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Pandemics

BEIJING (AP) — The homeless, the sick, the elderly: For people who fell through the cracks of the official system, the then-unprecedented decision to isolate the central Chinese city of Wuhan and its 13 million people was a matter of life or death.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conservative Utah lawmakers overturned mask mandates in two counties Friday as the omicron variant of the coronavirus fueled a punishing surge.

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip voting in upcoming national elections. On the other side of the world, Beijing is locking down residential communities as the country anxiously awaits the start of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has asked the Supreme Court of Virginia to dismiss a lawsuit challenging his executive order allowing parents to opt out of mandates requiring children to wear masks in school.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's health director on Thursday ordered nursing homes to offer on-site booster shots to residents who are not up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine in a state that lags others in vaccinating people in long-term care facilities.

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Some European countries such as Spain are making tentative plans for when they might start treating COVID-19 as an “endemic” disease, but the World Health Organization and other officials have warned that the world is nowhere close to declaring the pandemic over. A look at what endemic means and the implications for the future.

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Emergency health workers in California Wednesday blasted hours-long waits to transfer patients from ambulances to hospital emergency rooms in what they said were chronic delays worsened by the nearly two-year coronavirus pandemic.

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LONDON (AP) — Face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and schools in England and COVID-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in large parts of the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

BUDPAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The leader of Hungary's political opposition said Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 amid a surge in cases fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana House Republicans pushed through a proposal Tuesday that would severely limit workplace COVID-19 vaccination requirements even as the move faces resistance from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP state Senate leaders.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities are shortening the required isolation period for people infected with COVID-19 from 14 to seven days as the country faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, this time driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece imposed a vaccination mandate Monday for people 60 and older as a spike in infections has put sustained pressure on Greek hospitals, where most of the seriously ill patients belong to that age group.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities on Monday reported a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases, apparently driven by the rapid spread of the omicron variant health officials warned about last week.

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