CLEVELAND, Ohio – Our roundup of coronavirus news and developments covers the death of a champion speedskater, plus news about the Delta variant, the delayed launch of a cruise ship and an NBA player testing positive. Here is our weekly timeline of coronavirus facts, figures and numbers regarding Cleveland, Ohio, the United States and the world June 12-18, followed by our quotes of the week:
Ohio records 385 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases. … One of the greatest speedskaters, Igor Zhelezovsky, dies of Covid. Known as “the Bear of Minsk,” Zhelezovsky won for the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Belarus in the 1980s and ’90s. He became president of the skating union of Belarus. He was 57.
The state reports 251 cases, taking the total to 1,107,047. … Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, tells CBS that 10% of Covid infections in the United States can be attributed to the Delta variant. He says it probably will become the dominant strain in the country.
The Ohio Department of Health records 178 cases, below the 21-day rolling average of 446 cases. In all, 1,107,225 cases have been tracked in Ohio. … Cities are following the state’s lead on vaccination-incentive programs. Columbus City Council passes its Vaccine Green initiative, which will give up to $100 to residents who get vaccinated under the program. … Associated Press reports almost 600,000 Americans have died of Covid. … Vaccine maker Novavax says its shot is highly effective and protects against variants in a large study. The company says its two-shot vaccine is about 90% effective overall. … CNBC reports a virus outbreak in southern China disrupted port services, driving up shipping costs after the province of Guangdong recorded an increase in Covid cases. … Because of the Delta variant, England has extended its reopening by four weeks to Monday, July 19. Restrictions were to have been lifted Monday, June 21.
The state reports 31 Ohioans have died with coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 20,122. Ohio adds 296 more cases, below the 21-day rolling average of 425. … California reopens, lifting most of its restrictions to end capacity limits, physical distancing and – for those vaccinated – mask requirements. … Royal Caribbean International is postponing the inaugural sailings of its newest cruise ship, the Odyssey of the Seas, after eight crew members tested positive. The Caribbean cruises were to have launched Saturday, July 3; now they are scheduled to sail Saturday, July 31.
Another 381 coronavirus cases are reported in Ohio, below the 21-day rolling average of 396. Cumulative number of confirmed cases stands at 1,107,902 cases. … Suzanne Ward of Findlay is the fourth winner of the Ohio Vax-a-Million $1 million prize, and Sean Horning of Cincinnati will receive a full, four-year college scholarship. The final Vax-a-Million lottery concludes Wednesday, June 23. … Nearly 45% of Americans are fully vaccinated. … The NFL and NFL Players Association agree to Covid protocols for the 2021 training camp and preseason. The deal includes significantly loosened restrictions for fully vaccinated players and even brings back some in-person media access. Fully vaccinated players will be tested every two weeks, not daily, and they will not be required to wear masks at the team facility and while traveling. They also will not have to quarantine after high-risk exposure. … Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul (top photo, bottom right) has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols after testing positive. At 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game, Paul is an integral part of the Suns, who are in the playoffs.
Another 244 cases have been identified in Ohio, bringing the total to 1,108,146. … Gov. Mike DeWine says starting tonight, he will lift the state of emergency that he declared at the beginning of the pandemic. It will go into effect Friday. He also said he’s lifting the last visitation orders related to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. … DeWine says the mass vaccination center at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center administered about 258,000 doses over 12 weeks, with half of those doses going to residents living in “high social vulnerability zip codes,” where data has shown they were more at risk for infection. … The Biden administration announces it will invest more than $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan to promote manufacturing of Covid antiviral medicines – like a pill someone could take at home. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says widespread availability of antiviral pills that can be taken at home could save lives and prevent hospitalizations. … Public outcry continues in Japan to cancel the Summer Olympics – only 5% of Japanese are fully vaccinated – but the Games are still planned to begin Friday, July 23.
Ohio’s coronavirus state of emergency is over. DeWine announces he is lifting the order that originated March 9, 2020, as well as the last visitation orders related to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, although the settings will still have to follow federal government rules and guidance. These orders are among the last coronavirus-related executive orders. … In Indonesia, more than 350 healthcare workers caught Covid despite being vaccinated with Sinovac, as concerns increase about the efficacy of some vaccines against variants. In addition, the Delta variant is blamed for an outbreak in Kudus, which has about 5,000 healthcare workers. Hospitalization rates are topping 90%.
Quotes of the week
• “We have the tools to control this and defeat it, we just need to use those tools.” – Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to CBS. As of June 13, 64.4% of adults have received at least one vaccine dose.
• “We’re not done. This is not spiking the football tomorrow. It’s not mission accomplished tomorrow. This virus is not going away tomorrow. This pandemic is not behind us tomorrow. We’re very mindful that already in 2021 globally more people have lost their lives to Covid than the entire year 2020.” – California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
• “This is like Covid on steroids. You can be around people for less time and still get exposed.” – Andy Slavitt, former White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response, to CNN, regarding the Delta variant. The variant is believed to be more transmissible or can cause more severe disease. The Centers for Disease Control says the variant accounts for about 10% of coronavirus cases in the United States.
I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in at 8:05 a.m. Fridays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler. Twitter: @mbona30.
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