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COVID Cases Plunge, States Give Cash Prizes to the Vaccinated, and Cleveland Clinic Offers a Key to Healing

This photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. (AP File)

WASHINGTON – There's good news on the pandemic. Coronavirus cases are down to their lowest levels since last June, below 30,000 new cases a day.

So far, 60 percent of Americans have received at least one shot, and now the race continues to meet President Biden's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults by the fourth of July.

"If we get to the president's goal there will be enough protection in the community that I really don't foresee there being the risk of a surge, provided we continue to get people vaccinated at the rate we have now," says Dr. Anthony Fauci.

However, vaccination rates are slowing down and now some states are offering a cash prize to get more shots into arms. 

"I feel good knowing I'm gonna be vaccinated, but it's also a good feeling knowing I could win a million dollars," says Ohio resident Alauntae Jones.

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Marylanders who've been vaccinated have a chance to win $40,000 a day for 40 days or a prize of $400,000.

In West Virginia, people aged 16-35 who get the shot can register for a $100 savings bond or gift card.

And in New York, a vaccination gets you a chance to win a $5 million top prize in a new scratch ticket.

"Everybody wins. You have a one in nine chance of winning the lottery but you get the vaccine and you win," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio even touted free french fries and hamburgers for people who get vaccinated:

Meanwhile, a new survey from Cleveland Clinic and Parade Magazine shows the pandemic is taking its toll.

Nearly half of Americans say they've experienced changes in their physical and mental health over the past year.

Women, young and unmarried adults, and families making less than $50,000 show particular strain.

And for our mental health, as states open back up, experts are encouraging people to get back out into their communities. 

"Now that many of us have become vaccinated and many of the states have opened up again, it's important to remember to communicate with people and to interact with them in real-time. We need those interactions," says Neha Vyas with Cleveland Clinic.

These reunions are important for everyone during this season of renewal.

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