COVID news: antibodies, new vaccine, treatment, cases & more


In this stock photo, a pedestrian is seen wearing a protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus in Philadelphia on Friday, April 22, 2022.


In the United States, more than 81 million people have tested positive for coronavirus as of Saturday, April 30, according to Johns Hopkins University.

To date, more than 993,000 people living in the U.S. have died, including about 1,000 since last week. Worldwide, there have been more than 513 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including about 4 million new cases since one week ago.

Additionally, over 6.2 million have died from the virus globally. Roughly 219 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated as of April 29 — 66% of the population — and 100 million of those people have gotten their first booster shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Roughly 98% of the U.S. lives in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Level, the agency says as of April 22. About 1% of Americans reside in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level. For them, it’s recommended to wear a mask while indoors in public.

The CDC reports the weekly average of COVID-19 cases has risen nationwide as of April 20. Cases are 35.3% higher compared to the prior week’s average, according to the CDC.

The omicron BA.2 subvariant dominated positive U.S. cases for the week ending April 23.

Here’s what happened between April 24 and April 29:

How many Americans have had COVID? New CDC study suggests most have contracted it

Most people living in the U.S. have COVID-19 antibodies — meaning they’ve contracted the virus at least once before, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis suggests.

The agency estimates COVID-19 has infected three in five Americans as of February based on seroprevalence data, or “the proportion of the population with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies,” according to the CDC’s analysis published Tuesday, April 26. Before December 2021, the CDC said one in three Americans were known to have had COVID-19. “These findings illustrate a high infection rate for the Omicron variant, especially among children,” the CDC said.

“These findings illustrate a high infection rate for the Omicron variant, especially among children,” the CDC said.

Continue reading below about the CDC’s analysis:

New COVID vaccine is developed by University of Washington. What makes it different?

The University of Washington developed a vaccine for COVID-19 and plans to ship millions of doses to South Korea once it’s authorized, UW Medicine announced in an April 25 news release.

The vaccine, GPB510, was found to be “safe and effective during a multinational trial of more than 4,000 adults,” the news release said.

The scientists who developed the vaccine were hoping to create a “second-generation” version that could help aid vaccination efforts across the globe, according to the release. Unlike other COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, doses of GPB510 remain “stable without deep freezing,” the university said.

The story continues below:

First COVID treatment for kids under 12 gets FDA approval. What to know about Veklury

The Food and Drug Administration approved Veklury — also known as the drug remdesivir — as the first COVID-19 treatment for children younger than 12 on Monday, April 25.

Now, pediatric patients 28 days and older, and weighing at least 7 pounds, can get the treatment after being hospitalized with COVID-19, according to an FDA news release.

The antiviral medicine, created by Gilead Sciences, can also be given to pediatric patients who “have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death,” the agency said.

For more on the treatment, keep reading:

Engagement ring targeted by feds in man’s alleged $2.6 million COVID loan scheme

Daniel Joseph Tisone held himself out as a successful entrepreneur from Naples, Florida, with a business degree and thriving investment portfolio in his applications for federal COVID-19 relief money.

But prosecutors said the 34-year-old didn’t mention his conviction in a failed robbery attempt in college that involved pistol-whipping a student — and that the registration for most of his businesses had lapsed before the start of the pandemic.

Now Tisone has been indicted on felony fraud charges in the Middle District of Florida stemming from allegations he submitted bogus documents to nab $2.6 million in federal COVID-19 loans.

Continue reading about the case here:

Teachers accused of using fake COVID vaccine cards to skirt the law in New York City

Scores of teachers and school employees are accused of using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to skirt the law and are being placed on unpaid leave in New York City, officials say.

The city’s Department of Education (DOE) has accused the group of fraud, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) union confirmed to McClatchy News. All DOE workers are required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof.

Roughly 70 members of the union — which represents teachers, school counselors, secretaries and more within the city — were told their submitted vaccine proof was fake and were getting put on unpaid leave as of April 25, a union spokesperson said.

Keep reading here:

Nearly 100 high schoolers test positive for COVID after going to prom in California

Nearly 100 high schoolers have tested positive for COVID-19 after going to prom in California, school officials told news outlets.

At least 600 students from San Mateo High School danced the night away at prom at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum on April 9, CBS SF reported.

Masks were strongly recommended, but many students didn’t keep their masks on the entire time, school officials told the news outlet.

As of Thursday, April 21, at least 90 students had tested positive for COVID-19 after going to the prom, district Superintendent Kevin Skelly told KTVU.

Read more here:

Worker lied to get COVID unemployment — then sent bomb threats to his jobs, feds say

A 33-year-old man is facing felony charges after federal prosecutors said he lied on an application for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic and threatened to bomb his workplaces.

Cortez L. Brown was indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud, stealing government money and making explosive threats. Court filings show Brown was taken into custody after an initial court appearance on April 19 and arraigned in the Western District of Louisiana on Friday, April 22.

Brown is from Haynesville, Louisiana, a town of 2,400 residents encompassing less than 5 square miles just shy of the Arkansas border.

The article continues below:

Reporters Vandana Ravikumar, Hayley Fowler and Maddie Capron also contributed to this report.

This story was originally published April 29, 2022 7:07 AM.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the southeast and northeast while based in New York. She’s an alumna of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she’s written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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