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Interfor International - Covid-19 Update - February 16

Interfor International – Covid-19 Update – February 16

Interfor’s Covid-19 Updates February 16, 2021

Latest numbers (as of 9am est):

Total Reported Cases: 109,246,204 (27,695,365in United States)

Total Deaths: 2,410,455 (486,334 in United States) 

NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS 

United States

  • President Joe Biden is extending a ban on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages by three months and expanding a mortgage Covid-19 relief program.
  • Elementary schools in California’s Los Angeles County have been cleared to reopen for in-person learning starting Tuesday, after county health officials announced they expect to reach the state’s Covid-19 case threshold for reopening those campuses.
  • Vaccine distribution in states and cities across the US is slowing down because of winter storms that have left more than a third of the continental US with below-zero temperatures. The severe winter weather sparked emergency declarations in at least seven states, including Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.
  • Biotechnology company Novavax expects to announce this week that its PREVENT-19 trial has reached full enrollment. The trial will include about 30,000 adults across 115 locations in the US and Mexico to test whether the company’s investigational vaccine prevents Covid-19 disease. 
  • Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has extended the city’s coronavirus restrictions until March 15 despite new cases in the state remaining low the past two weeks.
  • Kroger Health plans to sell a smartphone-enabled, at-home Covid-19 test kit online and at pharmacies in the US. The test, developed by Gauss and Cellex, has not yet received emergency use authorization from the US FDA. The company will set a price once it is authorized.

International  

  • Israel plans to ease restrictions on economic activity starting Sunday, as coronavirus infection rates continue a gradual downward trend. Israelis will need to show proof they have been vaccinated, or have recovered from the disease, to gain access to gyms, sports, cultural venues, and hotels.
  • Australia has suspended the quarantine-free travel bubble for those coming from New Zealand. All travelers must now undergo 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine.
  • Persons traveling to England who have spent time in “high risk destinations” must now quarantine at a government-managed facility upon their arrival. The list includes 33 hotspots with Covid-19 variants in circulation.
  • Iraq reported its first new cases of what it says is a rapidly spreading coronavirus variant, after several infections were recorded, including children. The country imposed a full curfew on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays each week between February 18 and March 8.
  • New Zealand’s largest city went into full lockdown after three members of a family tested positive for the UK variant. The country will test thousands of residents to ensure the contagious variant of the coronavirus is not spreading within the community.

RECOMMENDATIONS/OBSERVATIONS

  • In light of the new Covid-19 strain thought to be considerably more contagious, all non-essential travel should be reconsidered. 
  • Wear a mask. There is no downside and projected deaths in the United States are considerably lower if the populace wears masks, according to several studies. 
  • You can download Interfor’s return to work guidelines here. 

WARNING:  Be sure to vet ALL information and rumors.

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