Home U.S Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states

Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states

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Alabama

Montgomery: The state health officer said Friday that he is cautiously optimistic about improving COVID-19 numbers but urged people to maintain precautions such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds. “This is the most optimistic we’ve been, I think, maybe since this all began,” Dr. Scott Harris said. Three major barometers of the pandemic’s severity – hospitalizations, daily new cases and coronavirus test percent positivity – have fallen to levels the state last saw in fall or summer. “We are not out of the woods, but we see how to get out of the woods. Please don’t stop doing the things that you are doing. This is not the time to ease up wearing your mask. It’s not the time to go be in large groups of people,” Harris said. The number of COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals Friday dipped below 1,000 for the first time since October. Harris said there may be increased immunity both from vaccinations and from temporary natural immunity in people who have been exposed to the virus. The end of the holiday season and related large gatherings likely also plays a part, he said. “Frankly, it has been a breath of fresh air for all of us in health care. This has been a tremendous burden for all of us,” said Dr. Sarah Nafziger, vice president for clinical services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.

Alaska

Alaska state Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, holds a copy of the Alaska Constitution during a committee hearing Jan. 27 in Juneau, Alaska. Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a fellow Republican, sent Reinbold a letter Thursday saying she has used her position to “misrepresent” the state’s COVID-19 response.

Juneau: Gov. Mike Dunleavy said his administration will no longer respond to or participate in hearings led by state Sen. Lora Reinbold, telling the fellow Republican in a withering letter that she has used her position to “misrepresent” the state’s COVID-19 response and that her demands for information have gone beyond checks and balances and are “not based in fact.” “It is lamentable that the good citizens of Eagle River and Chugiak are deprived of meaningful representation by the actions of the person holding the office of Senator,” Dunleavy wrote in the letter dated Thursday. “I will not continue to subject the public resources of the State of Alaska to the mockery of a charade, disguised as public purpose.” Reinbold has criticized the governor for issuing pandemic-related disaster declarations while the Legislature was not in session and taken aim at health restrictions imposed by local governments, airlines and the Legislature, including mask requirements. On social media, Reinbold has accused the Dunleavy administration of being “wild” about “these experimental” COVID-19 vaccines, “bragging over 100,000 have gotten them in Alaska,” and characterized the administration as seeking disaster declarations to get mass vaccination clinics. Health officials say the vaccines are safe and effective, and no steps were skipped during the clinical trials.

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