LONDON (AP) — House-by-house COVID-19 testing has begun in some communities in England as authorities try to extinguish a new variant of the coronavirus before it spreads widely and undermines a nationwide vaccination program. Authorities want to reach the 80,000 residents of eight areas where the variant first identified in South Africa is known to be spreading. They are dispatching home testing kits and mobile testing units in an effort to reach every resident of those communities. Public health officials are concerned about the variant first identified in South Africa because it contains a mutation of the virus’ characteristic spike protein that existing vaccines target. The mutation may mean the vaccines offer less protection against the variant.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The parents of a Connecticut teenager who accidentally shot himself to death at a friend’s home are hoping the new Democratic-controlled Congress will pass a federal law requiring gun owners to store their firearms in secure containers to prevent children from harming themselves. All seven Connecticut Democrats in Congress joined Michael and Kristin Song on Wednesday to announce a new push to win federal approval of “Ethan’s Law,” named after their son who died three years ago. The law includes fines and potential prison time for failing to secure guns. Ethan Song accidentally killed himself in 2018 with a handgun owned by a friend’s father.