Newest information: Arkansas governor rejects federal mandates | Nationwide information
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says the federal immunization mandates announced by President Joe Biden last week violate efforts to overcome public opposition to the ingestion of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Republican governor was notable for working to convince reluctant Arkansas residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. But in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Hutchinson said a comprehensive federal vaccination mandate “hardens the resistance.”
The far-reaching rules dictate that all employers with more than 100 workers require a vaccination or test for the virus weekly, which affects around 80 million Americans. And the 17 million or so health care workers who receive Medicare or Medicaid funding from the federal government must also be fully vaccinated.
Hutchinson said the federal requirements were “counterproductive” and would hinder rather than support government vaccination efforts.
“We talked about having vaccination requirements in schools in the past,” he said. “But they always came at the state level, never at the federal level.”
“And this is an unprecedented assumption of federal mandate violence that really upsets and divides the country. It divides our partnership between the federal and state governments. And it increases the divide on vaccination if we should all try to increase vaccination intake together, ”he added.
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WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
LONDON – The UK Health Secretary said on Sunday that authorities decided not to require vaccination cards for entry to nightclubs and other crowded events in England and reversed course against opposition from some supporters of the Conservative government in Parliament.
Sajid Javid said the government has put the idea of vaccine passports on hold for the time being but may reconsider the decision if COVID-19 cases rise exponentially again.
“We’ve been looking at it carefully and should keep it in reserve as a possible option, but I’m happy to announce that we won’t be pursuing vaccine passport plans,” Javid told the BBC.
The U-turn came just days after the government vaccine minister and minister of culture suggested that vaccination certificates would still be required despite growing opposition from lawmakers. Such passports are required in other European countries such as France.
Members of the ruling Conservative Party in particular have criticized such passports as an unacceptable burden on businesses and as a violation of the human rights of residents.
PRISTINA, Kosovo – The Kosovar authorities decided on Sunday to postpone the start of the school year next week and tightened restrictive measures after a steady increase in daily cases.
The government decided to postpone the opening of elementary, secondary and high schools from Monday to September 26, the second two-week postponement, because “the epidemiological situation with COVID-19 in Kosovo remains serious”.
It was also decided that there will only be a limited number of “necessary staff” present in public facilities and that all present will have to provide confirmation that they have been vaccinated or recently tested.
Students will also need to show a virus test or vaccination certificate to enter university halls or book a room in their dormitories later this month.
DHAKA, Bangladesh – Bangladesh has reopened schools and other educational institutions after 543 days of closure as the virus situation eases and more people are vaccinated.
Schools closed on March 17, 2020 after the virus hit the country of over 160 million people. Authorities decided to reopen after vaccinating nearly 97% of the country’s teachers and staff, the government says.
Students arrived in schools on Sunday morning wearing masks decorated with balloons and ribbons. Many schools in the capital Dhaka and elsewhere gave sweets and chocolates to children.
Education Minister Dipu Moni warned on Sunday against a lax enforcement of security measures. Initially, each class will attend once a week, authorities say.
The daily numbers of deaths and positive cases have declined in recent weeks. In the past week, an average of 55 people have died, while in late July the daily death toll was around 250. Bangladesh has recorded 26,880 deaths and more than 1.5 million cases. The government says most adults in Bangladesh will be vaccinated by the end of this year.
TOKYO – The Japanese government says more than 50% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Japan’s vaccine rollouts began in mid-February, months behind many wealthy countries due to lengthy clinical testing requirements and the lengthy approval process. Vaccinations for elderly patients, which began in April, have also been slowed by supply shortages of imported vaccines, but the pace picked up in late May and has since reached 1 million doses per day.
Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is responsible for COVID-19 measures, said on the weekly talk show on public television NHK on Sunday that around 60% of the population is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of September, which is the current level in Europe.
The government is currently reviewing a roadmap to ease restrictions in November. That would allow people who were fully vaccinated and tested negative to travel, gather to parties, or attend mass events.
BEIJING – China reported 46 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, including 20 locally acquired cases in a southern province where authorities are trying to contain an outbreak. No deaths were reported.
Nineteen of the locally acquired infections occurred in Putian in Fujian province and one in nearby Quanzhou, the National Health Commission reported. All other infections were acquired abroad, it said.
China’s death toll is 4,636 out of 95,199 cases.
The health commission announced on Saturday that it would send experts to Putian to monitor the disease control work.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand is buying an additional 500,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine from Denmark to keep its coronavirus vaccination program in full swing, the government said.
The cans are in addition to New Zealand’s regular supplies from Pfizer and arrive a few days after officials announced a similar deal with Spain for more than 250,000 additional cans. New Zealand has been slow to get its vaccination program up and running, but demand has increased since a Delta variant outbreak in Auckland last month.
As a result, the country threatened to run out of dose before a large scheduled delivery in October. The New Zealand government has tried to completely eradicate the virus in Auckland by imposing a lockdown, but finds the Delta variant difficult to eradicate as an additional 20 daily cases were reported in the community on Sunday. Approximately 54% of people in New Zealand have received at least one dose and 28% are fully vaccinated.
YUCAIPA, California – The husband of a California nurse who died of COVID-19 more than two weeks ago has died after battling the disease himself.
A family member told news channel KTLA-TV that Daniel Macias, from Yucaipa, died Thursday, leaving five young children, including a newborn girl. He and his wife Davy Macias contracted COVID-19 after taking a family trip to the beach and an indoor water park.
They were hospitalized days apart, and there a doctor gave birth to the couple’s daughter a few days before Davy Macias died. Her brother said she was reluctant to get vaccinated because she was pregnant.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Hospitals in Iowa’s second largest city restrict voting procedures as patient numbers have increased, in part caused by a surge in COVID-19 admissions.
The Cedar Falls Gazette reports that both UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital and Mercy Medical Center confirmed Friday that their facilities are adding capacity due to the high patient numbers in recent weeks. Cedar Rapids hospitals had not delayed or postponed any elective surgeries and procedures since last fall.
St. Luke’s limits operations that require hospitalization to 10 per day.
Mercy officials confirmed it will temporarily reduce the number of elective procedures that require hospital stays after surgery.
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