The Latest: Protesters temporarily block LA vaccination site

The Los Angeles Times reports that one of the largest vaccination sites in the nation temporarily shut down Saturday because dozen of protesters blocked the entrance, stalling hundreds of motorists who had been waiting in line for hours.
Officials say the Los Angeles Fire Department shut the entrance to the vaccination center at Dodger Stadium about 2 p.m. as a precaution. The protesters had members of anti-vaccine and far-right groups.
Some of them carried signs decrying the COVID-19 vaccine and shouting for people not to get the shots. There were no incidents of violence.
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Follow all of 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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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
An AP analysis finds racial disparities in the US vaccination drive. California surpasses 40,000 coronavirus deaths. New Mexico tribe sues US over hospital closure amid pandemic. WHO team visits second Wuhan hospital in virus investigation. CDC orders say travelers must wear masks on public transportation. COVID-19 vaccine news welcomed in South Africa.
LAS VEGAS — Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara says isolation and stress produced by the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on the mental health of students and staff. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Jara said in his annual State of the Schools address Friday that student suicides reached a “nearly unthinkable” level of 20 since schools were closed in March. Jara cited steps taken by the district included having the district police department conduct home wellness checks and using software that alerts schools to self-harm language in students’ posts and searches. Nevada on Saturday reported 1,070 additional known COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths.
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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico reported 752 additional known COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths on Saturday, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 173,539 cases and 3,265 deaths.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
The counties with the most additional cases were Bernalillo (255), Sandoval (70), Dona Ana (70), McKinley (54), San Juan (41) and Santa Fe (32).
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
New Mexico’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropped in the past two weeks while the rolling average of daily deaths was nearly flat.
Santa Fe’s school superintendent announced Saturday that schools will reopen in a voluntary hybrid model on Feb. 22, two weeks after when state officials have said New Mexico school districts and charter schools can reopen.
The Feb. 22 date provides time to inspect schools and for teachers to set up their classrooms while giving families and staff at least two weeks notice Superintendent Veronica García said.
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HAVANA — Cuban authorities say they will tighten measures against the spread of COVID-19 to require tourists and other visitors to isolate at their own expense for several days until tests for the new coronavirus come out negative.
The announcement Saturday by Dr. Francisco Durán, Cuba’s director of epidemiology, came as the country announced 910 new infections of the new virus detected Friday, as well as three additional deaths.
Duran said that as of Feb. 6, arriving tourists and Cubans who live abroad will be sent to hotels at their own expense to wait for the results of a PCR test for the new coronavirus, which will be given on their fifth day in the country. A similar measure was imposed in the spring, and apparently helped stem the spread of the virus.
Cubans returning home from abroad will be housed in other centers at government expense to await test results.
Diplomats and some categories of foreign businesspeople will be allowed to isolate at home.
Cube has recorded 25,674 infections with the new coronavirus and 213 deaths since March.
Cuba had eased restrictions in November, opening airports to tourists and others, but the number of infections detected has risen sharply this month.
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BALTIMORE — Baltimore public health officials are canceling some COVID-19 vaccination appointments scheduled for next week after overbooking hundreds of first-dose appointments.
The city health department did not specify how many appointments would be canceled, or why the overbooking happened, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The department issued a statement saying it was working to identify potential issues in the state’s scheduling system, and the possibility that links to second-dose appointments were shared via email or social media.
“We are working to confirm that this situation will not occur moving forward,” the statement read.
Officials said they are prioritizing giving second doses to people who have already gotten their first shot because of limited inventory.
Meanwhile, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Saturday that state health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 caused by the new variant of the virus that was first detected in South Africa.
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — City officials in Alaska say multiple crew members on a seafood factory trawler in the Aleutian Islands have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Anchorage Daily News reported that the city of Unalaska said Friday that factory trawler Araho, owned by seafood company O’Hara Corporation, reported 20 of its 40 crew members tested positive.
City Manager Erin Reinders said a couple of crew members reported symptoms after the vessel arrived in Alaska from Seattle on Wednesday. Reinders said the city is developing a plan to coordinate care for infected crew members and determine what to do with the others.
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BOSTON — Starting Monday, 500 vaccinations per day will be administered at Fenway Park. The goal is to reach as many as 1,250 eligible residents per day under Massachusetts’ vaccination plan.
The site at the home of the Boston Red Sox is expected to stay open through the start of baseball season in early April.
Appointments are open for those people under Phase 1 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan and those 75 and older, who will start getting shots on Monday as the rollout moves into Phase 2.
Health care workers started receiving the vaccine at Fenway this week. The state’s first mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium – home of the New England Patriots — opened this month.
State officials aim to open more than 100 public vaccination sites throughout Massachusetts.
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AUGUSTA, Maine — Some 2,400 businesses and people in Maine have been approved for more than $221 million in forgivable loans in the first two weeks of the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program.
Those figures apply to loans between Jan. 11 and Jan. 24, according to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, one of the politicians behind the program. The federal government provided $284.5 billion for the program in the most recent COVID-19 relief package.
Small businesses that employ 300 or fewer people and experienced a 25% or greater gross revenue loss because of the coronavirus are eligible to apply for a second forgivable loan under the program.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina is reporting its first known case of the Britain-based variant of the coronavirus.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the agency was notified Friday that a sample from an adult in the Lowcountry “with an international travel history” had tested positive for the variant.
On Friday, 434 cases of the U.K. variant had been reported in the U.S.
This week, health officials reported the first two U.S. cases of a South African coronavirus variant in South Carolina.
Health experts say both variants possibly spread more easily and protective measures of wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings are recommended.
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ROME — The Italian Medicines Agency known has approved the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for persons older than 18.
It says the “preferential use” would be for ages 18–55. The approval on Saturday came a day after the European Union’s counterpart agency recommended granting conditional marketing authorization for the AstraZeneca vaccine in persons 18 years and older.
The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) says data from the studies on the AstraZeneca vaccine showed a “level of uncertainty in estimating the efficacy in subjects older than 55” because that age group was “scarcely represented” in studies so far.
AIFA has already approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. So far, 1.8 million people have received one injection in the nation of 60 million. Italy has 2.5 million confirmed cases and more than 88,000 known dead, the second-highest death toll in Europe behind Britain.
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HONOLULU — The Navy has announced about a dozen personnel assigned to a Pearl Harbor destroyer, now in San Diego, have tested positive for the coronavirus and were removed from the ship.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Cmdr. Sean Robertson says crew members aboard the USS Chafee who were in close contact with the infected sailors are off the ship and in quarantine while monitoring symptoms. None of the sailors have been hospitalized.
Robertson says there are plans to test all sailors abroad the vessel of 350 people.
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PHOENIX — Arizona reported 5,119 coronavirus cases and 76 confirmed deaths on Saturday.
The Department of Health Services says the state’s pandemic totals increased to 753,379 cases and 13,098 confirmed deaths.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are slowing in Arizona. However, Arizona’s coronavirus diagnosis rate was the worst in the nation in the week ending Friday (1 in 178). South Carolina (1 in 192), Oklahoma (1 in 216) and Rhode Island (1 in 225) were next.
On Friday, the state announced that a potentially more contagious variant from Britain was confirmed in tests from three people.
The department says it is monitoring the situation and reiterated the need for people to wear masks and remain socially distance.
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LOS ANGELES — California surpassed 40,000 coronavirus deaths as the state’s steepest surge of cases begins to taper.
The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows the state passed the milestone Saturday with 40,240 deaths. The deaths are surging at a record pace after recent declines in cases and hospitalizations. It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000.
In just five weeks, the state reached 30,000 and needed only 20 days to get to 40,000.
New York leads the U.S. with more than 43,000 confirmed deaths, followed by California, Texas at 36,000 and Florida at 26,000.
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RENO, Nevada — Nevada’s governor and attorney general are denouncing resolutions approved by five rural counties that attempt to defy state restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus statewide.
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford say the resolutions passed by Lyon, White Pine, Eureka and Elko Counties have no force of law and cannot override the governor’s emergency directives.
They say the directives have been issued under state law and upheld in courts several times. The two Democrats say everyone is tired of the pandemic, but every day Nevadans die due to COVID-19 in rural counties and urban areas.