Delaware State Police Investigating Fatal Motorcycle Crash- Wilmington – Delaware State Police

Date Posted: Friday, October 15th, 2021

Wilmington- Delaware State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred early this morning.

On October 15, 2021, at approximately 12:40 a.m., a 2011 Yamaha FZ8 motorcycle operated by a 27-year-old Pennsylvania man was traveling southbound on Interstate 95 in the single southbound lane of travel and was approaching its interchange with Route 141.  Due to active road construction in the area, Interstate 95 southbound traffic was restricted to the left most lane of travel.  The Yamaha was traveling at a high rate of speed as it passed a vehicle on the left shoulder.  The Yamaha then reentered the southbound lane and proceeded to travel past another vehicle on the right.  At that point, the operator of the Yamaha lost control and struck the guardrail which separates Interstate 95 southbound from I-295 southbound.  The operator was ejected from the motorcycle and struck two additional guardrail posts. The Yamaha came to rest within the lane of travel inside the construction area. 

The 27-year-old operator of the Yamaha was pronounced deceased at the scene. His identification is pending notification to the next of kin.

The Yamaha motorcycle was a reported stolen vehicle by New Castle County Police on August 23, 2021.

Interstate 95 southbound was closed for approximately 3 hours while the collision was investigated, and the roadway cleared.

This collision remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Troop 2 Collision Reconstruction Unit. Anyone with information regarding the crash should contact Master Corporal John Breen by calling 302-365-8486.Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll-free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at

You can follow the Delaware State Police by clicking on:

Delaware State Police Official Web Site




Please tell us how we’re doing via our Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

Presented by Public Information Officer, Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell

Released: 101521 0919


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Covid-19 live updates: Victoria, NSW cases, lockdown, restrictions

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has doubled down on his calls to open up Victoria, slamming one “ludicrous and unacceptable” rule in particular.

Welcome to our live coverage of Saturday’s national Covid-19 news.

Australians and their families will be to free to travel in and out of the country from November 1, a move triggered by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s announcement that quarantine would come to an end in his state for fully vaccinated arrivals.

But not everyone will benefit from the lifted outbound travel ban – with Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressing that only “Australians, permanent residents and citizens and their families” will be permitted to come and go for the time being.

Meanwhile Victoria has reported 1993 new local infections and sadly, seven deaths – a slight drop after two consecutive days of cases exceeding 2000.

NSW also reported another drop in cases, with 319 new infections and two deaths.

And residents in Hobart and southern Tasmania are on the first day of a three-day lockdown, after a 31-year-old man who was Covid-positive escaped hotel quarantine and visited a supermarket earlier this week.

There were no further cases in the state overnight.

Read on for today’s updates below. Just remember to keep refreshing the page to see the latest news.

‘Ludicrous and unacceptable’: Frydenberg doubles down

Josh Frydenberg has doubled down on his op-ed about Victoria’s Covid-19 restrictions, declaring during a press conference that it is “ludicrous and unacceptable” that people in Sydney can now travel to Victoria, but Melburnians aren’t able to see their families in the regions.

“Victorians are looking at what is happening in NSW and saying ‘Why do those people get the freedoms at 70 and 80 per cent that we here in Victoria are not getting?’” the Treasurer told reporters.

“Victorians have done the right thing. They have spent so much time in lockdown. They have gone and got the jab in record numbers. It is now time that the Government gave back their freedoms and their lives.”

Asked if Victoria needed to be in lockdown for “so long”, Mr Frydenberg said it was “an indisputable fact, a very sad fact is that Victorians have spent more time in lockdown than any other state and that Melburnians have spent more time in lockdown than any other city in the world”.

“Just think about that for a moment. Melburnians have spent more time lockdown than any other city in the world,” he added.

“There are going to be more cases, particularly among the unvaccinated. This is what living with Covid means. An elimination strategy is not a viable strategy.”

It’s worth noting that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has repeatedly said his state is no longer trying to eradicate the virus.

15-year-old Victorian ‘very sadly’ among Covid deaths

Victoria’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar has provided further detail about the seven virus deaths in his state overnight.

One of them, Mr Weimar told reporters, was a 15-year-old girl who “very sadly passed away, with a number of conditions, but she was positive”.

“That is a sad and tragic case, we won’t be making any more comments on her but we will send our best wishes to her family and the family of all those who have lost their lives with Covid, particularly in the last 24 hours.”

The other six deaths occurred in a man in his 80s from Darebin, a woman in her 70s from Whittlesea, a man in his 80s from Moonee Valley, a woman in her 60s from Casey, another woman in her 60s from Darebin, and a man in his 50s from Hume.

Queensland introduces border restrictions with Tasmania

There might have been zero new cases in Tasmania overnight, but that hasn’t stopped the Sunshine State from reimposing border restrictions with 12 local government areas.

Residents in Hobart and the state’s south will be required to enter hotel quarantine if they fly to Queensland after 1am tomorrow.

Chief health officer Jeanette Young urged anyone in her state who was in Tasmania on October 11 or 12 to get tested if they show any symptoms.

“I strongly recommend that at this point in time, anyone who is planning to go down to Tasmania, does reconsider whether it’s necessary to do so,” Dr Young told reporters.

20 new cases in the ACT

There have been 20 new cases in the ACT up to the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.

Of these infections, 14 are linked to known cases or clusters.

There are currently 15 patients being treated with the virus in hospital, 10 of whom are in intensive care.

No new cases in Queensland 

There have been no new cases of local Covid-19 in the Sunshine State in the last 24 hours. The state reported three new overseas acquired cases, all of which were detected in hotel quarantine.

Premier’s ‘great sadness’ at snap lockdown

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has expressed his “great sadness” at the snap lockdown that Hobart and its surrounding LGAs is currently under.

The state recorded no further infections overnight.

“I want to start by thanking Tasmanians in the south for their cooperation, by staying at home at this critical time. I don’t mind saying that I walked back to my room late last night and just noted the number of people that were on the streets and there weren’t very many. In the main, they were wearing face masks,” Mr Gutwein told reporters.

“I must admit, it filled me with great sadness, walking past the closed businesses and noting those that were doing their very best to supply takeaways and to have pivoted and thank you to them for that.

“It is important the steps that we are going through at the moment, we have acted swiftly, decisively, with a view to ensuring that this doesn’t get away from us.”

While the Premier said he was “pleased” there hadn’t been any more infections, he warned that “the next 48 hours remains critical and I ask all Tasmanians in the south to work together to get on top of this as quickly as we can”.

ACT expands NSW border bubble

The ACT has expanded its border bubble with NSW – meaning Canberrans will be able to travel to the Southern Highlands and South Coast from midday today.

Residents will be allowed to travel freely to locations including Batemans Bay, Thredbo and Bowral if they are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ll no longer have to quarantine or complete an exemption form to return to the ACT.

People who live in those approved areas of NSW will also be allowed to enter the ACT, as long as they follow the public health directions.

ACT Health said the change was to “better align our travel restrictions with NSW where possible”.

NSW reports 319 new local cases

NSW’s numbers are in, with another drop in local infections – down to 319 new infections in the 24 hours up to 8pm last night.

There were also, sadly, two further deaths.

There are currently 652 people with Covid-19 being treated in hospital, 138 of who are in the ICU.

Victoria reports 1993 Covid-19 cases

Victoria has reported 1993 new local cases overnight and, sadly, seven further deaths.

It’s a slight drop in numbers for the state, after recording two consecutive days of cases exceeding 2000.

‘No time to lose’: Treasurer’s urgent plea

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is again calling for Daniel Andrews to roll back restrictions in Victoria to line up with those in NSW, declaring that “it’s time to put Victoria back in the fast lane”.

In an op-ed published by the Herald Sun, Mr Frydenberg wrote that “Melbourne has gone from the world’s most liveable city to the world’s most locked down city”.

“The damage done by lockdowns is clear. Our cafes are quiet; our lanes are empty; and our stadiums, normally filled with cheering fans, are deserted,” he wrote.

“Melbourne is famous for its cultural vitality; its music, museums, and its warm hospitality. But Covid has hit and hit us hard.”

Comparing the measures in Victoria to those in NSW, Mr Frydenberg said there was “no time to lose”.

“Victorians who have given up so much, are rightly asking the question; why are the people of NSW granted more freedoms at 70 and 80 per cent vaccination rates than they are?” he said.

“Victorians, like those in NSW, have done the right thing and got the jab, and in return, they deserve their lives and their freedoms back.”

Why the mandatory jab lawsuit failed

The NSW government has won a landmark Supreme Court challenge to the state’s lockdown measures to combat the Covid outbreak.

Two sets of plaintiffs – who all refused to be vaccinated – filed civil suits asking for various aspects of the public health orders to be quashed and that the government be restrained from setting any further lockdown measures.

Northern Rivers woman Natasha Henry and five other citizens asked the court to overturn rules requiring aged care workers to get the Covid-19 jab and prohibiting unvaccinated essential workers from leaving a local government area of concern for their jobs.

Another group, including construction worker Al-Munir Kassam, was asking the public health orders be declared invalid because they impugn their “personal liberty” and force them to undergo a medical procedure.

However, Robert Justice Beech-Jones ordered that both lawsuits be dismissed on Friday afternoon.

“It was contended the orders interfered with a person’s right to bodily integrity and a host of other freedoms,” Justice Beech-Jones said.

“When all is said and done, the proper analysis is the impugned order curtails freedom of movement, which in turn affects a person’s ability to work and socialise.”

– Additional reporting NCA NewsWire

Hobart enters three-day lockdown

Hobart and southern Tasmania has entered its full day of a three-day lockdown to contain the threat of a Delta outbreak, after a 31-year-old man who was Covid-positive escaped hotel quarantine and visited a supermarket earlier this week.

Announcing the shutdown on Friday afternoon, Premier Peter Gutwein said the man had been “uncooperative” with authorities about his movements.

“There is growing concern now that he has been to several touch points in the community. We can’t continue to wait another two days to find out more about what has been going on,” Mr Gutwein told reporters.

“We don’t want to be Sydney or Melbourne in this case that acted too late with Delta.”

The lockdown applies to Hobart and surrounding local government areas, where residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes.

Mr Gutwein said he hoped the lockdown would end as scheduled at 6pm on Monday night, but that would depend on public health advice over the weekend.

Who misses out when international travel returns

Australians and their families will be to free to travel in and out of the country from November 1, a move triggered by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s announcement that quarantine would come to an end in his state for fully vaccinated arrivals.

But not everyone will benefit from the lifted outbound travel ban – with Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressing that only “Australians, permanent residents and citizens and their families” will be permitted to come and go for the time being.

After being reportedly blindsided by Mr Perrottet’s declaration that the NSW border would open for everyone – including international tourists – the PM delivered a diplomatic slapdown, noting that it was the Commonwealth that controlled visas and decided who comes to Australia.

While he welcomed the decision to reopen borders and scrap quarantine, he suggested it was a “first step” and was about Australian residents returning, not tourists.

“We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that,” Mr Morrison said.

“It is for the Commonwealth and Federal Government to decide when the border opens and shuts at an international level and we will do that.

“In the first instance it will be for Australian residents and their families. We will see how that goes.”

The PM said no decision had yet been made on when “visa holders, student visa holders (and) international visitors travelling” would be welcomed Down Under.

Government sources told The Australian they expect it could be “weeks” after Australia passes its 80 per cent vaccination rate in November before international students and skilled migrants are allowed a look-in.

State’s borders likely to stay shut

Western Australia’s hard border closure to NSW is likely to be extended as fully vaccinated Australians are allowed to return to the latter state from overseas without quarantining.

Vaccinated Australian citizens, residents and their families, including overseas-based parents, will be allowed to freely enter NSW from November 1.

They will need to be tested before boarding a flight and will need to prove they have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said on Friday he was concerned an influx of travellers could lead to more coronavirus cases, flagging the border could remain shut for longer.

“I understand why they would (open their international border), because you may well be just as safe overseas as you are in Sydney,” he told reporters.

“But it may mean there’s greater spread of the virus in NSW. So that would obviously mean that we would keep our current border arrangement which is at ‘extreme risk’ with NSW for as long as it’s necessary.”

NSW residents are only allowed to enter WA in some exceptional circumstances and they must undergo a fortnight of hotel quarantine.

– Additional reporting NCA NewsWire

Glaring issue with new VaxPass

One vital detail may have been overlooked in the rollout of the VaxPass for NSW residents on Friday, according to a digital privacy expert.

The new Service NSW phone app’s additional feature, which streamlined the existing check in system with the user’s vaccination status, has attracted criticism over a seemingly obvious flaw.

The new function, while equipped with the Waratah logo hologram and rotating QR codes, doesn’t present the user’s photo identification.

Without the inclusion of photo ID, unvaccinated members of the public could easily use someone else’s phone, or even someone else’s login details, to gain access to a venue.

“Unlike the NSW driver’s licence which has your picture on it, you can take your friend’s phone and show their QR code, chief digital privacy officer at Trustrgrid, David Palmer, said.

“You need to have the picture of the individual to match who’s presenting it, and then the QR code does its work by presenting the green tick saying you’re vaccinated.”

Mr Palmer said without photo identification being built into VaxPasses, businesses employees would need to request that each person present additional documents before entering a venue.

– Brooke Rolfe

Read related topics:Josh FrydenbergMelbourne

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Looming vaccine deadline for TSA threatens holiday travel | News

ATLANTA (CBS46) — If thousands of workers don’t respond to a federal regulation soon, Thanksgiving travel could hit a major snag.

Roughly 4 in 10 TSA workers are unvaccinated, despite the agency’s looming vaccine mandate with a November 22 deadline.

“We require our workforce to report whether or not they are vaccinated,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

Workers who forgo the jab will be out of a job. As of mid-October, about 20,000 of the country’s 50,000 estimated agents are not vaccinated.

“We have about 60% of our workforce that has been vaccinated. That number needs to go quite a bit higher in the next weeks,” said Pekoske.

But because a person needs to wait two full weeks after their final dose to be considered fully vaccinated, workers must act soon.

In some cases, it may be too late.

To hit the deadline with the Pfizer vaccine, workers must get their first shot by Oct. 18.

The deadline for a first Moderna shot has already passed.

These dates are reversing who’s concerned about who’s safety at the terminal.

“I hope they’re vaccinated. I think they should be vaccinated, and I hope they get it,” said Wesley Few, as he picked up his daughter visiting from Colorado.

Jack, another traveler heading to Ohio, shared the same sentiment.

“These people who have been through the experience with COVID say it should be avoided at all costs. Vaccines are a minor price,” he said.

Ally Koch and Grant Sears shared empathy for the TSA workers, now choosing between a jab and a job.

“It would suck if anyone’s losing jobs over this,” said Koch.

TSA is working on a contingency plan if they experience staffing shortages.

The last possible date to hit the vaccine requirement deadline is opting for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Nov. 8.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Travel: what to do and where to go in Helsinki

Several months ago, the idea of a city break might have seemed like a bad idea. Crowds and concrete weren’t top of anyone’s agenda. But as we gradually tip toe back to some degree of normality, the cultural void left by months of lockdown is becoming more pronounced. Theatres, galleries, shops and restaurants have been noticeably absent from our lives.

While it might take some time before we’re ready to embrace a metropolis again, smaller cities have greater appeal. Easily navigable on foot and populated by more trees than people, Finland’s capital Helsinki strikes a perfect balance between space and social activity. Mornings can be spent admiring Art Nouveau architecture, while sunny autumn afternoons are ideal for a sauna and bracing sea swim.

Any double vaccinated travellers can enter without a PCR test, and most restrictions on venues have been lifted. Not that overcrowding is ever an issue in a city where there’s always enough space to freely roam. The only stressful decision is deciding what to do…

Take a sauna at Löyly

As much a piece of art as a place to relax, this angular building has become a trendy hangout for locals who prefer a modern take on the Finnish tradition of sauna. Named after the metal ladle used to throw water on coals and increase steam, the site is set on the waterfront in a former industrial area a little out of town.

Bathing suits are worn in the communal saunas which can reach up to 90C if overzealous Finns are in the room. Cool off by going outside and taking a dip in the sea, accessed via a ladder. An outdoor restaurant provides a relaxing space to chill and chatter between sweat sessions. In the winter, drink beer around an indoor fire. A two-hour session costs €19 (around £16), including a towel and seat cover. Visit

Walk around the Amos Rex

Originally built for the 1936 Olympics, which only happened several years later, this Art Nouveau masterpiece has been lovingly restored and given a new lease of life. Climb a spiral staircase to find a cinema with striking red leather seats and head downstairs to an art gallery built in the basement. Perfect for showcasing largescale installations, the cavernous area hosts several shows throughout the year.

Light streams through windows built into cones rising from the marketplace square outside. Cherished by locals, the futuristic structures have been a particular hit with skateboarders. The gallery even has a stash of spare skateboards behind the counter should any tourists like to have a go. Pop into the neighbouring Lasipalatsi cafe to admire the frescoes and more 1930s design. Visit

Dine at Cheri

The latest venture from adventurous, trend-setting chef Richard McCormick only opened a few weeks ago, but it’s already causing a stir. Overlooking Esplanade Park in the centre of Helsinki, the unabashedly pink parlour is a playful mix of plush dining booths and tacky Eighties antiques.

Once the Instagram frenzy is over, however, it’s worth sticking around for the food. Using local Finnish ingredients to transform French and European favourites, the menu is a delight. A tartare of foraged mushrooms is rich in earthy, forest flavours; a lobster linguine is a sweet and salty nod to the sea.

If you’re lucky, Richard’s mum, Nisa, might be on waitress duty. A flamboyant character with a background in singing musicals, she’ll happily share stories of her colourful life. Visit

Sleep in the new Scandic Grand Hotel

So much of Helsinki’s architecture deserves attention. One of the most iconic structures is the train station, built in the early 20th century. An example of Art Nouveau splendour, its pistachio-hued clocktower rises above two pairs of lantern-bearing statues flanking the entrance.

Designed by the same architect, Eliel Saarinen, the neighbouring railway administration building has been transformed into a hotel. Inside, long corridors are laid out in a grid system, with wide staircases connecting each floor. Highlight features include original murals signposting different departments and a wooden boardroom table scarred by the imprint of a speaker’s hammer.

The breakfast buffet is one of the city’s finest offerings. Find three types of porridge, a seasonal apple crumble with custard, and egg soufflé served with a chimichurri sauce. From €102 per night (around £87), including breakfast. Visit

Shop with a conscience

Living so close to nature, Finns have an inbuilt desire to live as sustainably as possible. Mindful of the waste generated by over-consumption, citizens are changing their habits and finding new ways to eat and shop.

Alongside popular charity stores featuring furnishings and bric a brac, several designer clothes shops aim to give used items a new home. A cut above any jumble sale, clothing hangs neatly from rails and accessories are displayed in glass cabinets at Flea (Iso Roobertinkatu 11), which also doubles as a champagne bar. It’s a similar set up at Relove (Fredrikinkatu 25), where a section is set aside for a trendy café serving elaborate cakes and pastries.

Go one step further and start from scratch with an excellent collection of yarns sold at multiple knitting shops in the city. Part of the school curriculum, the popular pastime is taught to boys and girls.

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Will the Rental Car Shortage Ease in Time for Holiday Travel? – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Over the spring and summer travel season, renting a car at your destination may not have always been a given. Inventory was low as travel demand picked up in 2021, explained Willis Orlando with Scott’s Cheap Flights.

“Folks would buy these cheap flights, arrive at their destination and go to rent a car – which used to be a very easy, routine thing to do and find themselves out of luck,” said Orlando.

Read on to hear from experts in the travel industry.

“They’re just about back”

Orlando said an early spot check of Thanksgiving weekend car rental prices showed they’re leveling out from highs seen earlier this year.

“In the summer, when the car rental agencies had their backs against the wall and were scrambling to fill demand, they bought up new cars, they started rebuilding their supply. Now, they’re just about back where they were pre-pandemic,” Orlando said.

The American Car Rental Association’s Greg Scott said it’s too soon to say things are back to “normal”.

“I hate to sound pessimistic, but it’s not a science. We don’t exactly know where it’s going to go,” said Scott.

ACRA, which represents approximately 98% of the car rental industry, estimates rental companies had 1.7 million vehicles at the start of the pandemic. When travel slowed in 2020, Scott said the industry sold around half its fleet. In 2021, car rental companies are buying back cars, though not as many as in pre-pandemic years.

“We’re still selling cars and purchasing cars, but the number of cars we’re purchasing is way down as an industry. Quite frankly, the number of cars that we would like to purchase is higher than what we’re able to purchase right now,” explained Scott – pointing to ongoing supply chain challenges.

Scott said, at the same time, demand remains unpredictable. COVID-19 variants continue to impact travel and it’s unclear if business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels.

Late hurricane season and fall severe weather can also drive up demand for rental cars in certain markets – which could impact the holidays.

Book early

“I think that somebody who, two years ago, would arrange their hotel and their airlines six months out for their Christmas vacation, but wait until the last week or so to think about a car rental probably is making a mistake,” said Scott.

He recommends consumers reserve their vehicles when booking flights or hotels.

“Go online, reserve one now, lock in a good rate for yourself. Very often you have free cancelations. If plans change, you’re off the hook, you’re fine,” said Orlando.

Shop around for discounts

Be flexible about the vehicle you want and where you pick up. Consumers may have better luck at a neighborhood car rental location versus an airport counter.

When you book, search for discount codes that apply to you. The company you work for may get a discount for employees – even on leisure trips. There may be an alumni discount for your school.

Tap into loyalty programs through the car rental company, your hotel or airline. You may get discounts through memberships at your auto club, even a warehouse or wholesale club. Your credit card may also offer perks.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and a resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our customer complaint form.

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Bitterroot Forest offers tips to hunters | Local News

*Leave a trip itinerary with family or friends. If hiking by yourself and don’t have family or friends in the area with whom you could leave an itinerary with, leave an itinerary in the vehicle.

 *Every hunter should carry these “ten essentials”: map, compass, flashlight, extra food and water, extra clothes, sunglasses, first-aid kit, pocketknife, waterproof matches, and fire starter.

*Shooting and/or hunting is prohibited in developed recreation sites and trailheads including Lake Como and Bass Creek Recreation Areas.

*Be aware that there may be bears in the area, store food properly. Also, carcasses should not be closer than 100 yards to your sleeping area.

*Your cell phone can save your life, but don’t depend on having sufficient coverage, particularly in remote parts of the Bitterroot National Forest.

*Follow the ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ and ‘Leave No Trace’ principles while camping.

*Campers, hunters, and others are not allowed to camp for more than 16 consecutive days in one location. New camps must be located five air miles from the previous camp.

*Choose a site for a campfire carefully, near water if possible, and clear it of any combustible material. Remember, just because it’s cold in the morning doesn’t mean fires can’t spread quickly! NEVER walk away from a smoldering campfire. ALWAYS make sure a fire is dead out.

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Traveling for the holidays? Experts say book before Halloween

ROANOKE, Va. – If you’re taking off the tarmac or hitting the highway, experts say you need to book your holiday trip before Halloween.

“We’re seeing a high demand for traffic, lots of searches, lots of flights booking. And since there’s not as much capacity and demand is going up, it’s a bit like musical chairs,” said Brad Boettcher, the director of marketing and air service development at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

With more shots in arms, travel is up.

“There’s still just a lot of pent-up demand of people that haven’t traveled anywhere. As the vaccination rates are up, people are feeling more comfortable,” said Boettcher.

But high demand and limited availability mean prices will soar. Travel website Hopper said prices could jump up to 40% higher if you book after Halloween―add an extra 25% if you book last minute.

Thanksgiving week bookings are 35% higher than the same time pre-pandemic after many people skipped celebrating the holidays with family last year due to COVID-19.


“Just family coming in for the holidays. Everybody’s vaccinated,” said Yasmeen Adams, whose family lives in Philadelphia. “They’ll probably just drive up.”

Alex Schmid, a German exchange student at Virginia Tech, said his flight plans are set.

“I’m probably going to LA, so California. I already booked flights because they increase every day, the prices,” said Schmid.

Martha Meade with AAA Mid-Atlantic said people need to book rental cars as soon as possible.

“Rental car prices have been enormously high. Sometimes two, three, four, five, six times as high as they were before,” said Meade. “Booking in advance on a car rental is huge and that’s not getting any better anytime soon.”

“If I was going to travel during the holidays, I would go ahead and start booking now,” said Marcie White, who traveled to Roanoke from Mississippi.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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How to tip without cash while traveling

If you don’t have cash but you do have a smartphone, consider mobile-payment apps. Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, Zelle and Apple Pay all offer ways to send money quickly and easily. Some of these companies also offer non-mobile ways to pay online; if your smartphone dies, you might be able to access payment services through a laptop or, in desperation, a hotel computer.

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Covid-19 and Boosters Live News: Vaccines, Travel Restrictions and More




F.D.A. Panel Endorses J.&J. Covid-19 Vaccine Boosters

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose.

“Today, we are seeking authorization for use of Janssen’s Ad26 Covid vaccine as a homologous booster in those individuals who were previously vaccinated with the single dose.” “Do available data support the safety and effectiveness of Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine for use under EUA as a booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older, at least two months after a single dose primary vaccination?” “We do have 19 out of 19 unanimous yes votes for this question. Thank you.”

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A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose.CreditCredit…Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel unanimously voted on Friday to recommend authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose. The F.D.A. typically follows the panel’s advice.

Before the vote, a top agency official, Dr. Peter Marks, said that the agency might consider regulatory action that would allow Johnson & Johnson recipients to receive a booster shot of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines. But Dr. Marks, who oversees the F.D.A.’s vaccine division, gave no timetable for any decision, saying only that authorization of a different vaccine as a booster for Johnson & Johnson recipients was “possible.”

Many panel members said that a second dose was important because the first dose did not provide strong enough protection. Unlike the other vaccines available in the United States, Johnson & Johnson chose to seek authorization for a single dose — a decision that some committee members couched as a mistake in hindsight.

“I think this frankly was always a two-dose vaccine,” said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Johnson & Johnson representatives presented their case Friday morning during a meeting of the advisory panel, arguing that a second dose given either two months or six months after the first shot increased antibody levels, part of the immune response to vaccines. They also said that the single dose remained durable.

Federal vaccine experts also walked through the company’s data, repeatedly pointing out its shortcomings. They warned that the two-month booster trial only followed up with study volunteers for a short period of time after their second shot. They also noted that a key test used by the company to measure the antibodies produced by a booster had a low sensitivity, calling the results into question — a concern raised by panel members on Friday.

Dr. Archana Chatterjee, an infectious disease expert at Rosalind Franklin University, asked the F.D.A. why it convened the panel if its own experts had not had time to verify the company’s data. Dr. Marks, the agency’s top vaccine regulator who has argued for a “harmonized” approach to booster policy, said it could have taken a month to verify all the data from the company’s largest-scale two-dose trial and several weeks to review the smaller studies.

The regulators did not see any evidence of serious safety concerns in the booster studies. But they noted they were not afforded enough time to independently review much of the data that Johnson & Johnson provided in its application for authorization, including in its large, two-dose trial that the company said made a clear case for bumping up protection with a booster.

Some federal officials appeared skeptical of the claims the company made about the efficacy of one dose, and expressed worry that those who received it are not as protected as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech recipients.

“It was used as an outreach vaccine,” Dr. Marks said. “Many of the people who got that may not have been part of a health maintenance organization or an organized health care system.”

Dr. Amanda Cohn, a C.D.C. official, said that “the effectiveness or protection with a single dose of the J.&J. vaccine is not equivalent” to two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.”

Some committee members argued that the vaccine should have been used in a two-dose regimen from the start.

Panel members repeatedly conveyed concern about the size of the study Johnson & Johnson used to ask for authorization of a six-month interval. “I’m not sure why you’re asking for an indication that would apply to millions of patients with a data set that includes 17 patients,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, an adjunct professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

After voting on a Johnson & Johnson booster, the panel heard from Dr. Kirsten Lyke of the University of Maryland School of Medicine about a study in which she and her colleagues found that Johnson & Johnson recipients may benefit more from a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Dr. Lyke and her colleagues carried out a “mix and match” study with different combinations of the three vaccines.

Preliminary data from the study showed that those who got a Johnson & Johnson shot followed by a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels rise 76-fold within 15 days, whereas those who received a Johnson & Johnson booster saw only a fourfold rise in the same period. A Pfizer-BioNTech booster raised antibody levels in Johnson & Johnson recipients 35-fold.

Several panelists said they felt comfortable with the amount of data the N.I.H. researchers had gathered to recommend F.D.A. authorization. Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Harvard’s Boston Children’s Hospital, said that many Americans had already taken the matter into the own hands and urged the F.D.A. to step in.

“It’s a matter of some urgency for F.D.A. to help sort out what is admittedly a complicated and challenging scenario,” he said. “We can’t hide from it. And I do think we need to give guidance to the public.”

Dr. Cohn, the C.D.C. official, said that the F.D.A. could perhaps allow for general language in its authorizations of the vaccines that would allow for combinations. “From a public health perspective, there’s a clear need in some situations for individuals to receive a different vaccine,” she said, including those who do not have access to the same vaccine they received the first time, or those who now realize they might have increased risk of some side effects from the same vaccine.

The N.I.H. trial only looked at antibody levels, which on their own are an insufficient measure of how well different combinations would protect people. Dr. Lyke said that studies on immune cell responses were underway.

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of expert advisers voted on Friday to recommend authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine for people 18 and older, at least two months after the first dose. The committee also voted on Thursday to recommend booster shots for many recipients of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

While the panel’s recommendations are not binding, they are very likely to influence the F.D.A.’s decision — typically issued within a few days after the advisory committee weighs in. If the agency says yes to the boosters, the process moves to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Who are the experts on the F.D.A.’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee?

The committee now has 19 voting members who are scientific authorities from a range of fields, including immunology, vaccine safety and virology. Many are medical practitioners.

Dr. Arnold Monto, the acting chair of the committee, is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Here are the other voting members:

  • Dr. Archana Chatterjee, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, is the dean of the Chicago Medical School and vice president for medical affairs at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

  • Capt. Amanda Cohn is a doctor and senior official overseeing vaccine policy at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

  • Dr. Oveta Fuller is a trained pathologist and an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at University of Michigan Medical School.

  • Dr. Hayley Gans is a professor of pediatrics infectious diseases at Stanford University Medical Center.

  • Dr. James Hildreth is a professor of medicine and the president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College.

  • Dr. Randy Hawkins is a practicing physician who specializes in internal medicine and sits on the committee as a consumer representative.

  • Dr. Michael Kurilla is a senior official with expertise in infectious diseases and vaccine development at the National Institutes of Health.

  • Dr. Jeanette Lee is a professor of biostatistics at the University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark., and an expert on clinical trials.

  • Dr. Ofer Levy is the director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

  • Dr. H. Cody Meissner is professor of pediatric infectious disease at the Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston.

  • Dr. Patrick Moore is a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Dr. Michael Nelson is a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is also president of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

  • Dr. Paul Offit is a professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

  • Dr. Steven Pergam is an expert on infectious diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and an associate professor at the University of Washington.

  • Dr. Stanley Perlman is professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa, and a pediatric infectious diseases specialist with expertise in coronaviruses.

  • Dr. Eric Rubin is the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and an expert on infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  • Dr. Mark Sawyer is a professor of pediatrics and a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Diego, and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

  • Dr. Melinda Wharton is the associate director for vaccine policy at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

An independent panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration voted on Thursday to recommend a booster shot for many recipients of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, and on Friday to recommend authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose.

So what happens now? There are further steps at the F.D.A., then steps at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the process ends with the states. Here’s how it breaks down.

  • The F.D.A., a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services that controls and supervises medications and other elements related to public health, takes up the advisory panel’s recommendation, which includes the question of who should be eligible. The advisory panel’s votes are not binding, but the F.D.A. typically follows them.

  • The F.D.A.’s top official — its acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock — issues the agency’s final determination on whether to authorize the boosters and for whom. Such decisions are typically issued within a few days of advisory committee meetings.

  • An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States’ public health agency, reviews the F.D.A.’s decision. On Thursday and Friday of next week, that panel is scheduled to meet and vote on its recommendations regarding boosters.

  • The C.D.C. takes up that panel’s recommendations, and the agency’s director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, issues the agency’s guidance on whether boosters should be used and who should be eligible. That guidance is deeply influential for states, doctors, pharmacies and other health care institutions and the general public. As with the process at the F.D.A., the panel’s recommendations are not binding, but the C.D.C. usually follows them.

    However, there was a rare exception last month: When a C.D.C. advisory panel rejected the F.D.A.’s recommendation that frontline workers be included among those eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, Dr. Walensky overrode her own agency’s advisers and sided with the F.D.A.

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

State health departments generally follow the recommendations of the C.D.C. In the case of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, the shots began being administered widely immediately after Dr. Walensky announced the C.D.C.’s guidance to allow them for people over 65, patients in nursing homes and other institutional settings, those with underlying medical conditions, and frontline workers.

Credit…Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times, via Associated Press

A clash between Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and the head of the city’s largest police union over coronavirus vaccinations intensified on Friday as the city filed a complaint against the union, arguing that it was threatening an illegal strike.

City employees in Chicago are required to report their vaccination status by the end of Friday, but John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, has urged police officers to ignore the order and risk discipline or loss of pay. Employees who are not vaccinated will be subject to twice-weekly testing, but vaccinations are not required.

Mr. Catanzara released a video on Tuesday predicting that Chicago police officers would not report to work because of the policy. He said that if a large number of police officers refuse to submit to testing or reporting their vaccination status to the city, “it’s safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend coming up.”

“Whatever happens because of the manpower issue, that falls at the mayor’s doorstep,” he added.

He escalated the dispute on Thursday, releasing another video that urged officers not to comply with any direct orders from their supervisors to provide their vaccination status in an online portal.

But, on Friday, the police union said in a statement: “President John Catanzara has never engaged in, supported, or encouraged a work stoppage.” The police union also announced that it had filed its own legal request for the courts to hear the case.

Ms. Lightfoot, who has often faced resistance from Mr. Catanzara since taking office in 2019, said in a statement on Friday that his actions threatened public safety.

“As Chicago’s mayor, I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders,” Ms. Lightfoot said in a statement. “President Catanzara has time and again deliberately misled our police officers by lying about the requirements of the policy and falsely claiming that there will be no repercussions if officers are insubordinate and refuse to follow a city and department directive or order.”

A strike from the police union is illegal under both state law and the union’s contract with the city, Ms. Lightfoot said.

Chicago is following other cities throughout the United States in requiring city employees to be vaccinated or submit to frequent coronavirus testing. Last week, Ms. Lightfoot softened the original policy requiring vaccination, saying that public workers could opt out of the city’s mandate until the end of the year by getting tested regularly.

City officials have said that employees who fail to report their vaccination status by the Friday deadline will be placed on unpaid leave.

Law enforcement officers have died of Covid-19 in large numbers throughout the pandemic, making the virus by far the most common cause of duty-related deaths in 2020 and 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website that catalogs the deaths of law enforcement officers.

Police officers in many departments have been slow to get vaccinated, and several other cities have issued vaccine or testing mandates. In San Jose, Calif., city leaders decided just as a vaccine mandate was taking effect to allow unvaccinated officers to remain employed through the end of the year, with incremental discipline and testing requirements.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

International travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus who have been barred from entering the United States during the pandemic will be able to enter the country on Nov. 8, according to a White House official, marking an end to restrictions that had walled off tourists and relatives seeking to visit their families.

The specific date for when the Biden administration would lift travel restrictions for those traveling by air or hoping to cross the land border was previously unclear. The administration last month said it would be implementing a new system in which fully vaccinated foreigners who show proof of a negative coronavirus test would be able to fly to the United States in early November.

Earlier this week, administration officials said those hoping to enter from Mexico or Canada who are fully vaccinated would be able to cross at the same time. But thousands around the world eager to organize their travel plans were still left wondering what specific date they would be able to enter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers people fully inoculated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Those who have received vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine, would also be considered fully vaccinated, according to the C.D.C.

The new travel system also comes with stringent requirements.

Unvaccinated foreigners will be broadly barred from entering the United States, although the White House official said there will be limited exemptions, including for young children.

Those who were never banned from traveling across the land borders, including commercial drivers and students, will also need to show proof of vaccination when crossing starting in January, giving them some time to adjust to the new rules, officials said. Those crossing land borders will not need to show a coronavirus test.

Foreigners hoping to fly to the United States will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative coronavirus test within three days of entering.

Unvaccinated Americans traveling from overseas will need to test negative for the coronavirus one day before returning home and show proof that they have bought a test to take after arriving in the United States.

The U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, applauded the moves.

“The date is critically important for planning — for airlines, for travel-supported businesses, and for millions of travelers worldwide who will now advance plans to visit the United States once again,” Roger Dow, the group’s president, said in a statement. “Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions.”

A spokeswoman for Airlines for America, another industry group, noted that even before the announcement of the date, airlines had seen an uptick in ticket sales to the United States from abroad.

“The full reopening of international travel is also critical to reviving economies around the globe, reinvigorating communities and supporting millions of jobs in the U.S. and abroad,” Katherine Estep, the spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Credit…Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

ROME — Italy on Friday set a new bar for major Western democracies seeking to move beyond the pandemic by enacting a sweeping law that requires the nation’s entire work force — public and private — to have government-issued health passes, essentially forcing Italians to choose between getting a pass and earning a living.

With the step, Italy, the first democracy to quarantine towns and apply national lockdowns, is again first across a new threshold, making clear that it is willing to use the full leverage of the state to try to curb the pandemic and get the economy moving.

Italy’s measures, which require proof of vaccination, a negative rapid swab test or recent recovery from Covid-19 to go to the workplace, now stand as some of the toughest among Western democracies, which have struggled to balance public health needs with civil liberty concerns.

For many Western governments, like those of the United States and France, that has resulted in refraining from national mandates while seeking other ways to encourage, coax and even mildly coerce people to get vaccinated.

Under Italy’s new rules, those who do not have a Green Pass, as the health certificate is called, must take unpaid leave. Employers are responsible for verifying the certificates, which are for the most part shown on a cellphone app, though hard copies are also acceptable. Workers risk fines of up to 1,500 euros — or about $1,750 — for not complying.

Not everyone has been accepting of the requirements. Last weekend, a demonstration of 10,000 Green Pass opponents — a mix of vaccine skeptics, conspiracy theorists, anti-establishment types and workers livid about having to pay for frequent swabs — was hijacked by right-wing extremists and turned violent, prompting Italy to once again reckon with its fascist legacy.

But on Friday, the rollout went more or less smoothly, with only scattered protests, as the majority of citizens accepted the new pass as a fact of Italian life and a tolerable sacrifice, like wearing masks indoors, to help the country get out of the pandemic and return to normalcy.

Global Roundup

Credit…Choe Jae-Koo/Yonhap, via Associated Press

South Korea said on Friday that it was a week ahead of schedule for fully vaccinating 70 percent of its population against Covid and that it would ease social-distancing rules starting next week.

“If vaccinations continue without any setbacks and cases remain controlled in the next two weeks, a full-fledged transition to the new strategy will be possible from November,” said Lee Gi-il, a senior official in the health ministry.

In an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated, President Moon Jae-in and the first lady, Kim Jung-sook, each received a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in public on Friday.

South Korea never went into a full lockdown but has imposed stringent social-distancing rules, including a mask mandate, even outdoors. The country reached record numbers of new infections a few weeks ago after a major holiday, but daily coronavirus case numbers dropped to a seven-day average of 1,386 in the past week, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The number of reported deaths has remained very low, at 0.02 per 100,000 people in the past week, according to the data. Nearly 63 percent of the country had been fully vaccinated as of Thursday, the health authorities said.

The rules are being relaxed as the pace of vaccinations outperforms earlier expectations, health officials said. Officials said they would likely reach the 70 percent target by the end of next week — about a week sooner than expected.

For the two-week period starting on Monday, the government will allow gatherings of up to four people who are not fully vaccinated, expanding the limit by two, and will permit reading rooms, performance halls and movie theaters to stay open until midnight, two hours longer than before.

People who are fully vaccinated will also be allowed to watch sports events in person again and to attend larger weddings, officials said.

Curbs on social gatherings, however, will remain tougher in and around Seoul, where cases have been more frequent.

In other Covid-related news around the world:

  • An estimated 43,000 people in Britain were mistakenly informed that they had tested negative for the coronavirus after previously testing positive, the officials said in a statement on Friday. The government suspended operations at a private laboratory after an investigation revealed that thousands of people — most of them from southwestern England — had received false negatives on P.C.R. tests from Sept. 8 to Oct. 12, after previously testing positive on lateral flow devices.

  • New South Wales will become the first state in Australia to allow fully vaccinated residents to return to the country without quarantining, starting next month, the authorities announced on Friday. Tens of thousands of Australians have been stranded abroad because of caps on the numbers of weekly returnees, and people entering the country must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel at their own expense. New South Wales is the country’s most populous state, encompassing Sydney.

  • The authorities in pandemic-stricken Thailand, seeing to revive the country’s tourism, have reopened a cave where a dozen young soccer players and their coach were trapped for 18 days in 2018, becoming the focus of a tense rescue effort that captivated the world. The cave complex had been closed to tourists in April to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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