First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID but is showing only mild symptoms as she prepares to self-isolate for at least five days.
The first lady began experiencing cold symptoms on Monday evening and tested negative in a rapid antigen test, before testing positive in a PCR test, according to a statement from her communications manager, Elizabeth Alexander. The news comes just two weeks after President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID for the second time.
“The First Lady is double vaccinated, twice boosted and has only mild symptoms,” the statement read. She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will only return home to the White House after two consecutive negative tests.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper lifted a state of emergency that gave his government extraordinary powers to deal with the COVID pandemic, the Associated Press reported.
The Democratic governor announced last month that he would lift the emergency order on Monday, citing provisions in the latest state budget bill he signed that would allow health care providers and regulators to continue to respond vigorously to the virus. His termination order said the emergency ended late Monday night.
The move comes as known COVID cases in the United States continue to wane based on numbers provided by a New York Times tracker, though the true tally is likely higher given the number of people testing. at home, as this test data is generally not collected.
See now: CDC: You should get two negative tests or wear a mask for up to 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19
The daily average of new cases stood at 99,832 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 18% from two weeks ago. Cases are declining in almost every state and are down 20% or more in more than a dozen states, namely Rhode Island, Texas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oregon, New Jersey, Arizona, Hawaii, Alabama and Utah.
The daily average of hospitalizations fell by 4% to 42,072, while the daily average of deaths increased by 10% to 489.
Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
Other COVID-19 news you should know:
• London’s main airport, Heathrow, has extended the limit on departing passengers until October to reduce flight cancellations and cope with summer demand, MarketWatch’s Anviksha Patel reported. After consultation with the airlines, the airport, owned by the Spanish Ferrovial FER,
will extend its cap of 100,000 on the number of departing passengers per day until October 29, the end of the summer season. Last month, Heathrow introduced the cap, saying it has since led to fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter baggage waits. The move followed other airports that have similar limits in place, including Gatwick Airport in London, Frankfurt Airport in Germany and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.
• The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it was cutting flights in the New York area due to staffing shortages, the AP reported. Departing and arriving flights could be delayed up to two hours at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark (New Jersey) Liberty International airports, the FAA said. The agency said passengers should check with their airline for information on particular flights. “Due to the availability of personnel tonight, the FAA must reduce the flow of aircraft in certain airspace serving New York to maintain safety,” the FAA said in a statement Monday afternoon.
• Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will spend up to $1.2 billion in federal COVID relief for payments of $350 each to more than 3 million Georgians who receive Medicaid, subsidized childhood health insurance, food stamps or social assistance in cash, the AP reported. The move comes on top of Kemp’s proposals last week to spend $2 billion on state surplus, split between property tax refunds and a second set of income tax refunds, if voters choose him for a second term in November over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. These separate plans would require legislative approval next year.
• Bill Gates on Tuesday called on South Korea to become more involved in international efforts to prevent infectious diseases like COVID-19, stressing the need for the world to be better prepared for the next pandemic, the AP reported separately. Representing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea’s foreign and health ministries, promising new partnerships in projects to improve public health tools in developing countries. and advancing vaccines and treatments for infectious diseases.
Here’s what the numbers say
The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 591.6 million on Tuesday, while the death toll topped 6.43 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 93.1 million cases and 1,037,795 deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 223.5 million people living in the United States are fully immunized, or 67.3% of the total population. But only 107.9 million had a first booster, or 48.3% of the vaccinated population.
Among people aged 50 and over eligible for a second booster, only 21 million had one, or 32.7% of those who had a first booster.