US New Covid cases surge in Minnesota, despite vaccination efforts
NY man charged with felony, could face 7 years in prison after being accused of faking COVID-19 vaccine card
A New York man was charged with showing his employer a plagiarized COVID-19 vaccine card. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison.David R. Kemp, 24, of Eaton, N.Y., was charged with a second-degree possession of a forged instrument, which qualifies for a Class D felony in the state. The unauthorized use of a government agency’s seal is a federal crime.
Minnesota was running out of hospital beds for Covid patients and health care workers to take care of them Wednesday as the state contended with the biggest surge in new cases and deaths this year.
Overwhelmingly, the latest victims are unvaccinated Minnesotans who caught the fast-spreading Delta variant, health officials said.
And as the weather gets cooler, the potential to catch the virus will only increase as people head indoors, they said.
“It is devastating to see the recurrent surge with concerns that the fall may prove to be even worse with cooler weather,” Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine told NBC News.
More than 40% of Americans may not get a flu shot this year. That could spell trouble during COVID.
The main reason cited for not getting a flu shot is a belief that it isn't effective. Experts say flu shots prevent thousands of deaths every year.Last year's worries around a "twindemic" of influenza and COVID-19 overwhelming hospitals around the nation luckily went unfounded after a historically mild flu season.
With a vaccination rate of 59 percent, Minnesota is actually doing better than neighboring Wisconsin (57 percent), South Dakota (52 percent) and Iowa (55 percent), and much higher than North Dakota, where just 45 percent are fully vaccinated, according to figures compiled by the.
The national average is 56 percent, with Vermont at the top with 70 percent of its population fully vaccinated and West Virginia at the bottom with just 41 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic.
But Minnesota’s 8.3 percent rate of new infections over the last seven days has been among the highest in the country, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Video: Minnesota reports highest number of Covid cases since vaccine rollout began (NBC News)
Russians flock to Serbia for Western-made COVID-19 vaccines
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When Russian regulators approved the country's own coronavirus vaccine, it was a moment of national pride, and the Pavlov family was among those who rushed to take the injection. But international health authorities have not yet given their blessing to the Sputnik V shot. So when the family from Rostov-on-Don wanted to visit the West, they looked for a vaccine that would allow them to travel freely — a quest that brought them to Serbia, where hundreds of Russian citizens have flocked in recent weeks to receive Western-approved COVID-19 shots.
“With the amount of virus that’s out there and the amount of population that is not protected by the vaccine, there’s unfortunately plenty of room for the virus to still do its harm,” Jan Malcolm, the state’s health commissioner, said at a.
The, one of the leading newspapers in the state, described the current situation as a “gut punch to public health leaders who hoped vaccination progress would knock out the pandemic.”
Khan said the exasperation is understandable.
“Throughout the whole Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen surges happen in different states at different times that haven’t always made sense,” said Khan. “These numbers in Minnesota concern me not just for the patients with Covid-19 but for all the patients with heart disease and cancer who are not able to get routine care as health care systems are at maximal capacity. With an effective vaccine, we should not be having the same conversations that feel like 'Groundhog Day.'”
The Latest: Marchers in Rome protest work vaccine rule
ROME — Thousands of demonstrators marched down Rome’s Via Veneto and other main streets on Saturday, some clashing with police, to protest a government rule requiring COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests to access workplaces next week. The certification in Italy, known as a “Green Pass,” takes effect on Friday and applies to public and private workplaces. To obtain one, people must either have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, document recovery from the illness in the last six months or test negative in the previous 48 hours.
The surge is a hallmark of school reopenings in September that led to more transmissions, said M. Kumi Smith, an assistant professor in epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
on Tuesday reported 7,942 more Covid cases and 10 deaths, nine of whom were senior citizens.
Since the start of the pandemic, Minnesota has logged 746,768 infections and 8,330 deaths from Covid-19, according to the latest state health department figures.
But now there are fewer health care workers to deal with the crisis than there were at the start of the pandemic, Malcolm said.
“What’s important to understand is that this isn’t so much about the physical asset of a hospital bed or a ventilator, and those were big focuses earlier in the pandemic, but now this is really an issue of health care worker capacity,” Malcolm said.
Why are they leaving? “Extreme stress and burnout,” Malcolm said.
Romania revives restrictions as hospitals struggle, jabs lag .
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Doctor Petruta Filip is working 100-hour weeks at a Bucharest hospital which, like hospitals throughout Romania, is struggling under an onslaught of COVID-19 patients in a country with worryingly low vaccination rates. The European Union country of around 19 million has only 35% of its adults fully inoculated against COVID-19 compared to an EU average of 74%, and is the second-least vaccinated nation in the 27-nation bloc in front of Bulgaria. That's crippling Romania's creaking health care system, which is also facing record-high death and infection numbers.