Creeping COVID cases result in few schools mask mandates

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — U.S. COVID-19 cases are up, leading a smattering of school districts, particularly in the Northeast, to bring back mask mandates and recommendations for the first time since the omicron winter surge ended and as the country approaches 1 million deaths in the pandemic.

Even as COVID cases rise, mask mandates stay shelved

NEW YORK — An increase in COVID-19 infections around the U.S. has sent more cities into new high-risk categories that are supposed to trigger indoor mask wearing, but much of the country is stopping short of bringing back restrictions amid deep pandemic fatigue.

It’s not over: COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in US

The U.S. may be heading into another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising nationally and in most states after a two-month decline. Experts don’t know how high the mountain will grow, but they don’t expect a peak nearly as high as the last one, when the contagious omicron version of the coronavirus ripped through the population. Still, experts warn the coming wave will wash across the nation and push up hospitalizations in a growing number of states, especially those with low vaccination rates, in the coming weeks. Most cases are now being caused by a subvariant known as BA.2 that is thought to be 30% more contagious.

Democratic, GOP Senate bargainers reach $10B COVID agreement

WASHINGTON — Senate bargainers reached agreement Monday on a slimmed-down $10 billion package for countering COVID-19 with treatments, vaccines and other steps, the top Democratic and Republican negotiators said, but ended up dropping all funding to help nations abroad combat the pandemic. The compromise drew quick support from President Joe Biden, who initially pushed for a $22.5 billion package. In a setback, he ended up settling for much less despite administration warnings that the government was running out of money to keep pace with the disease’s continued spread in the U.S.

Rich countries getting new COVID vaccine before poorer ones

NEW DELHI — The company behind a COVID-19 vaccine touted as a key tool for the developing world has sent tens of millions of doses to wealthy nations but provided none yet to the U.N.-backed effort to supply poorer countries, a sign that inequity persists in the global response to the pandemic.