Arizona reports more than 17,000 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday
From CNN's Kay Jones
Arizona is reporting over 17,000 new Covid-19 cases today, the highest daily total reported since the start of the pandemic.
There are 556,384 total cases in the state, up 17,234 from Saturday's report. The previous daily high, according to Johns Hopkins University's dashboard, was on Dec. 8 with 12,314.
There are 1,081 patients in the intensive care unit with Covid-19, while there are 4,557 total patients hospitalized.
The state did not report any deaths on Sunday. CNN reached out to the Arizona Department of Health for an explanation on why no deaths were reported.
NOTE: These numbers were released by the Arizona Department of Health Services and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
2:53 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
California reports more than 45,000 new Covid-19 cases
The 45,352 new cases bring the state's total number of confirmed cases to 2,391,261. The state's health department also reports 26,538 deaths, up 181 from the latest report.
There are 21,510 patients currently hospitalized, the highest total since the start of the pandemic, the dashboard shows. There are 4,613 patients in the intensive care units statewide.
At least 54 of the state's 58 counties are reporting widespread risk, accounting for 99.6% of the state's population, the dashboard shows.
NOTE: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
There has been a total of at least 2,259 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland as of Sunday, the government’s Department of Health reported.
1:40 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
Fauci hopes US will pick up coronavirus vaccine momentum
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday the US has fallen behind on administering coronavirus vaccines, but he hopes momentum will pick up in the first few weeks of January.
“There are multiple stages of this: there’s the allocation, there’s the shipping, there’s the distribution and there’s finally getting in people’s arms,” Fauci said.
Fauci said he spoke with Army General Gustave Perna, Operation Warp Speed’s head of vaccine distribution, who explained that 20 million doses have been allocated, about 14 million doses have been shipped and about 13 million have been distributed to the individual clinics and hospitals where people will be vaccinated.
“They had promised it was going to be 20. I asked why we’re not at 20, and there was certainly a bit of a glitch, which he explained. But as we get into the first couple of days and first week of January, very likely we’re going to hit that 20. So we’re going to be somewhat behind by a few days,” Fauci said.
The real issue, according to Fauci, is getting doses into people’s arms.
“We now have about 4 million, which is obviously below where we want to be,” he said. “But if you look at the last 72 hours, there’s been about 1.5 million administered into people’s arms, which is an average of about 500,000 a day,” he added. That “is better than what that 4 million over 20 million proportion tells you.”
Fauci said that the US is not where it wants to be. “We’ve got to do much better,” he said. In a week or two, things may pick up after a holiday slowdown.
“No excuses — we’re not where we want to be, but hopefully we’ll pick up some momentum and get back to where we want to be with regard to getting it into people’s arms,” Fauci said.
12:57 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
Four South Carolina counties are at 100% hospital capacity, health officials say
From CNN's Gregory Lemos
Four of South Carolina's 46 counties are at 100% capacity, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
York County in the North, Jasper County in the South, and Dillon and Marion Counties in the East have 0% capacity for new patients.
The department reported nearly 80% of both regular hospital and intensive care unit beds statewide are currently occupied. Patients with Covid-19 make up 24% of regular hospital bed occupants and nearly 20% of patients in ICU beds.
The state reported 3,952 new cases of Covid-19, 28 new deaths, and 3 probably deaths Sunday. More than 5,000 people have lost their life to the virus since the state began reporting out data.
NOTE: These numbers were released by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
12:54 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
UK prepares to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
From CNN's Schams Elwazer
The United Kingdom will become the first country in the world to administer the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday as its National Health Service (NHS) “rapidly scales us the biggest immunization program in its history,” NHS England said in a statement.
The vaccines will initially be delivered at “a small number of hospitals for the first few days for surveillance purposes” before the bulk is rolled out to medical practices late in the week, the statement said.
In addition to the 700 vaccination sites already in operation, an additional 100 hospital sites and 180 “GP-led services” are also expected to come on line this week. Tens of thousands of current and former NHS workers are being trained as vaccinators to support the program.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to transport and to store than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – which was approved for use in the UK last month and has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius – making it easier to deliver to care homes.
According to the statement, NHS England expects most care home residents to have received the shot by the end of the month.
On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Twitter the NHS had administered one million Pfizer/BioNTech doses.
British health officials said last week that the gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should be extended beyond the recommended 21 days in order to allow more people to be vaccinated.
12:36 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
"There’s no running away" from the Covid-19 numbers, Fauci says
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
The death toll from Covid-19 has been a terrible surprise, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday.
Fauci told ABC he had not expected the death toll from Covid-19 would be so high. He said there is no running away from the numbers and that there needs to be very intensive adherence to public health measures across the country.
“There’s no running away from the numbers,” Fauci said. “It’s something that we have absolutely got to grasp and get our arms around and turn that inflection down by very intensive adherence to the public health measures, uniformly throughout the country, with no exceptions.”
When asked by ABC’s Martha Raddatz whether he ever expected the Covid-19 death toll to be as high as it is, he said, “No, Martha, I did not.”
“That’s what happens when you’re in a situation where you have surges related to so many factors,” Fauci said. These factors include inconsistent adherence to public health measures, winter weather forcing people indoors and travel associated with the holidays.
These are “all of the ingredients that, unfortunately, make for a situation that is really terrible,” Fauci said. “I mean, to have 300,000 cases in a given day and between 2,000 and 3,000 deaths per day is just terrible.”
3:35 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
Los Angeles mayor says one person contracts Covid-19 every six seconds in LA County
From CNN's Kay Jones
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CBS's Face the Nation that one person contracts Covid-19 every six seconds in Los Angeles County.
He attributed the spread to the density of the population as well as household spread.
He said that while there is high compliance in Los Angeles, there are going to be tough months ahead. He said that the vaccine has made everyone "so hopeful", and they have relaxed their behavior.
Garcetti also told CBS that although 95% of the people in the county are doing the right thing, it's still a dangerous disease. If only 80% are doing the right thing, he said that it can be disastrous.
Los Angeles has not received the promised number of vaccines from the federal government, Garcetti said, and they are on pace to receive the vaccines over five years instead of a six-month timespan.
"The federal government can't tell the local governments and state governments to do something and not give us aid," he said.
Garcetti said that they have brought in additional medical personnel to distribute the vaccine through walk-up vaccine sites for people who work at places like community sites and Skid Row.
What the numbers look like: Los Angeles County reported 15,701 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing total number of cases to 806,210.
The latest numbers released by the county's health department shows that 357,420 vaccine doses have been distributed as of December 29, with just 82,886 total doses administered.
12:30 p.m. ET, January 3, 2021
Dr. Fauci contradicts Trump's tweet on coronavirus deaths, saying "the deaths are real deaths"
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
Dr. Anthony Fauci contradicted a tweet from President Trump about the Covid-19 death toll Sunday, telling ABC’s Martha Raddatz, “the deaths are real deaths.”
Trump hit Twitter Sunday morning with his often-repeated and incorrect claim that the US has a higher coronavirus toll than any other country because of better testing.
There’s no basis for the false claim and Fauci said so.
“All you need to do is go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with,” Fauci said. “They are under very stressed situations in many areas of the country. The hospital beds are stretched, people are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now,” added Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading White House coronavirus adviser.
“That’s real. That’s not fake. That’s real," Fauci said.