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Experts call for caution as virus surges; COVID-19 cases continue climbing in Provincetown

Vacationers visited Commercial Street in Provincetown, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Vacationers visited Commercial Street in Provincetown, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Coronavirus case counts are once again rising across the US, near and far. Health officials are scrambling to vaccinate as the Delta variant takes hold. Confusion is growing about whether people should be required to mask indoors again, vaccinated or not.

Below, we’re gathering the latest news and updates on coronavirus in New England and beyond.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disparages motives of public health officials — 10:44 a.m.

By Maria Elena Little Endara, Globe Correspondent

A day after CDC officials said new data on COVID-19 spread among vaccinated people prompted them to update mask guidance, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rejected those comments with a tweet casting doubt on public health officials’ motives.

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“Make no mistake—The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” tweeted McCarthy.

But the head of the CDC said on Tuesday that there is new evidence that vaccinated people can spread COVID-19, a development driven by the Delta variant, which she said behaves “uniquely.”

“We have new science related to the Delta variant that requires us to update the guidance,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. “Recent outbreak investigations show that the delta variant behaves uniquely differently. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks.”

The new mask guidance followed recent decisions in Los Angeles and St. Louis to revert to indoor mask mandates amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant. The country is averaging more than 57,000 cases a day and 4,981 new hospitalizations daily according to data from the CDC.

The surge in cases and hospitalizations is particularly bad in the south. One of Louisiana’s largest hospitals stopped taking inpatients due to the influx in COVID patients, while some hospitals in Florida are seeing more COVID patients than ever before.

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Vaccinated US travelers to England will no longer quarantine — 10:28 a.m.

By Bloomberg

American and European Union travelers who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus will no longer need to spend 10 days in quarantine after they arrive in England.

Under plans backed by British ministers on Wednesday, international leisure cruises will also resume after being put on hold for more than a year.

The reforms to travel rules will allow visitors from the U.S. and most EU countries to enter the U.K. on the same basis as Britons who have received two Covid shots. U.K. residents are are no longer required to self-isolate when returning from most medium-risk countries.

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service

Massachusetts employers, especially those in skilled trades, often talk about the need to continuously attract, train and retain workers with in-demand skills, and though they are developing COVID-19 vaccines here, Moderna and Pfizer are not immune to the problem.

During a hearing of the Massachusetts Legislative Manufacturing Caucus on Tuesday, representatives from two drugmakers with physical footprints in Massachusetts told lawmakers that it has become harder to refresh their workforces with skilled workers at a time when they are both looking to increase production.

By Emily Sweeney, Globe Staff

Two bars in Boston and Cambridge are now asking customers to show proof of vaccination.

The Middle East restaurant and nightclub in Cambridge announced their new rule in a Facebook post Tuesday.

“With the Delta Variant currently ripping through the country, The Middle East has made the tough decision to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination as part of entry requirements to our shows and to eat at our restaurants for the time being,” the post said. “We will be following the numbers and information out there and hope this is not a long term policy, but for now, it feels like the right thing to do.”

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By The New York Times

Paullette Healy’s daughter, Kira, hadn’t been inside a classroom for more than 15 months when she started the New York City summer school program in July. Kira, 12, came home from her first day full of stories, eager to show off a portrait she’d drawn of herself as a “COVID vaccine warrior” during arts and crafts.

But by the second week of the program, at William McKinley Middle School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Kira’s excitement turned to worry as she and her mother watched the number of reported cases tick up slightly on the city’s coronavirus dashboard.

“It might not seem like a lot, but it’s still scary,” said Paullette Healy. “Watching the dashboard has become something like an obsession for us because it’s the only way we can see how COVID is affecting classrooms across the city.”

By John Hancock, Globe Staff

COVID-19 is rising around the US, in some places much more aggressively than others.

On Tuesday, the CDC said that it has new data on the Delta variant and its ability to spread in vaccinated people. Therefore, it recommends that in areas with “substantial and high transmission,” even fully vaccinated people wear masks.

Explore the interactive map below to see every county in the US where the CDC is recommending everyone put on a mask indoors in public.

By Bloomberg

Congress’s top doctor late Tuesday reimposed a mask-wearing requirement for everyone, including lawmakers, while they are on the House floor or in House hallways and offices, and alerted senators they should wear masks, too.

A previous House-floor mask requirement for members and staff had been lifted last month. But in his updated guidance to lawmakers, Attending Physician Brian Monahan pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending masks in some indoor spaces to reduce risks in response to the further spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“For all House Office buildings, the Hall of the House, and House Committee Meetings, wearing of a well-fitted, medical grade, filtration face mask is required when an individual is in an interior space and other individuals are present,” Monahan said in a memo.

By Vince Dixon, Globe Staff

Despite the widespread access of highly effective vaccines, COVID-19 is again on the rise.

Many of these cases are coming from a handful of states where vaccine rates are low. In the South, COVID-19 cases and related deaths are well above the national average. During the week of July 19, more than 40 percent of COVID-19 cases came from three states (Florida, Texas, and Missouri), according to public health officials. Most of those cases involve unvaccinated patients.

Here’s a closer look at the problem.

By The Associated Press

Olympics organizers say an additional 16 people accredited for the Tokyo Games have tested positive for COVID, bringing the total to 174 since July 1.

The total includes 20 athletes, though there were no new positive tests among athletes in the cases announced Wednesday. Tens of thousands of people are accredited for the Games.

Tokyo also recorded a record daily high of 3,177 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up from a previous high of 2,848 on Tuesday.

By The Associated Press

The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus deaths globally jumped by 21% in the last week.

Most of the 69,000 deaths were reported in the Americas and Southeast Asia. The U.N. health agency also noted that COVID-19 cases rose by 8% worldwide and that there are now nearly 194 million infections.

WHO said that “if these trends continue, the cumulative number of cases reported globally could exceed 200 million in the next two weeks.” It added that the number of COVID-19 deaths increased in all regions except for Europe. The biggest numbers of cases were reported in the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, the U.K. and India.

By The Associated Press

As Olympics host Tokyo saw another record number of coronavirus cases Wednesday, Japan’s vaccination minister said the speed of the country’s inoculation campaign is less urgent than getting shots to young people, who some health experts are blaming for the current surge in infections.

Vaccination Minister Taro Kono told The Associated Press that Japan is “overshooting” its goal of a million shots a day, so “speed doesn’t matter anymore.” Japan is averaging about 10 million shots a week after a late start.

By Bloomberg

A recent COVID-19 outbreak that started at an airport in the eastern city of Nanjing is testing China’s aggressive containment efforts, with new infections rising by dozens in recent days despite well-honed systems of mass testing and quarantine.

The flareup began after nine workers at the city’s airport were found to have been infected by the virus on July 20 during regular testing. The cluster quickly expanded to their close contacts, then to a handful of other locations, leading to a total of more than 150 infections as of Wednesday. It’s one of China’s biggest outbreaks since a winter wave concentrated in the country’s northeast saw more than 2,000 cases.

By The Associated Press

Tokyo has reported 3,177 new coronavirus cases, setting an all-time high and exceeding 3,000 for the first time days after the start of the Olympics.

The new cases Wednesday exceeded the earlier record of 2,848 set the previous day and bring the total for the Japanese capital to 206,745 since the pandemic began early last year.

By The Associated Press

An Olympic skateboarder who was put in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 called the conditions at the hotel “inhuman” on Wednesday.

Candy Jacobs has been in isolation for eight days and missed the street event in skateboarding’s debut as an Olympic sport. She said she had to force officials to allow her a supervised short break for some fresh air away from her room, where the window doesn’t open.

By Bloomberg

The UK government is set to allow visitors from the US and the European Union to travel to England without needing to quarantine on arrival if they have been fully vaccinated.

The plan will allow American visitors to enter the UK on the same basis as Britons who have received two COVID shots and are no longer required to self-isolate when traveling from most medium-risk countries.

By The Associated Press

Australia’s largest city Sydney will remain in lockdown for another month.

The New South Wales state government announced that the lockdown of the city of 5 million would last at least until Aug. 28, after reporting on Wednesday 177 new infections in the latest 24-hour period. It was the largest daily tally since the cluster was discovered in mid-June.

“I am as upset and frustrated as all of you that we were not able to get the case numbers we would have liked at this point in time but that is the reality,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

More than 2,500 people have been infected in a cluster that began when a limousine driver tested positive on June 16 to the contagious delta variant. The driver had been infected by a U.S. aircrew he transported from Sydney airport.

The death toll from the cluster reached 11 on Wednesday with a woman in her 90s dying in a Sydney hospital.

By The Associated Press

Drivers seeking to leave eastern China’s Jiangsu province will have to show a negative coronavirus test taken in the last 48 hours or be forced to turn around, as infections in the province continue to rise.

The provincial transport department said Wednesday that 93 checkpoints have been set up on highways in the province, whose capital of Nanjing is the epicenter of China’s latest outbreak. Drivers must remain in their vehicles and wear masks while health workers carry out the checks.

The National Health Commission reported 48 new cases in Jiangsu over the previous 24 hours, bringing its total to 154 over recent days. Authorities say the virus being transmitted is the highly contagious delta variant.

The virus continues to spread despite China having administered more than 1.5 billion doses of vaccine — exceeding the entire Chinese population of 1.4 billion.

By Katie Redefer, Globe Correspondent

State officials shut down a Hyde Park public swimming pool after one person who was at the pool Tuesday later tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation immediately closed Olsen Swimming Pool on Turtle Pond Parkway until further notice after one person tested positive for the virus, officials said in a statement.

By Nick Stoico, Globe Correspondent

A coronavirus cluster in Provincetown that has mushroomed since the Fourth of July had expanded to 765 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, the town manager said, as Salem officials reported a “troubling trend” of rising cases in another popular Massachusetts destination community.

Despite the abrupt spike in cases, Provincetown officials are seeing signs of progress in the effort to contain the outbreak, according to a statement posted on Facebook by Town Manager Alex Morse.

By The Associated Press

Nevada officials are re-imposing a mask mandate for indoor public spaces in the state’s cities in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus amid a rise in cases and hospitalizations not seen since before the arrival of vaccines.

Authorities officials said Tuesday the order will align Nevada with a new recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calling for people to use masks even if they are vaccinated.

The increase in cases and the mask requirement could hamper tourism industry efforts to entice visitors and trade shows that power the state’s economy to return following closures last year.

By The New York Times

Confronted with surging infections, California this week became the first state to mandate coronavirus vaccines or regular testing for state employees and health care workers. Starting next month, all public- and private-sector health care workers, along with some 246,000 state government employees, will have to show proof of vaccination. If they cannot, they will be required to wear face masks at all indoor work locations and to be tested at least weekly, and in some cases several times a week.

By The New York Times

Some companies have intensified their efforts to return to a pandemic before-times, easing safety protocols while expecting employees to return to previous routines.

But for many workers, the perception is quite different: a sense of rising vulnerability and frustration even for the vaccinated, who find themselves inundated with stories of breakthrough infections and long COVID-19.

The gulf between employers’ actions and workers’ concerns appears to foreshadow a period of rising tensions between the two, and unions appear to be positioning themselves for it. Some unions are calling on companies to do more to keep members safe, while others are questioning new vaccination requirements. The two positions may seem at odds, but they send a common message: Not so fast.

By The Associated Press

Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner left Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning after testing positive for COVID-19.

Turner, who entered batting .320 with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs, singled and scored in the first inning. The All-Star headed directly up the Nationals tunnel toward the clubhouse after scoring and was replaced by Gerardo Parra in the lineup to start the bottom of the first.

It was later announced in the press box that Turner had tested positive, ending speculation that he was lifted for a possible pending trade or due to injury.

By Brian MacQuarrie and Naomi Martin of Globe Staff

In an alarming sign of the pandemic’s resurgence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday and recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas of higher transmission, including Boston, Cape Cod and the Islands, and Bristol County.

Citing new information about the Delta variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, federal health officials also recommended indoor masks for all students and staff at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.

By The New York Times

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s declaration Monday that more than 300,000 municipal workers in New York City must get vaccinated against the coronavirus or agree to weekly testing was an unwelcome surprise to many of the city’s municipal unions.

Unions representing a diverse city workforce of firefighters and paramedics have come out against the mayor’s mandate.

Some unions have made demands: Exemptions for workers who have antibodies after recovering from COVID-19; workplace testing paid for by the city; overtime for workers who get tested outside work.

By The Associated Press

A man has been arrested and charged in federal court with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families, federal prosecutors in Maryland announced Tuesday.

A criminal complaint filed Monday charges Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, with threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm.

By The Washington Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance Tuesday on wearing masks to help protect against infection from the coronavirus. Under the new recommendations, the agency urges vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in certain circumstances.

By The Associated Press

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says a special session to revisit the state’s ban on mask mandates in schools is an option as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state has surpassed 1,000.

The governor met with legislative leaders Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a holding a session on the ban enacted in April that bans local and state government entities, including schools, from requiring the use of masks.

Facing growing calls to lift the ban, at least for schools. Hutchinson says he is evaluating options for changes. Legislative leaders say they’re talking with lawmakers about what action they woul

By The Associated Press

South Carolina education officials say recently enacted legislation will prevent them from requiring students and employees to wear masks inside schools as a result of a new recommendation from the CDC that even vaccinated people should use face coverings in regions with increasing numbers of coronavirus cases.

A budget proviso that went into effect July 1 prohibits the state’s school districts from using any appropriated funds “to require that its students and/or employees wear a face mask at any of its education facilities.”

The measure was backed by Gov. Henry McMaster, who earlier this year called it “the height of ridiculosity” for a school district to require a mask over any parent’s wishes.

The state Department of Education says on its official Facebook page that it can only encourage the use of face coverings and other COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

By The Associated Press

And just like that, masks were back at the White House.

After insisting for days that vaccinated people were safe from the virus, the White House quickly shifted course Tuesday after federal health officials revised their guidance to recommend indoor masking for the vaccinated in areas where the level of transmission of the coronavirus is substantial or high. That includes Washington, D.C., where updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday found that transmission rates were substantial.

Starting Wednesday, the White House will require all of its employees to again wear masks indoors. White House reporters were asked to follow those guidelines and mask up indoors as well, and those staff and reporters who remained at the White House late Tuesday were already wearing them in the building.

By The Washington Post

European lawmakers and business groups voiced mounting criticism of the Biden administration on Tuesday, after the White House said its restrictions on international travel would remain in place for the time being.

Whereas vaccinated US tourists have been allowed to return to much of Europe for weeks, most Europeans continue to be unable to travel to the United States under a ban that was first imposed by former president Donald Trump in March 2020.

By Edward Fitzpatrick, Globe Staff

Governor Daniel J. McKee on Tuesday said he is not planning to mandate vaccinations for state employees, and he was awaiting federal guidance before deciding whether to recommend masks for school children.

Soon after McKee’s weekly new conference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. The CDC recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

By Naomi Martin, James Vaznis, and Bianca Vázquez Toness, Globe Staff

In an about-face from a few weeks ago, federal public health officials on Tuesday recommended that everyone in K-12 schools wear masks in the coming year, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, prompting mixed reactions of relief and alarm among families and educators in Massachusetts.

By Peter Bailey-Wells, Ryan Huddle, Daigo Fujiwara, and Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

Massachusetts on Tuesday reported 657 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 12 new confirmed coronavirus deaths, and another 7,098 vaccinations administered, the Department of Public Health said.

The state also reported that 152 patients with COVID-19 were in the hospital.

By Alexa Gagosz, Globe Staff

Care New England and Lifespan, Rhode Island’s two largest health care systems, announced Tuesday that they are moving toward mandatory vaccination program for all staff across all operating units.

CNE has required COVID-19 vaccination of students, volunteers, and new hires since July 1. The next step is to require all managers to begin the vaccination series prior to Labor Day, according to Jessica McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the health care system.

By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending students, teachers, staff, and visitors wear masks in K-12 schools this fall, regardless of vaccination status, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus causes COVID-19 cases nationwide to surge.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidance on Tuesday as she outlined new masking guidelines for vaccinated people living in areas with “substantial and high” COVID-19 transmission. Vaccinated people are now encouraged to wear masks indoors when such transmission is occurring.

By Travis Andersen, Globe Staff

Public health specialists on Tuesday praised the CDC for issuing new masking guidelines recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing face coverings indoors in parts of the U.S. where COVID-19 is surging.

“Glad the CDC is finally doing what many of us in public health have been urging,” tweeted Dr. Leana Wen, a commentator and emergency physician who currently serves as a visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. “The reality on the ground has changed, and the Biden administration is acknowledging that their guidance has to change accordingly.”

Citing new information about the ability of the Delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, CDC officials Tuesday also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced an update to its mask-wearing guidance, now suggesting that fully vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public places in areas of the country with “substantial and high” transmission.

So, what does that mean for Massachusetts?

There are five counties in Massachusetts that qualify as “substantial” or “high” transmission areas, according to the CDC.

By Bloomberg

President Joe Biden said he is weighing a requirement for federal workers to get vaccinated as the highly contagious delta variant spreads throughout the U.S.

A vaccine mandate for federal workers is “under consideration,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday after visiting the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The president’s comments reflect the heightened concern among U.S. public health officials about the delta variant. He made the remarks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tightened mask guidance, advising that fully vaccinated individuals cover their faces indoors in places where the virus is rapidly spreading.

By The Associated Press

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has tested positive for the coronavirus and is showing mild symptoms.

Yelich and utilityman Jace Peterson were placed on the COVID-19 injured list, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said Tuesday, adding that Peterson was sidelined due to contact tracing and hasn’t tested positive.

Yelich — who has been vaccinated against the virus — will miss at least 10 days from the date of his positive test and Peterson will miss at least seven days, Stearns said.

By The New York Times

The Washington Post will require all employees to show that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, the newspaper’s publisher said Tuesday.

The Post’s publisher, Frederick J. Ryan Jr., said in an email to staff that the company had decided to require proof of vaccination as a condition of employment, starting when workers return to the office in September, after hearing concerns from many employees about the emergence of coronavirus variants.

“Even though the overwhelming majority of Post employees have already provided proof of vaccination, I do not take this decision lightly,” Ryan wrote in the email, which was viewed by The New York Times. “However, in considering the serious health issues and genuine safety concerns of so many Post employees, I believe the plan is the right one.”

By The Associated Press

Vermont is continuing to lead the country with the highest percentage of its eligible population vaccinated against COVID-19 and a number of other categories, but the state is still urging people to get vaccinated, officials said Tuesday.

Speaking at the regular weekly COVID-19 briefing, Republican Gov. Phil Scott said almost 84% of Vermonters 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 75% of that population is fully vaccinated.

“We are not letting up,” Scott said. “What we are seeing across the country shows exactly why we can’t.”

By The Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

“We have new science related to the Delta variant that requires us to update the guidance,” for vaccinated people, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

Boston City Council President Pro Tempore Matt O’Malley is requiring all in-person council staff to show proof of vaccination or a weekly COVID-19 test starting Aug. 30.

“The requirement comes in light of rising COVID-19 cases,” said O’Malley in a Tuesday memo. “The Delta variant is causing cases to rise nationally for mostly unvaccinated and some vaccinated people as it is more transmissible.”

In the memo, O’Malley said he hoped such guidelines would encourage other Boston employers to implement a similar policy. He also noted that New York City, California, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs recently implemented similar policies.

By Bloomberg

The U.K. reported the highest number of Covid-19 deaths since March, prompting a top government health official to warn the pandemic is “not over yet” despite a continued fall in confirmed cases.

There were 23,511 new coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday, down for a seventh day. But the number of deaths jumped to 131, the most since March 17, according to the latest data.

An increase is consistent with the lag between infections and serious illness from Covid-19, given the U.K. saw a surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant in June and earlier this month.

By The Washington Post

The California State University System said Tuesday it will require faculty, staff, and students who come to campus in the next school year to be immunized against the coronavirus even if federal regulators have not yet given full approval to a vaccine.

Cal State is the nation’s largest four-year public university system, with about 485,000 students on 23 campuses from San Diego to Humboldt County. Its announcement reflected growing apprehension among education leaders nationwide about the threat the virus’s delta variant poses to the coming school year.

By Jim McBride, Globe Staff

The Patriots will be without Devin Asiasi for an undetermined amount of time after the second-year tight end tested positive for COVID-19, a league source confirmed Tuesday.

Asiasi, who has been vaccinated, is not with the team and will need to quarantine. It’s unclear if he is experiencing any symptoms.

In addition, the club has released wide receiver Devin Smith, according to a league source.

Bill Belichick, who said earlier in the day he expected a “full complement” to report for camp, addressed the protocols that are in place as the season commences.

The Patriots lost co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich last week after the offensive line coach refused to be vaccinated, which is required for staff but not for players. Carmine Bricillo, who shared the job with Popovich last year, will have his role expanded this season.

By Janelle Nanos and Zoe Greenberg, Globe Staff

As the Delta variant surges in Massachusetts, that jubilant sense of relief many felt this spring is quickly dimming.

Mask advisories are back. Business owners are sweating another slowdown. Even many of the already-vaccinated worry if their one-shot Johnson & Johnson protection will be enough, or if they should go get another round.

That familiar sense of dread is coming back. And it’s exhausting.

By Alexa Gagosz, Globe Staff

Rhode Island is now considered to have “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus, according to standards by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the past week, there have been more than 57 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, which also represents the first time the state reached a “substantial transmission” rate since tracking began.

The uptick in cases comes as more than 61 percent of all eligible Rhode Islanders (which includes those as young as 12) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the state health department. More than 67 percent of all eligible Rhode Islanders have received at least one dose.

By The Associated Press

The number of daily coronavirus infections has quadrupled in Maine over the last four weeks, and the total count since the start of the pandemic has eclipsed 70,000 cases.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that there have now been more than 70,000 reported cases of the virus in the state, and the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic was 898.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has also risen over the past two weeks from about 14 new cases a day on July 11 to about 61 new cases a day on Sunday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has also risen over the past two weeks from less than one death a day on July 11 to about two deaths a day Sunday.

By The New York Times

Reversing a decision made just two months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend on Tuesday that people vaccinated for the coronavirus resume wearing masks indoors in certain areas of the country.

The agency will specify the areas and circumstances later on Tuesday, officials said.

The change follows reports of rising breakthrough infections with the delta variant of the virus in people who were fully immunized. But the new guidance would mark a sharp turnabout from the agency’s position since May that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most indoor spaces.

As recently as last week, an agency spokesman said that the CDC had no plans to change its guidance, unless there were a significant change in the science. Federal officials met on Sunday night to review new evidence that may have prompted the reversal, CNN reported on Tuesday.

By The Associated Press

Another Massachusetts hospital system has announced that it will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Springfield-based Baystate Health said Monday that the policy that takes effect Oct. 1 also applies to “those working remotely, clinical staff, contractors, volunteers, students, and those conducting business within our health system.”

About 75% of the system’s workers are already fully vaccinated, President and CEO Mark Keroack said in a memo to employees.

“It is now time for the rest of us to do our part to ensure a safe work and care environment by getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.

By The Washington Post

In the months leading up to the Olympic Games, the citizens of Tokyo became extremely worried about the prospect of tens of thousands of foreigners coming in and infecting them with the coronavirus.

Their concerns might have been misdirected. On Tuesday, Tokyo reported 2,848 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily count ever and four times the average at the end of June.

Inside the Olympic bubble, the situation appears much more under control.

By The Associated Press

Thousands of foreigners have left Indonesia in recent weeks, airport records released Tuesday showed, apparently spurred by a brutal pandemic wave and a general shortage of vaccines, which have gone to high-priority groups first.

Indonesia now has the most confirmed daily cases in Asia, as infections and deaths have surged over the past month and India’s massive outbreak has waned. Infections peaked in mid-July, with the highest daily average reported at more than 50,000 new cases each day. Until mid-June, daily cases had been running at about 8,000.

By The Washington Post

Since the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, Greg Locke, the pastor at a Nashville-area church, has repeatedly called COVID a hoax, undermined emergency mandates, and refused to comply with guidance from public health officials.

This week, Locke took his defiance a step further, making a sharp warning regarding mask-wearing.

If “you start showing up [with] all these masks and all this nonsense, I will ask you to leave,” Locke, 45, told scores of Global Vision Bible Church parishioners during his sermon on Sunday. His statement was followed by cheers and applause.

By The Washington Post

The United States is now warning against travel to Israel and several European countries as the more contagious Delta variant fuels coronavirus outbreaks mostly among the unvaccinated.

The State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new travel advisories Monday for Israel, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain, as well as Kyrgyzstan, citing surging case numbers in all five countries.

The warnings came as the White House also said it had no plans to lift broad restrictions on visitors from Britain, Europe’s Schengen region and other nations such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

By The Associated Press

The European Union’s chief executive says the 27-nation bloc has achieved its goal of providing at least one coronavirus vaccine shot to 70 percent of all adults, but she’s urging people to protect themselves against the fast-spreading Delta variant.

The EU, home to around 450 million people, was widely criticized for the slow pace of its vaccine rollout earlier this year. But its executive branch, the European Commission, says that 57 percent of adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that “these figures put Europe among the world leaders” when it comes to vaccination rates.

Von der Leyen said “the catch-up process has been very successful,” but she warned against complacency given the well-established presence in Europe of the Delta variant.

She said: “The Delta variant is very dangerous. I therefore call on everyone — who has the opportunity — to be vaccinated. For their own health and to protect others.”

By The Associated Press

Cambodian authorities have stopped five large containers of water buffalo meat imported from India after determining the shipment was tainted with the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

The Health Ministry said the virus was detected in three of the five shipping containers of frozen meat being brought in by a private company.

By The Associated Press

Tokyo reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, days after the Olympics began.

The Japanese capital reported 2,848 new COVID-19 cases, exceeding the earlier record of 2,520 cases on Jan. 7.

It brings Tokyo’s total to more than 200,000 since the pandemic began last year.

Tokyo is under its fourth state of emergency, which is to continue through the Olympics until just before the Paralympics start in late August.

By The Associated Press

Fiji’s leader is urging people to get vaccinated as the island nation contends with a devastating outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Relative to its population of less than 1 million people, Fiji’s outbreak is currently among the worst in the world.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the nation’s mission was to vaccinate 80 percent of adults by the end of October. About 47 percent of Fijians have had at least one vaccination dose.

He said “lies, misinformation, and unholy insanity” about the vaccine were endangering people.

Fiji has reported a record 1,285 new cases in its latest daily update. It has reported 193 deaths since the outbreak began in April.

Fiji has also reported a further 101 deaths of COVID-19-positive patients that it’s not classifying as coronavirus deaths because the patients had underlying conditions. Before the April outbreak, Fiji had recorded just two COVID-19 deaths.

By Bloomberg News

Just a few weeks ago, much of the world seemed poised to leave COVID behind.

President Biden declared the US close to independence from the virus. Britons hit the dance floor to celebrate “Freedom Day.” Singapore’s legendarily strict government signaled it would begin to loosen its zero-cases approach and make life and travel more manageable.

But if those places were ready to be done with COVID, COVID wasn’t done with them.

By Bloomberg News

New cases of the coronavirus associated with the Tokyo Olympics fell to seven on Tuesday, including two athletes, one of them a tennis player from the Netherlands, organizers said.

The report brings to 155 the total number of cases confirmed through an extensive testing program being implemented to try to maintain safety during the unprecedented pandemic-era games. A total of 16 people had been confirmed positive the previous day.

By The New York Times

They labor in factories in Mexico producing goods US consumers enjoy. But where American communities are awash in unused coronavirus vaccines, Mexican workers are often hard-pressed to find a single shot.

On one recent morning, however, hundreds of workers from the factories known as maquiladoras were waved across the border into San Diego, without visas or passports, and rolled up their sleeves to be vaccinated. An hour later, they were back on production lines in Tijuana.

The goal was to protect not just the workers, but also the closely intertwined US and Mexican economies.

By The Associated Press

The major eastern Chinese city of Nanjing has reported 31 more locally transmitted coronavirus cases, even as national authorities announce that more than 1.5 billion doses of vaccine have been administered around the country.

The new cases reported Tuesday bring Nanjing’s total to more than 90 in recent days. The city has been carrying out mass testing and has put tens of thousands of people under lockdown.

Along with near universal indoor mask wearing, China has utilized such practices to largely contain the domestic spread of the virus.

China has also aggressively pursued vaccinations, with little word of noncompliance. The National Health Commission says 1.55 billion doses had been administered as of Sunday in the country of 1.4 billion people.

By The Associated Press

Australia’s second-most populous city is ending its fifth pandemic lockdown Tuesday as the Victoria state government declares it has beaten an outbreak of the highly contagious coronavirus delta variant for a second time.

The five-day lockdown in Melbourne and across Victoria will allow schools, pubs and restaurants to reopen. But people will not be allowed to have visitors in their homes for two more weeks.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says that “we have seen off two delta outbreaks.”

Meanwhile, the city of Sydney remains in lockdown indefinitely after more than four weeks. Australia’s most populous city is where the delta outbreak began in mid-June when a limousine driver was infected while transporting a U.S. air crew from the airport.

The New South Wales state government on Tuesday reported 172 new infections in the latest 24-hour period, a new daily record.

By The New York Times

The article that appeared online Feb. 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.

Instead, the article claimed, the shots “alter your genetic coding, turning you into a viral protein factory that has no off-switch.”

Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists, who repeated the false claims online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool.

By The New York Times

As coronavirus cases resurge across the country, many inoculated Americans are losing patience with vaccine holdouts who, they say, are neglecting a civic duty or clinging to conspiracy theories and misinformation even as new patients arrive in emergency rooms and the nation renews mask advisories.

The country seemed to be exiting the pandemic; barely a month ago, a sense of celebration was palpable. Now many of the vaccinated fear for their unvaccinated children and worry that they are at risk themselves for breakthrough infections. Rising case rates are upending plans for school and workplace reopenings, and threatening another wave of infections that may overwhelm hospitals in many communities.

By The Associated Press

Missouri’s attorney general has filed suit seeking to halt a mask mandate that took effect Monday in the St. Louis area amid a rise in COVD-19 cases that are burdening a growing number of hospitals around the state.

The mandate requires everyone age 5 or older to wear masks in indoor public places and on public transportation in St. Louis city and St. Louis County even if they are vaccinated. Wearing masks outdoors is strongly encouraged.

The lawsuit by Attorney General Eric Schmitt argues the mandates are “arbitrary and capricious because they require vaccinated individuals to wear masks, despite the CDC guidance that this is not necessary.” It also questions mandating children to wear masks in school, noting they are less likely to become seriously ill.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones defends the mandate, calling the suit frivolous.

Gov. Mike Parson says in a tweet that requiring everyone to wear masks “reduces the incentive of getting the vaccine.”

By Kay Lazar, Globe Staff

Top public health leaders and physicians called Monday for stronger measures to protect children against COVID-19 infection in Massachusetts schools this fall, including requiring masks and even automatically vaccinating students at school — unless parents specifically opt out of the shots.

The appeals for stronger measures punctuated a day-long hearing by lawmakers on whether the state is prepared to vaccinate more than 880,000 children under age 12 once the shots are authorized by federal regulators, which is expected later this fall. But the session quickly expanded to a wider discussion about keeping all schoolchildren safe.

By Jeremy C. Fox, Globe Correspondent

New England’s largest senior health care provider said Monday that it will require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 1, even if the federal government has not fully approved the available vaccines by that date.

Hebrew SeniorLife, a nonprofit Harvard Medical School affiliate with roughly 2,600 employees, also began on Monday to require all new hires to be vaccinated before they begin working, the organization said.

By The Associated Press

The U.N.’s deputy humanitarian chief is warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting conflict-ridden and impoverished countries much worse this year than in 2020, with many facing higher caseloads and rising deaths.

Ramesh Rajasingham said in a closed briefing Monday to the U.N. Security Council that these surges are being fueled by a lack of access to vaccines, the easing of public health measures, increased social mixing, and the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

In his briefing obtained by The Associated Press, Rajasingham says that so far in 2021 almost three-quarters of countries needing humanitarian aid have recorded more pandemic cases or deaths than in all of 2020. He adds that in over one-third of those countries “at least three times more cases or deaths have been recorded this year compared to last.”

By Bloomberg News

A sustained fall in new coronavirus cases in the UK is being cautiously welcomed by scientists, though there’s no consensus on what’s behind it — or whether the current wave of infections has peaked.

The UK recorded 24,950 new cases on Monday, down for a sixth day and well below the 39,950 from a week earlier. Scientists pointed to the end of the soccer European Championship, a period of sunny weather, and the start of the school holidays as potential factors, alongside the vaccine rollout.

By Peter Bailey-Wells, Ryan Huddle, Daigo Fujiwara, and Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

In its first COVID-19 data report since Friday, Massachusetts on Monday reported 1,243 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 7 new confirmed coronavirus deaths, and another 23,889 vaccinations administered, the Department of Public Health said.

The state also reported that 145 patients with COVID-19 were in the hospital.

By The Associated Press

Governor Ned Lamont on Monday urged holdouts to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and said he is not considering new restrictions as infection rates rise.

The governor, a Democrat, said during a news conference on the New Haven Green that vaccines are the best available protection against the virus, including the surging delta variant.

“It’s highly infectious which makes it all the more important right now,” Lamont said. “Anybody with any hesitancy, come forward.”

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Connecticut has risen over the past two weeks from 70.43 new cases per day on July 10 to 194.57 new cases per day on July 24.

Connecticut state has had some of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. Lamont said Monday that more than 80% of state residents age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose.

By The Associated Press

Mississippi health officials reported Monday that the state is seeing its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in months as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.

The state is also experiencing a sharp increase in the percentage of positive tests.

“Our positivity rate is now the same as it was during the worst of COVID-19 in January. Delta is hitting hard,” the Mississippi State Department of Health posted on Twitter.

The department said Monday that 3,608 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Mississippi from Friday through Sunday. That compares to 2,326 reported from Friday through Sunday a week earlier — numbers that were highest in the state since February.

By Bloomberg

As many as 60 percent of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have gone unreported, and the coronavirus has infected nearly 1 in 5 Americans, according to a new model out of the University of Washington.

The model, which aims to mitigate biases in data capture, estimates that 65 million people, or 19.7% of U.S. residents, had been infected as of March 7.

The findings, which appear in Monday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate the U.S. is unlikely to reach community-level protection without continuing an ambitious vaccination campaign.

“That is kind of what we’re seeing now with the delta variant because it’s highly transmissible and it’s ripping through communities of people who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” lead author Nicholas Irons said. “There’s still a lot of potential for more deaths to occur if we don’t stay vigilant, and we don’t try to get as many shots in arms as possible.”

By The Associated Press

One of Louisiana’s largest hospitals has temporarily stopped taking inpatients for nonemergency surgeries because of a steadily increasing influx of COVID-19 patients.

Baton Rouge-based Our Lady of the Lake said it will pause scheduling new nonurgent surgeries that require an inpatient bed for at least three weeks after admitting 25 new COVID-19 patients within the last 24 hours.

Louisiana has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the nation. That is worsening the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.

By The Associated Press

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first major federal agency to require health care workers to get COVID-19 vaccines, as the aggressive delta variant spreads and some communities report troubling increases in hospitalizations among unvaccinated people.

The VA’s move came on a day when nearly 60 leading medical and health care organizations issued a call for health care facilities to require their workers to get vaccinated.

At the VA, vaccines will be now mandatory for specified health care personnel — including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants and others who work in departmental facilities or provide direct care to veterans, said VA Secretary Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough.

By The Associated Press

Infections are climbing across the U.S., and mask mandates and other COVID-19 prevention measures are making a comeback in some places as health officials issue increasingly dire warnings about the highly contagious delta variant.

But in a possible sign that the warnings are getting through to more Americans, vaccination rates are creeping up again, offering hope that the nation could yet break free of the coronavirus if people who have been reluctant to receive the shot are finally inoculated.

Vaccinations ticked up over the weekend, with about 657,000 vaccines administered Saturday and nearly 780,000 on Sunday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 7-day rolling average on Sunday was about 583,000 vaccinations a day, up from about 525,000 a week prior.

By The New York Times

At the urging of federal regulators, two coronavirus vaccine makers are expanding the size of their studies in children ages 5 to 11 — a precautionary measure designed to detect rare side effects including heart inflammation problems that turned up in vaccinated people younger than 30.

Appearing at a televised town-hall-style meeting in Ohio last week, President Joe Biden said that emergency clearance for pediatric vaccines would come “soon.” The White House has declined to be more specific on the timeline, and it was unclear whether expanding the studies will have any effect on when vaccines could be authorized for children.

By The Associated Press

The St. Louis area has become one of the first in the United States to reinstate mask requirements amid a rise in cases that health officials are blaming on low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.

Despite pushback from some elected officials, face coverings became mandatory Monday in indoor public places and on public transportation in St. Louis city and St. Louis County for everyone ages 5 or older — even for those who are vaccinated. Wearing masks outdoors is strongly encouraged, especially in group settings.

“For those who are vaccinated this may feel like punishment, punishment for doing the right thing,” St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday. “I’ve heard that and I feel that frustration. While the vaccination can protect against serious illness, it can’t protect you from being infected with COVID-19 and passing it onto someone else, someone who may be more vulnerable.”

By The Associated Press

California will require state employees and all health care workers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or get tested weekly as officials aim to slow rising coronavirus infections, mostly among the unvaccinated.

The new rule will take effect next month, officials announced Monday. There are at least 238,000 state employees, according to the California controller’s office. Health officials couldn’t immediately provide an estimate on size of the health care workforce in the nation’s most populated state.

About 62% of all eligible Californians are fully vaccinated, and the state has struggled to make significant progress in recent weeks.

By The Washington Post

President Biden said Monday that long-term symptoms of COVID could be considered a disability under federal civil rights laws, an announcement timed to coincide with the 31st anniversary of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act.

“Many Americans seemingly recovered from the virus still face lingering challenges like breathing problems, brain fog, chronic pain and fatigue,” Biden said during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House, where he signed a proclamation commemorating the 1990 law that passed with bipartisan support.

“These conditions can sometimes rise to the level of a disability,” Biden said. “So we’re bringing agencies together to make sure Americans with long covid, who have a disability, have access to the rights and resources that are due under the disability law, which includes accommodations and services.”

By Kay Lazar, Globe staff

State health leaders said Monday they will be sending letters this week to superintendents explaining the process for setting up school-based COVID-19 vaccine clinics and free pooled COVID testing for any district that wants them this fall.

“It’s free. What we do is free,” said Marylou Sudders, the state health secretary, during a hearing by state lawmakers seeking details about how Massachusetts is preparing to deliver vaccines to children younger than 12 once the shots are authorized by federal regulators, which is expected later this fall.

The state plans to heavily rely on school-based health clinics and pediatricians to administer COVID-19 vaccines to youngsters, Sudders said during the hearing, which was held at the Museum of Science in Boston and live streamed online.

More than 880,000 Massachusetts children under 12 will be eligible for the shots when they are authorized, said Margret Cooke, the state’s acting public health commissioner.

By The Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich will miss the start of training camp after testing positive for COVID-19, general manager Chris Ballard announced Monday.

Ballard said Reich’s test results came back late last week and the fourth-year coach, who is fully vaccinated, has been asymptomatic. It’s still unlikely Reich will return to the practice field until early next week.

In Reich’s absence, the Colts plan to split coaching duties between new offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone. Reich will continue to participate through video calls.

By The Associated Press

Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, a critic of mask mandates and public health restrictions during the pandemic, said he, his wife and son have contracted the coronavirus.

He made the announcement on Facebook Sunday night and said he and his wife had been infected last year, but this time around is much more difficult. He has not said whether he has been vaccinated.

“This episode is far more challenging. It has required all my devoted energy,” he said. “We are all under excellent care, and our prognosis is positive.”

Higgins is the second member of Congress to announce in the last week that they’d contracted the virus. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican who represents parts of southwest Florida, said July 19 that he had tested positive. Buchanan said he had been fully vaccinated and was experiencing mild symptoms.

By The Associated Press

While most French health care workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus, a small but vocal minority is holding out. With infections exploding, a new law requiring them to get the shots is exposing the divide.

The French government, which has declared that the nation has officially entered its “fourth wave” of the pandemic, pushed the law mandating COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers, to protect hospitals and avoid a new lockdown. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal says the move isn’t meant to stigmatize reluctant health care workers but to limit risks to the vulnerable people they care for.

The law, adopted by parliament early Monday, also sets up a “health pass” for everyone in order to access restaurants and other public venues. Both measures have prompted intense debate and two straight weekends of protests around France. Health care workers in white coats have been among the demonstrators.

By The Washington Post

Medical groups representing millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health workers on Monday called for mandatory vaccinations of all U.S. health personnel against the coronavirus, framing the move as a moral imperative as new infections mount sharply.

“We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against covid-19,” the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and 55 other groups wrote in a joint statement shared with The Washington Post. “The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it.”

By The Associated Press

Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities.

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota marked a notable shift during a pandemic in which coronavirus dashboards have become a staple for Americans closely tracking case counts and trends to navigate a crisis that has killed more than 600,000 people in the U.S.

In Nebraska, the state actually stopped reporting on the virus altogether for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the official virus emergency, forcing news reporters to file public records requests or turn to national websites that track state data to learn about COVID statistics. The state backtracked two weeks later and came up with a weekly site that provides some basic numbers.

By The Associated Press

New York City will require all of its municipal workers — including teachers and police officers — to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action. While it isn’t a vaccine mandate — no workers will be forced to take a shot — officials hope the inconvenience and discomfort of weekly tests will persuade many to overcome a reluctance to get inoculated.

“This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City,” de Blasio said. “This is about keeping people safe.

By Bloomberg

The Biden administration is keeping foreign travel restrictions in place amid concern about rising Covid-19 case levels as the delta variant spreads, a White House official said Monday.

The administration has faced calls from foreign governments, airlines, and some members of Congress to ease the limits on foreign nationals entering the country, but the official insisted the U.S. position will be guided by public health.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, acknowledged that domestic case levels have been increasing, especially among the unvaccinated, and seem likely to continue to rise in the coming weeks.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against travel to the U.K. as cases there surge. So far, the U.K. hasn’t put any limits on travel from Americans.

By The Washington Post

The U.S. is moving in the “wrong direction” in combating a new wave of Covid-19, and a booster vaccine shot may be needed especially for the most vulnerable, said Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

He said new U.S. recommendations on masking for the vaccinated are under “active consideration,” as the delta variant fuels a surge of infections around the nation. With half of the country still not fully vaccinated, the U.S. faces a worst-case scenario of daily deaths reaching 4,000, the same level as during last winter’s peak, he said.

“I’m not sure if it would be the worst-case scenario but it’s not going to be good,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re going in the wrong direction.”

By The Washington Post

Senior Biden officials are carefully monitoring the impact of the delta variant on Britain, as concerns intensify within the administration about the potential economic damage of the virus to the United States, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

With close to 70 percent of the United Kingdom at least partially vaccinated, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pushed toward a full economic reopening even as new cases rise above 50,000-per-day for the first time since mid-January. Johnson’s government has ended most COVID-related restrictions in England, despite objections from many public health officials.

By The Washington Post

French lawmakers early on Monday approved a controversial law that will provide vaccinated people with privileged access to restaurants, cafes, intercity transportation and other venues starting in August - and has drawn nationwide protests over the past two weeks.

Access to venues covered by the law will also be possible with a recent negative coronavirus test or proof of immunity through infection, while anyone who does not meet these qualifications may not legally enter.

By The Associated Press

The International Tennis Federation says Dutch player Jean-Julien Rojer has tested positive for COVID-19 and been withdrawn from the doubles tournament with partner Wesley Koolhof.

The eighth-seeded pair were scheduled to play Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus of New Zealand. Daniell and Venus received a walkover into the quarterfinals.

Rojer has been placed in isolation.

By Bloomberg

Japanese Olympics organizers reported sixteen more coronavirus cases, including three infections among athletes, as the spectator-free Tokyo games continued under tight restrictions.

Those who tested positive included contractors and employees of Tokyo 2020, according to a statement on the organizer’s website, as well as eight others connected to the Games whose exact roles weren’t made clear. Six of the total are residents of Japan, though the statement didn’t identify the nationalities of the athletes or the events they were scheduled to compete in.

By Bloomberg

Sydney’s daily Covid-19 cases climbed and are expected to keep rising after thousands took to the streets over the weekend in defiance of the lockdown restrictions sweeping parts of Australia.

The city of almost 6 million people recorded 145 new cases Monday, up by a handful from the day before, with half of the people active in the community while infectious. There have been 2,226 cases since the latest outbreak began in mid-June, fueled by the contagious delta variant. The majority of cases were recorded in areas of southwest Sydney.

By The New York Times

Mark Valentine knows that his brother Phil Valentine, a prominent conservative radio host who scoffed at the need to get vaccinated, has had a big impact on how his listeners have viewed the pandemic and their own response to it.

“The fact of the matter is a lot of people didn’t get the vaccine because he didn’t,” Mark Valentine said.

But after Phil Valentine was infected with COVID-19, was hospitalized in critical condition and he issued a statement advising others to get the vaccine, the news has divided his fans and critics — who continue to clash over Valentine’s culpability in his own illness and his influence on listeners who, like him, waved off the opportunity to get vaccinated.

By The New York Times

At least 17 people were infected with the coronavirus after they attended a country music festival in Michigan, health authorities said.

The Faster Horses Festival, held July 16-18 in Brooklyn, Michigan, was the state’s first major music festival since the pandemic began. Some of the people were at the festival while they were infectious, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.