The Latest: Israel breaks daily case record from January

JERUSALEM – Israel’s Health Ministry reports that the country has set a new daily record for diagnosed coronavirus cases as the delta variant surges.

The Israeli government registered 10,947 new cases on Monday, two days before 2.4 million students are scheduled to return to school this week. The country’s previous pandemic record of 10, 118 new cases was set on Jan. 18.

Israel is home to one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs. The country is offering third booster shots to it’s entire eligible population, requiring masks indoors and promising better enforcement of safety measures.

Nearly 6 million of Israel’s 9.3 million people have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Nearly 2.2 million have received a third shot.



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SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean officials are expressing cautious hope that COVID-19 transmissions are beginning to slow, after battling the country’s worst wave of infections for weeks.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Tuesday reported the country’s lowest daily jump in about two weeks at 1,372 cases.

Officials have been enforcing the strongest social distancing restrictions short of a lockdown in the capital of Seoul and other large population centers, including banning private social gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m.

A senior health ministry official pleaded for citizens to remain vigilant ahead of next month’s Chuseok holidays, the Korean version of Thanksgiving, when millions usually travel across the country to meet relatives.

Less than 30% of South Korea’s population have been fully vaccinated.


OXFORD, Miss. — Colleges across the United States country are cautiously optimistic that tailgating atmospheres before football games will remain close to normal, even as they monitor how things have changed since the emergence of the delta variant.

About three dozen Power Five schools responded to an Associated Press survey regarding their tailgating policies. Nearly all the schools that responded are tentatively planning to restore the tailgating policies they had in 2019. Many of them noted that’s subject to change based on the status of COVID-19 cases in their area.

That’s a major shift from last year, when even the schools that allowed spectators at games either prohibited or strongly discouraged tailgating.

For example, last year the University of South Carolina didn’t open its parking lots until 2 ½ hours before kickoff, prohibited tents, asked large gatherings of people to disperse and discouraged the use of any grills, coolers or buffet-style spreads. This year, South Carolina is returning to its pre-2020 policies.

The return of tailgating is great news for tens of thousands of fans who consider that a vital part of the college football experience.


HONOLULU — The mayor of Honolulu says the city will soon require patrons of restaurants, bars, museums, theaters and other establishments to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for COVID-19.

The rules take effect on Sept. 13 and are aimed at helping the city beat back a surge in cases from the highly contagious delta variant.

Honolulu joins other cities such as New Orleans and New York that have implemented similar requirements. Children under the age of 12 will be exempt. Employees of the establishments will have to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. Businesses that don’t comply could be fined or shut down.


CANBERRA, Australia — Australia says it has reached a deal with Singapore to acquire 500,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine next week in return for delivering the same number of shots to Singapore in December.

Australia bought 1 million Pfizer doses from Poland for an undisclosed price earlier this month.

Half of Australia’s population is locked down due to an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus that began in Sydney in June.

Australian government leaders plan to end lockdowns once 80% of an area’s residents aged 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Only 34% of that target population was fully vaccinated by this week.


SEATTLE — For the first time during the pandemic, Washington state hospitals are seeing large numbers of pregnant patients sick with COVID-19, state health officials said Monday.

Dr. Tanya Sorensen, the executive medical director of women’s health at Swedish Health Services, said. She noted pregnant patients are generally less likely to be vaccinated.

“We’re seeing ICU admissions, maternal deaths, babies born prematurely either to help the mother breathe or rescue the baby,” she said. “It’s really heartbreaking. … Pregnant women need to be vaccinated.”

As of Monday morning, the state’s hospitals and health care centers were treating 1,570 COVID-19 patients, Washington State Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer said.

While infection rates among children remain comparatively low, younger COVID-19 patients are also increasing, Dr. Dave Carlson, chief physician officer at MultiCare Health System said during a Monday news conference.


ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Some animals are rolling up their fur for a COVID-19 vaccine at the Detroit Zoo.

The zoo in suburban Detroit said its gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and lions are getting a vaccine developed by Zoetis, a veterinary drug company, and authorized by the U.S. Agriculture Department. Other animals will follow.

“We’re both thankful and relieved a special vaccine is now available to protect against COVID-19,” said Scott Carter, the zoo’s chief life sciences officer. “The animals routinely get other vaccinations.”

The zoo said no COVID-19 infections have been found in its animals.


CHICAGO — An Illinois judge on Monday reversed a decision to bar a divorced mother from seeing her 11-year-old son because she isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rebecca Firlit’s lawyer had said the judge, not Firlit’s ex-husband, raised the issue during an Aug. 10 child support hearing. They have been divorced for seven years and share custody of the boy, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday, in what it called one of the first such rulings of its kind.

Cook County Judge James Shapiro asked the 39-year-old mother during the online hearing if she was vaccinated. When she said no, the judge withdrew her rights to see the boy until she gets vaccinated.

“I was confused because it was just supposed to be about expenses and child support,” the desk clerk from Chicago told the Sun-Times. “I asked him what it had to do with the hearing, and he said, ‘I am the judge, and I make the decisions for your case.’”

On Monday, Shapiro issued an order that vacated the early August decision, though the filing offered no explanation for the change of heart, according to the Sun-Times.

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