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Covid 19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is vowing he “won't let grass grow under our feet” as the department begins to implement the new vaccine and testing directives. But Pentagon officials on Friday were scrambling to figure out how to enact and enforce the changes across the vast military population and determine which National Guard and Reserve troops would be affected by the orders.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s coronavirus cases jumped 50% this week, the state Health Department reported Friday, continuing a six-week surge that has seen it responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally, becoming the outbreak's epicenter.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire Saturday after President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress worked furiously but ultimately failed to align on a long-shot strategy to prevent millions of Americans from being forced from their homes during a COVID-19 surge.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two organizations tapped by the Biden administration to recommend which migrants should be allowed into the United States to seek humanitarian protection said Friday that they are halting their work with the government and demanding an end to the Trump-era ban on asylum imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell reinstituted a citywide indoor masking mandate Friday and said all city employees and contract workers will be required to get COVID-19 vaccinations as Louisiana deals with skyrocketing numbers of new infections and hospitalizations.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — About 350,000 Michigan residents who received federal unemployment aid will not have to repay benefits even though the state told them that it mistakenly approved some eligibility reasons at the start of the pandemic.

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In another dispiriting setback for the nation’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus, scientists who studied a big COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts concluded that vaccinated people who got so-called breakthrough infections carried about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did not get the shots.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved three more Connecticut counties into the “substantial transmission” category for COVID-19, prompting the state's Department of Public Health on Friday to recommend anyone who lives, works or travels throughout Fairfield, Tolland and Windham counties to wear a mask in public indoor spaces.

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Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania’s coronavirus task force are asking state lawmakers to urge their constituents to get vaccinated, citing the highly contagious delta variant, and one of the state’s most populous counties acknowledged Friday that it mishandled students’ confidential COVID-19 health data.

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Berkeley, Mo. (AP) — Civil rights advocates, religious leaders and others on Friday said they were outraged by St. Louis County Health Director Faisal Khan's claims that he was assaulted and bombarded with racial slurs after defending a new mask mandate. But a county councilman questioned whether Khan was telling the truth.

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday recommended that nearly everyone inside K-12 schools or riding school buses in Kansas be required to wear a mask, and Kansas State University will require masks in its buildings, whether people are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year is scheduled to expire Saturday, after the Biden administration extended the original date by a month. The moratorium, put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes. Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent.

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