Coronavirus News Update – April 9: CDC Says Risk of Covid Infection from Surfaces is Very Low

List of Universities to Require Vaccinations for Students Grows

By Jesse Sokolow on 9 April 2021
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The University of Virginia campus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released findings that held that, contrary to initial beliefs, the chances of catching the coronavirus from surface areas is extremely low; less than 1 in 10,000, in fact. This is good news for everyone who has been wiping down their groceries and doorknobs for the past 12 or more months. “People can be affected with the virus that causes Covid-19 through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, at a White House briefing. “However, evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of infection of transmission is actually low.”

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded nearly 134.7 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 2.9 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information.  In addition, 108.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 733 million doses, the equivalent of 9.6 doses for every 100 people as of Thursday morning, a 0.4 percentage point increase over Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Friday, over 112 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 43.2% of the population over the age of 18 – some 111.4 million people – have received at least a first inoculation, including 66 million people, or 25.6% of the same population, more than a quarter of all adults in the country, who have received both doses. Overall, 19.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, a 0.5 percentage point increase over Thursday.

Both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. announced that all residents aged 16 and older will become eligible for the coronavirus vaccine beginning on Monday. Already, approximately 33% of the total population of the nation’s capital has received at least one dose, while Puerto Rico has seen 24% of its population receive at least one shot.

The list of universities that will require students and staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to return to campus in the fall is growing. Brown University joined Ivy League rival Cornell as well as several others.  New Jersey public university Rutgers said earlier this week it would require students to be vaccinated but would not require inoculations for staff.

The Boston Beer Company, which makes Samuel Adams beer,  is encouraging people to get vaccinated by paying for their first Sam Adams beer when they return to a bar or pub. The company said that beer driners can post their vaccination sticker or bandage on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #shotforsam and tag @samueladamsbeer, and the company will send seven dollars via Cash App to be redeemed at any bar for a drink.   Boston Beer urged those posting not to post images of their vaccination cards, however, because it contains sensitive information including name and date of birth.

France is urging people under 55 who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to get their second dose with a different one. The move comes after studies found the vaccine to be linked with blood clots in rare cases, causing several European countries to temporarily suspend the vaccine last month. On Thursday, the United Kingdom followed a similar route, recommending that people under 30 not be inoculated with that vaccine and to instead get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The president of Carnival Cruise Lines said that the company may inevitably have to change its home ports to countries other than the United States, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to prohibit any cruises from setting sail in American waters. The move would come amidst pent up demand for travel, with the cruise company seeing a 90% rise in bookings during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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