July 9 coronavirus news

By Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:02 PM ET, Fri July 9, 2021
11 Posts
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4:09 p.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Everyone who exhibits upper respiratory symptoms should be tested for Covid-19, CDC director says

From CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Ben Tinker

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during hearing on May 19 in Washington, DC.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during hearing on May 19 in Washington, DC. (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

All adults and children who exhibit upper respiratory symptoms should be tested for Covid-19, regardless of their vaccination status, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN on Friday.

While there has been an increase in the number of cases of the common cold as more people emerge from their Covid bubbles, ample coronavirus testing is now available and should be performed on people who exhibit symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough or trouble breathing, Walensky said.

There is considerable overlap between symptoms of the common cold and Covid-19. Both are respiratory diseases. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms for either illness – and some people might not experience any symptoms at all.

 

4:09 p.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Catch up: Here's the latest on vaccination efforts in the US

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

EMT Quentin Scarborough administers a vaccine dose to Nathan Alex Perez during a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at James Jordan Middle School on July 6 in Winnetka, California.
EMT Quentin Scarborough administers a vaccine dose to Nathan Alex Perez during a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at James Jordan Middle School on July 6 in Winnetka, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Alabama is the only state in which less than a third of its residents are fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s some additional data published Friday by the CDC on vaccination efforts in the US:

  • 47.8% of the US population is fully vaccinated
  • 20 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, DC.
  • Fewer than than 35% of residents are fully vaccinated in Mississippi (33.3%) and Arkansas (34.8%).
  • 20 states have reached President Biden’s goal to vaccinate 70% of adults with at least one dose: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, as well as Washington, DC. 
  • The current pace of vaccinations (seven-day average) is at 339,076 people fully vaccinated per day; with 593,848 doses reported administered per day. 
4:09 p.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Missouri health officials urge public to get vaccinated to curb spread of Delta variant

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination event on February 11 at the Jeff Vander Lou Senior living facility in St Louis, Missouri.
A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination event on February 11 at the Jeff Vander Lou Senior living facility in St Louis, Missouri. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

Missouri health officials on Friday urged the public to get vaccinated to curb the spread of the Delta variant in the state.

Robert Knodell, the acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said they have seen significant outbreaks of the Delta variant in north central Missouri and a similar surge in southwest Missouri.

“We believe here at the department, here at the state, that vaccination today is a tool that we did not have when we saw case increases last year, and it is now and remains the number one most effective mitigation step that every Missourian age 12 and over can take to protect themselves, to protect their families, and their neighbors,” Knodell said.

More than 5 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been recorded in Missouri so far, Knodell said.

The state epidemiologist, Dr. George Turabelidze, said the variant can cause problems in highly vaccinated countries, especially in areas with vulnerable spots.

“Unfortunately, Missouri turned out to be among those several states that do have those vulnerable spots, and those are spots where people are under vaccinated, people have low natural immunity level, and some communities that assumed that the pandemic was already behind us, and mitigation was dropped too quickly. All those factors made us vulnerable as a state,” he said.

Turabelidze said data showing communities with different levels of vaccination in Missouri means the state is “heading towards widespread infection with Delta.”

“We do see some stabilization in southwest, and even a little bit of improvement in north central Missouri, but at the same time, we are seeing trends of infection, moving from rural and small-town Missouri to more suburban and urban Missouri, such as metro areas,” he said.

Because Covid-19 is highly transmissible and has an incubation period of two weeks, Turabelidze said health officials don’t expect to see cases improve quickly.

“We expect a few more weeks of cases, continuing to rise or stabilizing at the high level before things start improving,” he said, adding that hospitalizations are a “lagging indicator” that will take a week or so before improving.

2:05 p.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Biden on Covid-19 economy recovery: "America's now on track"

President Biden said the US economy is "on track" in its economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We're in the midst of a historic economic recovery, and because our successful vaccination program strategy has been working, and the immediate relief through the American Rescue Plan has brought back our economy from the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, America's now on track," Biden said from the White House.

Earlier this week, Biden announced that the United States is projected to reach the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans by the end of this week after the nation fell short of his initial July Fourth goals.

Just over 67% of American adults have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine and more than 157 million Americans are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday morning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biden's goal was to have 70% of Americans with at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July Fourth.

4:09 p.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Inflammatory heart conditions may occur as side effect of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, agency concludes

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy in Dublin

A health workers fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination center in Santiago, Chile, on July 3.
A health workers fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination center in Santiago, Chile, on July 3. (Javier Torres/AFP/Getty Images)

The inflammatory heart conditions of myocarditis and pericarditis may occur as side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded Friday, recommending that the two rare conditions be added as side effects to the product information for both vaccines, as well as a warning highlighting the risk to medical professionals and patients alike.

Myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscle whereas pericarditis involves the swelling and irritation of the thin, saclike tissue surrounding the heart. 

According to the EMA, while symptoms may vary, they "often include breathlessness, a forceful heartbeat that may be irregular (palpitations), and chest pain."

The EMA Safety Committee conducted an "in-depth review" of all available evidence, looking into the 145 cases of myocarditis reported in the European Economic Area (EEC) of people who received the Pfizer vaccine. They also examined the 19 cases reported among people in the EEC who received the Moderna vaccine.

The safety committee also reviewed reports of 138 cases of pericarditis following receipt of the Pfizer vaccine and 19 cases following receipt of the Moderna vaccine.

At present, no link between the two other EMA-authorized vaccines — Oxford/AstraZeneca and Janssen — and the heart conditions has been identified.  

The EMA concluded that the cases mainly occurred within 14 days of vaccination, were most frequently found among younger adult men and most often after the second vaccine dose. 

Of those examined, five died and all were "either of advanced age or had concomitant diseases." 

Despite the side effects, the EMA has affirmed that the "benefits of all authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh their risks." 
11:13 a.m. ET, July 9, 2021

New CDC school guidance prioritizes in-person learning — even if all Covid-19 safety measures aren't in place

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

 In this Thursday, March 11, 2021 file photo, desks are arranged in a classroom at an elementary school in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania.
 In this Thursday, March 11, 2021 file photo, desks are arranged in a classroom at an elementary school in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. Matt Slocum/AP

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its Covid-19 schools guidance to emphasize in-person schooling is a priority in the fall, regardless of whether all mitigation measures can be implemented.

However, it remains important to layer safety strategies such as masking and physical distancing, and most importantly, vaccinations for everyone eligible.

Schools that are ready to transition away from pandemic precautions as community transmission reaches low levels should do so gradually, the agency said in a draft of the guidance obtained by CNN.

"If localities decide to remove prevention strategies in schools based on local conditions, they should remove them one at a time and monitor closely (with adequate testing) for any increases in COVID-19 cases before removing the next prevention strategy," the guidance says, adding that schools need to be transparent with families, staff and the community as they do so. 

The CDC suggests schools take steps to promote Covid-19 vaccination, including...

  • Offering vaccines on site
  • Providing paid sick leave for employees to get vaccinated
  • Excusing absences for students to get vaccinated.

Covid-19 vaccines are currently available for people ages 12 and older in the US.

In line with current CDC guidance, the agency recommends unvaccinated people over the age of 2 wear a mask when indoors, noting that in general, people don't need to wear masks outdoors. People who are fully vaccinated generally do not need to wear masks.

"Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained," the CDC notes.

The CDC says physical distancing should be practiced in schools where not everyone is vaccinated, but students should not be excluded from in-person learning to maintain physical distancing.

The agency is advising jurisdictions to closely monitor Covid-19 transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing and outbreaks when making decisions about the prevention strategies needed in their area.  

"Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe," the guidance says.

The CDC says the guidance is meant to supplement, not replace, local guidance and policies.

9:58 a.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Here's the latest on vaccination efforts in the US

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Marc Ocampo administers a vaccine to DIana Vuevas at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus. on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 in Long Beach, California.
Marc Ocampo administers a vaccine to DIana Vuevas at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus. on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 in Long Beach, California. Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

More than 158 million people in the US are fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s latest data on vaccination efforts in the US, according data published Thursday from the CDC:

  • 47.7% of the US population is fully vaccinated
  • 20 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, DC.
  • 20 states have reached Biden’s goal to vaccinate 70% of adults with at least one dose: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, as well as Washington, DC. 
  • The current pace of vaccinations (a seven-day average) is 343,281 people fully vaccinated per day; and 599,070 doses have been administered per day. 
9:20 a.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Of the more than 606,000 people in the US who have died of Covid-19, just 391 were children

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Two studies released Thursday confirm that children are at very low risk of complications and death from coronavirus infections.

 According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 391 children up to age 18 have died from Covid-19 in the US. More than 606,000 people total have died during the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

British researchers who looked at all deaths and hospital admission for children during the pandemic found the risk of severe disease and death among children and teens was very low.

Those most at risk, they said, were children who are at risk from any sort of respiratory disease such as influenza, and these are mostly children with underlying conditions such as neurological diseases.

“This is the first population base study of risk factors for severe disease following SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and young people in England,” Russell Viner a professor of child and adolescent health at University College London, and colleagues wrote in a pre-print study posted online.

“We found extremely low numbers of children and young people required pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) or died as a result of SARS-CoV-2 in the first pandemic year,” they wrote in a second, separate pre-print. “Children and young people admitted due to COVID-19 disease were older and more likely to be non-white with pre-existing conditions, similar to patterns seen in adults,” they added.

9:55 a.m. ET, July 9, 2021

Former US surgeon general says Delta variant is Covid-19's "new offense"

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams. Source: CNN

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams stressed his concern about the Delta variant this morning.

"The Delta variant is Covid’s new offense, and our defense is vaccinations, testing and masking and we’re not where we want to be on any of those measures," he said.

Adams, speaking on CNN's “New Day," said he is most worried about under-vaccinated pockets of the country and the fact that the FDA hasn’t given an update on full approval of the vaccines — which is causing hesitancy in people and causing institutions to delay decisions on vaccine mandates

He applauded the Biden administration’s increased efforts at the community level around vaccination, and said people need to “avail themselves of these great vaccines” so that the country isn’t forced to rely on masking and shutdowns.