Nurses fill syringes with a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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U.S. rushes to meet Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination goal

As COVID-19 cases in American begin to stabilize, states across the country are planning to open vaccine appointments to all adults in March or April.

Twenty states have already committed to opening these appointments as the country races to meet Biden’s plan of universal eligibility by May 1, according to The New York Times.

Vaccinations have increased to around 2.5 million shots every day, but with business restrictions being lifted and infection levels at plateau, there are still many states that have not seen a decrease in cases.

No vaccine has been authorized for use on those 16 and under. There are currently trials taking place to determine if the vaccinations are effective and safe for children.

Since vaccinations began in December, the government has distributed more than 154 million vaccine doses, about 77% of which have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden and Harris visit Atlanta as spa shooting victims are identified

FILE – In this March 17, 2021, file photo, Jessica Lang pauses and places her hand on the door in a moment of grief after dropping off flowers with her daughter Summer at Youngs Asian Massage parlor where four people were killed in Acworth, Ga. While the U.S. has seen mass killings in recent years where police said gunmen had racist or misogynist motivations, advocates and scholars say the shootings this week at three Atlanta-area massage parlors targeted a group of people marginalized in more ways than one, in a crime that stitches together stigmas about race, gender, migrant work and sex work. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office performed autopsies on all four victims on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

The four victims were identified as Soon C. Park, 74; Hyun J. Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; and Yong A. Yue, 63. All died from gunshot wounds to the head except for Kim, who died from a gunshot wound to her chest.

A 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, is charged with the murders. He is also accused of killing four people and wounding a fifth at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor.

Atlanta police continue to investigate the shootings, and when asked if the shooting would be considered a hate crime, Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. replied saying that “nothing is off the table,” according to AP.

Biden and Harris had previously scheduled to travel to Atlanta to publicize the 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, but the trip has a new purpose amid tensions after the deadly shooting.

Biden and Harris will meet with Asian American leaders to discuss the crimes against their community.

CDC relieves distance requirements in schools from 6 to 3 feet

FILE – In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, students keep social distance as they walk to their classroom at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill., part of the North Shore school district. New evidence that it may be safe for schools to seat students 3 feet apart — half of the previous recommended distance — could offer a way to return more of the nation’s children to classrooms with limited space. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday changed physical distancing requirements for school children from 6 feet to 3 feet, according to NBC News.

This change is meant to allow more students to be in the classrooms. The physical distancing requirement, however, is not changed for teachers and adult staff. Teachers and adult school staff are still required to maintain the 6 feet guidelines and wear face coverings.  

The new guidelines apply to middle school and high school students unless they are in an area where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly.

For all students, physical distancing of 6 feet is still required for activities where masks cannot be worn, like at lunchtime and during choir, band or sports practices. It is recommended these activities take place outdoors or in a large, well-ventilated space.

While the 3 feet guidance is limited to children in school, there is not any scientific evidence to suggest that reducing distancing guidelines would be safe or effective for adults.