Today marks one year for the reason that World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Since then, life within the United States has drastically changed. From distant work and college schedules to new methods to attend occasions and church providers, COVID-19 has altered how we stay. And some of the adjustments might go on lengthy after the virus is gone.
Since the primary case in January 2020, the U.S. has suffered a devastating loss – almost 530,000 deaths, together with 29 million instances. And now virus variants are creeping throughout the nation, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows.
There are indicators of each hope. Vaccinations are selecting up velocity, and states are easing eligibility necessities to get them. And the U.S. is as soon as once more reporting lower than one COVID-19 loss of life per minute, a USA TODAY evaluation of Johns Hopkins University knowledge reveals. And the U.S. reported fewer than 400,000 new coronavirus instances within the week ending Wednesday, a stage not seen since mid-October.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has described the nation as being at a “critical nexus” within the pandemic. The decline in COVID-19 instances and deaths reveals indicators of stalling as variants are circulating. At the identical time, she mentioned, measures which were taken to cease the pandemic are “now too often being flagrantly ignored.”
“Fatigue is winning,” she mentioned.
Also within the information:
►The Biden administration has organized to buy an further 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine — sufficient when added to vaccines from different sources to present the nation with greater than sufficient doses to inoculate each American, the White House mentioned Wednesday.
►A video that shows a ride-sharing passenger ripping off her masks, coughing on a driver, trying to steal his cellphone and breaking the motive force’s masks has prompted a police investigation and bans from each Uber and Lyft.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has over 29.1 million confirmed coronavirus instances and greater than 529,200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The world totals: More than 117.9 million instances and a couple of.61 million deaths. More than 127.8 million vaccine doses have been distributed within the U.S. and 95.7 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 reduction invoice is awaiting his signature. Here are 10 components you might not know about.
USA TODAY is monitoring COVID-19 information. Keep refreshing this web page for the most recent updates. Want extra? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.
- Five signs that would predict ‘lengthy haul’ COVID issues
- More states easing, dropping vaccine eligibility requirements
- Black community fights vaccine lies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
- Democratic-led states fared poorly early in pandemic, then rallied ahead
- COVID-19 vaccine now available at some Target stores
A brand new examine suggests coronavirus signs felt within the first week of an infection could also be a predictor of how long they will last. Patients with COVID-19 who felt greater than 5 signs of their first week of sickness had been extra more likely to turn out to be a so-called “COVID long hauler,” which researchers certified as having signs for longer than 28 days, in accordance with the examine printed within the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine.
The 5 signs skilled through the first week that had been most predictive of turning into an extended hauler had been fatigue, headache, hoarse voice, muscle ache and issue respiration.
“Long COVID is frequent. It impacts a big proportion of sufferers and has a large distribution of signs,” said Dr. Michael Wechsler, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Hospital.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
More states are following Alaska’s lead and trimming or dropping vaccine eligibility requirements. Alaska lifted eligibility requirements for the state Tuesday, and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox says all adults in his state will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines April 1. Georgia will expand COVID-19 vaccine criteria starting Monday to everyone 55 years and older, plus younger adults who are overweight or have serious health conditions. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state will soon drop the age there to 55 and then probably open it up to the rest soon after.
Name a COVID vaccine conspiracy theory circulating on social media, and hairstylist Katrina Randolph has heard it. So every time a client slides into her chair, she snips away at fears and misconceptions.
No, the vaccine isn’t an effort to sterilize Black people. It can’t alter your DNA. It won’t implant a microchip to track your movements. And no, people of color are not being used as guinea pigs. Randolph has put herself on the front lines of the Black community’s fight against COVID vaccine misinformation, part of a network of barbershops and beauty salons working with Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, who runs the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
The Health In-Reach and Research Initiative – or HAIR – used to focus on educating people about chronic diseases such as diabetes and colon cancer, Thomas says.
Now it’s taking up one thing simply as harmful and extra insidious: Viral misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines that’s contributing to Black Americans getting vaccinated at a much lower rate than white Americans.
– Jessica Guynn
States led by Republican governors fared better in the first few months of the pandemic, but the trend reversed in early June, and from mid-year through early December, states with Democratic governors had a lower incidence of coronavirus infections and deaths, a new study found.
The report, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, says researchers theorized Democratic-led states would do poorly early on because of entry points in the U.S. coasts, which are mostly Democratic strongholds. That indeed happened, but while most states issued stay-at-home mandates when infections skyrocketed in March and April, Republican governors were slower to respond and kept the orders in place for a shorter time, the researchers said. They also pointed out Democratic governors were more likely to require the use of masks.
“Future coverage choices ought to be guided by public well being issues quite than political ideology.,” the study concluded.
The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at Target shops in 17 states. The retailer introduced Wednesday the rollout of vaccines for those who are eligible at more than 600 CVS in-store pharmacies at Target areas in components of the nation. CVS Health acquired pharmacies in Target shops for $1.9 billion in 2015.
Target told USA TODAY that select stores in the following states are offering vaccines by appointment through CVS: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Which of the vaccines are available varies by location.
– Kelly Tyko
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press