Coronavirus latest news

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WASHINGTON — Dealing the White House a stinging setback, a government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots across the board, and instead endorsed the extra vaccine dose only for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

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School districts reported more than 1,200 student cases of COVID-19 and 190 cases among staff members this week, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said in its first case report of the new school year.

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COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements.

BOSTON — Health care providers are being urged to prepare for offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as the federal government weighs approval of another round of vaccinations.

The Arc of Massachusetts called on Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday to mandate vaccines for anyone providing care to people with disabilities in group living or day programs, and urged the state to provide direct financial support for surveillance testing and other infection control measures.

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WASHINGTON  — President Joe Biden on Thursday is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

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While it’s nearly impossible to debunk every bit of COVID-19 vaccine disinformation, there are certain myths that keep popping up over and over that many healthcare workers have been working tirelessly to expose as false.

BOSTON — All staff in Massachusetts rest homes, assisted living residences and hospice programs and home care workers who provide in-home direct care would need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the next two months under an expanded mandate introduced Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Baker's ad…

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MANCHESTER — Masks must now be worn indoors at all Manchester businesses and public buildings until further notice.

Employment in the Massachusetts biopharmaceutical sector will need to keep climbing to meet industry demand after growing 5.5 percent to nearly 85,000 jobs in 2020, a year marked by an economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new industry report.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida schools can legally require their students to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a judge ruled Friday, saying Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order banning such mandates.

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Secretary of State William Galvin plans to soon communicate updated guidance and requirements around COVID-19 vaccines to his employees, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON — Military troops must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, ordering service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.”

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LONDON (AP) — The international scientists dispatched to China by the World Health Organization to find out where the coronavirus came from said Wednesday the search has stalled and warned that the window of opportunity for solving the mystery is “closing fast.”

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From Walt Disney World and Chevron to CVS and a Michigan university, a flurry of private and public employers are requiring workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the federal government gave full approval to the Pfizer shot. And the number is certain to grow much higher.

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With more employers, theaters and other businesses requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Attorney General Maura Healey said Monday it was too soon to know whether a more formal vaccine passport system would be necessary to prevent people from forging vaccine cards.

MANCHESTER — The Greater Cape Ann Community Collaborative is partnering with the Laughing Gull Café to offer a community pop-up vaccination clinic in Manchester.

With the Gloucester School Committee preparing to vote on COVID-19-specific protocols this Wednesday, a group of parents plan to protest against a local school mask mandate.  

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Nursing students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts Lowell will be assisting a federal effort to study the effectiveness of new rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tools and tests, the university announced Monday.

BOSTON — State education leaders are set to decide Tuesday whether to require public school students to wear masks when they go back to class this fall, regardless of their vaccination status.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Monday, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Monday, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.

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BOSTON (AP) — As COVID-19 cases surge around the country, a majority of Americans say they support mask mandates for students and teachers in K-12 schools, according to a new poll, but their views are sharply divided along political lines.

The state's education commissioner is seeking authority to mandate that students ages 5 and up, staff and educators in public K-12 schools wear masks indoors through Oct. 1, a measure that will come before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for a vote Tuesday.

When the audience sits down to take in the world premiere “Think of Me Tuesday,” by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf at the Gloucester Stage Company, each patron will have shown proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to pass the doors of the East Main Street theater.

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 CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — It's one of the stranger, lesser-known aspects of U.S. health care — the striking, milky-blue blood of horseshoe crabs is a critical component of tests to ensure injectable medications such as coronavirus vaccines aren't contaminated.

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BOSTON — The federal government plans to begin making COVID-19 booster shots available next month to adults who have already received both doses of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, an announcement Gov. Charlie Baker indicated came without advance guidance for states.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. health experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country.

PEABODY — Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday he has no plans to revisit his administration's guidance for wearing masks indoors as the spread of COVID-19 accelerates around the country, reiterating his position that decisions about mandating masks in schools are best left with local officials.