Sydney suffers worst pandemic day as lockdown nears six weeks | Reuters

SYDNEY, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Sydney reported its worst day of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday with five deaths and a record rise in locally acquired infections as a weeks-long hard lockdown is struggling to contain the highly contagious Delta strain of the coronavirus.

Four of the five people that died were unvaccinated while one had one dose, New South Wales state health authorities said, as they implored residents to get inoculated as early as possible.

Authorities also announced a one-week lockdown from Thursday in the region surrounding the state’s second-largest city of Newcastle, 140 km (87 miles) north of Sydney, after six cases were reported there.

That will place an additional 615,000 people under lockdown, raising the total in New South Wales under strict stay-home restrictions to 6 million people out of 8 million in the state, or about a quarter of Australia’s population.

The authorities suspect the outbreak began with a beach party near Newcastle after people travelled from Sydney, an apparent violation of the city’s lockdown.

“Our strongest focus … is getting to the bottom of how the disease was transmitted and introduced into Newcastle,” New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told reporters, as most cases were still being detected in Sydney, the state capital and Australia’s largest city.

There were 259 new COVID-19 cases in Sydney, out of 262 in all of New South Wales, health authorities said, daily records for the city and the state, which reported a previous high of 239 on Sunday.

There have been more than 4,300 cases in New South Wales during the latest surge that began seven weeks ago after the first case of the Delta variant was detected in an unvaccinated, unmasked limousine driver who transported overseas airline crew.

Source: Sydney suffers worst pandemic day as lockdown nears six weeks | Reuters

Landlords sue to stop Biden’s ‘nakedly political’ eviction ban – POLITICO

A coalition of 11 housing industry groups said in a statement Wednesday evening that they opposed the new ban.

Trade groups representing property owners late Wednesday sued to block a new federal eviction moratorium that President Joe Biden himself warned this week was on shaky legal ground.

The Alabama and Georgia chapters of the National Association of Realtors filed a motion in federal court to vacate the ban that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered Tuesday. The same groups led a legal challenge against the prior federal eviction moratorium that expired Saturday — a lawsuit that prompted the Supreme Court to cast doubt on the CDC’s authority.

Source: Landlords sue to stop Biden’s ‘nakedly political’ eviction ban – POLITICO

President Biden Announces on Live TV That He Intends to Break His Oath of Office | National Review

President Biden knows that the CDC’s eviction moratorium is illegal, having, per Gene Sperling, “not only kicked the tires,” but “double, triple, quadruple checked.” He also knows that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal, and that the majority of the legal scholars he has consulted think that the Court is correct.

And yet, because a bunch of progressives have spent the day complaining, Biden announced just now that he intends to violate his oath and reissue the order anyway. “The bulk of the constitutional scholars,” Biden admitted at his press conference just now, “say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.” Then he said that he was prepared to try his luck anyway.

Source: President Biden Announces on Live TV That He Intends to Break His Oath of Office | National Review

The Biden Administration Issues A New Eviction Moratorium After A Federal Ban Lapsed : NPR

After intense pressure from progressives, the CDC has announced a more limited eviction moratorium days after an earlier freeze on evictions expired.

Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect through Oct. 3.

Like the previous order, the two-month moratorium issued Tuesday comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new ban on evictions covers parts of the United States that are experiencing what the CDC calls “substantial” and “high” spread of the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, that’s the vast majority of U.S. counties.

The order, which cites the rise of the delta variant, says: “Without this Order, evictions in these [higher transmission] areas would likely exacerbate the increase in cases.”

“Where we are right now with such high disease rates, we felt a new, tailored order [was needed] to make sure that … working Americans who were at risk of eviction could be stably housed during this really tenuous, challenging period of time,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told NPR’s All Things Considered.

Source: The Biden Administration Issues A New Eviction Moratorium After A Federal Ban Lapsed : NPR

Maxine Waters, in one despicable tweet, shows all that’s evil with the left – Washington Times

Cheryl K. Chumley

Rep. Maxine Waters took to Twitter to rage against the failure of her folks on the left to properly push forward the money needed to keep the free market from freely evicting those who won’t pay to stay, and in so doing, unwittingly, revealed all that’s evil about the Democrats.

They can’t — won’t — acknowledge properly placed, constitutionally stamped limits on the power of government.

“I don’t buy that the CDC can’t extend the eviction moratorium — something it has already done in the past! Who is going to stop them? Who is going to penalize them? There is no official ruling,” Waters tweeted, “saying that they cannot extend this moratorium. C’mon CDC — have a heart! Just do it!”

Source: Maxine Waters, in one despicable tweet, shows all that’s evil with the left – Washington Times

Giant Eagle to reinstate mask wearing for customers, employees

Giant Eagle announced Monday that they would reinstate the wearing of face masks, cloth face coverings or face shields for all customers and staff, inclusive of all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

The company said all Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo staff will be required to wear a face mask, cloth face covering or face shield starting August 4.

The company is strongly requesting that customers comply with the same mask requirement starting August 6. Complimentary masks for any guest who does not have one will be provided.

Giant Eagle curbside pickup and delivery service continues to be available.

The company said the introduction of the Delta variant created a renewed sense of urgency.

Giant Eagle said it is actively reviewing paths forward regarding a potential vaccination requirement for all employees.

British vegans having a row over COVID vaccine ‘jab’ rules — and the issue could come to America – Raw Story 

Vegans who object on ethical grounds to receiving COVID-19 vaccines in the United Kingdom have raised the issue loudly enough that it has recently garnered coverage from several top media outlets there.

An estimated half a million Britons who do not consume animal products would not have to adhere to so-called “jabs for jobs” rules under employment laws, it has been claimed.

Big firms, including Netflix and Google, have already told many US staff they must be vaccinated before returning to work and Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Thursday that the rule was “smart policy.”

“While the UK Government has introduced legislation stating care home staff must be jabbed. The Covid vaccine does not contain animal products, but all medications currently go through animal testing. Ethical veganism was ruled to be a protected characteristic at a tribunal last year.

The eviction ban is ending, putting millions at risk of losing their homes – CNN

The White House announced Thursday that it would not ask the CDC to again extend the eviction protection, which expires on July 31, and called on Congress to take action. The Biden administration would have liked to extend it (it has been extended four times already) given the rise in the spread of Covid cases due to the Delta variant, but White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited the Supreme Court’s ruling that, “clear and specific congressional authorization” — new legislation — would be needed for the CDC to extend the moratorium past its current deadline.
The House Rules Committee met on Friday to consider a bill to extend the federal eviction moratorium through December. But there isn’t wide bipartisan support and it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
The Biden administration also asked government agencies to extend their respective bans on evictions, also set to expire July 31. On Friday agencies including the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency extended their more limited eviction protections, banning the eviction of those living in federally-insured, single-family foreclosed properties through September.
The CDC eviction moratorium and other protections have prevented an estimated 2.2 million eviction filings since March 2020, according to Peter Hepburn, a research fellow at the Eviction Lab and assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University-Newark.
“These moratoria and protections, they haven’t been perfect, but they’ve undeniably had a massive effect in preventing eviction filings,” Hepburn said.
This comes as an unprecedented amount of federal rental relief — $46 billion — works its way through states, cities and local distribution points to the landlords and tenants who need it. The aid is the last lifeline that many renters can grab on to. But for many, it won’t come in time.

Source: The eviction ban is ending, putting millions at risk of losing their homes – CNN

Whistleblowers say they were told to downplay Covid outbreak among migrant kids at shelter

 

WASHINGTON — Two more whistleblowers have come forward to allege that children were mistreated by contractors and senior federal employee managers at a Department Health and Human Services migrant shelter in Fort Bliss, Texas, earlier this year, and also say HHS told them to downplay hundreds of Covid infections among children held at the facility.

“Covid was widespread among children and eventually spread to many employees. Hundreds of children contracted Covid in the overcrowded conditions. Adequate masks were not consistently provided to children, nor was their use consistently enforced,” the whistleblowers, Arthur Pearlstein and Lauren Reinhold, said in a federal whistleblower complaint filed Wednesday

But at the end of their service, they said, federal detailees were regularly given written instructions from HHS public affairs that told them, “when asked, to make everything sound positive about the Fort Bliss experience and to play down anything negative.”

At a town hall with employees, a senior manager from the U.S. Public Health Service refused to share the rate of infections, explaining that he did not want the number to end up reported by the media, they said.

Pearlstein and Reinhold are federal employees who volunteered to be detailed to the shelter when the Biden administration ramped up staffing to accommodate the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border by building emergency intake shelters like Fort Bliss and others.

NBC News previously reported that Servpro, a company that specializes in disaster cleanup and has no child welfare experience, oversaw the care of nearly 5,000 children in Ft. Bliss in early May and June.

Source: Whistleblowers say they were told to downplay Covid outbreak among migrant kids at shelter

Only 11% of emergency rent money distributed in Westmoreland County | TribLIVE.com

About 11% of nearly $13 million in emergency rental and utility bill funds has been disbursed to Westmoreland County residents who experienced hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dan Carney, executive director of Union Mission of Latrobe, said about $1.5 million was directed to 270 applicants over the past three months. Another 45 are awaiting payment. The organization was tapped to manage the county’s portion of funds received under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Carney said 592 applications have been received since the program opened in mid-April.

“We’ve got a really good distribution through the county,” he said.

To be eligible, households must have an income at or below 80% of the area median income and some type of financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The household must be either delinquent on rent and/or utility bills or have the inability to afford next month’s rent.

Union Mission was selected by the county commissioners to handle the funding. Carney said some parts of the county, such as the Mon Valley, New Kensington and Route 30 corridor, had higher needs than others — which was expected.

So far, applicants got an average of nine months of assistance worth $5,400.

Source: Only 11% of emergency rent money distributed in Westmoreland County | TribLIVE.com

Johnstown woman who organized help for restaurants amid pandemic has died of COVID | WJAC

Residents in Johnstown gathered to celebrate the life of Johnstown native Monique Knudson Tuesday evening. The Stone Bridge was lit up pink in her honor. She founded the Greater Johnstown Restaurants and Businesses Facebook page to help local businesses during the pandemic. According to those that know her, Monique lost her own battle to COVID at age 44 Thursday.

Source: Johnstown woman who organized help for restaurants amid pandemic has died of COVID | WJAC

US coronavirus: The states at risk of an aggressive and more dangerous Covid-19 variant. – CNN

.(CNN)Some states are making great strides in vaccinating their residents against Covid-19, but the ones that are not may soon be contending with a more transmissible variant, experts say.

About 45.1% of the US population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, CDC data showed, and in 16 states and Washington, DC, that proportion is up to half. But some states like — Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming — have fully vaccinated less than 35% of residents.
More than 500 days and 600,000 deaths since the first person in the United States was reported to have died from Covid-19, experts have upheld vaccines as the key to reopening the country safely and containing the variants, many of which are more transmissible.

Source: US coronavirus: The states at risk of an aggressive and more dangerous Covid-19 variant. – CNN

Biden’s budget chief won’t commit to ending Wuhan lab funding | One America News Network

Biden administration budget chief Shalanda Young refused to say that Joe Biden would stop funding gain of function research at the Wuhan, China research lab. For clarity, the term gain of function is used to describe any field of medical research that alters an organism or disease in a way that increases transmissibility or pathogenesis.

This comes as mounting evidence shows Chinese scientists manipulated bat coronaviruses while increasing their ability to infect humans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Pentagon sub-agency were recently found to be giving money for those risky experiments. This is something Dr. Fauci had previously denied he was aware of regarding the lab in Wuhan.

“And the funds made available by the agency which Fauci heads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to the tune of $600,000 went to this Wuhan Institute of Virology,” stated Alan Jones, host of Sky News Australia. “This is a lab involved in gain of function research that is creating more dangerous pathogens.

”House Republicans said the remarks by Biden’s budget chief suggest this administration will continue to give taxpayer money to the Chinese lab that evidence increasingly suggests may have played a key role in the emergence of COVID-19 and a pandemic the rocked the entire world.

Source: Biden’s budget chief won’t commit to ending Wuhan lab funding | One America News Network

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Dept. Reports 580 New Cases, 45 Additional Deaths – CBS Pittsburgh

HARRISBURG (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting 580 new Coronavirus cases and 45 additional deaths.

This brings the statewide total to 1,203,443 cases and 27,259 total COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began.

There are 989 people across the state in the hospital with COVID-19, and 248 patients are in ICUs.

The state says 10,619,481 total vaccine doses have been administered and 4,722,449 people are fully vaccinated. So far, 54.4% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, and 58.5% of Pennsylvania’s entire population has received a first dose.

Pennsylvania is adopting the CDC’s newly relaxed mask-wearing guidelines, meaning fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks in most places.

The Department of Health says the mask mandate will be lifted on June 28, or even sooner if 70% of adults are fully vaccinated before then.

Source: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Dept. Reports 580 New Cases, 45 Additional Deaths – CBS Pittsburgh

Fauci denied being ‘muzzled’ by Trump early in pandemic, emails show

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci had little patience for claims his messages in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were being restricted by the Trump administration, a tranche of newly public emails shows.

The more than 3,200 pages of emails, obtained by BuzzFeed News and covering a period between January and June 2020, are dotted with messages to Fauci from public health experts and ordinary Americans alike asking variations of the same question: “Have you been muzzled?”

That’s the subject line of a March 1, 2020, email to Fauci from a man named Thomas Murray, who describes himself as a “nuclear/aerospace engineer who subsequently obtained an MPH [Master of Public Health degree] at the University of Washington.”

“The news media is reporting that the White House has muzzled you. Is that true?” asked Murray, who further asked Fauci to “let me know if I should stay silent or become noisy.”

As COVID-19 started becoming a threat last year, Dr. Anthony Fauci started receiving emails from people asking if he was being censored by the Trump administration. He denied the assertions.

Source: Fauci denied being ‘muzzled’ by Trump early in pandemic, emails show

Understanding the origin of covid-19 is the only way to prevent future pandemics, scientist says – The Washington Post

Baylor University’s Peter Hotez adds his voice to a chorus that includes prominent Democrats and Republicans,

“There’s going to be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19. This is absolutely critical,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Hotez said that he believes the US needs to do more than launch an intelligence investigation into theories that the virus emerged naturally from animals or escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.

“I’m personally of the opinion that we’ve pushed intelligence as far as we can,” Hotez said, saying that the US needs to send experts to the original epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan.

“We need a team of scientists, genealogists, biologists, bat ecologists in the Hubei province for six months to a year-long period and fully unravel the origins of COVID-19.”

Source: Understanding the origin of covid-19 is the only way to prevent future pandemics, scientist says – The Washington Post

CCP-linked professor admits COVID-19 was biological war against U.S. | One America News Network

A top Chinese scholar has reportedly admitted that the coronavirus outbreak was an act of biological warfare against the U.S. In a recent video, Professor Ping Chen of China’s Fudan University, said in 2020 Beijing won in both a trade war and a biological war against the U.S.

This comes after bioweapons expert Lawrence Sellin discovered China released COVID-19 intentionally to gain economic advantage of the U.S. and remove President Donald Trump from office. Professor Ping’s video further confirmed China’s biological warfare program served a political purpose of derailing President Trump’s America First agenda.

Source: CCP-linked professor admits COVID-19 was biological war against U.S. | One America News Network

Bill Maher tests positive for COVID-19 – CBS News

Bill Maher has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the cancellation of the Friday taping of his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the show announced Thursday. The comedian is fully vaccinated, asymptomatic and “feels fine,” the show said.

No other staff or crew members have tested positive, the show said. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Max Brooks and Dan Carlin were the guests scheduled for the canceled show on Friday.

Maher, 65, thanked fans concerned about his health and expressed disappointment at missing his show and ending his streak of consecutive tapings.

Source: Bill Maher tests positive for COVID-19 – CBS News

CDC exaggerates outdoor transmission rate: COVID-19 experts

The CDC is greatly exaggerating the risk of COVID-19 transmission outdoors, claiming there is a roughly 10 percent chance — when in reality the figure is less than 1 percent, a report said Tuesday.

The higher federal figure “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” Dr. Muge Cevik, a top infectious disease doctor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, told the New York Times.

Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania added, “I’m sure it’s possible for transmission to occur outdoors in the right circumstances.

“But if we had to put a number on it, I would say much less than 1 percent.”

At issue is the research cited by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in touting its outdoor transmission statistic, which put the figure at a murky and allegedly too high “less than 10 percent.”

The figure is key because the agency has used it to justify its current coronavirus safety recommendations to the public, which include vaccinated people still wearing masks at “large public venues’’ and the unvaccinated using the face gear in most outdoor settings.

Source: CDC exaggerates outdoor transmission rate: COVID-19 experts

Coronavirus vaccine bills sent in error to some Westmoreland County patients – WPXI

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — Several hundred people who got vaccinated against the coronavirus through Excela Health in Westmoreland County were erroneously billed for the vaccine.

Excela Health released a statement regarding the incident, telling those who received a bill to ignore it.

“We have attempted to contact those patients immediately to inform them to disregard the statement and apologized for the confusion,” Tom Albanesi, Excela Health Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. “Patients are not responsible for any cost for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and Excela strongly encourages those who haven’t received the vaccine yet to do so immediately.”

Source: Coronavirus vaccine bills sent in error to some Westmoreland County patients – WPXI

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can exercise, hold small gatherings outdoors without masks

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people can exercise outdoors or with members of their household without a mask.
  • The CDC added that fully vaccinated people can hold small gatherings outdoors with others who are inoculated, or with a mix of unvaccinated people, without face coverings.
  • The agency did not define how big those gatherings can be, and said Americans should still wear masks in crowded outdoor spaces.

Source: CDC: Fully vaccinated people can exercise, hold small gatherings outdoors without masks

DARPA unveils ‘COVID microchip,’ claims not for surveillance purposes | One America News Network

The Pentagon unveiled a coronavirus microchip that it claims can detect illness and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The tiny green thing in there, you put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body. And that signal means you’re going to have symptoms tomorrow,” retired Col. Matt Hepburn, an army infectious disease physician said.

The implant was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which claimed the device can not be used for surveillance purposes.

Source: DARPA unveils ‘COVID microchip,’ claims not for surveillance purposes | One America News Network

Pittsburgh Public Schools students are returning to classrooms

Young students wearing masks entered the doors and were greeted by school staff, including Principal Nathan Berkowicz.

“This was very, very exciting today,” Berkowicz said. “I didn’t sleep a wink last night. This has been a year in the making since the students have last been in the building.”

Inside the school, stickers were on floors to remind students to keep 6 feet of distance, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says 3 feet will suffice.

Teachers sat in classrooms behind their plastic shields near rearranged student desks.

It may not be perfect, but Berkowicz said in-person learning is the focus here.

“It’s very difficult in a remote environment — you know, students holding devices and keeping their attention span — so at that age, it’s real important to get them in front of their teachers,” Berkowicz said.

When you don’t get students in front of teachers, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said the educating starts to become undone, which is why expanded summer learning and Saturday courses are being explored for potentially 6,000 students.

“That’s something we’re planning for next year, and, so, traditionally, being in the situation we are with the learning loss, we’ve already had the summer slide, now what I call the COVID slide coupled with the summer slide, we know some kids will be behind,” Hamlet said.

To bring the students up to speed for later, day one for in-person is the first step.

“I was always confident we would be here at some point,” Hamlet said.

Source: Pittsburgh Public Schools students are returning to classrooms

Lib News Article Claims We May Be Living in a ‘Permanent Pandemic’

We’ve now endured a year of life-disrupting measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, which the country — and world — has adapted to. Sadly, it appears as though our own social lockdown measures created needless death and despair.

The cure was worse than the problem.

If you ask one Bloomberg columnist, who formerly worked as a columnist for The Economist, the nightmare will never end– and why should it? Everything is bad and sad and most definitely hopeless, despite the fact that states across the country are rolling back restrictions with great success.

Andreas Kluth, who writes opinions for the left-wing publication, argued Wednesday, “We must start planning for a permanent pandemic,” and he cited the emergence of these supposedly deadly new viral “variants” we keep hearing so much about.

“For the past year, an assumption — sometimes explicit, often tacit — has informed almost all our thinking about the pandemic: At some point, it will be over, and then we’ll go ‘back to normal,’” Kluth wrote. “This premise is almost certainly wrong.”

Source: Lib News Article Claims We May Be Living in a ‘Permanent Pandemic’

Idaho Legislature votes to halt session after multiple lawmakers infected with COVID-19 | ktvb.com

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Legislature voted Friday to hit pause on the 2021 session after multiple lawmakers became infected with COVID-19.

The motion to halt the session until noon on April 6, 2021 passed both the House and the Senate with a unanimous vote.

At least half a dozen lawmakers are currently positive for the virus.

Rep. Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell, Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell and Rep. James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, have all said they were infected.

Source: Idaho Legislature votes to halt session after multiple lawmakers infected with COVID-19 | ktvb.com

Where did COVID originate? WHO thinks it knows – al.com

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, the question has been, “Where did COVID-19 originate?”

According to a report by NPR, a member of the World Health Organization investigative team says the most likely source of the COVID-19 pandemic are “wildlife farms in southern China.”

Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist with EcoHealth Alliance, and a member of the WHO delegation that traveled to China earlier this year, told NPR that during that trip, new evidence was found by the WHO team, that vendors at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan were being supplied with animals from these wildlife farms.

Source: Where did COVID originate? WHO thinks it knows – al.com

Paris to enter four-week lockdown as France faces third Covid wave | France | The Guardian

Since late January, when he defied the calls of scientists and some in his government to lock down the country, Macron has said he would do whatever was needed to keep the euro zone’s second-largest economy as open as possible. However, this week he ran out of options just as France and other European countries briefly suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZenca vaccine.

The prime minister, Jean Castex, said on Thursday that France was in the grip of a third wave, with the virulent variant first detected in Britain now accounting for about 75% of cases. Intensive care wards are under severe strain, notably in Paris where the incidence rate surpasses 400 infections in every 100,000 inhabitants. “The epidemic is getting worse. Our responsibility now is to not let it escape our control,” Castex told a news conference.

The lockdowns will start from Friday at midnight in France’s 16 hardest-hit departments that, with the exception of one on the Mediterranean, form a corridor from Calais to the capital. Barbers, clothing stores and furniture shops will have to close, though bookstores and other shops selling essential goods can stay open.

Source: Paris to enter four-week lockdown as France faces third Covid wave | France | The Guardian

Majority Of Colleges Canceled Spring Break 2021 : NPR

According to new research from the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, about 60% of colleges have done away with spring break this year. Many campuses are instead offering smaller, shorter breaks or wellness days. Of the more than 600 colleges offering alternative breaks, scheduling days off mid-week was the most common option, likely an attempt to curb travel away from campus, and ultimately keep coronavirus cases down.

“You can make all of the rules and tell students to stay on campus, but at the end of the day, they’re going to do what they want to do,” says Daniel Mangrum, an economist who has studied the connection between last year’s spring break and the spread of COVID-19. Mangrum found that student travel in March 2020 was associated with the virus spreading more on campuses and in nearby communities. It was also associated with higher mortality rates.

Source: Majority Of Colleges Canceled Spring Break 2021 : NPR

Brazil coronavirus: country in crisis as second wave and deadly new variant overwhelm hospitals – CNN

(CNN)A second wave of Covid-19 is ripping through Brazil, pushing hospitals and ICUs toward collapse and claiming record numbers of daily deaths.

While a new variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, many Brazilians continue to defy mask mandates mobility restrictions following the example of President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently said people need to “stop being sissies” and “whining” about the virus.
The consequences of that combination are deadly, experts say. “We are going through the worst-case scenario since the beginning of the pandemic. You just have to look at the trends in the average number of deaths,” Gonzalo Vecina Neto, a Sao Paulo University professor of Public Health, recently told Reuters television. “This could have been avoided and the most important factor is gatherings.”
Brazil has broken its own record three times this month for number of deaths in a 24-hour period. On Wednesday, Brazil’s Health Ministry registered a devastating new high — 2,286 lives lost to the virus. In total, more than 270,000 people are known to have died due to Covid-19, making Brazil’s the second-highest national death toll after the United States.

Source: Brazil coronavirus: country in crisis as second wave and deadly new variant overwhelm hospitals – CNN