Home Health Memorial Day travel; CVS and Kroger offer vaccine incentives

Memorial Day travel; CVS and Kroger offer vaccine incentives


With coronavirus cases dropping and 50% of American adults fully vaccinated, Memorial Day weekend figures to test whether the U.S. can avoid the spikes in infections and hospitalizations that occurred amid and after the winter holidays before vaccines were widely available.

According to AAA, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home between Thursday and Monday – a 60% jump compared to last year, but still 6 million people are fewer than the pre-pandemic Memorial Day weekend weekend 2019.

“If you are vaccinated, you’re protected, and you can enjoy your Memorial Day,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday. “If you’re not vaccinated, our guidance has not changed. You remain at risk of infection. You still need to mask and take other precautions.”

Walensky’s comments come after the CDC mask guidance was revised to say that fully vaccinated Americans can discard masks and the need for social distancing outdoors and in most indoor settings. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that 49% of Americans feel unsure about adjusting to in-person interactions once the pandemic ends. Similarly, 46% said they don’t feel comfortable returning to their pre-pandemic life.


“The return to normalcy is not a quick jump; it’s incremental,” Jenny Englerth of Family First Health explained to the York Daily Record, part of the USA TODAY Network. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicted last week that virus deaths and cases would continue to plummet through the middle of summer.

Also, in the news:

►Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC on Friday that the U.S. is taking “a very close look” at the possibility of using vaccine passports for international travel. However, officials must ensure any passport system “is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised,” Mayorkas said.

►CVS offers a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl, a Bermuda vacation, or cash prizes to bring in more customers for COVID-19 vaccinations. Kroger also offers customers, workers, or individuals who get the shot the chance to win $1 million or free groceries for a year.

►According to the country’s drug regulators, Mexico authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use.

►Just over 50 days from the start of the Olympics, Japan on Friday extended its COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas for 20 more days. The Games have already been delayed a year, but worries about variants and Japan’s slow vaccine rollout have raised fears of a possible cancellation.

►Oxford University is launching an effort to bring together academic, industry, and government experts worldwide to use the lessons learned from COVID-19 in the fight against future pandemics.

►A Tennessee woman faces felony reckless endangerment charges after sping through a vaccine clinic, shouting “No vaccine,” the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 33.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 593,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global total: Over 169.1 million cases and 3.51 million deaths. Over 132.7 million Americans have been fully vaccinated — 40% of the population.

📘 What we’re reading: Numerous studies conducted since last March have shown a depression spike among college-age young adults and an increase in anti-depressant drug refills. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox, and join our Facebook group.

updated its guidelines for summer camps Friday, saying centers, where everyone is fully vaccinated, can safely open at total capacity and without masks or physical distancing. For those not fully vaccinated, including children above 2, mask use and physical distancing are still “strongly encouraged” indoors and in crowded outdoor settings.

“Although fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, camp programs should be supportive of campers or staff who choose to wear a mask,” according to the guidelines. “Camps may also choose to continue to require masks for vaccinated and not fully vaccinated campers and staff.”

More: Thousands of summer camp counselors can’t come to the U.S. because of COVID-19 visa holdups

The new guidelines urged camps to use multiple prevention strategies, including testing, health checks, and hand washing, to limit the spread of COVID-19. The guidance suggests that camps where not everyone is fully vaccinated could also group campers into cohorts that stay together throughout the day and distance themselves to minimize exposure.

The agency’s previous guidance issued in April called for campers and staff to wear masks at all times, even outdoors, and to physical distance. The new recommendations align more closely with the CDC’s guidance released on May 14 that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks or physical length except when required by other state or local ordinances.

Joe Biden appeared at a rock climbing facility in Alexandria, Virginia, alongside Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday to tout the state’s progress in combating the coronavirus. Northam said more than half of Virginia’s adults are fully vaccinated, and case counts have dropped for weeks. Overnight, Northam lifted all social distancing and capacity limits two weeks earlier than initially planned.

He thanked Virginians who have gotten vaccinated and Biden for his support. “We are closer to a normal life than we have been in the last 14 months,” Northam said. “We are further along in this fight than anyone thought possible,” Biden added. “We aren’t just saving lives; we’re getting our lives back.” The president also urged Virginians and Americans to continue vaccinating to meet his goal of getting 70% of adults their first shot by July 4.

growing list of treatments approved by the FDA for COVID-19. Lenzilumab focuses on preventing and treating an overactive immune response commonly known as a “cytokine storm,” which causes the immune system to kill healthy and diseased tissue.

In a Phase 3 study, the drug improved the likelihood of survival without ventilation by 54% in newly hospitalized patients. Survival was enhanced by 92% in patients who also took certain steroids and remdesivir.

“There is a need for hospitalized patients who require supplementary oxygen,” said Dr. Cameron Durrant, Humanigen’s chief executive officer. “Treatments can be lifesaving; despite vaccinations, infections and significant breakthrough disease will continue.” – Adrianna Rodriguez.

safety precautions.

“It’s outrageous that there are still COVID-19 outbreaks taking place in immigration detention six months after vaccines have been approved and given that there was a surplus of the unused vaccine in the United States,” said Eunice Cho, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project. – Daniel Gonzalez, Arizona Republic, and Maria Clark, The American South

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next month.

“This is all to incentivize and build momentum,” Newsom said. Ten vaccinated residents 12 years and older will have the chance to win 1.5 million dollars apiece, and another 30 will win $50,000 each on June 4 and June 11. Anyone 12 and older who has received at least one shot will be eligible, even if they have already received their photo.

The state also gives $50 grocery or prepaid gift cards to the following 2 million Californians who begin and complete their vaccination starting Thursday. California isn’t the first state to offer vaccine lotteries or cash vaccination incentives. Read more about the other’s conditions here.

Contributing: The Associated Press.