December 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 4:06 p.m. ET, December 15, 2020
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3:07 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Some federal prison employees will receive the Covid vaccine Wednesday, spokesperson says

From CNN's Christina Carrega

A select amount of full-time federal prison employees are expected to receive the Covid-19 vaccination on Wednesday, a spokesperson from the Bureau of Prisons told CNN.

The first rounds of vaccines have been administered Monday to front-line workers in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus that has taken the lives of almost 300,000 people in the United States. Operation Warp Speed determined that law enforcement, including correctional officers were eligible for the first round of the vaccine since the facilities have a higher potential for outbreaks because of the population of inmates.  

Emery Nelson, spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons, said Monday in a statement to CNN that "a few" of the facilities are expected to begin receiving the vaccine on Wednesday, and it will be made available to full-time employees. 

"Vaccinating staff protects the staff member, the inmates at the facility, and the community," Nelson said in the statement. "The BOP plans to initially offer the Vaccine to full-time staff given that staff—who come and go between the facility and the community—present a higher potential vector for transmission."

To date, there are over 1,700 Bureau of Prisons staffers who have tested positive for the coronavirus—compared to the over 7,100 inmates who are positive. 

"A plan has been developed to offer the Vaccine to the inmate population when additional doses are available. However, the BOP does not determine when doses will be made available to inmates, OWS will do that," Nelson said.

CNN has requested further comment on which facilities will receive the vaccinations and if the staffers are mandated to have them. 

2:59 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

More than half of US states have gotten their first shipment of vaccines

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

UPS employees move shipping containers containing the Pfizer vaccine inside a sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 13.
UPS employees move shipping containers containing the Pfizer vaccine inside a sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 13. Michael Clevenger/Pool/Getty Images

More than half of the states across the nation have received their first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. 

According to statements from the state Departments of Health, governor’s offices and local hospitals, 36 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico have all received their first shipment of the vaccine.  

Remember: Not all of these states have begun administering the vaccine, but they have received it.   

Those places are:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Kansas
  11. Kentucky
  12. Louisiana
  13. Maine
  14. Maryland
  15. Massachusetts
  16. Michigan
  17. Minnesota
  18. Mississippi
  19. Missouri
  20. Nevada
  21. New Hampshire
  22. New Jersey
  23. New Mexico
  24. New York
  25. North Carolina
  26. Ohio
  27. Oklahoma
  28. Oregon
  29. Pennsylvania
  30. Puerto Rico
  31. Rhode Island
  32. South Carolina
  33. South Dakota
  34. Texas
  35. Utah
  36. Virginia
  37. Washington
  38. Washington, DC 
2:51 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

The first vaccine doses arrive in Oregon

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

The first Covid-19 vaccine doses have arrived in Oregon, the state's health agency announced in a statement.

Two hospitals, Holladay Park in Portland and Meridian Park in Tualatin, took delivery of one package of 975 doses each of the Pfizer vaccine today at around 7 a.m., the statement said.

"Additional doses are expected at three other locations in Oregon on Tuesday," the statement added. According to the Oregon Health Authority, all three locations are expected to receive 975-dose packages.

"The remaining 30,225 Pfizer vaccine doses from this week’s allocation of 35,100 dose for Oregon will arrive at hospitals throughout the rest of the week, with 10,725 doses going to skilled nursing facilities for vaccinations that start next week," the statement said.

2:54 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

First vaccine shipment has arrived at Illinois Strategic National Stockpile 

From CNN's Kay Jones and Chenelle Terry

The first vaccine shipment has arrived at the Illinois Strategic National Stockpile, according to a release from the governor's office.

Approximately 43,000 doses of the first shipment arrived this morning, according to the release. The "vast majority" of those doses will be sent to Regional Hospital Coordination Centers around the state to allow local health departments to pick up and begin their distribution of the vaccine, the release said.

Gov. JB Pritzker also said in the release that Chicago received a direct shipment, and four additional local health departments will receive direct shipments later this week. 

The state will receive 100,000 doses in this initial allocation. Last week, Pritzker had said the state would receive 109,000 doses. 

“Today marks a momentous occasion – not just this year, but in American history. Eleven months after scientists the world over first got their hands on the genetic sequence of this virus – and we are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” Pritzker said in the release. “May we all take a moment to feel hope today.”  

2:53 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Fauci says Americans won't be able to "throw the masks away" until late next year

From CNN's Andrea Diaz


As some Americans are getting the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the public won't be able to "throw the masks away" until the late fall or early winter of 2021.

"Is not going to be like turning a light switch on and off. It's not going to be overnight. It's going to be gradual, and I think we will know when we see the level of infection in the country at a dramatically lower level than it is right now that we can start gradually tiptoeing towards normality," Fauci said during a Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual health event Monday. 

"I don't believe we're going to be able to throw the masks away and forget about physical separation in congregate settings for a while, probably likely until we get into the late fall and early next winter, but I think we can do it," he added.

Fauci also said that this is "the worst public health catastrophe in 102 years, since the 1918 flu pandemic," and he said he hopes that Americans learn from all their actions and inactions during 2020 to not repeat the same mistakes in the future.

"It's eerie that there were things that went on back in 1918 that are so strikingly similar then that we see now, including the denial some states and cities that there really was a problem; the reluctance to wear masks on some parts of the country; the reluctance to shut down things — some cities shutdown, some didn't — and it was clear that those that shut down did better both from a health standpoint and an economic standpoint,” he said.

“That was 102 years ago, and it's sort of almost repeating itself now in 2020, so I hope we don't have that kind of forgetfulness after this," Fauci added. 

2:33 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Georgia receives first shipment of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Two public health locations in coastal Georgia received the state’s first shipments of Covid-19 vaccine today, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced.

The shipments contain 5,850 doses of vaccine and the Coastal Health District will start vaccinating front line public health staff this afternoon, DPH said.  

According to DPH, additional shipments of vaccine are expected at facilities in other parts of the state, including metro Atlanta, later this week.

DPH is following CDC recommendations by prioritizing health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities for vaccination.

In Georgia, the vaccine is being given through closed points of dispensing or “PODs,” which include sites like public health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and pharmacies, and are only accessible to individuals in the current defined priority groups, DPH said.

2:37 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

New York state could face a second shutdown if current Covid-19 metrics do not change, governor says

From CNN's Julian Cummings

An empty New York City street in March.
An empty New York City street in March. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New York State could face a second shutdown if the current trajectory of Covid-19 metrics does not change, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Monday.

Cuomo said that the current trajectory shows that by January, there could be 11,000 patients in hospitals due to Covid-19 and an additional 3,500 dead.

“The increase in hospitals could overwhelm some hospitals in some regions if nothing changes by January. That is the problem we are looking at," Cuomo said.

Cuomo identified Erie, Monroe, Central New York, and particularly New York City as areas of concerns.

“New York City is different, there is more density,” Cuomo said. “We know how fast it takes off in New York City.”

Addressing the concerns of business owners who are unhappy with current capacity rates, Cuomo said that people should be more worried about a shutdown if the current trajectory doesn’t change.

“We go back to where we were, all nonessential business closed, they go to zero.” Cuomo said. “Yes we are trying to change the trajectory, you should be happy, if we don’t change the trajectory then we are going to close.”

In order to avoid another shutdown, Cuomo said that two things need to be done:

  1. Increasing hospital capacity and hospital management
  2. Slowing the spread of the virus in people’s homes, which accounts for 74% of transmission

“It’s difficult to stop during the holiday season,” Cuomo said. “I think of it as a footrace between holiday spread and hospital capacity and vaccination critical mass. The problem is experts say vaccination for the critical mass isn’t for six to nine months.” 

Cuomo said New York state today conducted what he believes was the first vaccine administered in the United States.

“We are in the process of administering 10,000 vaccinations today," Cuomo said. 


2:26 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Here's how the vaccine is prepped before injecting

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

The University of Michigan Hospital is preparing to inject its first round of Covid-19 vaccines.

The doses come frozen because the vaccine requires a storage temperature of -70 degrees Celsius. Once taken out of storage, they need to warm up before it can be mixed in with a bit of saline and then administered.

Watch a health care worker sanitize and prep the shot:

2:36 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Hospitals in Texas receive shipments of the vaccine, health officials say

From CNN's Kay Jones and Devon Sayers

Four hospitals in Texas have received the first shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the state's Department of State Health Services. 

According to a news release, 19,500 doses were delivered Monday morning to hospitals in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. An additional 75,075 doses will arrive on Tuesday at 19 hospitals throughout the state. 

“Seeing the first doses of vaccine arrive in Texas is an important milestone signaling that a return to our way of life is within sight,” DSHS commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said in the release. “We cannot stop short of the finish line. This hope should lift our spirits and strengthen our resolve to do what must be done to end the pandemic.”

Texas should be receiving a total of 224,250 doses during the first week of distribution, which will be shipped to 110 providers, according to the release.