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CORONAVIRUS

CVS Health to vaccinate 63,000 Minnesotans after Christmas

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Pharmacy chain CVS Health announced on Monday that the company will begin vaccinating more than 63,000 long-term care residents and workers across Minnesota next week. CVS Health announced that it began vaccinating long-term care residents and staff in 12 states on ...

Virus rules not enforced — grieving Texas family asks: Why?

Associated Press ABILENE, Texas — In the weeks that Mark Riggs went from feeling worn down before Thanksgiving to dying of COVID-19 last Monday, only six calls about people not wearing face coverings rolled into the Abilene Police Department. Even though defiance of Texas’ mask mandate ...

House passes $900 billion COVID relief, catchall measure

Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The House easily passed a $900 billion pandemic relief package Monday night that would finally deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. ...

Strained health agencies push do-it-yourself contact tracing

Associated Press When Eileen Carroll’s daughter tested positive for the coronavirus, Rhode Island health officials called with the results, then told her to notify anyone her daughter might have been around. Contact tracers, she was told, were simply too overwhelmed to do it. That’s also ...

More EU nations ban travel from UK, fearing virus variant

BERLIN (AP) — A growing list of European Union nations barred travel from the U.K. on Sunday and others were considering similar action, in a bid to block a new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England from spreading to the continent. France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, ...

Regulators cite three more eateries for violating Walz order

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota regulators on Saturday told three more establishments to close indoor in-person dining or face 60-day suspensions of their liquor licenses. The Interchange in Albert Lea, Cornerstone in Monticello and The Pour House in Clarks Grove have joined a growing list of ...

Congress seals deal on COVID relief, government funding

Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Capitol Hill negotiators sealed a deal Sunday on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package, finally delivering long-overdue help to businesses and individuals and providing money to deliver vaccines to a nation eager for them. The ...

People over 75, essential workers next in line for vaccine

Associated Press NEW YORK — An expert committee put people 75 and older and essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers next in line for COVID-19 shots as a second vaccine began rolling out Sunday to hospitals, a desperately needed boost as the nation works to ...

Vaccinations reach nursing homes as California faces crisis

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The first COVID-19 vaccinations are underway at U.S. nursing homes, where the virus has killed more than 110,000 people, even as the nation struggles to contain a surge so alarming it has spurred California to dispense thousands of body bags and line up refrigerated ...

Tyson fires 7 at Iowa pork plant after COVID betting inquiry

Associated Press IOWA CITY, Iowa — Tyson Foods has fired seven top managers at its largest pork plant after an independent investigation into allegations that they bet on how many workers would test positive for the coronavirus, the company announced Wednesday. The company said the ...

Governor to reopen elementary schools

Associated Press/Report for America ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced plans Wednesday to get children back into elementary schools and ease some restrictions on fitness centers and other businesses that were shuttered last month to curb the spread of COVID-19, though bars and ...

Negotiators near agreement on COVID-19 relief bill

Associated Press WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators closed in Wednesday on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that would deliver additional help to businesses, $300 per week jobless checks, and $600 stimulus payments to most Americans. But there was no deal quite yet. The ...

Over-the-counter home test for COVID-19 gets US green light

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first home test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require a prescription will soon be on U.S. store shelves. U.S. regulators Tuesday authorized the rapid coronavirus test, which can be done entirely at home. The announcement by the Food and Drug Administration represents ...

Negotiators report progress on long-delayed COVID aid bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top negotiators reported at least some progress on a long-delayed COVID-19 aid package Tuesday after a rare meeting of Capitol Hill’s four most senior lawmakers. The quartet, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, said they would ...

US vaccinations ramp up as 2nd COVID-19 shot nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds more hospitals around the country began dispensing COVID-19 shots to their workers in a rapid expansion of the U.S. vaccination drive Tuesday, while a second vaccine moved to the cusp of government authorization. A day after the rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech’s ...

Hopeful sign: Midwestern states see drop in new virus cases

Associated Press After a punishing fall that left hospitals struggling, some Midwestern states are seeing a decline in new coronavirus cases. But the signs of improvement are offset by the infection’s accelerating spread on both coasts. States including Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and ...

Democrats squeezed as COVID-19 relief talks continue

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Washington negotiators continued to reach for a long-delayed agreement on COVID-19 relief on Monday, but rank-and-file Democrats appeared increasingly resigned to having to drop, for now, a scaled-back demand for fiscal relief for states and local governments whose ...

Day of hope arrives

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis VA Medical Center was among four locations to receive Minnesota’s first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday and will begin administering vaccinations on Tuesday. “This is the day we’ve all been waiting for,” said Gov. Tim Walz, who was at ...

US launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign

AP Medical Writer Health care workers around the country rolled up their sleeves for the first COVID-19 shots Monday as hope that an all-out vaccination effort can defeat the coronavirus smacked up against the heartbreaking reality of 300,000 U.S. deaths. “Relieved,” proclaimed critical ...

Budget toll from virus hits both Democratic, GOP-led states

Associated Press No “blue state bailout” is a rallying cry for many congressional Republicans as attempts to provide more federal aid to a nation stricken by an ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic remain stuck in neutral. Yet it’s not just Democratic states asking for help amid ...