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Covid Update: 3 Senators Positive, 12,000 Students Quarantined, States Mandate Vaccinations

Here's a roundup of Covid news. The most surprising aspect is Fox News asks employees to disclose their vaccination status.
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Garth Brooks Cancels Concerts Refunds 350,000 Tickets

Covid Update

Bloomberg reports Three Senators Positive; U.S. Schools Face Havoc.

Ten Key Details

  1. Florida’s Hillsborough County Public Schools has 11,959 has almost 11,959 students in isolation or quarantine. The school board voted Wednesday to mandate masks for everyone except those who provide a doctor’s note. 
  2. Oregon and Washington State mandated that all teachers and school personnel must get vaccinated. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to make a similar announcement.
  3. In Alabama, the entire state is out of intensive care beds. Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas’s ICUs are at 90% capacity. Tennessee intensive care beds are full in most metropolitan areas. 
  4. International Business Machines Corp. is temporarily closing its offices in New York City. Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, is offering employees $250 if they get vaccinated by the end of the year.
  5. Garth Brooks cancels concerts and refunds 350,000 tickets out of fear of spreading Covid. [NYT - Below]
  6. President Joe Biden defended his push to give booster shots to all Americans, countering criticism that the move is unfair to other nations that are still struggling to procure a first dose of vaccine. 
  7. GOP Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, independent Angus King of Maine and Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado revealed getting positive tests Thursday.
  8. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order Thursday prohibiting local governments from requiring masks or other Covid-19 protection measures at private businesses. 
  9. The U.S. recorded more than 1 million Covid-19 shots on Thursday, topping that level for the first time in almost seven weeks
  10. Humana Inc. will require workers to be vaccinated once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Legal Battle in Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, aslo testing positive for Covid this week, banned mask mandates. 

In a rebuke of Abbot's order the Washington Post reports Educators Will Not Enforce Maks Ban.

The Texas Education Agency said on Thursday that it would not enforce a ban by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on mask mandates, and would instead wait for “court issues” to be resolved as legal challenges to the ban play out throughout the state.

The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday denied Abbott’s request to stop school districts from requiring students to wear masks. The ruling is the latest in a legal battle playing out in Texas and other parts of the country. At least seven states are restricting local officials from instituting mask mandates in schools while classes resume and students younger than 12 remain ineligible for the vaccines.

WaPo also reports Philadelphia becomes latest archdiocese to reject religious exemptions for vaccine mandates

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New York Times Update

Fox News Asks Employees to Disclose Vaccination Status

Here is one that comes completely unexpected: Fox News asks employees to disclose vaccination status

Fox News Media chief executive Suzanne Scott in a Tuesday memo updating staff on covid-19 procedures, which was obtained by both CNN Business and TVNewser, said the company had “asked all employees — whether on site as part of our essential workforce or working remotely — to upload their vaccination status” into an internal database.

The company has not mandated vaccines for its staff and has been encouraging safety measures, including uploading their vaccination status, since at least June. 

However, other companies such as Tyson Foods and Facebook, have introduced vaccine mandates, as have media outlets including The Washington Post and the New York Times.

Earlier this month, CNN fired three staff members in the United States for working in the office while unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

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