Coronavirus at the latest: The USA is expanding travel restrictions on the borders with Canada and Mexico

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© USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Co

Nearly 90 percent of the players on the senior US college football team are vaccinated, his coach said, which is more than twice the vaccination rate across the state.

Nick Saban of the University of Alabama said during a press conference Wednesday that the Crimson Tide, as the team is called, “is almost on the cusp of not having to test for coronavirus”.

That number is “pretty close to 90 percent,” local media reported on Wednesday at a press event for college sports teams in the southeastern United States.

That number is in stark contrast to the overall level of vaccination coverage in Alabama, which is seeing an increase in new coronavirus cases every day and sits between several other states with some of the highest infection rates and lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Alabama has 33.7 percent of its residents fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the lowest coverage in the US and about half the share of the top Vermont ranking. Compared to the national average of 48.7 percent.

The state has given a first dose to 51.5 percent of adults, compared with the national average of 59.6 percent. Only Wyoming, Louisiana and Mississippi have given first doses to a smaller proportion of adults.

Alabama has recorded an average of about 14 new cases per day per 100,000 people for the past week, which is the 12th highest per capita rate in the US according to CDC figures. The state is bordered by secondary Florida to the southeast and six-tiered Mississippi to the west.

With Arkansas and Louisiana ranked first and fourth in western Mississippi in terms of per capita infections and Missouri second in northern Arkansas, the southeastern region has become the country’s hotspot in the latest wave of Coronavirus cases.

Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference commissioner for college athletics, reportedly said Monday that six of the league’s 14 soccer teams had hit 80 percent. These 14 teams come from states where the percentage of fully vaccinated residents is below the national average and who are also experiencing numerous new Covid-19 outbreaks related to the highly communicable Delta variant.

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