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US Some states may soon need to ration care; US says it can give boosters while still sharing shots abroad: Live COVID-19 updates

11:51  09 september  2021
11:51  09 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Some states are nearing a point of having to ration care in hospitals as COVID hospitalizations surge.

For the first time, Idaho has authorized its hospitals to ration care, quietly enacting the "crisis standard of care" move Monday and publicly announcing it in a statement Tuesday — warning residents that they may not get the care they would normally expect if they're hospitalized.

At Kootenai Health hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a conference center has been transformed into a field hospital with patients being treated with ventilators in classrooms, the Associated Press reported. At the nearby main hospital, COVID patients in emergency rooms are overflowing into hallways.

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On Tuesday, there were only nine intensive care beds available in the entire state, officials said. The state has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with only 40% fully vaccinated.

Kentucky, too, is rapidly approaching a crisis standard of care, its governor said Wednesday. More than two-thirds of hospitals are experiencing a critical staffing shortage, he said.

Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN the state is "right at” or “quickly approaching that point" at which hospitals will have to begin rationing care.

“So we are at a very precarious situation,” he said.

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► The state of Hawaii is launching the Hawaii Smart Health Card, a digital vaccine card that will allow residents to use their smartphones to prove they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, as Honolulu and Maui begin implementing vaccine requirements in restaurants and other businesses.

???? Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 40.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 652,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 222.4 million cases and 4.5 million deaths. More than 177.1 million Americans — 53.3% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

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???? What we're reading: After lying low for months since the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6, members of the far-right street gang the Proud Boys have been showing up at protests against mask mandates and coronavirus vaccine requirements. How the Proud Boys are offering muscle at anti-mask rallies.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY's Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

White House says US can send vaccines globally while giving booster shots at home

The Biden administration on Wednesday gave assurances that the U.S. has the capability to both offer booster shots to its residents and share the vaccine to other nations, after the head of the World Health Organization called for a moratorium boosters until the end of the year.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that low-income countries cannot be "the second or third priority" for COVID-19 vaccines, saying their health workers, older people and other at-risk groups have the same right to be protected as those in wealthier countries.

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But White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said this was a "false choice."

"The president and this administration has a responsibility to do everything we can to protect people in the United States, in this country.  And as our health advisors have recommended additional booster shots, we are working to implement that.  Our view is we can do both," she said.

Psaki said the U.S. has shared 140 million doses with over 90 countries to date.

Boosters are expected to become available in the U.S. beginning Sept. 20 to those who have received two doses of an mRNA vaccine at least eight months prior.

-Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY

Federal judge blocks Florida's ban on mask mandates in schools

A Florida judge Wednesday blocked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mandatory masks at schools from remaining in effect while he appeals an earlier ruling that struck down his order.

Circuit Judge John Cooper approved a request by lawyers for parents suing DeSantis over masks, endorsing their position that keeping the ban in place would create a potential health risk in schools.

Throwing out the automatic stay of his earlier order is unusual, Cooper conceded. But he added, “We’re not in normal times. We’re in a pandemic.”

DeSantis had ordered that counties allow parents to have their children simply opt out of mask requirements. But Cooper ruled that school boards are empowered to mandate that all students wear face coverings, unless they obtain a medical exception.

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-John Kennedy, Capital Bureau, USA TODAY Network-Florida

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Some states may soon need to ration care; US says it can give boosters while still sharing shots abroad: Live COVID-19 updates

Why Fauci and the NIH backed Covid-19 vaccine boosters before the FDA and CDC .
In January — long before the first jabs of covid-19 vaccine were even available to most Americans — scientists working under Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases were already thinking about potential booster shots. © Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images A nurse marks a coronavirus vaccination card with a third "booster" dose of Pfizer, at a vaccine clinic hosted by The Tournament of Roses and the Pasadena Public Health Department, August 19, 2021 at Tournament House in Pasadena, California.

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