Reuters | |

New York City's school system will require all 1.1 million of its students to attend classes in person this fall after more than a year of pandemic-induced disruption, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday, joining a nationwide back-to-school trend. read more

The city's plans to abandon virtual learning come as states and cities across the United States ease restrictions designed to slow new coronavirus infections. The trend reflects a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases, with a significant percentage of Americans now vaccinated.

Kimberly Redmond | |

At least 25 states, plus Washington, DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents against COVID-19, according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Those states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Reuters | |

Uber Technologies Inc and rival Lyft Inc on Monday launched COVID-19 vaccine ride programs in partnership with the White House, offering Americans free rides or discounts for their trips to and from a vaccination site.

Customers who have booked a vaccine appointment can request a ride through the Uber app and either incur no charges if the trip costs less than $25, or receive a $25 discount for their journey, the company said.

AP News | |

A steady crowd of people flowed into the New England Patriots’ stadium for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week in Massachusetts, which is nearing its goal of vaccinating more than 4 million and plans to close its biggest clinics in little more than a month.

In the Deep South, meanwhile, one of the largest clinics in Alabama shut down Wednesday and others will follow in the coming weeks because demand for the shot has plunged.

Kimberly Redmond | |

With much of Japan still under a state of emergency due to a spike in COVID-19 infections, a group representing 6,000 physicians in Tokyo has called for the cancellation of the upcoming Summer Olympics.

In an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association wrote that hospitals “have their hands full” and almost no capacity left to handle a potential outbreak triggered by the international sporting event.

Reuters | |

Bank of America plans to raise its minimum wage for U.S. workers to $25 an hour by 2025, the latest among major firms promising to pay employees more after a year of pandemic risks and government subsidies that fueled conversations on whether companies pay their workers enough.

Bank of America's announcement on Tuesday went further than other companies with large U.S. workforces in the retail space. The figure was higher than at competitors, and the second-largest U.S. bank is also requiring its vendors to set a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Frontline essential workers across the US are criticizing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) announcement last week that individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors and outdoors.

In a statement released Saturday, National Nurses United (NNU), the country’s largest union of registered nurses, said the CDC’s latest guidance “is not based on science, does not protect public health and threatens the lives of patients, nurses and other frontline workers across the country.”

Reuters | |

General Mills Inc said on Friday it would buy Tyson Foods Inc's pet treats business for $1.2 billion in cash, as the cereal maker builds its pet food portfolio at a time people are increasingly adopting cats and dogs.

The deal would add Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews brands to General Mills' portfolio that already includes Blue Buffalo pet foods label. The Cheerios maker bought Blue Buffalo for $8 billion in 2018, betting on the fast-growing pet foods segment.

Reuters | |

Disappointing growth of Walt Disney Co's namesake streaming service on Thursday overshadowed better-than-expected overall profits, driving down shares of the entertainment company.

Shares of Disney fell 3.7% in after-hours trading.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Concern about contracting COVID-19 are at the lowest level in a year, according to a new poll by Gallup.

In poll released Thursday showed that just 30% of Americans are worried about becoming infected with the virus, the lowest figure since Gallup began tracking public sentiment regarding the pandemic in April 2020.