Tearful reunions as Western Australia ends COVID border closure | Coronavirus pandemic News


Australia’s largest state ends one of many world’s longest coronavirus-related border closures.

Australia’s largest state has reopened to completely vaccinated home and worldwide travellers, ending one of many world’s longest coronavirus border closures.

Western Australia, which covers one-third of the nation’s land space, closed its borders to most worldwide and interstate travellers in 2020 to gradual the unfold of COVID-19.

However these restrictions have been lifted on Thursday, after 697 days, changing into the final Australian state to raise border curbs.

The transfer got here greater than every week after the Australian federal authorities started granting visas to vaccinated vacationers and 4 months after Australia’s greatest metropolis, Sydney, started its staged reopening of quarantine-free journey.

The airport in Perth, Western Australia’s capital, was the scene of emotional reunions as the primary of twenty-two scheduled home flights and 5 worldwide flights started arriving on Thursday.

“We count on about 5,000 home and worldwide travellers to reach on Thursday and tens of hundreds of individuals within the coming weeks,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke, reporting from Brisbane on Australia’s east coast.

“There have been emotional scenes on the airport. We’ve seen so many individuals arrive and reunite. It’s actually the tip of a really uncommon chapter the place we had one state minimize off from the remainder of the nation for such an extended time frame.”

With a purpose to enter Western Australia, travellers will have to be absolutely vaccinated and full a journey move.

They may even should bear a speedy check inside 12 hours of arrival and report any constructive end result to authorities, although the measure might be reviewed after two weeks.

Unvaccinated returning Australians will nonetheless be required to undergo lodge quarantine.

Western Australia had efficiently stopped the native unfold of the coronavirus all through the pandemic, by contact tracing and isolating carriers, till the extremely contagious Omicron variant arrived this 12 months.

The state now stories greater than 1,000 new infections daily.

“Australia is now lastly again collectively,” Qantas Airways Chief Govt Alan Joyce mentioned. “Today has been a very long time coming.”

On Wednesday, 61 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported throughout Australia. None was reported that day in Western Australia, Tasmania or the Australian Capital Territory.

COVID stimulus spending failed to deliver on climate promises


Take heed to the most recent science information, with Benjamin Thompson and Nick Petrić Howe.

On this episode:

00:47 G20 nations fail to chop emissions in COVID stimulus packages

The G20 economies spent $14 trillion {dollars} on restoration packages to flee the worldwide recession pushed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments made pledges to ship emissions reductions as a part of these packages. This week, a workforce of researchers have analysed the spending to see if these guarantees had been stored.

Remark: G20’s US$14-trillion financial stimulus reneges on emissions pledges

09:34 Analysis Highlights

A man-made nerve cell triggers a Venus flytrap’s snap, and a fossil exhibits that pterosaurs within the Jurassic interval had been bigger than beforehand thought.

Analysis Spotlight: Venus flytrap snaps shut at artificial neuron’s command

Analysis Spotlight: The surprisingly large reptile that prowled the Jurassic skies

12:10 How realizing a little bit about somebody modifications how nameless you are feeling

This week, a workforce of researchers have used lab-based research to point out how studying a little bit a few stranger makes an individual really feel that the stranger is aware of one thing about them. The workforce took this work out of the lab and into New York Metropolis, the place they confirmed that offering residents with information about neighborhood cops quickly lowered crime.

Analysis article: Shah & LaForest

Information and Views: Letters and playing cards telling individuals about native police scale back crime

23:18 The experiences of Ukrainian researchers following the Russian invasion

Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, we hear in regards to the experiences of Ukranian researchers because the battle continues, and the outpouring of condemnation from the broader educational world.

Information: World analysis neighborhood condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable every day round-up of science information, opinion and evaluation free in your inbox each weekday.

By no means miss an episode: Subscribe to the Nature Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. Head right here for the Nature Podcast RSS feed.

Utah health officials report 19 COVID deaths as US Navy arrives to support hospital staff


Dr. Kencee Graves talks with members of the U.S. Navy as they arrive to help the College of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported 19 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, together with 461 new instances.

The rolling, seven-day common for brand new optimistic checks is now 405 per day. The seven-day common for optimistic checks is at the moment 13.2%, persevering with a decline, in line with the Utah Division of Well being.

It additionally reported Wednesday that one other 3,882 folks in Utah have been examined and a couple of,434 have been vaccinated. And, faculty kids accounted for 45 of the 461 new instances. Of these, 25 instances have been kids between ages 5 and 10, 5 have been ages 11-13, and 15 have been ages 14-17.

At the moment, 306 persons are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in line with the well being division, with 63 of these sufferers in intensive care. A number of weeks in the past, in mid-January, there have been greater than 600 folks hospitalized with COVID-19, together with a whole bunch within the ICU.

ICU capability is now at 71%, and ICU referral facilities are 73% full — each beneath the warning ranges.

On the peak of the omicron variant’s affect on the state’s hospitals, there have been 853 COVID-19 patents hospitalized. Now the state is on the lowest COVID-19 hospitalization ranges that it has seen since July 22, shortly after the delta variant grew to become prevalent in Utah.

U.S. Navy helps with surgical procedure backlog

A medical group of 20 United States Navy officers despatched by the nation’s Division of Protection arrived on the College of Utah Hospital on Wednesday to begin a 30-day deployment to help with a backlog of surgical procedures.

Surgical procedures have been placed on maintain whereas the omicron variant took lots of the hospital’s assets. Having further medically skilled folks will imply the hospital can open extra beds and reschedule surgical procedures which were placed on maintain.

This deployment is a part of the Division of Protection’s efforts to help the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is in collaboration with state leaders, in line with a U. Well being press launch.

“Whereas we’re seeing declining numbers in COVID instances, 52 beds stay out of service due to staffing shortages,” Dr. Michael Good, CEO at College of Utah Well being, mentioned.

He mentioned the hospital deferred a whole bunch of surgical procedures and was compelled into “onerous choices” relating to whether or not to take switch sufferers through the wave of omicron variant COVID-19 infections.

“Due to FEMA and with the assistance of colleagues from the Division of Protection, which is able to give attention to treating COVID-positive sufferers, we will start to handle these challenges and supply wanted care to all sufferers in Utah and all through the Mountain West,” Good mentioned.

The medical group of physicians, respiratory therapists, directors and primarily nurses will give attention to direct affected person care wants.

The press launch defined that the U. Hospital is commonly the very best or solely choice for essentially the most complicated sufferers within the space, and that help from the federal authorities will enable for these sufferers to be served extra shortly.

“We’re grateful for this help … and the continuing collaboration with our state leaders to assist restore our operations.” Good mentioned.

Just lately reported COVID-19 deaths

In Wednesday’s report, well being officers introduced 19 new deaths, bringing the state’s COVID-19 loss of life toll to 4,436 all through the pandemic.

Of people that died with COVID-19, 43.4% had a pre-existing situation, 81.3% have been thought-about excessive danger as a result of they have been over 65 or had a pre-existing situation, and 59.6% have been hospitalized after they died. Males have accounted for simply over 60% of the COVID-19 deaths in Utah.

The deaths reported Wednesday symbolize 10 totally different counties all through the state. Solely one of many people was youthful than 65, and 11 have been older than 85.

The most recent COVID-19 deaths in Utah embody:

  • A Tooele County lady between 65 and 84, it’s unknown whether or not she was hospitalized or at a long-term care facility.
  • A Salt Lake County lady, over 85, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Davis County lady, over 85, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Juab County lady, over 85, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Weber County lady, 65-84, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Utah County man, over 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Utah County lady, over 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Sevier County man, over 85, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Cache County man, 65-84, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Washington County man, over 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Uintah County man, over 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, over 85, not hospitalized.
  • Two Salt Lake County males, 65-84, each not hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, over 85, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, over 85, unknown if hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.
  • A Uintah County lady, 45-64, hospitalized.

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Utah health officials report 19 COVID deaths as Navy sends aid to hospitals to support staff


Dr. Kencee Graves talks with members of the U.S. Navy as they arrive to assist the College of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday. The Utah Division of Well being reported 461 instances and 19 deaths within the newest day by day COVID-19 report. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported 19 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, together with 461 new instances.

The rolling seven-day common for brand spanking new optimistic assessments is now 405 per day. The seven-day common for optimistic assessments is at present 13.2%, persevering with a decline.

The well being division reported one other 3,882 individuals who had been examined and a couple of,434 who had been vaccinated.

Faculty kids account for 45 of the 461 new instances. Of these instances, 25 had been kids between ages 5 and 10, 5 had been kids 11-13, and 15 had been kids 14-17.

At present, 306 individuals are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in accordance with the Utah Division of Well being.

U.S. Navy helps with surgical procedure backlog

A medical group of 20 United States Navy officers despatched by the Division of Protection arrived on the College of Utah Hospital on Wednesday to begin a 30-day deployment to assist with a backlog of surgical procedures.

These surgical procedures had been placed on maintain whereas the omicron variant took lots of the hospital’s assets. Having extra educated medical individuals will imply the hospital can open extra beds and reschedule surgical procedures that had been placed on maintain.

This deployment is a part of the Division of Protection’s efforts to assist the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is in collaboration with state leaders, in accordance with a U of U press launch.

“Whereas we’re seeing declining numbers in COVID instances, 52 beds stay out of service due to staffing shortages,” mentioned Dr. Michael Good, CEO of College of Utah Well being.

He mentioned the hospital deferred tons of of surgical procedures and was compelled into laborious selections concerning whether or not to take switch sufferers in the course of the omicron COVID-19 wave.

“Due to FEMA and with the assistance of colleagues from the Division of Protection, which is able to concentrate on treating COVID-positive sufferers, we will start to handle these challenges and supply wanted care to all sufferers in Utah and all through the Mountain West,” Good mentioned.

This story can be up to date.

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Extra tales you could be focused on

Utah health officials report 19 COVID deaths as Navy sends support to hospitals to support staff


Dr. Kencee Graves talks with members of the U.S. Navy as they arrive to assist the College of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday. The Utah Division of Well being reported 461 instances and 19 deaths within the newest day by day COVID-19 report. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported 19 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, together with 461 new instances.

The rolling seven-day common for brand new constructive exams is now 405 per day. The seven-day common for constructive exams is at the moment 13.2%, persevering with a decline.

The well being division reported one other 3,882 individuals who have been examined and a pair of,434 who have been vaccinated.

Faculty kids account for 45 of the 461 new instances. Of these instances, 25 have been kids between ages 5 and 10, 5 have been kids 11-13, and 15 have been kids 14-17.

Presently, 306 individuals are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in keeping with the Utah Division of Well being.

U.S. Navy helps with surgical procedure backlog

A medical group of 20 United States Navy officers despatched by the Division of Protection arrived on the College of Utah Hospital on Wednesday to begin a 30-day deployment to assist with a backlog of surgical procedures.

These surgical procedures have been placed on maintain whereas the omicron variant took most of the hospital’s sources. Having further skilled medical folks will imply the hospital can open extra beds and reschedule surgical procedures that have been placed on maintain.

This deployment is a part of the Division of Protection’s efforts to assist the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is in collaboration with state leaders, in keeping with a U of U press launch.

“Whereas we’re seeing declining numbers in COVID instances, 52 beds stay out of service due to staffing shortages,” mentioned Dr. Michael Good, CEO of College of Utah Well being.

He mentioned the hospital deferred lots of of surgical procedures and was pressured into laborious selections relating to whether or not to take switch sufferers in the course of the omicron COVID-19 wave.

“Because of FEMA and with the assistance of colleagues from the Division of Protection, which can concentrate on treating COVID-positive sufferers, we are able to start to handle these challenges and supply wanted care to all sufferers in Utah and all through the Mountain West,” Good mentioned.

This story will likely be up to date.

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Photos: Signs of normalcy in India after two years of COVID curbs | Gallery News


Almost two years after India went into the world’s largest lockdown to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19, college students are heading again to high school throughout the huge nation – an indication of regular life resuming as an infection charges fall.

India’s every day coronavirus infections rose by lower than 10,000 for a 3rd straight day on Wednesday, a degree final seen in late December earlier than the speedy unfold of the Omicron variant, information from the well being ministry confirmed.

Final week, Maharashtra State Minister Aaditya Thackeray mentioned faculties within the state’s largest metropolis, Mumbai, would resume pre-COVID attendance, reinstating all actions in view of declining circumstances.

India has absolutely vaccinated greater than 765 million of its 940 million grownup inhabitants and about 28 million youngsters aged 15-18, however has not began vaccinating youngsters youthful than 15.

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dwelling state of Gujarat, markets had been again in full swing after an extended hiatus.

Patrons streamed in to take pleasure in dinner and late-night snacks following the lifting of a curfew final week at Ahmedabad’s common Manek Chowk, a market that transforms right into a hawker centre after nightfall.

Comparable indicators of life resuming its regular tempo abound throughout the nation.

Roads and trains are congested once more as folks return to workplaces, film theatres are reporting a surge in foot site visitors, and eating places and gaming parlours are packed.

COVID reinfections, sneezing hamsters and huge methane emissions


People walk past a COVID-19 testing sign on the street, during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, New York, U.S.

Instances of coronavirus reinfection are growing all over the world.Credit score: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

COVID reinfections surge throughout Omicron wave

For the reason that Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 was first detected, the variety of individuals reinfected with the coronavirus has been rising sharply — a pattern that was not noticed with earlier variants. Researchers say that Omicron might be driving the surge as a result of it will probably evade the physique’s immune defences.

In England, greater than 650,000 individuals have in all probability been contaminated twice; most of them had been reinfected prior to now two months, in accordance with knowledge collected by the UK Well being Safety Company. The company considers an an infection a ‘attainable reinfection’ if it occurred at the least three months after a earlier one. Earlier than mid-November, reinfections accounted for about 1% of reported instances of COVID-19, however the charge has now elevated to round 10%.

“The power of Omicron to contaminate individuals with both vaccine- or infection-derived immunity is a key a part of what made the latest surge so giant,” says Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious-disease researcher on the College of California, Santa Cruz.

Measuring reinfection charges helps to evaluate “how infections may surge”, says Catherine Bennett, an epidemiologist at Deakin College in Melbourne, Australia.

‘Dangerously quick’ progress in atmospheric methane

Methane concentrations within the ambiance raced previous 1,900 elements per billion final 12 months, almost triple pre-industrial ranges, in accordance with knowledge launched in January by the US Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists say the grim milestone underscores the significance of a pledge made ultimately 12 months’s COP26 local weather summit to curb emissions of methane, a greenhouse fuel at the least 28 instances as potent as carbon dioxide.

The expansion of methane emissions slowed across the flip of the millennium, however started a speedy and mysterious uptick round 2007. The spike has induced many researchers to fret that international warming is making a suggestions mechanism that may trigger ever extra methane to be launched, making it even tougher to rein in rising temperatures.

A worrying trend: Line chart showing the rise in atmospheric methane levels since 1985.

Supply: NOAA

“Methane ranges are rising dangerously quick,” says Euan Nisbet, an Earth scientist at Royal Holloway, College of London, in Egham, UK.

Some researchers assume that a lot of the rise prior to now 15 years could be attributable to microbial sources, somewhat than the extraction of fossil fuels. The emissions are a significant menace to the world’s aim of limiting international warming to 1.5–2 °C over pre-industrial temperatures.

Workers in full PPE at the Little Boss pet store in Hong Kong

A suspected outbreak at a pet store in January led to a cull of hamsters in Hong Kong.Credit score: Chan Lengthy Hei/Bloomberg/Getty

Sneezing hamsters sparked Hong Kong COVID outbreak

Pet hamsters in all probability carried the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 into Hong Kong and sparked a human COVID-19 outbreak, in accordance with a genomic evaluation of viral samples from the rodents. The analysis confirms earlier fears {that a} pet store was the supply of the outbreak, which had, by early February, contaminated about 50 individuals and led to the culling of some 2,000 hamsters throughout the town.

Hamsters are extremely prone to SARS-CoV-2 and so are a preferred mannequin for finding out the virus. However the Hong Kong research — posted on-line as a preprint and but to be peer reviewed — is the primary to point out that hamsters can change into contaminated exterior the laboratory, and that they’ll cross the virus on, each to different hamsters and to people (H.-L. Yen et al. Preprint at Social Science Analysis Community https://doi.org/hh9r; 2022). Hamsters are solely the second animal identified to have the ability to infect individuals, after mink. In late 2020, small outbreaks of COVID-19 in individuals in Denmark and the Netherlands had been linked to farmed mink, sparking panic and mass culls.

The most recent research factors to the pet commerce as a route for viral unfold, says co-author Leo Poon, a virologist on the College of Hong Kong. However “to be honest to the hamsters”, persons are nonetheless more likely to be contaminated by one another than by pets, he says.

Amid Ukraine crisis, China’s ‘Zero COVID’ weighs on global growth | Russia-Ukraine crisis


As struggle in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia threaten international financial development, the way forward for China’s “dynamic zero COVID” coverage is below scrutiny as a consider provide chain disruptions and rising inflation.

Whereas the remainder of the world is opening borders and studying to stay with COVID-19, China’s elimination technique – which includes utilizing mass testing and tracing, border controls and snap lockdowns to comprise the virus – has weighed on the post-pandemic financial restoration at dwelling and abroad.

The restrictions have slowed home spending throughout China, set off a mind drain in Hong Kong, and triggered export disruptions which were blamed for fuelling rising inflation worldwide.

In January, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva mentioned Beijing’s pandemic technique more and more appeared like “extra of a burden” to the financial system.

“At a time of heightened market volatility, any doable information on one other extra critical COVID outbreak in China will stir market reactions and add additional to commodity value volatility,” mentioned Tommy Wu, lead economist at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong.

GlobalData has forecast a 4.6 p.c international inflation charge in 2022, in contrast with 3.6 p.c in 2021, revising its inflation estimates upward for a lot of of China’s main export locations, together with the US, Germany, the Netherlands, and Vietnam.

The disaster in Ukraine has exacerbated pre-existing international inflation fears, with oil costs surging above $100 a barrel for the primary time since 2014.

China has declined to sentence Russia, the world’s second-largest pure fuel producer and third-largest oil producer, over its invasion of Ukraine, and as an alternative, has referred to as on all events to “train restraint”.

Inflationary pressures

“China supply-chain disruptions have pushed up enter prices for companies throughout sectors who’ve needed to move the upper price of manufacturing on to shoppers thereby driving up international good costs,” Gargi Rao, a GlobalData financial analysis analyst, advised Al Jazeera, itemizing the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, and India as among the many economies most susceptible to China’s provide chain disruptions.

“To tame these inflationary pressures, central banks in main economies are prone to hike coverage charges. Nonetheless, even after climbing coverage charges, inflationary strain might persist because the rise in value stage is especially pushed by provide shortages.”

Whereas the financial impression of zero COVID pales compared to the potential fallout of the struggle in Ukraine, the unpredictability and suddenness of disruptions can have pricey, albeit short-lived penalties.

A lockdown within the southern Chinese language metropolis of Baise final month interpreted the transportation of aluminium ingots and uncooked supplies to factories, triggering export delays that despatched costs to a 14-year excessive.

“Provide chain interruptions in China don’t discriminate by business or geographic area,” Trivium China analyst Taylor Loeb advised Al Jazeera.

“They’re unpredictable and have occurred everywhere in the nation. The uncertainty will proceed – not across the coverage per se, however round the truth that the ‘when’ and ‘the place’ of outbreaks, and the lockdowns that observe them, are unpredictable.”

Apparently involved concerning the financial fallout, Beijing has in latest months experimented with extra focused lockdowns which have centered on particular venues or neighbourhoods fairly than complete cities.

“The impression of lockdowns in China on provide chains will depend upon how the lockdowns are carried out,” Tianlei Huang, a analysis fellow on the Peterson Institute for Worldwide Economics in Washington, DC, advised Al Jazeera.

Huang cited Shanghai – which locked down particular buildings and areas fairly than the whole metropolis – as instance of an efficient focused lockdown technique.

“With well-targeted lockdowns, financial exercise interruptions will be minimised,” he mentioned.

Wu of Oxford Economies mentioned a extra focused method would assist “hold manufacturing working as a lot as doable in case of COVID outbreaks.”

Queues of people waiting in a snaking line in Hong Kong to get COVID testsHong Kong is experiencing an explosion in coronavirus infections [File: Joyce Zhou/Reuters]

A latest explosion of instances in Hong Kong has solid additional doubt on the sustainability of a strict “zero COVID” stance. After protecting infections close to zero for a lot of the pandemic, the worldwide monetary centre is reporting greater than 30,000 instances and 100 deaths every day. Below the town’s most draconian pandemic restrictions because the pandemic started, companies are dealing with months of compelled closures, grocery store cabinets are being stripped naked, and worldwide expertise is heading for the door.

Regardless of repeated flare-ups in infections, mainland China has reported fewer than 4,700 deaths all through the pandemic, one of many lowest loss of life tolls on the earth.

This week, Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist on the Chinese language Centre for Illness Management and Prevention, hinted that Beijing might be reconsidering its “zero COVID” coverage. In a social media publish, Zeng mentioned the coverage “is not going to stay ceaselessly” and that China’s long-term purpose would contain co-existing with the virus.

“Within the close to future, on the proper time, the roadmap for Chinese language-style co-existence with the virus needs to be offered,” mentioned Zeng, expressing hope that Beijing would undertake a reopening coverage “that’s versatile but manageable, one which advantages from China’s whole-of-society system but additionally learns from others’ successes”.

To date, Beijing has but to sign any such change.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese language Centre for Illness Management and Prevention, final month advised Chinese language state media that the nation wouldn’t modify its coverage in the meanwhile.

Loeb of Trivium China mentioned the financial impact of Beijing’s technique has not been as extreme as many had predicted.

“The sanctions on Russia, and what’s prone to be Russia’s extended isolation from developed economies, are going to trigger long-term ache, notably in vitality and different commodities,” he mentioned. “However for China, if post-Omicron developments proceed, the frequency of provide chain disruptions will solely lower.”

State of the Union attendees needed a COVID test. 5 legislators tested positive : NPR


(L-R) Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Alex Wong/Getty Photographs; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Karen Ducey/Getty Photographs; Samuel Corum/Getty Photographs


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Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Alex Wong/Getty Photographs; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Karen Ducey/Getty Photographs; Samuel Corum/Getty Photographs


(L-R) Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Alex Wong/Getty Photographs; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs; Karen Ducey/Getty Photographs; Samuel Corum/Getty Photographs

At the least 5 legislators introduced Tuesday that they’d examined constructive for COVID-19 forward of tonight’s State of the Union tackle.

To attend tonight’s speech, friends — even those that are totally vaccinated — are required to provide a damaging check.

California’s Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Pete Aguilar, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington and Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida — all Democrats — introduced by statements or tweets Tuesday that they’d examined constructive.

Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois stated Friday that she had tested positive.

Usually, a State of the Union tackle is attended by 1,500 individuals or extra. Members of Congress and different political dignitaries convey friends and members of the family. However final yr, solely 200 individuals attended Biden’s joint tackle to Congress in April, simply as COVID-19 vaccines had began to change into extensively accessible to most American adults.

This yr, all 535 members of Congress had been invited to attend tonight’s speech, a call made with the steering of Brian P. Monahan, the Capitol’s attending doctor. Many Republicans have determined to skip the occasion. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) stated he wouldn’t attend as a result of he objected to the requirement that every one these current would want to take a COVID-19 check.

Attendees is not going to be required to put on masks tonight — a change to Monahan’s steering made within the wake of falling COVID-19 ranges within the D.C. space. The White Home additionally lately modified its masks coverage, permitting totally vaccinated workers members to go maskless.