The Latest: Famed Minneapolis club requiring vaccination

World
Carrie Lam

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Hong Kong said Monday it would reclassify countries into high, medium and low-risk and update quarantine requirements to favor vaccinated travelers as it sought to prevent imported coronavirus infections from leaking into the community. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

MINNEAPOLIS — The First Avenue music venue in Minneapolis that was made famous in Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” is requiring that all concertgoers provide proof of vaccination against the coronavirus or show a negative virus test.

The venue said Monday that the policy is effective immediately.

Patrons must have a completed vaccination card that shows a final dose was administered at least 14 days before an event. If a patron is unvaccinated, they must show proof of a negative coronavirus result from a test taken within 72 hours of an event.

First Avenue says on its website that it previously required all its employees to be vaccinated.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— Fauci says more suffering lies ahead as coronavirus cases surge again

— UKeases travel restrictions as industry lobbies for more

— Iran records highest number of daily COVID cases in pandemic

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— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is recommending that students and staff wear masks in schools, but has stopped short of requiring them to do so.

The governor also ordered Monday that state workers must wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status amid a rise in infections with the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Beshear warns that workers “face a much higher likelihood that they get COVID and they get really sick” if they don’t use masks.

Sixty-two percent of Kentucky residents ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. But only 37% of those 18 to 29 have received at least one dose, while 83% of residents 65 and older have.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has reported 42 new deaths from COVID-19 and its biggest one-day spike in hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

The Department of Health reported 81 new hospitalizations Monday, bringing the state’s total to 1,220. The department says 451 of those patients are in intensive care and 250 are on ventilators. The state’s virus hospitalizations are nearing the high of 1,371 it set in January.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is pleading with residents to get vaccinated, noting that nearly all of the hospitalizations the state has seen are among the unvaccinated. In a tweet, the governor says: “Do your part to help. Hospitals are full & the only remedy is for more Arkansans to be vaccinated.”

Arkansas lawmakers are preparing this week to take up Hutchinson’s proposal to allow public schools to require face masks.

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CHICAGO — McDonald’s says it will require employees and customers to resume wearing masks inside some U.S. restaurants regardless of vaccination status.

The company said Monday that the mandate will apply in areas with high or substantial coronavirus transmission.

McDonald’s said it was acting in response to the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. McDonald’s began requiring masks for all employees and customers last summer; it dropped the rule for vaccinated employees and customers in May. McDonald’s has more than 14,000 U.S. stores.

The company didn’t say how many restaurants would be impacted by the new mask mandate.

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INDIANAPOLIS — A federal appeals court has ruled that Indiana University can proceed with its plan to require students and employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Monday’s ruling is the highest court decision regarding college immunization mandates. The Chicago-based appeals court upheld a district court judge’s ruling that found that the university was acting reasonably “in pursuing public health and safety for its campus communities.”

Both courts rejected a request by eight IU students who sought to block the requirement while they challenge its legality, claiming it would violate their constitutional rights by forcing them to receive unwanted medical treatment.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer says he will ask the Supreme Court to consider the case.

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DOVER, Del. — As of midday Monday, Delaware was reporting 1,833 deaths, days after health officials announced the addition of 130 deaths since May 2020 to the state’s total.

The addition of these deaths between May 2020 and mid-June is the result of a review of death certificate records from the Delaware Vital Events Registration System, officials announced in a news release Friday.

As of Sunday, there were 40 hospitalized patients, including 10 in critical condition, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. That is an increase from 34 on July 25.

Routine surveillance of test specimens found that the delta variant was the predominant variant making up 51% of the variant strains as of Friday, officials reported.

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WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that a nationwide vaccination requirement “is not on the table,” but noted that employers have the right to take that step as they see fit.

Asked whether there was any consideration of a vaccine mandate to enter federal property, as Biden put in place for mask-wearing upon taking office in January, Psaki said, “Not across the country, no.”

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WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the federal government stands ready to assist Florida with the surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, but noted the state has tools at its disposal to slow the spread, including promoting vaccinations and mask-wearing.

Psaki chided the state’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who has aggressively pushed back on new mask-wearing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and worked to limit vaccine mandates in his state.

Psaki said: “At a certain point leaders are going to have to choose whether they’re going to follow public health guidelines or whether they’re going to follow politics, and we certainly encourage all governors to follow the public health guidelines.”

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BATON ROGUE, La. — Louisiana on Monday reinstated a mask mandate in all indoor locations, including schools and colleges, as the states struggles with surging COVID-19 cases because of the delta variant and one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the mandate less than three months after he lifted a previous face covering requirement amid hopes that the virus was abating. The mandate will apply to anyone age 5 and older — both vaccinated and unvaccinated — who enters a business, a school, a church or other inside location.

Just under 43% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine — one of the lowest rates in the nation. The state is seeing one of the country’s worst COVID-19 spikes per capita.

The mask requirement had particular urgency for Edwards as students start returning to some K-12 schools this week.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Another of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ staffers has tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor’s office said in a statement Monday that the staffer and five others who may have been exposed are in isolation and awaiting more test results.

The governor’s office says all are doing well. Two other governor’s office staffers tested positive last week.

“The Governor’s office has a high rate of fully vaccinated staff including these staffers who were vaccinated against COVID earlier this year,” the statement said. “While breakthrough cases such as these do happen, they typically do not result in serious illness.”

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SAN FRANCISCO — Health officials in San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties have announced that they are reinstating a mask mandate for all indoor settings as COVID-19 infections surge.

Monday’s order applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status, and starts on Tuesday. California last week recommended that people wear masks indoors, but stopped short of issuing a mandate, following guidance from the U.S Centers for Disease Control.

Three other California counties have already adopted mandates as COVID rates rise because of the highly contagious delta variant.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — The state of New Mexico moved forward Monday with a carrot-and-stick approach to immunizations against COVID-19 with a renewed $100 payout to newly vaccinated residents.

That $100 offer remains in effect through the end of August. The strategy was pioneered by New Mexico for several days in June, with about 25,000 eligible participants. The state’s $5 million sweepstakes prize for one vaccinated resident is scheduled to be awarded on Saturday.

President Joe Biden recommends that more states use cash payments to increase the pace of vaccination, as health authorities grapple with the more-contagious delta variant.

Starting on Tuesday, New Mexico is requiring that vaccine-eligible state workers either get the shot or get tested each week for infection.

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ATLANTA — A top federal health official said Monday that he understood frustration with new mask requirements, but hoped Americans recognize their responsibility for combating the coronavirus.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was in Atlanta as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Georgia continued to rise amid a low vaccination rate.

“I can’t tell you the depth of frustration that Americans are feeling who’ve done everything they can, they’ve done it right, to know that now we’ve got to go back to wearing masks,” he said.

The number of hospitalized patients statewide crossed 2,000 on Friday, the highest since late February, and stood at just over 2,400 on Monday. ICU occupancy has also been trending up and was 83% of capacity Monday. Only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, a rate that ranks in the bottom 10 of states.

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WEST VIRGINIA — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says there’s no plans for a mask mandate as the state sees an increasing number of coronavirus cases.

The delta variant is now present in 29 counties, Justice told news outlets Monday during a briefing.

The total number of active cases had dipped below 1,000 not long ago, but are now at 2,480 and hospitalizations have risen to 152, he said.

Virus outbreaks have been reported at five long-term care facilities and at 10 churches, Justice said.

The state will hold its final vaccine incentive drawing this week and winners will be announced on Thursday

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The superintendent of Alaska’s largest school district will recommend universal masking in schools this fall.

The plan would focus on allowing for “full participation in activities, clubs and social learning opportunities,” Deena Bishop, the superintendent of the Anchorage School District, said in a letter to parents over the weekend.

The school board will review Bishop’s plan Tuesday. Classes will begin Aug. 17.

Besides masking indoors, the Anchorage Daily News reports that the district will continue regular cleaning of classrooms, buses and offices.

Bishop also said upgrades have been made to HVAC systems for optimal air flow.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana’s lieutenant governor, who oversees the state’s tourism marketing efforts, is worried the latest COVID-19 surge will create further havoc on a tourism industry that generated $1.9 billion in taxes for Louisiana at its height before the pandemic.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, a Republican, said Monday that he’s “praying” the state won’t have to start shutting down the festivals, live events and other businesses that have resumed operations in recent months.

“I can’t imagine if we’d have to have another shutdown what it would do to these businesses — so I’m wearing my mask, I ask people to wear their mask and be safe and let’s turn this thing around,” Nungesser said in a Baton Rouge luncheon appearance speaking with reporters.

Still, Nungesser stopped short of suggesting proof of vaccination should be required for entry to events, saying he’d leave that to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to decide.

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DENVER — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says the city will mandate all city employees and private sector workers in high-risk settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30.

Denver’s public health measure announced Monday applies to more than 10,000 municipal employees like police officers, firefighters, and sheriff’s deputies.

Hancock says the order includes congregate care settings including nursing homes, homeless shelters, hospitals, correctional facilities. It also applies to employees of public and private schools and higher education institutions in the county.

Officials say after Sept. 30, workers who do not get vaccinated but are required to do so under the mandate will not be allowed to work onsite.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland has been seeing rising cases of COVID-19, but no deaths were reported on Monday morning for the latest 24-hour period.

The state reported 447 new confirmed cases on Monday, and hospitalizations increased by 25 to 281 in the state.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, the chief executive of the state’s fifth most populous jurisdiction that includes the state capital of Annapolis, announced Monday that masks will be required in all county buildings by everyone, regardless of vaccination status, starting on Thursday.

Pittman, a Democrat, also said that starting Sept. 13, the county will begin requiring county employees to show proof of vaccination or weekly evidence of a negative test for COVID-19, with suspension without pay possible for employees who do not comply.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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