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Brazil registered a record 1,262 deaths related to the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 31,199, according to its health ministry.
The country also recorded 28,936 new virus cases over the same time period, bringing the country’s total to 555,383, according to the ministry.
The state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state and the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, also reported 327 virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing its death toll to 7,994.
On Monday, the World Health Organization warned the Americas are seeing a rapid increase in the number of new coronavirus cases
“I would certainly characterize that Central and South America in particular have very much become the intense zones of transmission for this virus as we speak,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of Health Emergencies Program.
He added: “And I don't believe that we have reached the peak in that transmission, and at this point, I cannot predict when we will.”
The US should have 100 million doses of one candidate coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Tuesday.
“Then, by the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple hundred million doses,” Fauci said during a live question and answer session with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fauci said the first vaccine candidate, made by biotech company Moderna in partnership with NIAID, should go into a final stage of trials in volunteers, known in the industry as Phase III, by mid-summer. Preparations at national and international sites are already under way, he said.
“The real business end of this all will be the Phase III that starts in the first week of July, hopefully, “ Fauci said. “We want to get as many datapoints as we can.”
Phase III will involve about 30,000 people. The vaccine will be tested in people between the ages of 18 and 55, as well as in the elderly and in people who have underlying health conditions.
“It’s going to be the entire spectrum,” Fauci said.
Fauci said Phase II of the trial started a few days ago. A few hundred volunteers will be involved in that part of the trial.
The plan is to manufacture doses of the vaccine even before it is clear whether the vaccines work, making close to 100 million doses by November or December, Fauci said. That’s so if it does work, it can be deployed quickly.
Scientists should have enough data by November or December to determine if the vaccine works, Fauci said.
The AstraZeneca trial underway in the UK will follow a similar schedule. A handful of other vaccine studies should start just one to two months after that, he said.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that with the multiple candidates we have with different platforms, that we are going to have a vaccine that will make it deployable,” Fauci said. He is optimistic, he said, because, while the number of deaths from Covid-19 are “profound,” largely people recover from this disease. Recovery shows that there is an immune response that can clear the virus.
“Which tells us, that if the body is capable of making an immune response to clear the virus of natural infection, that’s a pretty good proof of concept,” Fauci said. “Having said that, there is never a guarantee.”
He said he is a little more concerned about what the durability of the response will be. People develop antibodies to fight common colds caused by other strains of coronavirus, but that protection generally only lasts about a year. That might mean people would need a fresh vaccine every year, as is the case with influenza.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday more than 600 staffers are deployed to help local, state and tribal and territorial agencies work on containing and mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
At the same time, the CDC Foundation is “urgently recruiting” workers around the country for CDC’s Covid-19 Response Corps.
Among the 608 deployed CDC staffers, there were 112 CDC field team staffers deployed as of late May, the agency reported. California has the most CDC staff across the state, totaling 40 people. Twelve staff are deployed to support the Navajo Nation, seven staff are deployed with the Hopi Tribe and one person is deployed with the Yurok tribe, the CDC said.
At the peak, CDC had 198 field team staffers deployed in early May.
The deployments are part of are part of the CDC’s effort to bolster contact tracing efforts to help contain Covid-19. The teams were initially deployed across eight states in April, a federal health official told CNN previously. The health official previously told CNN the teams are “testing new technologies,” including “having people do self-swabbing and evaluating how effective that is. They are also looking at some mobile technology to look at contact tracing.”
Contact tracing is widely considered to be necessary in order to reopen the economy. Contact tracers work to track down anyone who might have been infected by a person who was recently diagnosed, which allows those contacts to quarantine themselves and prevent further spread.
On the same site where CDC updates its deployment figures, the agency included updated resources for local agencies, including a list of services providing paid or volunteer resources to support efforts around Covid-19.
During a new conference on Tuesday, Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey told reporters Georgians need to be "vigilant" about the spread of Covid-19 during protests.
"When you have this many people gathered together, in close proximity, you run the risk of viral transmission. I think you add to that the fact that individuals have come from out-of-state where they may be, have even higher rates of infection and may be bringing it into our state and transmitting it as well," she said.
She added: "And so I think that we are, we need to be very vigilant, we are proactively doing our analysis of our hotspots, because this, the situation is here not only in Atlanta but all the other locations where there have been peaceful protests."
Toomey said the state is working to setup testing access for demonstrators, adding Atlanta first responders, National Guard, state police and others "may be part of this response team."
"We want to ensure that the pandemic doesn't spread because of this," she said.
There are at least 1,827,206 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 106,028 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.
So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins reported 15,846 new cases and 863 deaths in the US.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order today that will allow the state to enter into its second phase of its reopening plan starting Friday.
This order will not apply to Northern Virginia and Richmond, which will continue to remain in phase one, according to a statement.
Under phase two, the release said, recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings will continue. However, the maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people.
In addition, restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50% occupancy. Fitness centers may also open indoor areas at 30% occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.
The current guidelines for religious services, nonessential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in phase two. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in phase two.
The College Board is no longer preparing an at-home SAT test this year, the American organization announced Tuesday, as it continues to navigate testing in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The College Board will pause on offering an at-home SAT this year because taking it would require three hours of uninterrupted, video-quality internet for each student, which can’t be guaranteed for all,” according to a statement.
When the May and June SAT test dates were cancelled earlier this spring due to safety concerns amidst the pandemic, the organization made clear that an at-home test option would be available if schools did not return to in-person instruction in the fall.
The organization said it is working to expand availability of the SAT at in-person test facilities starting in August, with test dates every month and into January 2021, if there is demand for it.
The College Board also addressed the issues people have been having with registering for fall SAT test dates by calling on member colleges to accept scores as late in their processes as possible, consider students who have not taken the test on the same playing field on those who have, and keep in mind that students may not have been able to take the test more than once.
“We know demand is very high and the registration process for students and families under this kind of pressure is extremely stressful,” College Board CEO David Coleman said in a statement. “There are more important things than tests right now. In making these difficult decisions we focused on reducing the anxiety that students and families are experiencing this year. We therefore are asking our member colleges to be flexible toward students who can’t submit scores, who submit them later, or who did not have a chance to test more than once.”
On May 28, the College Board opened registration for students most in need of a testing date, namely rising high school seniors, to reserve for fall SAT.
Due to the high volume of registrations shortly after the registration window opened, the College Board tweeted that “students can expect interruptions and delays online,” as people continued to try and register.
US stocks closed higher on Tuesday, holding on to their gains as investors chose to focus on the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Despite a race crisis fueling protests across America and worries about US-China tensions, stocks have been heading higher.
Here's how things closed today:
- The Dow closed up 1.1%, or 268 points.
- The S&P 500 finished 0.8% higher.
- The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%.
It was the third day of gains for both the S&P and the Nasdaq.