Baker says he plans no changes in COVID-19 policies, Cambridge officials urge

CDC advisers to discuss additional coronavirus doses for vulnerable patients — 12:54 p.m.

By The Washington Post

A federal advisory panel will discuss the need for additional coronavirus shots for patients with fragile immune systems at a meeting Thursday, amid growing concerns about waning immunity in vulnerable populations.

Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which makes vaccine recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are expected to discuss an additional dose for immunocompromised patients.

These patients include U.S. adults who are organ transplant recipients, people on cancer treatments, and people living with rheumatologic conditions, HIV and leukemia. They are more likely to become seriously ill from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus and might more frequently spread the virus to others, experts say.

Baker says he plans no changes in COVID-19 policies amid a rise in cases — 12:14 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff

Governor Charlie Baker said on Thursday that he has no plans to change COVID-19 rules as the state is seeing a rise in cases, possibly due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“We’re not looking at changing any of our existing rules or policies,” Baker said during a media availability. “We have a set of statewide standards and they’re based on what we see on a statewide basis, and if communities believe they need to pursue strategies that are more effective and appropriate to them, then they should do so.”

Appearing at the first of a series of events on Cape Cod, which is seeing a cluster of cases even among fully vaccinated people, Baker praised the high vaccination rate in Massachusetts and said an uptick in cases is not as concerning as it would have been earlier this year.

“The difference between the impact of COVID on those that are vaccinated and those who aren’t is stark and profound,” he said.

CDC director calls Delta variant “one of the most infectious respiratory viruses” — 12:07 p.m.

By Maria Elena Little Endara, Globe Correspondent

During a White House COVID briefing on Thursday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the Delta variant “one of the most infectious respiratory viruses” she’s ever seen in her career.

“The Delta variant is spreading with incredible efficiency and now represents more than 83 percent of the virus circulating in the United States,” said Walensky.

Walensky urged Americans to get vaccinated and placed emphasis on working together to contain the spread of the variant.

“If you are not vaccinated please take the Delta variant seriously. This virus has no incentive to let up, and it remains in search of the next vulnerable person to infect,” said Walensky.

COVID cases in the US are on the rise with the current 7-day case average being 37,674, a 52.5% increase from the prior 7-day average of 24,710.

Cambridge officials urge residents to wear masks as COVID cases climb — 11:52 a.m.

By Nick Stoico, Globe Correspondent

City officials in Cambridge are reporting a rise in new COVID-19 cases and are urging residents, whether they are vaccinated or not, to wear masks and practice social distancing “where transmission is likely and when around unvaccinated people, including young children.”

There have been 83 confirmed and probable cases reported in Cambridge so far in July, the city said in a statement Wednesday, with 42 percent of those cases being among people who are fully vaccinated, which are known as “breakthrough” cases.

“With 19 new cases being reported yesterday, it’s clear this #DeltaVariant is on the rise, and we need to be very cautious,” Cambridge Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon wrote in a tweet Thursday.

American tourists are back in Europe, but so are COVID restrictions — 10:33 a.m.

By The Washington Post

Weeks after popular destinations like Greece, France, and Spain reopened to U.S. travelers, they are putting new restrictions into place amid a rise in coronavirus cases. In some cases, those measures will limit the venues where unvaccinated visitors can go.

In Greece, which was early to welcome tourists back in May, officials said last week that public indoor spaces would only be accessible to fully vaccinated people through at least Aug. 31.

French President Emmanuel Macron said last week that unvaccinated people who want to dine indoors, go to shopping malls or cinemas, or take planes or trains, would need to show proof of a recent negative coronavirus test or infection and recovery. He said the steps were an effort to “put restrictions on the unvaccinated rather than on everyone.”

EU pledges 200 million COVID vaccine doses to poor countries — 9:31 a.m.

By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday it will donate more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to middle and low-income countries before the end of the year.

That’s double the initial amount that the 27-nation bloc…

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