Minnesota officials urge proper mask wearing – Orange County Register


By The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials urged this week that people wear masks — and wear them properly — as the state reported an additional 964 new infections on Saturday.

More than 6,300 people have died in Minnesota and more than 470,000 people have had confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

State figures show more than 209,010 people have received the full two-dose series of the vaccine. However, health officials point out people need to wear masks correctly. Researchers at the University of Minnesota reviewed video of public events and found nearly a quarter of people were wearing masks under their noses.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

New York Gov. Cuomo lauded early in pandemic, now panned on nursing home deaths. Tight supply creates reluctance over federal vaccine sites. Oxford University is testing the AstraZeneca vaccine in children. Union says meatpacking workers should be vaccinated sooner. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival festivities may be canceled, but nobody told pet lovers and their dogs.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma is approaching 4,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Saturday reported 35 deaths for a total of 3,994 since the start of the pandemic. The department also reported 1,458 new virus cases for a total of 412,276.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows a decline in the seven-day rolling averages of cases and deaths. The new cases went from 2,603 per day to 1,584. The deaths declined from 40 daily to 35.

Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in the number of new cases per capita at 674 per 100,000 residents, according Johns Hopkins.

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BEIRUT — Lebanon has received its first batch of coronavirus vaccines.

The 28,500 Pfizer doses arrived Saturday, ahead of a nationwide vaccination campaign in the tiny Mediterranean country. The health ministry says 57 vaccination centers are to be set up nationwide within two weeks. Lebanon has seen a sharp rise in cases and deaths in recent weeks.

Lebanon has imposed a nationwide lockdown, including a curfew, since Jan. 11. The nation of 6 million has registered 337,000 virus cases and 3,961 confirmed deaths since February last year.

More Pfizer doses are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks. AstraZeneca shots will be brought in at a later stage, according to Abdul-Rahman Bizri, head of the national committee on COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, some 450,000 people have registered for the vaccines.

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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans’ annual pre-Lenten Mardi Gras celebration is muted this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered bars closed during the Mardi Gras weekend that started Friday and runs through Tuesday. The lavish parades are canceled and there are…



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