January 11 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Florence Davey-Attlee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021
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9:44 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Some 400 members of the New York police department have been vaccinated this morning

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The New York Police Department had already vaccinated about 400 of their members by just after 7 a.m. ET Monday morning, on the first day the group became eligible, the NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told CNN affiliate NY1 Monday.

"We were ready to go, we’ve been ready to go for some time, it’s very welcomed news that finally the officers and detectives and everyone else can get that protection they need," Shea said Monday. 

He described members as "definitely eager to get it" adding "at the same time …we’re New Yorkers, so you know everything that you see in the general population you see with us, and there’s also some hesitancy I’m sure."

"I think it’s going to take some momentum" he said, adding that as more people get it and do not experience side effects it should ramp up across the board. 

Shea contracted the virus Friday and has been working remotely.

He told NY1 via a phone interview "I’m doing ok," adding "myself and a lot of other officers unfortunately and new Yorkers have contracted this."

"We’ll get through it," he continued.

Shea described his symptoms as akin to a "bad flu, the chills the aches, the breathing is the one you got to be careful with," he said adding he is "recovering at home" and looking forward to "getting back to work soon."

8:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Germany imposes tougher restrictions as deaths mount

From Inke Kappeler in Berlin 

A person walks through a deserted shopping arcade in Munich, Germany, on Monday, January 11.
A person walks through a deserted shopping arcade in Munich, Germany, on Monday, January 11. Sven Hoppe/picture alliance/Getty Images

Germany strengthened its Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, which include longer school closures and travel limits. These measures will last until at least January 31.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss extending the measures past February 1 with federal state leaders on January 25. She said Germany was entering the most difficult phase of the pandemic in the coming weeks, during her weekly podcast this weekend.

The country's new restrictions include: residents may only have one home visitor at a time; those living in high-incidence regions are confined to a nine-mile radius around their houses; only grocery stores and drugstores can remain open; and travelers entering Germany from high-risk areas must register upon arrival, quarantine for 10 days, and be tested for the virus.

Germany has been seeing record Covid-19 infections as it struggles with a winter surge. On Sunday, it recorded 16,946 new infections and 465 deaths -- pushing the total death toll to more than 40,000.

8:05 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Are you a doctor, nurse or medical professional in the UK? CNN would like to hear from you

From CNN's Kara Fox

As the UK tackles a surge in Covid-19 cases and record hospital numbers, CNN is hoping to hear from health care workers about the realities on the frontline.

Use the form below to share your experiences:

Read more about the situation in the UK here:

9:56 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium will turn into a vaccination site

From CNN's Stella Chan

Cars line-up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site on January 4.
Cars line-up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site on January 4. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock

The Dodger Stadium will become a Covid-19 vaccination site by the end of the week and will no longer offer testing after today, according to a statement from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

Once the site is fully operational, up to 12,000 people can be vaccinated per day, the statement said, adding that the transition to a vaccination site will reduce testing capacity in the county but will triple the number of vaccines available to residents. Plans are underway to scale up testing at other locations throughout the county. 

Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the City, County, and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible,” said Garcetti.

"In this moment of darkness where cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are skyrocketing, this bold step of offering both Covid-19 testing and vaccines in the heart of Los Angeles, reflects the dual nature of this moment – it is dark, but simultaneously hopeful," said L.A. County Board of Supervisor Chair Hilda Solis. 

On Sunday, California's public health department announced that anyone in the higher priority groups known as phase 1A — including health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and those living in congregate settings, such as shelters — will be eligible for a vaccination starting today.

Data from the health department shows about 33% of the doses received have been administered statewide.

Hear from Los Angeles EMT workers struggling to keep pace:

7:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

So many people went ice-skating on a frozen Munich canal that police had to shut it down

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London

Police officers clear the Nymphenburg Canal in Munich, Germany, on Sunday.
Police officers clear the Nymphenburg Canal in Munich, Germany, on Sunday. Sven Hoppe/picture alliance/Getty Images

A frozen canal in the German city of Munich got so busy with people breaking coronavirus rules Sunday that police had to intervene and close it down.

The Schlosskanal, also known as the Nymphenburg canal, was packed with ice skaters, families playing ice hockey, people sledging and walkers.

Police initially tweeted a warning the canal was very busy. “A minimum distance cannot be upheld here any more. Please wear a mask. We are advising walkers to find somewhere else, to enjoy the weather,” the post said. 

Officers then added that two people had broken through the ice, but were not injured. “We are therefore closing the entire area because of a danger of breaking ice,” police tweeted. 

The Bavarian capital added 365 coronavirus cases to its tally on Sunday, bringing the total to 47,630, according to the city's website. Munich has recorded 658 deaths.

6:50 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

WHO welcomes China's decision to allow entry to team investigating virus origins

From CNN’s Sandi Sidhu in Hong Kong

The World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 2020.
The World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it welcomes China's announcement earlier today, which stated that a WHO team investigating the origins of Covid-19 would arrive in the country on Thursday.

China's announcement effectively greenlights the team's entry into the country. It comes after Beijing blocked the arrival of the global experts last week as the necessary permissions to enter China had not been approved.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the time that he was "very disappointed," in a rare rebuke from the UN health agency.

In Monday's statement, spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that the WHO looks "forward to working closely with our Chinese counterparts on this critical mission to identify the source of the virus and its route of introduction to the human population."

Gaining access: For months, WHO officials have been negotiating with Beijing to allow a team of global scientists access to key sites to investigate the origin of the virus -- first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 -- and its likely jump from an unidentified host species to humans.

In May, WHO agreed to hold an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic after more than 100 countries signed a resolution calling for an independent probe.

6:22 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

The UK is now at the "worst point" of pandemic, expert warns, as vaccination plans are scaled up

From CNN's Nina Avramova, Florence Davey-Attlee and Sarah Dean

Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, attends a news conference at 10 Downing Street in London, on January 5.
Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, attends a news conference at 10 Downing Street in London, on January 5. Hannah McKay/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The United Kingdom is now at the deadliest point of the coronavirus pandemic, with numbers higher now than during last year's peak, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Monday. 

“We’ve got to be very clear that we’re now at the worst point of this epidemic for the UK, in the future we will have the vaccine, but the numbers at the moment are higher than they were in the previous peak -- by some distance,” Whitty told the BBC

He said he expects the next few weeks to be the “most dangerous time,” before the vaccines that are being rolled out across the country can have an impact. Currently, there are over 30,000 people in hospital and that number is still rising, Whitty added.

We’re now at a situation where in the UK as a whole around in 1 in 50 people is infected and in London it’s around 1 in 30, [in] parts of London it’s around 1 in 20, so there is a very high chance that if you meet someone unnecessarily, they will have Covid.”

Whitty's warning comes as seven mass vaccination centres are opened in England, as efforts continue to massively ramp up the numbers receiving the shot. People over 80 years old and health and social care workers who live near to the sites are being offered the chance to book appointments.

The UK is aiming to vaccinate around 15 million of its most vulnerable members of society by mid-February, according to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

"This is really a race against time," he told the BBC's Radio 4 program.

"Once we open up more vaccination centers next week and the week after and of course the community pharmacies ... nobody should be more than a ten-mile radius of a site."

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told the BBC on Sunday that all adults in the UK would be inoculated by the autumn. Hancock will hold a press conference later on Monday to announce the delivery plan.

5:53 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Moderna shot to arrive in Germany today

From CNN's Claudia Otto in Berlin

Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which was approved for use by European Union regulators last week, will start arriving in Germany Monday, according to the country's health minister.

"The delivery ... of the vaccine from Moderna will happen today ... tomorrow it will go to the federal states and they can then begin to vaccinate," Jens Spahn told on German public broadcaster ZDF.

He added that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, "we expect two million doses of Moderna, during this year we have ordered 50 million doses."

Vaccine pace: Members of the EU vaccine procurement scheme, agreed in June, are reliant on regulators granting authorization of Covid vaccines -- but the EU has taken longer than the UK, the US and Canada to give the green light.

So far, the European Medicines Agency has authorized the BioNTech/Pfizer shot and, last week, the Moderna vaccine -- with initial orders for 300 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and 160 million of Moderna.

Germany, which started its campaign in December, has administered over 500,000 shots but also faced criticism for the speed of its vaccination campaign. Amid calls for the country to take control over purchases from European Union authorities, Spahn said there will be "enough vaccine" and urged patience.

Read more about the world's vaccine push:

5:32 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

The US has recorded more than 100,000 Covid hospitalizations for 40 days in a row

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Clinicians reposition a Covid-19 patient into the supine position at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California, on January 6.
Clinicians reposition a Covid-19 patient into the supine position at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California, on January 6. Mario Tama/Getty Images

With Covid-19 hospitalizations surpassing 100,000 for 40 days in a row, officials are trying to ramp up the pace of vaccinations across the United States.

We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly, because this is really our only tool," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.

On Sunday, 129,229 people were in US hospitals with coronavirus, but the day marked only the sixth highest in pandemic history, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Experts have long said the best defenses against surging cases are preventative measures like masks and social distancing, as well as widespread vaccination. So far, at least 22.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been distributed and nearly 6.7 million have made their way into patients' arms.

Health officials had hoped to get 20 million people vaccinated at the start of the new year, but the administration of vaccines has undergone delays and roadblocks.

We need to acknowledge that it's not working," Gottlieb said of the vaccination plan. "We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get that out to patients."

Gottlieb's warning comes just days after the US crossed a grim threshold for the first time -- reporting more than 4,000 new Covid-19 deaths in a single day on Thursday. Since the pandemic began, more than 374,000 people have died in the US and more than 22.4 million people have been infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Read the full story: