The latest on the Covid-19 pandemic

By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 2:44 p.m. ET, July 10, 2021
5 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:42 p.m. ET, July 10, 2021

National Vaccine Committee chair says boosters will be a requirement, timing of them still fluid 

From CNN's Polo Sandoval and Deanna Hackney

Dr. Robert Hopkins, National Vaccine Advisory Committee chair for the Department of Health and Human Services, on July 10, 2021.
Dr. Robert Hopkins, National Vaccine Advisory Committee chair for the Department of Health and Human Services, on July 10, 2021. CNN

Booster shots for Covid-19 will be a requirement, however, the timing of such is not yet set in stone, according to Dr. Robert Hopkins, National Vaccine Committee Chair for the Dept. of Health and Human Services and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). 

Hopkins spoke with CNN at a pop-up vaccine clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas, Saturday afternoon.  

"We are going to need boosters at some point, but right now we really don't know when that's going to be, or how we're going to have to target that strategy about boosters," Dr. Hopkins said. 

"We know that the vaccines we have available right now are very effective at preventing both the variant viruses that we're seeing, as well as what I call traditional COVID," Hopkins told CNN. "Those vaccines don't prevent all infections, but they're really pretty effective at preventing infection, and they're very effective at preventing severe infection, leading to hospitalization or morbidity, so I'm pretty comfortable that we're doing pretty well with our current vaccines, I know that at some point we'll need to have those, those boosters, but we need to answer a number of questions between now and then."

Hopkins thinks that full FDA approval of the vaccines would help the cause. 

"I'm hopeful that we can get that full approval fairly soon. I know that there's been regular communication between the Pfizer, the Moderna, and the Johnson and Johnson folks, and the FDA. I think that that would help at least with a part of our population that's been hesitant, to know that this vaccine has full approval," he said.

12:44 p.m. ET, July 10, 2021

Surge of Covid-19 cases directly linked to lower vaccination rates, Missouri hospital official says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, on July 10, 2021.
Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, on July 10, 2021. CNN

A hospital in Missouri is seeing Covid-19 cases at "a pace that is almost unbelievable," with over 90% of ICU patients on ventilators, according to Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

"We started off today with 133 Covid-positive patients in our hospital. ... I would say, locally, in our facility, in our health care system in southwest Missouri, we are absolutely stretched, further than we were stretched last year. And I would say it's a managed crisis at this point for sure. We're seeing things that we didn't see last year at a pace that is almost unbelievable, when you look at how quickly this accelerated," Frederick told CNN.

"From June 1, we had 26 patients in-house. We hit 128 yesterday. And as I said, 133 today. So in 39 days, we made that acceleration. Last year, it took us from Sept. 1 to our peak on Dec. 28 to go from 24 to 113. So 150 days," Frederick added.

Frederick said "it's impossible not to" link the surge in cases to lower vaccination rates in the area. Southern Missouri is part of five undervaccinated clusters that are vulnerable to surges in Covid-19 cases as the Delta variant spreads in the US.

Frederick said the local vaccination rate is around 38%, but some rural vaccination numbers hover in the teens.

He said health workers needed to "rally our resources," including ventilators, to address the spike in cases and patients.

"We used up the bedside ventilators but had more on hand if needed. We were fine from an equipment standpoint, but we were definitely tested," he said.

The US government is deploying a Covid-19 surge team to provide public health support in southwest Missouri.

12:15 p.m. ET, July 10, 2021

Netherlands reimposes restrictions on nightclubs and restaurants due to rise in Covid-19 cases

From Sharon Braithwaite

People dine at a cafe in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 28, 2021.
People dine at a cafe in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 28, 2021. Marco de Swart/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The Netherlands has reimposed coronavirus restrictions on nightclubs and restaurants following a 'rapid' rise in cases, the government announced Friday in a statement, just two weeks after society almost completely reopened.

The new measures took effect Saturday at 6 a.m. local time and will remain in place until Aug. 13.

The government forced nightclubs to close again after it registered that most infections occurred in nightlife settings and parties with high numbers of people. 

"The Delta variant is causing more cases of illness among people who are not fully vaccinated, and there have even been cases of this variant infecting people who are fully vaccinated or who have already had a coronavirus infection. The possibility of new virus mutations arising also raises uncertainty. And the lingering symptoms of ‘long COVID’ can also have a big impact on people’s lives," the government said.

According to the new restrictions, restaurants and bars may remain open provided all visitors have assigned seats that are placed 1.5 meters apart. All restaurants and bars must be closed from midnight until 6 a.m. local time. Entertainment such as live performances and loud music is prohibited. 

Cultural venues may remain open provided all visitors have assigned seats that are placed 1.5 meters apart, the government said.

Official government figures show that new daily Covid-19 cases have been rising rapidly since the end of June, while the number of deaths remains low.

The country registered Saturday 10,345 daily cases and one new death.

 

10:50 a.m. ET, July 10, 2021

"We've seen almost an entire takeover in the Delta variant," one state official says

From CNN's Aya Elamroussi

Medical workers prepare to vaccinate people at a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Leland, Mississippi, on April 29, 2021.
Medical workers prepare to vaccinate people at a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Leland, Mississippi, on April 29, 2021. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The US has surpassed 20,000 new Covid-19 cases for the fourth day in a row as the highly contagious Delta variant persists in its track in being the most common form of the coronavirus in the country.

The last time the country had back-to-back days of cases topping 20,000 was in May, according to the data.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who heads the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday that more than 9 million people live in counties where cases are rising and where the vaccination rates are lower than 40%.

"Many of these counties are also the same locations where the Delta variant represents the large majority of circulating virus," she said.

The surge has alarmed officials in Mississippi, where only a third of the population is fully vaccinated.

"We've seen almost an entire takeover in the Delta variant," said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

"We're seeing a lot of outbreaks. We're seeing a lot of outbreaks in youth. We're seeing a lot of outbreaks in summer activities. We're also seeing a lot of outbreaks in nursing homes, where we have our most vulnerable people," he said.

8:35 a.m. ET, July 10, 2021

Fauci approves of in-person school guidance from CDC

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on July 9, 2021.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on July 9, 2021. CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that he agrees with new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which recommends a return to in-person school for children this fall.

“I think that the message from the CDC is clear and I totally agree with them,” Fauci told CNN. “We want all the children back in in-person classes in the fall term.”

The guidance places in-person learning as the priority this fall even if not all mitigation measures can be implemented. It also encourages vaccination for all eligible people.

“Obviously, depending upon the age of the children, some will be vaccinated, some not. Those who are not vaccinated should be wearing masks,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The CDC says they’d like to maintain the three-foot distance and if they can’t, they’re going to work around it, do other things, make sure there is good ventilation."

“The message is loud and clear: come the fall, we want the children back in school," he added.