The number of children across the country who were infected with COVID-19 declined this week but is still at staggering levels: A more than 2,700% increase since the end of June.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released new data Monday showing the number of cases among children has “increased exponentially” in recent weeks.
The data shows more than 243,000 children were infected last week, a decline from the week before when nearly 252,000 cases were reported, but still the “second highest number of child cases in a week since the pandemic began.”
It’s a huge jump compared to the 8,447 cases reported at the end of June or the 12,100 at the start of July, data from the AAP shows.
The startling jump comes as more schools return to in-person learning and as tensions grow over mandates on vaccinations and masks across the country.
Also in the news:
►Despite a small downturn in new daily COVID-19 cases since a recent peak last week, Wisconsin’s coronavirus surge remains at levels last seen in winter.
►Iowa school districts again have the power to enact mask mandates after a federal judge temporarily blocked a law banning them from doing so.
►Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is threatening local governments with $5,000 fines per violation for requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
►A group of gorillas at Zoo Atlanta are in line to be vaccinated after they tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a public statement from zoo officials released Sunday.
►France is joining the list of European travel destinations tightening restrictions on U.S. tourists as COVID-19 cases surge because of the delta coronavirus variant. Beginning Sept. 12, only vaccinated visitors will be allowed to visit for vacation.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 41 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more 661,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 225 million cases and 4.6 million deaths. Nearly 179 million Americans — 53.9% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘What we’re reading: Most kids who suffer crippling long COVID-19 symptoms get better. Doctors worry about those who don’t.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is going into self-isolation because of coronavirus cases in his inner circle, the Kremlin said Tuesday, adding that he tested negative for COVID-19. Putin has been fully vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, receiving his second shot in April.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin is “absolutely healthy” but will self-isolate after coming in contact with someone who contracted the virus. He didn’t clarify for how long Putin would remain in self-isolation, but assured that the president will continue working as usual.
On Monday, the Russian president attended several public events. He greeted Russian Paralympians, attended military exercises conducted in coordination with Belarus, and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. During the meeting with the Paralympians, Putin mentioned that he “may have to quarantine soon.”
“Even in my circle problems occur with this COVID,” the Russian leader was quoted by the state RIA Novosti news agency as saying. “We need to look into what’s really happening there. I think I may have to quarantine soon myself. A lot of people around (me) are sick.”
Asked why Putin proceeded with public events on Monday, Peskov said that the decision to self-isolate was made after “doctors completed their testing, their procedures.” Peskov assured that “no one’s health was endangered” at Monday’s events.
Russia’s daily new coronavirus infections in recent weeks have plateaued around 17,000-18,000, with the daily death toll remaining just under 800, the highest level in the pandemic. Nevertheless, hardly any virus restrictions are currently in place in Russia.
— Associated Press
In just a week, COVID-19 vaccine boosters could begin to be available to all fully vaccinated Americans. But exactly who will be eligible and when won’t be decided until two key scientific advisory committees meet days before the Biden administration’s Sept. 20 start date.
That leaves little reaction time for health care system administrators like Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, chief medical officer for Michigan-based Trinity Health, which operates 91 hospitals and 120 continuing care facilities in 22 states.
“We have our data team poised, ready to hit the button to help us identify all our patients who are ready for a booster,” Lundstrom said. “We’re anxiously waiting for guidance, as is everybody.”
Originally, President Joe Biden said a third shot booster dose for people with healthy immune systems would be offered beginning Sept. 20 to anyone who’d gotten their second shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least eight months ago, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
But the administration walked that back slightly over concerns the announcement got ahead of recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committees.
“The decision of which booster shots to give, when to start them and who will give them will be left completely to the scientists at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control,” Biden said Thursday.
The FDA committee meets Friday to discuss booster recommendations; the CDC committee meeting is not yet scheduled but could come the next day to meet the Sept. 20 goal.
– Elizabeth Weise
Contributing: The Associated Press
Source: GANNETT Syndication Service