The Latest: Vaccinated Hawaiian positive for delta variant
HONOLULU - Hawaii says a vaccinated Oahu resident who traveled to Nevada last month tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19.
The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is a more communicable version of the disease. The variant currently accounts for 6% of all cases in the USA.
Dr. Hawaii director of health Libby Char says this was a "very rare breakthrough" case where a COVID-19 vaccine did not prevent infection.
A new analysis from researchers in the UK shows that the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalizations from the Delta variant.
MORE ABOUT PANDEMIC:
- As COVID-19 cases in the US subside, the vaccine backlog areas still see a risk
- UK Prime Minister is delaying final reopening as cases increase
- For more information on AP's pandemic reporting, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE STILL HAPPEN:
DECATUR, Georgia - A sheriff says a grocery store cashier was killed in a shooting and three others were injured after they argued about wearing face masks in a supermarket in the Atlanta area.
DeKalb County sheriff Melody Maddox said the shooting occurred Monday at Big Bear Supermarket in Decatur, a suburb east of Atlanta. Maddox said a man was arguing with a cashier about wearing a face mask when he pulled a gun and shot the cashier.
Authorities said a deputy security service returned fire and shot the man. Maddox says the deputy, the suspected shooter, and one other person were injured. Decatur is a suburban community east of Atlanta.
BRUSSELS - President Joe Biden used his NATO press conference to acknowledge the impending dire milestone of 600,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus pandemic and to urge more Americans to get vaccinated.
Speaking to reporters on the Monday after the NATO summit in Brussels, Biden referred in his remarks to the fact that while the average coronavirus cases and deaths in the US are "falling dramatically", "too many lives are still being lost" what he called "real" tragedy. "
Biden then encouraged Americans to get vaccinated, saying that "we have more work to do to defeat this virus and now is not the time to lose our vigilance."
LONDON - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the next planned easing of coronavirus restrictions in England will be postponed by four weeks to July 19 due to the spread of the Delta variant.
In a press conference Monday, Johnson said he was "confident it won't take more than four weeks" as millions more people will be fully vaccinated against the virus, which could save thousands of lives.
He said it was "wise to wait a little longer" and "now is the time to take it easy".
Johnson said the government's goal is for two-thirds of the adult population to be double-vaccinated by July 19. He has also brought forward the date by which anyone over the age of 18 will be offered a first dose of vaccine from late July to July 19.
According to the government's plan to end the lockdown, all restrictions on social contact should be lifted next Monday. Many companies, particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, expressed their disappointment in advance of the official announcement.
One change that is being made is to remove the 30 person limit on weddings and the wedding restrictions. However, the ban on singing and dancing remains in place, as do the rules of distance.
MONTPELIER, Vt. Vermont became the first state in the country to vaccinate at least 80% of the eligible population, prompting Governor Phil Scott to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the state.
Vermont crossed the threshold on Sunday when the state vaccinated 1,151 people and hit 80.2% of those over 12 with at least one vaccination. The target was met 15 months after the Republican governor declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020.
The state has now vaccinated 81.1% of the population over the age of 18, exceeding President Biden's target of 70% of those over 18.
"Our state has shown the world what is possible when you have a group of people with the right mindset, following the data, and trusting medical science," said Scott.
SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico residents vaccinated against COVID-19 are now eligible for a $ 100 incentive.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced the reward over the weekend for anyone who receives the second dose or single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Thursday.
State health officials are trying to achieve a goal of getting 60% of New Mexico residents ages 16 and older to be fully vaccinated this week.
The latest incentive is in addition to the state's "Vax 2 the Max" program, where vaccinated residents can win prizes from a pool totaling $ 10 million. The rewards include a grand prize of $ 5 million.
New Mexico will hold its first drawing on Friday for four prizes of $ 250,000 each.
The governor says the lottery program will be funded by federal pandemic aid funds.
BERLIN - German officials said Monday the country's coronavirus tracing app helped alert about 200,000 people who later tested positive for COVID-19 that they were in contact with an infected person.
The government said that during the peak of the outbreak last winter, up to 2,000 people received app notifications each day, which resulted in them being tested earlier than they otherwise could have done.
Germany's corona warning app has been downloaded more than 28 million times since it was launched almost a year ago.
New features were constantly added to the app, including the ability to receive test results and a digital vaccination certificate feature to make travel within the European Union easier.
NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cyprus has banned entry to anyone who has visited or crossed India in the past two weeks of travel in an attempt to thwart the spread of the Indian variant of COVID-19.
In a directive passed on Monday, the Cypriot government said the ban excludes Cypriot citizens and their families, EU citizens and foreigners permanently residing in Cyprus.
However, they must either undergo a PCR test 72 hours before boarding a flight to Cyprus, be tested for the virus on arrival, or remain under a 10-day quarantine from the day of their arrival in the quarters designated by the authorities. The cost of the quarantine will be borne by the Cypriot government.
Cyprus has already confirmed the presence of the Indian variant of COVID-19 in the community, although the UK variant remains the most widely used. More than 40% of the approximately 900,000 inhabitants of Cyprus are fully vaccinated.
GENEVA - World Health Organization chief said the number of new coronavirus cases reported has fallen in the past seven weeks, the longest decline since the pandemic began.
At a press conference on Monday, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the decline, but said the number of COVID-19 deaths was not declining as quickly and said the extremely unequal access to coronavirus vaccines threatened further advances.
"The virus is moving faster than the global (vaccine) distribution," said Tedros. He urged political leaders to commit to vaccinating at least 70% of the world's population by next year's G7 meeting.
Tedros welcomed the 870 million doses of vaccines the G7 leaders had promised the UN-backed COVAX initiative this weekend, but said 11 billion doses would be needed, noting that more than 10,000 people would be killed by COVID-19.
"There are enough vaccine doses to curb transmission and save many lives when used in the right places for the right people," he said, stressing that health workers and the most vulnerable in poor countries should be vaccinated first. Tedros has previously urged rich countries to skip vaccinating their teenagers and children and donate those doses to developing countries immediately.
BUCHAREST, Romania - Romania reported the lowest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than a year with just 50 new cases on Monday, authorities said.
The country has seen a dramatic drop in daily infections in recent weeks, from up to 5,000 daily infections in April to around 200 by June.
The decline comes in parallel with the agency's ongoing vaccination campaign, which has so far delivered more than 8.5 million vaccine doses to the more than 19 million Romanian population. However, in the past month, vaccination adoption has slowed significantly, raising concerns about the reluctance to vaccinate.
Romania has reported more than a million COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began, with more than 31,000 people dead.
ORLANDO, Florida - Walt Disney World in Florida makes it easier to see smiles again, but guests still can't hug the characters.
Starting Tuesday, face masks will be optional for vaccinated visitors to the theme park resort, although Disney employees do not need proof of vaccination, the company said on its website.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear face masks indoors and at all rides and attractions. All visitors, vaccinated or not, must continue to wear face covers on buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner, the resort's cable car, as per the latest guidelines.
The decision on masks is Disney World's latest adjustment to the virus-related safety rules it put in place when the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March 2020. Disney World was closed for two months at the start of the outbreak last year and reopened last summer with strict security policies that included masking, social distancing and crowd restrictions.
Last month, Disney officials began allowing visitors to walk outdoors without masks. Disney officials said they expect physical distancing guidelines to be relaxed in the near future.
"It's important to remember that some experiences and conversations may still be running in limited capacity or temporarily unavailable," the company said on its website. "We're not quite ready to bring it all back just yet, but we are optimistic and look forward to the day when Disney friends and princesses can hug again."
TEHERAN - Iranian state television reports that the country has approved an emergency use of its first domestically developed coronavirus vaccine, which could bring the hardest-hit Middle East country closer to vaccinating its citizens against COVID-19.
The emergency permit was approved after the country struggled to import enough vaccines.
The television quoted Health Minister Saeed Namaki as saying: "Permission to use the Iranian vaccine COVIran Barekat was given yesterday."
Iranian pharmaceutical company Shifafarmed made the vaccine based on the deactivated virus, and the first safety and effectiveness study began in late December.
Iran has also announced that it is working on a vaccine in collaboration with a foreign country. Namaki said another vaccine jointly produced by Iran and Cuba will join the country's vaccine package in the next week.
Iran's local vaccine research has increased in urgency as officials claim severe American sanctions will hamper the Islamic Republic's mass vaccination efforts. Although Iran maintains routes to vaccines, including through its participation in COVAX, an international initiative to distribute vaccines to countries regardless of their wealth, international banks and financial institutions are reluctant to negotiate with Iran for fear of American penalties. Under the COVAX rules, Iran could order a maximum of enough doses to vaccinate half of its 82 million people.
BERLIN - Germany has seen the lowest number of new daily coronavirus infections in nearly nine months, and officials are considering relaxing the rules for wearing masks.
The Robert Koch Institute, the national disease control center, announced Monday that 549 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours. It's the first time since Sept. 21 that the number has gone below 1,000, although the numbers are relatively low over the weekend as fewer tests are done and reported.
Germany has reported more than 3.7 million cases since the pandemic began. Another 10 deaths brought the country's death toll to 89,844.
The number of infections has fallen sharply in the last few weeks and a discussion has begun about the future of mask requirements. Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Funke newspaper group that one should proceed gradually, with the rules for wearing outdoors being lifted first. He said they could be "gradually" discontinued indoors in areas with very low infections and high vaccination rates.
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