According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 550,000 Americans died from the coronavirus epidemic late Monday, claiming the lives of 1 in 600 residents.
In the midst of the grim milestone, more than a dozen states will be opening up all adults to vaccinate this week, signifying a significant increase in COVID-19 shots for tens of millions of Americans. According to Biden, vaccine distribution will soar to a new high of 33 million this week.
It also comes amid a worrying surge in virus cases and concerns about the balance of vaccine supply and demand.
“Please wait a while,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a briefing at the White House. Several northeastern states and Michigan saw the largest increases, with some reporting hundreds or thousands of new cases per year a day than two weeks ago.
Walensky added that daily infections were up 10% from a week. The number of hospital stays has risen again and deaths, a trailing indicator, averaged nearly 1,000 a day for four consecutive days last week.
Also in the news:
►All Coloradans can receive a COVID-19 vaccine from Friday, weeks earlier than previously announced.
►Burbio, which oversees 1,200 school districts, including the country’s 200 largest, reported Monday that more than half of states have re-admitted students to face-to-face learning in more than 70% of their schools.
►Weddings on Oahu, Hawaii can be held outdoors for a maximum of 100 people after the coronavirus pandemic-related public health regulations are relaxed.
►Moderna announced Monday that it has delivered the 100 millionth dose of its COVID-19 vaccine to the federal government. More than 67 million doses of its vaccine have been given in the United States, according to the CDC.
► Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are highly effective against COVID in practice, even with just one shot, according to a CDC study. According to a CDC study published on Monday, the vaccines reduce the risk of infection by 80% after a single dose two or more weeks after vaccination and by 90% after a second dose.
📈 Today’s numbers: In the United States, over 30.33 million cases of coronavirus and more than 550,000 deaths have been confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: 127.5 million cases and 2.79 million deaths. More than 180.64 million vaccine doses have been distributed and 145.8 million administered in the United States, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: As a growing number of states have withdrawn vaccination approval requirements, it has become less clear why some act faster than others. Read more here.
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California has the second lowest rate of COVID-19 spread
California reported the second lowest rate of COVID-19 spread compared to other states in the week leading up to Sunday, but a senior US health official on Monday described a “recurring sense of impending doom” as infections re-emerge across the country.
California was ranked 49th among the states where coronavirus spread fastest per person, according to an analysis by the USA TODAY Network of data from Johns Hopkins University. Across the country, 34 states had more cases in the past week than the week before. The US has exceeded 30 million coronavirus cases.
On the vaccine front, there was some good news: The nationwide dual vaccines reduce the risk of infection by 80% after a single dose two or more weeks after vaccination, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California ranks 24th among states for the percentage of people who receive at least one shot. 29.3% of the population are at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 28.2%, an analysis of the CDC data in the US TODAY shows.
– Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Biden says 90% of adults will be eligible for a vaccination by April 19
President Joe Biden said Monday that 90% of American adults would be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by April 19, and vaccination sites would be within five miles of a person’s home.
Biden’s new timeline beats his previous May 1 goal for nationwide eligibility by nearly two weeks. The remaining 10% of the population would be eligible at this point, he said.
“More vaccines, more sites, more vaccines, all to speed up our critical work,” said Biden, who also announced that the federal government would be handing out a record 33 million vaccine doses this week.
The Biden government is fighting the spread of virus variants, which in some cases can lead to further spikes, especially as states relax restrictions that help limit transmission but also harm the economy.
Biden urged governors who have lifted the mask mandates to reinstate them, warning Americans that the fight against the virus is not over and may indeed reverse course. Therefore, they would need to remain vigilant and follow security measures.
“If we let go of our guard now,” he said, “we might see a virus getting worse, not better.”
Contributor: The Associated Press