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Mayor of 'high' alert NYC rejects mask mandates, North Korea's COVID woes, and more COVID news

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Here's some of today's COVID-19 headlines:

NYC mayor says he's not reinstating a mask mandate

As health officials warn of rising Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, the mayor of New York said the city would not reinstate mask mandates at this time.

"I'm proud of what we are doing and how we are not allowing Covid to outstmart us," Mayor Eric Adams said during a Wednesday news conference, after he was asked about reinstating a mandate, specifically in the city's schools. "We're staying prepared and not panicking."

To defend his stance, Adams cited what he said were stable hospitalization numbers and deaths across the city, as well as Covid-19 testing in schools.

Read more of what he said here:

CDC advisers urge Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11

Kids ages 5 to 11 should get a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, advisers to the U.S. government said Thursday.

If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, as expected, it would open a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids — just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older.

The hope is that an extra shot will shore up protection for kids ages 5 to 11 as infections once again are on the rise.

Get more information here:

North Korea's COVID woes

Three North Korean cargo planes flew to China and back on Monday, as the country battles an fast-spreading outbreak of Covid-19, according to a South Korean government official with knowledge of the matter.

The planes traveled to Taoxian International Airport in Shenyang, in China's northeast Liaoning province, the official said.

It's unknown what the planes were carrying, but the rare trip came after China pledged to help North Korea with its Covid outbreak

North Korea on Thursday reported 262,270 more suspected COVID-19 cases as its pandemic caseload neared 2 million — a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and scrambled to slow infections in its unvaccinated population.

Read more here:

More Americans apply for jobless benefits last week

More Americans applied for jobless aid last week, but the total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits is at a 53-year low.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 21,000 to 218,000 for the week ending May 14, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally track the number of layoffs.

The four-week average for claims, which smooths out some of the weekly volatility, rose 8,250 from the previous week to 199,500.

Get more data here:

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Get more of today's COVID-19 news here:

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