VIRUS TODAY: Massachusetts nurses go on strike over staffing
Here’s what’s happening Monday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:
VACCINES: More than 60 million people, or 18.1% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 31.2 million people have completed their vaccination, or 9.4% of the population.
CASES: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks, going from 66,162.4 on Feb. 21 to 57,971.5 on Sunday.
DEATHS: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks, going from 1,873 on Feb. 21 to 1,677.1 on Sunday.
POSITIVITY RATE: The seven-day rolling test positivity rate in the U.S. decreased from 4.9% on Feb. 21 to 4.1% on Sunday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. The three states with the highest rates of positive coronavirus tests: Idaho (25.9%), Alabama (19.6%) and Iowa (18.1%). Idaho’s rate rose in the past two weeks from 19.91% on Feb. 21 to 25.89% on Sunday.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY
— Hundreds of nurses at a Massachusetts hospital walked off the job after failing to reach an agreement with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare over staffing levels. Nurses and their supporters gathered outside St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester at dawn Monday holding signs that said “Safe Staffing Now” and “Picketing for our Patients and our Community.”
— One year into the pandemic, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is still attempting to strike the right balance between keeping the state’s tourism industry afloat while also containing the coronavirus. Sisolak said in an interview with The Associated Press that he plans to use Nevada’s safety protocols as a selling point to bring tourists, conventions and trade shows back to Las Vegas.
— More than $23.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds was split up among 25 applicants for the first two rounds of the South Dakota small business grant program. Some proprietors are questioning the process. The Argus Leader newspaper reports that those companies in the top 25 consisted mostly of hospitality, agriculture and commercial real estate and construction businesses.
QUOTABLE: “We are sad to see that Tenet holds so little value for our patients, yet we are resolved to do whatever it takes for as long as it take to protect our patients, as it is safer to strike now than allow Tenet to continue endangering our patients every day on every shift,” nurse Marlena Pellegrino, co-chair of the local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said in a statement.
ICYMI: Students in Michigan’s largest school district returned to classrooms for in-person learning Monday for the first time in months. Detroit schools stopped face-to-face learning in November because of rising COVID-19 infection rates in the city.
ON THE HORIZON: Gov. Andrew Cuomo says restaurants in New York state outside of New York City will be allowed to fill three-fourths of their seats starting March 19. The move to 75% capacity will take place on the same day that neighboring Connecticut goes to 100% capacity for restaurants
Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic