May 24 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:00 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021
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7:29 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

Young people should get vaccinated to avoid long Covid symptoms, Fauci says

From CNN's Ryan Prior

Avoiding the possibility of months of long Covid symptoms is a key reason why young people should consider getting vaccinated for Covid-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during President Biden's YouTube town hall on Covid-19 vaccination.

Fauci says young children when they become infected with Covid-19 are less likely to have serious disease compared to an elderly person or a person who has an underlying health condition. However, they “are not exempt from getting serious illness," said Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "So you want to protect the youngsters, be they adolescents, be they young children."

"The other thing that I think that people don't appreciate is that even with people who get mild disease, or very few symptoms, there's a syndrome that is referred to as long Covid, which means that you get a syndrome following the clearing of the virus where it could be for months and months that you have symptoms that are profound fatigue, muscle aches, temperature dysregulation, and even an inability to focus or concentrate," Fauci said.

About 1 in 5 people between ages 18 and 34 who are infected with Covid-19 reported lingering symptoms beyond two or three weeks, according to a study last year by the US for Disease Control and Prevention. 

7:42 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

US surgeon general: Most US health care workers are experiencing burnout after battling the pandemic

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy White House Community Corps

Most health care workers in the US are experiencing burnout after battling the coronavirus pandemic, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Monday.

“What worries me is that the burnout rate among clinicians right now is extraordinarily high. It's well past 50%,” Murthy said in an event hosted by Health and Human Services’ Covid-19 Community Corps. “The majority of health care workers in our country are saying that they are experiencing burnout at the prospect of even continuing clinical work after this pandemic is over.”

Murthy said the nation could be in danger of losing doctors from an already shrinking workforce. 

“We had a shortage of health care workers before this pandemic began, and my worry is that we will be worse off unless we find a way to make clinician wellbeing a national priority,” he said.

“We need to support our health care workers and understand that yes, they are still individuals who know how to help save lives, but first and foremost they are human beings who are going through an extraordinarily hard time,” Murthy added.

6:42 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

Most severe effects of MIS-C in children typically resolve within six months, new research suggests 

From CNN's Jen Christensen

The most severe symptoms that come with MIS-C, the rare but serious Covid-19-related condition, seem to resolve within six months after hospitalization, according to a new small study of patients at one hospital in London. 

The study published Monday in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health looked at half a year’s worth of results from nearly 46 children who were treated for MIS-C.

Most children in the study didn’t seem to have severe symptoms — stomach problems, inflammation, heart issues, and neurological issues — six months after children had been discharged from the hospital. 

A few symptoms lingered for some children in that follow up period. Six children still had stomach problems. Two had some heart abnormalities. One child still had some systematic inflammation. Eighteen of the children had some small neurological abnormalities, but it didn’t seem to impact their ability to carry out everyday tasks. 

An assessment of the children’s ability to walk found that 18 of the children were in one of the lowest percentiles for where they were supposed to be developmentally. However, the authors said since there was no comparison group of children who weren’t sick in the study, it’s unclear if this was MIS-C-related. Some earlier studies have shown that the pandemic caused some children developmental delays. 

The authors believe some of the children in the study may still need follow up for mental health issues. “Family trauma and anxiety were prominent in our cohort as a direct consequence of the affected child’s illness and familial association with a Covid-19 case,” the study said. 

Some children also seemed to have difficulty exercising, due to persistent fatigue. Doctors and parents were encouraged to continue to closely monitor the children. 

The authors said that since the study only looked at a small number of children who were at the one hospital, it would be important to expand the research to better understand if these results would be the same for all children who had MIS-C, including those that didn’t need to be hospitalized. 

“These findings can hopefully signal cautious optimism that many of the most severe effects of (MIS-C) appear to resolve within six months,” said study co-author, Dr. Justin Penner who works in the pediatric infectious disease department at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the hospital that cared for the children in the study. “However, the persisting fatigue, difficulty exercising, and mental health effects we saw in some children, which can interfere with daily lives, must be closely monitored and patients should continue to be supported by medical teams with a range of specialisms.”

4:40 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

L.A. public schools to fully reopen for in-person learning 5 days a week in fall

From CNN's Sarah Moon

The Los Angeles Unified School District will fully reopen school campuses for in-person learning five days a week in the fall, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday.

When the nation’s second largest public school district starts its new school year in August, elementary, middle and high school students will be on campus five days a week for a full day of in-person instruction, Beutner said in prepared remarks.

“Looking down the path to recovery and the new school year which starts this fall, all students will have the opportunity to participate in full-day, on-campus, in-person instruction,” Beutner said.

In addition to campuses being open for the normal class schedule, after-school programs for both elementary and secondary students will be available from the end of the school day until 6 p.m., he added.

While students will return to classrooms, Beutner said safety precautions including masks are expected at this time to be required for staff and students until more children have been vaccinated. “But August is still 3 months away and we can’t predict exactly what standards health authorities will tell us are appropriate at that time,” he added.

LAUSD began reopening schools across the city in April with additional safety measures, including upgraded air filtration systems and personal protective equipment. The district also has a school-based Covid-19 testing and contact tracing program.

While campuses will be open for in-person learning, Beutner said students who wish to stay home may continue the next school year online.

“We expect the vast majority of students, teachers and staff to be at school every day but recognize that we must provide the online opportunity for those who need it,” he said.

3:01 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

More than 2.7 million Ohioans have registered for state's Vax-a-Million drawing

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

Ohio Channel
Ohio Channel

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced today, that 2,758,470 Ohioans have registered for the $1 million Vax-a-Million drawing and 104,386 young Ohioans have registered for the state’s scholarship drawing, as the first winners will be announced this Wednesday.

The governor said since announcing the promotion, Ohio has seen the biggest increase in vaccinations in the 16-to-17-year-old age group, a 94% increase.

“Very, very interesting. One assumes that they’re very interested in getting that scholarship. They’re looking at college coming up and they’re looking to see if they can get in and win,” DeWine said.

Among 18-to-19-year-olds, there has been a 46% increase and in the 20-to-49-year-olds age group, the state has seen a 55% increase in Covid-19 vaccinations.

Additionally, the governor noted that as of this morning, the state has had 74 million page views on the Vax-a-Million registration page. The amount of earned media that the state has received for the first seven days since the drawing was announced comes up to $15 million of free earned media, DeWine said.

More on the campaign: According to a news release from Ohio's health department, Ohioans who are 18 and older who have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine "can enter to win one of five $1 million prizes."

Ohioans ages 12 to 17 who have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine "can enter to win one of five four-year, full-ride scholarships, including room and board, tuition, and books, to any Ohio state college or university."

2:22 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

4 US states have fully vaccinated half of their residents, CDC data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

People receive their second dose of the Moderna covid-19 vaccine at a mobile Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut on April 20.
People receive their second dose of the Moderna covid-19 vaccine at a mobile Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut on April 20. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

About 39% of the US population — nearly 131 million people — is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data published Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

But four states have already fully vaccinated more than half of their total resident population:

  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont

Nearly 164 million people in the US — about 49% of the population — have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data show. 

Overall, 286,890,900 total doses of vaccine have been reported administered, about 80% of the 357,250,475 doses delivered.  

That’s about 1.2 million more doses reported administered since Sunday, for a seven-day average of about 1.8 million doses administered per day. 

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

12:36 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

Go There: CNN is in Spain, where tourists from Japan and the UK can visit without testing or quarantines

British and Japanese tourists will be allowed to visit Spain without needing to get tested for Covid-19 or stay in quarantine, the country announced.

However, the British government still lists Spain on its amber list as of now — which means that returning travelers would be required to get tested and quarantine for at least 10 days.

CNN’s Atika Shubert was live in Spain at Valencia Beach with the latest.


12:24 p.m. ET, May 24, 2021

Michigan governor apologizes for breaking state's Covid-19 public health protocols

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press conference about the state's Covid-19 response on Thursday, May 20, in Midland, Michigan.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press conference about the state's Covid-19 response on Thursday, May 20, in Midland, Michigan. Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times/AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an apology on Sunday after a photo surfaced on social media of her at a restaurant seated together at tables that had been pushed together with at least 12 friends breaking the state’s public health protocols.

The photo, initially posted on Facebook, was picked up by Breitbart, which reported the photo has now been removed from social media.

“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols. On Saturday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn't stop to think about it,” Whitmer said in a statement. “In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize."

Some more context: On May 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a health order stating “gatherings are prohibited at food service establishments, whether indoor or outdoor, unless: consumption of food or beverages is permitted only in a designated dining area where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated together (at a table, booth, or group of fixed seats), and groups of patrons do not intermingle.”

On May 20, Whitmer announced the "MI Vacc to Normal" plan, which lifts capacity limits for outdoor events and increases indoor capacity limits to 50% on June 1 and states that on July 1 capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be lifted.

Over the last week, Whitmer has eased several restrictions on gatherings, capacities, and face masks.


11:40 a.m. ET, May 24, 2021

NYC schools will still require face masks in the fall and adhere to social distancing guidelines

From CNN’s Taylor Romine

Principal Ben Geballe speaks with students at Sun Yat Sen M.S. 131 on February 25, in New York City.
Principal Ben Geballe speaks with students at Sun Yat Sen M.S. 131 on February 25, in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

New York City public schools will still require face masks when they fully reopen on Sept. 13, NYC Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said during a news conference Monday.

Porter said at least half of all NYC public school teachers and staff are fully vaccinated and more will be vaccinated by the time schools reopen.

The Covid-19 positivity rate in the city’s public school system is currently 0.16%, Porter said.

Porter echoed Mayor Bill de Blasio by saying that there would be no virtual option for students and that their school system will continue to adhere to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social distancing guidelines. 

“We would never take any risks with our most important assets…our children,” Porter said, adding that every school will be equipped with social and emotional support resources for students.

The mayor said on MSNBC's Morning Joe today that schools will be able to maintain the CDC guidelines for schools, such as three feet of social distancing, but that he also expects the agency to make adjustments before school starts in the fall. 

"So I absolutely believe Covid will continue to go down, vaccinations will go up, recovery will be strong — I think the CDC will be changing those rules quite a bit between now and September. But right now New York City public schools, we could have every child three feet apart, we could make that work if we had to. But I actually fundamentally believe by August the CDC will relax those rules further to recognize the progress we've made in this country," de Blasio said.