US reportedly will pause use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at federal sites due to blood clots: Latest COVID-19 updates

Federal health agencies today will call for an immediate pause in use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine at federal vaccination sites, the New York Times reported.

The Times said federal officials expect that state health officials will take that as a strong signal to do the same.

Six recipients in the United States developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination, and one of them died, officials briefed on the decision told the Times.

Last week, a mass vaccination site in Colorado was briefly shut down after 11 people suffered “adverse reactions” including nausea and dizziness after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Also in the news:

►For the first time in months, shops, hairdressers and pub “gardens” reopened Monday in England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to “behave responsibly.” Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order is ending and some rules are being relaxed in Scotland and Wales.

►The Chicago Cubs are concerned about a possible COVID-19 outbreak after two coaches tested positive for the virus and three relievers were placed on the COVID-19-related injured list.

► Haiti has not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even though countries began receiving dosage from the World Health Organization five weeks ago, reported The Miami Herald.

►“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday at the grand opening of a Times Square COVID-19 vaccination site intended to jump-start the city’s entertainment industry.

►All schools in Canada’s most populous province of Ontario will be shut down and move to online learning because of a record number of coronavirus infections fueled by more-contagious virus variants, the province’s premier announced Monday. Premier Doug Ford said his government is moving to online-only after the April break this week.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 31.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 562,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 136.5 million cases and 2.94 million deaths. More than 237.79 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 189.96 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

USA TODAY is tracking COVID-19 news. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Oregon fines Twisted River Saloon in Springfield $18K for violating COVID-19 rules

An Oregon saloon was fined more than $18,000 on Monday for “violating three standards” to protect employees from COVID-19.

The $18,430 fine was leveled against the Twisted River Saloon in Springfield, which “willfully continued to potentially expose workers to the virus” by allowing indoor dining beginning roughly around Jan. 4 and continuing until Feb. 26, according to the release from Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

At that time, Lane County was designated as an “extreme risk” for COVID-19 transmission, and indoor dining was supposed to be at zero capacity.

During an inspection, owner James Butt said he chose to reopen the saloon even though he was aware it was against workplace health requirements, the release says.

– Louis Krauss, Register-Guard

CDC says Michigan not likely to get extra vaccines to combat surge

The federal government is not inclined to ship extra vaccine supplies to Michigan to combat the state’s severe surge in cases, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky noted that it takes two to six weeks from the time vaccines are jabbed until the impact could be realized.

“When you have an acute situation, an extraordinary amount of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine, the answer is to really close things down,” Walensky said at a White House COVID response briefing. “If we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have the impact.”

Andy Slavitt, the White House senior COVID adviser, said shifting vaccine supplies “to play Whac-a-Mole isn’t the strategy that public health leaders and scientists have laid out.”

These colleges were more likely to provide in-person learning

Colleges looking to enroll more students or those in Republican-controlled states were the most likely to reopen for in-person learning during the fall 2020 semester, according to a study by the College Crisis Initiative, a group at Davidson College that has been tracking how colleges responded to the pandemic.

The researchers found that colleges that accept fewer applicants and whose students are more academically prepared were more likely to be online during the pandemic. And those that accepted more students and were in Republican-controlled states were more likely to be in-person compared to colleges in blue states.

What didn’t seem to influence a college’s plan to open in-person? Coronavirus cases. The researchers wrote they didn’t find an association between a state’s coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 residents and college’s plans to offer online or in-person courses.

– Chris Quintana

Contributing: The Associated Press

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