Coronavirus News Update – July 29: Apple, Facebook, Google to All Require Masks

By Anna Breuer on 29 July 2021
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Apple’s new Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan

Apple said it will require customers and employees in many of its retail stores to don face masks.  It will also require individuals in its offices to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. The move was made after reviewing the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health data and applies to approximately 45% of its shops.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 196.9 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.2 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 178.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 66,924, a 146% 14-day increase and a trend that is fueled by the highly contagious India, or Delta, variant.

In the United States, the death toll is now 628,116, an increase of 765 in the past day.  Since the start of the pandemic the country has recorded over 35.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country and one that is followed by India, which now has over 31.53 million officially recorded cases and 422,695 officially recorded deaths, although experts believe that both number are in reality significantly higher.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year over 4.01 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Thursday morning, an increase of 0.04 billion and the equivalent of over 52 doses for every 100 people, a one-dose increase per hundred over the previous 24 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 189.5 million people in the United States – or 57.1% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 49.3%, or 163.6 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 343.3 million. Breaking this down further, 69.3% of the population over the age of 18 – or 178.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 60.2% of the same group – or 155.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, responding to falling vaccination rates and a significant rise in new infections, said he would require state employees to be vaccinated. Those who cannot show proof would be required to face weekly testing. In addition, all patient-facing health care workers would be required to be vaccinated without the option of testing as a substitute.

Google and Facebook said separately that they will require all employees at their U.S. offices to be fully vaccinated.  Google said it plans to extend the policy to offices outside the United States in the coming months.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said that local officials should detain individuals, who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, in their homes.  Legal experts there said that such a move would be unconstitutional. “If they don’t want to be vaccinated, they should not be allowed to go out of their homes,” he said in a public address Wednesday night, adding that “They may say there is no law, but should I wait for a law knowing that many will die?”

Finally, Slovakia said it would impose new internal and external border controls to stem the spread of the Delta variant. The border checks will be conducted at airports and on major roads leading into the country.  Some smaller border crossings with minimal traffic will be temporarily closed.  Then, effectiveAugust 9,Slovakia will revamp its criteria for admittance from the status of a traveler’s country of origin to whether the individual is fully vaccinated or not.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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