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The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

22M vaccines distributed, but less than 7M administered
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What you need to know

  • The US reported more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in a single day for the first time during the pandemic, Johns Hopkins University data showed.
  • The UK has introduced mandatory coronavirus testing for all international arrivals and extended a southern Africa travel ban to curb a new Covid-19 variant.
  • China has locked down Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people in Hebei province, in an effort to contain the country’s worst coronavirus flare-up in months.
  • Australia’s Greater Brisbane has entered a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of the UK strain of Covid-19.

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Los Angeles County hospitals prepare to ration care as Covid-19 cases overwhelm

A nurse closes the door to a patient's room in a Covid-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital on January 6 in Los Angeles, California.

The relentless surge of Covid-19 patients has strained resources and health care workers at Los Angeles hospitals – to the point that officials are preparing to ration care with triage officers, who will decide which patients receive what treatment.

Once a hospital reaches a phase called “crisis care mode,” triage officers at the county’s four public hospitals will be tasked with deciding how to allocate and reallocate scarce resources like ventilators for critically ill patients with a focus of “doing the most good for the most people,” according to new guidelines issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“Decisions of allocation will be to decide which patients get which resource, and in some circumstances, may involve decisions to take scarce resources from one patient and give them to another who is more likely to benefit from them,” the guidelines said.

The new guidelines were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Rising numbers: The extraordinary move comes as Los Angeles County hospitals treat more than 8,000 Covid-19 patients, a growing number that has shown no sign of slowing down as the region continues to report thousands of new cases each day. On Friday, just 54 adult ICU beds were available in the county of 10 million residents.

Some independent US health care workers are struggling to get Covid-19 vaccines, AMA warns

Some US health care workers not connected to hospitals or health systems are struggling to get Covid-19 vaccines, the president of the American Medical Association told CNN on Friday.

“We are concerned by reports that some physicians and other health care personnel who are not employed by hospitals or health systems are facing difficulties getting vaccinated against Covid-19,” Dr. Susan Bailey said.

Bailey emphasized the importance of keeping all physicians healthy so they can continue to care for patients.

“In addition to contract and hospital-based physicians, office-based physicians are also front line health care workers in the fight against Covid-19, as that is where many patients go first when they become ill,” she added.

Some state and local health departments are setting up sites to vaccinate these health care workers, Bailey noted.

Maker of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine applies for emergency use authorization in the Philippines

A nurse prepares a syringe of the Sputnik V vaccine at a clinic in Moscow on December 28, 2020.

Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, has applied for emergency use authorization in the Philippines.

The Moscow-based company filed its application on Thursday, according to the Philippines News Agency.

A day before that, Gamaleya withdrew its application to hold clinical trials in the country, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.

Gamaleya is the third vaccine maker – alongside Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca – to apply for emergency use authorization in the Philippines. 

It usually takes the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration 21 days to decide if a drug or vaccine will be allowed for use in the country, according to CNN Philippines.

Last November, Russia said the Sputnik V vaccine was at least 91.4% effective and could be more than 95% effective, according to data from its Phase 3 trials.

FDA commissioner encourages states to begin vaccinating more priority groups

Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said during an Alliance for Health Policy event Friday he’s encouraging states to broaden criteria for who can be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Some states have about 30% to 35% utilization of the current vaccine that they have, he said, and “we’re encouraging those states to broaden the criteria for administration.” Several states have opened up vaccination to people in certain age groups, even if they haven’t finished vaccinating health care workers. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Phase 1a consists of health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities, Phase 1b includes adults ages 75 and older and frontline essential workers and Phase 1c prioritizes adults ages 65 to 75, people ages 16-64 who have high-risk medical conditions and other essential workers. 

“There’s a science and data driven approach to those recommendations, and I feel that those are very reasonable to follow,” Hahn said. But if the first prioritization group isn’t using all the available vaccine, it’s reasonable to move on to the next group, “not going outside of the guardrails of the recommendations of the ACIP, because I think they’re really important, but maybe going down to the next level as you try to use as much vaccine as possible.” 

Oregon using National Guard to speed up Covid-19 vaccination effort

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the state will be using members of the National Guard to help administer the Covid-19 vaccine in an effort to speed up distribution.

“We continue to look at how we can use every single tool we have to swiftly vaccinate Oregonians,” she said in a news conference Friday.

The governor acknowledged the state fell well short of their goal to administer 100,000 doses by the end of the year and need to make up for lost time in order to get to the next phase of vaccinations.

The National Guard will begin assisting with a vaccination event this weekend at the State Fairgrounds in Salem. They are planning a marathon session in the hopes of giving 250 shots per hour.

“Our Guard members will be providing logistical and nursing support,” Brown said.

US reports more than 130,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations

Clinicians tend to a Covid-19 patient at Providence St. Mary Medical Center on January 6 in Apple Valley, California.

The United States reported 131,889 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Friday, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

This is third highest current hospitalization reporting and the 38th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations. 

According to CTP data, the highest hospitalization numbers are…

  • Jan. 6, 2021: 132,464
  • Jan. 7, 2021: 132,370
  • Jan. 8, 2021: 131,889
  • Jan. 5, 2021: 131,215
  • Jan. 4, 2021: 128,206

Moderna says second dose of its Covid-19 can be effectively administered up to 42 days after first dose

A box of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines is unpacked at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Boston on December 24, 2020.

Moderna believes the second dose of its Covid-19 vaccine can be effectively administered between 21 to 42 days after the first dose, Ray Jordan, a spokesperson for the company, told CNN Friday.

Moderna declined to say whether the company could meet demand for second doses of coronavirus vaccine if the incoming Biden administration releases all vaccine at once, instead of holding back half.

In clinical trials, Moderna’s vaccine was given as two doses 28 days apart. On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden’s team said his administration would release all doses of coronavirus vaccines right away, instead of holding back half to ensure second doses are given on time, as the Trump administration has been doing.

When asked if Moderna would be able to produce enough additional vaccine to get second doses administered on day 28, the company declined to directly answer.

“Moderna is not aware of changed requirements associated with the Biden plan but has affirmed its plan to deliver according to the existing government supply contracts,” Jordan said. “This includes an expectation of delivering 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter and 200 million doses total by the end of the second quarter. Earlier this week, Moderna reported having already delivered 18 million doses to the US government.”

The World Health Organization’s vaccine advisers said earlier Friday that the second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine could also be administered as long as 42 days – six weeks – after the first dose.

There is no evidence homegrown variant is fueling coronavirus surge in the US, CDC says

There is no evidence the United States has a homegrown variant of coronavirus that’s fueling the recent increased spread of the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. 

The White House coronavirus task force told states last week “there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities,” according to reports obtained by CNN.

But the CDC said there was no evidence of that yet.

“Based on scientific understanding of viruses, it is highly likely there are many variants evolving simultaneously across the globe,” a spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CNN.

“Additionally, there is a strong possibility there are variants in the United States; however, it could weeks or months to identify if there is a single variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 fueling the surge in the United States similar to the surge in the United Kingdom,” the spokesperson added.

“Researchers have been monitoring U.S. strains since the pandemic began, including 5,700 samples collected in November and December. To date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States as has been seen with the emergence of B.1.1.7 in the United Kingdom or B.1.351 in South Africa.”

Variants of the virus first seen in Britain and South Africa have patterns of mutations that indicate they could make it easier for the virus to infect human cells, and thus to make it more easily transmitted.

CDC director warns of Covid-19 surge after US Capitol riot

Supporters of President Donald Trump are seen from behind scaffolding as they gather outside the US Capitol's Rotunda on January 6 in Washington, DC.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned that the riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday was likely a coronavirus “surge event” and “is going to have public health consequences.”

In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper group on Friday, Redfield called the riots a “very, very sad day” and expressed concern that members of Congress and law enforcement could have been exposed by the pro-Trump mob, perpetuating the spread of coronavirus.

“Then these individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now. So I do think this is an event that will probably lead to a significant spreading event,” Redfield said.

On Thursday, the US reported more than 4,000 deaths from coronavirus for the first time. Redfield warned that the numbers are likely to increase. 

“We’re going to continue to see mortality in the 2,500-5,000 a day range,” Redfield said. “This is going to continue to get worse through January, and probably parts of February before we really start to turn the corner.”

“We haven’t hit the peak of the current surge,” he added. “Clearly, the amount of mortality we’re seeing, as many of us are trying to stress, is more than we saw on Pearl Harbor or 9/11, over and over and over again. That’s the state of the pandemic unfortunately we’re at right now.”

Second coronavirus vaccine dose is "absolutely critical," Fauci says 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday that the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is essential for optimal protection. 

“The second dose is absolutely critical,” Fauci said. 

His comments came on the same day that CNN reported that the Biden administration will aim to release every available dose of the vaccine once he takes office. While quickly doing this could increase the number of people who receive their first dose of the vaccine, it may delay second doses for some. Under current guidance, the two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine must be administered 21 days apart, while Moderna’s two doses should be given 28 day apart.

Fauci said that one dose of Moderna or one dose of Pfizer “has not been proven to be efficacious to the degree that we want, and we don’t know how long the protection lasts.”

“Whatever you’re hearing, one dose of the Moderna and one dose of the Pfizer is not optimal,” Fauci said. “Optimal is one dose of Pfizer, followed in 21 days by the boost. Or one dose of Moderna followed in 28 days with a boost if you want optimal protection and optimal durability.”  

Nearly 6.7 million people vaccinated against coronavirus, CDC says

Sergeant Brian Patrick McKnerney, of the New Jersey State Police, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the Morris County vaccination site, in Rockaway, New Jersey, on January 8.

Nearly 6.7 million people have received their first doses of vaccine against coronavirus in the US and more than 22 million doses of vaccine have now been distributed, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

As of Friday morning, 30.2% of doses distributed have been administered, compared with 33% last weekend and 27.6% on Thursday.

The US is still struggling to catch up to the promised target of 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020.

The CDC said 22,137,350 doses of vaccine had been distributed as of 9 a.m. Friday and 6,688,231 people had received their first doses of vaccine.

States have said they don’t have enough staff or money to administer coronavirus vaccines at the needed rate.

Some states have tapped dentists, retired physicians and medical students to administer vaccines

As the US looks for ways to speed the administration of Covid-19 vaccines, some states and providers are pulling in non-traditional vaccinators, including dentists, retirees and students, to aid in the process. 

On Monday, the California Department of Consumer Affairs approved an emergency waiver allowing dentists to administer Covid-19 vaccines to people ages 16 and up. The American Dental Association says dentists are cleared to give the vaccine in multiple states, including Oregon, where the first dentist in the US to administer a Covid-19 vaccine did so last month. 

Some health systems, like Mount Sinai Health System in New York City and The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medicine, are tapping a well of newly trained nursing, medical and dental students to aid in the vaccination effort.

“We have been using some atypical vaccinators because we’re trying to prioritize keeping our licensed nurses at the bedside,” said Dr. Sarah Nafziger, professor of emergency medicine at UAB. “While we’re rolling out vaccine, we’re simultaneously dealing with a patient surge.” 

Some jurisdictions are looking to retired health care workers, who have the skills to administer vaccines and aren’t actively attending to Covid-19 patients.

“It’s a lot of retired physicians that are standing up to act as vaccinators,” New Jersey State Commissioner of Health Judy Persichilli said during a news conference Wednesday.

Covid-19 vaccinators must be trained and authorized. 

Dr. William Reynolds, president of the American Optometric Association, says optometrists are an untapped resource in the vaccination effort. He said they are widely distributed and ready to jump in in smaller and rural communities that may need more manpower.

The association says 19 states allow optometrists to administer medicine via injection – and in California, they can administer flu and shingles vaccines – but they aren’t authorized to give the Covid-19 vaccine, specifically. 

“We want to be part of the solution,” said Reynolds.

Fauci says US watching coronavirus to make sure vaccines work against any new variants

Anthony Fauci speaks at the National Institutes of Health on December 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Health officials are watching to make sure that coronavirus vaccines are effective against any variants that arise, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday.

Fauci remarked on a study that indicates changes being seen in the virus are not, so far, affecting whether vaccines will work. “Right now, the scientists … have taken a close look at this, and have determined that the antibodies that are induced by the vaccine that we’re using now are still very effective against the mutant strain,” he said during an event on health equity hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University.

“We will also be looking at that very carefully and following it very carefully,” he said, adding that if anything changed then manufacturers can quickly modify the vaccine to match.

“Right now, the data indicate that the UK mutant is still quite sensitive to the antibodies that are induced by the vaccine,” he said. “But again, we’re going to be very careful. We’re going to continue to follow that to make sure that it stays that way.”

Canadian prime minister anticipates "tough" days ahead as country considers extended lockdowns

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Ontario, on January 8.

Canada continues to set new daily records for Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“Frankly, it’s frightening to see cases rise at home and around the world, day after day,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference from Ottawa Friday. 

Trudeau pleaded with Canadians to continue to follow local public health guidelines as vaccines continue to roll out across the country. 

“Quantities of both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine will scale up in February. Remember that Canada has the most vaccines secured per capita in the world, which means that, by September, we will have enough vaccines for every Canadian who wants one,” Trudeau said. 

Some provincial leaders have said that federal authorities have not yet delivered enough doses to meet the demand for vaccinations for priority groups like health care workers and resident of long-term care centers. 

According to government data, Canada has vaccinated less than 1% of its population, and most of those with only a single dose. 

Pfizer declines to say if it can produce vaccine quickly enough to get second doses out on schedule if Biden releases withheld supply

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered in Reno, Nevada on December 17, 2020.

Pfizer declined to say Friday whether it could meet demand for second doses of coronavirus vaccine if the incoming Biden administration releases all vaccine at once, instead of holding back half. 

Pfizer’s vaccine is supposed to be given as two doses 21 days apart. On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden’s team said his administration would release all doses of coronavirus vaccines right away, instead of holding back half to ensure second doses are given on time, as the Trump administration has been doing.

When asked if Pfizer would be able to produce enough additional vaccine to get second doses administered on day 21, the company declined to directly answer.

“Pfizer is confident in our ability to deliver 200 million doses of our vaccine to the U.S. government by July 31st. We are committed to collaborating with the Biden Administration on common-sense solutions to the challenges in vaccine distribution, so that as many Americans as possible have access to our vaccine as quickly as possible,” Pfizer said in a statement.

New York City will start administering vaccine to city workers and elderly starting Monday, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press briefing in New York on January 8.

New York City will begin administering the Covid-19 vaccine to city workers and the elderly staring Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.

 “New York City has heard enough,” de Blasio tweeted Friday afternoon. “We will begin administering shots to City Workers and the elderly in 1B starting on Monday.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday afternoon that while New York’s hospitals will continue to prioritize vaccinating health care workers, beginning on Monday, the additional providers will be allowed to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to anyone belonging to groups 1A and 1B of state’s vaccination plan.

Earlier Friday, de Blasio said he was continuing to push for authorization to vaccinate those over 75 years of age, saying the state hadn’t opened up to the next category. He called the elderly population the “single most vulnerable population right this minute.”

CNN’s Laura Ly contributed to this report.

Biden will get his second vaccine dose on Monday

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 7.

President-elect Joe Biden will receive his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, 21 days after he received the first dose, incoming press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a transition briefing.

His second dose, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ likely to happen a week later, will both be done publicly to continue to instill confidence on the vaccine, Psaki said.

Starting Friday, up to 35 members of the incoming administration will begin to receive their vaccine in coordination with the White House Medical Unit.

Brazil receives requests for emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria shows to members of the media a package of the CoronaVac vaccine at Guarulhos International Airport in Guarulhos, Brazil, on December 3, 2020.

Brazil’s National Health Regulator, Anvisa, confirmed on Friday they received two separate requests for emergency use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Coronavac vaccine developed by Sinovac to fight against Covid-19. 

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) ordered two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on an experimental basis. 

The Butantan Institute requested approval for the experimental use of the Coronavac vaccine developed by Sinovac, which showed 78% efficacy during phase 3 trials on Thursday. 

Anvisa stated in Friday’s two news releases that their goal pertaining to both requests is to “make the analysis of emergency use within 10 days, discounting any time that the process may be pending information, to be presented by the laboratory.” 

Anvisa also reiterated that they hold themselves accountable to scientific and regulatory procedures, which “must be followed by those who seek the authorization of vaccines to be used in the Brazilian population.” 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Sinovac, the company developing the Coronavac vaccine.

Rise in Covid-19 deaths in California prompts deployment of temporary morgues

Refrigerated overflow morgue trailers and containers sit outside the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner in Los Angeles on January 6.

As California continues to make and break Covid-19 records, the state’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is increasing storage capacity for victims’ bodies and enacting the State Multi-Casualty Plan.

Cal OES has distributed 88 refrigerated trailers, 10 leased to serve as temporary morgues and designed as such, and sent to Imperial, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Bernardino, and Sonoma counties. Another 78 were donated and sent to other hospitals and counties across the state. Those trailers will be outfitted with appropriate shelving as they were not originally designed to be used as morgues.

Cal OES will set up a temporary morgue in the parking lot at the L.A. County coroner facility to address the largest surge in fatalities. The overflow morgue comprises at least 10 trailers supplied by both the county and state, and refrigerated storage containers. 

While critical populations are receiving vaccinations during what Gov. Gavin Newsom characterized as a “surge on top of a surge,” and until hospitalizations drop, the state is anticipating the deaths, the OES says, that will only add to the existing normal rate of non-Covid-19 deaths.

Ireland confirms arrival of coronavirus variant

Ireland has recorded 8,248 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic as the new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa has been confirmed in the country, according to a statement from the government’s health department.

The increase now brings the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 to at least 135,884.

Health officials said in a statement that three cases of the coronavirus variant detected in South Africa had been confirmed in Ireland on Friday and said all of the cases were directly associated with recent travel from South Africa.

The statement urged anyone who has traveled to South Africa recently to self-isolate for 14 days and identify themselves for testing “as soon as possible.”

“While this variant has not yet been identified in many European countries, we believe the identification here reflects the extent of genome sequencing surveillance in Ireland,” Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said.

The data also shows at least 20 people have died from the virus, bringing the toll to at least 2,327. At least 1,180 people are hospitalized and at least 109 are in intensive care units.

FDA warns new coronavirus mutations can cause false negative Covid-19 test results in some cases

The US Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care providers and labs that genetic variants of the novel coronavirus — including an emerging variant first detected in the United Kingdom called B.1.1.7 — could lead to false negative Covid-19 test results.

The FDA noted in a news release on Friday afternoon that false negative results can occur with any molecular test for the detection of the virus if a mutation has occurred in the part of the virus’s genome that the test examines. According to the FDA, the risk that these mutations will impact overall testing accuracy is low. If Covid-19 is suspected after a negative test, the agency recommends repeat testing with a different test.

The agency notes three Covid-19 tests authorized in the United States may be impacted by genetic variants — MesaBiotech Accula, TaqPath Covid-19 Combo Kit and Linea Covid-19 Assay Kit — “but the impact does not appear to be significant.”

Since the TaqPath and Linea Covid-19 tests detect multiple genetic targets, the overall test sensitivity should not be impacted, the FDA noted. However, if certain patterns emerge in individual results from those tests, labs might consider further genetic sequencing of specimens. That “may help with early identification of new variants in patients to reduce further spread of infection,” the FDA said in its letter to labs and health care providers, noting that the B.1.1.7 variant has been associated with an increased risk of transmission

The FDA will continue to monitor SARS-CoV-2 genetic viral variants to ensure authorized tests continue to provide accurate results for patients,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the release. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. 

“While these efforts continue, we are working with authorized test developers and reviewing incoming data to ensure that health care providers and clinical staff can quickly and accurately diagnose patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, including those with emerging genetic variants,” Hahn said.  

“At this time, we believe the data suggests that the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines may still be effective against this strain. The FDA will continue to keep health care providers and the public informed of any new information as it becomes available.”

White House task force says there could be a fast-spreading "USA variant" of coronavirus

A sign Provincetown, Massachusetts, informs people of a mandatory mask zone on July 10.

The US may have its own version of a more transmissible coronavirus that might be helping fuel the already aggressive spread of the virus, the White House coronavirus task force said in its latest report to states this week.

Reports sent by the task force to states dated Jan. 3 warned of the possibility of a “USA variant” of Covid-19.

“This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges. This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible,” reports obtained by CNN said.

The task force called for “aggressive mitigation… to match a much more aggressive virus.”

That mitigation should include the use of face masks, the task force said, and immediate vaccination of as many people as possible.

“Without uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three ply and well-fitting) and strict social distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen as these variants spread and become predominant.”

The US has been tracking cases of a variant first identified in the UK that appears to be more easily transmitted.

The pandemic continues to rage as the nation has turned its attention to the insurrection at the US Capitol and the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and the task force continued to warn states of “aggressive community spread” after the holiday season. 

“The United States remains at a high plateau of 140-150,000 confirmed and suspected COVID admissions per week and 120-125,000 total inpatients. Significant continued deterioration, from California across the Sunbelt and up into the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, despite low testing rates during the holidays, suggests aggressive community spread,” the task force reports said. 

The task force reports also called for the establishment of outpatient monoclonal antibody treatment infusion sites “immediately available to save lives.”

And as the nation struggles to rapidly immunize Americans, the reports said that vaccines must “be put in arms now.” 

“Do not delay the rapid immunization of those over 65 and vulnerable to severe disease; recommend creation of high throughput vaccination sites with use of EMT personnel to monitor for potential anaphylaxis and fully utilize nursing students. No vaccines should be in freezers but should instead be put in arms now; active and aggressive immunization in the face of this surge would save lives,” the reports said. 

This week, California is the state with the most new cases per 100,000 population, followed by Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, and Massachusetts in the top 10. 

Test positivity, an indication of rising cases to come, is highest in Oklahoma, followed by Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. 

Arkansas has the most hospital admissions per 100 inpatient beds, followed by Arizona, Maryland, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, California, District of Columbia, South Carolina, and New Mexico.

And Kansas has the most new deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Arizona, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.