LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County is reporting the fifth straight day of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases.
Health officials warned Tuesday that the more contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread rapidly among unvaccinated people in the state.
Los Angeles County is home to a quarter of California’s 40 million people. County officials reported new cases totaling 1,103 for the previous 24 hours. County officials said the five-day average of cases is 1,095 — a jump of more than 500% in just one month.
The state, meanwhile, reported 3,256 newly confirmed coronavirus infections — the highest one-day total since early March.
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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SYDNEY — Officials in Sydney say Australia’s largest city will remain in lockdown for at least five weeks due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.
New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Wednesday that Sydney’s 5 million people will remain locked down until at least July 30, two weeks longer than had been planned.
The extension comes after 97 new infections were reported Wednesday in the latest 24-hour period, including 24 who had been infectious in the community.
Berejiklian says the daily tally of people who are infectious while in the community will have to be close to zero before the lockdown can end.
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans’ health director says large events in the city will likely continue having to abide by mask mandates or requirements for attendees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus into the fall.
Dr. Jennifer Avegno’s remarks came at a news conference Tuesday as Louisiana health officials reported that infections are surging, largely among non-vaccinated people as the more easily transmissible delta variant spreads in the state.
New Orleans is looking ahead to the NFL and college football season as well as the return of major entertainment events such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The city currently allows major events to have full capacity if there is a mask requirement or if attendees are required to have either a vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.
NEW YORK — The COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline, with the number of new cases per day doubling over the past three weeks, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.
Confirmed infections climbed to an average of about 23,600 a day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Even with the latest surge, cases in the U.S. are nowhere near their peak of a quarter-million per day in January — still health authorities in places such as Los Angeles County and St. Louis are begging even immunized people to resume wearing masks in public.
Department officials are also recommending that people 65 and older and those with chronic underlying conditions stay away from large indoor gatherings because of a 150% rise in hospitalizations over the past three weeks.
CHICAGO — Rising COVID-19 rates in other states have prompted Chicago to restart a travel order. The move comes after weeks of no travel restrictions amid a declining infection rate.
The Chicago Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that unvaccinated travelers from Missouri and Arkansas have to either quarantine for 10 days or have a negative COVID-19 test.
The restriction goes into effect Friday. Both states have met Chicago’s mark of at least 15 daily infections per 100,000 residents.
Health officials say other states could be added if cases continue to rise, including Nevada, Louisiana, Utah and Florida. At the same time, cases have been increasing in central and southern Illinois.
PORTLAND, Maine — The number of Maine residents who are 70 years or older and have not had their final dose of coronavirus vaccine has fallen below 20,000.
Maine has one of the oldest median ages in the country at about 45. The state, like most, prioritized getting coronavirus vaccines to older residents when they first became available.
About 90% of Mainers age 70 and older have now had their final dose, according to data from the office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills. That means the number of residents in that age group who are not fully vaccinated is a little more than 19,000.
Maine has about 190,000 residents who are age 70 or older according to the U.S. census. The state’s total population is about 1.3 million.
About 60% of that total population is fully vaccinated, and that figure includes residents who are still too young to get COVID-19 shots, according to state data.
BOISE, Idaho — Students and staff in the Boise School District in southwestern Idaho won’t have to wear masks during the upcoming school year.
The Idaho Statesman reports that the district’s Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved a COVID-19 response plan created with help from parents, teachers and health professionals. The district last school year required masks for students and staff when inside.
The new plan encourages those who are not vaccinated to continue wearing masks to protect themselves and the community. It also calls for focusing on hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces and protocols for when people get sick.
Brian Walker, an area director for the district, said the plan aligns with recently released guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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