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

Eat out, work out, see a film: Belgium to ease lockdown

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Belgium plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures from June 9 provided the country’s vaccination campaign keeps up its momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500, the government said on Tuesday.

The plans to reopen mark a turnaround for Belgium, home to NATO and the European Union headquarters. It has one of the world’s highest per capita death rates from COVID-19, but its vaccination drive is now among the most efficient in the bloc.

“The more people are vaccinated, the faster we will get our freedom back,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference.

He said all sectors could reopen then if 80% of the population with a pre-existing medical condition could be vaccinated and the maximum number of people in intensive care units was 500.

He called on Belgians to get vaccinated and said the goal was for all measures to disappear on Sept. 1.

Already, from June 9, Belgians will be able to dine at restaurants until 10pm and outdoor terraces will remain open until 11.30pm.

Large events will be authorised, such as shows, exhibitions and theatres with a maximum of 200 people permitted inside.

The seven-day average of daily infections stands at just under 3,000, a 4% drop from last week, and more than 3.6 million Belgians, almost 40% of the adult population, have received a first dose of vaccine.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dine-out-work-out-see-movie-belgium-ease-lockdown-june-9-2021-05-11/

Germany – one in three people has now been vaccinated for the first time

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Germany’s vaccination campaign is making progress: According to Health Minister Jens Spahn, one in three people has now been vaccinated for the first time. According to him, if the prioritization falls in June, it will take until July before everyone who wants to be vaccinated has received a first shot.

In Germany, around a third of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to the Robert Koch Institute, a total of 557,612 people received a corona vaccination at the beginning of the week – around 110,000 more than on Monday last week. While 381,100 received the first injection, it was already the second for 176,512. This means that the vaccination rate across Germany is now 33.3 percent. Around one in ten (9.6 percent) is now fully immunized.

As Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Deutschlandfunk, two thirds of people over 60 are now vaccinated. That leaves around five to six million people in this age group who could be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

https://www.n-tv.de/panorama/Jeder-dritte-Deutsche-erstgeimpft-article22547481.html

There’s growing confidence that the worst of COVID-19 is behind California

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California’s battle against coronavirus has progressed so rapidly in the last few months that many experts are optimistic the state has experienced the worst of the pandemic and that another disastrous wave is unlikely as vaccinations increase and case rates keep plunging.

If those forecasts hold fast, California will enter the summer in a better place than many thought. State officials hope to have the economy largely reopened by June 15. And while coronavirus variants caused concerns earlier this year, officials and experts say they have generally been less aggressive than feared and vaccines seem to be offering protection against the various variants.

“I am optimistic,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, medical epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “I think that we are going in the right direction — we will never have a surge like we had during the viral tsunami of the post-holiday season, just because now we have so many people vaccinated, and so many people have got natural immunity from having had the disease.”

On Monday, officials said Los Angeles County could reach “herd immunity” from the coronavirus by mid- to late July. Herd immunity, sometimes referred to as community immunity, occurs when enough people have been inoculated or have obtained natural immunity to protect the larger population against the virus.

With about 400,000 shots administered weekly, the county has about 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a news briefing.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-05-11/vaccines-boost-california-confidence-for-covid-19-recovery

New Jersey, one of the hardest hit states last year, is seeing cases decline significantly

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New coronavirus cases have fallen drastically in New Jersey, where at times this spring the virus was spreading faster than anywhere else in the United States.

Over the past two weeks, the state has seen its average number of new daily cases drop by 61 percent, according to a New York Times database.

New Jersey’s case numbers are dropping along with the rest of the country’s. But the state’s decline is the steepest in the United States and its rate of new daily cases per person is now just above the national average.

“Clearly vaccinations are playing a role in this,” said Dr. Edward Lifshitz, medical director of the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service.

Behind New Jersey is neighboring New York, with a 48 percent decline, and Michigan, which despite a 41 percent drop still has the highest rate of new cases in the country. In Puerto Rico, cases are also down 61 percent.

“The good news is now becoming almost overwhelming, and that’s a good thing,” Gov. Philip D. Murphy said in public remarks on Thursday.

Mr. Murphy has cited the state’s rising vaccination rates as the cause of the reopening. As of Friday morning, more than 3.4 million New Jersey residents had been vaccinated, according to state health data.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/nyregion/nj-covid-cases.html

Average daily U.S. Covid cases fall below 40,000 for the first time since September

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The rate of new Covid cases in the U.S. fell to an average of 38,800 per day Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the first time daily case counts have been below 40,000 since September.

Federal data found the country is averaging 2.1 million daily reported vaccinations over the past week, down 37% from its peak level but showing signs of steadying in recent days.

The U.S. is reporting 38,800 daily new infections, based on a seven-day average of data compiled by Hopkins, down 22% from a week ago and 46% from the most recent high, when the country was seeing about 71,000 daily cases in mid-April.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/11/covid-19-cases-deaths-vaccinations-daily-update.html

Zero Covid deaths for England, Scotland and NI

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Zero coronavirus deaths have been announced in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday.

Wales recorded four deaths meaning that, overall, the UK showed a slight increase on the two deaths recorded on Sunday.

It comes as Boris Johnson has confirmed England will proceed to lift more lockdown restrictions next week.

Meanwhile, the UK’s coronavirus alert level has been lowered from four to three on the advice of experts.

Alert level three means that although the virus is still in general circulation, transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially.

Experts say cases, hospital admissions and Covid-related deaths have all decreased and vaccines are having the desired protective effect, with the latest figures showing a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and two-thirds have had their first of two doses.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57055340

New U.S. COVID weekly cases fall to lowest since September

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New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell for a fourth week in a row, dropping 17% last week to just under 290,000, the lowest weekly total since September, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

Deaths from COVID-19 fell 1.3% to 4,756 in the week ended May 9, the fewest deaths in a week since July. (Graphic with state-by-state details)

More than a third of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, and 46% has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The lowest rates of infection based on population were in Oklahoma, California and Mississippi.

The average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals fell 9%, the second weekly drop in a row.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/new-us-covid-weekly-cases-fall-lowest-since-september-2021-05-10/

‘Cautious hugging’ and pints: UK PM Johnson to ease England’s lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday gave the green light to cautious hugging and the serving of pints inside pubs after months of strict restrictions as he set out the next phase of coronavirus lockdown easing in England.

Johnson confirmed that England could continue to the next stage of his four-step plan to bring the country out of lockdown by the summer, as the COVID-19 situation improved thanks to the rollout of vaccines and social restriction measures.

“This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I am confident that we will be able to go further,” Johnson told a media conference.

“We are announcing the single biggest step on our road map, and it will allow us to do many of the things that we’ve yearned to do for a long time.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-pm-johnson-announce-covid-lockdown-easing-junior-minister-says-2021-05-10/

Third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19

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A third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, latest figures have shown.

A total of 17,669,379 people have received both jabs – the equivalent of 33.5% of all people aged 18 and over.

England and Northern Ireland are both estimated to have given two doses to 33.6% of their adult population, slightly ahead of Wales (33.4%) and Scotland (33.1%).

Responding to the figures for England, Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care at NHS England, said: “Yet another incredible NHS milestone has been reached as one in three adults in England have now had both doses of the Covid vaccine – meaning that they have maximum protection from the virus.

“Reaching this milestone is no accident – it is down to months of hard work and everyone in the NHS who has played a role in this is helping to protect millions of people from serious illness and saving lives.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/covid-vaccinated-third-uk-b934085.html

U.S. turning corner on pandemic, says White House COVID coordinator

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The United States is closer to getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and health officials are focused on the next challenge: getting more Americans vaccinated, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Sunday.

“I would say we are turning the corner,” Zients said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Zients said about 58% of American adults have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot. The task now is to continue building confidence in vaccines and get enough Americans vaccinated to mitigate the spread of the virus and its variants, he said.

U.S. health officials are aiming to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of 70% of American adults having at least one shot by the July 4 U.S. Independence Day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said another surge in coronavirus infections would be unlikely if the Biden goal is met or exceeded.

“The larger proportion of the population that’s vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming fall or winter you’re going to see a significant surge,” Fauci said on NBC’ “Meet the Press.”

“That’s the reason why vaccinations are so important. That’s the wild card that we have now that we didn’t have last fall or the last winter.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-turning-corner-coronavirus-pandemic-white-houses-zients-2021-05-09/