INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
Skipping second dose. Federal officials say millions of Americans are failing to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Officials say skipping out on the dose leaves many vulnerable to contagious strains, but it’s also putting a strain on area health departments.
While more than half of all Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, officials say far fewer are fully vaccinated. In some cases, it’s been a struggle to fill appointments.
In Hamilton County, Indiana, officials say they’re seeing about 50 people per day not showing up for appointments. That means those doses often go to waste.
6-foot rule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a “6-foot rule” for social distancing from others amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the interval may not suffice to protect you from COVID while indoors, a new study has found.
“Compliance to the Six-Foot Rule will … substantially reduce the risk of … large-drop transmission,” the study, published this week in the journal PNAS, says.
“However, the liquid drops expelled by respiratory events are known to span a considerable range of scales, with radii varying from fractions of a micron to millimeters.”
The researchers say there is “overwhelming evidence” that indoor airborne transmission associated with “micron-scale” aerosol droplets plays a “dominant role in the spread of COVID-19,” especially so-called superspreader events.
Michigan hotspot. Michigan has become the current national hotspot for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations at a time when more than half the U.S. adult population has been vaccinated and other states have seen the virus diminish substantially.
Doctors, medical professionals and public health officials point to a number of factors that explain how the situation has gotten so bad in Michigan.
More contagious variants, especially the mutation first discovered in Britain, have taken root here with greater prevalence than other states. Residents have emerged from harsh, lengthy state restrictions on dining and crowd sizes and abandoned mask wearing and social distancing, especially in rural, northern parts of the state that had largely avoided severe outbreaks. The state has also had average vaccine compliance.
Spanish man arrested. Spanish police arrested a man after he allegedly infected 22 people with COVID-19.
The 40-year-old Manacor man infected eight people directly and 14 indirectly at his workplace and gym, police said in a report.
The man reportedly told colleagues, “I’m going to give you all the coronavirus,” while lowering his face mask and coughing, police said.
Agents began investigating the unnamed man at the end of January, when they learned of an outbreak at a “well-known establishment” in Manacor.