Latest coronavirus: one in five US states set hospitalization records for Covid in August

Pennsylvania has issued a mask warrant for schools, with the state facing a Delta variant fueled increase in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations just as students start the school year. Beginning September 7, face coverings will be required in buildings at K-12 schools and daycare centers across the state, Governor Tom Wolf said on Tuesday.

Overnight stays by tourists in Portugal rose to 4.5 million at the height of the July holiday month, up from 2.6 million in the same month last year, but down 45% from July 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic. A quick estimate from the National Institute of Statistics indicates that overnight stays by foreign visitors fell by nearly 68% compared to July 2019.

Overnight stays by tourists in Portugal reached 4.5 million in July © Bloomberg

New York’s new governor used his first coronavirus press conference to say the state was exploring ways to expand several requirements in a bid to increase vaccination coverage and slow the spread of Covid-19. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday her office was working to require teachers and other staff at New York City schools to be vaccinated or tested regularly. “I think it’s a compromise,” she said.

American Football New England Patriots released star quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday, less than a week after the former MVP missed preseason training while adhering to National Football League protocols for unvaccinated players. The decision to cut Newtown is one of the most publicized consequences for an individual without full immunization status in the United States.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton © AP

The spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19a lowered US consumer confidence to its lowest level since February, when cases were high and vaccinations were not yet generalized. The US consumer confidence index fell to 113.8 for the month of August, from 125 in July, according to the Conference Board, a think tank.

The Canadian economy in unexpected ways contracted in the second trimester despite summer reopening, and growth prospects in the third quarter are also less optimistic than previously thought. Canadian GDP fell 1.1 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday. This missed expectations of a 2.5% increase.

India’s economy increased by a fifth in the first quarter of the fiscal year, despite coronavirus-induced restrictions that have limited non-essential economic activities. In a statement released on Tuesday, the government said GDP grew 20.1% in the three months to June. The economy contracted by 24.4% over the same period of fiscal year 2020-21.

Almost 400,000 people in Scotland, or 7% of the population, have been waiting to be seen by a doctor at the end of June, the highest number ever recorded, figures from the country’s health service show. At the end of June, 396,771 people referred were waiting to be seen, up 12.1% from March 31, Public Health Scotland said.

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