March 30 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Angela Dewan, Christopher Johnson, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 3:00 AM ET, Wed March 31, 2021
45 Posts
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7:13 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Los Angeles County will loosen restrictions starting next week

From CNN's Sarah Moon

 People dining at Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica, Monday, March 29.
People dining at Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica, Monday, March 29. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Los Angeles County will move into the second highest tier of the state’s four-tiered reopening system next week, officials announced in a news conference Tuesday.

“Reaching the Orange Tier is a welcome milestone for Los Angeles County and everyone who lives and works here. After a long, tough year, this is the clearest sign yet that we are moving into a new season of hope and renewal,” the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said in a statement.

The new health order will allow bars, which were previously forced to shut down, to open outdoors with modifications. The order goes into effect on April 5.

The orange tier also allows restaurants to increase their indoor dining capacity from 25% to 50%. Gyms and fitness centers may increase their indoor capacity from 10% to 25%.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County's public health director, said in a news conference that the county will follow the state’s framework, but will add additional safety modifications for some sectors.

The new guidance will be posted on Friday, Ferrer said.

6:41 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Nevada extends eviction moratorium for 2 more months

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced he would extend the state’s eviction moratorium for two more months. At the end of May, it will not be extended again, he said.

“I have also asked stakeholders across the state to increase their efforts to inform the public of available rental assistance to ensure Nevadans can save their homes and landlords can get the money they are owed,” Sisolak said.

Today's extension also requires landlords to include information on available assistance programs and how tenants can access them when providing notices to tenants.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its federal moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent until June 30.

During that 30-day period, eviction case filings may resume in the courts, but renters will still be protected from actual eviction through the end of the CDC moratorium, according to the governor.

5:32 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Canadian leader tells people "don't make plans for Easter" as Covid cases rise

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

CTV Network
CTV Network

Ontario, Canada's Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday told residents “don’t make plans for Easter,” citing his extreme concern over increasing Covid-19 cases, particularly among younger people now in intensive care units.

“I won’t hesitate to lock things down if he have to. I did it before, I’ll do it again,” Ford said. “I won’t hesitate to lock things down until we can protect the ICU capacities at the hospitals.��� 

Ford said everything is on the table in terms of restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, adding that an announcement would be made over the next couple of days.

He added that any decision about further restrictions will be made based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

5:04 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Go There: People 30 and up can get vaccinated in New York starting today

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 30 and older today and will make all residents 16 or over eligible on April 6.

CNN correspondent Alexandra Field was live today from New York City and answered your questions regarding vaccinations.


4:46 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Germany will limit AstraZeneca shots to people over 60 following reports of rare blood clots 

From Inke Kappeler and Lindsay Isaac

Germany will follow the advice of its vaccination committee, STIKO, and only administer AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to people aged 60 and above, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday. 

People younger than 60 can voluntarily receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after a thorough clarification with a vaccination doctor to consider individual risk, Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin following the release of STIKO’s recommendations earlier today. 

German Health Minister Jens Spahn appealed to those in the age group 60 to 69, who are next to be eligible for a vaccine, to go ahead and get the shot. 

STIKO’s recommendation comes after reports of “rare but very severe thromboembolic side effects,” in 31 people following the first dose. The symptoms occurred four to 16 days after the shot, mainly in people younger than 60, according to Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute – the country's medical regulatory body. 

Earlier today AstraZeneca issued a statement maintaining their vaccine was safe.

"We respect the decision taken by STIKO in their advisory capacity for use of vaccines in German," the company said.
"Patient safety remains the Company’s highest priority. Investigations by both the UK Medicines & Products regulatory agency (MRHA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) were not able to establish a causal relationship between the vaccine and clotting events, however, the EMA concluded that for very rare cases of serious cerebral thromboembolic events with thrombocytopenia a causal link with the vaccine is not proven but deserves further analysis."

"AstraZeneca continues to analyse its database on tens of millions of records for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to understand whether these very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia occur any more commonly than would be expected naturally in a population of millions of people. We will continue to work with German authorities to address any questions they may have," the company added.

4:25 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Nearly 50% of seniors in the US are fully vaccinated, latest CDC data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Seniors over 65 wait in the waiting room of the Central Boston Elder Services Inc. in Boston's Roxbury on February 19. The Covid-19 vaccine was given out there by the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center.
Seniors over 65 wait in the waiting room of the Central Boston Elder Services Inc. in Boston's Roxbury on February 19. The Covid-19 vaccine was given out there by the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center. Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesFILE

Nearly 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the US, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that 147,602,345 total doses have been administered, about 78% of the 189,451,285 doses delivered.

That’s about 1.8 million more doses reported administered since yesterday, for a seven-day average of about 2.8 million doses per day.

About 29% of the population – more than 96 million people – have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 16% – about 53.4 million people – are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

Just under half of the 65 and older population – 49.8% – are fully vaccinated, and more than seven out of 10 seniors in the US have received at least one dose.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

3:53 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

Austria in talks to purchase 1 million Sputnik V vaccines from Russia

From CNN's Zahid Mahmood, Stephanie Halasz and Inke Kappeler

Austria is in negotiations with Moscow to purchase one million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s office said in a statement Tuesday. 

“If Austria can obtain one million additional doses of vaccine, an earlier return to normality would be possible and we will be able to save many human lives and workplaces,” Kurz said.

“Concerning vaccines, there shall not exist geopolitical blinders,” he added. “The only thing that may count is, whether the vaccine is effective and safe, not where it comes from.”

The Russia Direct Investment Fund, distributing Sputnik V, contacted Austrian authorities about purchasing the vaccine in March, following a conversation between Kurz and Russian President Vladimir Putin in February. 

When the Austrian Health Ministry was asked by CNN about the purchase, a spokesperson said “all possibilities are being examined to enable further access to vaccines to the general population,” adding that “every vaccine used in Austria must be effective and safe.”

“A rolling review is currently underway at the European Medicines Agency (EMA),” the Health Ministry said.

According to the Oxford research group, Our World in Data, Austria has so far administered 17.5 vaccine doses per 100 people.

3:50 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

There is reason for hope, but Covid-19 prevention must continue, CDC director says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid


Vaccination rates in the United States provide hope for an end to the pandemic, but that hope is tempered by new infection rates, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

“We have so much reason for hope. We have 95 million Americans vaccinated with one dose of vaccine and 53 million Americans who are fully vaccinated, 15%,” Walensky said during at a news conference following a tour of a Federal Emergency Management Agency  mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. 

“There is some tempered news, and that is that we are currently in this country at 61,000 new infections a day, a 13% increase from last week at this time,” she said. 

“While we have so much hope on the horizon, we are just asking you to hang on just a little bit longer. Wear your masks, continue to distance, and do things that keep you safe so that we don’t have to see sickness or hospitalizations with Covid-19 for anyone who was supposed to get their vaccine the following week.”
3:28 p.m. ET, March 30, 2021

European Commission says more work is needed to understand Covid-19 origins

From CNN’s James Frater and Zahid Mahmood

The European Commission has called a World Health Organization-led report on coronavirus origins a “helpful first step,” but says further work is need to understand the origins of coronavirus and its transmission to humans.

“This will require further and timely access to all relevant locations and to all relevant human, animal and environmental data available, including data from the first identified COVID-19 cases and cases picked up by surveillance systems, as well as further serologic testing of blood samples,” the commission said in a statement.

“The identification of the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus will require full and transparent cooperation by all WHO Member States and a collaborative effort by scientists from various disciplines.”

The WHO released a new 120-page report on Tuesday listing four commonly discussed scenarios for the virus’ introduction to humans, dismissing two of them as unlikely. It did not give evidence to support the lab leak theory. 

The statement added that a better understanding of the virus is essential to support the international response to pandemics, including equitable access to vaccines and treatments. 

“Ultimately, pandemic preparedness is not only about response capacities; it is above all about how countries act when a threat arises,” the commission said.

The governments of the United States Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom jointly expressed concern about WHO's study into the origins of Covid-19 in China and called for independent and fully transparent evaluations with access to all relevant data in the future.