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Category Archives: Covid-19

After staff members died from COVID-19, Waco ISD vows to keep mask mandate in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s order – The Texas Tribune

Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:27 am

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When Brittany Phillips Ramirez relocated her family back to her hometown of Waco over the summer, COVID-19 precautions at Mountainview Elementary School were foremost on her mind. And as the delta variant spiked, she even considered home-schooling her 6-year-old daughter because she worried that the school district might adopt a more relaxed approach when it came to students wearing masks at schools.

But shortly after classes began, the Waco Independent School District made a bold choice that surprised residents like Ramirez. It became one of about 70 school districts in Texas at the time to adopt a mandate that students wear masks while in school.

And it did so in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbotts executive order barring public schools from requiring students wear masks.

I was a little surprised, Ramirez said. But when we heard about the mask mandate we were actually dancing around the house in circles. I am not kidding with you.

But as Susan Kincannon, Waco ISDs superintendent, explains, the decision followed the deaths of educators in the central Texas region. At the start of the pandemic, Waco lost 49-year-old Phillip Perry, the principal of its G.W. Carver Middle School, to the coronavirus.

Then when students returned for fall classes in August, two teachers in nearby Connally Independent School District from COVID-19 complications: 41-year-old sixth-grade teacher Natalia Chansler and David McCormick, a seventh-grade teacher, who was 59.

It's tough on a school community. It's tough on co-workers and on the campus. I just saw the tears of the co-workers and sadness that it brings, Kincannon said.

As the community dealt with the loss, Kincannon watched COVID-19 infections among faculty rise sharply during that first week of school. A member of Waco ISD's communications staff, administrative assistant Melissa Perry, because ill and eventually died of COVID-19.

Kincannon felt she had to take stronger actions despite knowing that the district could lawsuit from the state. So, she put a district-wide mask mandate in place.

Originally, the superintendent wanted to comply with the governor's orders and leave the decision to wear masks, an individual one. But the loss and the coronavirus spike was too much.

Cases began to pop really quickly those first three days. We saw 104 cases. Last year, it took us seven weeks to get to 100 cases, Kincannon said. The second week of school we saw 285 cases. And so that decision to require masks really came about as a result of what we were seeing in our schools, and how quickly the cases were multiplying.

The personal loss felt by educators throughout Waco is hard to escape.

Sally Peavy, an art teacher at Cesar Chavez Middle School, remembers hearing about the deaths of the two Connally ISD teachers this August while she was prepping her classroom for the beginning of the school year. She didnt know them, but it made her stop. Those teachers, she thought, had contracted the fatal disease doing the same thing she was at the time, just minutes down the road.

I think there is a level of fear when you think about it a lot, Peavy said.

Rebekah Raabe, a special education teacher at Tennyson Middle School, said the deaths of colleagues made an impact.

I think when it happens to somebody you know, it makes it a lot more real, she said.

As expected, the Waco district is now among about a dozen districts in the state facing a lawsuit for violating the governor's order against mandatory mask-wearing in schools.

On Sept. 27, attorneys for the state, appearing at a virtual court hearing in McLennan County, requested a temporary injunction on the mask mandates imposed by Waco, Midway, McGregor and La Vega school districts.

State District Judge Vicki Menard did not issue one but instead ordered a review of whether McLennan County is the right jurisdiction for the case.

The attorney generals office eventually dropped its lawsuits against the McGregor and Midway school districts. An attorney for Midway ISD informed the judge that masks were encouraged but there was no mandate. McGregor ISD officials said they did have a mandate but at the attorney general offices request, had decided not to enforce it.

From a broader perspective, the district questions whether this provision (against mask mandates) is in the lawful use of the governors authority, Kyle DeBeer, Waco ISD's chief of staff. Clearly we have felt this way from the start or we wouldn't have instituted a mask mandate.

For now, district officials say they have no intention of dropping its mask mandate which they believe has helped keep the virus at bay. Two weeks after the mask mandate was imposed, the district went from 285 COVID-19 cases to 93. By the fifth week of school, the number of COVID-19 positive cases were the lowest that had been.

Beyond that, district officials have been pleased with the support and faith in what they are doing that they have felt from students' parents.

It's a responsibility that I take very seriously. We've lost employees along the way. And it's been very sad to watch, Kincannon said. Its not something I ever thought I would have to deal with as a superintendent. It's been a long haul since this began.

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After staff members died from COVID-19, Waco ISD vows to keep mask mandate in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott's order - The Texas Tribune

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UDOH-Sponsored COVID-19 Testing Sites for the week of October 11, 2021 | Utah Department of Health – Utah Department of Health

Posted: at 10:27 am

State offices are closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day. As a result, the locations staffed by the Utah Department of Health and the national guard are closed today. (See locations listed below.)

The following testing sites are offered this week throughout Utah.

All of these testing sites offer PCR, rapid antigen tests, and NP swab PCR tests.

All of these testing sites offer testing for children ages three and older.

Locations selected for testing this week include:

UDOH/National Guard mobile test team sites:

The following sites offer testing for those ages three and older but there is no age limit with regard to saliva tests as long as the child can independently produce the required amount of saliva.

Davis County:

Davis Technical College, 550 E. 300 S., Kaysville (testing located in the P1 parking lot), Tuesday through Friday2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registerhere.

Juab County:

Santaquin Fire Department, 275 W Main St, Santaquin (drive-through testing event in the bays of the fire station), Saturday, 10/1611 a.m. to 1 p.m.Registerhere.

Salt Lake County:

Utah Public Health Laboratory, 4431 S. 2700 W., Taylorsville (drive-through in the west parking lot), TuesdaySaturday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registerhere.Closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Utah State Fairpark, 1025 Motor Ave, Salt Lake City (drive-through; near the drivers license building; enter the parking lot off 1100 West), Tuesday11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registerhere.Closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Highland High School, 2166 South 1700 East, Salt Lake City (mobile van event in the high school parking lot, enter on 2100 S.), Wednesday, 10/134 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.Closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Murray High School, 5450 South State Street, Murray (mobile van event to be held in the high school parking lot on the State Street side of the school), Wednesday, 10/138 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registerhere.Closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 S. State St., Sandy, Tuesday, 10/12 and Thursday, 10/1411 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registerhere.

Utah County:

Wride Park, 5806 Pony Express Pkwy.(mobile van testing event held in the parking area next to the baseball field)Eagle Mountain, Wednesday, 10/1310 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registerhere.Closed Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Weber County:

North Shore Aquatic Center, 2480 N. 200 E., North Ogden (mobile van event located in the rear of the aquatic center parking lot), Tuesday, 10/12 and Thursday, 10/142 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registerhere.

Test results from these locations will be emailed to you in an encrypted file fromCV19result@utah.gov30 minutes to several hours after your test is done. If the testing location is extremely busy, it may take a while to process your results. If you dont see an email in your inbox, look in spam or junk mail. Or try to open the email on a non-app browser (chrome, firefox, etc.) and on a computer or non-phone device. If you have trouble opening the email or it doesnt come within a few hours, call (385) 273-7878 for assistance.

For the most accurate results, we recommend people without symptoms receive a PCR test. PCR results are available within 2-3 business days. Antigen (rapid) results are available within two hours.

TestUtah sites:

The following TestUtah locations can now test children ages one year and older.

Box Elder County:

Brigham City Community Hospital, 950 Medical Dr., Brigham City (drive-through in the southwest parking lot), Monday, 10/11, Wednesday, 10/13, Friday, 10/1512 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Bear River Health Department, 440 W 600 N, Tremonton (drive-through in the parking lot), Tuesday, 10/12, Thursday, 10/1412 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Carbon County:

Castleview Hospital, 300 North Hospital Dr., Price (drive-through in the parking lot), Saturday, 10/1610 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registerhere.

Cache County:

Cache Valley Hospital, 2380 N. 400 E., North Logan (drive-through in the southwest parking lot),Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Hyrum Senior Center,695 E Main St, Hyrum (drive-through in the Hyrum rodeo grounds parking lot), Tuesday, 10/12, Thursday, 10/14, and Friday, 10/1512 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Davis County:

Bountiful Veterans Park, 740 S. 100 E., Bountiful (drive-through in the parking lot), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

5-C Freeport West (from Antelope Drive, enter at 300 W. and continue to C Street) Clearfield, Monday through Wednesday7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registerhere.

Ellison Park, 700 N 2200 W, Layton (drive-through in the northeast parking lot), Monday, 10/1112 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Duchesne County:

Roosevelt/TriCounty Health Department, 409 S 200 E, Roosevelt, (mobile van testing in the parking lot of the Roosevelt, UT satellite office of the Tri-County Health Department), Friday, 10/15 and Saturday, 1-/1612 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registerhere.

Emery County:

Green River Medical Center, 585 Main St, Green River (drive-through in the parking lot), Thursday, 10/1412 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Grand County:

Grand Center, 182 North 500 West, Moab (drive-through in the west parking lot),Friday, 10/1512 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Iron County:

Cedar Fun Center, 170 E. Fiddlers Canyon, Cedar City (drive-through in the south parking lot), Thursday, 10/1412 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, 10/159 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Juab County:

Juab School District Office, 346 East 600 North (drive-through in the west parking lot of the Juab School District Office), Nephi, Tuesday, 10/1212 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Millard County:

Delta, 52 North 100 West, Delta, Tuesday, 10/12 and Wednesday, 10/1312 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere

Salt Lake County:

Cannon Health Building, 288 N. 1460 W. (testing location is in the south parking lot), Salt Lake City, Mondaythrough Sunday7 a.m. to 7 p.m.This site offers a dedicated lane for travelers who need testing prior to leaving Utah. Tests offered include PCR, rapid PCR, and rapid antigen and its up to the traveler to determine which test they need depending on where they are traveling. For information on travel requirements by destination visit the CDC website athttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.Registerhere.

Mount Olympus Senior Center, 1634 E. Murray Holladay Road, Salt Lake City (drive-through in the northeast parking lot), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Draper Senior Center, 1148 Pioneer Road, Draper (drive-through in the parking lot), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Registerhere.

J. Lynn Crane Park, 5355 W. Main Street, Herriman (drive-through in the northwest parking lot behind Herriman City Hall), Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

West Valley (Maverik Center), 3200 S. Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City, (drive-through in the southwest parking lot), MondayFriday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Registerhere.

Centennial Park, 5405 W. 3100 S., West Valley City (drive-through in the southwest parking lot), Monday, 10/119 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10/128 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday10/139 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

West Jordan City Hall, 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan (drive-through), Thursday, 10/14, Friday, 10/1512 p.m. to 7 p.m.,and Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Bluffdale City Park, 2400 W. 14400 S., Bluffdale (drive-through in the middle parking lot), Monday, 10/118 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, 10/1212 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Elk Ridge Middle School, 3659 West 9800 South (drive through in the north parking area), South Jordan, Monday through Friday4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Complex, 5658 Cougar Lane, Kearns (drive-through in the southeast parking lot closest to the outdoor pool complex; enter from Cougar Lane), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Registerhere.

San Juan County:

San Juan County Building, 117 S Main St, Monticello (drive-through in the north parking lot), Tuesday, 10/1212 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Sanpete County:

Central Utah Public Health Department, 20 S. 100 W., Mount Pleasant (Drive-through in the parking lot of the Central Utah Public Health Department), Wednesday, 10/138 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Summit County:

Park City High School, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City (drive-through in the west parking lot), Wednesday, 10/1310 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Tooele County:

Tooele Park and Ride, 2450 North State Route 36, Tooele (drive-through in the center of the parking lot), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Grantsville Baseball Stadium, 36 East Cherry Street, Grantsville (drive-through in the center of the stadium parking lot) Thursday, 10/14 and Saturday, 10/1612 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Utah County:

Provo Town Center Mall, 1200 Towne Centre Blvd., Provo (drive-through in the north parking lot), Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Timpanogos Regional Medical Center, 750 W. 800 N., Orem, (drive-through in the southeast parking lot), Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Payson, 285 N. 1250 E., Payson (drive-through in the south parking lot of the Utah County Health Department), Wednesday, 10/1310 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday, 10/148 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Lehi Round-up Rodeo Grounds, 105 N 500 W, Lehi, (drive-through in the north parking lot) Friday, 10/1512 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Nebo School District Offices, 350 S. Main,(mobile van testing in the south parking lot. Enter from the 300 South side of the Nebo School District Offices and follow the signs), Spanish Fork, Saturday, 10/168 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registerhere.

Russell Swenson Ballpark, 171 W 300 S, Spanish Fork, Monday, 10/11, Wednesday, 10/13 and Friday, 10/158 a.m. to 12 p.m.Registerhere.

Springville High School, 1015 E. 900 S. (testing in the field house parking lot), Springville, Tuesday, 10/12 and Thursday, 10/148 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registerhere.

Saratoga Springs, 1320 North Redwood Road, (mobile van event held in the old Smiths grocery store parking lot at the corner of Redwood Road and Crossroads Blvd.), Saratoga Springs, Monday, 10/11 and Wednesday 10/132 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registerhere.

Washington County:

Dixie Technical College, 610 S. Tech Ridge Drive, St. George (drive-through in the south parking lot), Monday through Saturday7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registerhere.

Weber County:

Ogden Regional Medical Center, 5475 S. 500 E., Ogden (drive-through in the southwest parking lot), Monday through Thursday8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registerhere.

Results of tests from TestUtah sites will be emailed with a link to the patient portal where results can be accessed. For issues with accessing TestUtah results, please call (801) 783-1829.

For other testing locations visit:https://coronavirus.utah.gov/covid-testing-locations-list

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UDOH-Sponsored COVID-19 Testing Sites for the week of October 11, 2021 | Utah Department of Health - Utah Department of Health

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Are COVID-19’s big waves over? Experts are split | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 10:27 am

Experts are split on whether the waning delta surge will be the last major COVID-19 wave to strike the U.S., as Americans grow eager for the pandemic to end after 19 months.

The vaccination rate and decreasing cases in most states have provided a ray of hope that the pandemic could be winding down after its final large wave, some experts say.

But other public health experts caution the unpredictability of the virus suggests another surge could still happen as the country braces for winter which led to skyrocketing cases, deaths and hospitalizations last year.

Nicholas Reich, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said declaring there wont be another major wave after delta feels like a premature and bold statement.

Is there a chance? Sure, but I feel like if there's one thing we've learned from this, it's that there's a lot more sort of uncertainty and randomness in COVID then we've given it credit for so far, he said.

Some experts, including Reich, pointed out that factors such as the potential development of variants and the unknown endurance of immunity after infection and vaccination could spark larger-scale rises in COVID-19 cases after the country has seen a national decline.

The downturn in cases comes after the delta strain fueled a spike, reaching a seven-day average of more than 175,000 daily cases in mid-September. But on Thursday, that average dropped below 100,000 for the first time since Aug. 4, according to data from The New York Times.

Overall, 39 states have seen their seven-day averages of COVID-19 cases fall within the past two weeks. Despite these drops in cases, COVID-19 is not eliminated and many hundreds of thousands of people are still gonna get infected as the pandemic continues, Reich said.

While COVID-19 numbers are moving in the right direction, some areas of the country, including Alaska and West Virginia, are still very much in the midst of the delta wave, said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.

I'm very concerned about people becoming complacent because they think that the delta wave is passing us, she said. We have seen this happen before, where there is a rise in the number of cases, then a decline, and then people let down their guard. And as a result, we plateau at a very high level of cases. That's unacceptable.

The approaching winter season also makes it difficult to forecast future COVID-19 trends, as coronaviruses can more easily spread in colder weather and in indoor spaces. Last winter, the U.S. saw its highest surge of cases, hospitalizations and deaths amid holiday gatherings held before vaccines became widely available.

Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said he expects cases to increase in the winter after bottoming out in October, but that it is likely to be lower than the delta surge.

I think some people will be surprised that it doesn't just keep going away, and that doesn't seem very likely, he said.

Wen of George Washington University said having just 56.2 percent of the total U.S. population fully vaccinated andfewer restrictions than last year leaves it uncertain that the delta wave could be the U.S.s final major COVID-19 surge.

I don't know how we could possibly say that considering we don't know what's going to come our way, Wen said.

I'm not sure how we can know for certain that the level of protection we have nailed through vaccination is sufficient, she said, adding shes hopeful the end is on the horizon with childrens vaccines, oral treatment and more testing.

Others, including former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb, took a more optimistic stance, anticipating that cases wont rise to the summer delta levels again.

Barring something unexpected, Im of the opinion that this is the last major wave of infection, Gottlieb told The New York Times this week.

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told MSNBC on Friday that any rise in winter cases will likely be more decoupled from hospitalizations and deaths due to the increased immunity due to vaccines and infections.

Many more people have been vaccinated, so many more people have natural immunity from this big delta wave and unfortunately so many people have died that we probably wont see peaks that are anything like we saw in the past, especially when it comes to what matters which is hospitalization, serious disease and death, he said.

I think delta was hopefully the worst that this virus can throw at us, he added.

David Dowdy, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said he thinks its unlikely that the U.S. will endure another COVID-19 wave to the level of the summer delta and previous winter surges.

With the vaccination level rising and a fair amount of the unvaccinated getting infected, Americans immunity is higher now than its ever been, he said.

The emergence of a new variant could potentially threaten that immunity if the strain evades the vaccines. But Dowdy said he doesnt expect that in the short-term, as delta has reigned as the dominant variant worldwide for months without another strain usurping it.

I think anyone who says that they can predict the future of this pandemic is probably lying to you, Dowdy said. But I think we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic that we will not see another massive wave the way that we have seen so far.

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Are COVID-19's big waves over? Experts are split | TheHill - The Hill

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Study saying COVID-19 vaccines cause heart inflammation pulled – Business Insider

Posted: at 10:27 am

A preprint study first published on MedRxiv that claimed a 1 in 1,000 risk of contracting myocarditis from a COVID-19 vaccination has been withdrawn due to miscalculations.

MedRxiv is a website that publishes studies that have yet to be peer-reviewed, according to Reuters.

The study was first published on September 16 and conducted by researchers at The University of Ottawa Heart Institute. It was widely used to promote the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe for use.

However, the study has been retracted due to a miscalculation, Reuters reported.

The rate of myocarditis - the inflammation of the heart muscle - was calculated by dividing the number of COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa by the number of incidences of the heart condition.

By their calculations, the risk of myocarditis was 1 in 1,000 or 0.1%.

However, the numbers used by the study were wrong. The authors largely underestimated the amount of vaccines delivered, giving a number 25 times smaller than the actual amount.

They initially said that the number of vaccines delivered was 32,379 when it was actually 854,930.

As a result of this miscalculation, the study was withdrawn on September 24, with the researchers saying in a statement: "Our reported incidence appeared vastly inflated by an incorrectly small denominator (ie number of doses administered over the time period of the study). We reviewed the data available at Open Ottawa and found that there had indeed been a major underestimation, with the actual number of administered doses being more than 800,000

"In order to avoid misleading either colleagues or the general public and press, we the authors unanimously wish to withdraw this paper on the grounds of incorrect incidence data," they added.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute also issued a statement of apology for any misinformation being spread as a result of this study.

Using data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, the CDC advised Reuters that other studies have shown that there was not "a significant association between myocarditis/pericarditis and mRNA vaccines," when looking at all age groups, although they did caution "an association between mRNA vaccines and myocarditis/pericarditis in younger individuals," particularly higher among young males.

However, a preprint study on the prevalence of myocarditis in young men found that they are six times more likely to develop myocarditis from COVID-19 than from the vaccine.

The CDC continues to stress the importance of getting the vaccine, stating that any known risks of the COVID-19 vaccine are far outweighed by the benefits.

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Study saying COVID-19 vaccines cause heart inflammation pulled - Business Insider

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Can the flu vaccine reduce COVID-19 infection risk and severity? – 10TV

Posted: October 3, 2021 at 2:06 am

Two studies say the flu vaccine helps with trained immunity that could lower risk of getting COVID-19.

COLUMBUS, Ohio As the colder weather approaches and time outside is limited, experts warn of a flu season skipped a season during the pandemic. Studies now show the annual influenza vaccination may help more than fend off this years strain.

The American Journal of Infection Control says patients who received a flu shot were found to have 24% lower odds of testing positive for COVID-19. This was the first study to explore the association between influenza vaccines and coronavirus.

Dr. Anup Kanodia of KanodiaMD and OhioHealth says the vaccine helps your body with trained immunity.

When a vaccine is boosting up the immune system to fight one thing, like the flu, is also trained to fight other things that may come in contact with, whether it's COVID or other things, said Kanodia. There's research that's out there that says if someone was given the tuberculosis vaccine, it also helps against yellow fever and malaria.

A second study published in the journal Plos One looked into electronic medical records for more than 73-million people with their identities withheld. It created two cohorts totaling more than 74,000 people. Those who received an influenza vaccine 30, 60, 90, and 120 days before being covid-positive showed less risk of sepsis, stroke, DVT, emergency department, and ICU visits.

Kanodia says he is recommending the flu vaccine, especially to families whose children may not be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Every day I hear in my office, what else can I do to lower my risk, lower my kid's risk, especially since kids haven't gotten the vaccine or anything like that? said Kanodia. That's just another thing that they can do on top of mask and social distancing.

Both studies recommend more research on the correlation.

For more on a webinar from Dr. Kanodia on COVID-19: Delta Variant, Back to School, Vaccines, Booster and More, click here.

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Can the flu vaccine reduce COVID-19 infection risk and severity? - 10TV

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How its going with COVID-19 protocols, vaccinations at ACL festival – KXAN.com

Posted: at 2:06 am

AUSTIN (KXAN) As Austin City Limits kicked off day 2, Austin-Travis County has celebrated a win by dropping down to Stage 3 COVID-19 risk based guidelines.

The progress is based on lower ICU and hospital admissions.

Travis County is offering COVID-19 vaccines at the ACL festival to keep the numbers declining.

The Travis County mobile vaccine team will provide COVID-19 vaccines at Austin City Limits Music Festival during both weekends (Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10.)

University of Texas Freshman Osman Moradel happened to pass by the clinic on Saturday and jumped at the opportunity to get his booster shot.

I saw it and was like might as well get it, Im here and I probably wont feel any side effects until tomorrow, said Moradel.

Travis County is reporting that the majority of people coming to the mobile clinic are coming for their booster shot, but there are some limitations.

Right now, guidelines are only allowed for the Pfizer boosters, said Hector Nieto, of Travis Countys communications team.

The Center for Disease Control does not recommend mixing brands of vaccination, so some people were turned away.

Those receiving their second Pfizer dose or the Pfizer booster shot have to bring their CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, so it can be updated.

The fact that people are getting their vaccine and people are bringing their vaccine cards, I feel safe, said Moradel.

Festival attendees must show their vaccine card or a negative COVID-19 test in order to get inside. ACL reports that on day one which was Friday 86% of people showed their vaccine card, 14% had a negative test and less than 1% were turned away for not having one.

In Travis County roughly 71% of its 12 and older population has been vaccinated.

Travis Countys online calendar and map show vaccine events taking place around the County.

Anyone whos 12 and older can receive their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer booster shots will be available as well to those who qualify. The vaccine team will operate 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the festival.

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How its going with COVID-19 protocols, vaccinations at ACL festival - KXAN.com

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COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.2K New Cases & 14 Deaths Reported Saturday – CBS Baltimore

Posted: at 2:06 am

BALTIMORE (WJZ) Maryland reported 1,287 new COVID-19 cases and 14 new deaths, according to state health department data released Saturday morning.

The percentage of people testing positive increased slightly by .01% to 4.08%.

Doctors say the new cases are fueled by dangerous strains targeting the unvaccinated. During an August press conference, Gov. Larry Hogan said the Delta variant, a strain that is reportedly two to four times more contagious than the original virus strain, accounts for nearly every new confirmed case in Maryland.

The vaccines are without a doubt our single most effective tool to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 and the surging Delta variant, and Marylands vaccination rate continues to outpace the nation, Hogan said.

More than 3.9 million Maryland adults are fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations decreased by 24 to 752. Of those hospitalized, 548 remain in acute care and 204 are in the ICU.

Since the pandemic began, there were 535,157 total confirmed cases and 10,243 deaths.

There are 3,903,142 Marylanders fully vaccinated. The state has administered 7,954,222 doses. Of those, 3,957,284 are first doses with 6,899 administered in the past 24 hours. They have given out 3,599,123 second doses, 6,608 in the last day.

The state began to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again in April after the CDC and FDA lifted their pause on the vaccine due to a rare blood clot found in some women.

A total of 304,019 Marylanders have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 742 in the last day.

On September 24, after the CDC granted final approval for Pfizers booster, Gov. Hogan announced the immediate authorization of the booster shot for Marylanders who have received their second Pfizer shot at least six months ago. Hogan had already approved use for vulnerable populations in early September.

The state has administered 92,796 additional or booster vaccine doses, 11,864 in the last day.

The state reported 83.8% of all adults in Maryland have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In August, the state launched a post-vaccination infections dashboard that is updated every Wednesday. There have been 18,243 total cases among fully vaccinated Marylanders as of last Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Of those cases, 1,331 vaccinated Marylanders were hospitalized, representing 8.73% of all Covid cases hospitalized in the state. One hundred fifty-six fully vaccinated Marylanders have died, representing 8.36% of lab-confirmed Covid deaths in the state.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES:

Heres a breakdown of the numbers:

By County

By Age Range and Gender

By Race and Ethnicity

Read more here:

COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.2K New Cases & 14 Deaths Reported Saturday - CBS Baltimore

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Air New Zealand to require COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers – Reuters

Posted: at 2:06 am

Travellers walk under an Air New Zealand sign at Auckland Airport in New Zealand, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Nigel Marple

Oct 3 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ), the flag carrier airline of New Zealand, said on Sunday it will require passengers on its international flights to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in what is one of the world's strictest policies for travellers.

"Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors," Air New Zealand's Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said in a statement.

New Zealand plans to reopen its international borders, which have been closed since March 2020 to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen, early next year. Air New Zealand will implement the vaccination policy from Feb. 1, the airline said.

"As with anything, there will be some that disagree," Foran said. "However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community."

In September, Qantas (QAN.AX), Australia's largest airline, also said it will require that all passengers on international flights to be vaccinated, becoming one of the first airlines in the world to require proof of inoculation for everyone on board.

Reporting and writing in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Air New Zealand to require COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers - Reuters

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For COVID-19 vaccinations, party affiliation matters more than race and ethnicity – Brookings Institution

Posted: at 2:06 am

At the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination push nine months ago, many experts worriedwith justificationthat people of color would be left behind. Sadly, it is a well-established fact that people of color suffer from poorer access to quality health care. And early on, there was some evidence of these disparities; in March of this year, for example, I documented inequities in vaccine share among Black Americans in Maryland. Fortunately, the situation has improved over time, in part because governments at every level have worked hard to make vaccines and accurate information available to everyone. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released on Sept. 28, gaps in vaccination rates across racial and ethnic groups have virtually disappearedwhile gaps reflecting political affiliation have widened substantially.

Of Americans surveyed from Sept. 13-22, 72% of adults 18 and older had been vaccinated, including 71% of white Americans, 70% of Black Americans, and 73% of Hispanics. Contrast these converging figures with disparities based on politics: 90% of Democrats had been vaccinated, compared with 68% of Independents and just 58% of Republicans.

A Gallup survey released on Sept. 29 confirmed the KFF findings. As of mid-September, 75% of adult Americans have been vaccinated, including 73% of non-Hispanic white adults and 78% of non-whites. Along party lines, however, the breakdown was 92% of Democrats, 68% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans.

There is no reason to believe that these gaps in vaccination rates will disappear anytime soon. According to Gallup, 40% of Republicans dont plan to get vaccinated, versus 26% of Independents and just 3% of Democrats. In response to a more sharply worded KFF question, 23% of Republicans report that they will definitely not get vaccinated, compared to 11% of Independents and just 4% of Democrats.

These national divergences are reflected at the state and county level as well, per data from Johns Hopkins University. Of the 21 states with vaccination rates above the national average, Joe Biden carried 20 last November. Of the 29 states below the national average, Donald Trump carried 24. At the county level, the vaccination-rate gap between the counties Biden and Trump won has increased nearly six-fold from 2.2% in April to 12.9% in mid-September, according to KFF.

These recent surveys suggest two large truths about the pandemic. First, perceptions and incentives can affect the willingness to get vaccinated. After stagnating through much of the summer, vaccination rates jumped between mid-August and mid-September. The spread of the Delta variant and the surge of hospitalizations was a frequently cited reason for this decision; the desire to participate in activities that required vaccination was the other.

Second, attitudes toward vaccinations are now fully integrated into the larger, seemingly intractable cultural divide in American society and between the parties. For this reason, between 15% and 20% of adults are unlikely to get vaccinated, even if they come under intensifying pressure to do so.

If so, the United States will find out whether vaccination rates of 80% to 85% will be enough to fully reopen the economy and restore normal social life.

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For COVID-19 vaccinations, party affiliation matters more than race and ethnicity - Brookings Institution

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COVID-19 in Arkansas: Hospitalizations drop below 700 for the first time since July, Hutchinson receives booster shot – KNWA

Posted: at 2:06 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark New data released Saturday by the Arkansas Department of Health shows that hospitalizations for COVID-19 related symptoms have dropped below 700 for the first time in more than two months.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported that hospitalizations dropped by 14 in the last 24 hours to the 689 currently in the state. The last time the state recorded less than 700 hospitalizations was July 18.

Active cases of COVID-19 are down from Friday, dropping by 87 to 9,901.

In total, there were 642 new cases of COVID-19 reported Saturday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 497,576 in Arkansas.

The state reported 6 more deaths among patients with COVID-19, pushing the total for the state to 7,724.

Officials reported 183 patients on ventilators, a decrease of seven.

More than 12,349 new COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Arkansas in the last 24 hours. The number of fully immunized Arkansans has gone up by 3,682, bringing the total fully immunized in the state to 1,342,797.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson commented on receiving a COVID-19 booster shot this week.

I received my COVID booster shot this week, Hutchinson said in a Tweet. Throughout the COVID pandemic, I have listened to my personal doctors and healthcare professionals I trust to make the best decisions for my health. Ive encouraged Arkansans to do the same.

I received my COVID booster shot this week. Throughout the COVID pandemic, I have listened to my personal doctors and healthcare professionals I trust to make the best decisions for my health. Ive encouraged Arkansans to do the same. pic.twitter.com/7cpBQ74QtN

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