Coronavirus News Update – June 14: Germany Could Loosen Some Mask Restrictions

By Anna Breuer on 14 June 2021
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A member of the Danish Royal Guard, or Den Kongelige Livgarde, at Amalienborg Palace

German Gesundheitsminister Jens Spahn said that Germany’s Bundesländer could soon begin setting their own policies for mask usage outdoors. “Given the falling incidence rate, we should proceed in stages,” he said in an interview with the Funke group of newspapers. “In a first step, the mask requirement for outside can be omitted in regions with a very low incidence and a high vaccination rate, [that can be applied] gradually also indoors.”

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded over 176.8 million Covid-19 cases and has seen 3.82 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 160.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll, which recently crossed the 600,000 mark, is now 615,057.  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 Monday morning, the equivalent of over 30 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, 173.8 million people in the United States – or 52.4% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 43.4%, or 143.9 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to over 309 million. Breaking this down further, 64.4% of the population over the age of 18 – or 166.4 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 54.1% of the same group – or 139.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Although the United States is awash in Covid vaccines, a fourth pharmaceutical company, this one funded by the U.S. government, announced the results of a clinical trial of its vaccine on Monday. The 29,000-person trial found that the two-shot vaccine had an overall efficacy of 90.4% and 100% efficacy at preventing moderate or severe disease.

Shane Michael Williams, the man who was asked by another patron of a Vision 4 Less shop in Des Moines to raise his mask over his nose, was sentenced to ten years for attacking that patron and coughing on him.  Williams was convicted of willful injury causing serious injury, a Class C felony.

Finally, Denmark will ease several Covid measures regarding the use of face masks, bar and restaurant opening hours, and crowd sizes at Euro matches. The country hopes to end all restrictions by October 1. Masks will no longer be required as of June 14, except on public transport during rush hour and for standing passengers. Restaurants and bars are now permitted to stay open until midnight instead of the previous 11 p.m. limitation.  As of July 15, that will change to 2 a.m.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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