Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Feb. 8: Governors in 4 States Plan to Lift Mask Mandates, Hong Kong Sees Record Cases

Trudeau: Protestors Are Interfering with Democracy and Residents’ Lives

By Jonathan Spira on 8 February 2022
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Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 39th day of 2022

From California to Connecticut, as the number of coronavirus cases plunges, states are somewhat easing mask mandates. 

Meanwhile, the world will hit the 400 million mark in coronavirus cases at some point on Tuesday.

On a more positive note, 90 million people in the United States  have received a third, or booster, dose of coronavirus vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

In other news we cover, Hong Kong is seeing record numbers of new infections  and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the trucker protests in Canada against vaccine mandates and restrictions are interfering with democracy.


 In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont said he would let the state’s mask mandate for schools  to expire next Tuesday.  The state’s current mask mandate expires on February 28 and he recommended that mayors and superintendents end their local mandates on that date. 

Meanwhile, officials in California said that the state’s universal indoor mask mandate would be lifted next week, while the governors of Delaware and Oregon made announcements to the effect that their states’ mask mandates would be relaxed at the end of March. 

Covid has infected deer in New York City. White-tailed deer on Staten Island were found to be carrying the highly-transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus.  The discovery marks the first time the virus has been discovered in wild animals.


As Covid cases in Hong Kong reach record highs, officials there instituted the special administrative region’s toughest social-distancing rules to date.  Numerous types of businesses and venues were closed, including hair salons and places of worship, and no more than two households will be permitted to meet in private.  Public gatherings will be limited to two people.  Meanwhile, people going to shopping malls, grocery stores, and markets will be required to register with an official contact-tracing app, alongside those frequenting restaurants, and other public venues.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused protestors in the national capital of undermining Canadian democracy. “It has to stop,” he said.

Speaking in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Trudeau denounced the protestors for interfering with the lives of residents.  Trudeau had already said that they were stealing food from homeless people, desecrating national memorials, and wielding Nazi symbols and in his speech, went one step further.

“But let’s be clear,” he said in a tweet.  “They don’t have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens’ daily lives.”


Now here are the daily statistics for Tuesday, February 8.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 399.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 2.4 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 5.77 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 319.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 3.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday is 7,464,373.  Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 75,373,640, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 90,733, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical fell is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 346,108 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday for the previous day, compared to 60,524  on Monday, 123,593 new cases on Sunday, 310,155 on Saturday, and 312,238  on Friday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The lower figures for Sunday and Tuesday were attributed in great part to the severe weather that much of the county had over the past 48 hours.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 253,782, a 62% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 2,598, an increase of 25% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Tuesday, recorded 78.4 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 928,879. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 42.4 million, and a reported death toll of 504,378. Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 632,970, and has seen over 26.6 million cases.  France now occupies the number four position, with 20.8 million cases, and the United Kingdom is in the number five slot with 17.9 million.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 251.2 million people in the United States – or 75.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 64.1%, or 212.9 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 543.6 million. Breaking this down further, 87.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 225.3 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 74.4% of the same group – or 192.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 45.5% of that population, or 87.4 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 61.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Tuesday, a figure that is largely unchanged in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 10.24 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 10.4% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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