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The $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill is here

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The $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill is here 2

The bill includes stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for many Americans, and billions of dollars for states and municipalities, schools and small businesses.

There’s also $14 billion to research, develop, distribute, administer and strengthen confidence in vaccines. This financial boost comes at a crucial time.

Nearly one in 10 Americans — more than 32 million people — are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows. The rollout has been progressing well, but the growing number of vaccinations is still not high enough to suppress the spread of coronavirus; a CNN analysis shows the US could reach herd immunity by the summer.

“Where the pandemic goes from here is really dependent on our collective behaviors and continued commitment to follow the public health measures we know work to stop the spread of the virus: wearing well-fitted masks, avoiding traveling in crowds, social distancing and washing hands,” Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during the Health Action Alliance National Business Summit yesterday.

The bill reflects the need to continue with the measures, putting $47.8 billion toward testing, contact tracing and mitigation, including investing in laboratory capacity, community-based testing sites and mobile testing units, particularly in medically underserved areas.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Q: How much will my stimulus check be?

A: The payments included in the Covid relief package are worth up to $1,400 per person, including dependents. This means a couple with two children could receive up to $5,600. Families will now receive the additional money for adult dependents over the age of 17.

Roughly 90% of American households will be eligible, according to an estimate from the Penn Wharton Budget Model.

Individuals who earn at least $80,000 a year of adjusted gross income, heads of households who earn at least $120,000 and married couples who earn at least $160,000 will be completely cut off from the third round of stimulus payments — regardless of how many children they have.

Use our calculator here to see what you can expect to get.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Rural Alaska is getting Covid-19 vaccinations right. Here’s what the rest of the US can learn

At 40 doses administered per 100 people, Alaska is one of the leading states when it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations.

In many ways, Alaska was already prepared for a massive vaccine rollout — they’ve used similar methods to deliver the flu vaccine statewide. But much of its success comes from learning on the fly, coming up with creative ways to get vaccines into arms and prioritizing the state’s most at-risk residents.

What works in Alaska won’t work everywhere — it’s over 660,000 square miles, after all, and not every state requires health care workers to travel by dog sled to administer vaccines. But the rest of the US can take cues from the state’s unique approach to its problems.

Guidelines for fully vaccinated people are not set in stone

Since the CDC released its guidance Monday morning, many critics have said the recommendations for fully vaccinated people are possibly still too rigid. But these guidelines are not final and will evolve as epidemiologists respond to new information in real time, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday during an interview with NPR.
While the CDC did not update travel guidelines on Monday, the agency said it may revise that advice for fully vaccinated people when the science is clearer, and more are inoculated.

The world needs all the doctors it can get. This cancer patient is risking the time she has left to become one

Krista Bose is just weeks shy of qualifying as a doctor in the UK. The 27-year-old is also battling incurable cancer. Working in a hospital, which is what’s required to complete her medical training, was not an option for the past few months, because of her weakened immune system.

But two weeks ago, after starting a new treatment which doctors hope will keep her cancer at bay for at least the next six months without chemotherapy, she finally began her final 16 weeks of training. “If I do have the good fortune to live more than a year, I want to spend it working and living and doing what I love. I don’t want to sit on the couch for two years and watch Netflix,” she said.

Texas governor lifts state mask mandate

Texans will no longer be under a statewide mandate to wear masks in public as of Wednesday, but they shouldn’t be too quick to throw out their face coverings. Critics say it is too soon, since only a small percentage of the state’s population has been vaccinated and aggressively spreading variants of the virus may lead to another explosion of cases.

Several of the state’s largest cities — including the capital, Austin — as well as counties and businesses have said they will still require masks when the mandate is lifted.

ON OUR RADAR

  • Rich countries are vaccinating one person every second against Covid-19 while most of their poorest counterparts have yet to administer a single dose, the People’s Vaccine Alliance said.
  • Dr. Comilla Sasson has worked on the front line fighting Covid-19 in eight US states. Here’s what she wants you to know.
  • Brazil reported its highest daily death toll since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, according to data from the country’s Health Ministry, with 1,972 new fatalities.
  • Biotechnology company Novavax still expects to see results from its PREVENT-19 trial, a Phase 3 study of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine in the US and Mexico, sometime in April.
  • Around 300,000 people are expected to attend a Florida motorcycle rally despite the pandemic.
  • If you haven’t bought a used car in a while, you might be surprised at how much the shopping experience has changed during the pandemic.
  • End-of-life doulas help people die comfortably — and they’ve become more important than ever.

TOP TIPS

The pandemic has forced much of the global workforce to go through a remote work experiment on a scale never seen before. Now it’s time to start thinking about what’s next.

No matter what the approach, workers and employers can expect to hit a few bumps in the road as they navigate the next phase.

Inequality between remote and in-office workers can become an issue among hybrid workforces. People in the office get more face time with the boss, which can lead to better relationships, increased access to information and top assignments. So, training managers on how to equally incorporate remote and in-person workers in meetings and decision making, as well as how they communicate, will be a critical step in equalizing workforces.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“I thought I was going to die, and I’m fortunate. But I know this much: I don’t want to get it again more than I’m afraid of the vaccine, so I would much rather take the vaccine than get Covid again.” — Tomás Tello, Sr., local resident and father

This pandemic has highlighted how essential it is for people to feel like they can trust public health officials. CNN’s Omar Jimenez reports from Flint, Michigan, where locals are still dealing with serious repercussions from the 2014 water crisis. He talks to members of the community about their lasting distrust in government and how that’s affected their views on coronavirus vaccines. Listen now.

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