Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is vowing he “won’t let grass grow under our feet” as the department begins to implement new vaccine and testing directives. But Pentagon officials are scrambling to figure out how to implement the changes across the vast military population and determining which National Guard and Reserve troops would be affected by the orders. The Pentagon has two missions: It must develop plans to make the vaccine mandatory for the military, and also has to implement new requirements for federal workers who will have to either attest to a COVID-19 vaccination or face frequent testing and travel restrictions.
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Florida’s coronavirus cases jumped 50% this week, continuing a six-week surge that has seen it responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally, becoming the outbreak’s epicenter. Friday's report by the Health Department came shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month. He says there is no evidence they prevent outbreaks among students or staff. More than 110,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide over the past week, up from 73,000 last week and 11 times the 10,000 that were reported the week of June 11, six weeks ago. Case numbers are now back to where they in January, just before vaccinations became widely available.
ATLANTA — Local officials in Georgia are scrambling to increase vaccination rates even as more schools continue telling students and employees…
Two obstetricians’ groups are now recommending COVID-19 shots for all pregnant women, citing concerns over rising cases and low vaccination rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine said vaccinations in tens of thousands of pregnant women have shown the shots are safe and effective. COVID-19 during pregnancy increases risks for severe complications and can also increase chances for preterm birth. U.S. data show only about 16% of pregnant women have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The two groups had previously said pregnant women shouldn’t be excluded from vaccination but stopped short of endorsing the shots.
FILE - In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman waits in a food pantry line at St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Mass., for people in need of groceries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two obstetricians' groups--The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, are now recommending COVID-19 shots for all pregnant women, citing concerns over rising cases and low vaccination rates. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, June 9, 2021 file photo, A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay. Two obstetricians’ groups are now recommending COVID-19 shots for all pregnant women, citing concerns over rising cases and low vaccination rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine said vaccinations in tens of thousands of pregnant women have shown the shots are safe and effective. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)
COVID-19 vaccinations and masks will be required for all Broadway audience members when theaters reopen in the coming weeks. The Broadway League announced Friday that audience members will have to wear face coverings and show proof they're fully vaccinated when they enter the theaters. There'll be exceptions to the vaccine rule for children under 12 and for people with a medical condition or religious belief that prevents vaccination. Those individuals will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccinations will also be required for performers, crew members and theater employees.
Millions of people in the U.S. who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine could soon have a new reason to roll up their sleeves: money in their pockets. President Joe Biden is calling on states and local governments to join those that already are handing out dollars for shots. New York, the nation’s biggest city, started doling out $100 awards on Friday. The president and health officials are betting that the financial incentive will spur hesitant people to get the shot just as the contagious and potentially more powerful delta variant sweeps through parts of the country and as the number of daily inoculations falls sharply from its April high.
Canada’s chief public health officer says the country could face a fourth wave of COVID-19, driven by the delta variant, by the end of summer if restrictions are eased too quickly and before enough people have been vaccinated. Dr. Theresa Tam said robust vaccination rates have helped reduced hospitalizations and deaths but inoculations must rise further to avoid renewed strain on hospitals and the health-care system. She urged younger adults to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible, saying they continue to lag among age groups but are associated with the highest rates of disease transmission.
The Walt Disney Company is joining other large companies in requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The company is requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. who work on site to be fully vaccinated. It says employees who aren’t already vaccinated will have 60 days to do so, and those still working from home will need to show proof of vaccination before returning. The announcement comes days after the federal Centers for Disease Control changed course on masking guidelines. The CDC recently said it has new information showing the delta variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people.