Millions of students in Florida, Texas and Arizona are being asked to wear masks in class as school boards in most Democratic districts impose anti-COVID mandates in defiance of their Republican governors.
All three states are hotspots in the country’s recent surge in the novel coronavirus, and challenger councils in Miami, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and elsewhere are arguing that requiring masks protects students from contracting and spreading the virus as children’s hospitals fill up.
governments. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona argue that children are safe without masks and such decisions should be left to parents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and most pediatric organizations support masking.
— From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:50 a.m. ET
What’s happening all over Canada
What is happening around the world
As of early Friday morning, more than 210 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide. According to Johns Hopkins University’s tracking database, more than 4.4 million deaths have been reported worldwide.
In the Middle east, Israel has introduced third booster shots against COVID-19 to people 40 and older, in an effort to combat a mutation in the delta variant. About 5.9 million people of Israel’s population of 9.3 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 5.4 million have received two doses, and 1.3 million have received a third.
In the AmericasMexico is battling a new wave of coronavirus infections as daily cases hit record levels and the official death toll topped 250,000, one of the highest rates worldwide.
In Jamaica, the prime minister has announced a lockdown to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the island nation faces a strong rise in cases.
I urge all Jamaicans to cooperate and do their part. We all need to work together to control this third wave so we can start opening schools.
We now have an adequate supply of vaccines with a commitment to other supplies in the future.
In the Asia Pacific Vietnam will deploy troops in Ho Chi Minh City and prevent residents from leaving their homes, the authorities said, as its largest city turns to drastic measures to slow the spiraling coronavirus death rate.
The Sri Lankan government imposed a 10-day lockdown across the island on Friday in a bid to contain the rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases. The closure will be in effect from 10:00 pm on Friday until August 30, Health Minister Kihelia Rambukuela tweeted.
Meanwhile, Thailand surpassed 1 million total coronavirus infections on Friday, with its latest rise dropping below 20,000 daily cases for the first time in 10 days. More than 97 percent of the cases counted since the pandemic began have been since April.
Rich countries’ decisions to release enhanced footage of COVID-19 at a time when so many people are around Africa The World Health Organization’s Africa director said Thursday that a lack of vaccination “threatens the promise of a brighter tomorrow” for the continent, warning that “while some rich countries are hoarding vaccines, they are making a mockery of vaccine justice.”
Machidiso Moeti and other African health officials, including the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have warned against booster vaccinations in recent weeks, as less than 2% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. .
Moeti noted that the recent emergence of cases across Africa is stabilizing and more vaccine doses are finally arriving on the continent, but that “Africa is facing headwinds” as wealthy countries such as the United States have decided to release booster doses.
She said the situation in Africa remains “very fragile” because the most contagious delta type now prevails in most of the continent’s 54 countries. More than 7.3 million cases, including more than 186,000 deaths, have been confirmed across the continent, and health systems are straining to provide medical oxygen and other care.
— From the Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 8 a.m. ET
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