January 7 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, January 8, 2021
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3:47 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

US congressman announces positive Covid-19 test results 4 hours after voting

From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz

Jake LaTurner talks with members of the 2nd congressional district during a meeting at the annual GOP convention in Topeka, Kansas on February 16, 2019.
Jake LaTurner talks with members of the 2nd congressional district during a meeting at the annual GOP convention in Topeka, Kansas on February 16, 2019. Mark Reinstein/Corbis/Getty Images

US Rep. Jake LaTurner has tested positive for Covid-19, the Kansas Republican said in a tweet. He is not experiencing any symptoms.

LaTurner voted in person four hours ago on the House floor, per the clerk of the House of Representative's vote tally.

LaTurner is following the advice of the House physician and CDC guidelines and, therefore, does not plan to return to the House floor for votes until he is cleared to do so.

1:39 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

US reports more than 253,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

A healthcare worker collects a specimen at a Covid-19 testing site in Randolph, Massachusetts, on January 5.
A healthcare worker collects a specimen at a Covid-19 testing site in Randolph, Massachusetts, on January 5. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Some 253,145 new cases of Covid-19 and a record-setting 3,865 new virus-related deaths were recorded in the United States on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

As of the end of the day Wednesday, there have been at least 21,299,340 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 361,123 people who contracted the virus have died.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Vaccine numbers: At least 17,288,950 vaccine doses have been distributed across the country. At least 5,306,797 shots have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1:10 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

US reports more than 3,800 Covid-19 deaths in new daily record

From CNN's Dave Alsup

Another day, another grim Covid-19 record in the United States.

At least 3,865 Covid-19-related deaths were reported in the country on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University -- the most in a single day of the pandemic.

The previous record -- 3,775 -- was set Tuesday, and public health officials have warned things could get worse before they get better.

The US has reported 361,123 total deaths, according to JHU data.  

Winter surge: Coronavirus cases have skyrocketed throughout the country in recent months, partly due to the cold winter weather and surges caused by people gathering during the holiday season. The nation's epicenter remains in Los Angeles County, where more than 1,000 people were killed by the virus in less than a week.

Vaccines provide a glimmer of hope as case numbers climb, but their distribution has gone slower than expected. US governors are now taking new measures to get the distributed vaccines into arms faster, including mobilizing National Guard members and training more volunteers to administer doses.

Track US cases:

12:59 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

States begin to prioritize more people for vaccination as "messy" rollout continues

From CNN's Jen Christensen

A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida, on January 6.
A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida, on January 6. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The US coronavirus vaccine rollout has been slow, and some states eager to move more doses are beginning to vaccinate more than the health care workers and nursing home residents initially at the front of the line.

Just 5.3 million of the 17.3 million doses distributed have been administered in the United States -- only 30.7%. That doesn't come to close to the target the Trump administration set in the fall to administer 20 million vaccines to Americans by the end of 2020.

So, many states are taking steps to speed things up.

Read more about what states are doing:

2:02 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

California urges residents not to travel farther than 120 miles from home

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Vehicles travel along Interstate 80 in Berkeley, California, on December, 22, 2020.
Vehicles travel along Interstate 80 in Berkeley, California, on December, 22, 2020. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

California officials are urging residents to limit all non-essential travel to within 120 miles from one’s home and avoid traveling to neighboring states or countries.

Anyone arriving in or returning to the state is urged to self-quarantine for 10 days, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said in a statement.

California -- the epicenter of the current coronavirus surge in the United States -- is also discouraging any non-essential visitors from out of state.

The recommendations are not mandatory, but the statement said local officials could consider enacting "measures that are more restrictive than this statewide order." 

The department warned that visitors or residents returning to California could introduce new sources of infection, including the new strains of the virus.

“Intra-state travel, likewise threatens to exacerbate community spread within California— particularly because travel itself (especially the use of shared conveyances in air, bus, or rail travel) can increase a person's chance of spreading and getting Covid-19,” CDPH said.

For reference, the distance from Los Angeles to San Diego is approximately 120 miles. The distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco is approximately 381 miles.

12:01 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

Japan reports nearly 6,000 Covid-19 cases in new daily record

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

A nurse collects a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center at Fujimino Emergency Hospital in Miyoshi-machi, Japan on January 5.
A nurse collects a nasal swab sample at a Covid-19 testing center at Fujimino Emergency Hospital in Miyoshi-machi, Japan on January 5. Nicolas Datiche/SIPA/Shutterstock

Japan's health authority identified 5,953 Covid-19 infections Wednesday, a single-day record for new cases in the country.

Another 72 virus-related deaths were also reported Wednesday, authorities said.

The government is preparing to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures -- Saitama, Chiba and Kangawa -- where cases are spiking. Tokyo set its own record for number of infections identified in a day on Wednesday, with 1,591 new cases.

Health Ministry data shows that as of Wednesday, the number of patients in serious condition across Japan rose to 784, while 41,054 patients are being treated in hospital.

At least 259,105 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Japan, killing 3,904 people.

8:05 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

US hits record number of Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

The United States reported 132,476 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is the 36th consecutive day the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations.

The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

  1. Jan 6: 132,476
  2. Jan 5: 131,215
  3. Jan 4: 128,206
  4. Jan 3: 125,562
  5. Dec 31: 125,379
12:17 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021

CDC's ensemble forecast projects up to 438,000 US deaths from Covid-19 by Jan. 30

From CNN's Ben Tinker

Reggie Elliott, funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a Covid-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020.
Reggie Elliott, funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a Covid-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

An ensemble forecast published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects there will be between 405,000 and 438,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by January 30.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published December 30, projected up to 424,000 coronavirus deaths by January 23.

As of 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, at least 360,693 people have already died from Covid-19 in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:00 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

The US CDC has found more than 50 US cases of coronavirus variant first identified in UK

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

At least 52 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom have been found in the United States, according to data posted Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This includes at least 26 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, two cases in Colorado, and one case each in Georgia and New York.

CDC says this does not represent the total number of cases circulating in the US, but rather just those that have been found by analyzing positive samples. The agency cautions that its numbers, which are expected to update Tuesdays and Thursdays, may not immediately match those of state and local health department.

While the variant appears to spread more easily, there's no evidence that it's any more deadly or causes more severe disease, according to CDC.

Experts suspect there could be many more cases in the country and have criticized the US for not doing more genetic sequencing of virus samples to surveil for mutations.

Read more: