Disneyland opened Friday morning for the first time in 412 days — the longest closure in the park’s 65-year history.
The reopening comes as the park’s home state recorded a rate of 33 cases per 100,000 people, as of Wednesday morning. California’s rate is less than a third of the U.S. average of 116 cases, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Also in the news:
►Canada will get Pfizer vaccines doses from the United States starting next week. The country had been getting Pfizer’s vaccines from its Belgium site. Vaccinations have ramped up in Canada in recent months.
►It was anxiety – and not a problem with the shots – that caused fainting, dizziness and other short-term reactions in dozens of people at coronavirus vaccine clinics in five states, U.S. health officials have concluded.
►The number of targets of secretive surveillance in national security investigations fell sharply last year in large part because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government report released Friday.
India set a global daily record of the number of new COVID-19 cases, with more than 386,000 reported Friday. The U.S. this week sent supplies to the country as it battles the massive surge, including COVID-19 tests, N95 masks and oxygen cylinders.
►A record surge in COVID-19 infections in Costa Rica forced the government to announce new restrictions Thursday that will dial back the country’s economic reopening.
►According to recent data from the CDC, about 92% of people who got the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine made it back for their second shot.
►Tucson Democratic Rep. Alma Hernandez, who was fully vaccinated, confirms that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 32.28 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 575,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Nearly 150.1 million cases and 3.16 million deaths. More than 305.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 237.3 million have been administered, according to the CDC. Almost 99.6 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
📘 What we’re reading: Native American tribes have long struggled with high rates of diabetes. COVID-19 made the problem even more urgent.
– Dawn Gilbertson and Joey Garrison
The science supports the agency’s new guidelines, but experts say easing mask restrictions may imply that vaccination is now just a matter of choice, and it could undermine urgency to reach vulnerable communities still awaiting access to vaccines.
“The changing perception that these are not issues means that the attention to these populations will likely decrease,” said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, associate research scientist at New York University School of Global Public Health.
Some states already have begun relaxing restrictions.
But many people across the country remain unvaccinated because they don’t have access to the Internet, work more than one job, don’t speak English, experience homelessness, live in rural areas or suffer from chronic health, said Kiran Savage-Sangwan, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network. All are conditions that studies show disproportionately affect people of color. Read more here.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
From 8,000 miles away, New Jersey resident Radhika Iyengar worries about her 82-year-old mother in Bhopal, India.
Her mother is suffering from COVID-19 but unable to get a hospital bed or an oxygen tank as the pandemic reaches catastrophic levels. Iyengar remains in Millburn, New Jersey, distraught, unable to travel to India with much of the nation on lockdown.
“It’s so overwhelming,” Iyengar said, amid sobs, in an interview this week. “Every house has COVID, ill people. People are dying in cars, their homes.”
As a second wave of the coronavirus ravages India, Indian Americans are trying to reach loved ones, organizing relief and quietly worrying about relatives caught in what has become the world’s worst outbreak.
Stories of deaths tangled in bureaucracy and breakdowns have become dismally common in India, where deaths on Wednesday officially surged past 200,000. The true death toll is believed to be far higher. The nation of almost 1.4 billion reported 362,757 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, shattering global records. That pushed the country’s total infections past 17.9 million, second only to the U.S. Health officials have blamed new, more contagious strains of the virus.
“India is experiencing the worst health crisis right now,” said Sapna Gupta of Short Hills. “Almost everyone is impacted by the virus. Many are losing their loved ones, and many are not even getting to say goodbye.” Read more here.
– Mary Chao, NorthJersey.com
Despite increased COVID-19 vaccinations and an overall decline in infections, San Bernardino County officials said a majority of new cases are being seen in younger people aged 18 to 49.
County data shows that confirmed cases in the age group total 161,680, or more than half of the 295,806 cases reported so far. The median age for coronavirus cases was 37 as of Thursday.
“A considerable number of these individuals, including many who are young and otherwise healthy, will suffer from the coronavirus, and some will require hospitalization,” said Interim Public Health Director Andrew Goldfrach in a statement. “Some will even die — which is heartbreaking when one considers how easy it is to schedule a free vaccination appointment.”
The county’s trend appears to be part of a pattern statewide.
While people aged 18-49 make up about 43% of California’s population, infections in the age group have accounted for greater than 57% — or more than 2 million — of the state’s total confirmed cases, according to the California Department of Public Health.
And the state is not alone. Washington hospital leaders said that a fourth wave of COVID-19 is increasingly loaded with young patients and that some are suffering from more severe disease than earlier in the pandemic, reported The Seattle Times. And in Texas, leaders are reporting that young people are less likely to get vaccinated and are therefore coming down more frequently with COVID.
– Martin Estacio, Victorville Daily Press
Contributing: The Associated Press
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