CDC walks back on its guidance over virus in air
USA TODAY US Edition, United States of America, 22 September 2020, https://www.pressreader.com/article/282153588713078
The CDC said Monday that it had posted in error changed guidance on how COVID-19 spreads, walking back language that acknowledged the virus can spread via “airborne particles.”
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet,” the now-removed guidance said on the CDC’S website.
A note at the top of the CDC’S webpage Monday instead said that the language was a draft and the agency was still updating its guidance.
CNN reported the changed guidance had been updated Friday, the same day the agency reversed course on controversial testing guidance. According to the CDC, “indoor environments without good ventilation” increase the risk of infection via suspended droplets and airborne particles.
The U.S. has reported more than 6.8 million cases and roughly 200,000 deaths, as California became the fourth state to top 15,000 deaths, joining New York, New Jersey and Texas, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Through late Sunday, sevenday new records on infections were set in Montana, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Virginia and West Virginia. Globally, there have been more than 31 million cases and more than 961,000 fatalities.
New York City welcomes back
Some students in the nation’s largest school district returned to the classroom Monday as city schools opened their doors and kicked off their twice delayed reopening plan. New York is one of the first major school districts in the U.S. to attempt to bring students back to the classroom in some capacity this year. Special education and pre-kindergarten students were the first to return Monday, while elementary, middle and high school students are set to return next week. The city intends to have students spend part of their time in classes and part of their time learning virtually this academic year.
New Zealand lifting most restrictions
New Zealand will lift its remaining lockdowns except for in Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday. The nation heralded for its pandemic response re-imposed lockdown measures last month after a new outbreak spread in Auckland. The outbreak now appears to be under control, and health authorities reported no new cases Monday.
UK sees new explosion in cases
The United Kingdom’s top doctor said that the country has turned a corner “in a very bad sense” and is now headed in the “wrong direction” with its rates of COVID-19. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said figures suggest there will be an exponential growth in the disease unless action is taken. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering a two-week national lockdown to stem the outbreak. Nearly 400,000 people in the U.K. have confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more than 41,000 have died.
First few million vaccine doses will be ‘godsend,’ White House adviser says
Even a few million doses of vaccine would be sufficient for the U.S. to obtain “80% to 90% of the benefit” of mass vaccinations, White House coronavirus task force member Adm. Brett Giroir said Sunday. Giroir, speaking on CNN’S “State of the Union,” said a few million doses could be available in late November or December. Vaccinating nursing home workers, teachers, people with pre-existing conditions and the people surrounding them will be crucial to stemming the COVID-19 tide, Giroir said.
“A vaccine as early as possible, even in a few million doses, will be a godsend in terms of outcomes, hospitalizations, morbidities and deaths,” Giroir said.