The Latest: COVID cases fall in California, but deaths high | National Government and Political News

The pandemic didn’t totally kill the holiday spirit – business was brisk at Parisian chocolate and flower shops, which are allowed to stay open.

ATLANTA — Coronavirus cases continue to decline in the U.S. after a winter surge.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the country dropped below 100,000 on Friday for the first time since November 4. It stayed below 100,000 again on Saturday.

The seven-day average was well above 200,000 for much of December and went to roughly 250,000 in January, as the pandemic came roaring back after it had been tamed in some places over the summer.

Meanwhile, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, told CNN on Sunday that CDC guidelines provide more flexibility in opening schools as disease rates in the community come down.

The CDC released its long-awaited roadmap for getting students back to classrooms during the pandemic on Friday. It said in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, and vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening.

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron is urging stepped-up international efforts to get vaccines to poor countries, and wants China and Russia more involved.