Coronavirus News Update – Dec. 16: Snow Could Snarl Vaccine Deliveries, Moderna Vaccine Close to FDA Approval

By Anna Breuer on 15 December 2020
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A patient registering for Covid-19 testing at LaGuardia Airport in N.Y.

Just as vaccinations against the coronavirus are getting underway in the United States, a major winter storm threatens to snarl carefully planned deliveries of the vaccine. The storm is forecast to bring high winds, over 6” (15 cm) of snow, and blizzard-like conditions along the I-95 corridor from Virginia to New England.

In New York City, the storm will close coronavirus testing sites run by the city’s Health and Hospitals system from 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday to noon on Thursday. Restaurants offering roadway dining on the city’s streets must also close by 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, some states are moving forward with the inoculation of nursing-home residents this week including Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, and West Virginia.

London moved into Tier 3, the United Kingdom’s highest level of coronavirus restrictions, amidst significant surges in new infections in the capital city.

A vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical firm Moderna appears poised to receive emergency-use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after a review of the clinical trial data by the agency showed that the vaccine was 94% effective and had no serious side effects.

A passenger appears to have died of Covid-19 on United Airlines flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on Monday. The flight was diverted to New Orleans. Jo LaFlame, another passenger on the flight, reported the incident on Twitter, saying “The man behind me on this flight. Died. Of. Covid. Midflight.”

Google, which has had its employees work at home since the early days of the pandemic, now plans to have them start to return to the office next fall instead of in the summer. The search giant plans to test a telecommuting policy once that happens that would allow staff to continue working from home for several days of the week.

In Los Angeles, the city attorney filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against LA Party Society, an underground nightclub that stands accused of holding crowded events in defiance of pandemic restrictions, calling its actions “the height of irresponsibility” and alleging that the club is a “hub of violence and crime.” No one has yet been arrested in connection with these events but the city is exploring having the club’s utilities shut off.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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