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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, more than 5.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 935,000 Americans, according to real-time data provided by the Center for Systems Science and Johns Hopkins University were assembled mechanical engineering.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 64.7% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
This is how the news developed on Monday. All Easter times:
Feb 21 at 4:29 p.m
New Zealand will only lift COVID restrictions ‘well beyond the Omicron summit’, PM says
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday the country will only lift COVID-19 restrictions if it goes “far beyond” the Omicron summit.
During a post-cabinet news conference, Ardern said COVID-19 cases are expected to double every three to four days, with a peak expected in mid to late March.
“Then it’s likely that very soon we’ll know all the people who have COVID, or we’ll possibly get it ourselves,” she said.
Restrictions currently include unvaccinated people being banned from restaurants and bars, students being required to wear masks and events such as weddings being limited to 100 guests or 25 guests if unvaccinated people are present.
Ardern also reached out to protesters who have occupied the grounds of Parliament House over the past week in protest at COVID rules.
“Everyone is over COVID. Nobody wants to live with rules or restrictions. But had we not all been willing to work together to protect one another, we would all have been worse off as individuals, including the loss of people we love,” she said.
Ardern continued: “We all want to get back to how life was and we will, I suspect, sooner than you think. But if that happens, it will be because the easing of restrictions will not endanger the lives of thousands of people. not because you asked for it.”
Feb 21, 3:24 p.m
Maui ends vaccination requirements for indoor restaurants and gyms
Maui announced Monday it was ending its requirement for people to be fully vaccinated to enter restaurants and other indoor businesses.
“From February 21, 2022, indoor service in restaurants and bars will no longer require proof of vaccination or testing,” the island’s website said in a statement.
Individuals using fitness centers and gyms are also not required to provide proof of vaccination.
This makes Oahu the last island in Hawaii where people still need to be fully vaccinated to enter restaurants, bars and gyms.
However, the county of Maui still requires masks to be worn indoors and out-of-state travelers must provide proof of vaccination to avoid a mandatory five-day quarantine.
Feb 21 at 1:52 p.m
Boris Johnson announces end of remaining COVID restrictions in England
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England on Monday.
These include requiring people who test positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate and officials to stop conducting contact tracing.
People who contract the virus will continue to be advised to stay at home, but will not receive financial support from the government for missing work, a measure introduced during the pandemic.
Additionally, free lab PCR tests will only be available to the elderly and immunocompromised, while free rapid tests will no longer be distributed by the government.
“We now have a sufficient level of immunity to complete the transition from protecting people through government intervention to relying on vaccines and treatments as our first line of defense,” Johnson said in a speech to the House of Commons.
Johnson acknowledged the virus “hasn’t gone away,” noting that Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, but added the country must “learn to live with this virus and take care of itself and.” to continue to protect others without restricting our freedoms”.
Feb 21 at 12:51 p.m
The US average daily death falls below 2,000 for the first time in a month
The US daily average of COVID-19 deaths fell below 2,000 for the first time in nearly a month over the weekend.
Over the past week, the average is down about 15.3% to about 1,920 virus-related deaths a day.
Though the average remains high, experts say deaths are a lagging indicator and the country could finally see sharp declines after several weeks of spikes.
In addition, the daily average of COVID-19 cases has fallen to 103,000 per day, hitting the lowest average since early December.
Since the country’s peak in early January, the average number of new infections in the US has fallen by 87%.
Feb 21 at 12:19 p.m
Justin Bieber tests positive for COVID, cancels shows
Justin Bieber has tested positive for COVID-19, his manager Scooter Braun confirmed on Sunday.
It comes just two days after the 27-year-old singer kicked off his rescheduled 2021 world tour Justice in San Diego on Friday.
“Rest, Justin. I look forward to seeing you back to what you love,” Braun wrote on Instagram.
Bieber was forced to cancel a Sunday show in Las Vegas, which was rescheduled to June 28, 2022, as well as a Tuesday show in Glendale, Arizona for June 30.
“Justin is obviously very disappointed, but the health and safety of his crew and fans is always his top priority,” the statement said.
“The tour launch in San Diego was a huge success and Justin looks forward to bringing this spectacular show to his … fans as soon as possible,” the statement continued.
February 21, 10:50 am
The COVID infection rate at the Winter Olympics was 0.01%
The COVID-19 infection rate at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was 0.01 percent, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Monday.
Since Jan. 23, more than 1.8 million COVID tests have been conducted and 437 people have tested positive, according to a press release.
Of those positive tests, 98 were among athletes, 87 among team officials, and the remaining 252 among “stakeholders.”
Bach said in a statement that the closed-loop system used by the games was “one of the safest places on this planet, if not the safest.”
“The message to the world is that if everyone respects the rules in solidarity, even such a great event as the Olympic Games can be held in the conditions of a pandemic,” the statement continued.
February 21, 9:45 am
Australia is reopening its borders after almost two years
Australia welcomed back international travelers on Monday after the country reopened its borders for the first time in almost two years.
The country had banned most non-residents from visiting since March 2020 with no travel exemptions.
“From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel waiver,” the government’s Home Office said in a statement.
“Unvaccinated visa holders must continue to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia,” the statement continued.
According to Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan, 56 international flights will arrive in Australia on Monday, including those from the US, Canada, the UK and Japan.
Feb 21, 7:24 am
New York delays booster mandate for healthcare workers
New York health officials announced the state would be delaying enforcement of its refresher requirement for health care workers to avoid potential staffing issues.
The mandate should come into force on Monday.
“While we are making progress with 75% of staff having received their refresher or are ready to make progress, the reality is that not enough medical staff will be augmented through next week’s demands to address significant staffing issues in our to avoid an already overburdened healthcare system.” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a statement Friday. “As such, we are announcing additional efforts to work closely with healthcare facilities and ensure our healthcare workers are up to date on their doses.”
In three months, the state will reevaluate whether additional steps are needed to increase uptake of boosters among health care workers, officials said. The original vaccination requirement for healthcare workers remains in place.
“The vaccine and booster are critical tools to protect both healthcare workers and their patients, and we continue to urge everyone to be vaccinated and receive a booster shot when needed,” Bassett said.
The state said it will work closely with hospitals to increase refresher rates among healthcare workers.
– Arielle Mitropoulous of ABC News
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