In Kern County there have been 115 new reported COVID-19 cases and a total of 243,003 resident cases. Ten new deaths have been reported as of April 19, with a total of 2,344 Kern resident deaths.
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that they intend to appeal for no mask requirements in public transportation. No decision has been made about whether this will be passed, but the Justice Department and the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention disagree with this and will appeal.
The Justice Department said in a statement that they continue to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given C.D.C. to protect the public health.
The Justice Department also said that if C.D.C. concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the decision of no mask requirement should be up to the C.D.C.
“Public health decisions shouldn’t be made by the courts, they should be made by public health experts,” said Psaki. “We obviously feel confident in our authorities here given that we put the mask mandate in place and asked for 15 additional days to evaluate data based on public health information.”
Moderna is in the process of updating their COVID-19 boosters in the fall, so that the new vaccine comes with both original protection from COVID-19 and now the omicron variant.
Moderna is the first vaccine to update its formula as the virus continues to mutate with other variants. The company said it hopes to have this bivalent booster available in the fall.
“We believe that a bivalent booster vaccine, if authorized, would create a new tool as we continue to respond to emerging variants,” Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said in a statement.
Before omicron, Moderna had added extra protection to its vaccine to the variant beta. Now their goal is for the vaccine to target omicron specifically.
“These results really give us hope that the next step will work even better”, said Dr. Jacqueline Miller, a Moderna vice president.