The challenges of the CDC new guidelines for those vaccinated, young adolescents are starting to get vaccinated and the pandemic is raging in South Asia. Here’s what you need to know:
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CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can forgo masks in most settings
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Americans fully vaccinated can forgo masking and social distancing in most indoor and outdoor environments. Masks will still be needed for everyone on public transportation and may still be needed elsewhere depending on state or local laws and individual company mask policies. Health care facilities, such as a hospital or doctor’s office, also have their own guidelines. President Biden presented the announcement as a “milestone” and urged eligible Americans who have not yet been vaccinated. Earlier this week, his administration also announced a new dealing with Uber and Lyft it will help people get to vaccination sites.
The new CDC guidelines are based on real-world studies from Israel and the United States that have demonstrated the effectiveness of the shots. However, as the New York Yankees demonstrated this week, revolutionary infections are still possible. Eight people who work for the baseball team, all fully vaccinated, recently tested positive for Covid-19. Almost all of the cases were asymptomatic, but some experts say this is an example of why it may be good to keep this mask on for part of the time when large swathes of the population are still unvaccinated.
Young teens start getting vaccinated in time for the start of the school year
On Monday, the FDA determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was safe for children. 12 to 15 years old. Following a CDC recommendation two days later, younger teens across the country started getting vaccinated. Fortunately, this news arrives well before the start of the new school year and earlier than expected. But even if schools are able to largely resume in-person classes next fall, they will likely look different than they did before the pandemic. For example, the New York City Department of Education recently announced that due to the technology it invested in during the pandemic, snow days would become distance learning days.
In response to expanding vaccine eligibility in the United States, some people expressed their concerns whether it is ethical to vaccinate relatively healthy children while the virus is raging elsewhere. But experts say teens should get the shot. The CDC added that children can other routine vaccinations within two weeks of receiving their Covid injections.
Cases remain high in South Asia as WHO reclassifies variant identified in region
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization added a fourth mutation to its list of “Concerning variants”: B.1.617, first detected in India. The strain has been reclassified because it appears to be more transmissible and may be more resistant to protections and treatments. In the UK, cases of the B.1.617 variant are on the increase and authorities refine their approach Therefore. A “rapid response” team is being deployed to a city where the mutation is spreading rapidly, and the government may also postpone the date of second doses in affected areas.
In India, the pandemic is still raging. The WHO on Wednesday reported that the new cases in the country represented half of total reported cases around the world last week. The cases are also outbreak in neighboring Nepal, where nearly half of the Covid tests have been positive. Supplies are scarce and wealthy climbers who are in the country to climb Mount Everest have been urged to surrender their used oxygen cylinders so they can be recharged for Covid patients.
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What are the advantages of working from home?
In 2020, nearly 70% of full-time employees started working from home. These days, as companies begin to consider their plans for returning to the office, it is worth recognizing the advantages of remote work for those who have the opportunity. Not commuting can be a huge time and energy saver. And when everyone in an organization is working from home, employees have the ability to connect with coworkers wherever they are and, to some extent, on their own schedule. For some, being away from the office actually makes it easier to concentrate. While many offices seem likely to reopen at least partially, the past year has demonstrated the benefits of offering some flexibility to workers.
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