Will Stone

Will Stone is a KUNR alumnus, having served as a passionate, talented reporter for KUNR for nearly two years before moving in early 2015 to the major Phoenix market at public radio station KJZZ.

An East Coast transplant, he's worked at NPR stations in Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut. He's also interned at the NPR West Headquarters in Los Angeles where he learned from some of the network's best correspondents. Before joining the public radio airwaves, he studied English at a small liberal arts college and covered arts and culture for an alternative newsweekly in Philadelphia.

He's particularly drawn to education, government and environmental reporting, as listeners became aware, he jumped on any story that got him out into the field with a mic in hand.

He enjoyed the Reno outdoors, food and cultural scene, given his liking for  hiking, fish tacos and great American poetry. While KUNR listeners miss his reporting, we're always glad to help prepare, encourage and support successful public radio professionals wherever they go.

See what Will is up to at KJZZ.

Federal health officials are urging Americans to shore up their immunity ahead of the winter holidays by getting a COVID-19 booster shot. But not everyone is working with the same defenses when it comes to keeping the virus at bay.

More than 47 million people in the U.S have already caught the coronavirus, at least according to officially recorded numbers. In reality, it's probably many millions more.

It's a worrying sign for the U.S. ahead of the holiday travel season: coronavirus infections are rising in more than half of all states. Experts warn this could be the start of an extended winter surge.

The rise is a turnaround after cases had steadily declined from mid September to late October. The country is now averaging more than 83,000 cases a day — about a 14% increase compared to a week ago, and 12% more than two weeks ago.

The U.S. has settled into an uneasy, drawn-out exit from the delta surge that took hold over the summer.

For many weeks, declining cases and hospitalizations have offered hope ahead of the holiday season, when Americans travel and spend more time indoors, but progress has stalled recently, with cases rising or plateauing in more than 20 states.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The number of Americans hospitalized for COVID is now less than half of what it was in early September. That is good news, but it masks some trouble spots, especially in the northern half of the country. NPR's Will Stone reports.

Updated November 2, 2021 at 7:34 AM ET

Millions of Americans can now opt for an extra shot of protection against COVID-19, regardless of which vaccine they initially received.

The criteria for a booster shot can include your age, job, where you live and your underlying health. In most cases, you have to wait until six months after your first two shots. What's more, a booster shot doesn't have to match the first vaccine you had.

When Colin Powell died this week from complications related to COVID-19, it was a shock to many Americans.

Though scientists and federal health officials are adamant that the vaccines work well to protect against hospitalization and death, it's unnerving to hear of fully vaccinated people like Powell, or perhaps your own friends and neighbors, falling severely ill with COVID-19.

So how well do the vaccines work? How serious is the risk of a serious breakthrough infection, one that could land you in the hospital?

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

With a second pandemic winter approaching, there are promising signs that the worst of the delta surge has run its course, but in America's hospitals — already short-staffed and backlogged from the summer torrent of COVID-19 — the relief may be only short-lived.

Many are staring down a tough stretch of colder months with the threat of a potentially bad influenza season, an influx of patients trying to catch up on delayed care and a depleted workforce that has had little time — if any — to regroup from this latest wave of coronavirus infections.

The test results that hot day in early August shouldn't have surprised me — all the symptoms were there. A few days earlier, fatigue had enveloped me like a weighted blanket. I chalked it up to my weekend of travel. Next, a headache clamped down on the back of my skull. Then my eyeballs started to ache. And soon enough, everything tasted like nothing.

The U.S. health care system is again buckling under the weight of a COVID-19 surge that has filled more than 100,000 hospital beds nationwide and forced some states to consider enacting "crisis standards of care" — a last resort plan for rationing medical care during a catastrophic event.

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