California’s Los Angeles County hit a milestone on Wednesday, surpassing 10,000 Covid-19 deaths, and a health official said any progress during the summer had “completely evaporated.” Texas reported a record number of hospitalizations for the third day in a row. Mississippi and Louisiana had the highest number of cases in a single day.
Officials in New Orleans called for “extreme caution” on New Year’s Eve, announcing that bars, breweries and live entertainment venues for adults must close indoor facilities starting Wednesday at 11 p.m.
In Nevada, a similar message: Gov. Steve Sisolak urged residents to avoid high-risk activities to slow the spread of the virus in the state.
“I know people want to celebrate the end of 2020 and I don’t blame them. But if we don’t start making smart choices in early 2021, we will look a lot and feel much more like 2020 than any of us want to be, “the governor said.
Holiday meetings and travel could help stimulate a new wave of infections – followed by hospitalizations and deaths – health officials have warned. But millions have chosen to spend the holidays away from home. More than a million people went through airport security checks on Tuesday, for the fourth day in a row after the Christmas holiday.
“We need to do a better job” of launching vaccines, the official said
More than 2.7 million doses of the vaccine have been given, according to the latest CDC numbers, and more than 12.4 million have been distributed in the United States.
“I know we will distribute about 30 million more in January and potentially up to 50 million in February,” he said.
State leaders have expressed concern about the slow pace. Gov. Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf said he was “personally disappointed,” noting that “his expectations were too high that the vaccine would be released sooner” and in a “more effective way than it was.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday he was unhappy with the number of vaccines that have been administered in the state so far and urged administrators to remove the vaccines “as soon as they can.”
“We can’t control how fast the vaccine enters the state of Ohio. And we know there’s a shortage,” the governor said, adding what the state can control how quickly the vaccine comes out once it’s released.
In other parts of the country, several governors announced updated vaccination programs this week.
Georgia officials have said they intend to add adults aged 65 and over, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders to the current group of people eligible to receive the vaccine. In West Virginia, the governor announced that the state would begin “vaccinations today for the general population over the age of 80.”
In Nevada, officials said people over the age of 75 will be included in Level 2 of the state’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan and will be vaccinated at the same time as Nevada’s first group of workers. Residents between the ages of 65 and 74 and people with underlying health conditions will be part of the level 3 group, along with the second group of essential workers.
Two states have found the UK variant
Meanwhile, two states have now found the Covid-19 variant that was first identified in the UK.
Health officials said Wednesday that the variant was detected in a 30-year-old San Diego man who is not hospitalized and had very few social interactions during his potentially contagious period.
“Understanding that he’s here in San Diego really underscores the significance of what we’ve asked for, and we continue to ask everyone to do it,” said Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Supervisor. “Wear your face covering, avoid close contact with people you don’t live with, avoid large interior settings and don’t leave the house unless it’s essential.”
The CDC says the data suggests that the new Covid-19 circulated undetected in the United States and was transmitted from person to person.
“Colorado public health authorities have detected a variant that was first identified in the UK in a person who did not report any travel history, the lack of a reported travel history suggesting that this variant was transmitted from person to person. person in the United States, “said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager.
Walke said that even if there is no evidence that the variant causes more severe symptoms or increases the risk of death, it could lead to more cases and “put even more pressure on our heavily burdened healthcare systems.”
But vaccines that are distributed across the country are likely to protect against the variant, Giroir said on Wednesday.
“We expect – we haven’t proven it 100%, but soon – we expect the vaccines that are now being administered or under development to cover this strain very well,” Giroir said.
Amanda Sealy, Andrea Diaz, Joe Sutton, Alexandra Meeks, Carma Hassan, Lauren Mascarenhas, Lauren Mascarenhas, Gisela Crespo, Greg Wallace, Tina Burnside, Kay Jones and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.