“It is crucial that childcare providers get vaccinated,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said in the release. “Childcare providers are eligible for the vaccine and can easily make an appointment on the DCHD website.”
In a statement from Rosewood Academy Childcare and Preschool, the school confirmed there was spread of the UK variant at the school's Northwest location.
The school has a strict requirement to send children home if they have a temperature over 99 degrees but said that children with the UK variant can be asymptomatic, the statement said.
The school is working with the Douglas County Health Department and having staff and families quarantine before they can return.
6:22 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
Brazil records its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began
From Rodrigo Pedroso
Brazil on Friday recorded 3,650 new deaths due to Covid-19 – its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began, according to the country’s health ministry.
This is the second time the country has posted more than 3,000 coronavirus-related deaths in a day.
Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll now stands at 307,112, with the previous record of highest daily deaths coming only Tuesday.
Additionally, 82,245 new coronavirus infections were also reported across the country, bringing the total number of cases registered so far to at least 12,404,414.
5:31 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
Poland sets daily coronavirus cases record for third day in a row
From CNN’s Artur Osinski
Poland has broken its record of new confirmed coronavirus infections for a third day in a row.
The Ministry of Health reported Friday at least 35,143 new cases, the highest since the pandemic began, beating the previous two days of record-setting numbers.
The total confirmed cases in Poland now stands at 2,189,966. The ministry also reported a further 443 deaths from Covid-19, bringing the total death toll to at least 51,305.
On Thursday Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said there will be tighter restrictions for two weeks starting Saturday. The restrictions will involve closing down shopping centers, hair and beauty salons, and nurseries, as well as stricter limits on the number of people allowed to attend church. He also recommended spending Easter only with members of the same household.
4:37 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
Biden declines to weigh in on Covid-19's origins, say he'll wait for scientific community
From CNN's Maegan Vazquez
President Biden declined to weigh in on the origins of the coronavirus, telling reporters on Friday that he’ll take his cues from the scientific community.
When asked if he had any theories about Covid’s origins, Biden told reporters on the tarmac in Delaware, “No, I don’t. I have theories, but I’m not a scientist.”
“I’m going to wait until the scientific community makes those judgments,” the President added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier Friday that the Biden administration is waiting for a report from the World Health Organization before weighing in on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
The comments come after former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that he thinks the novel coronavirus originated in a lab in China – despite a lack of clear evidence to support his theory.
When asked about Redfield’s comments on Friday, Psaki referred reporters to comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“Obviously, there are a number of theories,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to Biden, during a White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing on Friday. “Dr. Redfield was mentioning that he was giving an opinion as to a possibility, but again, there are other alternatives – others, that most people hold by.”
Fauci also said there are other public health officials who believe the virus could have been spreading in the community in China for several weeks, if not a month or more, before it was recognized in a lab. “If that were the case, the virus clearly could have adapted itself to a greater efficiency of transmissibility over that period of time up to an at the time, it was recognized.“
Walensky said during the Friday briefing that she doesn’t have any indication “for or against” either of the hypotheses Fauci shared.
2:42 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
WHO finished report on origins of Covid-19 and expects to release it to the public within next few days
From CNN's Virginia Langmaid and Nick Paton Walsh
The World Health Organization has finalized its report on the origins of the novel coronavirus, Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the organization’s Covid-19 origin investigation, said at a WHO media briefing Friday.
Embarek said WHO’s draft of the report is now finalized, and it is undergoing final checks with experts familiar with the content.
He called it a “painful process” to edit and translate the 400-page report, but that the content of the report is now complete. Embarek said he expects the report to be released to the public within the next few days.
More on the investigation: Investigators from WHO have been looking into the origins of the virus in China and discovered signs the outbreak was much wider in Wuhan in December 2019 than previously thought.
Embarek told CNN in a wide-ranging interview in February that the mission had found several signs of the more wide-ranging 2019 spread, including establishing for the first time there were over a dozen strains of the virus in Wuhan already in December.
Germany declared the whole of France, including the overseas territories, as a “high risk” area of infection with Covid-19 on Friday, according to the country’s health institute Robert Koch.
The new designation means travelers from France will be required to observe a quarantine period on arrival to Germany and to have a negative test of less than 48 hours, according to the institute’s website.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Germany was about to list France as a “high risk” zone.
“If you look at the incidence rate, it is factually necessary,” she said at a news conference in Berlin.
Incidence rates, which measure the number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days, are above the 200 threshold in many French departments, according to government data. The national average in Germany on Friday was about 119, per data published on the Robert Koch Institute’s website.
France's border area of Moselle was already on Robert Koch Institute’s list of “virus variant areas” (the highest level of alert) since March 2 because of the rapid spread of the South African virus variant there.
2:41 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
South Carolina will open vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and up next week
From CNN’s Devon M. Sayers and Jamiel Lynch
All South Carolina residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine starting March 31, according to a news release from Gov. Henry McMaster.
In the release, McMaster said:
“Our priority with the vaccine has been to save the lives of those at the greatest risk of dying. By staying the course and resisting distractions, we’ve expanded South Carolinians’ access and eligibility for vaccinations faster than originally anticipated.”
South Carolina previously announced it had planned to start vaccinating the general public on May 3.
On March 8, the state moved to Phase 1B of the vaccination plan, allowing those 55 and older, everyone with increased risk for severe Covid-19 disease and all frontline works to get the vaccine.
Since then, the state reports that providers have administered just over 23,000 doses a day with 419,816 doses since March 8.
Over 1.8 million doses have been administered in the state, with 1.1 million South Carolinians having received at least one does, and 617,787 being fulling vaccinated.
South Carolina said that approximately 15% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated.
Note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
1:48 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
France imposes new coronavirus measures in schools amid rise in Covid-19 cases
From CNN's Sandrine Amiel and Antonella Francini in Paris
New coronavirus measures in French schools will be imposed amid a new surge in Covid-19 infections, France’s Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced on Friday.
In the 19 French regions currently under lockdown, classes will be closed as soon as a single coronavirus case is declared in the class, Blanquer told reporters.
The rule so far had been that a class had to close whenever three cases were declared in primary, middle and high schools. In kindergartens, the one-case rule was already in force.
Blanquer said the measure would mean “even more classes closures in the coming day.”
At least 3,256 classes and 148 schools have thus far closed throughout the country, the Minister said.
According to numbers released by the education ministry earlier on Friday, there were 21,183 confirmed coronavirus cases among students over the past week, with an increase of 4,025 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 2,515 cases among educational staff over the past week, with an increase of 443 in the past 24 hours.
Blanquer emphasized the importance of keeping schools open despite the deteriorating health situation.
“Everyone understands that schools are fundamental for our country and for our children. The question, therefore, is not whether they should be open but how can we ensure the sanitary conditions that will allow them to stay open," he said.
2:40 p.m. ET, March 26, 2021
Only 2 US states have not shared when they plan to vaccinate everyone 16 and older
From CNN’s Ashley Ahn, Jacqueline Howard and Virginia Langmaid
Most US states have announced plans to open up coronavirus vaccinations to everyone eligible under US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization.
According to an official Twitter post from the White House's COVID-19 Response Team, four states have not yet announced plans to start vaccinating everyone 16 and older by May 1:
But a spokesperson for the Wyoming Department of Health told CNN on Friday that "we expect to open to the general population in early to mid April." And South Carolina announced today that residents ages 16 and up will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine starting March 31.
Based on CNN's analysis, only two states remain that have not yet shared when they plan to vaccinate everyone 16 and older:
In Arkansas, no announcement of plans has been made yet, but Meg Mirivel, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Health, told CNN in an email on Friday that "we do anticipate meeting the May 1 benchmark."
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a briefing on Wednesday that he's waiting to confirm how many doses of vaccine will be allocated before setting a date to expand eligibility.
"I'd rather get the specific allocation number and then tell the people of the state so we don't have to change advice, and we don't create pandemonium for the scheduling operation," Cuomo said.
Six states have expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older, and a CNN analysis finds that at least 30 more plan to open up to people 16 and older by the end of April.
Alaska opened up vaccinations to anyone 16 and older on March 9, Mississippi on March 16, West Virginia expanded on March 22, Utah on March 24, Georgia on March 25, and Arizona opened vaccination to anyone over 16 who can get to state-run sites in three counties as of March 24. Oklahomans 16 and older can get vaccinated through the Chickasaw Nation's vaccination program, but not yet through the state's program.
As of Friday morning, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Florida and North Carolina were the latest states to announce plans to expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to the general public, with Florida expanding to anyone 16 and older in April and North Carolina expanding to all adults 18 and older in April. New Hampshire announced incremental expansion, with everyone 16 and older eligible as of April 2, and Minnesota said Gov. Tim Walz would announce eligibility on Friday for those 16 and older starting March 30.
Below is the timeline for when those and other states have said they will open vaccination eligibility to the general public:
March 29: Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, North Dakota, Louisiana
March 30: Minnesota
March 31: Indiana, South Carolina
April 1: Montana, Connecticut
April 2: New Hampshire
April 5: Michigan, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Nevada
April 7: North Carolina
April 9: Missouri
April 12: Illinois, Kentucky
April 15: California
April 19: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
April 27: Maryland
April, no set date: New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado, Wyoming
May 1: Wisconsin, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Nebraska, New Jersey, Kansas, Hawaii, Delaware, Alabama, Pennsylvania
For all states currently vaccinating anyone 16 and older, people ages 16 or 17 can only receive a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as it is the only option authorized for use in that population so far. The vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for use in adults 18 and older.
Update: This post has been updated with South Carolina's announcement that residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine starting March 31.
Correction: A previous version of this post misstated when New Jersey will open vaccination eligibility to the general public. It is May 1.