Coronavirus Morning News Brief – May 8: Safely Celebrating Mother’s Day, CDC Tells People in Dozens of Counties to Mask Up

New Cities in China Face Lockdowns, CDC Investigates ‘Overwhelmed’ Cruise Ship

By Jonathan Spira on 8 May 2022
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Happy Mother’s Day

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 759th day of the pandemic.

In the United States and dozens of other countries including Austria, Canada, China, Germany, and Ukraine, today is Mother’s Day, a holiday created by Anna Jarvis in 1912.

Jarvis designated the spelling to be the genitive singular case (hence “Mother’s,” not “Mothers’” in English), for each family to honor its own mother, not the genitive plural that would commemorate all mothers in the world.

In many regions, the Mother’s Day holiday precedes the start of high school and college graduation ceremonies and celebrations, and other family gatherings.

This comes at a time when there are new and highly contagious omicron subvariants that are spreading including BA2.12.1, which has resulted in dozens of counties in the United States hitting the CDC’s “high” community transmission mark, necessitating masking to prevent further spread.

Donning a mask reduces the likelihood that you will inhale aerosols or other particles expelled by someone else and the type of mask one wears really matters with the more transmissible variants.  It also prevents you – in the event you are an asymptomatic carrier – from infecting others, including Mom, Mum, Mama, and Mutti (depending on your own personal term of endearment) as well as Grandma, Grandmama, Nonna, Abuela, Granny, Babushka, and Bubbe.

A well-fitted high-quality respirator mask such as an N95, FFP2, or KN95 greatly reduces the likelihood of infection.

Where you hold your visit or celebrate matters as well.  Outdoors is ideal, especially with warmer spring weather on the horizon, and indoors, a large room with open windows is preferable to a small, cramped space where people are packed together like sardines.

In other news we cover today, cases in eight U.S. states have increased by over 50% over the past week, dozens of counties are now under “high” alert for Covid transmission, and more Chinese cities are now under some form of lockdown.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.


The number of new coronavirus infections has risen by more than 50% compared with the previous week in at least eight states.  The surge appears to be fueled by the new and highly transmissible subvariant of the omicron variant, BA2.12.1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people in 36 counties in New York State to don face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status after those regions were determined to have high community levels of Covid.   The list of counties affected includes Albany, Cayuga, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Genesee, Jefferson, Livingston, Madison, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Wyoming, among others.

Only four counties in the state were considered to have high community levels of Covid just four weeks ago, namely Onondaga, Oswego, and Cayuga.

Other areas with high Covid levels now include counties in Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut,and Massachusetts.


In China, officials in Beijing increased their pandemic controls on Sunday, calling on residents in the central Chaoyang district, the city’s commercial hub, and the outer area of Shunyl not to leave those areas unless absolutely necessary.

Lockdowns began in other cities as well.

Officials in the city of Yichun in the eastern province of Jiangxi announced a lockdown in its central four districts after finding a single positive case on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Zhanjiang, a city in Guangdong province in the south, the government there announced that residents are only allowed to leave the city with a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of departure, after it found 14 cases on Sunday.


The CDC is investigating a recent Covid-19 outbreak on a Carnival cruise ship that arrived in Seattle after a two-week voyage during which passengers said that the ship and crew were “overwhelmed.”  Instead of moving passengers who tested positive to isolation cabins per the cruise line’s protocol, several passengers were reportedly forced to stay in their original cabins thereby exposing a roommate or traveling companion to the virus.

The Carnival Spirit is one of 62 ships labeled as “orange,” indicating that 0.3% or more of total number of passengers and or crew members had tested positive.


Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, May 8

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 517.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and almost 6.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 471.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 39,039,369, a decrease of 42,000 from the prior day. Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 38,999,480, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 39,889, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 30,358 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 94,704 on Saturday, 94,947 on Friday, and 105,215 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to climb and is now 72,253.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 70,765, a 52% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 366, a decrease of 1% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 18,711, a 21% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 83.6 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.1 million, and a reported death toll of 524,064.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of April that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in the month of March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 664,179, and hasseen 30.6 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 28.9 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 25.3 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.1 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 258.1 million people in the United States – or 77.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.3%, or 220.1 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 578.7 million. Breaking this down further, 89.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 230.3million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.2% of the same group – or 196.8 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 49.5% of that population, or 97.5 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 65.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 11.65 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 8.73 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 15.8% 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.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.


(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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