As US nears 600,000 deaths, 70% vaccination goal likely to fall short; California on track for Tuesday reopening: COVID-19 updates


As the nation nears 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, the U.S. may be unlikely to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4.

More than a dozen states have already hit that goal, and about a dozen more are on pace to reach the milestone. But a USA TODAY analysis shows U.S. vaccinations are on track to reach only 67% of adults by July 4.

California has already met the goal and is set to lift its historic stay-at-home order on Tuesday as cases in the state remain low.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Friday lifting most of the state’s coronavirus restrictions, effective June 15. In addition to the rescinded stay-at-home order, there will also no longer be capacity limits or social distancing requirements imposed on businesses.

A handful of orders will remain in effect indefinitely, including directives making state fairgrounds available for pandemic response and allowing pharmacy technicians to administer doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Residents who have been fully vaccinated won’t have to wear masks in most public settings, while those who remain unvaccinated will still be required to do so.

Also in the news:

Starting June 15, Walt Disney World will no longer require guests who have been fully vaccinated to wear face masks in most areas. All guests, however, must continue to wear their masks while on Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails and the Disney Skyliner aerial gondolas.

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been suspended from posting content to YouTube for one week, after the company said Johnson violated the platform’s COVID-19 “medical misinformation policies” with a series of video clips.

Last year, about 19.5 million kids missed out on the fun of summer camp because of the pandemic. This year, even though most camps are set to reopen, COVID-19 restrictions and a pandemic-induced labor shortage will keep numbers well below a normal threshold of about 26 million summer campers, said Tom Rosenberg of the American Camp Association.

Even though the pace of vaccinations has slowed within Major League Baseball, two additional teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after reaching the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other on-field personnel, raising the total to 22 of the 30 clubs.

Honolulu is loosening some of its COVID-19 restrictions on social activity now that more than half its population has been vaccinated against the virus, including allowing outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor gatherings of up to 10.

The growing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in England may jeopardize suspension of the country’s remaining lockdown restrictions; the variant “now makes up more than 90% of cases,” according to a report from Public Health England. The variant also accounts for about 6% of U.S. infections, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 33.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 599,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: over 175 million cases and almost 3.7 million deaths. More than 142 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 42.8% of the population, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: Scientists say biology tells us why it has been so much easier to vaccinate against COVID-19 when other medical problems remain intractable.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

World’s richest democracies vow to donate a billion vaccine doses

Facing criticism that they are hogging vaccines, the leaders of seven wealthy industrialized nations are competing to be the global champion of so many wounded by the virus.

With 3.7 million people lost in the pandemic, the world’s richest democracies are eager to show themselves the champions of the afflicted and have committed to sharing at least 1 billion vaccine shots with struggling countries.

The U.S. is set to donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses in the next year, while the U.K. plans to share 5 million doses – out of a 100 million total – in the coming weeks; France and Germany each plan to donate 30 million vaccines.

The COVAX vaccination campaign got off to a slow start as richer nations locked up billions of doses through contracts directly with drug manufacturers. The alliance has distributed just 81 million doses globally, and large parts of the world, particularly in Africa, remain vaccine deserts.

“It is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession in 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said after leaders posed for a formal photo by the sea.

US vaccine surplus grows by the day

The U.S. is confronted with an ever-growing surplus of coronavirus vaccine, looming expiration dates and stubbornly lagging demand/

The stockpiles are becoming more daunting each week. Oklahoma has more than 700,000 doses on shelves but is administering only 4,500 a day and has 27,000 Pfizer and Moderna doses that are set to expire at the end of the month. Millions of Johnson & Johnson doses nationwide were set to expire this month before the government extended their dates by six weeks, but some leaders acknowledge it will be difficult to use them up even by then.

“We really cannot let doses expire. That would be a real outrage, given the need to get vaccines to some under-vaccinated communities in the U.S. and the glaring gap in vaccinations and the inequity of vaccinations that we have globally,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chair of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Each week, states are allotted a number of doses from the government and are allowed to order shots from that. But more states, including Oklahoma, Alabama, Utah, Delaware and New Hampshire, have stopped placing orders for new doses in recent weeks because they have such a large inventory. That has added to the ballooning federal stockpile.

Despite their limited effectiveness in reducing vaccine hesitancy, incentive programs – million-dollar prizes, free beer and marijuana and raffled-off hunting rifles – may be a worthwhile tool for states struggling to improve their vaccination rates and convince reluctant citizens.

Gov says Kentucky succeeded in fighting COVID-19 by putting science over politics

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday declared his state’s deadly fight against COVID-19 a “success story” as he ended most pandemic restrictions and said his state lessened the crisis because Kentuckians ultimately put science ahead of politics.

Kentucky “beat back” three surges of infection without having its hospitals overrun with virus patients, the governor said. The rollout of vaccinations was “pretty successful”: More than 2.1 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of vaccine, he said.

Beshear lifted Kentucky’s statewide mask mandate with a few exceptions, keeping the measure for such “high-risk settings” as public transit, health care settings and long-term care facilities. Prior to lifting the mask mandate, he vented his frustration with the divisions over donning a facial covering.

“Masks have been used to reduce infection in health care settings for decades,” Beshear said. “Yet somehow it became a question of liberty.”

Shortly before announcing he was lifting capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars and other public venues, Beshear said the pandemic was “a test of our humanity” and posed “the single deadliest threat” of his lifetime. Kentucky’s virus-related death toll has surpassed 7,000. Beshear said bringing the coronavirus under control required collective efforts of Democrats and Republicans, offering a lesson to move beyond the partisan strife that “can just be toxic.”

“I’m the guy that has to try to lay my head down every night and sleep knowing that Kentuckians that we’ve lost, the grief that’s out there, the fact that so many couldn’t say goodbye and be at that bedside,” Beshear said. “That we had thousands of Kentuckians die alone or with a nurse holding their hands. And so that perspective, each and every day, I never looked at any of this in any of the red or the blue discussion, and the rest of the country shouldn’t either.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Mum reveals $10 reason son can't have 'normal life'

For Lykera Parker, seeing another child walk can trigger a pang of sadness. Because she knows that while her son Kalarny is as bubbly and outgoing as any four-year-old, he ... Read more »

COVID-19: Cases fall in the Netherlands and UK, while Italy and Romania push vaccines

While COVID-19 cases fall in some European countries, others fear a fourth wave of infections is underway. Cases in the Netherlands have fallen by 44% compared to last week, according ... Read more »

Schools implement mask mandates even as some states impose bans; US reports one case every second: Live COVID-19 updates

The U.S. Department of Education Monday released a roadmap for the return to school this fall, encouraging districts to invest in physical and emotional support for students. Among the roadmap’s ... Read more »

Cobblestone stones honor WWII gay and lesbian resistance fighters

Karel Pekelharing stone. Photo: DutchNews.nl Nine Jewish gay and lesbian resistance figurines are to be given their own “Stolperstein” or commemorative street tiles in front of their last known address. ... Read more »

Covid UK news – live: Vaccine to be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds as UK sees highest deaths since mid-March

✕ Close Coronavirus in numbers The coronavirus vaccination programme looks set to be rolled out to more than a million 16- and 17-year-olds. It is expected ministers will on Wednesday ... Read more »

Obese mice lose weight ‘sweating out' fat in an immune system experiment, despite eating more

In search of better treatments for type 2 diabetes and other consequences of obesity, Taku Kambayashi has long wondered if he could harness a bodily function that most think about ... Read more »

NYC will have the first government-issued vaccine mandate in the US. Here's what we know.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio just mandated proof of vaccination for indoor restaurants, gyms and performance venues. Here’s how that will work. Read more »

Peak hospital admissions seems to have been reached, 44% fewer new infections

Increase in IC In the past week, 541 new COVID-19 hospitalizations were registered compared to 564 the week before. “In the past week, there were 130 new admissions to the ... Read more »

The Path to Forgiveness When Someone Hurts You: How to Forgive, Let Go, and Protect Yourself

When you’ve been hurt by someone you trust, you might feel angry or resentful, especially if it keeps happening. Forgiving the person who is hurting you can rid you of ... Read more »

How to Boost Your Confidence (13 Steps to Help Your Social Anxiety)

Are you sometimes nervous to speak up and say what’s on your mind? It’s okay to be a little shy every now and then, but it might prevent you from ... Read more »

This South Korean company has figured out how to get the best night's sleep. Does sleep tech work?

A lack of sleep not only makes us grumpy in the mornings but it can also affect our health too. There are a range of gadgets out there with many ... Read more »

NHS must work in “new ways” to deliver care, says new chief executive

Amanda Pritchard during a visit to University College Hospital London, following the announcement of her appointment as the new chief executive of the NHS in England. (PA) The health service ... Read more »

3 ways to show you've gotten the COVID-19 vaccine

Did you misplace your vaccine passport? Here are three other ways you can prove you’ve been vaccinated. Read more »

Covid-19 antibody test: what does your result mean? Why a high score is good but doesn't tell the whole story

Standing in a taxi queue recently I overheard a middle-aged man say to a woman of similar age ahead of him in line, “I got 650”. Whatever he was referring ... Read more »

One-third of all COVID cases reported in Florida and Texas; US reaches 70% of partially vaccinated adults: COVID-19 updates

Florida and Texas had one-third of all COVID cases reported last week, White House COVID-19 Response coordinator Jeff Zients said during a Monday news conference. Florida broke two records — ... Read more »

Rabobank to compensate customers who have paid too much interest

Photo: Rabobank Rabobank is working to settle thousands of customers who have paid large amounts of interest on consumer loans, Cooperative Bank said Tuesday. The decision focuses on the high ... Read more »

Covid UK news - live: PM U-turns on amber watchlist as England could be ‘over the edge' of third wave

✕ Close Boris Johnson hints at U-turn on amber watchlist Plans for an “amber watchlist” have been abandoned as ministers prepare to review the traffic light system which will decide ... Read more »

How to Verify a Physician's License in California

Before you choose a physician for any type of treatment, it’s always a good idea to verify their license. This assures you that their license is in good standing and ... Read more »

Sailing Bronze has won a total of 19 Dutch medals and will win even more.

Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz during the race. Photo: Olaf Kraak ANP In the disappointing medal race of Sailor Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz, she was pushed back to the ... Read more »

From AI to ice vests: How Tokyo 2020 athletes are adapting to the hottest Olympics ever

Tokyo 2020 is likely to go down in history as the hottest modern Olympic and Paralympic Games ever. Daily high temperatures in the Japanese capital have hovered around 31C throughout ... Read more »

How to Use a Monocular

A monocular is like a small telescope. It is smaller and lighter than binoculars while packing the same power. To use a monocular, make sure that you keep a firm ... Read more »

Poorer communities see twice as many smoking related cancers as richer areas, says study

Smoking is linked to poverty and is causing more cancers in poorer communities (Getty Images/iStockphoto) There are nearly twice as many cancers caused by smoking among the poorest people in ... Read more »

Paramedics left in tears from ‘unsustainable demand', warns union

Unison has warned ambulance chiefs that the pressure is taking its toll on their workforce (Getty) Paramedics are being left in tears at the end of stressful shifts, with some ... Read more »

How to Use Apple Health

This wikiHow teaches you how to get started with Apple Health on your iPhone. The Health app makes it easy to access your important health information, including your medical history, ... Read more »

How to Understand Social Distancing

The term “social distancing” is all over the news, but what does it really mean? This term refers to staying a specific distance away from other people to help prevent ... Read more »

How to Treat a Bruised Thigh Muscle

Ouch! A bruised thigh is no joke. The front of your thigh is composed of large muscles called your quadriceps, and anybody who’s ever taken a direct hit there can ... Read more »

How to Treat Tunnel Wounds

A tunnel wound is a secondary wound that occurs alongside a primary wound, and it’s usually caused by an infection or pressure. This kind of wound extends into layers of ... Read more »

How to Treat Overmethylation

Methylation is a fairly complex process, but basically, it’s the natural process where methyl groups (one carbon and three hydrogen atoms) are transferred throughout your body. This happens billions of ... Read more »

How to Treat Numbness in Legs and Feet

Numbness in your legs and feet can cause discomfort and awkwardness, but it’s usually no cause for alarm. If you sit or stand in the same position for an extended ... Read more »

How to Treat Liver Fibrosis

Your liver is an incredible organ—it can grow back from almost nothing. But if it’s damaged too often, it can lead to a condition called fibrosis. The good news is ... Read more »

50 per cent vaxxed is not enough to safely lift restrictions: Doherty Institute

If NSW reaches its target of 6 million Covid-19 vaccinations by the end of the month it will still be “a long way” from being safe from the virus, according ... Read more »

How to Treat Crepitus

Crepitus is a general term for the crackling or popping sound made by a joint. This is typically caused by cartilage or soft tissue rubbing against a joint during movement, ... Read more »

How to Treat Cold Feet

Having cold feet is a pretty common problem, especially during the wintertime. However, if you have persistent cold feet, you could have an underlying condition such as Reynaud’s phenomenon. Fortunately, ... Read more »

How to Treat Buttock Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a common condition causing inflamed hair follicles and a raised rash. While it can occur anywhere on your body, the buttocks are a common area for an outbreak. ... Read more »

'People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere': Court backs Indiana University mandate

INDIANAPOLIS — Students who don’t like Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement can go elsewhere for their education. That was the message delivered by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in ... Read more »

How to Take a Mankind Unwanted Kit

A Mankind Unwanted Kit is made up of 1 pill called mifepristone and 4 pills called misoprostol that your OB/GYN can give you. These are taken to terminate an unwanted ... Read more »

How to Take Control of Your Health

No matter what our existing health, financial, mental, economic, or social situation is, there are things we can each do to take (better) control of our own health. No one ... Read more »

How to Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself can feel like a really big task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Learn to manage your physical, mental, and emotional health so that you ... Read more »

Japanese shadow painting master delivers hope, delight in Seoul

Read more »

How to Store Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is another name for vitamin C. Ascorbic acid helps your body grow and repair itself and is an essential nutrient. Unfortunately, it is also very delicate ... Read more »