The Latest: California to lift most of state’s virus rules
AP Jun 11, 2021 10 days ago
Health workers collect nasal swabs from local residents for the coronavirus testing at a market in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Local residents line up, waiting for the coronavirus testing at a market in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
A volunteer carries containers with rice, chicken and salad to be given to residents at the San Antonio de Padua soup kitchen in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, June 10, 2021, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
A dummy simulating a breathing human being sits in the NDR's Great Broadcasting Hall before the start of a concert by the NDR Radiophilharmonie, in Hanover, Germany, Thursday, June 10, 2021. The concert serves as an experiment on the distribution of aerosols in space. Dummies from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute are in the hall to precisely measure the distribution of aerosols. (Moritz Frankenberg/dpa via AP)
Mounted police stand guard as pedestrians walk past in the Plaza de Armas, in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, June 10, 2021. The Chilean capitol will return to quarantine measures starting Saturday due to the increase in COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Volunteers carries a pot of rice to be given to residents at the San Antonio de Padua soup kitchen in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, June 10, 2021, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
People wearing face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus ride a subway car in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 10, 2021. The Russian authorities reported a spike in coronavirus infections on Thursday, with new confirmed cases exceeding 11,000 for the first time since March. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
People wearing face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk inside a subway in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 10, 2021. The Russian authorities reported a spike in coronavirus infections on Thursday, with new confirmed cases exceeding 11,000 for the first time since March. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Government employees wait their turn to receive the Convidecia COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Nishtar hall, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
A health worker collects a nasal swab from a local resident for the coronavirus testing at a market in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
A health worker administers the Covishield, Serum Institute of India's version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, during a special vaccination drive for students traveling overseas, in Hyderabad, India, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
People carry their child wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus head to a kindergarten in Beijing on June 9, 2021. If China is to meet its tentative goal of vaccinating 80% of its population against the coronavirus by the end of the year, tens of millions of children may have to start rolling up their sleeves. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A woman and child wearing period costumes pass by a bus providing COVID-19 vaccination outside the Forbidden City in Beijing on April 14, 2021. If China is to meet its tentative goal of vaccinating 80% of its population against the coronavirus by the end of the year, tens of millions of children may have to start rolling up their sleeves. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Visitors take a break outside the Louvre Museum courtyard, in Paris, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. France is back in business as a tourist destination after opening its borders Wednesday to foreign visitors who are inoculated against the coronavirus with vaccines approved by the European Union's medicines agency. France's acceptance of only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines means that tourism is still barred for would-be visitors from China and other countries that use other vaccines. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A medial personal prepares the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for members of local fire departments at a temporary mass vaccination center at a former Tsukiji fish market site set up by Tokyo metropolitan government in Tokyo Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Tsukiji site will be a facility which houses and manages vehicles related to the Tokyo 2020 Games. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A government employee receives the Convidecia COVID-19 vaccine from a health worker while others wait their turn at a vaccination center in the Nishtar hall, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
In this photo released by Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF)
Ambulance Doctor Vladimir Canal enters a home to attend a COVID-19 patient with oxygen problems after an emergency call to the residence during his night shift in Lomas de Zamora, Argentina, late Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Eighty seven year old Catherine Daries receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center, at the Karl Bremer Hospital, in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, June 11, 2021. South Africa technically entered the third wave of coronavirus infections as the national seven-day moving average incidence now exceeds the new wave threshold as defined by the Ministerial Advisory Committee. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)
A protester dressed in a protective suit holds slogans during a rally against the G7 summit outside the British Embassy in Taguig, Philippines on Friday, June 11, 2021. The group called on G7 Summit member nations for debt cancellation for poor countries facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
A government employee receives the Convidecia COVID-19 vaccine from a paramedic at a vaccination center in Nishtar hall, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, June11, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
FILE - This Saturday, March 6, 2021 file photo shows vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Denver. On Thursday, June 10, 2021, Johnson & Johnson said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the expiration date on millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by an extra six weeks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Monday, June 7, 2021. Hancock said Sunday the delta variant, which is fast becoming the dominant coronavirus variant in the U.K., is 40% more transmissible compared to the country's existing strains. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Students and parents leave after being administered their a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic hosted by Jewel Osco at London Middle School in Wheeling, Ill., Friday, June 11, 2021. After nearly 15 months of shutdowns, limited capacity and sheltering at home, the State of Illinois, including Chicago, fully reopened today. Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A sign points the way to administrate a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at London Middle School in Wheeling, Ill., Friday, June 11, 2021. After nearly 15 months of shutdowns, limited capacity and sheltering at home, the State of Illinois, including Chicago, fully reopened today. Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Students and parents wear mask as they wait to receive a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic hosted by Jewel Osco at London Middle School in Wheeling, Ill., Friday, June 11, 2021. After nearly 15 months of shutdowns, limited capacity and sheltering at home, the State of Illinois, including Chicago, fully reopened today. Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Gov. Gavin Newsom presents a check to Nancy Gutierrez, the winner of $50K lottery for getting vaccinated as Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, right looks on in San Diego, Calif. on Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat)
People exercise at a park amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Eleven Alvarez poses for friends after graduating as a nutritionist, at a park amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Palestinian hikers approach the Deir Qalaa, "Monastery of the Castle," the remains of a Byzantine monastery, over looking the West Bank village of Deir Ballout, background, west of Salfit, Friday, June. 11, 2021. A growing number of Palestinians are taking up hiking, which offers a way to explore the countryside and historical landmarks in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2020, file photo, a man sits on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Honolulu is loosening some restrictions on social activity now that more than half its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. The new rules allow outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor gatherings of up to 10.(AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)
Kids play around a water fountain outside of Chicago's Wrigley Field before a baseball game, Friday, June 11, 2021, as Chicago and rest of Illinois fully reopens ending an over a year-long COVID-19 restrictions. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)
People cross a street as they make their way towards Chicago's Wrigley Field during baseball game, Friday, June 11, 2021, as Chicago and rest of Illinois fully reopens ending an over a year-long COVID-19 restrictions. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom smiles during a news conference in San Francisco, on Thursday, June 3, 2021. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that will lift most of the state's coronavirus rules. The order Newsom signed Friday, June 11, 2021, takes effect on Tuesday. It will end the state's stay-at-home order and its various amendments. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that will lift most of the state’s coronavirus rules.
The order Newsom signed Friday takes effect Tuesday. It will end the state’s stay-at-home order and its various amendments.
Starting Tuesday, there will be no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements for businesses. Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places.
Newsom said he will not end the statewide declaration of emergency. That ensures the governor has the power to alter or suspend state laws in the future. That has angered Republican lawmakers who say the declaration is unnecessary.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
— AP source: J&J doses to be released, some tossed in U.S.
HONOLULU—Honolulu is loosening some restrictions on social activity now that more than half its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The new rules allow outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor gatherings of up to 10.
Karaoke bars and nightclubs may operate at 50% capacity if all attendees are tested for the disease or show proof they have been fully vaccinated.
The city will allow gatherings of 25 indoors and 75 outdoors once 60% of the population has been vaccinated. All limits will be lifted when the vaccination rate tops 70%.
Honolulu reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, down 25% from two weeks earlier.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
CHICAGO — Officials declared Chicago fully reopened on Friday, ending a requirement that people wear face masks in most indoor places and lifting capacity limits intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Chicago sometimes veered from the state’s restrictions and opted to be stricter or more lenient than the state required. But city officials decided to join the rest of Illinois in lifting restrictions Friday, nearly 15 months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the first stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases began to rise.
People who aren’t vaccinated must still wear a mask indoors, and everyone will still need to wear masks inside health care facilities, jails, shelters, schools, taxis, ride-hailing vehicles and on public transportation. Businesses can still opt to require people to wear masks on their premises.
FALMOUTH, England—U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomes commitments by the U.S. and Britain to share millions of coronavirus vaccine shots with struggling countries. But he says it’s not enough.
Without a global effort, Guterres says the coronavirus could “spread like wildfire” in much of the developing world.
Leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are expected to commit to share at least 1 billion vaccine shots with poorer countries, with half the doses coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K.
Guterres says to defeat the virus, countries producing vaccines need to form an emergency task force to coordinate an effective response to COVID-19.
“We need a concerted effort, we need a global vaccination plan,” says Guterres, who will join the summit. “If not, the risk is there will still be large areas of the developing world where the virus spreads like wildfire.”
SACRAMENTO—Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s confident his workplace regulators will soon fall in line with California’s plan to drop virtually all masking requirements for people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is set to consider revising its conflicting rules Thursday, two days after the state eases its pandemic restrictions. Newsom said Friday that he expects to make sure the worksite regulations take effect along with the planned reopening.
Businesses have been baffled by the shifting rules over who needs to wear masks and where once the nation’s largest state fully reopens from the pandemic.
JACKSON, MISS.—Due to lagging demand for shots, Mississippi has transferred well over three-quarters of a million doses from its federal coronavirus vaccine allocation to other states.
In recent months, the state has transferred 871,950 vaccine doses to Rhode Island, Maine and a nationwide vaccine pool, said Liz Sharlot, spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Health. Maine is among the states in the U.S. with the highest vaccination rates.
Mississippi has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, with around 29% vaccinated. Just over 930,650 people in the state are fully vaccinated, according to data provided by the state Department of Health.
Sharlot said 32,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine set aside for Mississippi by the federal government were sent to Rhode Island on April 20, and 32,400 doses to Maine.
The state has transferred at least 807,150 doses to a federal vaccine pool. The state’s first transfer to the pool was May 6.
Each week, the federal government provides every state with a number of available doses to be ordered and distributed to providers, Sharlot said. This number is based on “provider demand and the individual state’s needs,” Sharlot said.
Officials with the state Department of Health review the number of doses made available for Mississippi to order each week and determine whether to order additional doses, or send the doses to the federal pool for other states to use.
LONDON — The U.K. has recorded its highest coronavirus infections since late February, the majority from the delta variant first identified in India.
Government figures on Friday showed 8,125 new cases, the highest since Feb. 26. The delta variant, which is considered about 40% more transmissible than the previous dominant strain, accounts for more than 90% of all new infections in the U.K.
There are concerns the next planned lockdown easing in England on June 21 may be delayed because of the increase in cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce Monday whether social distancing restrictions will be lifted.
The hope is the rapid rollout of vaccines will break the link between new cases and deaths, especially as most cases are among younger age groups. On Friday, another 17 coronavirus-related deaths were announced, taking the confirmed total to 127,884, the highest in Europe.
ROME — Italy is recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine only for people over age 60, saying younger people who received a first AstraZeneca shot should get Pfizer or Moderna for their second shot.
The government’s scientific committee revised its vaccine strategy after reviewing the latest data on cases of rare blood clots in people who received AstraZeneca. It’s acting now because the virus has drastically decreased, thanks to months of restrictions and a vaccine campaign that inoculated 45% of the population with at least one shot.
While cases of blood clots after a second dose are “extraordinarily rare,” the committee is recommending a different vaccine for a second dose for people under age 60, according to Dr. Franco Locatelli, head of the scientific committee.
Other countries, including France and Canada, have made similar recommendations. The European Medicines Agency still recommends people who received a first AstraZeneca vaccine to follow up with the same shot.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka extended its lockdown for another week, amid a surge of coronavirus deaths in recent weeks.
Sri Lanka is under a nearly three-week lockdown, scheduled to end on June 14. But on Friday, the government announced it will remain until June 21.
The new restrictions come as the coronavirus death toll crossed the 2,000 mark on Friday. It took 14 months to reach the first 1,000 deaths, while the second 1,000 deaths came in just 23 days.
People are banned from leaving their homes, while food and other essentials will be distributed through mobile vendors. However, the government says the ban will not apply to those engaged in essential service such as health, food supply, communications and power sectors. Factories, construction sites and agriculture sectors can operate.
Doctors and health workers have urged the government to keep the existing travel ban to contain the spreading of the coronavirus. Sri Lanka’s total confirmed cases have reached 216,134.
WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators are allowing the release of 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory.
However, material to make many more doses must be thrown out because of possible contamination, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The FDA announced Friday it had determined that two batches from the plant could be released. But it says several other batches are not suitable for use and additional batches are still under review. The doses originated at an Emergent BioSolutions factory, known as Bayview, that is making the vaccine for J&J.
A second person familiar with the decision confirmed it would allow for 10 million doses to be released. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release details about it ahead of its announcement.
— By Zeke Miller and Linda A. Johnson
TOKYO — The question of allowing any local fans into Tokyo Olympic venues is still being debated, with a decision not expected before the end of the month.
Fans from abroad have already been banned in what is shaping up as a largely made-for-television Olympics.
Tokyo organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto originally said she would announce a decision in April but has repeatedly postponed it.
Ticket sales were to account for $800 million in income for the organizing committee. Most of that income will be lost and have to be made up by Japanese government entities.
The postponed Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23.
BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s medical agency has approved the use of Pfizer vaccines against coronavirus for youth ages 12 to 15.
The Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia on Friday says it gave the approval after a “rigorous control” of the scientific data about the clinical trials in other countries.
A senior government health official, Mirsad Djerlek, says a priority would be children with chronic diseases who are at greater risk from COVID-19. Djerlek says Serbia has vaccinated about 37% of adult population in the country of 7 million. He says authorities hope to reach 50% vaccination by the end of this month.
Serbia has mostly used China’s Sinopharm vaccines, along with Pfizer, Sputnik V and AstraZeneca.
Serbia has relaxed rules against the coronavirus after a drop in daily cases and hospitalizations. The Balkan nation has confirmed more than 700,000 infections since the start of the pandemic and nearly 7,000 deaths.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan will spend $1.1 billion in the next fiscal year to import COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate most of the 100 million adult population.
This announcement was made by finance minister Shaukat Tareen on Friday while presenting the annual budget for fiscal 2021-22 in the parliament. Pakistan’s fiscal year begins on July 1.
Pakistan, a nation of 220 million, has so far mainly relied on vaccines import from neighboring China. The latest development comes two days after Pakistan said it has administered 10 million vaccine doses amid a decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths from coronavirus.
Tareen also set a target of achieving 4.8 percent GDP growth in the next fiscal year. Pakistan’s economy has been under pressure since last year when it imposed weeks-long nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Pakistan has registered a total of 938,737 confirmed cases and 21,576 confirmed deaths.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — If China is to meet its tentative goal of vaccinating 80% of its population against the coronavirus by the end of the year, tens of millions of children are going to have to start rolling up their sleeves.
Regulators have taken the first steps by approving two domestically produced vaccines for use in children aged 3 to 17, though no date has been set for the shots to start.
Children have been largely spared the worst of the pandemic, becoming infected less easily than adults and generally showing less severe symptoms when they do contract the virus. But some experts say if countries are going to achieve herd immunity, inoculating children should be part of the plan.
Few regulators around the world have evaluated the safety of COVID-19 shots in kids. The United States, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong are allowing the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12.
China has a population of 1.4 billion, meaning it needs to inoculate 560 million people to reach its goal of 40% vaccination by June and 1.12 billion people to get to the 80% goal. It will be hard to do the latter without vaccinating many of its 254 million children who are younger than 14.
LONDON — The European Medicines Agency has approved a new manufacturing site for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in a move that could substantially boost production for the European Union.
In a statement on Friday, the EU drug regulator says it had approved a site in Monts, France, operated by Recipharm. In addition to the new site approval, the EMA authorized several other sites to conduct batch control and testing.
This month, two locations in the U.S. were approved for production of vaccines destined for the 27-nation EU bloc. Any medicines or vaccines authorized for the EU market must first have their production facilities approved by the EMA.
The EMA says these new approved sites are expected to result in an additional 1 to 2 million vials of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine every month.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government says a two-week nationwide lockdown due to end Monday will be extended for another two weeks as new daily infections remain high at more than 6,000.
Senior Minister Ismail Sabri said the National Security Council made the decision at its meeting Friday. Although daily cases have dropped from its peak of above 9,000 just before the lockdown, he said average daily cases since the lockdown was still high.
The health ministry on Friday reported 6,849 new infections, bringing the country’s confirmed total tally to 646,411. Another 84 deaths raised the confirmed death toll to 3,768.
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