Options shrink for Haitian migrants straddling Texas border

Options narrowed Tuesday for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border as the United States government ramped up expulsion flights to Haiti, and Mexico began flying and busing some away from the border. More than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants had been removed from an encampment at Del Rio, Texas, U.S. officials said Monday as they defended a strong response that included immediately expelling migrants to their impoverished Caribbean country and faced criticism for using horse patrols to stop them from entering the town. That was enough for some Haitian migrants to return to Mexico, while others struggled to decide on which side of the border to take their chances.

Biden bets on rapid COVID tests but they can be hard to find

President Joe Biden is betting on millions more rapid, at-home tests to help curb the latest deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is overloading hospitals and threatening to shutter classrooms around the country. But the tests have already disappeared from pharmacy shelves in many parts of the U.S., and manufacturers warn it will take them weeks to ramp up production, after scaling it back amid plummeting demand over the summer. The latest shortage is another painful reminder that the U.S. has yet to successfully manage its COVID-19 testing arsenal, let alone deploy it in the type of systematic way needed to quickly crush outbreaks in schools, workplaces and communities. Experts say encouraging signs last spring led to false confidence about the shrinking role for tests: falling case numbers, rising vaccination rates and guidance from health officials that vaccinated people could largely skip testing. Officials recently reversed that advice as cases and deaths driven by the delta variant surged anew.

Alcohol banned at beach to discourage Georgia-Florida party

ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Officials are banning alcohol at a Georgia beach for the weekend of the Georgia-Florida football matchup, hoping to discourage big crowds amid a high rate of coronavirus infections. Commissioners in Glynn County voted 6-to-1 to prohibit possession or consumption of booze on the beach at St. Simons Island on Oct. 29 and 30, news outlets reported. The island has become a hotspot for Georgia Bulldog fans on their way to the big game in Jacksonville, Florida, each fall, with residents derisively referring to the surfside crowds as “frat beach.” Glynn County Commissioner Cap Fendig, who proposed the alcohol ban that was approved Thursday, says he hopes it will reduce the need for police and other public safety personnel at the beach, and therefore limit their potential exposure to the virus. “We’re drawing the line because our community is not coming up with a Plan B,” Fendig said. “I think it’s the right thing to do.”

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