Updates on the coronavirus pandemic
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Some US cities and companies are reintroducing face mask requirements, even for fully vaccinated people, in a bid to counter a spike in Covid-19 infections caused by the more transmissible Delta variant.
San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties reinstated a universal mask mandate for indoor public places on Monday.
“Indoor masking is a temporary measure that will help us deal with the Delta variant, which is causing a sharp increase in cases, and we know that an increase in hospitalizations and deaths will follow,” said Naveena Bobba, San Francisco Acting Health Officer.
Louisiana, which has some of the highest Covid-19 transmission rates in the United States, will require masks to be worn in indoor public places, including schools, by anyone aged five and over, regardless of or vaccination status, Governor John Bel Edwards announced on Monday. afternoon. The term will last at least until September 1.
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “strongly recommended” that vaccinated New Yorkers resume wearing masks in indoor public places, but without requiring it.
Cities and states are joining a growing list of places that have recommended or required everyone to wear masks again in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status, as the Delta variant spreads. They include Los Angeles County, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami-Dade County, St Louis, Savannah, and most counties in Nevada.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people vaccinated in areas where Covid-19 transmission rates are substantial or high to resume wearing masks in indoor public places, just months after reporting that most of the time they could do without.
The about-face came as Covid-19 infection and hospitalization rates rise again as the Delta variant of the virus spreads particularly rapidly in parts of the country where vaccination rates are at the bottom. dragged.
Following a rapid start to vaccine deployment, the rate of inoculations slowed considerably despite an abundant supply. The White House announced Monday that 70% of Americans had received at least one blow, weeks after the July 4 target that US President Joe Biden had set to reach that level.
Daily vaccinations in the United States have hovered around 550,000 per day over the past week, up from lows reached in July but down from a peak of over 3.4 million in mid -April, according to CDC data.
The Biden administration has attempted to increase vaccination rates, urging state and local governments to offer cash incentives and requiring federal employees and some contractors to get vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
Companies like Google, Walmart and Walt Disney have announced more stringent mask or vaccine requirements for their employees or customers in recent days as concerns grow over the Delta variant.
Target joined that list on Monday, with the retailer saying it would require staff to wear face coverings and “strongly recommends” that buyers do the same in areas with the highest risk of transmission.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday urged private businesses such as bars and restaurants to admit only those who have been vaccinated, hoping to encourage refractories to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“If you tell people, ‘well, if you don’t have a vaccine, you can’t go into these facilities,’ then you’ll see a real incentive to get yourself vaccinated,” Cuomo said.
On July 30, the United States surpassed more than 100,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day for the first time since early February, according to CDC data, bringing the seven-day average of new cases to around 72,000.
Daily cases in Florida have climbed to nearly 16,000, nearly 10 times the rate of a month ago, according to CDC figures. The state now accounts for one in five new infections in the United States, with its rate of new cases approaching the peak in January, as most of the country faced the worst of the pandemic.
Louisiana has recorded an average of about 73 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people per day over the past week, according to CDC data. It is the highest per capita rate in the United States and almost four times the national average.