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Georgia Aquarium Animals the Latest to Test Positive for COVID-19

Staff say that the public is not in danger, however.

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We are undoubtedly beginning to see some movement toward normalcy here in America, after having spent over a year conducting a “two-week lockdown” to “flatten the curve”.

It’s been 13 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began in earnest for US citizens, and the advent of a number of effective vaccines seem to be the our ticket out of this mess.  Distribution of those jabs is going swimmingly, as well, and the Biden administration was able to open up vaccine legibility to every adult American starting just today.

But that does little for the sick otters at the Georgia Aquarium.

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The Georgia Aquarium announced on Sunday that its Asian small-clawed otters tested positive for COVID-19.

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While it was unclear how many of the animals had tested positive, officials said in a news release that the otters are already showing signs of improvement and are expected to make “a full recovery.”

“Our Asian small-clawed otters are under very close monitoring by veterinarians and animal care team members,” Dr. Tonya Clauss, vice president of animal and environmental health at Georgia Aquarium, said in a news release. “They have displayed only mild symptoms and we expect them all to make a full recovery. We are providing supportive care as needed so they can eat, rest and recover.”

The aquarium said that the animals posed no risk to humans, however.

“The risk of animal-to-human transmission is incredibly rare,” the news release said. “The Asian small-clawed otters at the Aquarium do not have direct contact with guests and have always been behind acrylic barriers, separating them from guests. The otters will continue to be monitored and once they are no longer positive for COVID-19, it will then be determined when they will go back on exhibit.”

Staff believes that an asymptomatic members of the aquarium team may have spread the virus to the otters, who are currently “behind the scenes” and not in their exhibition area.

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Free At Last: CDC Updates Mask Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated

This is HUGE!

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The moment that many of us have been waiting for has seemingly arrived, as the CDC has now updated their COVID-19 mask guidelines to reflect the state of affairs here in the United States. After 14 months of worry and wonder, the nation’s top health officials are now suggesting that fully-vaccinated individuals can shed their protective face coverings, should they choose to do so. People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.” Calling it an “exciting and powerful moment,” Walensky said the science supports the updated CDC guidance that “anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physical distancing.” The decision followed the science, with the CDC using an amalgamation of studies from both the US and Israel to come to their conclusion. And while the mask mandate will certainly change the way many of us interact at the grocery store or inside of a restaurant, the CDC has not lifted their mandates for travelers, who are often packed into airplanes or busses with recirculating air and no way of knowing who is at-risk and who is not.

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Minnesota ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Films Himself Stealing Vaccines from Health Workers

WOW!

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America is on a path to a grand economic recovery in 2021, with much of the success of this move hinging on whether or not we can convince enough folks to get vaccinated so that herd immunity is declared. Of course, as with anything in the land of the free, there are plenty of us who just aren’t going to go along with the program.  That’s the beauty of liberty:  You are your own unique individual, and you have the inalienable right to live your life however you wish, just so long as you don’t make a victim of someone else in the process. And so our health professionals are now encumbered with the issue of vaccine hesitancy, as more and more Americans find themselves concerned over the speed at which these vaccines were developed. Some have even taken their concern over these inoculations to the extreme, as evidenced by the latest news out of Minnesota. A 32-year-old St. Paul man has posted multiple Facebook videos of himself stealing Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines by pretending he wants to get vaccinated and walking out with the vials. Thomas E. Humphrey said on the videos he’s a member of the sovereign citizen movement, which is an anti-government extremist group that believes they are sovereign from the U.S. He also said on a video that he lost his business and home last year due to pandemic restrictions, and now lives in a van with his dog. He says on another video he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but disagreed with the diagnosis. Humphrey posted videos of himself walking into an Allina Health vaccination site in Oakdale and leaving with a vial of Pfizer vaccine, calling it poison. The following day, he posted a video of himself taking a vial of Johnson &…

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