USA TODAY is keeping track of the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed 375,000 Ameri
USA TODAY is keeping track of the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed 375,000 Americans since the first reported fatality in February. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates surrounding the coronavirus, including who is getting the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, as well as other top news from across the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates directly to your inbox, join our Facebook group or scroll through our in-depth answers to reader questions for everything you need to know about the coronavirus.
In the headlines:
► Disneyland Resort in Anaheim will soon be transformed into a mass coronavirus vaccination site for Southern California residents, Orange County officials announced Monday night.
► Indiana is the latest state to report its first case of a more contagious COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, bumping the total of states that have identified the strain to 10.
►Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first cases among such primates in captivity. The park’s executive director, Lisa Peterson, said Monday that eight gorillas that live together at the park are believed to have the virus and several have been coughing.
►The United States reported its 375,000th COVID-19 death Monday, Johns Hopkins data showed.
►Germany’s BioNTech, which developed the first COVID-19 vaccination on the market with American partner Pfizer, says it expects to produce 2 billion doses in 2021 with ramped-up manufacturing. The company said in a presentation Monday to the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that it’s also looking to expand vaccinations to include pregnant women and children.
► Johns Hopkins data shows we have a record for deaths in a week for a consecutive day, at 22,676. At that rate an American dies every 27 seconds. Cases in a week are the second-worst on record, at 1,710,110.
► As COVID-19 raged last year, the seasonal flu all but vanished, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts said the numbers speak volumes about the transmissibility of COVID-19.
► The attending physician for Congress said Sunday elected officials and their staff were potentially exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 while the U.S. Capitol was locked down during an armed incursion by pro-Trump rioters. Multiple representatives, including New Jersey Rep. and 75-year-old cancer survivor Bonnie Watson Coleman, have announced they have tested positive.
► Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest public school system, reopened Monday to 6,000 pre-kindergarten and special education students for the first time since March.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 22.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 37,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than90.8 million cases and 1.94 million deaths.
📘 What we’re reading: Millions of Americans with intellectual disabilities, at ‘particularly high risk’ for COVID-19, are still waiting for vaccinations.
More than 75% of patients still had symptoms six months later, study finds
A Chinese study, published Friday in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet, found that more than 75% of COVID-19 patients reported symptoms six months after hospital discharge.
In what the British journal said was the largest study so far of so-called “COVID-19 longhaulers,” researchers looked at 1,733 patients from Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus pandemic originated.
More than 60% of patients reported fatigue and muscle weakness, about 25% reported sleep difficulties and hair loss, and 23% reported anxiety and depression.
Researchers said a lung function assessment found “a considerable proportion” of patients had a pulmonary diffusion abnormality six months after showing symptoms, 22% to 56% across different levels of severity.
‘There’s a lot of anger’: Vaccine rollout leaves people scrambling to find shots
Through Friday, states had received 22.1 million doses of the vaccines. Of those, about 6.7 million – less than one-third – had been administered.
Federal officials point to a host of reasons for the lag in vaccine distributions, including vaccination systems still gearing up, federal funding that hasn’t yet been disbursed to states and a requirement that states set aside vaccines for long-term-care facilities.
Add to that two holidays, bad weather in some areas and the need to train medical professionals to prepare and administer two vaccines that require special storage and handling.
A hodgepodge of rules and procedures across the country adds to the confusion. In Florida, for example, seniors 65 and older are in the first phase of vaccine distribution. In Texas, seniors and medically fragile people are in the second phase. In New York, they are in the third phase. Read more here.
– Andrea Ball
How to inoculate yourself against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
Top scientists have created an online guide to arm people with scientific facts and practical tips to fight lies, hoaxes and conspiracy theories that are threatening public trust in the COVID-19 vaccines.
More than two dozen leading experts in vaccine psychology, education and virology say they volunteered contributions to The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook to take on misinformation and propaganda spread by anti-vaccination activists that could lower vaccination rates and cause needless deaths.
Even as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals overflow with critically ill patients, opposition to the vaccines is resonating, not just with fringe communities, but with swaths of mainstream America. Studies show that belief in COVID-19 falsehoods can dissuade people from getting the vaccine.
– Jessica Guynn
Contributing: The Associated Press