March 19 coronavirus news

An empty classroom in a primary school in Eichenau near Munich, southern Germany, is pictured on December 18, 2020, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. - Long held up as a European success story in the fight against the pandemic, Germany has been hit hard by a second coronavirus wave that has brought record daily infection numbers and deaths. Crisis talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders saw the country return to a partial lockdown on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, shutting schools and non-essential shops in addition to the existing restrictions, until at least January 10, 2021. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
CDC cuts distance needed in schools from 6 to 3 feet
02:23 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • The European Union’s medicines regulator said its investigation found the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe but a blood clot link cannot be ruled out.
  • A number of European countries, including France and Germany, restarted their AstraZeneca rollouts on Friday.
  • The Biden administration will loan around 4 million of its AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Canada and Mexico as the company waits for official usage approval in the US, the White House Covid-19 coordinator announced today.

Our live coverage has ended for the day. Follow the latest on the pandemic here.

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Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to Covid outbreak

Aerial View of Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida on March 1.

Former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort has closed its dining room and suspended beach club services to guests due to a Covid 19 outbreak among “some” staff, according to an email sent to members Friday afternoon and shared with CNN.

The email says the closure is out of “an abundance of caution.”

Banquet and event services remain open, the email says, adding: “We have already undertaken all appropriate response measures in accordance with CDC guidance, including activating a thorough sanitization and cleaning of any affected areas and all club facilities, and we will continue our heightened environmental cleaning regimen.”

News of the closure was first reported by Associated Press.

North Dakota will make Covid-19 vaccine available to general public March 29

The North Dakota Department of Public Health said Friday that the Covid-19 vaccine will be available to the general public starting March 29.

The department encouraged people who are in the earlier categories of eligibility not to put off getting an appointment to get one.

“As the state prepares to make the vaccine available to the general public, it’s important for people included in Phases 1A, 1B or 1C to be vaccinated now, as they are at highest risk for severe COVID-19 or being exposed to COVID-19,” said Molly Howell, the department’s immunization director. 

As of Friday, 27% of North Dakotans had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 16% have been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

Georgia has administered more than 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine 

A member of the Georgia National guard helps manage traffic at a COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Delta Flight Museum, Monday, February 22, in Atlanta. The state has four sites located around Georgia.

More than 3 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Georgia, according to the state’s health department.

In a news release, the Georgia Department of Public Health said that one million residents over the age of 65, which is 72% of the population in that age range, have received at least one dose. The dashboard showed that over 1.1 million people have received both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.  

“Georgia continues to make significant strides in protecting our most vulnerable citizens in the fight against Covid-19, with 72% of our seniors receiving at least one dose,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in the release. “This targeted, data-driven approach to prevent hospitalization and death at the hands of the virus, coupled with increases in supply from the federal government, has allowed the state to move quickly in expanding vaccination criteria.”

The state also said that they have administered one million doses over the past 19 days. 

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announce agreements to deliver 138 million vaccine doses to Brazil

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that they signed deals with the Brazilian health ministry to provide a total of 138 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to the country.

Pfizer will deliver 100 million doses by the end of September, according to a press release from the company. On Monday, the health ministry said they expect to receive 13.5 million Pfizer doses in the second quarter of 2021 and 86.5 million in the third.

Brazil’s health agency Anvisa has not yet approved emergency authorization for Johnson & Johnson, though the health ministry already said it expects to receive 16.9 million doses from the company by the end of August and another 21.1 million by the end of November.

Johnson & Johnson did not specify their timeline for delivering the 38 million doses in their press release announcing the agreement.

Brazil has so far approved three vaccines for emergency use during the pandemic, those by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.

The vaccine announcement comes as Brazil continues to report record daily numbers. Just on Wednesday, the country saw its largest daily jump in cases since the start of the pandemic — 90,303 new cases.