Court rules for Florida in cruise case, grants injunction stopping CDC order, but not yet
A federal court granted a preliminary injunction against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its conditional sail order that has shut down the cruise industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has delayed that injunction for a month to let the CDC propose some changes. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday is part of a larger lawsuit brought by the state of Florida that contends the CDC has overstepped its authority through its orders that have limited cruise lines’ ability to return to business. By granting the injunction, the court deemed that Florida was likely to...
Biden touts US administering 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots in 150 days, says more work to be done
President Joe Biden touted vaccination efforts in the U.S. on Friday, announcing that 300 million COVID-19 shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office. The major milestone came with a caveat as vaccination rates slow and the so-called Delta variant continues to spread, prompting Biden to warn that infections could again rise if more Americans don’t roll up their sleeves. “Even while we’re making incredible progress, it remains a serious and deadly threat,” the president said during remarks at the White House. “And the data is clear, if you are unvaccinated, you’re at risk...
New York Daily News
Florida's COVID-19 resident deaths tick up, but cases lowest reported in more than a year
ORLANDO, Fla. — The state Department of Health reported 10,095 new coronavirus cases this week among Florida residents to bring the cumulative total to 2,310,881. With 290 more fatalities, 37,555 Florida residents are now dead. It’s the second week with higher reported death totals, up slightly from last week’s reported 280 increase and the 211 reported the week previous, but still lower than the 29 weeks straight of more than 300 weekly reported deaths seen since early November. Deaths can take several days or weeks to be reported, though, so it will take time to see the true cumulative weekl...
‘It’s down to the wire.’ Camp directors lament counselor shortage, worrying they’ll welcome fewer campers
First, camp directors worried about campers feeling comfortable enough to return. Now, they’re struggling to get enough counselors. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is having trouble hiring enough overnight counselors — and camp starts next week. The shortage is leaving camp directors worried about ensuring enough staff to welcome more kids to sleepaway camps, where children stay overnight and do activities like fishing and kayaking. Bobby Thomas, executive director of several YMCA camps, said they have been spending months assuring parents about the safety of summer camps after many were unab...
CDC's travel warning for cruise ships eases, COVID-19 risk high for unvaccinated
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its travel warning for cruise ships Wednesday, recommending only unvaccinated passengers avoid cruise travel. The COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated passengers on cruise ships is now set at Level 3, the second highest, down from Level 4. Previously, the CDC recommended all passengers avoid cruise travel. The changes come as the cruise industry prepares to restart from U.S. ports in the coming weeks. The first test cruise is scheduled for Sunday — Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas ship from PortMiami — and the first reven...
Washington voters led much of the nation in saying guns must sometimes be seized to prevent violence. How's the law working?
SEATTLE — It's a scalpel, not a hammer. That's how Eric Pisconski, the acting lieutenant of the Seattle Police Department's Crisis Response Unit, thinks of the state law that allows law enforcement officers and family or household members to petition a superior court judge for an extreme risk protection order, commonly known as an ERPO. It's a two-stage, civil legal process to remove guns from peoples' possession and prevent them from purchasing or having access to new firearms for one year. "You're looking at an imminent threat. We're more concerned about threatening or violent behavior and i...
The Seattle Times
Following similar moves in cities around US, Chicago's mayor declares systemic racism a public health crisis
CHICAGO — Standing in front of a West Side exhibit honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday followed the lead of several other cities around the country and declared systemic racism a public health crisis. “When we think about racism, many of us think about its visible and audible forms,” Lightfoot said. “But the reality is, the insidious nature of systemic racism has other impacts that are every bit as deep and harmful but are often ones we can’t see, like impacts on the psyche and other impacts on our bodies that are just as, if not more, deadly.” Racism tells people...
Lowest rates, highest hurdles: Southern states tackle vaccine gap
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — At the beginning of the pandemic, LaShonda McKinney knew access to transportation would be a barrier for some people in the rural Mississippi Delta who needed a COVID-19 test. McKinney, a Bolivar County native, offered people free rides through the county’s council on aging, where she serves as executive director. Once COVID-19 vaccinations became available, the agency offered free rides to vaccination sites, but as vaccine supply exceeded demand in Mississippi and vaccine hesitancy persisted, the calls for rides dropped. “I don’t think transportation is the issue,” McKinne...
Dovetail Project celebrates 21st graduating class of young Black and Latino fathers: ‘You guys are mythbusters’
CHICAGO – “I was a hurt baby.” Sheldon Smith founded the Dovetail Project when he was 21 because he wanted things to be different. His father was in and out of his life, and his father’s father wasn’t around either. “I was a broken child,” he said. “I wanted to be able to break the curse of kids being hurt.” On June 10, the Dovetail Project held its annual completion ceremony to recognize and celebrate the young fathers who just finished the organization’s 12-week course. The Dovetail Project is a nonprofit fatherhood initiative intended to have an impact on “two generations at once,” through ...
You'd think COVID gives smokers a reason to quit. But many did the opposite
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Valerie Howard thought smokers in Missouri had a big incentive to quit this past year: the fear of dying from COVID-19. "But I think in some cases the converse happened," said Howard, Tobacco Control Program manager for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "People were really struggling, there was a lot of stress, there was a lot of fear, and we turn to all kinds of sometimes unhealthy behaviors to help us handle our stress. "There are folks that used it as an opportunity for sure but we also saw an increase as a result of just the stress from the pandemic ...
The Kansas City Star