USA TODAY follows news about COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the US fight against a virus that has killed 380,000 Americans since the first reported death in February. Continue to refresh this page for the latest updates regarding the coronavirus, including who receives vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, as well as other news from the USA TODAY Network. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates directly to your inbox, join our facebook group or scroll through our detailed answers to reader questions for everything you need to know about the coronavirus.
In the headlines:
► The United States surpassed 4,000 daily coronavirus deaths on Tuesday for the second time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The first time was January 8.
► Scientists have identified a mutation that could decrease the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. The mutation, first spotted in South Africa two months ago, has since spread to 12 other countries.
► Texas became the second state to surpass 2 million COVID-19 cases, a milestone reached in June for the country. California was the first state to report the marker in December.
► Travelers arriving in the United States from international destinations will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. The policy will take effect on January 26.
► Los Angeles County is asking residents to wear masks at home if they go out for work or to shop for groceries, the Los Angeles Times reported, as the region nears one million cases virus.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 1.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 380,500 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 91 million cases and 1.9 million deaths.
📘 What we read: U.S. hospitals are on the brink – but COVID-19 is not slowing down. “Absolutely, that’s what we were worried about,” the Association of American Medical Colleges health care executive told USA TODAY. Learn more here.
New York and Idaho among states to speed up vaccine distribution
Faced with a slower-than-expected coronavirus vaccine rollout, officials across the country shifted gears on Tuesday to speed up vaccine delivery to more people.
The U.S. government is asking states to speed up COVID-19 vaccination for people over 65 and others at risk instead of withholding vaccines for a second dose. The government will also stop withholding the required second doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
The change had immediate effects. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has expanded vaccine eligibility requirements in New York to follow new guidelines from the CDC. Idaho will implement the guidelines Feb. 1, Gov. Brad Little said.
Hospitals face increase in COVID-19, staff shortage and increase in deaths
Four states with the largest share of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients – California, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia – are struggling to keep pace with the unprecedented surge.
In Los Angeles, public hospitals are preparing to go into crisis mode and the county has ordered ambulances not to send patients to overcrowded hospitals if they cannot be resuscitated in the field. More than two dozen hospitals in Georgia do not have beds available in intensive care units, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
While public health officials are optimistic, widespread immunization will provide a silver lining this spring, there is no respite now for doctors and nurses in overcrowded emergency rooms and care units intensive.
– Ken Alltucker
More lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after riot at U.S. Capitol
Several lawmakers said they tested positive for the coronavirus after Wednesday’s riot on Capitol Hill. The latest is Rep Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
“I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked in a secure room on the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask, but recklessly made fun of their colleagues and employees who did. offered one, ”Jayapal wrote on Twitter Tuesday. .
Fellow Democratic Reps Brad Schneider of Illinois and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey have also tested positive after being forced into the secure room during the Capitol siege.
On Sunday, the congressional physician said elected officials and their staff were potentially exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 as the Capitol was locked in an armed incursion by pro-Trump rioters. Dozens of lawmakers have been infected with the virus during the pandemic.
Contribute: The Associated Press