Judge: Florida cannot impose a ban on school masks

While an appeals court decides whether the ban is legal, a Florida judge ruled that the state can't enforce its ban against mask mandates in public school classrooms.

Judge: Florida cannot impose a ban on school masks

John C. Cooper, Leon County Circuit Judge lifted the automatic stay of his decision that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, state education officials and others acted in excess of their authority when they imposed the blanket ban by executive order.

Cooper claims that the overwhelming evidence in a lawsuit brought by parents to challenge the ban on masks is sufficient to show that wearing masks provides some protection for children living in crowded schools, especially for those younger than 12, for whom there is no vaccine.

"We are not living in normal times." Cooper stated during remote hearing that we are currently in a pandemic. "We have a variant of the virus that is more dangerous and infectious to children than the one last year."

Unvaccinated employees will be subject to discounts of up to $1,570 per year by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Steve Christy opposed the move, arguing that it was illegal to penalize employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

The board had previously approved a $300 bonus and three days of paid vacation for county employees who have been vaccinated. Arizona has reported 2222 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 26 deaths.

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MADRID -- Spanish health officials have approved the use of an additional shot from the COVID-19 vaccine for organ transplant recipients and people with suppressed immune system.

A government panel of experts concluded that it was too soon to recommend a booster shot for all people. Carolina Darias, Health Minister, says authorities will examine other groups that might benefit from a third shot.

Nearly 73% are fully vaccinated in Spain, a country of 34 million inhabitants.

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WASHINGTON -- While the summer was supposed to be America's independence form COVID-19, it ended with the U.S. under the control of the coronavirus and deaths per day returning to March levels.

The hospital beds are overcrowded with the delta variant, which is causing alarming numbers to be sickened and driving deaths from coronavirus in certain areas to the highest levels of the pandemic. Because of the outbreaks, schools that have reopened their classrooms have been forced to switch back to remote learning.

In August, the United States recorded 26800 deaths and more that 4.2 million infections. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the number of positive cases per month was fourth highest.

The average number of new cases in the U.S. each day is over 150,000, levels not seen since January. The number of deaths has risen to close to 1,500 per hour, more than a third higher than in August. The outbreak is still far below its peak in the winter, when death rates reached 3,400 per day and new cases reached 250,000 each day.

The U.S. death rate is more than 650,000. One major forecast model projects it to rise to 750,000 by December 1.

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HONOLULU -- The first resort in Hawaii that requires proof of COVID-19 vaccine for employees and guests will be Waikiki.

Alohilani Resort, which is located in Alohilani, will require all employees, guests and patrons to prove that they are fully vaccinated starting Oct. 15. This requirement will also apply to six other Waikiki properties that are owned or managed by Highgate, a hospitality investment and management company.

Officials at the hotel say it's right to do so as Hawaii is struggling with an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases due to the highly contagious delta variant.

According to the state Department of Health, there were an average of 706 new cases per day in Hawaii between August 30 and September 5. The vaccination rate in Hawaii is 64%.

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OMAHA (Neb. Nebraska had 5,649 coronavirus-related cases last week. This is the 11th consecutive week of increases.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, this is an increase from the 4,916 and 3,464 cases reported the week before.

In late June, the state was reporting 253 cases per semaine. Officials declared an end of state coronavirus emergency.

The average daily number of new cases in Nebraska for the seven days rolled over from 575 per person on Aug. 23rd to 693 Monday.

Hospitals are nearly full due to the increasing number of COVID-19-infected patients. The average number of people admitted to hospitals in the last seven days was 337. This is an increase of 309 from the previous week.

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GENEVA -- Switzerland will require that people present a COVID certificate of vaccination to enter indoor events and eat in restaurants.

Executive Federal Council announced that there are now more requirements for showing certificates that show a recent negative test, recovery from the virus, or vaccination.

The new measure will be in effect from Monday through January 24. Similar vaccination certificates from other European Union countries will be accepted by Swiss authorities. Switzerland is not part of the 27-country bloc.

Switzerland reported a 14-day rate of 409 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Wednesday's report included more than 3,500 daily cases. The country has a population of approximately 8.5 million. Hospital and intensive-care unit occupancy rates are at around 80%.

Swiss authorities will review a proposal to allow people not vaccinated into the country.

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GENEVA -- The head for the World Health Organization calls on rich countries that have large stocks of coronavirus vaccines not to offer booster shots until the end of this year.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, says he is "appalled" by comments made by pharmaceutical companies that vaccine supplies are sufficient to provide booster shots as well as vaccinations for countries in urgent need but not facing shortages.

The WHO chief stated, "I won't remain silent when companies or countries that control the global vaccine supply think the world should be satisfied with leftovers."

Tedros previously called for a "moratorium on booster shots" through September. However, wealthy countries, such as the U.S. and Israel, Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, France and Spain have or are planning to offer booster shots to their most vulnerable citizens.

According to the WHO chief, he received a message of support from ministers of health at a meeting of 20 countries this month. This was in reference to a commitment by them all to reach a WHO target that every country vaccinates at least 40% of their population by the end of the year.

WHO estimates that 5.5 billion coronavirus vaccines were administered to date, with 80% being given to countries of higher and middle income. Tedros claims that although rich countries offered 1 billion vaccine doses for other countries, less than 15% have "materialized".

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