COVID-19 live updates: Biden administration urges schools to provide shots, info


(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 754,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 68.3% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Nov 08, 8:52 am
US reopens borders to vaccinated travelers

The U.S. reopened borders to vaccinated travelers on Monday after 20 months of being closed to many countries, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, South Africa and most of Europe.

In January, as the vaccine was distributed on both sides of the Atlantic, the ban was kept in place, with the Biden administration stating concerns about the delta variant.

On Oct. 20, the Biden administration announced it was lifting the ban on vaccinated travelers.

The ban, which only applies to vaccinated travelers, still excludes many countries where the vaccine is not yet easily available or recognized by the U.S.

Nov 08, 8:04 am
Global COVID-19 cases top 250 million in under 2 years

The worldwide number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 surpassed 250 million on Monday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States, India and Brazil account for about a third of the recorded cases, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The grim milestone came as some countries in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Ukraine and Greece, grapple with record levels of newly reported cases.

The pandemic began less than two years ago after the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Nov 08, 6:46 am
Biden administration urges schools to provide COVID-19 shots, info

The Biden administration sent letters to superintendents and principals across the United States on Monday, urging them to set up COVID-19 vaccination clinics inside their elementary schools.

“Parents rely on their children’s teachers, principals, school nurses, and other school personnel to help keep their students safe and healthy every school year,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona wrote in the letters. “We need your help now more than ever to continue to protect our communities and our children.”

They also asked the school leaders to distribute information “from trusted sources” about COVID-19 vaccines to all families with children ages 5 to 11, and to host community engagements with parents in partnership with local pediatricians and “other trusted medical voices” in the community.

“The communications you issue — in languages accessible to your parents — will be critical in helping families learn more about the vaccine,” Becerra and Cardona wrote.

The letters went out on the same day that first lady Jill Biden and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy plan to visit an elementary school in McLean, Virginia, that was used as one of the first sites in the country to begin administering the polio vaccine in 1954.

School officials would not be responsible for handling COVID-19 vaccines or giving shots to students. Instead, they would partner with a local vaccine provider already administering shots, such as a pharmacy or community health clinic.

The schools would be allowed to use federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan to offset any costs with providing the space and organizing the vaccine drive.

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