Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list and will miss Sunday’s game at home against the Detroit Lions, the team announced Saturday.
Last week, during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Roethlisberger announced he was fully vaccinated against Covid-19 after being asked what protocols he must follow in the locker room.
“I think you’re supposed to have your mask on if you’re not vaccinated. I don’t know who on our team is and isn’t. I know I am, so I don’t have to have my mask on, but you still have to live your life,” Roethlisberger said.
The reserve/Covid-19 list is for players who either test positive for the Covid or who have been in close contact with someone who is infected.
Roethlisberger has started all eight games this season, throwing for 1,986 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Roethlisberger becomes the second starting quarterback this month to be ruled out of a game after being placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed the team’s Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to Covid-19 protocols. Rodgers was activated off the list before the team’s week 10 tilt against the Seattle Seahawks, the Packers announced earlier Saturday.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — California’s COVID-19 transmission rate is currently higher than much of the Deep South, including states with fewer pandemic restrictions, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California’s level of community transmission as of Thursday is in the red “high” level of the CDC’s four-tiered system, while nearly all southern states are faring better. Several states along the Gulf Coast are at the orange “substantial” transmission level.
“So they do have the potential to transmit it to a grandparent who may be at higher risk or to an immunocompromised family member,” she said. Gathering safely “does require everyone to get vaccinated if they are eligible,” she added.
Unvaccinated people are particularly at high risk for becoming super-spreaders because when they are infected, they shed far higher amounts of virus than those who are vaccinated and suffer breakthrough infections, she said.
Unvaccinated Californians are roughly seven times more likely to contract COVID-19, 10 times likelier to end up in the hospital and 17 times more likely to die from the disease than their vaccinated counterparts, state data show.
Florida, a state whose governor has spoken out against mask mandates and vaccine requirements, boasts an even lower case rate and is at the “moderate” level of transmission.
California’s seven-day case rate – roughly 112 per 100,000 – is more than twice that of Florida. And the Golden State’s seven-day death rate per 1 million people is 11 times higher than Florida’s.
California has embraced a stricter approach in tackling the pandemic and it’s among the nation’s leaders with about 74% of eligible people with at least one dose of the vaccine.
California earlier this fall had the nation’s lowest case rate but is now 16th, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, while the positivity rate for those tested is 2.3% after falling below 1% in June.
While statewide hospitalizations have fallen by about half since a summer peak at the end of August, they have started creeping up in some areas, particularly the Central Valley and portions of Southern California including Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
“We’ve seen some signs that suggest concerns,” Newsom said.
Although Florida has shown better numbers recently, Dr. Michael Ben-Aderet says California’s masking and vaccination protocols are paying off when the entirety of the pandemic is considered.
“We’ve had surges here in California, but even with the density of population in our state, with the number of people, with the big cities that we have, our mortality is significantly lower than these other places,” said Ben-Aderet, the associate medical director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The latest CDC statistics show Florida’s overall death rate is the eighth worst in the country – 54% higher than California’s.
Meanwhile, the last three school districts in Florida that required at least some students to wear masks are dropping their mandates for student facial coverings.
The Department of Defense will respond “appropriately” to a decision this week by the Oklahoma National Guard to rescind the Pentagon’s requirement for service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Driving the news: “We are aware of the memo issued by the Oklahoma Adjutant General regarding COVID vaccination for Guardsmen and the governor’s letter requesting exemption. We will respond to the governor appropriately,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Axios in a statement.
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“That said, Secretary Austin believes that a vaccinated force is a more ready force. That is why he has ordered mandatory vaccines for the total force, and that includes our National Guard, who contribute significantly to national missions at home and abroad,” Kirby added.
State of play: The Pentagon’s statement comes after Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, who now oversees the Oklahoma National Guard, “rescinded” the requirement.
Mancino cited a written request from the governor to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking DOD to “immediately consider suspending the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for national guardsmen in Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is “awaiting an decision” from the Defense secretary, Mancino wrote in the memo dated Thursday
“No negative administrative or legal action will be taken against Guardsmen who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the memo.
The big picture: Mancino earlier this week was selected by Stitt to replace Gen. Michael Thompson, who had supported COVID-19 vaccinations and said that members who do not receive the vaccine would be advised on alternative options.
Thompson told reporters on Thursday that he learned he’d been relieved of duty via social media.
A spokesperson for Stitt, who has vocally opposed the vaccine requirement for Oklahoma National Guard members, told AP that Mancino’s hire was not due to the vaccination policy.
“The governor had been exploring making a change for a number of months, and Thompson had submitted his resignation” in October to take effect in January, spokesperson Carly Atchison said, per AP.
Thompson told the Tulsa World that the governor had asked him to resign in October but that they agreed he would remain in place until January.
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