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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now – Metro US

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Student Kameron Mixon receives a Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Student Kameron Mixon receives a Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in Carson, Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

U.S. COVID-19 tests again in short supply as infections soar, schools reopen

U.S. companies are scrambling to boost production of coronavirus tests increasingly in short supply as COVID-19 cases soar and schools and employers revive surveillance programs that will require tens of millions of tests, according to industry executives and state health officials.

Test manufacturers in recent months scaled back production of rapid COVID-19 tests, which can produce results on-site in minutes, as well as test kits that are sent to laboratories for analysis. Now, with the Delta variant pushing U.S. COVID-19 cases well above 100,000 per day, test makers are working to quickly reverse course.

Contaminant in Moderna vaccines suspected to be metallic particles, NHK says

A contaminant found in a batch of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Japan is believed to be a metallic particle, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing sources at the health ministry. NHK, in a report published late on Thursday, cited ministry sources as saying the particle reacted to magnets and was therefore suspected to be a metal. Moderna has described it as “particulate matter” that did not pose a safety or efficacy issue.

Spanish pharma company Rovi, which bottles Moderna vaccines for markets other than the United States, said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in a production line and that it was conducting an investigation.

Biden shedding support from independent voters as Delta variant spreads, polling shows

President Joe Biden is shedding support from independents, a crucial voting bloc that helped Democrats win the White House and Congress last year, as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases slows the country’s return to normal from the pandemic, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows.

The pandemic has surged anew in the United States, especially in populous Republican-led states such as Florida and Texas that have resisted new restrictions to hamper the spread of the Delta variant of the virus.

Mexican researchers say they have created a mask that neutralizes COVID-19

Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have created a mask using silver and copper nanolayers that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the university said in its official gazette on Thursday.

UNAM said that if the viral concentration was high, the virus disappeared by more than 80% in about eight hours and if the viral load was low, in two hours none of the virus RNA was detected.

(Compiled by Karishma Singh and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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