Americans locked up for a year or more are finally getting out, and many of them are heading to national parks – so many that some parks are implementing reservation systems, such as those controlling the flow at Yosemite National Park in California. and Acadia National in Maine. To park.
In 2020, the National Park Service received 237 million recreational visits, down over 90 million visits (27.6%) from 2019. This decrease is largely due to temporary park closures in response to the pandemic. The number of visits was the lowest since 1980.
Now the parks are booming again. The Yellowstone National Park website points out that “if you don’t have a reservation, the nearest campsite or hotel room may be a few hours away.”
Great Falls National Park outside of Washington, DC, warns that “on weekends, if the park fills up and parking is not available, the entrance will close.… You may not enter before our reopening “.
Also in the news:
► France is relaxing the compulsory wearing of masks outside and will end an eight-month night curfew against coronaviruses on Sunday.
►The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the use of another batch of vaccine produced at Johnson & Johnson’s ailing Emergent BioSolutions facility. Several media outlets, including The Hill, reported that the batch totaled 14 million doses.
►North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned of possible food shortages and urged the country to prepare for extensive COVID-19 restrictions.
►The UK government is considering making vaccination compulsory for nursing home workers, the BBC and other media report. Staff should be given 16 weeks for the jab or face to be redeployed away from primary care or lose their jobs.
►Maryland’s state of emergency will end on July 1, more than 15 months after the virus first appeared in the state. All remaining health restrictions will end on that date, Governor Larry Hogan said.
The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 33.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 600,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 176.57 million cases and over 3.81 million deaths. More than 145.76 million Americans have been fully immunized, or 43.9% of the population, according to the CDC.
What we read: Effective COVID-19 vaccines were developed in less than a year. But half a century after the country declared war on cancer, and 40 years after the first reported case of HIV / AIDS, there is no way left to prevent the disease or many others. Read the full story.
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EU adds US to list of countries that should not face travel restrictions
The European Union should recommend that member countries start lifting restrictions on tourists from the United States. EU members agreed on Wednesday to add the United States to the list of countries from which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted. This decision was adopted at a meeting in Brussels of the permanent representatives of the bloc of 27 nations. The recommendation is not binding and national governments have the power to demand test results or vaccination records and set other entry requirements. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said this week that a cautious and gradual approach should remain the rule.
“Let’s look at the science and look at the progress. Let’s look at the numbers and when it’s safe we will, ”said De Croo. “By the time we see that a large part of the population is doubly vaccinated and can prove that they are safe, travel will resume. And I would expect that during this summer.
Moscow to demand vaccination of retail, education and healthcare workers
Authorities in Moscow and the surrounding region on Wednesday made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for people working in retail, education, health care, public transport and other occupations that provide services to a large number of people. The Kremlin said there were no plans to make vaccination compulsory across the country. In Moscow, however, public health officials have ordered businesses and institutions to ensure that 60% of staff receive at least one injection of a coronavirus vaccine by July 15 and be fully immunized by July 15. August.
“We must simply do everything to carry out mass vaccination as soon as possible and stop the terrible disease,” said the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin.
An expedition vaccinates indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon
A team of doctors, nurses and frontline workers sponsored by the United States-based nonprofit, Health In Harmony, complete a three-week expedition to immunize indigenous communities along the Xingu River in Brazilian Amazon. The team traveled in two boats filled with ice and 1,400 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Establishing accessible and affordable health care is crucial for the survival of rainforest, forest communities and “ultimately all of us,” said Dr Érika Pellegrino, Brazilian program coordinator for Health In Harmony. By equipping these communities – which protect the rainforest – with vaccines, these groups will not need to leave their lands, which would otherwise be vulnerable to deforestation by ranchers and loggers, Pellegrino said.
“There is a direct link between the health of these communities and the climate and natural crisis,” said Pellegrino. “They can’t just take a short trip to the nearest health center and get vaccinated. “
Japan set to ease Tokyo restrictions ahead of Olympics
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to lower the state of emergency when it expires on Sunday in Tokyo and other regions. The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23. Daily cases have dropped dramatically and Suga says he’s determined to run “safe and secure” games. However, health experts believe it is crucial to accelerate the deployment of the vaccine in one of the least vaccinated developed countries. As of Tuesday, only 5.6% of Japanese were fully vaccinated.
The size of the crowd remains to be determined. Under current rules, 34,000 spectators would be allowed at the national stadium with a capacity of 68,000 seats where the opening ceremonies will be held.
US buys 200 million more vaccine doses from Moderna
Moderna announced that the federal government has purchased an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine, primarily to immunize children or to use as a booster for people already vaccinated.
The government has purchased 500 million doses of which 110 million doses are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 90 million are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022, the Massachusetts-based company said in a statement.
CEO Stéphane Bancel said Moderna remains “focused on being proactive as the virus evolves … to stay ahead of emerging variants”.
The vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated
The drop in COVID-19 rates across the United States masks a harsh reality – the overwhelming majority of people who are sick and hospitalized are not vaccinated. Hospitals in states with the lowest vaccination rates tend to have more COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, according to hospital data collected last week by the Department of Health and Human Services and rates immunizations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .
“People who say, ‘This is my body, my choice?’ Well, it’s not just about you, “said Dr. Gerald Maloney, chief medical officer of hospital services for the Geisinger Health Network, which operates nine hospitals in Pennsylvania.” It’s also about the people who surround you. ” Read more here.
– Elizabeth Weise and Aleszu Bajak
Delta variant is a “concern” as it is spreading rapidly in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now classified the delta variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in India, as a “variant of concern” because it now accounts for 10% of cases in the United States. The variant was previously raging in India and is currently crossing the UK, which has delayed reopening.
“This is doubling every two weeks,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation.” “And I think the risk is really for the fall that it could cause a new epidemic as fall approaches.”
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both about 88% effective against the delta variant after two injections, research shows. Research indicates that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective, but more information is needed.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, but it does not bring back any of these lives or bring comfort to grieving families,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health in Virginia. Commonwealth University. “My other worry is that, for too many Americans and politicians, the race for life to ‘get back to normal will lead to complacency with the issues that made us vulnerable to COVID in the first place.
Study: Almost 25% of people with COVID-19 develop long-term symptoms
A new report from FAIR Health shows that nearly a quarter of coronavirus patients develop lasting or Long COVID symptoms. The study found that certain symptoms were more common in certain age groups or in certain demographic groups. Older patients were more likely to develop high cholesterol, while younger patients were more likely to develop gastrointestinal problems after diagnosis.
The journal analyzed nearly 2 million private health care claim records from patients with COVID-19, excluding those with chronic conditions such as cancer and HIV.
Contribute: The Associated Press.