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As calls for schools to reopen grow louder across the country, many teachers are saying: vaccinate us first.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended reopening schools as soon as possible with mask-wearing and other safeguards in place, but teachers in cities such as Chicago remain resistant to returning.
As of Wednesday, about a third of all students in the United States have not had any in-person education since March, a situation repeated across the world.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
- Click here for more of NBC News' Covid-19 coverage
U.S. counts fewer than 200,000 daily cases for 10th day in a row
Wednesday the U.S. counted 3,846 reported deaths and 153,439 new Covid-19 cases, according to NBC News' tally.
This was the 10th day in a row that case counts have numbered less than 200,000.
In the last week, the U.S. averaged 3,336 deaths and 166,045 cases per day. Four weeks ago the U.S. averaged 2,653 deaths and 229,991 cases per day.
As of Thursday morning, the country registered 25.7 million cases and 430,759 deaths total.
These states set single-day records Wednesday:
- Alabama, 276 dead
- Oklahoma, 65 dead
Pfizer vaccine works against new variants of Covid-19, study finds
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine against Covid-19 is successful in treating new variants of the disease, including those first identified in the U.K. and South Africa, a study commissioned by Pfizer has found.
The study, the results of which were released Wednesday and have not been peer-reviewed, said the new variants only had a "small effect" on the vaccine's ability to neutralize the virus. Those effects would be "unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine," the companies said.
The emergence of the new variants has caused concern among some public health experts after appearing across the U.S.
Teachers say they want the Covid-19 vaccine before they head back to the classroom
CHICAGO — Children who have been marooned at home for months by the pandemic are slowly returning to classrooms, but many teachers say they won’t go back until they’ve received the Covid-19 vaccine.
Especially in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest public school district, where teachers who were supposed to return to classrooms Wednesday worked from home again and are once more threatening to strike.
“Community spread is still so high in Chicago, and so many people are sick and dying. I don’t know how to keep myself safe in an old building with so many people," said Kirstin Roberts, a preschool teacher at the Brentano Math and Science Academy, on the city’s northwest side “I don’t understand why we have to risk our lives when we’re so close to a vaccine.”
Thai police arrest 89 foreigners in local bar for flouting Covid-19 rules
The Tuesday night raid on the Three Sixty Bar on Koh Phangan also netted 22 Thais, including one identified as the bar’s owner and another who sold drinks there, said police Col. Suparerk Pankosol, superintendent of the provincial immigration office.
He said the gathering was illegal under a national state of emergency declared last March to combat the coronavirus.
Those arrested were from more than 10 countries, including the U.S., Britain, Switzerland and Denmark, Suparerk said. Photos of the raid distributed by police showed a dark, crowded room with casually dressed partygoers, almost all wearing face masks.
U.K. announces hotel quarantine for residents returning from 30 high-risk Covid-19 countries
U.K. nationals and residents returning from dozens of countries will have to quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.
In an effort to prevent new Covid-19 variants from entering the country, Johnson said travelers returning from 30 high-risk countries, including South Africa, Portugal and large parts of South America, will have to isolate in hotels on arrival.
Under England's current lockdown rules, Johnson stressed that it is "illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes."
"In order to reduce the risk posed by U.K. nationals and residents returning home from these countries, I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in government provided accommodation, such as hotels, for 10 days without exception," he added.
U.K. opposition leaders called for these quarantine requirements to extend to all incoming travel. "Today's announcement is too limited, it leaves huge gaps in our defenses against emerging strains," Labour's home affairs spokesman Nick Thomas-Symonds said.