Masks Mandated in National Parks; Boosters Planned: Virus Update

The U.S. government is poised to being offering booster shots as soon as next month. Morgan Stanley is stepping up efforts to ensure employees comply with its rule that they be vaccinated to enter its buildings.

New Zealand, which has run a successful Covid elimination strategy, will enter a lockdown after reporting its first community transmission since February. Switzerland recorded its biggest jump in infections in months, and the government has redoubled efforts to get more people vaccinated. South Africa expects a fourth wave to start in early December.

Hong Kong announced it will hike quarantine for medium-risk places to 14 days. Business groups in the city are already opposing measures announced on Monday that curbed travel. Singapore, which has been mulling opening its borders, said it’s considering a plan to allow groups of vaccinated travelers to enter the country on carefully controlled itineraries.

Key Developments:
Global Tracker: Cases top 208 million; deaths pass 4.37 million
Vaccine Tracker: More than 4.7 billion doses administered
Delayed Wuhan report adds crucial detail to Covid origin puzzle
Where are we in the quest for Covid treatments?: QuickTake
Businesses in Hong Kong slam tightened Covid travel curbs
Booster shots for Americans eight months after vaccination

Morgan Stanley Asks Workers for Vaccine Proof (1:05 p.m. NY)
Morgan Stanley is stepping up efforts to ensure employees comply with its rule that they be vaccinated to enter its buildings.

The firm told vaccinated workers to provide documentation of their shots by Oct. 1, after previously letting them attest to their status, according to an internal memo. The extra step is meant to “provide greater comfort for those working in the office,” it wrote.

Masks Required in U.S. National Parks (12:35 p.m. NY)
The U.S. National Park Service said it is requiring masks for crowded outdoor spaces and buildings “regardless of vaccination status or community transmission levels.”

In a statement issued Monday, Shawn Benge, deputy director of the Park Service, said: “Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world. Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors’ safety.”

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