by Associated Press
DENVER – Denver’s top public safety leader says he is prepared to discipline police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who do not comply with orders that require all city employees to be treated for COVID-19 are vaccinated against, The Denver Post reports on Saturday.
A public health order issued by the city’s health department on Monday requires all city employees to receive a second dose of the vaccine by September 15.
It is unclear how many Denver police officers or emergency responders have been vaccinated because the city does not keep track.
However, the Denver Police Protective Association conducted its own survey. Nearly half of department officials responded to the survey, and 57% of them said they were illiterate.
More on the pandemic:
– The US now has an average of 100,000 new confirmed virus cases a day
UK lockdown unlikely in future, says once gloomy scientist
Vaccination form for federal employees adds penalty for lying
– US survivors of COVID-19 speak out for vaccines, masks
– Get more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
Here’s what else is happening:
SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico’s governor and dozens of other elected officials are urging the state’s business community to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or, alternatively, to undergo routine testing.
The letter, sent on Friday to employers and business groups, said action is necessary to contain the current increased spread of COVID-19 as infections rise.
Among the 28 signatories are Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham., US Sens. Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich and US Reps. Teresa Leger Fernandez and Melanie Stansbury are included, but not the US Representative. Yvette Herrell, the only Republican member of the congressional delegation.
New Mexico state employees should be vaccinated or tested regularly.
PHOENIX – Arizona on Saturday reported more than 2,000 additional COVID-19 cases for the fourth day in a row as the number of virus-related hospitalizations continued to rise.
The US state’s coronavirus dashboard reported 2,653 additional cases and 34 deaths, raising the pandemic totals to 943,415 and 18,376 deaths.
According to the dashboard, 1,358 COVID-19 patients were on inpatient beds as of Friday, up from 866 two weeks ago on July 23.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 1,145,1 on July 22 to 2,227.6 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
While the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths have increased over the past month, this level is well below the increase in the previous summer and winter.
Public health officials attribute the recent increase to the highly infectious delta type and a decrease in vaccination rates.
The Arizona Dashboard reported that approximately 53.2% of the state’s population has been vaccinated.
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka on Saturday received the second consignment of Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines under the COVAX facility, the WHO said.
With the second batch, AstraZeneca’s total dose of vaccines received through COVAX from Japan exceeds 1.45 million.
The Sri Lankan government aims to vaccinate almost all citizens over the age of 30 by September.
There have been 326,043 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka. About 5,000 people have been confirmed to have died of the disease.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — With low demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in Alabama, the state wasted more than 65,000 doses because health providers couldn’t get them to take them before they were finished, according to state health official Scott Harris.
“Sixty-five thousand doses have been wasted. It is extremely unfortunate when we have such a low vaccination rate and of course, there are many people in the world who still do not have the vaccine,” he said.
Expired doses represent less than 1.5% of the more than 5 million coronavirus vaccine doses Alabama received. Still, Harris said it’s sad to lose a potentially life-saving allotment.
Alabama is one of the least vaccinated states in the country. The state ranks last for the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated, at 34%.
BERLIN – Germany’s Centers for Disease Control estimates that the coronavirus vaccine has saved more than 38,000 lives in the country.
Mass vaccination also kept 76,000 COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and nearly 20,000 people out of intensive care units over the past 6 1/2 months, the Robert Koch Institute said on Saturday, according to a model count. Germany’s vaccine drive also prevented more than 706,000 confirmed cases this year, the institute said.
“The high effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign effectively demonstrates that vaccination paves the way out of the pandemic,” the institute said in a statement.
Germany began vaccinating residents against the virus in late 2020, and more than 45 million people have been fully vaccinated, or 54.5% of the population. German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday that some 51.8 million, or 62.3%, have received at least one shot.
But after a slow start that has really gained traction since March, the country’s vaccination rate has declined in recent weeks. Officials worry about a fourth wave of infections as travelers return from summer vacation and schools begin to reopen with most children and teens not vaccinated.
New Delhi, India – India has given emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine, the country’s health minister said on Saturday.
“This will further boost our nation’s collective fight against COVID-19,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.
The US pharmaceutical giant, the fifth coronavirus vaccine shot to win emergency authorization in India, will arrive in the country through an agreement with Indian vaccine maker Biological E.
With the approval, it is expected that the rate of vaccination in India will increase. Confirmed cases have declined after a dramatic jump earlier this year in which COVID-19 coronavirus patients in hospitals across India who needed oxygen were not available.
After hitting a daily high of 9 million shots in June, there has been a steady decline in vaccination rates due to supply and approval issues. In the past week, daily shots averaged around 5.1 million, according to government figures.
Experts have said that if India wants to vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of the year, this number will have to increase.
PARIS – Thousands marched in Paris and other French cities on Saturday to protest for the fourth week in a row against COVID-19 health passes that would require everyone to enter cafes, trains and other places in the country.
Two days after the demonstrations, France’s Constitutional Council upheld most of the provisions of a new law that expands places where health passes are required to enter.
From Monday, passes will be required to access cafes, restaurants, long-distance travel and in some cases, hospitals in France. It was already intended for cultural and recreational venues, including cinemas, concert halls, playgrounds and theme parks with a capacity of more than 50 people.
Under the guard of French riot police, a large peaceful crowd of protesters marched through Paris carrying banners that read: “Our freedom is dying” and “Vaccine: don’t touch our children.”
Dozens of street protests were held in other French cities, including Marseille, Nice and Lille.
The seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 infections has surpassed 100,000 in the US, returning to levels not seen since the winter boom.
Powered by the highly contagious Delta Edition, there have been cases and hospitalizations in the past month. The country averaged around 11,000 cases a day at the end of June. Now this number is 107,143.
The virus is spreading rapidly through unvaccinated populations, especially in the Deep South. Hospitals are overrun with patients in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The US average crossed 100,000 for the first time in November, peaking at around 250,000 in early January and hitting a low in late June.
LONDON – A British scientist who rose to prominence for issuing dire warnings about the spread of COVID-19 said on Saturday that the UK does not need a future lockdown, albeit with increased social interaction New infections can increase significantly.
Professor Neil Ferguson, an infectious disease specialist at Imperial College London, told The Times of London that Britain is likely to move to a position where the disease can be managed by vaccination rather than by “crisis measures” such as lockdowns.
“I wouldn’t rule it out outright, but I think it’s unlikely we’ll need new lockdowns of the type or even social-distancing measures as of now,” he said. ” They said. “The caveat to that is, of course, if the virus mutates substantially.”
Figures released on Friday showed the latest virus surge in the UK has eased, with the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 falling across much of the country. Based on its weekly survey of infection levels, the Office for National Statistics said infection rates appear to be falling in England, Scotland and Wales, although not in Northern Ireland, with the biggest declines in younger age groups.
Public health experts attribute the UK’s successful nationwide vaccination program to slowing the spread of COVID-19 even in the face of the more infectious Delta variant,
MEXICO CITY – Mexico City and half a dozen of the country’s 32 states are now on “red” alert as COVID-19 infections reach their highest level.
As of Friday, Mexico had more than 144,000 active coronavirus cases nationwide, up 4.6% from the previous peak during the country’s boom in January.
The country has seen 243,733 test-confirmed deaths but does very little testing; Studies of death certificates indicate that the actual toll is around 370,000.
Nearly a quarter of Mexico is now on the highest level of alert, requiring some non-essential businesses to close and forcing others to serve fewer customers at once.
The federal health department said the capital is “red” on a color-coded warning system for the pandemic, but Mexico City officials claimed they were still at the orange level, which allows for widespread business activity.
“We do not believe that we should stop economic activity, but rather accelerate the pace of vaccination,” Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said.
HARTFORD, Conn. Connecticut has become the latest US state to mandate that workers in nursing homes be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday directed an executive order requiring all employees of long-term care facilities to receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by Sept.
In a statement, he said it would be “absolutely irresponsible” that staff would not be vaccinated given the vulnerability of the people in their care.
According to Lamont’s release, more than half of all nursing homes in Connecticut have staff vaccination rates below 75%. Connecticut joins at least five other states that have issued similar mandates.
Sacramento, Calif. – The state of California has announced another round of coronavirus vaccine incentives.
The California Department of Health Care Services said Friday it will spend $350 million on the state’s Medicaid program to vaccinate more people. Medicaid is a United States and federal health insurance program for people with disabilities or low incomes.
About 76% of California residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. But only 45% of the state’s Medicaid population has been vaccinated.
New incentives include grocery store gift cards up to $50. About 13.8 million people are enrolled in California’s Medicaid program.