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1 hr 19 min ago

NYC Public Schools will have remote learning instead of snow days next school year

From CNN’s Elizabeth Stuart

School buses are covered in snow during a snowstorm on February 1 in Brooklyn, New York.
School buses are covered in snow during a snowstorm on February 1 in Brooklyn, New York. Wong Maye-E/AP

So long, snow days! New York City Public Schools released its calendar for the 2021-22 school year on Tuesday, and with it came an announcement that instead of school being canceled for snow days, they will shift students to remote learning on those days.

“The DOE will shift all students to remote instruction in lieu of cancelling schools due to severe weather conditions,” a statement from the NYC Department of Education said.

The school year will begin for the nation’s largest school district on Sept. 13, and will include 180 days of classes. The new policy of not closing for severe weather or snowstorms will allow the district to meet the required number of days, according to the city’s Department of Education.

“The pandemic has also created the ability to switch seamlessly to remote learning, and DOE central and schools have distributed hundreds of thousands of devices to ensure that learning can continue remotely during school closures,” the statement said.

There are several other changes to the school calendar. Election Day on Nov. 2 will also be a remote learning day for NYC public schools. And two observed holidays have been added: Indigenous Peoples’ Day and observance of Juneteenth.

The Department of Education said its goal is to have all of its more than 1 million students return for in-person learning when the school year starts in the fall.

2 hr 41 min ago

Pfizer expects to produce at least 3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses next year

From CNN’s Nadia Kounang

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday the company has been contracted to deliver 1.6 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine globally this year, and the company expects to produce at least 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022. The company is in discussions with countries for multi-year contracts of potential supply.

Bourla said the company is expecting approximately $26 billion in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in 2021. 

Pfizer says it’s not yet clear how long the vaccine will protect against Covid-19, but Bourla said demand for the vaccine is expected to remain high. “Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that a durable demand for our COVID-19 vaccine – similar to that of the flu vaccines – is a likely outcome,” Bourla said. 

In addition to testing a third dose as a booster against variants, Bourla said, Pfizer is also working on a version of the vaccine that specifically targets the B.1351 variant, which was first identified in South Africa. According to Bourla, efficacy data for both the booster and the B.1351 specific vaccine would be available in early July. He noted that the study design of the B.1351 variant vaccine would potentially be a prototype so that Pfizer could update it to target new variants of concern in approximately 100 days. 

Bourla also said the company was working on trialing two antiviral treatments to treat Covid-19, one administered as a shot and the other orally. The company expects to begin phase 2/3 trials of these treatments this summer and anticipates applying for approvals by the end of the year. The treatments will be tested for their efficacy in treating Covid-19 and will be evaluated against the current monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19. They will also be tested as a potential prophylaxis, testing in unvaccinated households that have a Covid-19 infection to see if it prevents additional infections. 

1 hr 31 min ago

Indian federal government should be transparent on where aid is going, Rajasthan’s health minister says

From CNN’s Rishabh M Pratap and Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Ground staff unload Covid-19 relief supplies from the US at the Indira Gandhi International Airport cargo terminal in New Delhi, India on April 30.
Ground staff unload Covid-19 relief supplies from the US at the Indira Gandhi International Airport cargo terminal in New Delhi, India on April 30. Prakash Singh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

India’s federal government should create a “transparent environment” to show where international medical aid is and how it is being distributed, the state of Rajasthan’s Health Minister Raghu Sharma told CNN in a call on Tuesday.

Sharma said Modi’s government has “kept states in the dark during the pandemic.”

“We sent delegations to [central government] for clarity on supplies of O2 [oxygen], drugs and vaccination drive but were not spoken to in clarity from the Union Govt.,” Sharma said.

“Regarding the import or foreign aid, no information or supply details have been shared with the state government,” he added.

Sharma called for Modi’s government to create an app where everyone can see how much aid or imported essentials have come in and what percentage of it is allocated to what state.

The Indian federal government said it has sent aid to Rajasthan, including two hospitals in the city of Jodhpur and Jaipur.

The government has put into place a “streamlined mechanism” for allocating aid received from the global community, according to a statement from the health ministry Tuesday. 

Twenty-four different categories totaling nearly 4 million items have been distributed across 86 healthcare facilities across the country, the statement said.

3 hr 30 min ago

FAA received 1,300 reports of disruptive passengers in the last three months

From CNN’s Greg Wallace

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it is experiencing a spike in reports of unruly airplane passengers and has received about 1,300 such reports since February.  

The agency said it has begun the process of fining passengers in about 20 cases. The agency continues to investigate and may bring additional cases, a spokesman said.  

It is the second federal agency to identify a problem with misbehaving passengers.  

CNN was first to report the Transportation Security Administration is approaching 2,000 reports of travelers not complying with the federal mask requirement. Those reports include passengers on airplanes, buses, boats, and trains, and people in transportation hubs like airports and train stations.  

The FAA reports include mask non-compliance as well as passengers disturbing other passengers, assaulting flight crews, and drinking their own alcohol on flights. CNN has previously reported on multiple cases where passengers have been fined. 

Federal prosecutors also brought charges recently against a passenger who they say assaulted a flight attendant and did not comply with the face mask requirement. 

The FAA did not previously track the number of disruptive passenger reports it received, the spokesman said. But it said it historically brings between 100 and 180 enforcement actions each year.

4 hr 41 min ago

Go There: CNN is live in New Jersey as the state continues to reopen

America’s daily Covid-19 cases and deaths are now about one-fifth of what they were during their winter peaks. 

New Jersey is opening up its economy by lifting most curfews and capacity restrictions at restaurants and other businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy even announced the state also plans to offer a free beer to anyone over the age of 21 who shows their completed vaccination card at thirteen participating breweries throughout the state.

CNN’s Miguel Marquez will be live from Asbury Park with the latest. What questions do you have?

4 hr 44 min ago

Massachusetts town keeping outdoor mask mandate to be “very cautious,” health director says

From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt

Customers wearing masks line up outside the Trader Joe's grocery store in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA on April 8, 2020.
Customers wearing masks line up outside the Trader Joe’s grocery store in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA on April 8, 2020. Lane Turner/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

While the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for outdoor mask-wearing and masks are no longer required outside in Massachusetts, the town of Brookline is still implementing a more restrictive mask mandate.

Dr. Swannie Jett, the town’s director of Health and Human Services, said the decision to keep the outdoor mask mandate is out of an abundance of caution.

Thirty percent of the population, or about 20,000 people, have been vaccinated in the town bordering Boston, according to Jett.

“We still have 40,000 people that have not been vaccinated. And if we lift the mask mandate, I mean, who is going to police those people that are not wearing a mask to make sure they have been vaccinated? And so we are very cautious about that impact,” Jett said to CNN’s John Berman.

Most viral transmission doesn’t happen outdoors. Less than 10% of Covid-19 infections studied occurred outside, according to a review in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Jett said the Advisory Council on Public Health will continue to look at the science and advise him on next steps.

“If you keep a mask mandate in place, it might give them an incentive to get the shot. And remember, Covid is not over. The pandemic still exists,” Jett added.


5 hr 1 min ago

Pfizer expects to submit for Covid-19 vaccine emergency authorization for kids ages 2 to 11 in September 

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Pfizer expects to submit for US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September, the company said during its first quarter earnings teleconference on Tuesday. 

The pediatric safety and efficacy study in children ages 6 months to 11 years old is ongoing.  

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in prepared remarks, adding that the readout and submission for children 6 months to 2 years is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Phase 2 safety data from Pfizer’s ongoing study in pregnant women is expected by late July or early August, Bourla said. 

Bourla also said the company expects to hear back shortly on its application for extended EUA for the vaccine to include 12-to-15-year-olds. On Monday, a federal government official said the FDA is poised to authorize the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for that age group by early next week.

4 hr 18 min ago

Pfizer seeking authorization for Covid-19 vaccine to be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Kanto Rosai Hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on March 4.
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Kanto Rosai Hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on March 4. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Pfizer has submitted information to the US Food and Drug Administration that may allow its Covid-19 vaccine to be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures, the company’s CEO said Tuesday. Such a change could help simplify distribution of the vaccine.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in an earnings meeting on Tuesday the company submitted new data to the FDA on Friday, and it may “soon” have an emergency use authorization to allow standard refrigeration for up to four weeks. 

Currently, Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, between -80 and -60 degrees Celsius, or in cold storage, between -25 and -15 degrees Celsius, for a maximum of two weeks, which can complicate distribution of the vaccine. 

According to Bourla, new data could allow the vaccine to be stored at standard temperatures, between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, for up to four weeks. 

Bourla said Pfizer is working on additional formulations that could further extend the storage time of the vaccine in both standard and ultra-cold refrigerators. 

4 hr 52 min ago

Nepal records its highest daily Covid-19 death toll so far

From CNN’s Asha Thapa and Kosh Raj Koirala in Kathmandu

Men wearing personal protective equipment carry the body of a Covid-19 victim to cremate on the bank of Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 3.
Men wearing personal protective equipment carry the body of a Covid-19 victim to cremate on the bank of Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 3. Sunil Pradhan/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Nepal has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll of the pandemic so far, with 55 deaths recorded on Tuesday.

The country has also recorded another 7,587 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to government data. 

As neighboring India continues to grapple with an unrelenting second wave of Covid-19, Nepal is seeing its own surge in case numbers.

It has seen a more than 1,200% rise in seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases since mid-April, CNN’s calculation of data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

On average, the country is reporting 200 new daily cases per million people.   

Across the country 46 out of 77 districts are in either partial or full lockdown, including the capital Kathmandu, according to an official government notice on Tuesday.   

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