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As fall arrives, academic models are predicting for coronavirus case counts to rise across the US as the virus attacks the unvaccinated, people gather inside in cooler weather, and immunity wanes among those who were vaccinated months ago.

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

Here is what scientists know about the risk of breakthrough COVID deaths — 5:45 p.m.

New York Times

The death of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday from complications of COVID-19 has provided fuel for vaccine skeptics and opponents, who immediately seized on the news that Powell had been vaccinated to stoke doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

But Powell’s immune system had most likely been weakened by multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. Both the disease and the treatment can make people more susceptible to infections.


His age, 84, may also have increased his risk, scientists said.

Powell received his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in February, said Peggy Cifrino, his longtime aide. He had been scheduled for a booster last week but fell ill before he received it, she said.

By The Washington Post

The USOPC’s top doctor said Monday that some American athletes have complained about the organization’s new requirement that everyone using its facilities or participating in an event, including the Beijing Winter Olympics, must be vaccinated.

“The response is as you would expect: Within our general population, there are some people who are extremely happy that they introduced this policy,” Jonathan Finnoff, the USOPC’s chief medical officer said during the organization’s Olympic Summit. “Then there are others who are upset and would not like to have any mandate regarding vaccinations.”

Finnoff added that the number of athletes who have questioned the mandate “is a very small minority.”

He said he and his staff are talking to those athletes in one-on-one conversations “and talk through why they’re disappointed and why we made this decision.”

USOPC leadership announced the mandate last month, just days before Beijing organizers and the IOC announced their own set of more restrictive measures that Finnoff warned would supersede the U.S. policy. The USOPC mandate allows for medical and religious exemptions, while Beijing’s will consider medical exemptions but won’t grant any for religious purposes.

Athletes who are granted medical exemptions will have to quarantine in Beijing for 21 days before they can begin practicing for their events.

By The Associated Press

Despite getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Colin Powell remained vulnerable to the virus because of his advanced age and history of cancer, highlighting the continued risk to many Americans until more of the population is immunized.

By Bloomberg

COVID-19 has surged seven-fold in Wyoming’s state prison system.

Testing found 148 total cases in the state’s five correctional facilities last week, up from just 19 the prior week, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

That’s the highest since last winter’s surge, the newspaper reports.

By The Associated Press

Mexico’s capital returned to the lowest level on its COVID-19 pandemic warning system Monday for the first time since June.

By Bloomberg

Some U.S. schools are starting to lift mask mandates as the latest Covid-19 wave fades, and case trends suggest others may soon follow.

At least a half dozen school districts across the country have recently lifted their mandates, the first such swing away from the face coverings, according to Burbio, which tracks the developments and runs a dashboard on schools.

By The Associated Press

The Vermont Department for Children and Families is using federal COVID-19 relief money to help regulated child care providers survive the pandemic.

The Child Care Stabilization Grants will cover unexpected COVID-19 pandemic costs and help child care businesses stabilize operations.

DCF Commissioner Sean Brown said an online application and tutorial will be emailed to all regulated child care providers by Oct. 22. Awards will be distributed monthly beginning next month. If funding allows, they will continue for a year.

“They have cared for and nurtured our youngest residents while supporting our workforce,” Brown said in a statement. “These grants represent an unprecedented opportunity to invest in, support and stabilize this critical sector of our economy.”

Some of the approved expenses include payroll and salaries, employee benefits, rent, personal protective equipment and other supplies.

By The Associated Press

Chicago’s police chief has put into writing a threat that officers could be fired if they don’t comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, adding that those who choose to retire rather than adhere to the policy might be putting their retirement benefits at risk.

In a memo sent Sunday night, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said that those officers who do choose to retire rather than comply “may be denied retirement credentials,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

As it has done throughout this dispute, the Fraternal Order of Police posted instructions on its website about what officers should do if given a direct order to report on the city portal their vaccination status. This time, it posted a letter that officers can sign and present to their superiors.

“Complying with this INVALID order and the violation of MY Bargaining, Constitutional and Civil Rights has furthermore caused me severe anxiety while challenging both my religious and moral beliefs. I am in fact complying with this because I am being forced to do so under complete duress and threats of termination,” the document on the website reads.

By The Associated Press

Cam Newton says he has been vaccinated against contracting COVID-19 and is ready to return to the NFL.

The quarterback who was cut by New England just before the season began published a video on his YouTube channel saying it’s time to get back into pro football. He is a free agent.

“Hell yeah, I still want to play football,” Newton said in the video. “I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”

The 2015 NFL MVP was the Patriots’ starter for most of 2020, when they went 7-9 during a pandemic-impacted season. But New England went with first-round draft choice Mac Jones this year and released the 32-year-old Newton.

There were COVID-19 related issues for Newton last season, and he was absent for three preseason practices this summer in what the team termed a misunderstanding about protocols.

Newton was not vaccinated when he was released, but says he now is. He added that “side effects weren’t beneficial to me” for not getting the vaccine, but was not specific about those side effects.

By The Associated Press

Slovenia’s populist prime minister on Monday blamed a rise in COVID-19 infections on protests in early October that erupted into clashes between police and thousands of opponents of vaccination and coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa was responding in parliament to opposition criticism over the use of force by police against the protesters, including tear gas and water cannons. Jansa defended police actions, accusing the demonstrators of attacking the police.

“Forty police officers were injured, and some rioters were slightly injured,” Jansa said of the unrest that erupted on the eve of a major European Union summit in Slovenia in early October. “It is quite clear who was inflicting violence.”

The protesters came out to criticize virus containment measures and the use of COVID-19 passes, which must be used to go to work in all state-run firms. People must show that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus or must provide a recent negative PCR test.

About 25 protesters were detained and several were injured or hospitalized — mostly for inhaling tear gas. An AP video journalist was sprayed by a water cannon and hit in the head with an unknown object during the police intervention.

Jansa rejected a possibility of spiraling violence in Slovenia as the result of police action against the protesters, saying instead that the nation faces spiraling infections.

Slovenia on Monday reported 364 new confirmed cases, almost double compared to a week ago, STA said. The country of 2 million people has vaccinated about half of the population. Nearly 5,000 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

By The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said she’s hearing from New Hampshire residents who have been unable to access timely COVID-19 testing, so she’s encouraging the Biden administration to ensure that testing supplies are going to areas with the highest need.

“I heard from a New Hampshire family whose daughter had symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 — and they did not get test results back for nearly two weeks, so she had to stay home that entire time,” Hassan wrote in a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“Another parent shared with me that they visited six different pharmacies in search of an at-home COVID-19 antigen test. Sadly, these individuals’ stories are far too common,” she wrote.

Hassan has asked for a response by Nov. 12 with information on how the administration plans to collect data on shortage areas, and how it will use the data to inform manufacturing and distribution to ensure that testing supply meets demand.

She supported the Biden administration’s Oct. 6 announcement of a $1 billion investment to increase the availability of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests and encouraged it to “build upon this investment to make sure that the tests are available where they are needed most.”

By The Associated Press

Belarus on Monday ordered a halt to routine medical care at state clinics in order to devote more resources to coronavirus patients.

The Health Ministry said the suspended services include medical examinations and screenings, physiotherapy and dentistry.

Belarus has been hit by a rising wave of coronavirus infections, with around 2,000 new cases reported daily in the country of 9.3 million.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has often brushed off concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, once saying that infections could be treated with “a tractor, a bath and vodka.”

Only about 20% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Overall for the pandemic, Belarus has registered about 574,000 infections — about 6% of the population — and 4,417 deaths.

By The Associated Press

One of the world’s last three countries to administer COVID-19 vaccines started giving out doses on Monday as the East African nation of Burundi launched its national campaign.

The vaccinations started in the commercial capital, Bujumbura, though health workers told The Associated Press that barely more than a dozen people had received doses by mid-afternoon. Recipients included the ministers of health and security.

Only North Korea and the Horn of Africa nation of Eritrea have not administered any COVID-19 vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.

The vaccination campaign began after Burundi received a half-million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. Targeted groups for the doses are health workers, the elderly and people with incurable diseases, Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana said last week.

But hesitation remains among some officials. On Sunday, Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni asserted, without evidence, that the government has the responsibility to tell citizens that “the vaccine has a lot of consequences not even known by the specialists who created the vaccine.”

By The Associated Press

One of the largest indoor venues in northern New England is going to start requiring visitors to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.

Cumberland County officials said the new rules will go into effect Friday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The county said the rules will apply to attendees of events age 12 and over, and it added that mask use is also strongly recommended.

The arena is the home venue of the Maine Mariners minor league hockey team. It also sometimes hosts University of Maine Black Bears hockey, as well as concerts and other large events.

The county said in a statement that the new rules “will remain in place until further notice, but are likely to change based on the severity of the pandemic in Cumberland County and as vaccination becomes available for more age groups.”

By The Associated Press

Italy’s president on Monday strongly criticized the violence that has erupted amid protests over the country’s new coronavirus workplace health pass requirement, saying it appeared aimed at jeopardizing Italy’s economic recovery.

By The New York Times

Just a week after lifting a lockdown that lasted more than 100 days, Sydney has further eased restrictions after the state of New South Wales passed its target of fully vaccinating 80% of the eligible population.

On Monday, thousands of children returned to school after months of home learning. Up to 20 fully vaccinated people can gather in a private home, and there is no limit on the number of fully vaccinated people who can attend a funeral or wedding.

By Bloomberg

Valneva SE’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine elicited better immunity than AstraZeneca Plc’s shot in a clinical trial that will pave the way for regulatory submissions and sent the shares up as much as 46%.

Patients had more antibodies -- a proxy for protection against the coronavirus -- and fewer side effects after two doses of the Valneva vaccine in a U.K. study of about 4,000 adults, the drugmaker said Monday. Both groups had the same number of Covid cases and no patient got severely ill, the company said.

By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

State managers are scheduled Monday to start asking state workers why they failed to meet the Baker administration’s Sunday deadline for proving they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The administration on Monday did not immediately provide the number of state workers who have balked at the complying with the vaccine mandate, a stance that could lead to suspension or termination by the administration.

By Bloomberg

Surging Covid cases in the U.K. have left the country behind the rest of Europe with former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb calling for urgent research into a mutation known as delta plus.

By The Associated Press

Russia’s total number of coronavirus infections has topped 8 million, more than 5% of the population, and the daily infection toll hit a new record.

The national coronavirus task force said Monday that 34,325 new infections over the past day raised the pandemic-long total to 8,027,012. It also said 998 people died of COVID-19 in the previous day, bringing the total number of deaths to 224,310.

The death toll is minutely lower than the record 1,002 tallied on Saturday, but shows the country continuing to struggle with the virus as vaccination rates remain low.

Russian authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccinations with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and conflicting signals from officials stymied the efforts. The task force said Monday that about 45 million Russians, or 32% of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.

By Bloomberg

The Czech Republic shortened the limit for receiving the third dose of Pfizer/Biotech vaccine to six months from eight months.

The move follows an acceleration in the spread of the coronavirus during the last week in the nation of 10.7 million, with 787 new cases reported on Sunday, the highest number on any Sunday since April.

By Bloomberg

The European Union exported over 1 billion vaccine doses to more than 150 countries over the past 10 months, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

The EU and the U.S. are joining forces to deliver more doses to low- and middle-income countries and will rally Group of 20 leaders around the effort later this month. The EU committed to donate at least 500 million doses to vulnerable countries in coming months. It has delivered 87 million so far.

By The Associated Press

Egypt’s government will soon require public servants to have a vaccination certificate or show a weekly negative COVID-19 test before entering their workplaces.

The government announced the new measures late Sunday. It said the requirements will be applied starting November 15. The measures also require public to show proof of vaccination to enter government buildings starting December 1, according to a government statement.

The idea is to encourage people to get vaccinations, as the country of over 100 million people suffers through a fourth wave of the pandemic.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said the government has secured more than 62 million shots of COVID-19 vaccine, with 7.8 million more shots expected to arrive this month.

She said around 31.7 million shots have been given to residents since the vaccination campaign was launched in January.

By Bloomberg

China is seeing a new cluster of cases in its northwestern provinces, with eight infections detected since Sunday.

The resurgence has been traced to two retired university lecturers from Shanghai who were infected in Shaanxi Province. Since then, over 1,500 close contacts have been identified and six more people found to have the virus in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

Xi’an, the Shaanxi capital that’s home to some 13 million people and the location of the Terracotta Army, is preparing to roll out a citywide testing program, according to the Global Times.

By Bloomberg

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended a lockdown in Auckland for at least another two weeks, but said a vaccination target would be introduced on Friday to give people an indication of when restrictions could be eased.

Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3, meaning people cannot leave the city and should stay at home where possible, Ardern told a press conference Monday in Wellington. She said a vaccination target will provide the city, which has already been locked down for two months, a pathway out of restrictions.

“We need to keep going with both tools, restrictions and vaccinations, because with delta we cannot rely on just one,” Ardern said. “If we get this right, if we keep case numbers low while we vaccinate people, then it makes it easier for us to keep control of Covid while we ease restrictions in the future.”

By The Associated Press

Australia’s Queensland state announced plans Monday to open up to vaccinated travelers, ending the status it has enjoyed throughout the pandemic of remaining virtually free of COVID-19.

Queensland and Western Australia have been among the states most successful in keeping COVID-19 out, and they also were among the most reluctant to relax their strict border controls after the highly contagious delta variant took hold in New South Wales state in June and spread through Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Queensland authorities warned infection rates would rise and remain high for months.

“For almost 600 days for nearly two years we have kept the virus out of Queensland,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said. “Those days will soon come to an end. This will be the end of the zero COVID for Queensland.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said fully vaccinated travelers would be allowed into the state without quarantining when 80% of the state’s population aged 16 and older was vaccinated. That benchmark is expected to be achieved by Dec. 17.

Travelers would also need to test negative to COVID-19 within three days before entering the state.

Vaccinated travelers will be allowed into Queensland when 70% of the target population is vaccinated, a target expected to be reached by Nov. 19, but will face restrictions including 14 days of quarantine on arrival.