January 20 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Sharon Braithwaite and Hannah Strange, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 21, 2021
46 Posts
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5:02 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

CDC’s ensemble forecast now projects up to 508,000 US Covid-19 deaths by mid-February

From CNN's Haley Brink and Ben Tinker

There have been at least 24,365,741 cases of coronavirus in the US according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU.)

According to JHU's tally, at least 404,284 people have died in the US from Covid-19. The US remains the worst hit country globally in terms of cases and deaths.

An ensemble forecast published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now projects there will be 465,000 to 508,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by February 13.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published January 13, projected up to 477,000 coronavirus deaths by February 6.

CNN is tracking Covid-19's US spread here:

3:39 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

More than half a million Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatments have been delivered to US states. How many have been used?

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

As of Monday, the United States has delivered more than half a million monoclonal antibody therapeutics to states to treat non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ website, but it’s not clear how many have been used.

Since the therapies received an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in November, the department said it has delivered 454,087 courses of an Eli Lilly treatment, and 96,923 courses of Regeneron’s cocktail. 

Both treatments are authorized for people who are 12 years of age and older, who are at high risk for progressing to a severe form of Covid-19. Both were shown to reduce Covid-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits.

It’s unclear exactly how many of the distributed antibody treatments have actually been used; it’s not posted by HHS or tracked on state dashboards. Health officials have said they aren’t being used enough; in Michigan, for example, less than 10% of available Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatments have been used, Dr. William Fales, the medical director at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said last week.

The treatments are complicated to administer, in part because hospitals or infusion centers need to create a separate space to treat patients.

4:13 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

Covid-19 deaths remain high in California as US crisis continues

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

The number of Covid-19 linked deaths in California remains high, though daily infection rates are dropping in the state.

California reported 694 new Covid-19 related deaths Wednesday, its second highest single day toll to date. The previous high of 708 deaths was recorded nearly two wee

As of Wednesday, California had a total of 3,019,371 confirmed infections.ks ago.

The Golden State became the first US state to surpass three million Covid-19 cases on JanuaStateary 8.

The tres hospitals remain crowded, with more than 20,800 people hospitalized across California for Covid-19. Approximately 4,750 of those patients are in intensive care units.

More than 3.2 million vaccine doses have been distributed in California and nearly 1.4 million doses have been administered.


3:17 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

More than 16.5 million Covid-19 vaccines doses have been administered across the US

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

More than 16.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the US, about 46% of the 36 million doses distributed, according to data published by the CDC today. 

At least 2.1 million people have received both of the required doses, according to data reported this morning.

West Virginia continues to lead the nation in the number of vaccine doses administered per capita, with more than 8,800 doses administered per 100,000 people. 

Wednesday's numbers mark a significant increase in the share of doses administered out of the total distributed. Previously that share had stayed below 40%.

However, a note on the CDC’s Covid Data Tracker site indicates that the agency is “refining how the number of doses distributed is reported,” which could affect this calculation. 

The US vaccine rollout has not been a smooth one, with the nation lagging behind several other countries in its Covid-19 vaccination efforts, according to a recent CNN analysis of government data.

CNN is tracking Covid-19's spread across the US here:


3:06 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

Tennis stars urged not to feed mice in hotel rooms as they quarantine ahead of Australian Open

From CNN's Ben Morse

World no. 28 Yulia Putintseva was forced to swap rooms in her quarantine hotel in Melbourne after she discovered a mouse, only to find out that her new room was also infested.

In a video she posted on Twitter, the Kazakhstan player said: "Different room same story. Wanted to go to sleep but noooope!"

Putintseva is one of the 72 players and their teams that have been forced to quarantine in their hotel rooms for 14 days after their arrival in Australia ahead of the Australian Open, 2021's first grand slam due to the country's stringent Covid-19 rules.

Read more:

2:38 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

More than 403,000 people have died in the US from Covid-19

From CNN's Amanda Watts

At least 403,482 people have died in the US from Covid-19 according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU.) 

The country remains the worst hit globally, with more than 24.3 million total cases of infection.

So far today, JHU has reported 57,048 new cases and 1,710 new deaths in the US.

The data includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases.  

The US CDC said at least 31,161,075 Covid-19 vaccine doses have now been distributed and at least 15,707,588 total doses have been administered.

CNN is tracking the spread of Covid-19 across the US here:


1:46 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

President Joe Biden sends first tweet as POTUS

President Joe Biden tweeted from the @POTUS account for the first time following the inauguration ceremony, writing: "There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face."

He continued: "That's why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families."

Vice President Kamala Harris has also taken control of @VP account.

2:06 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

Plans for contact testing in English schools halted

From CNN’s Elle Pickston in London

The UK is “pausing” its plans to roll out rapid daily Covid-19 testing for the close contacts of positive individuals in English secondary schools and colleges, a government spokesperson said Wednesday.

The change was attributed to the emergence of the new UK variant.

The mass testing programme in schools was due to start in January to help identify asymptomatic cases amongst students and staff.

The government spokesperson said that the change of plans was the result of updated advice from UK scientific advisers, saying that NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England (PHE) believed "that in light of the higher prevalence and rates of transmission of the new variant, further evaluation work is required to make sure [testing] is achieving its aim of breaking chains of transmission and reducing cases of the virus in the community.
“We are therefore pausing daily contact testing in all but a small number of secondary schools and colleges, where it will continue alongside detailed evaluation," the spokesperson added.

Public Health England (PHE) also released a statement Wednesday explaining the rationale behind the advice and saying that the “pandemic has entered a new phase."

National lockdown measures across England have forced schools to remain closed since 5 January, however children of key workers are still allowed to attend. PHE confirmed that schools should continue to test staff and pupils currently going in to schools.

UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson hailed daily testing in schools as a "milestone moment in our work to keep schools and colleges open for all" in December.

But scientists have expressed concerns that the tests may not be accurate enough, could falsely reassure people and increase the spread of Covid-19.


2:19 p.m. ET, January 20, 2021

Biden reflects on "winter of peril" during inaugural address

US President Joe Biden used his inaugural address to reflect on the challenge of containing the pandemic but struck a note of optimism about the future.

"We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril," Biden said Wednesday after being sworn in as president in Washington DC.
Biden referred to Covid-19 as a "once in a century virus that silently stalks the country."
"It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II," he said.
"Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed."

The US has the highest toll of Covid-19 cases globally, with more than 24.2 million cases recorded. Biden takes office as the death toll crosses 400,000 and amid a stuttering vaccine rollout.

"This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail," Biden said.

The 46th US president plans to make the coronavirus pandemic his top priority.

Biden will begin his presidency by asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days in his first executive order and reversing Donald Trump's decision to leave the World Health Organization (WHO.)