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The Newest: AP: Federal executions possible superspreader

WASHINGTON — The executions on the finish of Donald Trump’s presidency possible acted as a superspreader occasion.

That’s in response to data reviewed by The Related Press. It was one thing well being consultants had warned may occur when the Justice Division insisted on resuming executions throughout a pandemic.

Of the 47 folks on dying row, 33 examined constructive for the coronavirus between Dec. 16-20. Guards have been sick. Touring prisons workers on the execution workforce caught the virus. So did media witnesses, who could have unknowingly contaminated others after they returned house as a result of they have been by no means instructed concerning the spreading circumstances.

Data obtained by The Related Press present workers on the Indiana jail advanced the place the 13 executions have been carried out over six months had contact with inmates and different folks contaminated with the coronavirus. Nevertheless, they refused testing, declined to take part in contact tracing and have been nonetheless permitted to return to their work assignments.

The Bureau of Prisons has repeatedly refused to say how many individuals examined constructive for the coronavirus after the final three federal executions final month.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

AP evaluation: Federal executions likely a COVID-19 superspreader. California including more mass vaccination clinics. China provides broader approval for the domestic-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine. Supreme Courtroom: California can’t enforce indoor church service ban, however can restrict capability at 25%. Hawaii officers urge towards Tremendous Bowl events after Britain variant detected on Oahu.

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Observe all of AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI — Some poorer nations are getting uninterested in ready to get vaccines via a United Nations program, so they’re putting out on their very own.

Nations together with Honduras, Serbia and Mexico have lower their very own non-public offers. Consultants are more and more involved that these go-it-alone efforts may undermine a United Nations-backed program to get COVID-19 photographs to the neediest folks worldwide.

In previous illness outbreaks, much less rich nations typically waited for vaccines to be delivered by the U.N. and others. Many are actually taking issues into their very own arms. These offers may go away fewer vaccines for this system often known as COVAX.

Nevertheless, COVAX’s acknowledged objective is to vaccinate lower than 30% of individuals in poor nations, that means that governments should search different sources to acquire sufficient photographs to attain herd immunity.

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — China has given broader approval for the domestic-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine.

The choice on the Sinovac vaccine was introduced Saturday. It expands who can obtain the vaccine past the high-risk and precedence teams already allowed beneath an emergency clearance.

The Sinovac vaccine has already been bought to no less than 10 different nations and is being administered to folks in no less than 5 different nations.

In China, the shot was given emergency approval final July, permitting teams similar to medical employees and workers of state-owned corporations to obtain it. The conditional approval means the vaccine now may be given to most people.

It’s the second regionally made vaccine to be given conditional approval. Beijing licensed the state-owned Sinopharm vaccine in December.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is including extra mass vaccination clinics amid brief provides.

Santa Clara County and the San Francisco 49ers will open the state’s largest vaccination web site subsequent week at Levi’s Stadium. It could deal with as much as 15,000 photographs a day.

The Pentagon introduced troops will begin arriving in just a little over per week to run a brand new web site that opens Feb. 16 at California State College, Los Angeles. Different federal workers will head to a second 6,000-shots-a-day web site at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.

Los Angeles County says it can restrict new vaccinations to make sure folks can get their second doses. The state is reporting about 14,500 new circumstances day by day, down by almost half from two weeks in the past.

Different mass vaccination facilities embrace Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Petco Park in San Diego, Disneyland in Orange County, Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and Cal Expo state fairgrounds in Sacramento.

Kaiser Permanente opened two mass vaccination facilities beneath an settlement with the state, one at Moscone Middle in San Francisco and the opposite at Cal Poly Pomona. Every has the capability to manage as much as 10,000 doses a day.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan well being officers say greater than half of the well being employees and frontline army and law enforcement officials have been vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Sri Lanka final week started inoculating it’s frontline well being employees, army troops and law enforcement officials amid warnings the sector faces a collapse with a variety of well being workers contaminated with the brand new coronavirus.

The ministry had deliberate to first vaccinate 150,000 well being employees and chosen 115,000 army and police personnel.

By Saturday, 156,310 had been given with COVISHIELD vaccine. India had donated 500,000 does of the AstraZeneca vaccine, also called COVISHIELD, which is the one vaccine authorised by the regulatory physique in Sri Lanka.

Well being ministry says Sri Lanka has ordered 18 hundreds of thousands doses the vaccine and had requested to allocate 2 million doses from Pfizer. Additionally, China has promised to offer 300,000 photographs of Sinopharm vaccine this month.

Sri Lanka has had a contemporary outbreak of the illness since October, when two clusters — one centered on a garment manufacturing unit and different on the fish market — emerged within the capital Colombo and its suburbs.

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HONOLULU — Hawaii officers are urging the general public to keep away from Tremendous Bowl events this weekend whereas asserting {that a} presumably extra transmissible variant of COVID-19 has been detected on Oahu.

One particular person with no journey historical past has been confirmed to have the variant that first emerged in England. One shut contact of this particular person additionally examined constructive for COVID-19. The identical variant has already been detected in additional than 30 U.S. states.

Hawaii’s governor says the way in which to keep away from spreading the coronavirus stays the identical: put on a masks, maintain your distance, keep house when sick and wash your arms.

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds says she’ll finish most restrictions aimed toward slowing the unfold of the coronavirus in Iowa.

Reynolds issued a proclamation that removes a masks requirement for these spending quarter-hour or extra in an indoor space inside 6 ft of individuals not of their family. She additionally ended masks necessities for these in state buildings and a few companies, similar to barber outlets.

The governor’s new order, which takes impact Sunday, additionally ends limits on the variety of clients in a enterprise or a requirement they keep socially distant.

Reynolds issued the sooner restrictions in November when hospitals have been struggling to look after a surge of coronavirus sufferers. These numbers have dropped, although the state sometimes experiences dozens of deaths every day.

On Friday, the state reported one other 34 deaths, bringing the overall to five,067 confirmed deaths from the virus.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and his spouse have donated plasma to assist sufferers who’ve COVID-19 recuperate extra rapidly.

McMaster and the primary girl contracted the coronavirus in December and docs encourage individuals who recuperate to donate blood. The plasma is then transfused into the our bodies of present hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers to minimize their signs and hopefully assist them recuperate sooner.

The 73-year-old governor spent almost two hours donating his plasma. Officers say it may assist as much as 4 COVID-19 sufferers. Purple Cross officers say demand for the plasma has elevated 250% since October.

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Academics Union says Mayor Lori Lightfoot and college district officers have walked away from negotiations about coronavirus security protocols.

The CTU information launch Friday got here hours after Lightfoot and Chicago Public Faculties CEO Janice Jackson mentioned they’ve made their “final, greatest and remaining provide.” The union’s assertion says that provide is woefully insufficient, stating it requires in-person lessons be paused provided that there are coronavirus outbreaks in 50% of the town’s public faculties.

It isn’t clear what these developments will imply on Monday, when lessons are scheduled to renew.

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TOPEKA, Kan — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says she and her husband had fraudulent claims for unemployment advantages filed with the state of their names.

The Democratic governor’s disclosure got here amid an more and more intense focus by the Republican-controlled Legislature on bogus unemployment claims and ongoing criticism of the state Division of Labor’s operations. The division has seen spikes in claims from jobless employees and bogus ones in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with since late November.

Kelly says she and first gentleman Ted Daughety obtained Division of Labor notices “months in the past” about acquiring unemployment advantages. The governor’s workplace mentioned the notices got here in early fall and Kelly rapidly went to the division’s web site and reported the fraud.

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TAMPA, Fla. — The NFL is telling the federal authorities it can make the remaining of the league’s 30 stadiums accessible for COVID-19 vaccination websites.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the provide to President Joe Biden in a letter obtained by The Related Press. There are already seven NFL stadiums serving as vaccine websites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Miami and New England. Goodell says stadiums may be ready rapidly as a result of they have been used as virus testing facilities and election websites.

Goodell says the provide on vaccination websites was made at the side of the NFL inviting 7,500 vaccinated well being care employees to attend the Tremendous Bowl totally free Sunday when Tampa Bay hosts Kansas Metropolis.

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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans bars can be shut down, even for takeout service, all through subsequent week’s Mardi Gras weekend.

That’s often among the many busiest occasions of the yr, however Mayor LaToya Cantrell says it’s an try to gradual the unfold of coronavirus.

Many bars already have been closed to indoor service. Cantrell’s announcement Friday means they’ll’t promote drinks to go — a preferred choice year-round and particularly throughout Mardi Gras. Town can be increasing the closure order to incorporate bars with “conditional” meals permits that allowed them to function as eating places throughout numerous pandemic shutdowns.

The bar shutdown begins subsequent Friday and runs via Feb. 16. Cantrell and different metropolis officers say companies violating the foundations face on-the-spot shutdowns and lack of licenses.

“If by likelihood you’ve gotten an aversion to carrying a masks, keep the place you’re at,” says Metropolis Council member Jay Banks, who is aware of individuals who have died from COVID-19. “In case your expectation is the Mardi Gras of the previous, don’t waste your cash.”

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MADRID — Spain has reported its first case of the Brazilian variant in a passenger arriving on the Madrid airport.

The Madrid regional well being division says the 44-year-old man arrived from Brazil on Jan. 29 and had a unfavourable PCR doc however examined constructive in an antibody take a look at on the airport. He was taken to a metropolis hospital, which later confirmed the variant.

Spain this week started tightening restrictions on flights from Brazil and South Africa owing to variants detected in these nations. It already has related restrictions with Britain.

The 14-day common an infection price per 100,000 inhabitants continued to ease, dropping to 750 on Friday from 783 on Thursday. ICU mattress occupancy by coronavirus sufferers stays at 44%.

On Friday, Spain reported 28,565 new coronavirus circumstances, resuming a downward pattern. Spain has registered 2.9 million circumstances and a confirmed dying toll of 61,386.

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WASHINGTON — The White Home says the Pentagon will deploy troops to help People getting vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt introduced Friday that Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin has authorised a request for help from the Federal Emergency Administration Company. It means about 1,000 lively obligation army personnel will deploy to assist state vaccination facilities.

President Joe Biden has known as for establishing 100 mass vaccination facilities across the nation inside a month. Two are opening in California, and Slavitt says army personnel will arrive at these facilities in just a little over per week.

Slavitt says the army will assist administer hundreds of photographs a day. At present about 6.9 million People have obtained the total two-dose routine required to get most safety from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

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NEW YORK — Yankee Stadium is open as a COVID-19 vaccination web site and attracting strains of individuals from surrounding neighborhoods within the Bronx.

The megasite is being restricted to Bronx residents to spice up vaccination charges within the metropolis borough that has the best share of constructive coronavirus take a look at outcomes. The New York Yankees’ house opened for appointments for certified residents early Friday beneath damp skies.

The positioning run collectively by the town and state expects to deal with 15,000 folks throughout its first week. It will likely be open seven days per week.

New York state leads the nation with greater than 44,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths.

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WASHINGTON — The White Home says President Joe Biden is utilizing the Protection Manufacturing Act to assist bolster vaccine manufacturing, at-home coronavirus testing kits and surgical gloves.

Tim Manning, the White Home’s COVID-19 provide coordinator, says the administration will assist Pfizer clear a bottleneck round capabilities with vaccine manufacturing by giving the drugmaker first precedence to wanted provides.

Manning says the U.S. can be investing in six producers to develop at-home and point-of-care exams for the coronavirus, with the objective of manufacturing 60 million exams by the top of the summer time.

Manning says, “The nation is nicely behind the place we should be in testing,” and the brand new contracts will assist enhance provide.

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LONDON — The builders of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine say the shot seems to work towards the variant detected in Britain late final yr.

It’s much like beforehand reported outcomes by different vaccine producers, together with Pfizer and Moderna.

Andrew Pollard of Oxford College, which helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine, says the shot additionally seems to cut back the quantity of virus in folks contaminated with COVID-19. That might doubtlessly gradual the illness’s unfold. The analysis hasn’t but been printed in a peer-reviewed journal.

Sarah Gilbert of Oxford says it ought to be simple to tweak their vaccine to account for the variant detected within the U.Ok. She says vaccine producers may rapidly insert a brand new gene sequence from the variant into the virus wanted to make the vaccine. Gilbert provides scientists are already in talks with regulatory companies about how they could rapidly authorize any new vaccine. It’s the same course of for seasonal flu vaccines.

Additionally, researchers are finding out the potential effectiveness of the vaccine towards a variant that arose in South Africa.

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