Coronavirus News Update – May 22: Is the Pandemic Retreating?

In Oregon, ‘How About a Chance to Win a Million Dollars,’ Says Governor to Encourage Vaccinations

By Anna Breuer on 22 May 2021
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As the Memorial Day holiday draws nearer, the United States continues on a trajectory that could indicate that the coronavirus pandemic is permanently retreating.  The number of new coronavirus cases there is consistently fewer than 30,000 for the first time since June 2020 and the death rate has dropped to a level last seen in July. While the pace of vaccinations has slowed from its peak of over three million, over 60% of adults in the country have received at least their first jab.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded over 166.8 million Covid-19 cases and has seen more than 3.46 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 147.7 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 1.59 billion doses as of Friday morning, the equivalent of approximately 20.1 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Friday, 161.3 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Around 60.8% of the population over the age of 18 –some 156.9 million people –has received at least a first inoculation, including 125.9 million people, or 48.8% of the same population, who have received both doses. Meanwhile, 57.5% of the population over the age of 12, or 161.2 million people, have received at least one shot, including 127.8 million, or 45.6% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 38.5% of the population, or 127.8 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Officials in Los Angeles, one of the hardest hit areas in the country, said they will begin to shut down their mass vaccination sites and enter a new chapter of mobile vaccinations. The move will allow the city to inoculate people who until now have had limited access to the sites.

California officials said they plan to drop all capacity limits for businesses as wel as social distancing requirements when the state finally reopens fully on June 15. A mask mandate for those are not vaccinated will remain in place in accordance with CDC guidelines and some larger gatherings will require vaccination verification for entry.

Meanwhile, Oregon will encourage people to get vaccinated with the “Take Your Shot Oregon” campaign, operating by the Oregon Lottery.  All Oregonians ages 12 and older who have received at least one jab will be automatically entered. “How about a chance to win a million dollars,” said Governor Kate Brown at a news conference announcing the plan.

In India, health officials are reporting a shortage of the medication used to treat a rare black fungus, that is infecting many of the country’s Covid-19 patients. The fungal infection has been traced back to indiscriminate steroid use and high blood sugar levels.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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