Coronavirus News Update – June 15: England Extends Restrictions for Four Weeks, N.Y. to End Most Covid Measures

By Anna Breuer on 15 June 2021
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The London Eye

The United Kingdom put plans to end Covid-19 restrictions on June on pause, given the tremendous spike in new cases thanks to the prevalence of the India, or Delta, variant there.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced late Monday that theaters, including those in London’s West End, will remain closed, as will nightclubs. Restaurants and pubs will have to continue to observe social-distancing rules indoors while limiting capacity.  The news comes just as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce that the state hit the 70% mark for first-dose vaccinations, a milestone that will result in the elimination of most restrictions there

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded over 171.1 million Covid-19 cases and has seen 3.83 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 161.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll, which recently crossed the 600,000 mark, is now 615,235.  Since the start of the pandemic, the country has recorded over 34.3 million individual cases, a higher figure than any other country.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, over 2.4 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Tuesday morning, the equivalent of over 31 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 174.2 million people in the United States – or 52.5% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 43.7%, or 144.8 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to 310.6 million. Breaking this down further, 64.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 166.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 54.4% of the same group – or 140.5 million people – is fully vaccinated.

California on Tuesday lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions and marked the occasion with $15 million in vaccine lottery prizes and state-subsidized vacation giveaways. The Golden State recorded more deaths – 63,000 – than any other state since the start of the pandemic and 3.8 million Californians became infected with the coronavirus.

Afederal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system that challenged its requirement that all staff be vaccinated against the coronavirus.  The Houston Methodist Hospital system had suspended 178 employees without pay over their refusal to get inoculated and 117 sued seeking to overturn the requirement. In a scathing ruling, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes held the plaintiffs’ contention that the vaccines are “experimental and dangerous” to be false and irrelevant and termed her comparison of the vaccination requirement to forced medical experimentation on concentration camp inmates by the National Socialist regime under Hitler to be “reprehensible.”

Numerous attendees of the first in-person large convention in the United States, Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, said they got Covid after attending the event.  There were 12,000 people in attendance and no testing was required for entry.  Twitter was deluged with tweets from people who had either contract the virus at the event or that they knew someone who attended the event who then contracted Covid.

Meanwhile, some fans of the band Foo Fighters are angry that the venue for the New York City concert, Madison Square Garden, will require concert goers to be fully vaccinated.  One fan said every album and playlist had been “consigned to the bin.”  The fans’ reactions came as a surprise to many given that the group participated in last months Vex Live: The Concert to Reunite the World in Los Angeles.

Finally, a study by the non-profit Fair Health found that many Covid-19 patients, including some who were asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms, are now experiencing new medical problems. The study, which tracked the records of two million people, found that 23% had sought medical treatment for a new condition after having had the coronavirus.

Kurt Stolz contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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