JUST GIVE ME POSITIVE NEWS

There is so much negativity in the news about COVID-19, we want to give you all the positive good news that is happening with research, clinical trials, improvements, vaccines and anything that we can be positive about that you may not have seen.

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Latest stories

Germany takes US, Canada off travel risk list, most others from July

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Germany no longer classifies some regions, including the United States, Canada and Austria, as areas of a high coronavirus risk, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Friday.

The RKI listed 19 countries and regions that are “no longer considered risk areas” thanks to their low coronavirus infection rates.

Countries that have been removed from the travel risk list include Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Kosovo, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and the US.

Some regions in Portugal, Norway, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland are also no longer considered risk regions by Germany.

Travelers entering Germany by plane must provide a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery before their departure, whether or not they spent time in a risk area, the RKI said.

The decision takes effect on June 13.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-takes-us-canada-off-travel-risk-list-most-others-from-july/a-57851397

UK to donate more than 100m surplus vaccine doses, says PM

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Boris Johnson says the UK will start donating coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries in the next few weeks.

More than 100 million surplus doses will be delivered in the next year, he announced ahead of the G7 summit.

US President Joe Biden has promised 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to 92 low and middle-income countries and the African Union.

Five million doses will be given by the UK by the end of September, with 25 million more by the end of the year.

The prime minister said: “As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them.

“In doing so we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good.”

He said he hoped his fellow leaders at the summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, which starts on Friday, would “make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57436535

Israel to drop indoor mask requirement on June 15, as daily cases near zero

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The Health Ministry announced Sunday that the requirement for masks to be worn indoors will be lifted on June 15, marking the end of one of the only major coronavirus restrictions remaining in Israel.

For the time being, schools will be excluded from the easing of limitations, with children still required to wear masks in class, since the majority of those under 16 have yet to be vaccinated.

The ministry said that if the declining trend in morbidity continues and the campaign to vaccinate 12- to-15-year-olds, which began Sunday, succeeds, there would be another discussion to consider dropping the mask requirement in schools as well.

Announcing the decision at a Sunday government ceremony recognizing the efforts of health workers during the pandemic, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said, “At the peak of morbidity, five months ago, there were over 10,000 cases a day; yesterday, there were only four cases.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-to-drop-indoor-mask-requirement-on-june-15-as-daily-cases-near-zero/

Chicago, Illinois enter full reopening with nearly all COVID restrictions lifted

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Illinois and Chicago have entered Phase 5 and are fully reopen, with nearly all COVID restrictions lifted.

Chicago is now the largest city in the country to fully reopen. As of Friday, there are no capacity limits for bars, restaurants, gyms, or other large venues and no social distancing requirements.

Masks are still required on public transportation, in airports, at schools, in hospitals and in some other congregate settings. However, businesses can make their own rules when it comes to masking and distancing.

Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement Thursday: “I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large… As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count. You did it, Illinois.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and other city leaders spoke on the reopening Friday morning outside Gibsons Italia.

“Due to the incredible progress we’ve made in our mission to stop the spread of COVID-19, I am thrilled to announce that we are able to safely transition into Phase 5 and become the first major city in the country to fully reopen,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Our ongoing vaccination efforts, which prioritize equity and inclusion, have made a remarkable difference in our COVID-19 journey and have resulted in the lowest positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic. This progress, as well as ongoing initiatives such as Open Chicago, have allowed us to safely lift capacity limits and reconnect our residents back to the activities they love the most. With today’s announcement and even more residents continuing to do their part and get vaccinated, we are one step closer to being able to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror.”

https://abc7chicago.com/phase-5-reopening-illinois-mask-mandate-chicago-covid/10774912/

Seattle Becomes First Major American City to Fully Vaccinate 70 Percent of Residents 12 and Older

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Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that Seattle is the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70 percent of its residents 12 years-old and older. Seattle has surpassed the City of San Francisco which had been leading the country in vaccinations and the State of Vermont which is leading all states in vaccination rates. Seattle also exceeded Governor Inslee’s goal in vaccinating 70 percent of 16 and older residents and President Biden’s goal in vaccinating 70 percent of adults who are 18 or older. Currently, 78 percent of the Seattle population 12 years-old and older has begun the vaccination process, but has not yet completed the series, which is also one of the nation’s highest vaccinations rates.

“When we launched our vaccination effort earlier this year, I said that I wanted to Seattle to become the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70 percent of its residents. Today, I am incredibly proud that we have reached that goal,” said Mayor Durkan. “Seattle is America’s most vaccinated major city, and it would not have been possible without our residents’ commitment to protecting themselves, their loved ones, and our entire community. We have had incredible partners with our small businesses, community based organizations, health care, philanthropy, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Governor Inslee, and Executive Constantine. Now that we have reached community protection, we can lead the nation in safely reopening and recovering in earnest. Seattleites – get outside and support a local small business, help revive our historic arts and cultural scene, and enjoy our unparalleled Seattle summers safely. Even with this exciting milestone, our work is not yet done. Please, if you know someone who has not yet been vaccinated, do everything you can to help them get their shot.”

City and countywide, COVID-19 case rates and COVID-related deaths are falling. Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major city. Countywide, an estimated 97 percent of all new cases are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

https://durkan.seattle.gov/2021/06/seattle-becomes-first-major-american-city-to-fully-vaccinate-70-percent-of-residents-12-and-older/

France is back: Borders reopen to American tourists, others

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After “a very bad year,” Paris tour operator Marc Vernhet sees a ray of light with the promised return of tourists from the United States and elsewhere who are welcome in France as of Wednesday if they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

His agency, 2CVParisTour.com, is starting to get bookings again from Americans for its sightseeing tours conducted in quirky, bug-eyed Citroen cars. June is still very lean, but July is looking better, Vernhet said as France took the first steps toward rebuilding its position as a top destination for foreign tourists.

Before the pandemic, Vernhet ran three or four tours of the capital per day. The work dried up when France locked down, and he’s only doing around three tours per week now, nearly exclusively for French visitors. Vernhet hailed the reopening of France’s borders for vaccinated tourists as “excellent news” but said it is going to take a few more weeks for business to pick up and that “I’m not expecting to work correctly before mid-July.”

“We’ve been waiting for this for months and months,” he said.

To be allowed in for tourism, Americans and other visitors from most countries outside of Europe will need to show that they have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus with vaccines approved by the European Union’s medicines agency.

France’s acceptance of only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines means tourism isn’t immediately coming back from the lucrative markets of China and Russia, which use vaccines not approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Without one of the those four vaccines, most non-EU visitors will still need to prove that they have a compelling reason to visit France and must quarantine on arrival.

But European visitors and those from a handful of low-risk countries are being welcomed back with open arms, even if they are not vaccinated. These so-called “green” countries include Japan, South Korea and Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Lebanon and Israel. All EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are also “green.” Vaccinated tourists from these countries can waltz right in; the unvaccinated need a recent negative test.

“Treat yourself, reserve now,” France’s tourism minister, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said in a video message Wednesday.

https://apnews.com/article/france-europe-coronavirus-vaccine-coronavirus-pandemic-lifestyle-5a3e32a35f13c90ba0b8b75967216c80

Global COVID-19 case count down 15% in past week — WHO

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Over 3 million novel coronavirus cases and over 73,000 deaths were registered worldwide in the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a weekly bulletin released in Geneva early on Wednesday.

“Global case and death incidences continued to decrease with over three million new weekly cases and over 73,000 new deaths, a 15% and an 8% decrease respectively, compared to the previous week,” the global organization said in its COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update.

On May 31 – June 6, the global organization was informed about 3,016,005 new cases all over the world, and 73,807 COVID-related deaths. As of June 6, a total of 172,673,097 cases of the infection and 3,718,944 COVID-related fatalities have been reported worldwide.

Last week, case incidence declined in five out of six WHO regions, including Southeast Asia (31%) and Europe (17%). At the same time, Africa reported a 25-percent increase in cases. Mortality increased in the Western Pacific region (up 19%), North and South America (up 4%) and Africa (up 2%), but declined in Europe (down 21%), Southeast Asia (down 21%) and Eastern Mediterranean (down 1%).

https://tass.com/society/1300537

The Scottish Government announces no deaths and 695 covid cases in last 24 hours

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The Scottish Government has confirmed that no people have died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours with 695 new cases identified overnight.

It means the death toll since last March – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains the same at 7,677.

There are currently 121 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus with 12 being treated in intensive care.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scottish-government-announces-no-deaths-24272576

New Zealand reaches 100 days without community transmission

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New Zealand has reached 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19, following the news that there are no new cases outside managed isolation and quarantine on Tuesday.

The 100-day time period spans Sunday, February 28 to June 8, according to community case details on the Ministry of Heath’s website.

New Zealand is just two days off from beating the previous milestone.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300327341/covid19-new-zealand-reaches-100-days-without-community-transmission

Spain’s Covid-19 vaccination drive meets second major target of immunizing 10m people by first week of June

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As the fall in transmission rates continues to slow, health authorities are rushing to vaccinate younger people, who play a key role in the spread of the coronavirus. Every region is now scheduling shots for the 40-49 age group

As of today, all of Spain’s 17 regions are on their way to vaccinating the 40-49 age group against Covid-19. This demographic is receiving the BioNTech-Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which are both based on RNA messenger technology, as well as the medication from Janssen, which only requires one dose. Which of these vaccines is administered to people in this age group depends on the availability of the doses in each region, which are responsible for their own vaccination drives and for containing the pandemic in their territories. Madrid had been lagging behind the other regions, but on Tuesday began to send appointments out to the 40-49 age group and is due to begin administering shots to this segment on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the overall vaccination drive is continuing to gather pace. Last week, 5.1 million doses arrived in Spain – the largest shipment since the campaign began in late December – and of this figure, 3.1 million were administered. Indeed, the country on Friday met the central government’s second vaccination target: to have 10 million people fully vaccinated by the first week of June. The first goal was to have five million people fully vaccinated by the first week of May, an objective it surpassed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 30 million shots have been administered and around 42% of the entire population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (nearly 50% of the over-16s – see graph below).

https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-06-08/spains-covid-19-vaccination-drive-meets-second-major-target-of-immunizing-10m-people-by-first-week-of-june.html