USA TODAY keeps track of the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the US fight against a virus that has killed more than 350,000 Americans since the first reported death in February. Keep updating this page for the latest updates on coronavirus, including who gets the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna as well as other top news from the entire US TODAY Network. Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates directly to your inbox, join our Facebook group or scroll through our in-depth answers to reader questions for everything you need to know about coronavirus.
In the headlines:
► Oregon Government Kate Brown is increase in COVID-19 vaccinationsand ordered the Oregon Health Authority to administer 12,000 daily doses by January 15th. “All states are struggling with the same logistical challenges, and as we make steady progress, we need to move even faster when each vaccination has the potential to save the lives of others,” Brown said.
► Public health officials said Monday that Los Angeles County could soon reach 1,000 COVID-19 deaths a week, with one in five residents testing positive for coronavirus. Officials said the number of new COVID-19 cases has increased by 905% since November 1.
► Arizona Government Doug Ducey is under fire after his eldest son was sent a video on social media at a party among dozens of people who are maskless. Ducey has been criticized for failing to enforce stricter coronavirus measures required by major hospitals and healthcare systems across the state, including a state-wide mandate. According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, Arizona has the highest proportion of new cases in the United States from Monday afternoon.
► Philippines added the United States to its current list of 20 countries with travel restrictions due to the increasing incidence of the new coronavirus variant first identified in the UK.
► Mexico approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Monday. It is the fourth country to grant emergency approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after India, Argentina and the UK, The New York Times reported. The Pfizer vaccine had previously been the only one approved for use in Mexico.
► More than 120 residents of Wyoming long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 since March, accounting for 28% of all coronavirus deaths in the state, Casper Star-Tribune reported. Long-term care residents make up less than 1% of the country’s population, but account for 38% of COVID-19 deaths per 31. December according to The COVID tracking project. Wyoming is preparing to vaccinate long-term residents from this month, the newspaper reported.
📈 Today’s figures: The United States has more than 20.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 353,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Total sums: More than 85.6 million cases and 1.8 million deaths.
FDA: Not enough data to change vaccine dose, planning
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support changing the approved COVID-19 vaccine schedule or dosage and calling the request “premature.”
The FDA said it has followed discussions and reports on reducing the number of doses, extending the time between doses, cutting the dosage in half or mixing and matching vaccines to help get more people vaccinated.
“Without adequate data to support such changes in vaccine administration, we run a significant risk of endangering public health, undermining the historic vaccination efforts to protect the population against COVID-19,” the FDA said in a statement.
Mask protests continue as coronavirus cases rise
Anti-mask protests and videos of quarrels over face mask claims at companies across the country continue to go viral even when coronavirus cases increase. On Saturday, “Burn the Mask” protesters blocked the entrance to a Fresno, California, Trader Joe’s, causing the grocery store to close in the afternoon, Fresno Bee reported.
In Los Angeles County, where nearly 1 in 5 people test positive, a group of protesters stormed a Ralphs grocery store Sunday, arguing with customers over masks with a protest calling a fellow customer a “mask Nazi,” according to Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, protesters outside a Houston cafe waved American flags over the weekend after some customers were upset about having to wear face masks. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted in response and support from the restaurant, saying he heard Miller’s Cafe has “pretty good burgers. I’ll shoot them down Monday, and I hope you patronize them this week.”
– Kelly Tyko
What we know about new virus strain found in 4 states, 33 countries
A more contagious coronavirus variant, first identified in the UK, continues to grow across the United States and across the globe, threatening to further strain congested healthcare systems, just as vaccines are spreading around the world.
At least four US states and 33 countries have identified the new variant, known as B.1.1.7. Several nations have also identified an additional variant that was first identified in South Africa and which also seems to infect humans more easily. Here’s what we know about B.1.1.7.
– Grace Hauck
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago under fire for mask-free New Year’s Eve
A newly elected state legislator from South Florida wants Palm Beach County to take on President Trumps Mar-a-Lago club for its New Year’s Eve, where many patrons and artists were seen without masks.
State Representative Omari Hardy, D-Lake Worth Beach, wrote a letter Friday night to Todd Bonlarron, assistant county administrator for Palm Beach County, asking if the county would take action against the private club for violating a nationwide mandatory masking policy. Hardy was commissioner of Lake Worth Beach City before retiring and being elected to Florida State House in November.
“I recognize that the President is a powerful person and that his business, Mar-a-Lago, is a daunting goal of enforcement,” Hardy wrote in an email containing a link to a Twitter post from the party, who showed people without masks. “But as far as I know, the law still applies to the president and to his business.”
– Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post
This article was originally published in USA Today: COVID update: Oregon increases vaccine doses; UK cases rise; new strain