Live Updates

May 18 coronavirus news

Why some Latin Americans are getting vaccinated in US
03:20

What you need to know

  • President Biden on Monday said the US would send 20 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines overseas, on top of 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
  • India’s west coast was hit by the strongest storm on record, hindering authorities’ response to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Japanese doctors are calling for the Tokyo 2020 Games to be canceled as coronavirus cases surge in the country.
  • Thailand reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day as officials struggle to contain a third wave ripping through overcrowded prisons.

Our live coverage has ended for the day. Follow the latest on the pandemic here.

40 Posts

Fauci says human nature may make unvaccinated people reluctant to follow new CDC mask guidance

Human nature may make those who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 reluctant to follow the new mask guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

The CDC announced last week that people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, in most circumstances.

“We already know through human nature that when you say, ‘You don’t have to wear a mask if you’re vaccinated,’ people who are not vaccinated are going to be reluctant to walk around with a mask, because that means, ‘I’m not vaccinated,’” Fauci told reporters at an event hosted by Italian Ambassador to the US, Armando Varricchio.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emphasized that the solution is for everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Fauci, who is of Italian descent, was awarded Italy’s Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana — Knight Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Delayed second dose of Pfizer vaccine produces strong antibody response in elderly, study finds

Vials of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are seen at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14 in Los Angeles.

A small study of elderly people finds that delaying a second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for three months produces an even stronger antibody response than giving it on the recommended schedule of three weeks after the first dose.

But it’s not clear whether that translates into stronger protection in real life – and the delayed vaccination schedule resulted in lower levels of immune system cells that are involved in long-term protection from disease, the researchers in Britain reported.

The findings are published on a pre-print online server called medRxiv and have not been peer-reviewed.

Dr. Helen Parry of the University of Birmingham and colleagues studied 172 volunteers 80 and older who got Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine either as the company recommends – two doses given three weeks apart – or on a delayed schedule of two doses given 12 weeks apart. Britain initiated the delayed vaccine schedule to try to stretch a limited vaccine supply and get more first doses to more people.

Some researchers have argued that delaying the second dose of vaccine can be expected to produce a stronger immune response than a shorter interval.

“We demonstrate that both approaches generate high levels of antibody response but peak values are 3.5-fold higher with the extended-interval protocol,” Parry’s team wrote.

But the shorter, three-week interval produced stronger cellular responses, they said. It’s not clear what that means for long-term immunity, they added.

“Our findings confirm previous studies showing that the three-week standard-interval BNT162b2 regimen elicits strong antibody responses in older people,” they concluded. “It will be important to assess how antibody levels are maintained over longer periods and this is likely to define the potential need for booster vaccines in this vulnerable age group.”

The researchers have not studied whether people who get a delayed second dose are more or less likely in real life to become infected with coronavirus.

“The data in this preprint, from a sizeable study of older people, suggest that delaying the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from three weeks to 12 weeks has the advantage of substantially enhancing the antibody response at the cost of slightly reducing the cellular immune response,” immunologist Eleanor Riley of the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement. 

“Nevertheless, both regimens induce significant antibody and cellular immune responses and, when taken together with the emerging clinical efficacy data, suggest that there is no detriment in delaying the second dose of the vaccine.”

Norwegian Cruise Line resumes selling tickets to Alaska

The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Norwegian Bliss cruise ship passes through John Hopkins Inlet in Glacier Bay, Alaska, on July 11, 2019.

Norwegian Cruise Line has resumed selling tickets for voyages to Alaska aboard the ship Norwegian Bliss to be scheduled for August until the end of the season, according to a statement from the cruise line.

“We remain optimistic that by working with the CDC and local port and government authorities in the destinations we visit that we will be able to resume safe cruising in the U.S. this summer,” the statement said.

The cruise line cited recent legislation, which temporarily relieves restrictions from the Passenger Vessel Services Act on large cruise ships sailing in Alaska. The Passenger Vessel Services Act requires foreign-flagged ships to stop in at least one foreign port when sailing between two US destinations.

Cruises in US waters came to a halt last March following a No Sail Order from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

House passes bill to counter rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic

The House voted to pass legislation intended to counter a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the coronavirus pandemic. The vote was 364-62 with 62 Republicans voting against it.

The legislation, known as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, was introduced by Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York and Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. It passed the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 94-1 last month. 

President Biden has voiced his support and now that it passed the House, it will be cleared for his signature. 

The bill would create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite review of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes and incidents reported at the federal, state or local level. 

It would also direct the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to work with community-based organizations to issue guidance raising awareness of hate crimes during the pandemic, and would require the US attorney general to issue guidance to work with state and local law enforcement agencies to establish online reporting of them.

Oregon relaxes mask rules, but mandate continues indoors unless vaccination is proven

Following last week’s guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oregon Health Authority says they will no longer require masks in most indoor public places.

However, unlike many states, the change will not apply to locations that do not verify people’s vaccination status.

“In public settings where vaccination status is not checked, masks will still be required,” the OHA announced Tuesday.

“Masks continue to save lives and protect people who are not vaccinated. However, last week’s announcement from the CDC emphasizes the point that safe and effective vaccines are the very best way to protect people from getting and spreading COVID,” OHA Director Patrick Allen said in a written statement.

The state’s new rules do not prohibit businesses from imposing their own more restrictive rules, which means even fully vaccinated people may still be required to wear masks in some places. Businesses that refuse to check the vaccination status of their customers will be have to continue requiring masks.

60% of adults have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data shows

Alex Telfort receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from Delores Fye, a licensed practical nurse, at the UHealth's pediatric mobile clinic on May 17 in Miami.

More than 158 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 60% of adults in the US have now received at least one shot and nearly 48% of adults are fully vaccinated. Among seniors, nearly 85% have received at least one shot and about 73% are fully vaccinated.

Overall, 275,535,207 total doses have been reported administered, about 80% of the 346,672,525 doses delivered.

That’s about 1.1 million more doses reported administered since Monday, for a seven-day average of about 1.8 million doses administered per day. The average seven-day pace of doses administered has been falling for more than a week and below 2 million shots per day for five days.

Seven states have reached the Biden administration’s goal to vaccinate at least 70% of adults with at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by July 4 — Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont — and 18 states have fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents.

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

US Defense Department to reduce vaccination support team sizes

The US Department of Defense announced they will be reducing the size of the 30 teams that are providing support to community vaccine centers in the coming days and weeks.

“Several DOD-supported community vaccine centers will be mission complete – in other words, done – and will begin reducing personnel as the sites reassess the size of the vaccination support teams that are going to be needed,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby at a briefing to reporters.

 DOD personnel has administered 15 million vaccines over 900 sites, according to Kirby.

Texas governor bans state government agencies from mandating masks

Students wearing face masks work on computers at Tibbals Elementary School in Murphy, Texas, on December 3, 2020.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order today prohibiting state governmental entities such as counties, school districts, and public health authorities from requiring mask-wearing, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The executive order allows public schools to continue current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4. However, after June 4, no student, teacher, parent, or staff member can be required to wear a mask on school grounds, according to the order.

Local governmental entities attempting to impose a mask mandate can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, the release said.

The order exempts state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, state department of justice facilities and county and municipal jails, according to the release.

“Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up,” Abbott said in the release.

Abbott’s order comes less than a week after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance allowing vaccinated people to be both outdoors and indoors without a mask in most cases. Texas lifted its statewide mask mandate on March 2.

Oxford scientist: “Morally wrong” to vaccinate kids before high risk citizens in poorer countries

It is “morally wrong” for children in wealthier countries to be offered a Covid-19 vaccination before those at high risk in poorer countries, Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told UK lawmakers on Tuesday. 

Professor Pollard, who heads the group which helped develop the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, said that the overall aim of a global vaccination programme in a pandemic, is to “stop people dying” and that priority groups are known to be over 50s, those with health conditions and healthcare workers. 

“We are in a situation at the moment where there are many unvaccinated people in the world but not enough doses for everyone yet. But there are many unvaccinated people in the world, whilst people whose risk is extremely low of disease are being vaccinated, including children, who have near-to-zero the risk of severe disease or death,” Pollard told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus. 

Referring to the deadly coronavirus wave in parts of South Asia, Pollard commented that the “inequity is absolutely plain to see,” with medical staff facing “the most appalling circumstances, they’re not working in a situation where there’s an NHS to support them.”

“It feels completely wrong to be in a situation morally where we were allowing that to happen, whilst in many countries vaccines are being rolled out to younger and younger populations at very, very low risk,” Pollard added. 

The comments come just a day after UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that the UK now has enough Pfizer vaccine for all children over 12, if it is clinically approved for 12 to 18s. 

The world has “lost the direct line of sight of what we’re trying to do to end the pandemic, and that’s to stop direct pressure on health systems, and that’s not just here in the UK, that’s in all countries, and you only do that by focussing the doses you have on those who are at risk of going into hospital,” Pollard concluded. 

Lollapalooza returning to Chicago this summer

Festival goers attend Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago, in 2019.

Lollapalooza, Chicago’s iconic music festival, is back at full capacity this July, the city announced in a statement today. 

Attendees must be fully vaccinated and those unvaccinated must present a negative Covid-19 test prior to attending the festival.

“Here in Chicago, the word ‘Lollapalooza’ has always been synonymous with summer, great music and four days of unforgettable fun – which made last year’s decision to postpone it all the more difficult,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in the statement. 

“Now, less than a year later and armed with a vaccine that is safe, effective and widely available, we are able to bring back one of our city’s most iconic summer music festivals,” Lightfoot added.

Go There: CNN reports from Tokyo as protests grow to cancel the Olympic Games

People protest against the hosting of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, on May 17.

Protests are being held in Tokyo to support the cancellation of the Olympic Games as the Covid-19 pandemic worsens in the country. Japan has only fully vaccinated about 1% of its population.

CNN correspondent Selina Wang reports from Tokyo.

Watch:

09:19

Kenyan doctors hope to receive Covid-19 vaccines donated by the US

A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 21.

Kenyan doctors hope to receive a share of the vaccines donated by the United States in partnership with the COVAX initiative in time for second shots, Dr. Kanyenje Gakombe, the chair of Kenya Healthcare Federation, told CNN on Tuesday.

As Covid-19 vaccines in the country near depletion, Gakombe says he hopes that some of the 80 million doses being donated by the US will reach Kenyans.

“Especially to those who received the first, it would be very, very great if they got the second dose so that the vaccine serves the purpose it was meant for,” he said.

Kenya is weeks away from finishing its stock of doses having only vaccinated less than 2% of the population, and had solely relied on AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility. Shipments have been halted to several African countries after India suspended exports of the vaccine due to the second wave.

Nearly 1 million people in Kenya have been vaccinated with their first shot of AstraZeneca, with no promises of a second dose yet.

Eighty million doses donated by the US in partnership with COVAX would be critical for countries like Kenya, after the Serum Institute of India — the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer that was supplying COVAX — said it would not be able to resume the supply until the end of this year.

Gakombe, who is also the CEO of a private hospital in Nairobi, had his facility equipped with a brand-new oxygen production plant in preparation of a potential fourth wave.

“March was a bad month, Easter was a terrible period to my staff and I, because all of us were shopping for oxygen,” Gakombe said adding that patients in Kenya had died because of a shortage of oxygen in the last wave.

India's Serum Institute hopes to start delivering Covid-19 vaccines to COVAX by end of 2021

The Serum Institute of India (SII) said it hopes to start delivering Covid-19 vaccine doses to COVAX and other nations only by the end of the year, and will continue to prioritize India, it said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The CEO of the Institute, Adar Poonawalla, said his company has “never exported vaccines at the cost of the people of India and remain committed to do everything we can in the support of the vaccination drive in the country.”

The Serum institute is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and has been under intense pressure to ramp up production of vaccines for India as the country suffers through a devastating wave of Covid-19.

The timeline on exporting vaccines to COVAX and individual countries is another blow for global vaccine distribution. The COVAX initiative aimed at distributing vaccines to poorer countries already faces significant shortfalls because of the crisis in India and rich countries buying up vaccine supply. 

The SII is producing the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, also known as Covishield, and has pledged to manufacture and deliver 200 million doses for COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing initiative that supplies discounted or free doses to lower-income countries. However, the SII had to pause exports in March as India battled its second wave of the coronavirus infections.

The statement from the SII comes as India’s central government continues to face scrutiny for a shortage of vaccine supplies, with many state governments blaming it on the decision to export vaccines. 

Acknowledging there has been “intense discussion” on the decision to export vaccines”, Poonawalla said it was “important that before we make conclusions, we consider a few important aspects of the events that have transpired.”

In his statement, Poonawalla said that in January 2021, the company had a large stockpile of vaccine doses. Coupled with a successful launch of the vaccination drive and the number of daily cases at an all-time low, “most people, including health experts believed that India was turning the tide on the pandemic.”

The statement continued that it was during this time “many other countries in the world were facing an acute crisis and were in desperate need of help. Our government extended support wherever possible during this period.”

Some background: The Indian government has exported at least 66.3 million vaccines to date to countries across the globe, out of which 19.8 million doses were given to the COVAX alliance, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

India launched its vaccination drive on Jan. 16, first prioritizing heath care and frontline workers, followed by people above the age of 60 and those over 45 with existing health conditions. 

On May 1, the drive was extended to include everyone above the age of 18. However, several states have faced challenges due a shortage of vaccine supplies.

You can read more on this story here.

People in New York's Time square react to new mask guidelines

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state will adopt the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to not require masks or social distancing for vaccinated people, except for certain circumstances, beginning on Wednesday. 

CNN’s Alexandra Field asked people in New York City’s Times Square how they feel about this.

Adam Kreiselman, who is fully vaccinated, told CNN he is going to stick with the mask anyway.

“I just think it’s safer and not everybody is vaccinated yet,” said Kreiselman. “This seems cleaner and healthier, and germ free.”

Kyle Weiss, on the other hand, feels confident going without the mask.

“I’m vaccinated so I feel completely confident in the vaccine and I feel fine,” Weiss said. “So, yeah, I mean obviously inside buildings and close quarters I still wear my mask or what not, so I’m very modest to other people but outside when I’m by myself obviously, usually, you know, in passing, there’s no concern, at least in my head.”

Hear more reaction from people in New York:

04:03

Slow uptake of Covid-19 vaccine in rural areas could prolong the pandemic, CDC says

People who live in rural areas have an increased risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, yet the vacation rate in these areas lags behind cities – and that could hinder the end of the pandemic, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Through April of this year, vaccination coverage was nearly 39% in rural counties, compared to more than 46% in urban counties, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published Tuesday. Yet, in September, the incidence of Covid-19 in rural counties surpassed those in urban counties.

Getting a vaccine to people in rural areas can be difficult. While people who live in these rural areas are more vulnerable to severe Covid-19 in part because they have a higher number of underlying health conditions, fewer people are insured, and easy access to a doctor for regular appointments is difficult in many rural parts of the country.

The trend over the last century has been for people to move to big cities, yet about 60 million people still live in rural counties – a fifth of the US population. If this low vaccination rate continues, this could have a negative impact on the country’s overall efforts to control Covid-19.

“Because residents of rural communities are at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death, vaccination disparities between urban and rural areas might hinder efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 nationally,” the report said.

The CDC recommends that public health leaders collaborate with doctors and local influencers in rural areas to address hesitancy, to ensure equitable vaccine access, and to encourage more people to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccination rate among people of color was 51% the last couple of weeks, White House says

White House Covid-19 Response Team senior adviser Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith said Tuesday said that there are some “encouraging national trends,” particularly in relation to vaccinations in communities of color over the last couple of weeks. 

In the past two weeks, 51% of those vaccinated in the US were people of color – and that’s above the 40% general population representation for these groups.

Across all of the FEMA-run federal vaccination sites, about 60% of shots have been given to people of color and about 70% of shots administered through the federal government’s community health centers have been given to people of color.

“We know we must push further, and to do so, we have to make sure we reach everyone in this phase,” Nunez-Smith said.

Over 27 million Covid-19 vaccine doses will be distributed this week in the US, White House says

A health worker administers a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Los Angeles, California, on May 14.

Over 27 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be distributed this week, the White House announced Tuesday.

“This week, more than 27 million doses will go out into the country,” White House senior Covid adviser Andy Slavitt said at Tuesday’s Covid briefing.

Here’s our latest list on vaccine distribution:

  • Week of May 19: over 27 million doses
  • Week of May 10: 28 million doses
  • Week of May 3: over 29 million doses
  • Week of April 26: nearly 30 million doses
  • Week of April 19: 28 million doses
  • Week of April 12: 28 million doses
  • Week of April 5: 33 million doses
  • Week of March 29: 33 million doses
  • Week of March 22: 27 million doses
  • Week of January 18: 8.6 million doses

Slavitt also noted President Biden’s Monday announcement that the US will be sharing 80 million vaccines globally.

During his opening remarks, Slavitt shared some graduation wisdom with young people, encouraging them to get vaccinated as a civic duty.

“Get vaccinated. Whether you’re a graduate, still in high school and college, just our or more than a little bit out, it’s the most important thing you can do right now,” he said.

“Young people, they’ve been through a lot in this pandemic,” he added. “You’ve seen and experienced stress in a way you probably haven’t before. I know it’s been an anxious time, and you’ve been asked to do difficult things, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

He presented vaccination as something young people can do for the country and is “part of carrying the mantle of becoming the generation that changes things for the better.”

“You have the power to help your country and the world for the better right now,” Slavitt said.

He also shared that his son is still experiencing long-term Covid symptoms, including tachycardia, shortness of breath, and ongoing and frequent flu-like symptoms.

About 60% of people 18 and older have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday during the White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing, that yesterday was a “landmark day”: 60% of people 18 and older in the US have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.

In total, more than 3.5 million children ages 12 to 17 years old got their first dose, since the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for this age group last week.

“We need to continue to ensure vaccination coverage is uniform across the country,” Walensky said. “This will require us to meet people where they are, to listen to their concerns, and to help people make informed decision about vaccination.” 

Correction: An earlier version of this post had the wrong number of doses given to children ages 12 to 17. More than 3.5 million 12- to 17-year-olds received their first dose.

Kentucky governor calls on all eligible young people to get vaccinated

Speaking to students during a visit to a vaccination site at Lafayette High School Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called on all eligible young people, namely those in the 12-16 year-old range, to get their Covid-19 vaccine.

“We need every eligible student and the parents of every eligible student to understand these vaccines are truly safe. They are effective. They protect our young people and their relatives and they are the key to having a fully normal school year in the fall,” Beshear said.

Beshear said he plans to personally take his son, who turns 12 in June, to receive the vaccine.

Beshear highlighted the minimal side effects, high efficacy of the vaccine, and the potential long-term negative effects of becoming infected.

“We need your help. How often do we as a society, as a commonwealth, come to our young people and say we need you?” the governor said and told the audience of young people their actions in the pandemic saved lives and called them “heroes.”

Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Linda Gorton, also present at the event, said Fayette County has fully vaccinated more than 150,000 residents. Gorton said the city has vaccinated 53% of those 12 and over.

Beshear announced last week that all capacity restrictions will be lifted on June 11 and the commonwealth would immediately follow the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask in most places.

US chain "Best Buy" is dropping mask requirement in stores 

Best Buy announced Tuesday that “beginning immediately” fully vaccinated customers and employees are no longer required to wear face coverings in stores unless mandated by state or local regulations. 

However, the US consumer electronics retailer did say in a statement that employees working in customers’ homes will still be required to wear a face covering, even if fully vaccinated. 

Some more context: Best Buy joins other US retailers, including CVS, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Costco, and Starbucks, in dropping mask mandates following updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC announced last week that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. 

Boris Johnson says there's no "conclusive" evidence to delay final stage of England reopening 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he doesn’t “see anything conclusive at the moment” to suggest that England should delay the final stage of its reopening roadmap beyond June 21, due to concerns over the spread of the variant first identified in India.

“Partly because we’ve built up such a wall of defences with the vaccination programme, I don’t see anything conclusive at the moment to say that we need to deviate from the roadmap,” Johnson said on Tuesday.

He added that “we’ve got to be cautious, and we’re keeping everything under very close observation. We’ll know a lot more in a few days’ time.”

Addressing fears over the spread of the variant first identified in India, Johnson said that the UK government is studying data from badly affected areas in England such as Bolton, Blackburn and Bedford, to understand whether B.1.617.2 variant is more transmissible, and to what degree the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has “already sufficiently fortified us all against it.”

Earlier on Tuesday, UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said that local lockdowns could once again be needed in England if cases of the variant continue to rise.

“If we do have a deterioration in some of these areas then of course we can’t rule out that we would put in place certain local lockdowns,” Eustice told Times Radio.

“At the moment we are doing a lot of intensive surveillance in those areas, with surge testing to identify it and deal with it,” he added. 

15 US states reported no Covid-19 deaths Monday, Johns Hopkins University data shows

Fifteen states reported no Covid-19 deaths on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Those states are:

Alabama Colorado Delaware Georgia Hawaii Idaho Iowa Minnesota Montana North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Vermont Wisconsin Wyoming

Data reported by states may be delayed. However, six of those states reported an average of less than 1 Covid-19 death per day for the past seven days: Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont and Wyoming.

Overall, there were 392 Covid-19 deaths reported in the United States on Monday, for a seven-day average of 587 deaths per day, JHU data shows.

Nearly 60% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data shows

A doctor prepares a Covid-19 vaccine dose at a clinic in Norwalk, California, on May 8. 

About 158 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 124 million people are fully vaccinated, according to data published Monday night by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Nearly 60% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 47% of adults are fully vaccinated. Among seniors, nearly 85% have received at least one dose and about 73% are fully vaccinated.

Overall, 274,411,901 total doses have been reported administered and about 80% of the 344,503,595 total doses have been delivered. 

That’s about 1.5 million more doses reported administered since Sunday, for a seven-day average of about 1.8 million doses per day. The average daily pace of doses administered has been falling for about a week.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not be reported on the day they were administered. 

Delhi government announces compensation for families of Covid-19 victims

The Delhi government announced it will provide compensation to families who have lost a member to Covid-19.

At a virtual news conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Every family that has had a death due to Covid-19 among them, will be given Rs 50,000 ($684) each as ex-gratia.”

For families that have suffered the loss of a breadwinner, an additional monthly pension of Rs 2500 ($34) will be provided.

“If husband dies, the pension will be given to the wife. If the wife dies, it will be given to the husband. If an unmarried person dies, the pension will be given to his or her parents,” Kejriwal said.

In the case of a child losing both parents to Covid-19 or where one parent has previously passed away and the other dies of Covid-19, the child will be given a monthly pension of Rs 2,500 ($34) until the age of 25.

They will also be provided with free education, added Kejriwal.

In recent weeks, the union territory of Delhi, which includes the capital of New Delhi, has faced the brunt of India’s current second wave.

However, since May 7, when it reported 19,832 new cases, Delhi has seen a decrease in daily new infections, according to figures released by the Delhi health department.

Delhi reported 4,524 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 1,398,391.

The total death toll stands at 21,846, with 340 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

It’s reasonable for US businesses to keep mask mandates in some cases, Fauci says 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Good Morning America Tuesday that it is “perfectly reasonable and understandable” for businesses to keep mask mandates in some circumstances, as they can’t tell who is or is not vaccinated. But the inconsistency is causing some confusion, he said.

Fauci said the science that prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change its mask guidance related to evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccines in protecting against infection and also that the chances of a breakthrough case transmitting the virus is very low. 

“The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and is not vaccinated,” Fauci said. “And I think that’s where the confusion arises, because there are some establishments who’re saying well, ‘I’m going to have people coming into my establishment, my store, what have you, some are going to be vaccinated and some are not, I’m not going to know the difference. Some might be infected and might actually have a risk of infecting someone else.’”

“Under those circumstances, it’s perfectly reasonable and understandable for the owner of that establishment to say, you know, we’re going to keep the mask mandate up,” he continued. “And that’s what we’re seeing and I think that’s causing the confusion, because some are maintaining a mask mandate and others are not.”

India's Prime Minister vows to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination supplies

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pictured during a public meeting in Sivasagar district of India's Assam state, on January 23.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged an increase in Covid-19 vaccines on Tuesday as several states flagged shortages in supplies and the country reels from its second wave of the virus.

“Efforts are being made to increase the supply of Corona vaccines on a very large scale,” Modi said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

Individual states became more vocal about upcoming vaccine shortages after the national rollout was expanded to all over-18s on May 1. Before the second wave hit India in late April, vaccines were only available to people aged 45 and above.

However, Modi said Tuesday that attempts were being made to speed up the vaccination schedule to states in the coming days.

It was the second time Modi has spoken on the Covid-19 crisis this month, after remaining silent on the matter for three weeks. He asked for oxygen plants to be installed in hospitals in every district in the country and asked states where infections are decreasing to continue to be vigilant.

Officials “informed (Modi) about the efforts being undertaken to augment the medical infrastructure and capacity building in rural areas,” and Modi asked officials to make relief material easily accessible to rural areas, according to the Prime Minister’s office.

Modi said that ““(t)he fight is to save every single life.” 

On Monday, India was hit by the strongest storm on record to reach its west coast, hampering authorities’ response to Covid-19 in some of the country’s hardest hit regions. Though daily cases have been declining in the last week, Covid-related deaths continue to reach record highs and the crisis is far from over.

Israeli airstrike damages Gaza's main Covid-19 testing lab

An Israeli airstrike damaged one of Gaza’s main coronavirus testing centers on Monday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

Video showed the windows of the Al-Rimal Martyrs’ Clinic blown out following the strike. At least two floors of the building were destroyed, according to a CNN journalist on the scene. The Qatari Red Crescent reported damage to its office inside the building.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health in the West Bank condemned the strike and said that its local administrative office was also damaged.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told CNN on Tuesday the strike was targeting Hamas’ internal security forces in a nearby building. 

Taiwan records 245 new cases as island's worst Covid outbreak worsens

Military officers disinfect a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, May 18.

Taiwan reported 245 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, a day after the democratically-ruled island off the coast of China saw its highest single daily rise of infections since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 245 cases, 240 were locally transmitted and 5 were imported, the island’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said in a press conference Tuesday. The locally transmitted cases are concentrated in the capital Taipei, where many are linked to hostess teahouses, and the surrounding New Taipei City, the CECC said.

Taiwan also reported two more coronavirus related deaths on Tuesday, raising the overall death toll to 14.

Widely praised as a success story for its handling of Covid-19, Taiwan is now fighting its biggest outbreak yet.

In response, Taiwanese authorities have imposed new social distancing measures, closing bars, clubs and gyms around the island, restricting indoor gatherings in Taipei and New Taipei City. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced that all schools in Taiwan would be suspended for 10 days starting Wednesday in an attempt to stem the surge in cases.

Since the onset of the pandemic Taiwan has reported a total of 2,260 Covid-19 cases, of which 1,086 were imported and 1,121 were locally transmitted.

Read more about Taiwan’s battle with Covid-19 here.