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COVID Interrupts Jill Biden's Vacation

First lady tests positive, will isolate in SC

(Newser) - First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing "mild symptoms," the White House announced Tuesday. She'd been vacationing with President Biden in South Carolina when she began experiencing symptoms on Monday, per the AP . "After testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday during her...

Health Officials Tried to Lock Everyone In an Ikea. Then, Chaos

Patrons bust out of Shanghai store after lockdown due to customer's close contact with COVID patient

(Newser) - Usually when it's closing time at a store, patrons calmly make their final purchases and exit. The scene was a bit more chaotic over the weekend at an Ikea in Shanghai after health authorities tried to lock everyone inside following a coronavirus report tied to one of the customers....

Good News: N. Korea Declares Victory Over COVID
Good News: N. Korea
Says It Has Defeated COVID

Good News: N. Korea Says It Has Defeated COVID

Sister says Kim Jong Un was 'seriously ill'

(Newser) - North Korea has declared a resounding victory over COVID-19—but experts are as skeptical of the claim as they were over the country's claims to have no cases before an outbreak of "fever" spread "explosively" starting in late April. The New York Times reports that according to...

Among America's Youngest, a COVID Vaccine 'Logjam'

Just 4% to 5% of kids have gotten their shots; pediatricians are now trying to break the 'logjam'

(Newser) - Nearly two months ago, the CDC recommended that all kids from 6 months old up to 5 years—more than 17 million children across the nation—get vaccinated against COVID-19, guidance echoed by the American Medical Association . But since June 18, when the CDC gave the official OK for children...

Eating Banned at Hong Kong Food Festival

Munich's Oktoberfest, however, is returning with no restrictions

(Newser) - Announcements in Hong Kong and Germany this week show a sharp contrast between their current approaches to the pandemic. In Hong Kong, the annual five-day Food Expo begins next week, with exhibitors from around the world—but for the second year in a row, eating has been banned, RTHK reports....

For Millions, COVID Has Caused Long-Term Smell, Taste Problems

Around 5% of patients didn't recover senses 6 months after infection, researchers say

(Newser) - Only around 5% of people infected with COVID-19 end up experiencing long-term problems with smell or taste, according to new research—but that still adds up to millions of people with a problem that can seriously affect their quality of life. In a study published in the British Medical Journal...

China Locks Down 1M in Wuhan
China Locks Down 1M in Wuhan

China Locks Down 1M in Wuhan

'Temporary control measures' brought in after 4 COVID cases detected

(Newser) - A million people in the first city ever to experience a COVID lockdown have been locked down again. As part of China's zero COVID strategy, restrictions were imposed on Wuhan's Jiangxia district after routine testing detected two asymptomatic cases and contact tracing detected two more, the BBC reports....

Pair of COVID Studies Point a Finger at Wuhan Market
Pair of COVID Studies
Land on Same Culprit
new research

Pair of COVID Studies Land on Same Culprit

One mapped locations of infections, the second analyzed genomic diversity of viruses

(Newser) - Two peer-reviewed studies published Tuesday in Science arrive at the same conclusion: Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was where the COVID pandemic originated. The Los Angeles Times explains that after the lab-leak theory was dismissed last year, scientists pointed out there wasn't a plethora of published data on...

COVID Finally Reaches This Isolated Nation

Micronesia has reported dozens of cases

(Newser) - Micronesia has likely become the final nation in the world with a population of more than 100,000 to experience an outbreak of COVID-19. For more than two-and-a-half years, the Pacific archipelago managed to avoid any outbreaks thanks to its geographic isolation and border controls. Those people who flew into...

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID
President Biden Tests
Positive for COVID

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID

White House says he has mild symptoms

(Newser) - Updated: This summary has been updated throughout, including with comments from the president and his doctor. President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and is experiencing “very mild symptoms,” the White House said , per the AP . White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden has begun taking...

Chinese Authorities Apologize for COVID Break-ins

Authorities broke into homes to disinfect them after residents sent to quarantine

(Newser) - Authorities in southern China apologized for breaking into the homes of people quarantined with suspected COVID-19 cases in the latest example of heavy-handed measures that have sparked a rare public backlash. The state-run Global Times reported Tuesday that 84 homes of people sent into isolation in Guangzhou city’s Liwan...

Chair of Jan. 6 Panel Tests Positive for COVID

But Thursday night's prime-time hearing is still going forward, despite Bennie Thompson's illness

(Newser) - Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Jan. 6 committee, has tested positive for COVID-19, but the panel will still hold its prime-time hearing on Thursday, according to a spokesman for the panel. Thompson announced Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus on Monday and is experiencing mild symptoms,...

Ex-Ga. Mayor Sentenced for 'Deplorable' Pandemic Crime

Jason Lary gets 57 months behind bars for pocketing COVID relief cash meant for Stonecrest

(Newser) - An "unsavory saga" has come to a conclusion in Georgia, where an ex-mayor is now headed to prison for nearly five years over a COVID relief funds scheme. On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. sentenced Jason Lary to 57 months behind bars for stealing hundreds...

'Centaurus' Omicron Variant Is Raising Concerns

India experiencing 'exponential increase' with BA.2.75

(Newser) - Another super contagious omicron variant has been detected in the US. Dubbed "Centaurus," the BA.2.75 variant was first detected in India in early May and is now spreading rapidly there. "It's still really early on for us to draw too many conclusions" but "...

Gambling Hub Hit by First Major COVID Outbreak

Even the casinos are closed in Macau

(Newser) - The Asian gambling center of Macau will close all its casinos for a week starting Monday and largely restrict people to their homes as it tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 people in the past three weeks. All businesses have been ordered to...

Chuck Schumer Has COVID
Chuck Schumer

Chuck Schumer Has COVID

Senate majority leader experiencing very mild symptoms

(Newser) - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has tested positive for COVID-19 and reports experiencing very mild symptoms, his spokesman said Sunday night. Schumer, 71, is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots, spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement cited by the AP . The New York Democrat will follow federal...

With No Takers for 13.6M Doses, in the Trash They Go

Canada to dump expired AstraZeneca vaccines after they weren't accepted at home or abroad

(Newser) - Canada is going to throw out about 13.6 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because it couldn't find any takers for them either at home or abroad, per the AP . Canada signed a contract with AstraZeneca in 2020 to get 20 million doses of its vaccine, and...

Most Contagious Variants Yet Now Dominating US
These 2 New Variants
Are Extra-Contagious

These 2 New Variants Are Extra-Contagious

BA.4 and BA.5 are great at evading protections, including from past omicron infections

(Newser) - Two new extra-contagious variants of omicron with transmissibility similar to measles are together dominating COVID-19 cases in the US, leading to talk of new indoor mask mandates. Here's what you need to know:
  • Background: BA.4 was first detected in South Africa in January, while BA.5 was first

'It Feels Cautiously Good' on COVID as Summer Hits

Still lots of infections, but deaths are relatively few compared to last fall and winter

(Newser) - The fast-changing coronavirus has kicked off summer in the US with lots of infections but relatively few deaths compared to its prior incarnations. COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but it isn't nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter. With more Americans shielded...

North Korea: Balloons From South Brought COVID

The claim is very likely false

(Newser) - North Korea suggested Friday its COVID-19 outbreak began in people who had contact with balloons flown from South Korea—a highly questionable claim that appeared to be an attempt to hold its rival responsible amid increasing tensions over its nuclear program, the AP reports. Activists for years have flown balloons...

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