchanan’s office in Washington was not immediately returned on Monday evening.

Mr. Buchanan is the latest lawmaker to report being infected. More than 70 senators and members of the House of Representatives have been diagnosed with the virus, according to GovTrack.

The announcement came as Florida reported a 190 percent increase in the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks, according to data collected by The New York Times, though cases remain at a fraction of their peak levels.

Overall in Florida, 48 percent of people are fully vaccinated. Mr. Buchanan’s coastal district includes parts of three counties, where vaccination rates hover near the statewide figure: Sarasota (56 percent), Manatee (46 percent) and Hillsborough (43 percent), according to the Times data.

The St. Pancras railway station in London on Sunday. Unlike other European nations on Britain’s medium-risk amber list, travelers arriving in England from France must continue to quarantine upon arrival.
Yui Mok/Press Association, via Associated Press

Nearly all of England’s pandemic restrictions were lifted on Monday, with a notable exception: Travelers to England from France must continue to quarantine upon arrival, even if they are fully vaccinated.

The rule, announced on Friday, was spurred by concerns about the presence of the Beta variant of the coronavirus in France and is intended as a precautionary measure, officials said.

So what is the Beta variant?

Formerly known as B.1.351, Beta was first detected in South Africa last year. It contains several mutations, in a protein called spike, that help the virus bind more tightly to human cells.

It also contains the E484K mutation, sometimes known as the “Eek” mutation, which appears to help the virus partially evade antibodies. This mutation has emerged independently in multiple variants, including Gamma, which surfaced in Brazil, and in some samples of Alpha, which was first identified in Britain.

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both designated Beta as a “variant of concern.”

Scientists and health officials became concerned about Beta because it spread quickly through South Africa and research indicated that some vaccines were less powerful against it. One of them, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, is the vaccine Britain has depended on most heavily.

Several authorized vaccines do provide strong protection against severe disease caused by the variant, however.

Some monoclonal antibody treatments are also less effective against Beta, although there are other authorized antibody treatments that appear to work well against it.

Beta’s ability to bind tightly to human cells may also make it more transmissible; the C.D.C. notes that it appears to be roughly 50 percent more infectious than the original form of the virus. It does not appear to be as contagious as the Delta variant that was first detected in India.

Beta has now been reported in 123 countries, but it remains far less prevalent than Delta, which the World Health Organization has said is likely to become the dominant variant globally in the coming months.

Over the last four weeks, the Beta variant has appeared in 3.7 percent of virus samples sequenced in France, according to GISAID, a repository of viral genomes. French officials have criticized the British restrictions as excessive, saying the majority of their Beta cases are in overseas territories like Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean where Beta accounts for 31.2 percent of sequences.

Beta is not common in the United States, where it represents just 0.1 percent of infections, according to C.D.C. estimates. It has been detected in Britain, but accounts for a negligible share of cases there.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said he would not support additional indoor mask requirements as the Delta variant fuels rising coronavirus cases in the city, and doubled down on vaccinations as the best defense.Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Though the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he would not issue an executive order mandating the use of masks indoors, instead doubling down on vaccination as the best line of defense.

During a news conference, Mr. de Blasio announced the average rate of positive tests over the last seven days had risen to 1.69 percent. That figure has been steadily rising in recent weeks as the more contagious Delta variant continues to spread throughout the city, but is still well below the 6 percent positivity rate the city recorded in late March, just before the second wave began to recede. Hospitalizations and deaths have remained low.

Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, the city health commissioner, said that the Delta variant appeared to be responsible for the increase and now accounted for 69 percent of cases sequenced by the city.

Over the weekend, Mark Levine, chair of the New York City Council health committee, called for the renewal of a broad indoor mask mandate. The city has dropped the mask rule except on public transportation, in hospitals and schools, and in congregate settings like homeless shelters.

But the mayor flatly rejected the idea on Monday, emphasizing instead the importance of getting all New Yorkers vaccinated. “No. Simple answer is no,” Mr. de Blasio said.

“Masks have value, unquestionably,” he added. “But masks are not going at the root of the problem. Vaccination is.”

Mr. de Blasio said that the city would increase its efforts to reach the unvaccinated and that he anticipated a surge in the number of children over 12 getting inoculated before school resumed in the fall.

Inoculation rates across the city are uneven, and the city’s vaccination campaign has slowed dramatically in recent months. About 42 percent of adults in New York City have yet to be vaccinated, according to the city’s health department.

As of Monday, 4.8 million New Yorkers had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 4.4 million had been fully vaccinated.

Texas House Democrats held a news conference last week at Dulles International Airport in Washington after leaving Texas in an effort to block Republicans’ voting restrictions bill.
Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Dozens of Democratic state lawmakers from the Texas House of Representatives on Monday resumed their lobbying campaign in Washington for federal voting rights legislation, but they were forced to switch many of their events from in-person to virtual after five of the legislators tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days.

A battery of events, including an hourlong town-hall-style broadcast on MSNBC, will now be held virtually, with legislators appearing from either a conference room or their rooms at their hotel in downtown Washington.

The shift has taken some of the steam out of the second week of what the Texas Democrats say will be a nearly monthlong stay to fight for voting rights at the Capitol.

After spending their initial days in a series of well-documented meetings with Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the Texans have no additional congressional meetings scheduled, though they may gather with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. It is not clear whether those sessions will be in-person or virtual.

All five lawmakers are fully vaccinated and were experiencing mild or no symptoms, the Texas House Democratic Caucus said in a statement. It said all caucus members and their staff members in Washington were being tested daily.

“I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms,” said State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, one of the five legislators who tested positive for the virus. “I will be teleworking with my colleagues, staff, partners and allies. We’re planning more good trouble, and hope to make announcements soon.”

On Monday, that meant participating in the first day of what the Democrats are now calling a “virtual voting rights conference” with Mi Familia Vota and S.E.I.U. Texas. The morning sessions will continue through the week, live from the Texas Democrats’ hotel.

Anti-vaccine demonstrators marching past the Louvre in Paris on Saturday.
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

More than 100,000 people took to the streets across France over the weekend to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s tough new vaccination strategy, which will restrict access to restaurants, cafes, movie theaters, long-distance trains and more for the unvaccinated.

Demonstrators in Paris and elsewhere vented against what some called Mr. Macron’s “dictatorship” after he announced that a “health pass” — official proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or recent Covid-19 recovery — would be required for many to attend or enter most public events and venues.

At the same time, however, his policy seemed to have the desired effect: Record numbers of people flocked to vaccination centers in advance of the new rules coming into effect next month.

It made for a striking split-screen image as millions lined up for vaccines — so desperately sought in much of the world suffering outbreaks but with little access to doses — while an increasingly strident group from both the far left and far right decried Mr. Macron’s policies as government overreach.

Some protesters caused particular outrage after drawing parallels between their situation and that of the Jews during the Holocaust. Some wore a yellow star that said “nonvaccinated,” others carried signs or shouted slogans that compared the health pass to a Nazi-era measure.

“This comparison is abhorrent,” said Joseph Szwarc, 94, a Holocaust survivor who was speaking on Sunday as France commemorated the victims of racist or anti-Semitic acts by the Vichy government.

“I wore the star, I know what it is, I still have it in my flesh,” Mr. Szwarc said at a ceremony in Paris.

Two vaccination centers were also vandalized over the weekend. One, in southwestern France, near the Spanish border, suffered a fire that the local authorities suspect to have been arson; another, in southeastern France, near Grenoble, was flooded and tagged with anti-vaccine graffiti.

The number of protesters, however, has paled in comparison with the daily figures for new vaccination appointments and injections, which have skyrocketed since Mr. Macron’s announcements. Right after his speech, over 1.7 million appointments were booked within 24 hours on a single website; last Friday, nearly 880,000 people received a shot in a single day, a record.

Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

Fifty-five percent of the French population has received a first shot so far, and 40 percent has been fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database.

And polls show broad support for Mr. Macron’s muscular strategy, which also plans to force people who test positive to self-isolate for 10 days, to make vaccination mandatory for health workers — who will face suspension of pay or even dismissal by the fall if they don’t get their shots — and to stop widespread free testing.

Mr. Macron’s announcements were formalized in a bill presented by the government on Monday that is set to be passed by Parliament later in the week.

The number of daily infections has jumped in recent days, a rise that health officials have attributed to the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Over 12,500 new cases were recorded on Sunday, the highest number since mid-May.

“It’s either general vaccination, or a viral tsunami, there is no alternative,” Gabriel Attal, the government spokesman, told Le Parisien newspaper on Sunday.

Mr. Attal described the protesters who have marched against the government’s plans as “a fickle and defeatist fringe” that did not reflect the majority opinion of “hardworking and proactive” France.

“Between the two, there are obviously French who have sincere doubts and must be convinced,” Mr. Attal said. But, he added, “we don’t want the choice of the unvaccinated to weigh upon the vaccinated.”

Some politicians, especially on the far left and far right, have criticized Mr. Macron for suddenly imposing the health pass after promising several months ago not to use such a measure.

“There were and there are other solutions, including to convince our fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” lawmakers for the far-left France Unbowed party said in a statement on Monday.

Lawmakers across the political spectrum have also said that they will file a motion with France’s Constitutional Council to verify that the new bill complies with the French Constitution.

Times Square in March last year as lockdown began in New York. Employers cut 22 million jobs in March and April 2020.
Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

The pandemic recession is officially over.

In fact, it has been over for more than a year.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, the semiofficial arbiter of U.S. business cycles, said Monday that the recession had ended in April 2020, after a mere two months. That makes it by far the shortest contraction on record — so short that by June 2020, when the bureau officially determined that a recession had begun, it had been over for two months. (The previous shortest recession on record, in 1980, lasted six months.)

But while the 2020 recession was short, it was unusually severe. Employers cut 22 million jobs in March and April, and the unemployment rate hit 14.8 percent, the worst level since the Great Depression. Gross domestic product fell by more than 10 percent.

The end of the recession doesn’t mean that the economy has healed. The United States has nearly seven million fewer jobs than before the pandemic, and while gross domestic product has most likely returned to its prepandemic level, thousands of businesses have failed, and millions of individuals are still struggling to get back on their feet.

To economists, however, recessions aren’t simply periods of financial hardship. They are periods of economic contraction, as measured by employment, income, production and other indicators. Once growth resumes, the recession is over, no matter how deep a hole remains. The recession that accompanied the 2008 financial crisis, for example, ended in June 2009 — four months before the unemployment rate hit its peak, and years before many Americans began to experience a meaningful rebound.

The unusual nature of the pandemic-induced economic collapse challenged the traditional concept of a “recession.” The National Bureau of Economic Research defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months.” Taken literally, the latest downturn fails that test — the recession lasted mere weeks. But the bureau’s Business Cycle Dating Committee decided that the contraction should count nonetheless.

“The committee concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warranted the designation of this episode as a recession, even though the downturn was briefer than earlier contractions,” the committee said in a statement.

A table cordoned off for social distancing at the Amoy Street Food Center in Singapore in June.
Wallace Woon/EPA, via Shutterstock

Singapore reported 163 new locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus on Monday, its highest daily tally since August, as a growing cluster of infections has stalled the city-state’s return to normal life.

Of the 163 cases, 106 were linked to the Jurong Fishery Port, and 19 were tied to karaoke bars. Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s health minister, said in a Facebook post on Monday that the two clusters were linked. The Health Ministry says the number is likely to rise in coming days.

The outbreak has delayed Singapore’s reopening plans just a week after it eased some restrictions, some of which have been restored. In addition, the port was closed for two weeks, and the authorities temporarily shut down more than 400 nightlife establishments that had been serving food and beverages to remain in business under pandemic restrictions. The Health Ministry said several of those businesses had “abused the system by operating clandestine and illegal activities,” contributing to the infections.

“Unfortunately, there are a few who have flouted the rules,” Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s finance minister, said in a video released on Friday. He added, “We will take firm action against them.”

Testing and tracing in the karaoke cluster, Singapore’s biggest of the pandemic, may have been hampered by the reluctance of some customers to come forward. The Singapore police said last week that they had arrested 20 women on suspicion of involvement in vice-related activities at three of the lounges.

Officials said the reopening, though delayed, would be bolstered by the success of the vaccination campaign, which has moved faster than those of most other countries in Asia. About 47 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and the government aims to reach a two-thirds vaccination rate by Singapore’s National Day on Aug. 9.

Singapore, which has a population of almost six million people, has recorded a total of more than 63,000 cases and 36 reported deaths during the pandemic, according to a New York Times database.

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High school seniors and teachers being monitored after receiving the Pfizer vaccine in Daegu, South Korea, on Monday.
Kim Jun-Beom/Yonhap, via Associated Press

South Korea started vaccinating high school seniors and members of teaching staff on Monday in the latest effort to expand the country’s vaccination program, even as older residents remain ineligible for shots.

The Ministry of Education said the move would “facilitate safe and smooth academic operations” for the second half of the year and ease the burden on students preparing for critical exams.

According to health officials, 460,000 students and 190,000 teachers will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine across 280 vaccination centers. They will be eligible to receive the shots through July 30.

Last year, the pandemic added another layer of stress and anxiety for students who were preparing for their college entrance exam. The nine-hour exams are held once a year, typically in November. They were postponed by two weeks last year because of the pandemic.

High school seniors are the first group of adolescents to be vaccinated in South Korea, where until Monday vaccination was available only to people 55 and older. Monday was the first day vaccine appointments were opened to those ages 50 to 54.

Though South Korea, a country of 50 million people, has kept the coronavirus relatively under control at 180,000 cases and 2,058 deaths, its vaccination campaign has been sluggish. About 13 percent of its population is fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database. As the country faces a surge in infections — especially in the capital, Seoul — the vaccines offer relief to students preparing for what many consider the most important test of their lives.

“Covid-19 made me lose motivation since I was not able to study with my friends,” said Lee Lim, a high school senior in Seoul preparing for her college entrance exam. Ms. Lee, who prefers studying at cafes or study rooms, said that being stuck at home made her more prone to get sidetracked with YouTube or Netflix.

While Ms. Lee has some concerns about potential vaccine side effects, she considers herself lucky to be eligible for a shot when so many adults are not. “I feel relieved,” she said.

Teachers who work at public schools and private academies also spoke of a sense of comfort.

“Covid-19 has affected everything for students,” said Kang Seung-hyun, an English teacher in Seoul. “They couldn’t see or study with their friends, they had to cope with schools shutting down and reopening constantly, things that I’ve never had to go through and took for granted.”

Mr. Kang said that he and his fellow teachers were greatly reassured by their eligibility for vaccines. “It finally feels like something good is happening,” he said.

Seoul and its surrounding areas are under Level 4 of the government’s social distancing measures until July 25, meaning people are not allowed to gather in groups of more than two after 6 p.m. Certain businesses like clubs are also barred from operating, and restaurants and cafes are required to close at 10 p.m.

Katie Hopkins, center, in 2019.
Joe Giddens/Press Association, via Associated Press

Katie Hopkins, a British right-wing provocateur who has drawn criticism for hateful comments including comparing migrants to cockroaches, will be deported from Australia after bragging about flouting the country’s hotel quarantine rules.

Ms. Hopkins arrived in the country to take part in a reality show, “Big Brother VIP,” and was required to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel under coronavirus safety rules. On Saturday, she posted a video to Instagram and YouTube mocking these rules and detailing how she tried to frighten hotel staff by flinging open the door of her room “naked with no facemask.”

With over 40 percent of the country in lockdown and tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas because of strict caps on the number of returnees, her antics drew an immediate backlash.

On Sunday, she was reportedly dropped from the show with its host broadcaster, Seven Network, saying in a statement that it strongly condemned “her irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine.”

On Monday, the Australian home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, said Ms. Hopkins’s visa had been canceled, describing her conduct as “appalling” and “a slap in the face to all those Australians currently in lockdown.”

Ms. Hopkins had initially been allowed into the country “on the basis of potential benefit to the economy,” Ms. Andrews told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but “we will be getting her out of the country as soon as we can possibly arrange that.”

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Tokyo Games Push On Despite Coronavirus Cases

Tokyo Games Push On Despite Coronavirus Cases
Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

NBC will show more than 7,000 hours of coverage of the Tokyo Olympics across its platforms, including NBC stations, cable channels, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

The opening ceremony for the Olympics is scheduled for Friday night in Tokyo. But the 13-hour time difference with Tokyo means it will be Friday morning in the United States.

NBC will have a live morning broadcast of the ceremony, starting at 6:55 a.m. Eastern time. Savannah Guthrie, the anchor for “Today,” and NBC Sports’s Mike Tirico will host the ceremony.

Afterward, NBC will also broadcast a special edition of “Today” that includes athlete interviews, followed by an Olympic daytime show.

Similar to years past, the network will air a packaged prime time version of the ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday. Coverage will also be replayed again overnight for viewers who missed earlier broadcasts.

Though the opening ceremony is Friday, the first competitions begin on Wednesday in Japan.

Softball, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, kicks off the events with a match between Japan and Australia at 8 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. (The game begins in Japan on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Japan Standard Time.) The U.S. softball team will also play ahead of the opening ceremony, facing Italy at 11 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Both games will air on NBC Sports.

In addition to NBC Sports, Olympic events will be shown on the Golf Channel, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo and USA Network.

After the opening ceremony, the Tokyo Games will stretch across 16 days, culminating in the closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

TOKYO — Alone in a mostly bare room, my passport and press credentials confiscated, it seemed prudent to let my colleagues know where I was. Immediately.

“I am being detained by the authorities,” read the brief text I tapped out on my phone from deep inside one of Tokyo’s international airports late Monday night.

Was my trip to the Tokyo Olympics, years in the planning and still only a few hours old, over before it had begun?

For most of this year, rising coronavirus infection rates in Japan have caused grave concern and significant debate among citizens here about the wisdom — and the public health risks — of allowing hordes of athletes, officials and news media members into the country.

To assuage those concerns, Japan has thrown up numerous safeguards and hurdles to ensure that only a few, or preferably zero, Covid-positive people enter the country during the Games. Before even boarding a plane for Tokyo, for example, news media members, athletes and visiting officials had to produce two negative virus tests, download health-tracking apps onto their phones and agree to use them, fill out a slew of forms and print a stack of documents.

The strategy has not been foolproof — two athletes joined the list of Olympic positives on Tuesday — but it is thorough, which helps explain why I had been asked to surrender my passport and media credential and left to sit, alone, wondering whether I was about to be sent home on the next flight.

The pre-departure requirements had only been the start. Upon arrival at the airport in Japan, a 10-stage process began. At most of the steps a cheerful worker asked for one, two or maybe three documents to inspect. At another, a roomful of news media members from around the world spit into tubes for a third Covid test.

At one station, a bright yellow sheet reading OCHA — the name of a tracking app — was handed to each visitor. Two stations later, we were ushered to an attendant whose main job seemed to be to scrutinize the yellow sheet we had all just received.

I had spent the better part of a week gathering documents and test results and preparing for the process, and things seemed to be going smoothly until Step 8. There, a worker inspected my already heavily-scrutinized documents and abruptly ushered me out of line. “Your name on your passport and your credential don’t match,” she explained.

On one document I was Victor Mather, on the other Victor Mather III.

The “III” seemed to befuddle several inspectors, and my explanation about being named for both my father and my great-grandfather made little impact. I was taken to the bare room to wait, while my guide — and, more worryingly, my documents — disappeared.

Relief came after a somewhat anxious 30 minutes: The always polite and friendly attendant returned, handed back my documents, and put me back in line. I’m still not exactly sure what sealed my reprieve, but I finally got out of the airport three hours after my plane touched down. I had made it to the Olympics.

You can’t blame Japan for being deeply concerned about an onslaught of people from all over the world during a pandemic. The rigorous process will no doubt do a good job in keeping out many of those who might spread coronavirus. And perhaps a few Jrs., III’s and IV’s.

The Russians Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina were double gold medalists at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Romashina is back with a new partner this year. 
James Hill for The New York Times

TOKYO — The Olympic Games may profess to be about noble ideals like excellence, friendship and respect. But you had better believe you can still bet on them.

There are many great teams arriving at the Olympics, of course, and at least a few look really hard to beat. But which one is the biggest favorite, the true stone-cold lock?

Let’s start with the American women’s soccer team. With a 2019 World Cup win under their belts and stars like Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe leading their squad again, the Americans are the clear favorites in the women’s tournament. According to Pinnacle, a Curaçao-based site that offers odds on nearly every Olympic event, the team has odds of -157; that means you must bet $ 157 on the team to win $ 100.

Prefer the South Korean women archers? They have won eight straight team titles, every one ever contested at the Games. They are an even bigger favorite than the U.S. women’s soccer team at -261.

How about the American women’s softball team, whose sport is returning to the Games after 13 years? They are -294. And the U.S. men’s basketball team, despite a couple of stumbles over the past week and the loss of several players to coronavirus protocols, is -329.

But despite the high-profile success of these teams, we haven’t even gotten to the biggest favorites. The Sinkovic brothers of Croatia seem nearly unbeatable in the coxless pair rowing event. They are listed at -693.

And don’t bet against Russia in artistic swimming (formerly synchronized swimming): Its team is -900 in the duet and -1,200 in the team event.

Which brings us to the biggest favorite of them all. The United States women’s basketball team has won the last six Olympic gold medals and the last three World Cup titles. It arrives with a roster in which every player is an international star, names like A’ja Wilson and Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird.

Their odds at this writing are -1,938. In plain terms, you would have to risk $ 1,938 to collect a measly hundred bucks if they win another gold.

On the one hand, it might seem to be the easiest hundred you’ll ever make.

Gwen Berry turned away from the American flag during the U.S. National Anthem as a form of protest during the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The separation of sports and politics has long been one of the most carefully protected, and fiercely debated, values of the Olympic Games. Rules exist to police that divide, and athletes have been punished — and even ejected from the Games — for breaking them.

But in a move reflecting the influence of a remarkable, ongoing outpouring of activism from athletes, the International Olympic Committee recently released new guidelines offering Olympians a chance to “express their views” on the field of play before the start of a competition, including during athlete introductions.

Under the new rules, athletes competing this month at the Summer Games in Tokyo now will theoretically be allowed to wear an article of clothing (a shirt with a slogan or a glove, for example) or make a symbolic gesture (like kneeling or raising a fist) to express their views on an issue before the start of their events.

They still will not be allowed to conduct any sort of demonstration on the field of play, on the podium during medal ceremonies, in the Olympic athletes’ village or at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.

It was a small but symbolically significant concession, softening the I.O.C.’s longstanding rule against protest at the Games, but it fell short of what many athletes, including many from the United States, had called for in recent months.

It was, however, notable, particularly considering that the I.O.C. earlier this year had reaffirmed its ban on protests and political messages at the Olympics after growing calls from broad segments of its athlete population for more leniency on such issues. But the organization had also signaled a desire to look for new and creative ways to allow for self-expression, and it apparently found one.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday in Tokyo.
Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

TOKYO — The U.S. men’s national basketball team traveled to Tokyo on Monday without guard Zach LaVine, who entered coronavirus health and safety protocols.

In a statement, Team USA said it was hopeful LaVine could take up his place in Japan later this week. The U.S. men’s basketball team had reshuffled its roster last week after it lost guard Bradley Beal to health and safety protocols and forward Kevin Love withdrew from participation.

U.S. women’s basketball also suffered a blow with the news that Katie Lou Samuelson, a member of the 3×3 Olympics team, would miss the Games following a positive test result. Samuelson said she was fully vaccinated.

“Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon, I can come back to realize that dream,” Samuelson, 24, wrote in an Instagram post.

Earlier Monday, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed that an alternate on the women’s gymnastics team had tested positive for the coronavirus while in training in Chiba Prefecture outside Tokyo.

Despite being vaccinated, Kara Eaker, 18, of Grain Valley, Mo., began a 10- to 14-day quarantine, her coach, Al Fong, said in a text message. He added that she “feels fine.”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fong said that Leanne Wong, another alternate and Eaker’s teammate at his GAGE Center gym in Blue Springs, Mo., was also under quarantine, expected to last until about July 31, because she is considered a close contact. Wong, who is 17 and from Overland Park, Kansas, said at the Olympic trials last month that she had not been vaccinated.

The opening ceremony is Friday and the first competitions are Wednesday. But organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are struggling to manage public anxiety about the Games after a cluster of coronavirus cases that threaten to overshadow the festivities.

As about 20,000 athletes, coaches, referees and other officials have poured into Japan in recent days, more than two dozen of them have tested positive for the virus, including three cases within the Olympic Village. An additional 33 staff members or contractors who are Japanese residents working on the Games have tested positive.

Olympics organizers have said their measures — including repeated testing, social distancing and restrictions on movement — would limit, but not eliminate, coronavirus cases. The Games, originally scheduled for 2020, were postponed a year in the hopes the pandemic would have eased and they could herald a triumphant return to normal.

Instead, they have become a reminder of the staying power of the virus and have fed a debate over whether Japan and the International Olympic Committee have their priorities straight.

Nneka Ogwumike, right, watching Nigeria’s exhibition against the U.S. this week in Las Vegas alongside her sisters Erica, left, and Chiney.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nneka Ogwumike’s last-ditch efforts to take the court in Tokyo were crushed on Monday night after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected her request to play for Nigeria’s national women’s basketball team.

Ogwumike, winner of the W.N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2016 and a former No. 1 overall draft pick, was not selected for the U.S. team, a decision that stunned the basketball world. But Ogwumike, who was born and raised in Texas to Nigerian parents, applied to compete for Nigeria, where she has dual citizenship. Chiney Ogwumike, also a former No. 1 overall draft pick and Nneka’s younger sister, applied alongside her sister to play for Nigeria.

FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, denied Nneka’s request, citing her “significant involvement” with U.S.A. Basketball. Chiney, who has spent significantly less time with the U.S. national team, was cleared to play for Nigeria as a naturalized citizen.

The Ogwumikes turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, hoping the Swiss-based panel that is considered the final arbiter of disputes in international sport would allow both of them a spot on Nigeria’s roster until a hearing could occur.

Ogwumike’s appeal to FIBA was based on the governing body’s regulations that allow exceptions “in the interest of the development of basketball.” Nigeria is currently ranked No. 17 in the world and the addition of the Ogwumikes would have made the country a medal contender, said Dawn Staley, the coach of the U.S. team. It would also have given a continent that has never won an Olympic medal in men’s or women’s basketball a huge boost.

In the end, Chiney and Erica Ogwumike, a former standout at Rice who is a medical student, are on Nigeria’s roster.

Elizabeth Williams, a center for the Atlanta Dream, had also filed a petition with the court to play for Nigeria but the court rejected her petition as well on Monday.

As part of Toyota’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games, much of Tokyo’s taxi fleet was replaced with a sleek, new Toyota model.
Issei Kato/Reuters

Toyota said on Monday that it had decided against running Olympics-themed television advertisements in Japan, a symbolic vote of no confidence from one of the country’s most influential companies just days before the Games begin amid a national state of emergency.

The Japanese public has expressed strong opposition to the Games — delayed for a year because of the pandemic — with many worrying that the influx of visitors from around the world could turn it into a Covid-19 superspreader event, undoing national efforts to keep coronavirus levels low.

Toyota will refrain from airing television ads at home during the Games, and its chief executive, Akio Toyoda, will not attend the opening ceremony, a company spokesman told local news media during an online news conference.

“Various aspects of this Olympics aren’t accepted by the public,” said the spokesman, Jun Nagata, according to the business daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

The ads will still be shown in other markets, Toyota Motor North America said in a statement. “In the U.S., the campaign has already been shown nationally and will continue to be shown as planned with our media partners during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement said.

The company had prepared ads for the event but will not air them because of concerns that emphasizing its connection to the Games could create a backlash, said a person familiar with the company’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Toyota will continue its commitments to supporting Olympic athletes and providing transportation services during the Games, a spokesman said.

The company’s decision is “a big body blow to the Olympics,” said David Droga, the founder of the Droga5 ad agency.

“You’d think that Toyota would be through thick and thin all in, but obviously the situation is more polarizing than we realize,” he said.

The vast majority of the Japanese public is opposed to holding the Games — set to begin on Friday — under current conditions, polling shows, with many calling for them to be canceled outright.

The Japanese authorities and Olympic officials have played down the concerns, saying strict precautions against the coronavirus will allow the Games to be held safely.

Anxieties have continued to mount, however. This month, Tokyo entered its fourth state of emergency in an effort to stop a sudden rise in virus cases as the country faces the more contagious Delta variant. Cases, which remain low in comparison with many other developed nations, have exceeded 1,000 a day in the city, raising apprehension that measures that had succeeded in controlling the spread of the coronavirus could be losing their effectiveness.

Further complicating the situation is a steady drip of news reports about Olympic staff and athletes testing positive for the illness after arriving in Japan.

Toyota became a top Olympic sponsor in 2015, joining an elite class of corporate supporters that pay top dollar for the right to display the iconic rings of the Games in their advertising.

Until the pandemic hit, the company was one of the most visible supporters of the Olympics. In the run-up to the event, much of Tokyo’s taxi fleet was replaced with a sleek, new Toyota model prominently featuring the company’s logo alongside the Olympic rings. And the company pledged to make the event a showcase for its technological innovations, including self-driving vehicles to ferry athletes around the Olympic Village.

Toyota’s move could prompt other brands to follow suit, but several advertising experts do not expect a ripple effect.

“If you’re a Coca-Cola type, I don’t think it’ll be a retreat — the benefits of being a global sponsor will still work its magic in the U.S. and all the other countries,” Mr. Droga said. “It’s different when you’re in the center, actually in Japan, because that’s where the biggest contrast is going to be, where the Olympics aren’t like previous Olympics.”

Many companies are afraid of sacrificing more exposure, said Rick Burton, a sports management professor at Syracuse University and the chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008.

My guess is that they’re going to try and push through so that they don’t lose the investment completely,” he said. “There’s an interesting calculus: If I pull out, how does that get translated in every language? In certain countries, it could seem like I did the right thing, but in others, it could be that I abandoned the one thing that gave the world hope.”

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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

Dr. Raul Pino Says “We Are Concerned, Very Concerned” About Surge in Coronavirus Cases, ER-Related Visits in Orange County

Dr. Raul Pino Says “We Are Concerned, Very Concerned” About Surge in Coronavirus Cases, ER-Related Visits in Orange County

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says he continues to recommend both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear face masks indoors as coronavirus cases surge.

New coronavirus cases in Orange County hit January levels over the weekend with some 730 cases added on Friday, 651 on Saturday and 670 on Sunday. 

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says with a rolling 14-day positivity rate of 11.2 percent he’d like to enforce a mask mandate, but his hands are tied. 

Demings says an executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis outlaws all local government COVID-related mandates and restrictions. 

“This is a statewide issue and Floridians should hold the governor and legislature accountable for the continued spread of the virus in our communities. They hold the cards at this time.”


Almost all of the new cases reported in the county since Friday have been in unvaccinated people which is why Demings is also recommending vaccines to stop the spread.

Dr. Raul Pino echoed Demings when it comes to wearing face masks and practicing good COVID-19 protocols.

“We are concerned, very concerned where things are. Just to give you an idea, our numbers and cases are reflective of January of this year. So, in the number of cases, we are back to January.”

Pino says hospitalizations and ICU visits have stabilized in the area, but ER visits are rising again. He says most of the new coronavirus cases have been in unvaccinated people between the ages of 15 and 44.

One in 5 new coronavirus cases now comes from Florida.


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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

Orange County coronavirus positivity rate back in double digits

Orange County coronavirus positivity rate back in double digits

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in months, Orange County’s coronavirus percent positivity rate is back in the double digits.


What You Need To Know

  •  The COVID-19 positivity rate in Orange County is back in the double digits
  •  Health officials say the increase is made up almost completely of unvaccinated people
  • The current COVID-19 positivity rate is 11.2%

Health officials say this is now being considered a pandemic of the unvaccinated, because those are the people making up almost all of the new cases and deaths.

While health officials say they’re glad people are getting in line for testing, they’re concerned about the lack of people in line for vaccinations.

Barnett Park bustled with cars waiting to enter one of four tents.

The site has been averaging about 1,200 COVID-19 tests per day, but on Sunday, only about 100 COVID-19 vaccinations were given.

“There is an increase in the circulation of the virus, an increase in new infections, and more transmission that is occurring within our community,” said Alvina Chu, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

Chu said the 11.2% positivity rate being seen in Orange County, unfortunately, checks out.

“One question is, is this a summer thing or is this a seasonal?” Chu said. “And it’s not really a summer or a seasonal thing, it’s really a post- ‘everyone get together in large groups without using your good pandemic precautions’ kind of thing.”

She’s talking about the Fourth of July holiday, where she suspects a lot of the new case data came from.

But Chu said it’s yet another example of why people need to get vaccinated, and why 14-year-old Victor Ceaoffi and his family are in Orlando on vacation.

“Brazil, I live in Brazil,” said Ceaoffi.

He got a vaccine he says he couldn’t have gotten back home.

“I love basketball and now I can play with no worry,” he said.

That feeling of relief is something health officials, like Chu, wish would translate to more vaccines in people who call Florida home.

“We know that the virus will find people who are unvaccinated and infect them,” she said.

Health officials also said the state of Florida currently holds about one in every five new reported coronavirus cases in the United States.

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This post originally posted here Coronavirus Search Results

Coronavirus Update: 1 N.H. Death, 75 New Infections Identified Over The Weekend

NHPR is continuing to cover the developing story around coronavirus in New Hampshire. Bookmark this page for the latest updates, including case numbers and other important news of the day.

Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage.

The latest numbers in New Hampshire

Scroll down to our live blog for more COVID-19 news and the latest updates.

The most recent update from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services on July 19: 

  • 1 new death reported. 
  • 75 new cases reported (25 on Friday, 23 on Saturday, 27 on Sunday). 
  • The state’s COVID-19 deaths total 1,382.
  • Active cases total 224.
  • 18 patients are currently hospitalized.
  • NOTE: Our reporting of the ages of newly-reported cases and COVID-19 deaths is a reflection of the state’s reporting by age, which you can find right here.

Click here for NHPR’s COVID-19 tracker for case and trend data in N.H.

Other important links:

Support our journalism…become an NHPR member today. 

LIVE BLOG – CORONAVIRUS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Another COVID-19 death in New Hampshire

Update: Monday, July 19, 4:40 p.m.

Another Granite Stater has died as a result of the coronavirus, state health officials announced Monday. The patient who died was a woman from Grafton County.

Get NHPR’s reporting in your inbox – sign up for our Rundown newsletter today. 

The state reported a weekend total of 75 new positive test results for the virus, reflecting cases identified on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Officials are currently tracking 224 active COVID-19 infections.

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,382 New Hampshire residents have succumbed to the virus. Eighteen residents are hospitalized.

– NHPR Staff

Some Granite Staters have not received second vaccine dose

Update: Friday, July 16, 7:01 p.m.

Around 8 percent of those who received a shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in New Hampshire haven’t come back for a timely second dose, leaving them more vulnerable to the virus, especially as the highly transmissible delta variant continues to spread across the country.

A spokesperson for the state says some of these people could have gotten their second dose outside of New Hampshire, which the state would not have in its registry.

The vaccines are most effective when the two-dose series is completed, even if the second dose is taken late.

The state recommends anyone who got the first shot should receive their second dose, even if more than a month has passed.

– Alli Fam

44 new cases, 17 hospitalizations reported Friday in N.H.

Update: Friday, July 16, 3:45 p.m.

There were 44 new coronavirus cases announced Friday, a number that has held steady for the past three days. State health officials say they know of 249 active cases statewide.

Seventeen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

No new deaths were announced July 16.

– NHPR Staff

Tenants await rental aid amid eviction fears

Update: Friday, July 16, 11:46 a.m.

EXPLAINER FROM The Associated Press: A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year is scheduled to expire July 31, after the Biden administration extended the date by a month.

The moratorium, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes.

Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent.

Landlords successfully challenged the order in court, arguing they also had bills to pay. They pointed out that tenants could access more than $ 45 billion in federal money set aside to help pay rents and related expenses.

Advocates for tenants say the distribution of the money has been slow and that more time is needed to distribute it and repay landlords. Without an extension, they feared a spike in evictions and lawsuits seeking to boot out tenants who are behind on their rents.

As of June 7, roughly 3.2 million people in the U.S. said they face eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The survey measures the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic every two weeks through online responses from a representative sample of U.S. households.

Here’s the situation in New Hampshire:

WHAT’S THE STATUS OF EVICTION MORATORIUMS IN THE STATE?

New Hampshire is one of several states that enacted a moratorium last year halting eviction proceedings. The measure expired last summer, leaving only the CDC moratorium. The state also has a measure requiring landlords to give tenants 30 days to pay back rent, up from the previous seven days. But that measure applies only to unpaid rent during a short stretch of 2020 — form March 17 to June 11.

WHAT’S BEING DONE TO HELP PEOPLE FACING EVICTION?

New Hampshire will get $ 352 million in federal money to help tenants with outstanding rent, utility payments and other expenses. Last year, it dedicated $ 20 million from the federal CARES Act and ended up providing $ 15.6 million to 4,611 tenants. It reallocated the remaining money to other programs. This year, the state has begun allocating $ 180 million in federal emergency rental assistance. Rockingham County was allocated an additional $ 20 million. The money can go toward 15 months of rent and other expenses, including internet access. Renters who pay 30% of their income toward rent and have 80% of the area median income qualify. So far, the state estimates it has distributed about $ 18 million to 3,000 tenants, acknowledging the process has been slowed by federal requirements for a range of documents.

HOW ARE THE COURTS HANDLING EVICTION HEARINGS?

Eviction hearings in New Hampshire continue to be held remotely, and the CDC moratorium has meant that most eviction lawsuits have been stayed. But Stephen Tower, a staff attorney with New Hampshire Legal Assistance, said some district courts have been allowing eviction lawsuits to proceed while staying a ruling until after the moratorium ends. As a result, evictions dropped dramatically in 2020 and so far in 2021. According to the New Hampshire Finance Authority, evictions were down in 2020 by about half — to just over 2,000 statewide. They dropped to several hundred so far in 2021.

– Michael Casey, Associated Press

Coos County sees uptick in cases

Update: Friday, July 16, 11:01 a.m.

New Hampshire’s least populated county is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

A hospital in Berlin, in Coos County, began to see an increase in cases late last week when the city’s COVID-19 count jumped from zero cases to eight.

A spokesperson tells WMUR-TV the cases are believed to be associated with a local day care center. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 52% of the county’s residents are fully vaccinated, and 57% of residents have received at least one shot. Gov. Chris Sununu said such upticks are expected.

– Associated Press

NH new cases up slightly

Update: Thursday, July 15, 4:41 p.m.

The state today announced 45 new coronavirus cases and 238 active overall cases.

Thirteen people are hospitalized with the virus.

New Hampshire has averaged 31 new cases per day over the past week, which is a 28% increase compared to the previous week, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

– NHPR Staff

State reports 46 new coronavirus infections

Update: Saturday, July 14, 4:10 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced 46 new positive test results for COVID-19 Wednesday, the highest single-day case report since mid-June.

Related: Visit NHPR’s COVID data tracker here

According to health officials, thirteen of the new cases are patients younger than 18. The state is tracking 213 active COVID-19 cases, and twelve Granite Staters are hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

Get COVID updates and other NHPR headlines in your inbox – sign up for our daily newsletter The Rundown today.

One additional COVID-19 death in N.H.

Update: Tuesday, July 13, 5:01 p.m.

The state announced 27 new coronavirus cases and 200 current cases Tuesday.

There are currently 13 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Health officials also announced one more COVID-19 death – a man from Belknap County.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded 1,381 deaths and just under 100,000 positive cases.

– Dan Tuohy

79 new infections identified in New Hampshire this weekend

Update: Monday, July 12, 4: 30 p.m.

State health officials reported 79 newly-identified coronavirus infections Monday, a number that includes test results from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Of the new cases, twenty-five patients are younger than 18.

The state is tracking 197 active COVID-19 cases. Fifteen Granite Staters are hospitalized with the virus. 

– NHPR Staff

Dartmouth College task force to end its work Aug. 1

Update: Saturday, July 10, 8:22 a.m.

A COVID-19 task force at Dartmouth College is planning to end its work by Aug. 1. The task force has guided the college’s pandemic-related decisions. It stopped making recommendations as of Tuesday. The Valley News reports Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon says the the task force is expected to be disbanded, “assuming that public health conditions continue to remain favorable.”

Decisions on campus operations now fall to to the offices of the provost and the executive vice president.

– AP

30 new cases, 1 additional COVID death

Update: Friday, July 9, 6 p.m.

The state announced 30 new confirmed cases of COVID 19 on Friday.  That brings the total number of active cases to 210,  slight uptick over the past week.  The test positivity rate has also increased this week from .8%, the lowest it’s been this year, to 1.1%.  Around 72% of the state’s eligible population has received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials confirmed one additional COVID-19 death – a male resident of Rockingham County.

– NHPR Staff

How Common is the Delta Variant in New Hampshire?

Update: Friday, July 9, 10:01 a.m.

The CDC estimates the more contagious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) now accounts for 34% of new COVID-19 cases in New England, and just over half of new cases nationally.

State variant testing has found rates to be much lower in New Hampshire, at around 2%.

While geographic differences are expected, and the CDC’s estimates, which are forecasts, could change slightly, the difference is still striking. The reason why is not entirely clear.

Sampling is one probable factor.

A spokesperson for the state says specimens sequenced by the state and their partners are not representative of the whole state, whereas the CDC draws from national reference laboratories which may be more representative of regional populations.

In two weeks ending in July 7th, a total of 51 positive COVID cases were tested for variants in New Hampshire, one of which was identified as the Delta Variant.

Increasing rates of vaccination, keeping numbers of infections low, and preventing spread of COVID-19, can limit introduction and spread of more infectious variants like the Delta variant.

— Alli Fam

Latest COVID numbers show continued low transmission rate

Update: Thursday, July 8, 5:01 p.m.

The state reported 36 new coronavirus cases Thursday, with 212 active infections being monitored statewide.

While transmission remains low in New Hampshire, new cases are slightly up. The state has averaged 26 cases a day over the past week, which is a 23% increase from the previous seven-day period.

Fifteen people are hospitalized with the virus. No additional COVID-19 deaths were announced.

– NHPR Staff

Twelve hospitalized due to COVID-19

Update: Wednesday, July 7, 4:41 p.m.

State health officials today reported 31 new coronavirus cases and one additional COVID-19 death.

There are 195 active infections statewide and 12 people hospitalized with the virus.

The Department of Health and Human Services said that a man from Strafford County, who was older than 60, was the lone death announced.

The state has recorded 1,374 deaths during the pandemic.

– NHPR Staff

Up to 2,000 Dartmouth-Hitchcock employees to remain remote

Update: Wednesday, July 7, 10:31 a.m.

Up to 2,000 Dartmouth-Hitchcock employees will keep working remotely in some capacity after the coronavirus pandemic.

Brenda Blair of Dartmouth-Hitchcock tells the Valley News that positions will be affected in human resources, information technology, finance and clinical secretary services. The total includes about 13% of the health system’s employees overall and almost 20% of workers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

She characterized the current shift as one from “remote by necessity,” which the health system adopted in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic to “remote by design,” in which Dartmouth-Hitchcock has taken the time to think through how best to approach remote work.

– AP 

State reports one COVID death, 78 new COVID-19 infections identified this weekend

Update: Tuesday, July 6, 5:10 p.m.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced the death of another Granite Stater Tuesday. The patient was a male resident of Strafford County.

Get COVID updates and other NHPR headlines in your inbox – sign up for our daily newsletter The Rundown today.

State health officials reported 78 newly-identified coronavirus infections, reflecting totals from the long holiday weekend. Twenty-eight new positive test results were attributed to Friday, 26 were identified Saturday, 8 on Sunday, and 16 on Monday.

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,373 residents have died from the virus. Thirteen residents are currently hospitalized. 

– NHPR Staff

Hassan seeks help for those seeking stimulus checks

Update: Tuesday, July 6, 8:11 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is seeking help for constituents who haven’t received their third federal stimulus payments.

Hassan wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig last week urging the agency to ensure checks are sent as soon as possible.

The Democrat said she has heard from constituents who were told they were eligible for the third round of payments but haven’t received them and are only being told the delay is caused by a “system issue.”

The IRS has said it may take until December to process all payments, which were part of a COVID-19 relief bill passed in March. Hassan said residents can’t afford to keep waiting.

– Associated Press

35 new cases reported in N.H.

Update: Friday, July 2, 5:45 p.m.

COVID-19 numbers in the state have slightly increased, though they remain low. The state had 35 new coronavirus cases Friday. No new deaths were reported.

There are 181 active infections across New Hampshire. Seventeen people are hospitalized with the virus.

Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has recorded nearly 100,000 cases and 1,372 COVID-19 deaths.

– NHPR Staff

DHHS reports 27 new cases

Update: Thursday, July 1, 3:21 p.m.

The state announced 27 new coronavirus cases and 169 current cases on Thursday. Fifteen people are hospitalized with COVID-19.

New Hampshire has averaged 22 cases a day over the past week.

New Hampshire Closed 11 Fixed Vaccination Sites

– NHPR Staff

State announces one more COVID-19 death

Update: Wednesday, June 30, 4:41 p.m.

There were 28 new coronavirus infections reported today, which brings the seven-day test positivity in New Hampshire to .8%. There are currently 162 active cases statewide.

Fifteen patients are currently hospitalized with the virus, as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The state announced a woman from Sullivan County has died due to COVID-19. She was older than 60, and was the 1,372nd resident to die from the virus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Over 96% of the COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire are residents 60 and older.

– NHPR Staff

State emergency operations center to close today

Update: Wednesday, June 30, 10:41 a.m.

The New Hampshire state emergency operation center will close at 4 p.m. today, Governor Sununu announced.

The state’s “joint operation center,” which was also launched March 9, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, will be closing as well. The emergency operations center opened March 13, 2020, the day Sununu declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19.

The state of emergency in New Hampshire expired on June 11, 2021.

– Dan Tuohy

State reports 30 new infections

Update: Tuesday, June 29, 4:25 p.m.

Thirty newly-identified COVID-19 infections were reported by state health officials Tuesday. The new cases include eleven patients younger than 18.

According to officials, most of the new cases were the result of close contact with an infected person, which indicates community transmission of the coronavirus continues to occur across the state. 

No new deaths were announced Tuesday. The state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic is 1,371.

– NHPR Staff

State announces 1 COVID death, 59 new cases

Update: Monday, June 28, 3:45 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials reported one new COVID death Monday. The patient who died was a female resident of Coos County.

The state also saw 59 newly-identified COVID-19 infections over the weekend, with fourteen new positive test results on Friday, twenty-six on Saturday, and nineteen on Sunday.

Sixteen Granite Staters are currently hospitalized with the virus. The state is tracking 155 active coronavirus infections.

– NHPR Staff

Two additional COVID deaths announced Friday

Update: Friday, June 25, 4:06 p.m.  

COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire continue to steadily decline.

State health officials reported 167 current cases of COVID Friday, the lowest number since the early days of the pandemic in March of last year.

[Are We There Yet? Packed N.H. Highways Are Back After Pandemic Lull]

But the coronavirus is continuing to prove fatal for some New Hampshire residents, with the state reporting an average of one death a day for the past month.

Two new deaths tied to COVID-19 were reported Friday: A woman from Grafton County and a man from Rockingham County, both older than 60.

To date, there have been 1,371 COVID-19 deaths in the state.

There were 13 new cases Friday, and hospitalizations also keep trending downward. Thirteen people were hospitalized, as of Friday morning.

– NHPR Staff

State reports 30 new infections

Update: Thursday, June 24, 5:12 p.m.

The state announced 30 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. There are 185 active infections and 14 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.

New Hampshire health officials have confirmed 99,392 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

– NHPR Staff

Dartmouth relaxes COVID rules, requires worker vaccination

Update: Thursday, June 24, 10:41 a.m.

Dartmouth College has relaxed many of its COVID-19 rules, such as no longer requiring people who are fully vaccinated to wear masks, and lifting physical distancing, and dining restrictions.

The Valley News reports that Provost Joseph Helble said Wednesday that Dartmouth was easing restrictions in light of the fact that 83% of the students who will be on campus this summer have been vaccinated.

The college announced in April that all students will be required to be vaccinated ahead of the fall term. Dartmouth also is requiring employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

– Associated Press

Rescue Plan funds to support child care programs, workers

Update: Thursday, June 24, 8:26 a.m.

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act are going to support child care programs and workers in the state.

Over the next 30 to 60 days, the department plans to launch stabilization grants to child care programs, workforce recruitment and retention efforts, and market rate increases for the New Hampshire Child Care Scholarship Program.

Starting July 12, the grants will be open to all licensed and enrolled license-exempt child care providers.

The scholarship market rate for tuition costs for enrolled families will increase as much as 10% for infants through preschoolers, and an average of 40% for school-age children.

– Associated Press

 

N.H. announces one additional COVID death

Update: Wednesday, June 23, 4:17 p.m.

An additional Granite Stater has died due to COVID-19. State health officials identified the deceased as a man from Rockingham County, who was older than 60.

The state overall has had 1,369 COVID-19 deaths.

There were 22 new cases, 15 current hospitalizations, and 180 active infections statewide on Wednesday.

– NHPR Staff

DHHS: 25 new cases, 182 active infections

Update: Tuesday, June 22, 4:36 p.m.

The state announced 25 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, one of the lowest daily case counts in about six months.

There are 182 active infections and 17 current hospitalizations.

New Hampshire health officials have recorded 1,368 COVID-19 deaths and nearly 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

– NHPR Staff

Mental health support for kids preparing for summer camp

Update: Tuesday, June 22, 4:01 p.m.

As children get ready for summer camp, federal COVID-19 response funds are being used to offer mental health training for camp counselors.

The Department of Education is partnering with the New Hampshire Community Behavioral Mental Health Association to provide the training.

Also, the 10 community mental health centers around the state will have staff on site at camp locations weekly to provide mental health support for children.

The effort is a part of the department’s “Rekindling Curiosity: Every Kid Goes to Camp” program, which offers families camp tuition support.

Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in spite of the heroic efforts by so many over this past year, many children have experienced anxiety and trauma during the pandemic.

– AP

DHHS new cases see another big drop

Update: Monday, June 21, 4:00 p.m.

State health officials today reported 54 new COVID-19 cases and 18 current hospitalizations.

Of the 54 cases, 10 were from Sunday, 15 from Saturday, and 29 from Friday. The latest stats show a continued decresae in transmission of the virus in New Hampshire.

There are 196 active infections in New Hampshire.

– NHPR Staff

Hospital Assoc.: Masks still required in health care settings

Update: Saturday, June 19, 9:07 a.m.  

The president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association says wearing a mask is still required in a health care setting and is still one of the most effective tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Federal regulatory requirements from both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration state that health care settings must require masks be worn by both visitors and staff.

Association President Steve Ahnen said Friday that we all want to get back to doing the things we’ve missed out on over the past year, but we need to continue to protect loved ones in the hospital.

– AP 

New Hampshire reports one additional death

Update: Friday, June 18, 3:42 p.m.

The state announced another COVID-19 fatality today: a man from Rockingham County, who was older than 60. 

There have been 1,367 coronavirus deaths recorded in New Hampshire since the pandemic began. 

State health officials reported a continued decrease in new infections. There were 25 new cases, 265 active cases statewide, and 19 people in the hospital due to the virus.

– NHPR Staff

State loosens mask guidance at most locations

Update: Thursday, June 17, 4:00 p.m.

Two more Granite Staters have died as a result of the coronavirus, state health officials announced Thursday.

There are 30 newly-identified infections, and 17 residents are hospitalized with the virus.

Sign up for our newsletter to get updates – and other headlines – in your inbox. It’s free, and you can opt out any time. 

According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire’s test positivity rate for COVID is 1.3%. Chan says the state’s new case numbers, deaths, and test positivity rates are continuing to drop.

Community transmission is also continuing to decline across the state, Chan says, with most New Hampshire counties at a “low or minimal risk” of transmission.

New guidance on masks

New Hampshire is relaxing its mask guidance, health officials announced Thursday. Going forward, people who have been fully vaccinated or who are symptom-free may choose to go without a mask in most locations.

State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan says residents should continue to follow mask rules at businesses and facilities that require them. He also says that federal regulations continue to mandate masks at certain locations, including health care facilities and on public transportation.

Quarantine no longer required in all cases of exposure

New Hampshire residents will no longer be required to quarantine after being exposed to someone outside their home who has tested positive for COVID-19, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced Thursday. Those exposed to an infected person with whom they share a residence will continue to be required to follow quarantine rules.

According to Shibinette, transmission when exposed to the coronavirus outside of the home is rare.

The new guidance means the state will no longer conduct contact tracing for public COVID-19 exposures. Shibinette says the state will continue to investigate new COVID-19 infections.

– NHPR Staff

Visit NHPR’s COVID case and data tracker here.

N.H. case average drops 28% from a week earlier

Update: Wednesday, June 16, 5:33 p.m.

State health officials reported 25 new COVID-19 cases today, as transmission data continues to show improvement statewide.

New Hampshire has had an average of 35 cases per day over the pat week, which is a 28% decrease compared to the previous seven-day period, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Eighteen people are currently hospitalized and there are 269 active infections.

Since the pandemic started, the Granite State has recorded 99,196 coronavirus cases.

– NHPR Staff

41 new COVID cases in New Hampshire

Update: Tuesday, June 15, 7:15 p.m.

State health officals reported 41 newly-identified COVID-19 infections Tuesday. Officials are monitoring 283 active cases of the virus across New Hampshire.

No new deaths were announced. There are eighteen residents currently hospitalized with the virus, continuing a declining trend of hospitalizations in recent weeks.

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,364 Granite Staters have died as a result of the coronavirus.

– NHPR Staff

Weekend numbers include three deaths, 54 new infections

Update: Monday, June 14, 4:15 p.m.

New Hampshire has lost three more residents to the coronavirus, state health officials announced Monday. In a report that covers Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13, the state says the patients who died were residents of Carroll, Coos, and Hillsborough counties.

Health officials reported 54 newly-identified infections, with 280 active cases being tracked. 

Twenty residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

State House to reopen after nearly 15 months

Update: Friday, June 11, 1:59 p.m.

The New Hampshire Statehouse and Legislative Office Building will reopen to the public Monday after being closed for nearly 15 months during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Speaker Sherm Packard says the state must provide physical access to committee of conference meetings now that the governor’s state of emergency declaration is expiring Friday night.

Remote access will continue to be provided, and the public is strongly encouraged to view the livestreams as room capacity will be limited and standing will not be allowed.

– AP

Sununu says he will not renew state of emergency

Update: Thursday, June 10, 3:12 p.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced that the state of emergency will end Friday, June 11th, at midnight. The state of emergency was first issued March 13, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor said the state of emergency was needed since that time to support state-federal response to COVID-19. “Every day we’re vaccinating more people, every day cases are dropping,” he said at a news conference Thursday.

Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist, said new cases and positivity rates continue to fall. He did announce three additional COVID-19 deaths, with one of them associated with a long-term care facility.

Fifty-one new cases were confirmed as well. The state is now averaging about 50 cases per day.

Vaccination rates continue to slow, with supply exceeding demand. More than 800,000 people have now received their first shots in New Hampshire. Shots are available at more than 450 locations, including many walk-in options.

– NHPR Staff

Congressional delegation urges for swift reopening of U.S.-Canadian border

Update: Thursday, June 10, 12:42 p.m.

The U.S. representatives from Northern New England are urging the Department of Homeland Security to safely reopen the U.S.-Canadian border, noting that Canadian tourists are vital contributors to the region’s economy.

The Democrats, led by U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, wrote to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday.

They said Canadian tourists spend $ 19 billion on average in the United States, including $ 500 million across northern New England.

They said allowing vaccinated tourists to travel between the two countries will spur job creation on either side of the border and keep both economies on the path to recovery.

– AP

N.H. case numbers remain low

Update: Wednesday, June 9, 3:51 p.m.

State health officials reported 57 new coronavirus cases today, and an average of 50 new cases per day over the past week, a 9% decrease from the previous seven-day period.

There are 328 active infections statewide, and 29 people hospitalized due to the virus.

No new deaths were reported for the second day in a row. Since the pandemic began, the state has recorded 1,357 COVID-19 deaths, and 62% of the fatalities were residents over 80, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

– NHPR Staff

Millions to help communities of color, rural areas

Update: Wednesday, June 9, 9:01 a.m.

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation says the state is getting more than $ 24.5 million in health-related COVID-19 funds to assist medically underserved communities.

The funds are coming from the federal relief package approved in December and will help communities of color and rural areas. The funds will allow the state Department of Health and Human Services to boost COVID-19 testing and contact tracing capabilities.

[The Shot And A Shave: Inside A Vaccination Clinic At A Nashua Barbershop]

It will also go toward improving data collection and empowering community partners to address health disparities.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says the pandemic has exacerbated serious barriers and inequities in the state’s health care system that face rural families and communities of color.

– AP

New cases drop to 28 in N.H.

Update: Tuesday, June 8, 5:45 p.m.

New Hampshire’s latest public health update shows dramatic improvement in COVID-19 infections. The state reported just 28 new cases Tuesday. It’s the lowest number of new cases reported in a single day since September.

Active infections decreased to 322.

Twenty-eight people are currently hospitalized due to the virus. No new deaths were reported.

– NHPR Staff

Durham rescinds mask mandate

Update: Tuesday, June 8, 1:39 p.m.

The mask mandate is over in Durham.

The town’s emergency ordinance first took effect Aug. 3. It was rescinded Monday. The town council voted unanimously to end it. READ the policy.

Other communities with local ordinances for face coverings have taken similar steps. Enfield town leaders voted Monday to end their policy. The Valley News reports the policy will be rescindeded, effective June 18.

– NHPR Staff

Portsmouth rescinds city mask mandate

Update: Tuesday, June 8, 10:33 a.m.

The city of Portsmouth has ended its mask mandate.

The city council voted unanimously Monday night to rescind the policy. Gov. Chris Sununu lifted the state’s mask mandate in April. 

In another development, Portsmouth’s Health Officer, Kim McNamara, announced declining COVID-19 positivity rates in Rockingham County has allowed Portsmouth’s indoor dining and food service to return to normal 100% capacity – while still complying with applicable city codes.

– Dan Tuohy

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NH high court lifting mask requirement

Update: Tuesday, June 8, 10:01 a.m.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court is allowing people to go without a mask in courts, with some exceptions.

The state House of Representatives has also rejected an attempt to make infectious diseases like COVID-19 a qualifying condition for absentee voting.

In Maine, health officials on Sunday reported nearly 80 new coronavirus cases and zero new deaths from the virus. In Massachusetts, officials reported four additional deaths and more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. And in Vermont, the Bellows Falls Opera House is expected to reopen next weekend after the beloved movie theater in Rockingham was shut down during the pandemic.

– Associated Press

2 new COVID deaths in New Hampshire

Update: Monday, June 7, 4:40 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced two new COVID-19 deaths Monday, bringing the state’s toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,357. The patients who died were both female, residing in Cheshire and Hillsborough Counties.

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The state reported three days of newly-identified infections data: 36 new cases today, 46 on Sunday, and 52 on Saturday. Officials are tracking 353 active infections, and hospitalizations continue to decline, numbering just 27 patients, the state announced.

– NHPR Staff

Concord to release students early Monday, Tuesday

Update: Monday, June 7, 9:20 a.m.

The mask policy played a part in the decision by at least one New Hampshire school district to release students early Monday because of 90-degree-plus temperatures and humidity.

“Making matters more difficult, students are still expected to wear masks in classrooms and outdoors is not a suitable option,” Kathleen Murphy, interim superintendent at the Concord School District, wrote in a letter to families on Sunday. “I am sorry for the imposition on families, but for the overall safety and health of the students I felt it was a prudent decision.”

The district was releasing students early Tuesday, as well. The Manchester school district canceled classes for Monday and said it would re-evaluate for Tuesday. In Londonderry, cooling areas were being made available.

Temperatures in New Hampshire were expected to get well into the 90s on Monday and Tuesday.

– Associated Press

New Hampshire reports one COVID-19 death

Update: Friday, June 4, 5:00 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced one coronavirus death Friday. The patient who died was a resident of Carroll County. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,355 Granite Staters have lost their lives to the virus.

The state, which is tracking 402 active cases, also announced 61 newly-identified COVID-19 infections. Thirty-two residents are hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

Sununu willing to trade vaccines for border reopening

Update: Thursday, June 3, 5:40 p.m.

With the summer tourism season fast approaching, Governor Chris Sununu says he’s been in talks with Canadian officials and other local governors about reopening the border. The decision is ultimately up to the governments of both countries, not local officials.

Sununu says he’s willing to share the state’s COVID-19 vaccine supply with Canada if it will help speed the border opening.

He said, “So if the Federal government and I’ve made this plea to Washington, we’re waiting to hear from the president, can we give our vaccine to Canada? Will that help open the border?”

In New Hampshire, supply of the vaccine is now far outpacing demand.

– Alli Fam

New Hampshire reports one more COVID death

Update: Thursday, June 3, 5:15 p.m.

One more Granite Stater has died from the coronavirus, state health officials reported Thursday. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, the patient who died was not connected with a long-term care facility.

In the past week, the state’s COVID deaths have averaged fewer than one per day, Chan said, adding that declining death and case numbers indicate a “dramatic decrease” in levels of community transmission across the state.

Seventy-four newly-identified infections were announced. The state is currently tracking 423 active infections, including 26 patients who are hospitalized. 

Since the start of the pandemic, New Hampshire has lost 1,354 residents to the virus.

– NHPR Staff

MORE FROM TODAY:

State will pull back funds from business relief program

Governor Sununu reaffirmed that the state will be recouping Main Street Relief funds from businesses that ended up making money this year, or lost less money than they expected.

Sununu said the state had been in talks with federal treasury officials following questions around whether or not the collection was required by the federal government.

While the Main Street Relief Program was set up by the state, the funds came from the federal CARES Act.

“They sent us an email saying they would not allow business to keep a grant for lost revenue if those losses did not occur,” Sununu said.

Sununu said the state still has plans to re-allocate the funds into several new programs, one of which will cover businesses’ COVID-19 related expenses.

– Alli Fam

Home-bound vaccination program to continue

State health officials say an effort to vaccinate home-bound residents from COVID-19 will continue through the end of the month. The state has provided about 4,700 vaccines to people unable to leave their homes. Anyone looking to enroll in the program is asked to call 211.

– Todd Bookman

Lawmakers to weigh Rescue Plan spending

State lawmakers next week will discuss how to allocate the first installment of money from the $ 1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan.

The state has identified what it is calling shovel-ready initiatives worth about $ 150 million dollars. That includes $ 22 million dollars for state parks, $ 50 million dollars for water infrastructure and an additional $ 13 million dollars on mental health services.

– Todd Bookman

State reports 48 new infections, no new deaths

Update: Wednesday, June 2, 6:40 p.m.  

New Hampshire health officials announced 48 newly-identified COVID-19 infections Wednesday, reflecting a trend of declining case numbers in the state. No new deaths were announced.

Of the new cases, fifteen patients are younger than 18. There are 25 Granite Staters hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

Long-term care facilities rethink rules around visitation

Update: Wednesday, June 2, 5:05 p.m.  

As community transmission levels of COVID-19 drop – and vaccinations tick up –  assisted living facilities and nursing homes continue to rethink their own rules around visitation and activities

On a call with providers today, state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan fielded questions around a variety of different, specific scenarios from indoor, live entertainment with a fully vaccinated performer, to the number of visitors allowed in a resident’s room in an end of life visitation.

Chan’s message remained consistent – that the most recent guidance and regulations from the CDC, CMS, and the state, offer facilities flexibility.

“I think what you’re hearing us express over and over, is there are ways to do a great many of this things with built in protection,” Chan said.

Protection includes things like masking, social distancing and vaccination.

– Alli Fam

State’s hospitalizations drop to lowest number since October

Update: Tuesday, June 1, 5:45 p.m.

State health officials announced 77 newly-identified COVID-19 infections, reflecting positive test results from Sunday and Monday, when no numbers were reported. The state is currently tracking 499 active cases of the virus.

Of the new cases, ten patients are younger than 18. According to officials, the new infections span all New Hampshire counties, reflecting continuing community spread. Just 26 Granite Staters are hospitalized with the virus, the lowest number of hospitalizations since October of 2020. (Visit NHPR’s COVID case tracker here.)

– NHPR Staff

State announces one more COVID-19 death

Update: Sunday, May 30, 6:15 p.m.

One more Granite Stater has died as a result of the coronavirus, state health officials announced Sunday. The patient was a resident of Strafford County. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,353 residents have died from COVID-19.

Health officials reported 48 new COVID-19 infections, including thirteen patients younger than 18. The state is tracking 476 active coronavirus infections; 40 Granite Staters are hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

N.H. announces 73 new COVID cases

Update: Saturday, May 29, 3:33 p.m.  

New Hampshire health officials reported 1 additional COVID-19 death Saturday, and 73 new positive coronavirus cases. Sixteen of the new cases are under 18.

There are currently 500 active infections and 46 people hospitalized due to the virus.

– NHPR Staff

Governor extends N.H. state of emergency

Update: Saturday, May 29, 9:59 a.m.

Gov. Chris Sununu has again extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the 21st extension of the order, which was first issued March 13, 2020.

In announcing the 14-day renewal of the emergency order, Sununu pointed out that New Hampshire has no business restrictions in place and has no statewide mask mandate.

– NHPR Staff

Two additional COVID-19 deaths announced

Update: Friday, May 28, 4:06 p.m.

State health officials announced two additional COVID-19 deaths today: a man and a woman, both older than 60, from Hillsborough County.

There are 53 people hospitalized with the virus and there are 480 active infections statewide.

The state reported 64 new cases May 28, part of a continuing decline in new infections. The state has tracked 81 cases per day over the past week, which it says is a 36% decrease from the previous seven-day period.

– NHPR Staff

Senate passes three COVID-related bills

Update: Friday, May 28, 11:57 a.m.

The state Senate has passed three bills related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation approved Thursday includes a bill aimed at curtailing the governor’s authority during future pandemics, establishing “medical freedom in immunizations” and designating churches as essential services during a state of emergency.

The bills now go back to the House, which had passed different versions of the proposals. In other coronavirus-related news, the state announced Thursday that all state-managed COVID-19 vaccination sites will be closing at the end of June.

-AP

Nashua Mask Mandate Ends

Nashua officials have approved ending the city’s mask ordinance.
The Board of Aldermen opted to end the ordinance on Tuesday, and it awaited a signature from Mayor Jim Donchess, The Telegraph of Nashua reported.

Local businesses could still require workers and patrons to wear masks.

The city’s Board of Health voted to recommend that the city lift its mask mandate. The city has had an ordinance in place since May 2020. 

– AP

67 new cases, 2 deaths

Update: Thursday, May 27, 10:00 a.m.

Daily new case totals remain under 100 per day. Last night, the state announced 67 new cases of COVID-19 for Wednesday, May 26. They also announced two new deaths, a man from Cheshire County and a woman from Merrimack County.

There are 416 active cases and 49 hospitalized in the state.

Cases continue to fall

Update: Monday, May 24, 7:11 p.m.

The state announced just 52 new positive test results for COVID-19 on Monday, a sharp drop from new cases over the past weeks and months.

No new deaths were reported for the second straight day.

There are 411 current cases, and 48 people hospitalized due to the virus.

New cases in N.H. lowest in nearly seven months

Update: Monday, May 24, 8:38 a.m.

State health officials reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire on Sunday. That’s the lowest one-day count of new infections in almost seven months.

Fifty-four people were hospitalized in New Hampshire due to COVID-19 complications. 

The state is tracking 513 active infections, a data point that has also dropped significantly. 

– NHPR Staff

3 new COVID-19 deaths announced

Update: Saturday, May 22, 4:59 p.m.

Three additional COVID-19 deaths were announced Saturday.

State health officials said two residents of Rockingham County, and a man from Strafford County, died from the virus. To date, the state has recorded 1,344 COVID-19 deaths. 

The latest update shows more promising news in the decline of new coronavirus cases. The state reported 109 new cases, and active infections fell below 1,000 — there were 954 active cases, as of May 22 at 9 a.m.

Fifty-three people are currently hospitalized for treatment related to COVID-19.

– NHPR Staff

New cases in N.H. continue to decrease

Update: Friday, May 21, 4:01 p.m.

New coronavirus infections continue to decrease. The state announced 127 new cases Friday, 36 of them individuals under 18 years old.

No new deaths were reported.

There are currenlty 51 people hospitalized due to the virus and 1,047 active infections statewide.

– NHPR Staff

New England College requiring vaccination for fall return

Update: Friday, May 21, 3:31 p.m.  

New England College in Henniker says it will require that students attending classes on campus this fall be fully vaccinated, as well as faculty and staff. President Michele Perkins said in a statement Friday that with the COVID-19 vaccine now widely available throughout the country, the college will add it to its list of required vaccinations.

Perkins said vaccination of the on-campus community will allow more face-to-face classes, field trips, athletic competitions, and opening up its galleries and theater.

In April, Dartmouth College Provost Joseph Helble announced that all students must be vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall, or must be vaccinate shortly after arrival.

– AP

N.H. has 149 new cases – 1 additional COVID death

Update: Thursday, May 20, 3:49 p.m.  

State health officials today report 1 additional COVID-19 death and 149 new infections.

A man from Strafford County, who was older than 60, died due to the virus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The state has now had 1,341 COVID-19 deaths.

Other stats from the latest public health update:

  • 53 hospitalizations
  • 1,086 active infections
  • 48 of the new cases are under 18 years old

– Dan Tuohy

Pollyanna Glad Day back on in Littleton

Update: Thursday, May 20, 1:07 p.m.

A celebration in honor of an orphan girl who remains optimistic in spite of the many challenges she faces is back on schedule in New Hampshire after it was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Pollyanna Glad Day” is a a go for June 12 in Littleton, with a few adjustments. It pays tribute to the classic 1913 children’s book, “Pollyanna,” and author Eleanor Porter, who was from Littleton.

Gatherings will be scaled down a bit from activities such as the traditional big group photograph at a bronze Pollyanna sculpture at the Littleton Public Library.

There will be music, food, and souvenirs, such as a “Pollyanna Power” T-shirt depicting Pollyanna as a superhero in a cape.

– AP

N.H. announces one new COVID death

  

Update: Wednesday, May 19, 3:09 p.m.

The state announced one additional COVID-19 death today: a male resident of Hillsborough County, who was younger than 60.

The latest public health update shows a continuing decline in the number of new coronavirus infections. The state reported 124 cases on Wednesday, with 26 of them individuals under 18 years old. There are 1,104 active infections statewide and 50 people in the hospital for treatment.

Since the pandemic began, the state has recorded 1,340 deaths and nearly 100,000 cases.

– NHPR Staff

Sununu ends $ 300 benefit, announces bonuses for those who obtain jobs

Update: Tuesday, May 18, 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Sununu is announcing changes to the state’s unemployment benefits system. Sununu is ending the extra $ 300 in enhanced benefits on June 19th. At a press conference Tuesday, Sununu cited hiring struggles some industries are having as they prepare for the summer tourist season.

To spur sidelined workers, the state is offering a $ 500 one-time bonus for those who obtain a part-time job, and $ 1000 for those who obtain a full-time job. The bonus program will run for eight weeks.

The state’s unemployment rate stands at 2.8%

– Todd Bookman

State announces 1 new death; case numbers trending downward

Update: Tuesday, May 18, 3:10 p.m.

One more Granite Stater has died from the coronavirus, state health officials announced Tuesday. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan, the death was not associated with a long-term residential facility, but the result of community transmission of the virus.

Chan says that key New Hampshire COVID-19 metrics – including new cases, hospitalizations, and test positivity rates – are trending downward. The state reported 139 newly-identified infections Tuesday, and Chan says that in the past week, about 150 new infections have been identified daily.

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,134 New Hampshire residents have died from the virus. The state is currently tracking 1,118 active infections.

– NHPR Staff

State announces one new death, 104 new COVID cases

Update: Monday, May 17, 3:35 p.m.

New Hampshire health officials announced one new COVID-19 death Monday. The patient who died was a female resident of Carroll County.

The state also announced 104 newly-identified infections, which continues a pattern of declining case numbers in the Granite State. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been nearly 98,000 diagnosed COVID cases in the state; 1333 residents have died.

Forty-six residents are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus.

– NHPR Staff

State plans vaccine clinic for deaf/hard of hearing residents

Update: Monday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.

The state is holding a clinic for deaf people and residents with hearing loss this weekend in Manchester.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says it’s partnering with Elliot Health System to administer first doses the Pfizer vaccine on Saturday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the hospital’s Mammouth Road location. Second doses of the vaccine will be scheduled for June 12.

The clinic is available to residents twelve years of age and older. (Click or tap here for details.)

– NHPR Staff

State announces one more COVID-19 death

Update: Sunday, May 16, 5:05 p.m.

Another Granite Stater has succumbed to the coronavirus, state health officials announced Sunday. The state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at 1,332.

The state also reported 139 newly-identified COVID-19 infections, and is currently tracking 1,274 active cases of the virus. Fifty residents are hospitalized with the virus.

– NHPR Staff

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