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An increase in cases in the Upper Midwest has some Michigan schools requiring students to stay home ahead of Thanksgiving and the military sending medical teams to Minnesota to help hospital staff overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
The worsening outlook in the Midwest is due to the fact that booster shots are now accessible to everyone in a growing number of locations. Massachusetts and Utah are the latest states to permit anyone 18 or older to get booster shots. A committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Friday to discuss expanding the supply of boosters.
According to federal data, the current wave of cases has been led by cold weather states, such as New Hampshire and North Dakota. However, the Southwest had trouble spots, too, with more than 90% of all inpatient hospital beds being used in Arizona.
In Detroit in the city where only 35% of eligible residents were fully vaccinated, the school district announced that it will switch to online learning on Fridays in December because of rising COVID-19 cases as well as the need to clean buildings , and a timeout for “mental health relief.” One high school has been switched to all-online learning until Nov. 29.
At another high school, students and teachers briefly left the school Wednesday, saying classes still were too large for a pandemic and the school needed to be cleaned.
Detroit health officer Denise Fair Razo said new cases have exploded in the city in the last 14 days , to 3,858, as opposed to 2,322 in the two-week period.
Fair Razo stated Thursday that she was in Michigan so she’s not spending too much time outside in flip-flops or tank tops. “We are inside and we’re getting somewhat relaxed. Our masks are no longer needed. We don’t wash our hands frequently enough as we should. But we know these precautions.”
Fair Razo is urging people to be tested for COVID-19 prior to Thanksgiving gatherings, even if they are already vaccinated. She “absolutely” predicts an increase post-holiday.
In Michigan Some schools are scheduled to be closed next week to celebrate Thanksgiving instead of just three days.
“This school year has presented several major stressors that are recognized and acknowledged,” Superintendent Greg Helmer addressed parents, citing absences of staff and students in Ravenna.
In Minnesota In Minnesota, the U.S. Defense Department will send two 22-member medical teams to Hennepin County Medical Center and St. Cloud Hospital next week to immediately treat patients and help weary health care workers.
“I require Minnesotans to realize the fact that, as we’ve said, this is a dangerous moment,” Gov. Tim Walz said in pushing vaccinations.
New Hampshire had 327 COVID-19-positive patients in its hospitals, surpassing the previous high of 31 December 31. Nearby Maine also reached a new high mark for COVID-19 hospitalizations this week.
Governor of Vermont Phil Scott is calling legislators to a special session next week to vote on the bill that grants local governments the power to approve temporary mask mandates. Scott has been adamant about an all-state mask mandate even as Vermont’s daily cases have reached levels that were not seen since the early days of the pandemic.
Florida’s Republican Governor. Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, signed a law that prohibits businesses from ordering employees to be vaccinated , unless they give employees the option to opt out for a variety reasons, including regular tests. Local governments and schools are barred from making vaccine requirements and parents are able to challenge schools over masks.
Florida has one of the lowest cases rates in the nation. Through his opposition to lockdowns, and other regulations on virus, DeSantis has been one of the most prominent Republicans across the country.
The U.S. now has nearly 87,000 cases of coronavirus each day which is an increase of 72,000 from just two weeks ago. Hospitalizations are also beginning to increase after declining slowly since the peak in the summer delta variant surge. The average death rate in the United States is more than 1,100 per day. COVID-19-related deaths now number 768,880.
About 59% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, or about 195 million Americans. The health authorities and the government are urging for more people to get vaccinations, particularly the 60 million who have not yet received a first dose.
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