SANTA FE, NM – Health officials in New Mexico on Friday confirmed an additional 659 COVID-19 infections, the highest daily case in more than three weeks.
Almost 30% of the new cases involved prisoners of state.
Officials earlier this week expressed optimism about downward trends in the overall spread of the virus, with all state counties reporting positivity below 10%. However, they acknowledged that the seven-day rolling average of daily cases remained above target.
In all, New Mexico has reported nearly 185,000 cases since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 3,685, with more than a dozen deaths reported Friday.
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HERE IS WHAT OTHER IS HPENING:
OHAKUNE, New Zealand – New Zealand’s largest city in Auckland is back in a seven-day shutdown after a new unexplained coronavirus case was found.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Saturday night after an urgent meeting with the top lawmakers in the cabinet. She said the shutdown would take effect from Sunday morning.
Auckland was placed in a three-day shutdown earlier this month after new cases of the more contagious variant first found in the UK were found.
New Zealand has followed a zero-tolerance elimination strategy with the virus and had successfully ruled out spreading society before the latest cases were found this month.
Ardern said the latest patient had been experiencing symptoms since earlier in the week and could have infected others.
The rest of New Zealand will also have increased restrictions.
HONG KONG – Over 500,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday after a two-day delay due to export procedures, providing another inoculation option for the city.
The Pfizer-BioNTech shots will be offered for approx. 2.4 million eligible residents from priority groups such as those aged 60 and over and health workers.
About 70,000 residents who have signed up for the vaccination program, which started on Friday, will receive the shots developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac. The Sinovac vaccines were the first to arrive last week.
Registration information for those wishing to receive Pfizer-BioNTech shots has not been announced yet.
Hong Kong has made offers for a total of 22.5 million doses with 7.5 million each from Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Fosun Pharma, which supplies the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The government has so far proven the Sinovac and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s disease control and prevention agency allows healthcare workers to squeeze extra doses from vials of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
The decision on Saturday came after some health workers administering the AstraZeneca shots reported to authorities they were still seeing additional doses left in the bottles, each of which had been used for 10 injections.
KDCA official Jeong Gyeong-shil said skilled workers may be able to squeeze one or two extra doses from each vial if they use low-volume syringes designed to reduce spilled medications and vaccines.
However, she said the KDCA does not allow healthcare workers to combine vaccines left in different bottles to create multiple doses.
KDCA had previously approved 10 injections for each AstraZeneca vial and six for each Pfizer vial.
South Korea, which launched its public vaccination campaign on Friday, administers the AstraZeneca shots to long-term care residents and workers and Pfizer to the front-line doctors.
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation continues to have a downward trend in the number of daily coronavirus cases.
Tribal health officials on Friday reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths. The latest figures bring a total of 29,710 cases since the pandemic began. The death toll is 1,165.
A curfew remains for residents on the large reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to prevent the spread of the virus.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported yet another 405 cases of coronavirus as it began vaccinating tens of thousands of workers at frontline hospitals on the second day of its mass vaccination program.
The daily increase reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Saturday brought the national case load to 89,321 including 1,595 deaths.
Most of the new cases came from the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul, which was hardest hit by a devastating winter surge that erased months of hard-won epidemiological gains and sparked public criticism of the country’s vaccine rollout, which has been slower than many nations in the West.
The government had insisted that it could maintain a wait-and-see proach, as its outbreak was still not as severe as in the United States or Europe.
The KCDC said 18,489 residents and workers at long-term care facilities received their first injections of two dose vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University during the first day of public vaccinations on Friday.
RENO, Nev. – The average number of new daily cases reported in Nevada over the last two weeks has fallen to its lowest level since mid-September and has fallen by almost 90% since a peak of more than 2,700 a day in mid-December .
The 314 new daily cases reported on average over the previous 14 days are the lowest since an average of 312 was reported on Sept. 16, state health officials said Friday.
It is down from a high of 2,716 reported on December 11th. The daily average fell below 2,000 in mid-January and has steadily fallen since then.
The state’s positivity rate has also fallen to 8.3%, the lowest since 8.2% on 19 October. The rate is based on a 14-day moving average with a seven-day delay. It peaked at 21.6% on 13 January.
DENVER – Colorado Government Jared Polis says anyone 60 and older is eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine beginning March 5, followed by those 50 and older by the end of the month.
The governor said Friday that the state has already administered nearly 883,000 first doses of the vaccine and more than 423,000 second doses.
An increase in vaccine supply is expected in the coming weeks as pharmaceutical companies increase production.
More than 424,000 people in the state have tested positive, and nearly 6,000 have died from the virus since it started its liberated spread last spring, and Police warned Friday to be vigilant.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday that Connecticut still has “a long way to go” to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates among blacks and Hispanics, as new data shows whites are being vaccinated at higher rates.
Lamont pearl with black priests at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport to try to convince people that the vaccines are safe and effective. Several church leaders received vaccinations Friday.
“We have a long way to go,” said the Democratic governor. “We’re doing better than we did two weeks ago, but not well enough.”
New data released by the state on Thursday shows that 39% of white nationals aged 65 and over have received the first of two shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, compared to 21% of black residents and 27% of Hispanic citizens 65 years and older.
SACRAMENTO, California: Gavin Newsom expects California to begin administering the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine next week.
At a news conference in Fresno on Friday, Newsom said the Biden administration plans to send California more than 1.1 million of the single-dose shots over the next three weeks.
The vaccine, which is still in the final federal testing process, has fewer handling restrictions than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently in use.
These vaccines require two doses to be fully effective and must be stored at extremely low temperatures.
The addition of the J&J vaccine would come as California experiences dramatic declines in virus cases and hospitalizations after record highs in early January.