Coronavirus update: Masks return to Los Angeles, how to tell if vaccinated people have COVID-19

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A poll shows a political divide in opinions about the pandemic

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

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 33,642,146 (33,627,131)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 604,179 (603,979)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 181,‌533,728 (181,198,800)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 3,932,077 (3,925,198)‌

Masks are back in LA

Due to the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, Los Angeles County has reinstated guidance for the public to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, even if fully vaccinated. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health called the mask guidance “voluntary,” saying it is necessary until health officials can "better understand how and to whom the Delta variant is spreading."

Scientists say fully vaccinated people have a high degree of protection against the Delta variant. Even so, LA health officials say they are concerned about what might happen if the variant mutates again.

How to tell if a vaccinated person has COVID-19

While all the vaccines currently in use provide a high level of protection, there are still cases of vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19. Scientists say the symptoms can be different from those affecting someone who has not been vaccinated.

According to researchers with the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, the biggest sign that a vaccinated person has been infected is they sneeze a lot more than usual.

"If you've been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should definitely get a COVID test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease," researchers wrote in their study. 

They said vaccinated people with COVID-19 might also display typical symptoms of the virus, but they usually aren’t as severe as those affecting someone who hasn’t been vaccinated.

Is the pandemic over? Depends on your politics

With most states reopened and COVID-19 restrictions falling by the wayside, it feels to many as though the pandemic is finally over. But is it?

A Gallup Web Survey put that question to the public and found that 62% of people believe their lives are now “somewhat back to normal.” But when responses were broken down by party affiliation, there was a huge divide.

The poll found that 57% of Republicans believe the pandemic is behind us, but only 4% of Democrats expressed that view. Older Americans were also more likely than young people to think the virus is now mostly over.

Around the nation

  • Louisiana: The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections is coming under scrutiny after a state auditor reported that it has no data on whether inmates have been screened for COVID-19 or offered vaccinations. The report said various sheriffs around the state either withheld information or didn’t collect it.

  • Florida: Florida is the latest state to end extra unemployment benefits of $300 a week. It joins 26 other states that have taken similar action as small businesses complain that they can’t find the employees they need to fully reopen.

  • Connecticut: As part of the return to normal, the state is ending its restrictions on rental home evictions, which were put in place to help people cope with the economic impact of the pandemic. “Fifteen months now, landlords have been asked to bear the burden without a lot of help up until this point,” said John Souza, head of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners.

  • Michigan: President Biden will travel to the state this weekend as part of the nation’s Independence Day celebration. The President said he wants to highlight Michigan’s progress in battling the pandemic.

  • Oregon: The Oregon Lottery is preparing to select random winners from among 2.3 million Oregonians who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, part of the state’s effort to encourage vaccinations. Cases are on the decline with only 87 reported Monday.

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