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Coronavirus

Oklahoma Hopes To Start Vaccinating Teachers By The End Of February

Feb 9, 2021

It appears Oklahoma teachers, who were bumped up a priority group in December, may start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of the month.

The novel coronavirus outbreak almost certainly did not start in a Chinese lab but its path from animals to humans needs further investigation, a World Health Organization team said Tuesday after wrapping up a visit to China.

The comments came as scientists from the WHO and Chinese health bodies jointly presented preliminary findings after two weeks of investigating in Wuhan, the Chinese city that first detected the virus in late 2019.

As the impeachment trial begins in the Senate on Tuesday, the Capitol complex remains on high alert — protected by National Guard troops and walled-off from the public by barbed wire and perimeter fencing after last month's violence.

Despite those precautions, though, one security threat remains: COVID-19. Most senators have received at least one shot of the vaccine, including all of the Democratic caucus, but that does not eliminate risk.

When Dirigo High School, in western Maine, moved to remote learning for a few weeks last fall, sophomore Mason Ducharme started falling behind. And without athletics, he lost any motivation to keep his grades up.

"I just didn't do anything, I just sat in my room all day," he said. "And I didn't do any work. I didn't attend any classes."

Many school districts across the country have reported big drop-offs in attendance as they've shifted to remote learning. Some students, like Ducharme, dropped off the map entirely.

The U.S. is currently administering about 1.4 million vaccination shots a day. About 9.5% of people in the U.S. have already gotten one dose.

But demand still outstrips supply in cities across the country, while anecdotes abound about difficulties of trying to get appointments.

Scientists say vaccinations need to be as fast as possible to prevent more contagious coronavirus variants from taking over.

South Africa has temporarily suspended its rollout of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine after a small clinical trial revealed the shot provided only minimal protection from mild and moderate illness caused by the virus variant that is widely circulating in the country.

Facebook is expanding its ban on vaccine misinformation and highlighting official information about how and where to get COVID-19 vaccines as governments race to get more people vaccinated.

"Health officials and health authorities are in the early stages of trying to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, and experts agree that rolling this out successfully is going to be helping build confidence in vaccines," said Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook's head of health.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

House Democrats are renewing their investigation into the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus crisis, citing new documents and what they call evidence of political interference in the government response to the virus.

It's been more than a year since I've seen my mother. Like many families, we live a fair distance apart and the pandemic has put a stop to our visits. I was supposed to visit last April to celebrate her 90th birthday, but instead we shared a toast over the phone and tightly crossed our fingers that by summer things would be better. They weren't.

For thousands of people, the late Dr. Li Wenliang feels very much alive. They flock to his social media page on Weibo each day to write to him:

"Hey Dr. Li, I just got a second COVID shot. It hurt a little. I miss you."

"Dr. Li, I pet a cute orange cat today! I'm happy!"

"When do you think the pandemic would be over? I long for the days without a mask."

Updated at 4:58 p.m. ET

A deeply divided Supreme Court doubled down on religious rights late Friday, ruling that California can no longer continue with a ban on indoor church services put in place to fight to the coronavirus pandemic. But the court said that the state, for now, can keep in place restrictions on singing and chanting inside.

COVID-19 vaccines are scarce. Many people who want the shots can't get them yet, either because they're not yet eligible, according to priorities set by their state or county, or because there aren't any available appointments.

Ever since the coronavirus reached the U.S., officials and citizens alike have gauged the severity of the spread by tracking one measure in particular: How many new cases are confirmed through testing each day. However, it has been clear all along that this number is an understatement because of testing shortfalls.

Now a research team at Columbia University has built a mathematical model that gives a much more complete — and scary — picture of how much virus is circulating in our communities.

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET Saturday

The supermarket giant Kroger Co. announced Friday that employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be rewarded with a $100 bonus.

African countries are far behind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, largely because rich countries in North America and Europe have already bought much of the existing and future supply.

Officials in New York say they're working to overcome resistance to the coronavirus vaccine in the Black and Latino communities, while also trying to make doses more readily available.

New state data released Friday showed many Black New Yorkers aren't taking the vaccine even when it's offered free of charge.

Only 39% of Black New Yorkers said they'd take the vaccine as soon as it was available to them, according to the state data. Hispanic New Yorkers were somewhat less hesitant, at 54%.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The Biden administration is finalizing contracts with six companies to increase the supply of at-home coronavirus tests – a plan that would bring more than 60 million tests to the U.S. market by the end of this summer, officials from the White House COVID-19 Response Team said on Friday.

Vaccines Reach Nearly All Oklahoma Long-Term Care Facilities

Feb 5, 2021
ennifer Ferguson, a resident at Santa Fe Place in Moore, smiles as a nurse from Walgreens prepares to give her a COVID-19 vaccine.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Nearly seven weeks after COVID-19 vaccines reached Oklahoma nursing homes, first doses have been delivered to residents and staff at nearly every long-term care facility in the state.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

Hiring resumed just tepidly last month after a slump in December, as the labor market faces a long climb to recover the millions of jobs lost during the pandemic.

U.S. employers added 49,000 jobs in January, after a revised drop of 227,000 the month before. Unemployment fell to 6.3%, from 6.7% in December, as hundreds of thousands of people left the workforce.

Industries that saw notable job gains in January include business and professional services and finance, but bars and restaurants continued to lose jobs.

Georgia Washington, 79, can't drive. Whenever she needs to go somewhere, she asks her daughter or her friends to pick her up.

She has lived in the northern part of Baton Rouge, a predominantly Black area of Louisiana's capital, since 1973. There aren't many resources there, including medical facilities. So when Washington fell ill with COVID-19 last March, she had to get a ride 20 minutes south to get medical attention.

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