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Epidemics

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims.

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COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms approached another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Health Organization is in talks to create the first-ever technology transfer hub for coronavirus vaccines in South Africa, a move to boost supply to the continent that's desperately in need of COVID-19 shots, the head of the U.N. agency announced.

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Barbara and Christine Colucci long to remove their masks and kiss their 102-year-old mother, who has dementia and is in a nursing home in Rochester, New York. They would love to have more than two people in her room at a time so that relatives can be there too.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday ruled for Florida in a lawsuit challenging a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order making it difficult for cruise ships to resume sailing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — A judge in Kansas' most populous county is beginning to evict tenants who are behind on rent in advance of a federal moratorium expiring at the end of the month in an early sign of what is to come as experts predict a tide of people being forced from their homes nationwide.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Many Americans are relaxing precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and resuming everyday activities, even as some worry that coronavirus-related restrictions were hastily lifted, a new poll shows.

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Thursday announced the easing of a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas from next week, with new daily cases falling just as the country begins final preparations for the Olympics starting in just over a month.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession.

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BOSTON (AP) — Some pandemic-era policies that had expired on Tuesday — such as allowing restaurants to offer take-out cocktails — were quickly extended Wednesday after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill sent to him by state lawmakers.

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