Posted on Saturday August 28, 2021 | 8:32
Updated 6 hours and 24 minutes ago
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Health officials in five states have linked 178 cases of the virus to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
In the three weeks since the start of the rally, South Dakota health officials have so far reported 63 cases among rally participants. The rally’s epicenter, Meade County, is achieving a per capita rate similar to that of the hardest-hit southern states. Health officials in North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota and Wisconsin all reported cases among people who attended the 10-day rally which drew more than 500,000 people.
Health experts fear large gatherings in the Upper Midwest will fuel a new wave of the virus.
“This coronavirus wildfire will continue to burn any human wood it can find,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “He will find you, and it’s so contagious.
The Black Hills area’s largest hospital system, Monument Health, says hospitalizations due to the virus have dropped from five to 78 this month. The hospital was preparing to welcome more COVID-19 patients by converting rooms to intensive care units and reallocating staff.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
– UK prepares to vaccinate 12-15 year olds before school starts
– US intelligence agencies still divided on the origins of the coronavirus
– COVID-19 deaths are straining some hospital mortuaries in Florida
– Asian tourism experiences highs and lows in the 2nd year of the pandemic
– Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
LANSING, Michigan – At least half of Michigan’s public K-12 students are required to wear masks in school.
Several counties, including six of the 10 most populous, impose face coverings for students, teachers and staff indoors, regardless of immunization status. Health officials point to a rapid increase in cases of the more contagious delta variant coronavirus, saying the masks are helping reduce the spread of the virus. They note that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated.
Policies vary in schools in 76 counties where health departments have recommended, but not required, masking.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office says about 54% of students in traditional public schools are subject to facial coverage requirements.
The state Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the University of Michigan School of Public Health, used external research to estimate how long it would take for there to be a probability transmission greater than 50% if an infectious child attends a class of 25 primary school students.
With full masking it is 120 hours. It falls at 24 hours with imperfect masking and at 3 hours without masking.
Dr Sarah Lyon-Callo, the state’s top epidemiologist, says masking reduces the risk of getting infected at school by 40-75%.
BERLIN – Thousands of people have gathered in Berlin to protest government measures against coronaviruses, despite bans on several planned gatherings.
Police have banned nine protests scheduled for Saturday, including one from the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, Germany’s most visible anti-containment movement. A court has decided to authorize a demonstration, scheduled for 500 people, on Saturday and Sunday.
More than 2,000 police were stationed in the city to respond to those who showed up despite the bans.
Meanwhile, a counter-demonstration called “Love Train”, accompanied by techno music, drew a large crowd. These protesters support government restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Saturday’s protests come amid debates in Germany over how and whether to impose restrictions on unvaccinated people, a matter of growing urgency as the number of coronavirus cases rises.
Similar protests took place in Berlin in early August, which resulted in clashes with police and hundreds of people arrested.
LONDON – The British government says it is preparing to vaccinate children between the ages of 12 and 15 against the coronavirus, even though the vaccination campaign has yet to be approved by the country’s vaccine advisers.
The health ministry has said it wants to “be ready to go” once approval is obtained and be able to inject into schools when the new school year begins in most of the country. The return of children to class in September is expected to increase Britain’s already high coronavirus infection rate.
Britain is currently administering coronavirus vaccines to people 16 years and older, as well as those between 12 and 15 years of age with underlying health conditions or who live with vulnerable adults.
The UK medicines regulator has approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for use in the 12-15 age group. But the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization, which sets the policy, has not approved vaccines for most adolescents this young.
The United States, Canada and several European countries already vaccinate people who are at least 12 years old.
TOKYO – Tokyo City Hall has apologized for the “confusion” amid its vaccination deployment targeting young people, after crowds seeking to be vaccinated were turned away from a facility in Shibuya district.
Health officials switched to a reservation system on Saturday instead of first come, first served. But more than 2,200 people showed up to get vouchers for the vaccines, some queuing since dawn, and 354 were drawn by lot to receive vaccines, Japanese media reported.
Vaccinations for 16 to 39 year olds began on Friday.
Japan, which has one of the slowest COVID-19 vaccine deployments in the developed world, prioritized injecting vaccines to the elderly, and then gradually declined by age group.
The latest development appears to counter criticism that suggested young people would not be interested in getting the vaccine.
MIAMI – A teenager in a county in Florida who runs the state in COVID-19 cases per capita has died. Jo’Keria Graham died in Columbia County just days before she considered starting her senior year of high school. The 17-year-old was in isolation at her Lake City home after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The high school student loved taking care of young children and called her grandparents daily to watch them or help them in their office. She had seemed to be recovering and had asked her grandparents to bring her breakfast. They were about to drop the food off when the girl collapsed in the bathroom earlier this month.
“She was saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,'” her grandmother, Tina Graham said on Friday, noting the teenager was buried in her cap and dress.
“We thought she was fine. My two sons had it, and one of my sons was really, really sick and she wasn’t as sick as he was, ”Graham said.
LONDON – A new UK study suggests that people who contract COVID-19 from the extra-contagious delta variant are about twice as likely to be hospitalized as those who caught an earlier version of the coronavirus.
The delta variant spreads much more easily than the alpha variant which was previously prevalent in much of the world. But it’s not clear whether this also causes more serious illness, which is difficult to determine – in part because the Delta has taken off just as many countries have relaxed their pandemic restrictions even as large swathes of the population have taken off. remained unvaccinated.
Researchers from Public Health England looked at more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 that occurred between March and May, when the delta variant began to soar in Britain, to compare hospitalization rates. The results were similar to the preliminary findings of a Scottish study which also suggested that the delta triggered more hospitalizations.
It is important to note that less than 2% of all cases followed in the last study were among those who were fully vaccinated.
The results were published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases on Friday.
MOSCOW – Russian press reports indicate that a fire in a hospital has killed three patients who were on ventilators while being treated for COVID-19.
State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti said the fire took place in Yarsolavl, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) north of Moscow.
Anonymous officials cited in the reports gave various causes for the fire, saying either a mattress caught fire or it caught fire in a ventilation device.
KINSHASA, Congo – Authorities have arrested the former Congolese Minister of Public Health over allegations he embezzled more than $ 1 million from World Bank funds to fight the COVID pandemic- 19.
Dr Eteni Longondo claimed his innocence, but was taken to Makala central prison following several hours of legal proceedings in Kinshasa, according to Inspector General of Finance Jules Alingeti.
It was not immediately clear what specific charges Longondo was facing or whether he had retained the services of a lawyer.
The alleged acts of mismanagement came to light during investigations carried out at the health ministry and the Central Bank of Congo, Alingeti said.
Longondo was appointed to the post of Minister of Health in 2019 and managed the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Congo before being replaced in April.
MEXICO CITY – Hundreds of parents in Mexico have resorted to court injunctions to obtain coronavirus vaccines for their children after the government refused to consider vaccinating those under 18.
In the United States and other countries, childhood vaccinations are already underway, but Mexican authorities have downplayed the risk to minors. This despite the 613 deaths and 60,928 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people under the age of 18 in Mexico to date.
About 15 parents have won their case and have their children vaccinated as the government urges schools to resume face-to-face lessons on Monday.
Alma Franco, a lawyer for the southern state of Oaxaca, was one of the first to have her children vaccinated in constitutional complaints known in Mexico as “amparos”. Such appeals ask a judge to overturn, freeze or reverse government action that could violate the rights of the plaintiff.
Franco won the appeal and had his 12-year-old son vaccinated, then posted a copy of the appeal on social media so others could essentially copy and paste it and drop theirs.
She said about 200 parents followed her path in an attempt to win vaccines.