COVID Vaccine Updates: NY 7-day average positivity rate drops to lowest in nation, according to Johns Hopkins University

NEW YORK (WABC) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York state’s seven-day average positivity rate has dropped below 0.50% for the first time since the onset of the COVID crisis, to 0.48%, the lowest in the nation per Johns Hopkins University.

The state’s single-day positivity rate, 0.37%, is also the lowest single-day rate the state has seen since the onset of the crisis.

“With COVID-19 numbers trending downward for so many consecutive days, we are well on our way to fully reopening to a reimagined New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “Warm weather activities across the state are in full swing, happening in front of audiences that have received their COVID-19 vaccination. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get your vaccine as soon as possible so that you may enjoy all that our beautiful state has to offer with your loved ones.”

Here are more of today’s headlines:

US to buy 500M Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to share globally: AP source
The U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the global COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union over the next year, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. President Joe Biden was set to make the announcement Thursday in a speech before the start of Group of Seven summit. According to the source, 200 million doses – enough to fully protect 100 million people – would be shared this year, with the balance to be donated in the first half of 2022.

Shots for all U.S. adults by end of May, Biden says
The U.S. is on pace to fall short of President Joe Biden’s aim to have 70% of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4.

The White House has launched a month-long blitz to combat vaccine hesitancy and a lack of urgency to get shots, particularly in the South and Midwest. But it is increasingly resigned to missing the president’s vaccination target.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters at a briefing that he still hopes the goal will be met “and if we don’t, we’re going to continue to keep pushing.”

So far 14 states have reached 70% coverage among adults, with about a dozen more on pace to reach the milestone by July 4. But the state-to-state variation is stark.

NJ summer camps masks update
Guidance on how summer camps can operate in New Jersey will be released later Wednesday, and Gov. Phil Murphy said there will be “a pretty liberal and open interpretation for kids and staff who are vaccinated.” Gov Murphy revealed Monday that masks will not be required outdoors at summer camps this year. He said he would release further updated guidance today.

“We previewed the fact that we are going to go with a pretty liberal and open interpretation for kids and staff who are vaccinated, i think both indoors and outdoors,” Murphy said at his news conference this afternoon. “We were going to fill out more on the summer camp guidance today, and that’s my fault. I think we do still owe you that. I think with the crush of business we will come back to that.”

NJ superintendent placed on leave after refusing to make school masks optional
A New Jersey superintendent was placed on administrative leave after refusing to make facemasks optional for students. The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education made the decision during a Tuesday night meeting, after Dr. John Marciante said he would continue to abide by Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order that allows for mask removal only in extreme heat.

Starbucks to let people bring in their own mugs again – with some changes
Starbucks will let customers bring their own mugs to US company-owned cafes again starting on June 22. Before the pandemic, the coffee chain encouraged customers to bring their own reusable mugs to stores. But in March of last year, Starbucks suspended the program throughout the world because of the coronavirus. Starbucks has been gradually bringing it back in international markets and is now ready to reinstate the program in the United States – with some changes.

Fauci warns Delta variant still a threat to US, appears to infect younger people more than others
COVID-19 variants are still threatening to spread in the U.S., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday, saying the possible threat of variants is a reason more Americans need to get vaccinated. Case rates have continued to decline in the U.S. as more Americans get vaccinated, overall cases have declined 94% since January and the number of new cases is at the lowest amount since March 2020.

CDC issues new COVID-19 travel guidance for more than 120 countries

As more people get vaccinated and the spread of COVID-19 becomes more controlled, public health officials are issuing new travel advice for more than 120 countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidance on Monday to give specific advice for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

FDA’s vaccine advisers to discuss rules for authorizing COVID shot for kids
Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to discuss what information the agency should ask for in considering the go-ahead for vaccinating children under 12 — including how many children need to be enrolled in clinical trials and how much safety data will be needed. Members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will not be asked to discuss specific vaccines or to vote on any issues, but instead will weigh in on what specific extra information companies will have to provide in seeking authorization or approval for children.


MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

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