Coronavirus update: Employers continue relaxing vaccination mandates

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Booster shots are well behind the vaccination rate

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 82,073,745 (81,976,948)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 998,109 (998,010)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 518,943,587 (518,145,195)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,256,280 (6,253,856)‌

Employers relaxing vaccination mandates, study finds

After COVID-19 vaccines became available about a year ago, many U.S. employers required employees to get one, sparking controversy at some hospitals and airlines. With new cases of the virus causing less severe symptoms, employers now appear to be relaxing these mandates.

An analysis of April job postings at job site Indeed shows that about 6.7% of U.S. job listings cited vaccination as a requirement. That percentage is down from its March peak of 7.1%.

“I believe the downward trend is indicative of whether employers think advertising required vaccination will help them attract the workers they want,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed who conducted the analysis.

Booster shots lag behind vaccination rate

While around 76% of the U.S. adult population has been fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fewer Americans have gotten one booster shot, much less a second one.

In its latest update, the CDC reported that fewer than half of eligible Americans have gotten a first booster shot. Only about 10 million Americans have gotten a second booster shot.

The CDC is urging Americans to get booster shots, saying they will offer better protection against the emerging subvariants of COVID-19. While the subvariants spread easier, vaccinated and boosted individuals appear to have less severe symptoms.

Insomnia may be a result of ‘long COVID’

The symptoms of COVID-19 are well-known. Patients often experience dry coughs, congestion, fever, and fatigue. Sometimes they lose their sense of smell. 

But patients whose symptoms drag on for weeks – a condition known as long COVID – may also suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, a study has found.

“Sleep disorders are one of the most common symptoms for patients who’ve had COVID-19,” said Dr. Cinthya Pena Orbea, a Cleveland Clinic sleep medicine specialist “They report insomnia, fatigue, brain fog and sometimes we even see circadian rhythm disorders.”

Around the nation

  • Florida: Cases are trending higher in just the last week. An analysis of federal data shows that the state has added 5,299 news cases in just the last seven days. In the previous three weeks, the state averaged about 113 cases per day.

  • Nevada: Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that he will end his COVID-19 state of emergency on May 20 as the state begins to return to normal. In a statement, Sisolak said the emergency order provided flexibility to state agencies in meeting the health crisis.

  • Tennessee: A report issued by the Tennessee Department of Health covering the month of April shows that new COVID-19 cases and deaths were prevalent in eight Northeast Tennessee counties. But the totals were much lower than the region reported in January.

  • Massachusetts: Health officials report that the test positivity rate in Boston, excluding colleges, is now over 10%. Several schools in the region, including Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge, are once again urging students and staff to wear masks as cases continue to climb.

  • Minnesota: Minnesota is now down to a single high-risk county when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. Pennington County in the state’s northwest corner currently has the only high community-level risk rating in the state.

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