COVID-19 instances within the United States have been dropping since a peak a number of weeks in the past. There have been 83,321 reported new instances on Saturday – the primary time since Nov. 2 the nation had reported lower than one new case each second.
And on Sunday, Johns Hopkins University information exhibits, the tempo slowed even additional, to 64,938 instances. Cases are usually reported at a slower price on weekends, however the price at which instances have been reported has dropped by greater than half since final month’s peak.
However, the variety of recognized coronavirus variant instances is surging. The overwhelming majority are of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected within the U.Okay. and has run rampant there. The CDC has stated it might turn out to be the dominant pressure within the U.S. by March.
U.Okay. authorities scientific advisers stated Friday that the variant could also be as much as 70% extra lethal than earlier variants, underscoring considerations about how mutations might change the traits of the illness.
On Sunday, the U.S. reported 1,193 instances of coronavirus variants that may unfold extra simply, dodge some therapies and immunities, or each. It’s almost 200 extra instances than have been reported Thursday night time, and the quantity has almost doubled since Feb. 4.
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In the headlines:
►In Texas, the cities of Houston and Austin canceled their well being departments’ vaccine appointments on Monday and Tuesday due to severe winter weather wreaking havoc throughout the southern and central U.S. The Tennessee Department of Health additionally stated some native well being departments have been canceling vaccine appointments.
►The IRS says it won’t push back the April 15 deadline this 12 months to file taxes because it did final 12 months through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
►Travelers arriving in Britain should quarantine in accommodations beginning Monday because the U.Okay. authorities goals to sluggish the unfold of latest coronavirus variants. The nation reached the milestone of 15 million folks, together with folks working in well being care and people over 70, receiving their first vaccine dose, and isn’t increasing eligibility to folks over 65 and people with underlying situations.
►California on Sunday reported the bottom variety of hospitalizations since Dec. 1, in accordance with the California Department of Public Health. The state’s demise toll, nonetheless, stays persistently excessive.
►Both New York’s day by day and seven-day common case charges stayed beneath 4% on Sunday for the second day in a row, per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s workplace.
►Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has prolonged coronavirus restrictions via mid-March in Hawaii’s most populous metropolis however stated that would change if confirmed instances stay low.
►New Zealand’s largest metropolis went into lockdown for no less than three days Sunday and police arrange checkpoints at eight places at Auckland’s border. The crackdown comes after three members of the family examined optimistic. The whole nation of about 5 million folks has fewer than 50 recognized instances at the moment.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has greater than 27.6 million confirmed coronavirus instances and 485,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The world totals: More than 108.7 million instances and a pair of.4 million deaths. More than 70 million vaccine doses have been distributed within the U.S. and about 52.8 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: The life cycle of a COVID-19 vaccine, from DNA to doses, is a sophisticated, months-long course of. Here’s how Pfizer does it.
ER visits down final 12 months, however overdoses up. Experts blame the pandemic.
Many Americans stayed away from the emergency room when the nation went below lockdown for worry of contracting COVID-19 on the hospital. While this led to an general decline in emergency division visits, a latest examine exhibits weekly trips to the ER for drug overdoses were higher in 2020 than in 2019.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied greater than 180 million ER visits from Dec. 30, 2018, to Oct. 10, 2020, and located that weekly counts of all drug overdoses have been as much as 45% greater in 2020 than in 2019, in accordance with the examine revealed Feb. 3 within the peer-reviewed JAMA Psychiatry. Opioid overdoses, particularly, elevated about 29% in comparison with earlier than the pandemic.
Overall visits to the emergency room plummeted when COVID-19 lockdown measures have been carried out in March 2020, reducing about 43% in comparison with the identical timeframe in 2019. However, drug overdoses skilled solely a slight lower from March 29 to April 11, about 4% in comparison with 2019, earlier than rising once more.
“That all drug and opioid overdose emergency department visits did not decrease in a similar manner to other emergency department visits is especially compelling, suggesting an increase in overdose burden during the pandemic,” examine authors stated.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released long-awaited guidelines on how America’s public schools can reopen safely, however a number one infectious ailments epidemiologist says the spiking variety of variant instances might imply that “a lot of schools are going to be challenged to open at all.”
Michael Osterholm, the pinnacle of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and a Biden transition advisor on COVID-19, stated the variant of the coronavirus from the United Kingdom might trigger a surge in instances within the U.S. over the subsequent 14 weeks that makes college reopenings difficult even with the brand new tips.
Osterholm stated the problem just isn’t that faculties cannot deal with the necessities of the brand new tips however that instances in communities might rise too excessive for faculties to stay open, because the CDC factors out is a priority, he stated. “The next 14 weeks I think will be the worst of the pandemic,” Osterholm added.
The Biden administration’s tips say faculties ought to implement a bunch of security tips, together with masks carrying and sustaining 6 ft of bodily distance between folks when doable, however that vaccinating academics just isn’t a should for in-person instruction. Osterholm, speaking with “CBS This Morning” on Monday, praised the rules and stated virus transmission in faculties is usually low, particularly amongst younger college students.
The World Health Organization group of scientists investigating the origins of the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic in China has discovered indicators that the unique outbreak in Wuhan was wider than beforehand thought, the lead investigator told CNN.
Peter Ben Embarek, who led the WHO mission, instructed CNN that investigators had discovered a number of clues that time to a bigger outbreak within the central Chinese metropolis, together with proof of over a dozen strains of the virus already circulating in December 2019.
A preliminary report from Ben Embarek and a group of WHO scientists who lately concluded a visit to China is anticipated this week.
An Israeli examine of 1.2 million folks discovered that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine diminished symptomatic infections by 94% and instances of significant illness by 92%, one of many nation’s largest well being care suppliers stated.
The examine by Clalit checked out 600,000 individuals who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 600,000 who weren’t immunized.
“The efficacy of the vaccine is preserved in every age group,” notably per week after the second dose of the vaccine, researchers stated, including that the purpose of the examine was “emphasizing to the population that has yet to vaccinate that the vaccine is highly effective and prevents serious illness.”
COVID-19 variants proceed to infiltrate the U.S.: The B.1.1.7 variant first seen within the United Kingdom has been reported for the primary time in Maine, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., whereas the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa has now been reported in Illinois, Texas and D.C.
The B.1.1.7 variant is spreading quickly. Michigan had been reporting 29 instances since Feb. 4; on Sunday night time, it reported one other 32 instances, greater than doubling its load. Florida additionally reported 32 new instances, bringing its complete to 379, or a couple of third of the nation’s. California reported 27 new instances, bringing its complete to 186. Colorado added 26 instances to achieve 67; Massachusetts added 19 instances to almost triple its reported tally, to 29. Texas added 14 instances to achieve 49.
There are actually 1,173 recognized instances of B.1.1.7, which the Centers for Disease Control had stated may turn out to be the nation’s predominate pressure in March. The fast unfold of variants is going on at the same time as all coronavirus case counts are being reported half as rapidly as they have been final month.
– Mike Stucka
New Orleans is tamping down its annual Mardi Gras celebrations this week and well being officers in different cities are warning would-be revelers to do the identical amid a spike in coronavirus variant instances throughout the nation.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered bars closed through the Mardi Gras weekend that began Friday and runs via Tuesday. Parades are canceled and there are limits on gatherings.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the annual pre-Lenten bash celebrated alongside a lot of the Gulf Coast. Last 12 months’s revelry is believed to have contributed to an early surge that made Louisiana a coronavirus scorching spot.
Contributing: The Associated Press