The Latest: Biden to mark 500,000 lives lost with ceremony

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON __ President Joe Biden will mark the U.S. crossing 500,000 lives lost from COVID-19 with a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House.

The nation is expected to pass the grim milestone on Monday, just over a year after the first confirmed U.S. fatality due to the novel coronavirus.

The White House said Biden will deliver remarks at sunset to honor those who lost their lives. He will be joined by first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will participate in the moment of silence and lighting ceremony.

Biden has made a point of recognizing the lives lost from the virus. His first event upon arriving in Washington for his inauguration a month ago was to deliver remarks at a COVID-19 memorial ceremony.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Britain speeds up vaccination plan; all adults to get 1st jab by July 31

— What’s safe after a COVID-19 vaccination? Don’t take the masks off yet, scientists say

— Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California are embroiled in political woes from the pandemic

— Airlines plan to ask passengers for contact-tracing details

— With no crowds during a coronavirus lockdown, the Louvre in Paris is using the down time to refurbish

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand will remove remaining coronavirus restrictions from Auckland on Monday after an outbreak discovered in the largest city fades away.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more than 72,000 tests had found no evidence the virus was spreading in the community.

Auckland was placed into a three-day lockdown this month after a mother, father and daughter tested positive. Another five contacts later tested positive. After the lockdown ended, Auckland continued to have restrictions including on gatherings.

The source of the outbreak remains unclear, although authorities continue to investigate whether there is a connection between infected airline passengers and the mother, who works at a company which cleans laundry for airlines.

New Zealand has an elimination strategy with the coronavirus and has managed to stamp out its spread.

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LOS ANGELES — California’s death toll during the coronavirus pandemic has topped 49,000, even as the rates of new infections and hospitalizations continue to plummet across the state.

California reported another 408 deaths Sunday, bringing the total since the outbreak began to 49,105 — the highest in the nation.

Health officials said Sunday that the number of patients in California hospitals with COVID-19 has slipped below 7,000, a drop of more than a third over two weeks.

The 6,760 new confirmed cases reported Sunday are more than 85% below the mid-December peak of about 54,000 in one day. Total cases are approaching 3.45 million.

The positivity rate for people being tested has been falling for weeks, which means fewer people will end up in hospitals.

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CODOGNO, Italy — Italians are marking one year since their country was shocked to discover it had the first known locally transmitted COVID-19 case in the West.

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With church services Sunday …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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