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US Over 25% of Americans are no longer living in high-transmission counties: Live COVID-19 updates

12:25  20 october  2021
12:25  20 october  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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More than one-quarter of Americans are now living in a county that no longer has high levels of community transmission of coronavirus, a USA TODAY analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show.

That's a major change from earlier in the pandemic wave driven by the delta variant, when every state was considered to have high levels of community transmission, which the CDC says is 100 cases per 100,000 people per week.

The United States isn't out of the woods — nearly everyone who isn't in a "high" county is in a "substantial" county. That's the case for about 82.5 million Americans. About 7.5 million Americans are in a "moderate" county, and about 560,000 are in a "low" county.

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Some 244 million Americans remain in a high-transmission county. Put another way, Americans are more than 1,000 times as likely to live in a "high" county than a "low" one.

Every person in 13 states and the District of Columbia lived in a place with high community transmission. The lowest rates were found in Hawaii, Florida, California, and Maryland, where fewer than one-third of residents lived in places with high levels of coronavirus.

The best place on record, however, isn't a state. In Puerto Rico, about 71,000 people — some 2.1% of the population — are living in an area of high community transmission.

Puerto Ricans are five times as likely to live in an area of low transmission than a high one, and 37 times as likely to live in a community with a moderate level than a high one.

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Puerto Rico alone accounted for far more of the people living in areas of low transmission than the rest of the country combined. It also accounts for about a third of the nation's people living in areas of moderate transmission.

— Mike Stucka

Also in the news:

►The Food and Drug Administration may give its OK to administer booster shots that are different from recipients' original COVID-19 vaccine by Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

►A San Francisco-based In-N-Out restaurant was briefly shut down by the health department for refusing to check that patrons dining indoors were vaccinated, according to KGO-TV.

►More than 20 Chicago police officers have been put on "no pay" status for refusing to comply with the city policy of disclosing their COVID vaccine statuses, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday.

►Country singer Travis Tritt canceled shows at venues requiring masks, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative test in Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Kentucky.

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►Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Tuesday. Cavuto was previously fully vaccinated.

???? Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 45.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 728,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 241.5 million cases and 4.9 million deaths. More than 189.4 million Americans — 57.1% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

???? What we're reading: Latino Catholics have one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates among major religious groups in the United States, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The study comes amid ongoing debate over whether or not to mandate vaccines, and amid ethical questions surrounding the research and manufacture of certain vaccines using cell lines from aborted fetuses.

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.

Washington sees fallout from state worker vaccine mandate

More than 1,800 Washington state workers have been fired, resigned or retired due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to data released Tuesday.

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The latest numbers released by the governor’s Office of Financial Management show that about 3% of the state’s approximately 63,000-person workforce that was covered by the mandate have left their jobs, and the cases of another 4.6% — or 2,887 — are pending because they are either in the process of receiving a job accommodation, are planning to retire, are getting vaccinated or are awaiting separation from their agency.

Of the 1,887 who are no longer employed, 1,696 were fired, 112 resigned and 79 retired.

-The Associated Press

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has breakthrough COVID infection

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday morning, the department said.

DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said in a statement that Mayorkas tested positive after “taking a test as part of routine pre-travel protocols.” Mayorkas was expected to travel to Colombia this week with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“He is experiencing only mild congestion; he is fully vaccinated and will isolate and work at home per CDC protocols and medical advice,” Espinosa said.

The department is currently conducting contact tracing.

-Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Over 25% of Americans are no longer living in high-transmission counties: Live COVID-19 updates

Giant Eagle settles pharmacy lawsuits with Ohio counties .
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